Difference between revisions of "CONVERSATIONS"

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<div class="page-header" > <h1>Federation through Conversations</h1> </div>
 
<div class="page-header" > <h1>Federation through Conversations</h1> </div>
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<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Putting our proposal to test</h3>  
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<p>So far we have given a fairly complete overview of an emerging approach to knowledge. What remains is to test it by applying it to a real-life theme. </p>  
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<h3>We could talk about anything</h3>  
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<p>What theme do you find most interesting? Education? Or democracy? Or what to do about the large contemporary issues? We can focus on any theme you choose. And yet our conversation is bound to be different from any you've had.</p>  
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<p>The difference is made by the overarching principle that defines our initiative – where education, democracy, religion, health and everything else are seen as inter-related pieces in a larger system or hierarchy of systems. Where those systems are perceived as gigantic mechanism, which determine how we live and work, and what the effects of our lives and work are going to be. Where the reconfiguration of those systems, to suit humanity's new condition, is seen as humanity's next evolutionary step. And where the new information technology is conceived of as our society's new 'nervous system', which enables and also demands that our systems, and people, should communicate and collaborate in an entirely new way.</p>  
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<h3>Let us focus on the key point</h3>  
<p>[[File:Elephants.jpeg]]<br><small><center>Even if we don't talk of him directly, the elephant in the picture will be the main theme of all our conversations. Our purpose is to ignite the co-creation of the vision of the emerging paradigm by (1) materializing just enough so that some of its characteristic contours can be discerned and (2) orchestrating the activity of connecting the dots further – which is what these conversations are about.</center></small></p>
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<p>There is, however, a single theme, which – in this systemic approach to knowledge, and to institutions and issues must be given priority.</p>  
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<p>Neil Postman gave us this hint:
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  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Changing our collective mind</h2></div>
 
  <div class="col-md-7"><h3>Information as we might need it</h3>
 
<p>We here introduce our proposal, [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]], as a response to the last of the three large changes that developed during the past century – the change of the nature of our condition, and how our new condition imposes new demands on the way in which information and knowledge are created and used.</p>
 
<h3>Changing the subject</h3>
 
<p>You might consider, just as we do, the news about Donald Trump or some terrorists as nothing really new. Why give those people the attention they don't deserve? Why use the media to spread <em>their</em> messages? If you <em>are</em> entertaining such thoughts, then you might be ready for some really <em>good</em> news!</p>
 
<p>Also five centuries ago an abundance of daily spectacles occupied the people's minds. And yet when we look back, what we see is Leonardo, and Copernicus... We see the rebirth of the arts and the emergence of the sciences. We see those large and slow events because they give meaning and relevance to all particular ones. We notice them even from this distance because they were so spectacularly large – and that's also why the people living at that time <em>failed</em> to notice them! But how much more <em>spectacular</em> will it be to witness this sort of development in our own time! </p>
 
<p>Although we don't talk about him directly, the elephant in the above [[ideograms|<em>ideogram</em>]] will be the main theme of all our conversations. It is a glimpse of him that we want to give and have by talking about all those people and things. And when we talk about the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]], you should imagine the exotic large animal appearing in a room full of people not today, but five centuries ago, when perhaps some of those people had heard of such a creature, but none of them had ever seen one yet. The elephant in the room is a breath-taking sensation! We use this visual metaphor to point to the whole big thing – the Renaissance-like change that now wants to emerge. The elephant is invisible, but we will have glimpses of him as soon as we begin to 'connect the dots'. And isn't that what we've been doing all along!</p>
 
<p>Be mindful of our challenge: A paradigm, a new "order of things", is <em>nothing but</em> an immense rearrangement of relationships. There are just about infinitely many dots to be connected! We can not, and will not, try to connect them all. As the above picture might suggest, our goal is to only connect sufficiently many, so that some characteristic contours of the whole big become discernible. And to make further connection making fun and easy, by providing guidelines, and by turning this work into a social game. Yet in spite of all that, <em>you</em> will have to make most of the connections yourself and in your own mind and that's inevitable!</p>
 
<h3>Changing the protagonists</h3>
 
<p>By shirting our attention from Trump-style scandals and sensations to the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]], we can also give attention and credit to our [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]. We can begin to truly understand what they were talking about. If earlier we heard them talk about all sorts of different things like "the fan", "the hose" and "the rope", we can now see that they were really talking about the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]]'s ears, trunk and tail. Given the spectacular size and importance of our 'animal', we will then not only appreciate our [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]' insights as a new breed of sensations; we will also appreciate the fact that we've ignored them so long as a new breed of scandals.</p>
 
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<p>"The human race is hurtling toward a disaster. It is absolutely necessary to find a way to change course", [[Aurelio Peccei]] – the co-founder, firs president and the motor power behind The Club of Rome – wrote this in 1980, in One Hundred Pages for the Future, based on this global think tank's first decade of research.</p>
 
<p>Peccei was an unordinary man. In 1944, as a member of Italian Resistance, he was captured by the Gestapo and tortured for six months without revealing his contacts. Here is how he commented his imprisonment only 30 days upon being released:
 
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
My 11 months of captivity were one of the most enriching periods of my life, and I regard myself truly fortunate that it all happened. Being strong as a bull, I resisted very rough treatment for many days. The most vivid lesson in dignity I ever learned was that given in such extreme strains by the humblest and simplest among us who had no friends outside the prison gates to help them, nothing to rely on but their own convictions and humanity. I began to be convinced that lying latent in man is a great force for good, which awaits liberation. I had a confirmation that one can remain a free man in jail; that people can be chained but that ideas cannot.
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The problem now is not to get information to people, but how to get some meaning of what's happening.(...) Even the great story of inductive science has lost a good deal of its meaning, because it does not address several questions that all great narratives must address: Where we come from; what's going to happen to us; where we are going, that is; and what we're supposed to do when we are here. Science couldn't answer that; and technology doesn't.
</blockquote></p>
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</blockquote></p>  
<p> Peccei was also an unordinarily able business leader. While serving as the director of Fiat's operations in Latin America (and securing that the cars were there not only sold but also produced) Peccei established Italconsult, a consulting and financing agency to help the developing countries catch up with the rest. When the Italian technology giant Olivetti was in trouble, Peccei was brought in as the president, and he managed to turn its fortunes around. And yet the question that most occupied Peccei was a much larger one – the condition of our civilization as a whole; and what we may need to do to take charge of this condition.</p>
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<p>And Aurelio Peccei gave us this other one:
<p>In 1977, in "The Human Quality", Peccei formulated his answer as follows:
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It is absolutely necessary to find a way to change course.
Let me recapitulate what seems to me the crucial question at this point of the human venture. Man has acquired such decisive power that his future depends essentially on how he will use it. However, the business of human life has become so complicated that he is culturally unprepared even to understand his new position clearly. As a consequence, his current predicament is not only worsening but, with the accelerated tempo of events, may become decidedly catastrophic in a not too distant future. The downward trend of human fortunes can be countered and reversed only by the advent of a new humanism essentially based on and aiming at man’s cultural development, that is, a substantial improvement in human quality throughout the world.
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</blockquote>  
</blockquote></p>
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What is the nature of our condition? Where are we coming from? Where are we headed?</p>
<p>On the morning of the last day of his life (March 14, 1984), while dictating "The Club of Rome: Agenda for the End of the Century" to his secretary from a hospital, Peccei identified "human development" as "the most important goal". </p>
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<p>Do we <em>really</em> need to change course?</p>  
<p>Peccei's and Club of Rome's insights and proposals (to focus not on problems but on the condition or the "problematique" as a whole, and to handle it through systemic and evolutionary strategies and agendas) have not been ignored only by "climate deniers", but also by activists and believers. </p>
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<p>We've chosen to put to test [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]], and to set the stage for our dialogs, by shedding some light on these questions.</p> </div></div>
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<div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Peccei.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Aurelio Peccei]]</center></small></div>
 
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<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Changing communication</h3>
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<p>Connecting Peccei's observations with some of the insights of Neil Postman will help us understand more closely our strategy – why it is that we are putting this [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]] into the forefront of our attention. Several years after Peccei passed away, in 1990, Postman delivered a keynote to the German Informatics Society titled "Informing Ourselves to Death", and then published the text as a chapter in the book "The Nature of Technology". We shall here only quote a few lines from the televised interview he gave to the PBS (a link will be provided).
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  <div class="col-md-6"><h3>Large change made easy</h3>
<blockquote>We've entered thne age of information glut. And this is something no culture has really faced before. A typical situation is information scarcity. (...) Lack of information can be very dangerous. But at the same time too much information can be very dangerous, because it can lead to a situation of meaninglessness, that is – people not having any basis for knowing what is relevant, what is irrelevant, what is useful, what is not useful... That they live in a culture that is simply committed, through all of its media, to generate tons of information every hour, without categorizing it in any way for you, so that you don't know what any of it means. (...) This becomes a threat not only to one's peace of mind, but much more importantly to one's sense of meaning. The problem now is not to get information to people, but how to get some meaning of what's happening.(...) We are less coherent in our understanding of information. There was a time when the word "information" always had associated with it action. That is, people sought information in order to solve some problem in their lives. And information was the instrument through which they would solve this problem. Then beginning in the 19th century information became a commodity; beginning, actually I believe with telegraphy. Something you could buy and sell. So that action association began to diminish. So that now there is nothing but information – and we are not expected to do anything with it, just consume it. (...) To know what to do with information depends on having some sort of conceptual framework; I sometimes call it, and some of my colleagues do, some "narrative", some story, which will help you decide which information you will want to seek out, and why you want to seek it out, and what it's good for. (...) Even the great story of inductive science has lost a good deal of its meaning, because it does not address several questions that all great narratives must address: Where we come from; what's going to happen to us; where we are going, that is; and what we're supposed to do when we are here. Science couldn't answer that; and technology doesn't.</blockquote>
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<p>[[Donella Meadows]] talked about systemic leverage points as those places within a complex system "where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything". She identified "the mindset or paradigm out of which the goals, rules, feedback structure arise" as <em>the</em> most impactful <em>kind of</em> systemic leverage point. She identified specifically working with the "power to transcend paradigms" – i.e. with the assumptions and ways of being out of which paradigms emerge – as the most impactful way to intervene into systems. </p>
So you may now appreciate that what we call the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]] is exactly what (Postman observed) has been lacking. By "connecting the dots", we undertake to put in place a truly spectacular, sensational, breath-taking story – which will not only reinstate a sense of meaning, but also and most importantly once again give context and thereby also <em>relevance</em> to the ideas of our [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], and of course to knowledge in general. And perhaps still more importantly, by orchestrating this activity of "connecting the dots", we undertake to create the sort of collaboration and communication that is capable of synthesizing and updating such narratives.</p>
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<p>We are about to propose – as an overarching theme for our various conversations – to approach our contemporary condition in this most powerful way.</p> </div>
<h3>Changing the tone</h3>
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<div class="col-md-3"> [[File:Donella.jpg]] <br><small><center>[[Donella Meadows]]</center></small></div>
<p>If you hear us knowledge federators say such off-the-wall and Trump-like things like "the climate change is a red herring", we do not mean to belittle the excellent and necessary efforts of our friends and colleagues who work so devotedly on this issue. Our point is that the climate, or any other "problem", becomes a red herring when it diverts all attention from those deeper evolutionary tasks on which our ability to find <em>lasting</em> solutions now depends.</p>
 
<p>By focusing on the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]], we will work on contemporary issues, both large and small, both global and local, without even mentioning them by name! Instead of struggling to coerce the people and systems who created the problems to create solutions, our strategy is to inform and empower us the people, so that we may co-create solutions – i.e. systems – ourselves. Instead of seeing our contemporary condition as a dictate to do what we <em>have to</em> do, we turn it into a mandate to do what we <em>wish to</em> do. What could be a richer source of opportunities for achievement and contribution, than a whole new paradigm being born!</p></div>
 
 
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<div class="col-md-3"><h2>The nature of our conversations</h2></div>
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<div class="col-md-3"><h2>These conversations are dialogs</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>We are not just talking</h3>
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<p>Don't be deceived by this seemingly innocent word, "conversations". These conversations, with which we want to extend and continue our initiative, are where the real action begins; and the real fun.</p>
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<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Designing the social life of ideas</h3>  
<p>[[File:Elephant.jpg]]<br><small><center>Our goal is to organize this activity, and foster this collective capability - of federating knowledge or 'connecting the dots' – so that this new guiding vision (the view of the new paradigm, i.e. of the new course of our cultural and systemic evolution) can emerge.</center></small></p>
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<p>Notice this subtlety: A novelty in this approach to knowledge is that it cannot and doesn't want to tell how the things "really are in reality". Its purpose is to allow for free creation of a multiplicity of ways of looking at any single theme – and to let the resulting insights act upon each other.</p>  
<p> </p>
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<p>Communication in this new approach to knowledge is not and cannot be one-way. </p>  
<p>When we say "conversations", we don't mean "only talking". On the contrary! Here truly the medium is the message. By developing these conversations, we want to develop a way for us to put the themes that matter into the focus of our shared attention. We want to engage our collective knowledge and ingenuity to bear upon understanding, and handling, of our time's important issues. We want to give voice to ideas that matter, and to people who merit our attention. And above all – by developing these conversations, we want to <em>create a manner of conversing</em> that works. We want to re-create our public sphere. We want to change our [[collective mind|<em>collective mind</em>]] so that it <em>can</em> think new thoughts! </p>
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<p>By designing and evolving these conversations, we will be developing a new form of social life, where people and ideas interact and improve one another.</p>
<p>The guiding vision we are co-creating together will not only change our understanding of our world, but also the way we handle it. We will no longer be struggling to improve our candles; we will be creating light bulbs.</p>
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<h3>Conversations merge into one</h3>
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<h3>We are not just talking</h3>  
<p>This simple strategy, to [[knowledge federation|<em>federate</em>]] a vision, and to self-organize differently, can make <em>any</em> conversation matter. Two people can be conversing across a coffee table; by just recording and sharing what's been said, they can make their conversation be part of this larger one.</p>
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<p>Don't be deceived by this word, "conversations". These conversations are where the real action begins.</p>
<p>What we above all have in mind, however, is to stage public conversations. Conversations that will enrich our large global one with the knowledge and insights of their participants. Conversations that will put important themes into our public sphere. Conversations which, when recorded and shared, will be <em>real</em> reality shows, showing the birth pains of a whole new stage of our evolution.</p></div>
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<p>By organizing these dialogs, we want to develop a way to bring the themes that matter into the focus of the public eye. We want to bring the insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] to bear upon our understanding and handling of those themes. And we want to engage us all to collaborate on combining those insights with everyone else's, and evolving them further.</p>
</div>
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<p>The purpose of these conversations is to <em>create </em> a public discourse that works; which makes us collectively creative, knowledgeable and intelligent. We want to evolve in practice, with the help of new media and real-life, artistic situation design, a public sphere in which the themes,  the events and the sensations are stepping stones in our advancement toward a new cultural and social order. </p>  
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<p>The medium we'll develop will truly be our message!</p> </div></div>
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<h3>Changing the world by changing the way we communicate</h3>
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<p>There is a way of listening and speaking that fits our purpose quite snugly. Physicist [[David Bohm]] called it the dialogue. We build further on his ideas and on ideas of others, we weave them together into another [[keywords|<em>keyword</em>]] we use, the [[dialogs|<em>dialog</em>]]. </p>  
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<p>Bohm considered the dialogue to be necessary for resolving our contemporary challenges. Here is how he described it.
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</p></div>
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<div class="col-md-3">[[File:Bohm.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[David Bohm]]</center></small></div></div>
 
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<div class="col-md-6"><h3>Dialogs not discussions</h3>
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<p>This <em>re</em>-evolution will be nonviolent not only in action, but also in its manner of speaking. The technical word is [[dialogs|<em>dialog</em>]]. The [[dialogs|<em>dialog</em>]] is to the emerging [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] as the debate is to the old one. The [[dialogs|<em>dialog</em>]] too might have an icon [[giants|<em>giant</em>]], physicist [[David Bohm]]. Let's hear what Bohm had to say about this matter.</p>
 
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
 
<p>I give a meaning to the word 'dialogue' that is somewhat different from what is commonly used. The derivations of words often help to suggest a deeper meaning. 'Dialogue' comes from the Greek word dialogos. Logos means 'the word' or in our case we would think of the 'meaning of the word'. And dia means 'through' - it doesn't mean two. A dialogue can be among any number of people, not just two. Even one person can have a sense of dialogue within himself, if the spirit of the dialogue is present. The picture of image that this derivation suggests is of a stream of meaning flowing among and through us and between us. This will make possible a flow of meaning in the whole group, out of which will emerge some new understanding. It's something new, which may not have been in the starting point at all. It's something creative. And this shared meaning is the 'glue' or 'cement' that holds people and societies together.</p>
 
<p>I give a meaning to the word 'dialogue' that is somewhat different from what is commonly used. The derivations of words often help to suggest a deeper meaning. 'Dialogue' comes from the Greek word dialogos. Logos means 'the word' or in our case we would think of the 'meaning of the word'. And dia means 'through' - it doesn't mean two. A dialogue can be among any number of people, not just two. Even one person can have a sense of dialogue within himself, if the spirit of the dialogue is present. The picture of image that this derivation suggests is of a stream of meaning flowing among and through us and between us. This will make possible a flow of meaning in the whole group, out of which will emerge some new understanding. It's something new, which may not have been in the starting point at all. It's something creative. And this shared meaning is the 'glue' or 'cement' that holds people and societies together.</p>
 
<p>Contrast this with the word 'discussion', which has the same root as 'percussion' an 'concussion'. It really means to break things up. It emphasises the idea of analysis, where there may be many points of view. Discussion is almost like a Ping-Pong game, where people are batting the ideas back and forth and the object of the game is to win or to get points for yourself. Possibly you will take up somebody else's ideas to back up your own - you may agree with some and disagree with others- but the basic point is to win the game. That's very frequently the case in a discussion.</p>
 
<p>Contrast this with the word 'discussion', which has the same root as 'percussion' an 'concussion'. It really means to break things up. It emphasises the idea of analysis, where there may be many points of view. Discussion is almost like a Ping-Pong game, where people are batting the ideas back and forth and the object of the game is to win or to get points for yourself. Possibly you will take up somebody else's ideas to back up your own - you may agree with some and disagree with others- but the basic point is to win the game. That's very frequently the case in a discussion.</p>
 
<p>In a dialogue, however, nobody is trying to win. Everybody wins if anybody wins. There is a different sort of spirit to it. In a dialogue, there is no attempt to gain points, or to make your particular view prevail. Rather, whenever any mistake is discovered on the part of anybody, everybody gains. It's a situation called win-win, in which we are not playing a game against each other but with each other. In a dialogue, everybody wins.</p>
 
<p>In a dialogue, however, nobody is trying to win. Everybody wins if anybody wins. There is a different sort of spirit to it. In a dialogue, there is no attempt to gain points, or to make your particular view prevail. Rather, whenever any mistake is discovered on the part of anybody, everybody gains. It's a situation called win-win, in which we are not playing a game against each other but with each other. In a dialogue, everybody wins.</p>
</blockquote></div>
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</blockquote>
  <div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Bohm.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[David Bohm]]</center></small></div>
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<h3><em>Real</em> reality shows</h3>  
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<p>Two people could be talking over a coffee table. If they turn on a smartphone and record, their conversation can already become part of the global one.</p>
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<p>What we, however, primarily have in mind are <em>public</em> dialogs, which begin in physical space and continue online.</p>
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<p>We have a hunch that such [[dialogs|<em>dialogs</em>]] could become true sensations!</p>
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<p>What could be more real, and more engaging, than watching a new Renaissance emerge? Hearing its pulse, feeling its birth pains... </p>
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<p>Already our resistance to this emergence, our blind spots, our reluctance to make a step – are downright sensational!</p> </div>
 
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  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Paradigm strategy dialogs</h2></div>
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<div class="col-md-3"><h2>The Paradigm Strategy poster</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>First things first</h3>
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<p>Implicit in [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] as an idea and an initiative is a certain economy of attention: If there is a single overarching insight or principle that changes the very direction of our efforts (Norbert Wiener called this "know-what") – then why waste our time on the details of the "know-how" of the old pursuits and direction? You will notice here that both our choice of themes and the sequence in which those themes are introduced reflect this most timely principle. Our first question, then, is – what theme, what insight, should come first? What deserves the highest priority? The question we discuss first is about the nature of our condition, and about a suitable strategy to handle it. It is those two that will help us answer the questions of relevance and priority in these conversations.</p>
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<div class="col-md-7"><h3>A roadmap for guided evolution of society</h3>  
<h3>Paradigm strategy</h3>
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<p>We have developed the Paradigm Strategy poster as an evolving roadmap to the [[key point|<em>key point</em>]]. As we suggested above, the [[key point|<em>key point</em>]] is an overarching and collectively created and shared insight or [[gestalt|<em>gestalt</em>]], which clarifies the nature of a situation, and shows how to handle it. The [[key point|<em>key point</em>]] of this poster, and of our conversations, is envisioned as a wormhole into a new social and cultural reality. The poster turns our conversations into a practical way to change course.</p>  
<p>The paradigm strategy dialogs are tailored for informed professionals (academic researchers, social entrepreneurs...) who have already recognized the characteristic global or contemporary issues as context in which strategies and priorities need to be forged; and who have already adopted systemic thinking as methodological foundation. Can we still say something, or better still – can we <em>engage</em> them in a certain new way – that will make a difference?</p>
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<p> </p>  
<p>Here is how we introduced the [[paradigm strategy|<em>paradigm strategy</em>]] at the Relating Systems Thinking and Design RSD6 conference, in 2017 in Oslo.
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<p>[[File:PSwithFredrik.jpeg]]<br><small><center>Fredrik Eive Refsli, the leader of our communication design team, jubilates the completion of The Paradigm Strategy poster.</center></small></p>
<blockquote>
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<p></p>  
The motivation is to allow for the kind of difference that is suggested by the comparison of everyone carrying buckets of water from their own basements, with everyone teaming up and building a dam to regulate the flow of the river that is causing the flooding. We offer to the RSD community what we are calling the <em>paradigm strategy</em> as a way to make a similar difference in impact, with respect to the common efforts focusing on specific problems or issues. The <em>paradigm strategy</em> is to focus our efforts on instigating a sweeping and fundamental cultural and social paradigm change – instead of trying to solve problems, or discuss, understand and resolve issues, within the current paradigm.</blockquote></p>
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<p>We recommend that you look at [http://knowledgefederation.net/Misc/ThePSposter.pdf the poster] as we speak.</p>
<p>Another metaphor that may explain this strategy proposal is the one we've used already – the construction of a light bulb, as an alternative to trying to improve the candle. Needless to say, this incomparably more powerful strategy depends on our shared understanding that the construction of the light bulb <em>is</em> possible – and then of course what this construction might involve as necessary elements.</p>
+
<p>You may imagine the left-hand side of the poster, which has the yellow background, as a roadmap for a collective ascent to a mountain top, from which the [[key point|<em>key point</em>]] which is in the middle of the poster can be clearly seen. Four ways to reach the top are offered. You will recognize that they are [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] – each joining three [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]] together.</p>  
<p>Our presentation was both a strategy proposal, and an intervention into the RSD6 conference as a system. Our goal was to engage this community of academic change makers to transcend the conventional academic lecture and publication conference format, and to self-organize and collaborate in a new way. Our purpose was to apply everyone's collective intelligence toward co-creating an evolutionary guiding light for everyone else – and hence ignite a wave of change. (Yes, this sentence is a mouthful. But just read on, and its meaning will be clear.)</p>
+
<p>The right-hand side of the poster, which has white background, shows how to follow the direction the [[key point|<em>key point</em>]] is pointing to. </p>  
<h3>The Paradigm Strategy poster</h3>
+
<p>The poster as it is now is a starting point for our [[dialogs|<em>dialogs</em>]]. The [[dialogs|<em>dialogs</em>]] will be [[knowledge federation|<em>federated</em>]], with the help of suitable technology such as the Debategraph. The map will be updated as necessary, and the overall result will be used as a starting point for the next [[dialogs|<em>dialog</em>]], which will develop it further.</p>  
<p style="margin-top:0.5cm;">[[File:PSwithFredrik.jpeg]]<br><small><center>Fredrik Eive Refsli, the leader of our communication design team, jubilates the completion of The Paradigm Strategy poster.</center></small></p>
+
<p>The [[key point|<em>key point</em>]] offered is in essence what we've presented on the front page, with the help of the bus with candle headlights or the Modernity [[ideograms|<em>ideogram</em>]]. The idea is to challenge the [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]], the way of functioning and evolving culturally and socially, where unwavering faith in "free competition" and "the invisible hand" has precluded the use of knowledge. Can we once again empower knowledge to guide us? Can knowledge once again make a difference?</p>
<p></p>
+
 
<p>[http://knowledgefederation.net/Misc/ThePSposter.pdf The Paradigm Strategy poster] is designed as a way to (1) communicate the [[paradigm strategy|<em>paradigm strategy</em>]] and (2) choreograph a small but significant set of first steps toward self-organization and co-creation of knowledge – and hence <em>into</em> the new paradigm.</p>
+
<h3>An invitation to bootstrap</h3>  
<p>The left-hand side, with yellow background, represents the current societal paradigm, that is – the current way of evolving culturally, socially and systemically. The techniques for weaving together core ideas of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], which were outlined in Federation through Images [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]], [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] and [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]] – are applied to come to the main and central point or [[gestalt|<em>gestalt</em>]] (represented by the circle in the middle), which is the wormhole into the emerging order of things. The right-hand side represents the space where the emerging paradigm is being co-created, by highlighting a small subset of the [[prototypes|<em>prototypes</em>]] that we discussed in Federation through Applications. </p>
+
<p>The poster is conceived as an invitation to begin to [[bootstrapping|<em>bootstrap</em>]] – and in that way join the emerging [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] as an aware and active participant.</p>  
<p>In a nutshell, the poster weaves the findings of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] into two [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]] – the [[Wiener's paradox|<em>Wiener's paradox</em>]] and the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]]. The first one (which we discussed briefly in Federation through Stories) is there to show that academic publishing (specifically in systems research, and then also in general) tends to have no effect on public opinion and policy. The second one, the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]], points to the way in which we've been conducting our lives and careers, and evolving culturally and socially – <em>without</em> suitable information and knowledge. (Technically the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] is a [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]], so it must be understood as a way of looking at things, not as "the" reality – as we explained in Federation through Images. The purpose of formulating such 'side views' is to be able to look in a new way, and discuss degenerative tendencies, however small or large they might be.) The messages it conveys are central to our story line, and deserve a paragraph of its own.</p>
+
<p>The poster is interactive; the QR codes will open up files with further information (they are hyperlinks, so that also the digital version of the poster is interactive). The "bootstrapping" thread leads to the QR code and file with an interactive online version of the poster – where it will be possible to post comments, and in that way be part of the online dialog, through which the presented ideas, and the poster itself, will be developed further.</p>  
<h3>The threads</h3>
 
<p>We implement what [[Vannevar Bush]] asked for in 1945 – we link ideas and people associatively into [[threads|<em>threads</em>]], which roughly correspond to what Bush called "trails". The [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] not only federate ideas (give them strength by linking them together into higher-order units of meaning) – they also add a dramatic effect, by combining the ideas so that they amplify one another. But here we take this process of "upward growth" of knowledge even further, by weaving [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] into [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]], and [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]] into a [[gestalt|<em>gestalt</em>]]. We'll come back to that in a moment.</p>
 
<p>The poster presents a small selection of four [[threads|<em>threads</em>]], of which we have already seen one, Wiener – Jantsch – Reagan, in Federation through Stories. And we have seen also how this single thread already allows us to see one of the two patterns on the LHS of the poster, the Wiener's paradox. We here show another straight-forward thread, Nietzsche – Ehrlich – Giddens, which will allow us to already see the second pattern, the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]]. And these two patterns will then be all we'll need to reach the pivotal, paradigm-shifting insight. </p>
 
<p>The thread we want to show you begins with Friedrich Nietzsche looking at modernity from the point of view of digestion:</p>
 
<blockquote><p>Sensibility immensely more irritable; the abundance of disparate impressions greater than ever; cosmopolitanism in food, literatures, newspapers, forms, tastes, even landscapes. The tempo of this influx prestissimo; the impressions erase each other; one instinctively resists taking in anything, taking anything deeply, to “digest” anything; a weakening of the power to digest results from this. A kind of adaptation to this flood of impressions takes place: men unlearn spontaneous action, they merely react to stimuli from outside. They spend their strength partly in assimilating things, partly in defense, partly in opposition. Profound weakening of spontaneity: The historian, critic, analyst, interpreter, the observer, the collector, the reader-all of them reactive talents-all science!</p>
 
<p>Artificial change of one’s nature into a “mirror”; interested but, as it were, merely epidermically interested; a coolness on principle, a balance, a fixed low temperature closely underneath the thin surface on which warmth, movement, “tempest,” and the play of waves are encountered.“</p>
 
<p>Opposition of external mobility and a certain deep heaviness and weariness.“</p></blockquote>
 
<p>Take a moment to <em>digest</em> the above excerpt, in the context of its background: What this already ancient daring thinker was observing, was that <em>already in his time</em> an overload of information and of impressions of all kinds made people unable to connect the dots! But let's continue with this thread before we come back to this observation and draw conclusions.</p>
 
<p>The second protagonist in the thread is Stanford University's famed biologist, environmentalist and (as he likes to say) "pessimist" [[Paul Ehrlich]]. We'll, however, quote here only one of his personal observations we heard him make – that when he was in the 1950s staying with the Inuits as a young researcher, he noticed that every member of the community was able to understand and handle all the community's tools. A woman would perhaps not use the hunting knife, but she perfectly understood how it works. Compare this with the complexity of your smart phone, and the situation where you not only don't know how this thing works – but would even be challenge to produce the names the professions and specialties whose knowledge would need to be combined to answer that question. The point here is that – within just a generation or so – the complexity of our world has increased to the point where it's become practically impenetrable.</p>
 
<p>Add to this the fact – yes, we have to put it into this picture, it's our main theme after all – that we do not have the kind of information that would help us penetrate through this complex reality; that we've indeed used the modern information technology to just broadcast... and hence to <em>vastly</em> increase the overload of impressions... How in the world do we cope with all that? The third hero of this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]], [[Anthony Giddens]],  will answer that question. Here is how the famed sociologist formulated the concept "ontological security" in Modernity and Self-Identity:</p>
 
<blockquote><p>
 
The threat of personal meaninglessness is ordinarily held at bay because routinised activities, in combination with basic trust, sustain ontological security. Potentially disturbing existential questions are defused by the controlled nature of day-to-day activities within internally referential systems.</p>
 
<p>Mastery, in other words, substitutes for morality; to be able to control one’s life circumstances, colonise the future with some degree of success and live within the parameters of internally referential systems can, in many circumstances, allow the social and natural framework of things to seem a secure grounding for life activities.</p>
 
</blockquote> 
 
<p>Already based on this single [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] we can see the [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] we are calling [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] (man the [game] player) – where we have given up knowing and understanding; where we simply learn our profession, and our various other roles as well, as one would learn the rules of a game – and we play our career and other 'games' competitively, just to increase (what we perceive as) our personal gain. But let's wait with the discussion of this pattern and its consequences until we've seen some of its deeper sides – which is what we'll turn to next. </p>
 
</div>
 
 
</div>
 
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----
 
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<div class="col-md-3"><h2>Wiener's paradox</h2></div>
  <div class="col-md-6"><h3>Understanding evolution</h3>
+
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>No communication – no control</h3>
<p>Can we use [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] to turn even a profane theme as "evolution" into a sensation? (We are of course talking about our cultural and societal evolution, the evolution that matters.)</p>  
+
<p>Let's begin with the first [[threads|<em>thread</em>]], in the upper left corner.</p>
<p>While we let ourselves be guided by our natural wish to save your time and attention, by showing you a crisp and clear picture of the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]] on a very high level that is, without too much detail – we risk missing the real point of our undertaking, which is to give an exciting, palpable, moving, spectacular, breath-taking... vision or "narrative". You might remember the [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]] we introduced in Federation through Stories? The point is to present abstract ideas through stories, which give them realness and meaning. And (you'll also remember) each of these stories, in a fractal-like or parable-like way, portrays the whole big thing. So let us here slow down a moment and introduce just one single [[giants|<em>giant</em>]] through his story. Not because <em>his</em> story is the most interesting of them all – but because it alone points to what might be the very heart of our matter, that is, of the emerging [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] or the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]]. And even so all we'll be able to do is provide some sketches, and rough contours, but please bear with us – we are only priming this conversation. As we begin to speak, the details will begin to shine through, and so will the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]].</p>
+
<p>Its focus is on the steering system of "spaceship Earth" (as Fuller called our metaphorical bus) – an issue of some interest, if we should consider "changing course". </p>  
<p>So let's follow Bourdieu from his childhood in Denguin (an alpine village in Southern France) to his graduation in philosophy from the uniquely prestigious Parisian École normale supérieure (where just a handful of exceptionally talented youngsters are given the best available support to raise to the very top of a field). A refusal to attend the similarly prestigious military academy (which was the prerogative of the ENS graduates) led Bourdieu to have his military service in Algeria, which is where the real story begins.</p>
+
<p>The first [[giants|<em>giant</em>]] in this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] is Norbert Wiener. Wiener studied mathematics, zoology and philosophy, and got his doctorate from Harvard in mathematical logic when he was only 17! He went on to do seminal work in several fields, including cybernetics – the science of steering.</p>
<p>Upon return to France Bourdieu would ultimately raise to the very top of sociology (he occupied the Chair of Sociology at the Collège de France) – largely by developing the insights he acquired back in Algeria. notice that Bourdieu was not <em>educated</em> as a sociologist – he became one by observing how the society really operates, and evolves. And by turning that into a theory, which he aptly called "Theory of Practice". What did he see?</p>
+
<p>The following excerpt is from Wiener's 1948 book Cybernetics, "control and communication in the animal and the machine". 
<p>Two things, really. First of all he saw the ugly and brutal side of French imperialism manifest itself (as torture and all imaginable other abuses) during the Algerian War in 1958-1962. Bourdieu wrote a popular book about this, in French Que sais-je series, which very roughly corresponds to Anglo-American "For Dummies". In France this book contributed to the disillusionment with the "official narrative". And in Algeria it made him trusted (someone would take him to an 'informant', perhaps a one who has been tortured, and say "you can trust this man completely") – and hence privy of the kind of information that few people could access.</p>
+
<blockquote>
</div>
+
There is a belief, current in many countries, which has been elevated to the rank of an official article of faith in the United States, that free competition is itself a homeostatic process: that in a free market the individual selfishness of the bargainers, each aiming to sell as high and buy as low as possible, will result in the end in (...) the greatest common good. This is associated with the very comforting view that the individual entrepreneur, in seeking to forward his own interest, is in some manner a public benefactor, and has thus earned the great rewards with which society has showered him. Unfortunately, the evidence, such as it is, is against this simple-minded theory.</blockquote></p>
 +
<p>Translate "homeostatic process" as "steering", and you got the point.</p>
 +
<p>Or <em>one half</em> of Wiener's point, to be exact.</p>
 +
<p>The other half has to do with the fact that control depends on communication. The second half of Wiener's point is that our communication is broken. How else could we believe in that "simple-minded theory" (Wiener argues), considering what von Neumann and Morgenstern found by studying game theory (which they co-founded)? (Von Neumann and Morgenstern too were [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]; among Von Neumann's seminal achievements is the design of the digital computer architecture that is still in use.) </p>
 +
<p>Wiener makes his point by summarizing their insights, and explaining how they are confirmed by everyday experience.</p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>Evolution is the key</h3>
 +
<p>We've talked about how Erich Jantsch continued this thread in Federation through Stories. We'll here only highlight two points, which are two stages in the development of Jantsch's own ideas: (1) "The task is nothing less than to build a new society and new institutions for it. With technology having become the most powerful change agent in our society, decisive battles will be won or lost by the measure of how seriously we take the challenge of restructuring the “joint systems” of society and technology." (2) The most powerful interventions into a system are the ones that affect how the system evolves. The key is to understand how the way we ourselves are present in the system (our values, principles and actions) influences the system's evolution.</p> 
 +
 
 +
<h3>The invisible hand wins the dispute</h3>
 +
<p>Let us fast-forward to Ronald Reagan and to this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]]'s conclusion.</p>
 +
<p>In 1980, the year when Erich Jantsch passed away, Reagan won the U.S. presidential elections by running on the invisible hand agenda.  
 +
<blockquote>
 +
In our present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government <em>is</em> the problem,</blockquote>
 +
Reagan claimed. Which of course meant that "the individual selfishness" combined with the free competition is not only the only steering that spaceship Earth needs – but also the only one we <em>can</em> trust.</p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>Theres's no need for censorship</h3>
 +
<p>How did Reagan reach this conclusion? In what way did he win this battle of opinions?</p>
 +
<p>Notice that Reagan had no technical expertise to argue with [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]. His expertise was as a media artist; he was trained literally as a role player.</p>
 +
<p>But Reagan didn't really <em>need</em> to argue with [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]. He could just simply ignore them! Reagan, and the American public, ignored not only the [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], but also thousands of articles of other researchers in cybernetics and in game theory, who followed in the footsteps of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]].</p>  
 +
<p>We are back to Galilei in house arrest.</p>  
 +
<p>Four centuries later, there is no need for Inquisition trials; or for house arrest. There is no need even for censorship! In the society where powerful media are used to only <em>broadcast</em> messages, it's the campaign dollars and the air time they buy that decide what the people will believe.</p>
 +
<p>And what direction the "spaceship Earth" will take!</p>  
 +
<p>Take a look [https://youtu.be/0141gupAryM?t=95 this video snippet] where Reagan says, in a seductive tone,
 +
<blockquote>
 +
we believe then, and now, there are no limits to growth, and human progress, when men and women are free to follow their dreams
 +
</blockquote>
 +
to get an idea how also the effects of The Club of Rome's "The Limits to Growth" study could have been annihilated.</p>  
 +
<p>And how our political discourse became as it is.</p>  
  
<div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Bourdieu.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Pierre Bourdieu]]</center></small></div>
+
<h3>Wiener's paradox <em>pattern</em></h3>
</div>
+
<p>Already this single [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] is sufficient to see the [[Wiener's paradox|<em>Wiener's paradox</em>]]. We use this [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] to point to situations where academic research has no effect on public opinion and policy. And to the systemic causes of this phnenomenon.</p>  
 +
<p>To see what the [[Wiener's paradox|<em>Wiener's paradox</em>]] means in practice, imagine us academic researchers speaking to the political leaders and the public through a telephone line. But the line has been cut! And there is anyhow nobody on the other end listening.</p>
 +
<p>Like good Christians, we turn the other cheek. We just publish more. And as we do, the insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] become dimmer. We ourselves may no longer remember them.</p> 
 +
<p>Wiener did not formulate the paradox. He just created it (he created an instance of it) – by first pointing out that the communication line was broken; and then committing to it his own insights.</p>
 +
<p>The academic community to whose inception he contributed followed him.</p>  
 +
<p><blockquote>
 +
As long as a paradox is treated as a problem, it can never be dissolved
 +
</blockquote>
 +
warned David Bohm.</p>
 +
<p>How pervasive is this paradox?</p>
 +
<p>When we do research to understand some real-world problem – are we in a real sense contributing to its solution?</p>
 +
<p>Or are we only re-instantiating the paradox?</p> 
 +
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<div class="col-md-3"><h2 style="color:red">Reflection</h2></div>
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<div class="col-md-6"><h3>It's time to connect dots</h3>  
<p>This led to the second and main of Bourdieu's observations – of the transformation of the rural Kabyle society with the advancement of modernization. It is with great pleasure and admiration that one reads Bourdieu's writings about the Kabyle house and household, with its ethos and sense of duty and honor arranging both the relationships among the people and their relationships with things within and outside their dwellings. And yet – Bourdieu observed – when a Kabyle man goes to town in search of work, <em>his entire way of being</em> suddenly becomes dysfunctional. Even to the young women of his own background – who saw something entirely different in the movies and in the cafes – the way he walks and talks, and of course his sense of honor... became out of place. The insight – which interests us above all – is that the kind of domination that was once attempted, unsuccessfully, through military conquest – became in effect achieved not only peacefully, but even <em>without anyone's awareness</em> of what was going on. The <em>symbolic power</em> – as Bourdieu called it – can only be exercised without anyone's awareness of its existence!</p>
 
<p>To compose his Theory of Practice, Bourdieu polished up certain concepts such as <em>habitus</em> (which was used already by Aristotle and was brought into sociology by Max Weber), and created others, such as "symbolic capital" and "field" which he also called "game". A certain subtly authoritative way of speaking may be the <em>habitus</em> of a boss. The knowledge of brands and wines, and a certain way of holding the knife and fork may be one's <em>social capital</em> – properly called a "capital" because it affords distinct advantages and is worth "investing into", because it gives "dividends".  But let's explain the overall meaning of this theory of practice and its relevance, by bringing it completely down to earth and applying it to some quite ordinary social "practice" – which marked our social life throughout history.</p>
 
<p>If you break into your neighbor's house, kill the man and rob his property (in olden days you would probably sell his wife and children as slaves, but in this age you may decide what exactly to do with them), you will certainly be put to jail as a dangerous criminal. If you will instead stand on the main square with a microphone and a loudspeaker, and invite your fellow citizens to do the same to a neighboring country, you would certainly be considered a dangerous madman and put to a suitable institution. <em>Unless</em>, of course  your "job description" (let's call it that) entitles you to do that (because you are the country's president, or in earlier times its king).</p>
 
<p>So isn't the fact that we've been <em>socialized</em> to accept certain kind of <em>habitus</em> or behavior from certain people that makes <em>all</em> the difference – that is stronger than our ethical sense, common sense, and even our self-preservation instincts? The question is – how can this be? And what sort of societal evolution has this given us? Those questions we may begin to answer in the context of the remainder of the [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] in which Bourdieu appears; and with the help of a neighboring thread.</p>
 
<p>(Yes, this is really turning into a rather long story. But if you have preserved enough of that old <em>homo sapiens</em> spirit to appreciate what we are really talking about, and its importance, then you'll forgive us that. And anyhow, the current version of this website is meant to appeal to you who basically already "get it" – and engage your help, administered through the medium of these dialogs and in other ways, to transform and communicate it further. )</p>
 
<p>The name of the Odin the Horse [[vignettes|<em>vignette</em>]], with which this thread begins, is a bit of a private joke, whose meaning will best be appreciated in the context of the next conversation we'll describe here, which is called "Liberation". For now it's enough to say that this vignette is intended to be a poetic and moving description of the turf behavior of Icelandic horses. We are now creating a way of looking at things (recall [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]]), which is this: Imagine if we the people also have in us a territorial animal. Imagine that we too are driven by endless "turf battles" – but that our "turfs" are as much more complex than the turfs of the horses, as our culture and society are more complex than theirs. Wikipedia says that, According to Bourdieu, "habitus is composed of:
 
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
[s]ystems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them".</blockquote>
+
<p>What are the scientists to do next? </p>  
So imagine then our society or culture as  a "turf" (which Bourdieu aptly calls interchangeably the "field" and the "game"), where each social roles and its corresponding habitus has been <em>structured</em> through a (human equivalent of a) turf battle – and which at the same time <em>structures</em> everyone's role and capabilities and in effect the turf battles of our lives.</p>
+
<p> There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers — conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial. Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their purpose. </p>
<p>The last [[vignettes|<em>vignette</em>]] – that bears the name of [[Antonio Damasio]], who is a leading cognitive scientist – is there to explain why it is that we are incapable of "seeing through" this game,  and take the power to consciously <em>create</em> the systems in which we live and work, instead of letting them determine our lives in arbitrarily meaningless or dysfunctional ways. Damasio's key insights is that Descartes (read "modernity") got it all wrong, all upside down. It is not our rational mind that determines our choices; it is our embodied (read "socialized") predispositions or 'filters' that determine what our rational mind is capable of thinking and believing.</p>
+
</blockquote> </div>  
<p>So now you must see the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]] emerge from the fog he's in one step further. You'll know that you are beginning to discern its contours when you our modern begin to seem to you as the period between the twilight of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance.</p>
+
<div class="col-md-3"> [[File:Bush.jpg]] <br><small><center>[[Vannevar Bush]]</center></small></div>
<p>The Chomsky – Harari – Graeber [[threads|<em>thread</em>]], which we'll only mention here and elaborate in conversations, is there to point to the evolutionary moment, and situation, we find ourselves in. To put it <em>very</em> briefly: Chomsky, when asked "what sort of insight will emerge from the research in linguistics that may make a large difference" answered that our that is human language did not really evolve as a means of communication (about what's relevant out there to know), but as an instrument for worldview sharing. Harari, in Sapiens and related TED and other talks, described this – the ability to create a story and believe in it as reality – as <em>the</em> competitive advantage of our species over others, which enabled us to conquer the planet and become <em>the</em> dominant species. David Graeber – that is, the [[vignettes|<em>vignette</em>]] to which we have given his name – will explain why this way of evolving (whose inner workings are taken up in the just mentioned other [[threads|<em>thread</em>]]) could have given us dramatically wasteful and dysfunctional societal organizations without us properly noticing. (The [[vignettes|<em>vignette</em>]] is actually about Alexander the Great; Alexander's "business model" where he turns free people into slaves to work in his mines, and turns sacred and artistic objects of precious metals into coins, and thus acquires sufficient funds to be able to finance his military operations and "conquer the Earth" – and as a result becomes "the Great" – is used as a parable for how our systems have been evolving since the beginning of civilization.)</p>
 
<p>And now the point: While we <em>could</em> – albeit with enormous costs and sacrifices – let our evolution be guided in this way, today our situation is different. We <em> have</em> conquered the planet. Now there remains just about one single thing for us to conquer; a single main challenge.</p>
 
<p><blockquote>During the past century we humans have conquered or learned to subjugate to our will the power of the rivers, the waves, the winds, the atom and the Sun. Our challenge in this century is to conquer (subjugate to conscious evolution) what has become <em>the</em> greatest power of our planet – the power of our socialization. It is the greatest because it determines how all those other powers are going to be used.</blockquote>
 
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<div class="col-md-3"></div>
  <div class="col-md-7">
+
<div class="col-md-7">
<h3>Back to epistemology</h3>
+
<p>Vannevar Bush was an early computing machinery pioneer, who before the World War II became the MIT professor and dean, and who during the war served as the leader of the entire US scientific effort supervising about 6000 chosen scientists, and making sure that we are a step ahead in technology and weaponry, and the bomb. </p>
<p>Let us observe in parentheses that while here we've undertaken to place our initiative into the context of the society's basic needs we've come a full circle and back to epistemology. The reason is that while in the earlier societal order of things a shared "reality picture" was essentially just the reality – in the emerging order of things those reality pictures are really the product of the power structure; they are the "turf" which determines the structure of our "turf battles". It is therefore essential that our very approach to knowledge does not rely on the "reality" of such 'turfs' (...).</p>
+
<p>In 1945 this scientific strategist par excellence wrote a scientific strategy article, titled As We May Think, from which the above excerpt is taken. The war having been won, Bush warned, there still remains a strategically central issue, which the scientists need to focus on and resolve – our organization and sharing of knowledge. Bush's argument was for collective sense making. He urged the scientists to develop suitable technology and processes that would enable us to think together, as a single mind thinks. (Our [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] are inspired by Bush's technical idea called "trails".) </p>
<h3><em>Homo ludens</em></h3>
+
<p>Norbert Wiener heard him. He cited Bush in 1948 Cybernetics, as part of his argument that our communication is broken. And of his warning that we were about to lose control. Wiener was making a case for cybernetics as the discipline that would inform the repair work. </p>  
<p>In the spirit of [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]], we can now put what's been said into a nutshell – and that's what The Paradigm Strategy poster does, by talking about two distinct [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]]. The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] here is a simplification of the more comprehensive and more precise [[power structures|<em>power structure</em>]] theory  – but still good enough to bring the main points across. This here is a sketch of some of the conclusions and consequences, of a deeper analysis where the nature of our socialization is explained by weaving  together some of the core insights of Pierre Bourdieu, Antonio Damasio, Zygmunt Bauman and other leading researchers in the humanities. </p>
+
<p>Doug Engelbart also heard him. He read Bush's article in 1947, in a Red Cross library erected on four pillars, while stationed as an army recruit in the Philippines. He too carried Bush's project further, by providing the required technology. Doug foresaw (already in 1951!) that the enabling technology would not be the microfilm as Bush thought (microfilm too needs to be sent and broadcasted), but digital computers equipped with interactive interfaces and linked into a network.  He physically created this "super new nervous system" for us, and showed it in his 1968 demo (see Federation through Stories).</p>  
<p>The scope or way of looking here is look at our socio-cultural evolution in two ways instead of just one – which we delineate by the corresponding two keywords, <em>homo sapiens</em> and <em>homo ludens</em>. Although both are always present in degrees or as tendencies, you may think of the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] as a cultural species, which has (most interestingly) been acquiring supremacy in the recent period. The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] has successfully adapted to the social condition where the complexity of our world combined with the overload of information and of impressions in general has made our reality impenetrable. The point is that the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]]  is <em>not</em> the <em>homo sapiens</em>; he does not seek knowledge or use knowledge. He ignores the larger purpose of his work, and all other larger purposes. Instead, he simply learns his profession as a social role, as one would learn the rules of a game, and plays competitively. The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] is guided by what's been called "social intelligence" – he has his antennas tuned to the "interests" of the powerful players around him; and by accommodating them, he acquires his own power position.</p>
+
 
<p>Some consequences of the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] evolution seem worth highlighting:
+
<h3>Systemic Innovation</h3>
<ul>
+
<p>What should be the <em>next</em> step in this process?</p>  
<li>The systems in which we live and work can be arbitrarily misconstrued, wasteful and dysfunctional, without the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] even noticing that.</li>
+
<p>You'll notice that the first [[design patterns|<em>design pattern</em>]] on the right-hand side of the poster is [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]]. </p>  
<li>This theory explains why politicians like Donald Trump may raise to highest positions of influence – the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] perceives them, perhaps rightly, as the kind of people who "get the things done" in our present order (or <em>dis</em>-order) of things.</li>
+
<p>If we should give the systemic insights the impact they need to have, and if we should use the information technology as it was meant to be used we must now learn how to weave them together and apply them in real-life system design; or evolution.</p>  
<li>The two evolutionary paradigms are – to use Thomas Kuhn's useful keyword – <em>incommensurable</em> (each has its own epistemology, and sees and organizes the world in its own specific way). The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] knows <em>from experience</em> that the <em>homo sapiens</em> is on the verge of extinction; and that one has to be the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] if one should be successful. The <em>homo sapiens</em> looks at the data and the trends, and reaches the <em>opposite</em> conclusion – that the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] must morph into the (cultural) <em>homo sapiens</em> if our civilization, and our species, should have a future. </li>
+
</div>  
<li>This theory predicts the existence of a most curious cultural <em>sub</em>-species – the <em>homo ludens academicus</em> – which should not at all exist according to conventional logic (isn't the very purpose of the academic institution to guide us along the <em>homo sapiens</em> evolutionary path?).  The existence of this subspecies still needs to be confirmed by field research, of course. If, however, this species is discovered in reality, this would explain the un-academic resistance of the academic people to update their own system, when the available knowledge is calling for such updates. The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] ignores the larger societal purpose of his institution. He just sticks to the rules – which provide an "objective" and "fair" frame of reference in which his career game is played.</li>
+
</div>  
</ul></p>
 
<h3>The next step</h3>
 
<p>What is to be done in this sort of situation? The poster indicates that the key step – from this paradigm into the next – is in the simple act of [[bootstrapping|<em>bootstrapping</em>]] (we need to re-socialize ourselves, by daring to co-create the systems in which we live and work). A small but significant act of [[bootstrapping|<em>bootstrapping</em>]] is then choreographed by the poster which provides an invitation to take part in re-creating the poster itself. A virtual space is provided where the poster is the background, and where one can add verbal and visual comments to its various parts.</p>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
 
----
 
----
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Liberation dialogs</h2></div>
+
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>Understanding evolution</h2></div>
  <div class="col-md-7"><h3>First things second</h3>
+
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Illuminating the way</h3>  
<p>We begin with this somewhat awkward re-coining of this phrase to signal that while our first theme might be necessary for understanding the relevance of this second one, this second one might in the overall order of things be indeed <em>more</em> relevant than the first. What we'll be talking about is the possibility of changing our contemporary human ecology, so that we may indeed begin to redirect our energies in the kind of direction of development that, Peccei predicted, is necessary now if our civilization should have a future. Or we may also put this second conversation into the context provided by our first one, where "Odin the horse" symbolized for us the very motivational structure that drives our societal power games, and ultimately creates our institutions, mores, structures, and our life itself. What new information, what new isights, could we bring in, that could tip the scale and lead to a civilizational redirection?</p>
+
<p>But what if Reagan was right? Perhaps "the invisible hand" <em>is</em> our best guide?</p>
<h3>This conversation is not about religion</h3>
+
<p>What can Darwin's theory tell us about <em>social</em> evolution? How well has the "survival of the fittest" served us so far?</p>
<p>At the dawn of the Enlightenment our ancestors liberated themselves from a stringent religious worldview, and we ultimately became free to "pursue happiness" here and now. But what if in the process we have misunderstood <em>both</em> religion <em>and</em> happiness? </p>
+
<p>What do we really <em>know</em> about this theme?</p>
<p>If we now tell you that this conversation is about religion, in a way we would be telling the truth – and yet you would get a <em>completely</em> wrong idea of what it's really about. So it is best to consider this theme, religion, as just a uniquely revealing way of looking at the whole big thing, the [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]], or the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]]. Here too the whole big thing will be reflected in a single theme in the manner of fractals. Our story will both be a snapshot, a picture of an essential piece in the puzzle – and a parable, displaying the structure of the whole paradigm in a nutshell.</p>
+
<p>These questions are addressed by the second [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] on the poster.</p>  
<p>To set the stage, revisit what's been said about [[Aurelio Peccei]] at the top of this page. It is the man's cultural and ethical development on which now our civilization's future will depend, claimed Peccei. Then read pages 8 - 10 of the[http://knowledgefederation.net/Misc/Liberation.pdf introduction to the book manuscript titled Liberation] and subtitled Religion for the Third Millennium (this book, when finished, is intended to serve a background and a starter for this conversation), especially the page-and-a-half excerpt from Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy. The narrow frame of concepts that the 19th century science gave us was damaging to culture, the celebre physicist observed,  – and in particular to its ethical / religions aspects. How lucky we are that the modern physics disproved this narrow frame!</p>
+
 
<p>So the question is – can we (in the context of the [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] paradigm and paradigm proposal) handle this matter in a radically better way? Can we fix the "narrow frame" problem – and provide a foundation for exactly the kind of development that Peccei was wanting us to begin?</p>
+
<h3>What we may learn from Darwin</h3>  
<p>Observe, further, that in the traditional societies religion (whose etymology suggests re-connection) was <em>the</em> major factor connecting each individual to a purpose (which was often seen as "God's will or command"), and the people together into a community. In modernity, however (as Heisenberg observed in the quoted passage), the belief in uninformed self-interest has assumed this role. The question is if we can do better than that.</p>
+
<p>From the studies of evolution we'll adopt an insight that Richard Dawkins explained in "The Selfish Gene" – which led to the development of "memetics" as a research field applying the theory of evolution to society and culture. The idea is to understand evolution as favoring the fittest gene – or [[memes|<em>meme</em>]] or 'cultural gene', when the social and not the natural world is our interest. Whether we may want it or not, evolution by the survival of the fittest will blindly make the fittest [[memes|<em>memes</em>]] proliferate. </p>
<h3>This conversation is not about Buddhism</h3>
+
 
<p>Well in some sense it <em>is</em> about Buddhism but not in the usual sense of this word. Before we began this project or [[knowledge federation|<em>federation</em>]] exercise, our understanding of Buddhism was clouded by the kind of things one hears while growing up in the West: That the Buddhists believe in reincarnation. That the Buddha was a prince, who wanted to find a way out of suffering. Well, we all know, our earthly existence <em>is</em> suffering, there's pain and sickness and old age and dying and there's no way around that. But the Buddha found a solution – if we persist in righteous living for sufficiently long, we can enter "nirvana" or (in Pali) "nibbana" and continue to live in eternal bliss without incarnating. The happiness is to be found, in other words, not here but in the "hereafter".  </p>
+
<h3>What made us fittest</h3>
<p>How radically our understanding changed in the course of this exploration!</p>
+
<p>Noam Chomsky, the MIT linguist, begins the second [[threads|<em>thread</em>]]. When asked  what in his opinion was a high-social-impact insight that the research in linguistics was about to produce, Chomsky pointed to a (still unorthodox, he qualified) conclusion that our language is not a means of communication but of worldview sharing. (Here's an improvised explanation: A bird may see a hawk and go "tweet, tweet, tweet", and other birds will go "tweet, tweet, tweet", and soon enough all of them will be either tweeting or out of sight. But that's not how <em>human</em> communication works!)</p>
<p>The book manuscript "Liberation" with subtitle "Religion for the Third Millennium" will provide all the details. While this manuscript is being completed, we'll try to provide you sufficient guidelines and details here so that you may begin to connect the dots on this uniquely interesting and relevant picture yourself. Here too you have both a relevant detail and a metaphorical or fractal representation of the whole big thing, how we communicate and fail to communicate (or how our communication and institutionalization gets hijacked by the [[power structures|<em>power structure</em>]]). So let's begin with a brief outline of the story line (a more thorough version is provided in the references below) and then continue with the substance.</p>
+
<p>This may seem like an evolutionary error. But Yuval Noah Harari is there to explain why it's not – why this singularly human ability, to create a story and make it a shared reality, made us <em>the</em> dominant species on earth. Put a gorilla and a human being on a deserted island, Harari explains, and guess who's more likely to survive? But if you put ten thousand gorillas on a football stadium, you'll get complete chaos! It is our shared story that organizes or <em>gamifies</em> our behavior!</p>
 +
<p>Harari pointed to money as a prime example of such a story. Give a gorilla a banana – he'll gladly take it. Ask him to trade it for a dollar – he'll most surely refuse. The reason why a printed piece of paper has more value to us humans is that we jointly believe it does.</p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>What price we've paid</h3>  
 +
<p>How has the money, as our shared story par excellence, been directing our societal and cultural evolution? What sort of social organization, what kind of behavior did it favor?</p>
 +
<p>In the third [[vignettes|<em>vignette</em>]] of this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]], David Graeber, the anthropologist, will point to an answer. The story is adapted from Graeber's book "Debt; the first 5000 years". We here use it as a parable.</p>  
 +
<p>Imagine that you are living 23 centuries ago, that you are an exceptionally gifted young king, and that you've received the best education available in your time. Your ambition is no less than to rule the world.</p>
 +
<p>You know that with an army of 100 000 men you have a good chance to succeed. But there's a logistical challenge: To feed and clothe an army of that size, you'll need an army of 100 000 supply workers.</p>
 +
<p>So you think of a solution: You'll print coins and give them to your soldiers as salary; and you'll request of everyone else to pay you those coins as taxes. In no time everyone will get busy taking care of your soldiers, and supply workers won't even be needed!</p>  
 +
<p>Your business model, as we might call it today, is now almost complete; but you've still got one problem to solve.</p>  
 +
<p>Alexander the Great – the historical king we've asked you to impersonate – needed <em>half a tone of silver a day</em> to maintain an army that could satisfy his ambition! How could anyone secure such massive amounts of precious metals?</p>
 +
<p>Alexander had, it turned out, two options at his disposal. And he used them both.</p>
 +
<p>One of them was to raid foreign countries, turn free people into slaves, and have them mine silver and gold.</p>  
 +
<p>The other one was to raid foreign monasteries and palaces, and turn sacred and artistic objects of silver and gold into coins.</p>
 +
<p>Your business model is now complete. You might object that it's a kind of a Ponzi scheme; but as you know from history, for awhile it was quite "successful". </p>  
 +
<p>Our theme here, however, is the cultural and human consequences of this way of evolving. Who is, really, the winner in this evolutionary game?</p>
 +
<p>We let you draw your own conclusions.</p> </div></div>
 +
<div class="row">
 +
<div class="col-md-3"><h2 style="color:red">Reflection</h2></div>
 +
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>The corporation</h3>
 +
<p>As the University of British Columbia law professor, Joel Bakan had an insight that, he felt, just had to be [[knowledge federation|<em>federated</em>]]. It took him seven years. The result was not only a popular book, but also an award-winning documentary. Both are called The Corporation. You may watch the film by clicking [https://youtu.be/Y888wVY5hzw here].</p>
 +
<p>Bakan showed how through a legal-political evolutionary process, the corporation acquired the legal status of a person; and became the most powerful institution on the planet. Most of us are working for corporations, directly or indirectly. The corporations organize us into super-organisms, which turn our daily work into real-world impact. Who are we really working for? What sort of character does this 'person' have? Bakan goes through a checklist and shows that the corporation exhibits all the characteristics that define the psychopath.</p>
 +
<p>Connect Bakan's insight with the following Zygmunt Bauman's observation:
 +
<blockquote>
 +
Modernity did not make people more cruel; it only invented a way in which cruel things could be done by non-cruel people. Under the sign of modernity, evil does not need any more evil people. Rational people, men and women well riveted into the impersonal, adiaphorized network of modern organization, will do perfectly.
 +
</blockquote></p>
 +
<p>If you may not have the time to watch the whole film, have a look at [https://youtu.be/Y888wVY5hzw?t=913 these two minutes]. Bakan shows the footage of a shark, while the commentator explains that a corporation is "a perfect externalizing machine" in the same way in which a shark is "a perfect killing machine". (The corporation maximizes its profit by <em>externalizing</em> its costs of operation – by passing them onto the public and the environment.)</p>
 +
<p>Do you see where our chosen evolutionary stream is carrying us?</p>
 +
<p>Do you think we'll become "sustainable" by letting it carry us ever further?</p> 
 +
 
 +
<h3>We must change course</h3>
 +
<p>This way of evolving was arguably the only one possible, while our tribes were competing for survival with harsh nature and one other.</p>
 +
<p>Now that our global tribe is about to destroy its life-support system, this way of evolving has become simply <em>im</em>possible!</p>
 +
<p>We wrote the following in the abstract by which the [[paradigm strategy|<em>paradigm strategy</em>]] was announced:
 +
<blockquote>
 +
The motivation is to allow for the kind of difference that is suggested by the comparison of people carrying buckets of water from their own flooded basements, with everyone teaming up and building a dam to regulate the flow of the river that is causing the flooding.
 +
</blockquote> </p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>Knowledge Federation</h3>
 +
<p>Bela Banathy wrote:
 +
<blockquote>[E]ven if people fully develop their potential, they cannot give direction to their lives, they cannot forge their destiny, they cannot take charge of their future—unless they also develop the competence to take part directly and authentically in the design of the systems in which they live and work, and reclaim their right to do so. This is what true empowerment is about.
 +
</blockquote> </p>
 +
<p>The first [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] on the right-hand side is the Knowledge Federation [[transdiscipline|<em>transdiscipline</em>]]. </p>
 +
<p>When after our first year of self-organization toward the [[transdiscipline|<em>transdiscipline</em>]] we came to the Silicon Valley to break the news (at the workshop we organized within the Triple Helix IX international conference at Stanford University, in July 2011), we began by telling a springboard story called [[Knowledge Work Has a Flat Tire|Knowledge work has a flat tire]]. Our point was that knowledge work has a structural defect; and that this structural defect must be taken care of <em>before</em> we can reasonably continue to speed ahead (by producing, and broadcasting more). </p>
 +
<p>We then introduced Knowledge Federation as (a [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] of) a new kind of institution, roughly similar to a tailor workshop, where alterations to professions or institutions or systems can be made to better suit the people who work in them, and our society. </p>
 +
</div> </div>
 +
 
 +
<b>To be continued...</b>
 +
<!--
 +
-----
 +
<div class="row">
 +
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>We are not (only) the homo sapiens</h2></div>
 +
<div class="col-md-7">
 +
 
 +
<h3>How to live in a complex world without information</h3>
 +
<p>The second [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] featured on the left-hand side of The Paradigm Strategy poster is trivial; we don't really need those [[threads|<em>threads</em>]] and [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]] to see it.</p>
 +
<p>Just imagine us living in a complex world while immersed in information glut. How can we cope?</p>
 +
<p>There's a simple way – just learn how to perform in your various social roles, as one would learn the rules of a game. And then play competitively.</p>
 +
<p>"Homo Ludens" is a title of an old book; but with a bit of [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]], we can give this keyword, the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]], a lot more precise and agile meaning than what Johan Huizinga who coined this phrase was able to do. The [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] is a cultural species, distinguished from the <em>homo sapiens</em>. To him, the big-picture insight, or the kind of knowledge combining insights into the nature of a situation with systemic purpose and ethical direction is (to use Carl Jiung's most useful keyword) in his psychological <em>shadow</em>; it's what he had to abandon in order to to achieve success. In the <em>homo ludens</em> world, one does not achieve success by serving a larger societal purpose. Rather, one uses one's social antennas and attunes one's behavior to the personal wants of other players.  By accommodating <em>their</em> power, one acquires a power position of one's own.</p>
 +
<p>Now you know the rest of our story, in a nutshell. The reason why we still give you these details is the importance of this theme: We need to know what we are up against, if we should really be able to cope with our situation and find solutions. Evolve beyond.</p>
 +
<p>Furthermore what we are talking about is really the heart of the matter. What hinders us from recreating our systems? What hinders us from hearing our [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]? Answers will be provided by weaving our remaining two [[threads|<em>threads</em>]]. </p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>A warmup thread</h3>
 +
<p>The bottom-left [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] will give us a quick and easy start.</p>
 +
<p>The [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] begins with the excerpt from Friedrich Nietzsche's Will to Power, which was quoted near the bottom of the [[Intuitive Introduction to Systemic Thinking]]. (This is a good moment to re-read that excerpt. Hear Nietzsche say that already in his day, we the people were already overwhelmed with impressions; that already then we were losing our ability to truly comprehend, and to truly act.) Paul Ehrlich (Stanford University biologist, environmentalist and "pessimist") telling how when in the 1950 when he was doing field research with the Inuits, he realized that each member of the community was closely familiar with all the community's tools. It ends with Anthony Giddens (Britain's leading sociologist and public intellectual) describing "ontological security":</p>
 +
<blockquote><p>The threat of personal meaninglessness is ordinarily held at bay because routinised activities, in combination with basic trust, sustain ontological security. Potentially disturbing existential questions are defused by the controlled nature of day-to-day activities within internally referential systems.</p>
 +
<p>Mastery, in other words, substitutes for morality; to be able to control one's life circumstances, colonise the future with some degree of success and live within the parameters of internally referential systems can, in many circumstances, allow the social and natural framework of things to seem a secure grounding for life activities. </p> </blockquote>
 +
<p>It is very easy to see how the distinct [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]] that form this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] enhance one another and lead to a larger insight.</p>
 +
<p>We heard Nietzsche tell us that we are so overwhelmed by impressions, that we defend ourselves from taking <em>anything</em> deeply in, from <em>digesting</em> ideas. We then heard Ehrlich tell us that within the time span of a single generation, our tools – and on a larger scale our reality – have become impenetrably complex (just think of your smartphone – does anyone still possess the kind of knowledge that would suffice to put such a thing together?). The shared excerpt from Giddens' "Modernity and Self-Identity" then shows how we adapt to this situation – by "substituting mastery for morality". </p>  
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
 
   <div class="col-md-3"></div>
 
   <div class="col-md-3"></div>
   <div class="col-md-6">
+
 
<h3>Understanding religion</h3>  
+
   <div class="col-md-6"><h3>Symbolic power</h3>  
<p>So here's a <em>very</em> short version of Buddhadasa's story: After two years of monastic life in Bangkok, while in his early 20s and almost a century ago, Buddhadasa thought "This just cannot be it! We are chanting sutras and observing the precepts, but if one looks deeper really much of what goes on has to do with the monks' personal ambitions and the prestige." So he learned enough Pali to be able to understand the original scriptures, established a dwelling in an abandoned forest monastery near his home village Chaya in Southern Thailand, and undertook to discover and repeat the Buddha's way (or "experiment", as we sometimes like to frame it) himself. </p>
+
<p>We pick up the second [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] with which the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] is woven at the middle, and then work our way to both ends.</p>  
<p>In this way Buddhadasa found that the essence of Buddhism was not really what was taught. It was, rather, simply a phenomenon, a kind of a natural law that the Buddha discovered 25 centuries earlier. Buddhism, in Buddhadasa's interpretation, is a kind of a science – by which innate human possibilities for a radically better life, not an afterlife but a life here and now, are pursued through a deep inner transformation. Seeing this, Buddhadasa made a leap of intuition – and postulated that <em>all</em> religions share the same essence. And that all of them suffered from the same problem of misunderstanding of this essence, and deformation of the practice. We'll come back to that in a moment.</p>
+
<p><blockquote>
<p>Perhaps you'll understand the larger relevance of this insight if we frame it in the context of The Paradigm Strategy dialog above: While it is true that we the people have a strong "Odin the horse" component that governs our private and communal life, that is not at all the whole story. Odin is also the divinity. The horse can be tamed – and the divine side can become the ruler. But this is of course using once again the religious language, which may be unappealing to some of our readers. So let us now bring this conversation <em>completely</em> down to earth, by talking about an issue that everyone can relate to and understand – the pursuit of happiness.</p></div>
+
[S]ymbolic power is that invisible power which can be exercised only with the complicity of those who do not want to know that they are subject to it or even that they themselves exercise it.
<div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Buddhadasa.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Buddhadasa]]</center></small></div>
+
</blockquote>
 +
Let's consider this to be Pierre Bourdieu's gift to the world in a nutshell. In what follows we'll unpack this gift and see why [[symbolic power|<em>symbolic power</em>]] is a key piece in the big-picture puzzle of our condition we are now putting together.</p>  
 +
<p>As the Chair of Sociology at the Collège de France, Bourdieu was at the very peak of his profession, in effect representing the science of sociology to the French people. In the latter part of his career he would abandon his purist-academic reluctance to become a public intellectual, and become indeed an activist against the "invisible hand" ideology. </p> </div>
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<div class="col-md-3">[[File:Bourdieu.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Pierre Bourdieu]]</center></small></div>
 
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   <div class="col-md-7"><h3>Understanding Buddhism</h3>
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<p>So let us mention some of the differences between Buddhadasa's interpretation of Buddhism and the way we understood this subject.</p>
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<p>Our story begins, however, much earlier, in 1955, when Bourdieu was an army recruit in Algeria, where a war was about to begin. Our goal is to share an insight that made him a sociologist. Like Doug Engelbart and quite a few other [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], Bourdieu did not enter his field by studying it, but by first having an insight; by observing something that would make a large impact on that field, and potentially also on our understanding of ourselves.</p>  
<p>First of all (you may not think much of this now, compared to what we'll talk about next – but this <em>is</em> central) – the word "suffering" is a rough translation of a technical term "dukkha" – whose meaning is <em>a certain kind of</em> suffering. You want to imagine the forests of India 25 centuries ago as laboratories where a certain kind of research, and culture, were blossoming (see the blog post The Garden of Liberation linked below). Those people had their technical language which made it possible for them to deal in precise ways with the kind of issues Peccei thought we shoud focus on – incomparably better than we do today. A nice federation challenge, isn't it? We'll say more about this in a moment.</p>
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<p>During the Algerian war Bourdieu had no difficulty noticing how the official narrative (that France was in Algeria to bring progress and culture) collapsed under the weight of torture and all manner of human rights abuses. So he wrote a small booklet  describing this in an accessible language, in the Que sais-je series. </p>
<p>The second point is that what the Buddha discovered was how to eliminate dukkha through a certain conscious practice. The heart of the matter is to eliminate the arrival of self-consciousness or greed or desiring of any kind – through certain kinds of praxis. The "incarnation" that the Buddha talked about was of this kind – the arousing of self-consciousness, which could happen one hundred times in a day!</p>
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<p>Back home in France this booklet contributed to politicization of French intelligentsia during the 1950s and 60s. But in Algeria it had another effect. A contact would bring Bourdieu to an "informant" (who might be a man who'd been tortured) and say "You can trust this man <em>completely</em>!" What a wonderful way for a gifted young man to look into the inner workings of the society, at the point of buoyant change!</p>  
<p>So Buddhism as we learned from Buddhadasa – is purely about pursuing happiness here and now. The difference from what we thought we knew about this is astounding: While it appeared  to us that the essence of Buddhism was a belief that we are stuck with a certain identity which we cannot get rid of even when we die – it turned out that the very <em>problem</em> that Buddhism was to heal was of us holding on to any kind of identity; that the praxis was the one of dissolving our identity in the larger identity of the All, and of the moment.</p>
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<p>Having became politically independent, Algeria entered a new stage of  <em>modernization</em>. </p>
<p>Furthermore – the essence of Buddhism, and of religion at large (according to Buddhadasa) is not a certain kind of belief, but on the contrary – the <em>liberation</em> from all fixed beliefs; and with it, the liberation of our minds our bodies, our thought and action, through the various power structures that would control our lives; and from our own inclination to partake in those power structures, and in controlling other people's lives...</p>
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<p>With sympathy and profound insight, Bourdieu was 'a fly on the wall' in a Kabyle village house, deciphering the harmony between the physical objects and the relationships among its people. And how this harmony collapsed when the Kabyle young man was compelled, by new economic realities, to look for employment in the city! Not only his sense of honor, but even his very manner of walking and talking were suddenly out of place even to the young women from his own background, who saw something different in the movies and in restaurants. </p>  
<p>But OK, these are abstractions – let us now see how they reflect upon our issue at hand, our <em>earthly</em> pursuit of happiness</p>
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<p>It was in this way that Bourdieu came to realize that the old relationships of economic and cultural domination did not at all vanish – they only changed their way of manifesting themselves!</p>
<h3>Understanding happiness</h3>
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<p>Bourdieu was reminded of his own experiences, when after childhood in alpine Denguin in Southern France he joined the Parisian elite, by studying in the prestigious École normale (not by birthright, but because of his exceptional talents).</p>  
<p>So how important is dukkha? We'll answer this key question in three steps.</p>
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<p>The first is to observe that dukkha is really what motivates Odin the horse in us to engage in territorial behavior. It's what creates our [[power structures|<em>power structures</em>]]. The message here is that – while this may be <em>a part of</em> the human nature – it is definitely not the whole thing. Odin the horse has a "divine" side too – and that is the one to be cultivated and elevated, if we should create a better world. And we even know how – we only need to enquire, and to connect the dots.</p>
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<h3>Theory of practice</h3>  
<p>The second observation – which may need a bit of time and reflection, to get used to this way of looking and thinking – is to realize how much of our emotional life, what enormous proportion of our everyday suffering, is due to this atavistic part of our psychological makeup! Not only our professional life, but even our love life – what we know as "love relationships", and even so incredibly much of our love-related music and poetry – is just soaking in the dukkha-related emotions of clinging and controlling. </p>
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<p>Bourdieu called his theory "theory of practice" –  a fitting name for a theory explaining our social practice, and practical reality. </p>  
<p>Yet even when all this is put together, things don't quite add up yet to the real picture, to the real size of this issue. To get there – and this is the communication opportunity and challenge that is taken in the book – we must understand the Buddha's discovery, and "the essence of religion" in a larger context. We identify happiness with the kind of things that give us a pleasant stimulation <em>at the moment</em>. What percentage of "happiness" does this leave in the dark? What should a more informed or systemic look at this issue reveal?</p>
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<p>His keywords "symbolic power", "habitus", "field" and "doxa" will suffice to summarize his insights.</p>  
<p>So let's imagine that all we know about happiness is on the scale between 0 (no happiness at all, or complete misery) and 1 ("normal" happiness, that is, the kind of thing we have experienced, and what we see around us). Let's postulate the possibility that there is a whole big range beyond – between 1 and + ∞ – that we've consistently ignored! And that the essence of the Buddha's vision is really how to access and traverse <em>that</em> space. </p>
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<p>We'll interpret them here somewhat freely (as it suits our overall main goal, to materialise the [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]]) with the help of the following brief reflection.</p>  
<p>Buddhadasa portrays the Buddha as essentially a scientist. At his time in India, many young men withdrew into the forest to explore the science and art of (as Peccei framed it)
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<p>If you would break into your neighbor's house, slaughter the family and rob their property, you would surely be considered a dangerous criminal and treated accordingly. If you wold make a speech on the main square inviting your fellow citizens to do the same to the people in a neighboring country, on a massive scale, you would surely be considered a dangerous madman, and incarcerated accordingly.</p>  
"substantial improvement in human quality", because that was what the culture most highly valued. And as the case is in the academia today, people learned from each other, and improved the art. What the Buddha found was what allowed one to go <em>beyond</em> what otherwise seemed possible. </p>
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<p><em>Unless</em>,  of course, this sort of behavior is part of your "job description", because you are your country's monarch or president. In that case you might even be remembered in history as a great leader – as Alexander the Great might illustrate </p>  
<p>What is most interesting, then, for our overall story, for seeing the emerging [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] or the metaphorical [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]] – is that this key insight points in the opposite direction from the one in which we normally seek happiness!</p>
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<p>Whence this inconsistency?</p>  
<p>And that it also contradicts the way how we normally see the essence of religion.</p>
 
<p>The key point of the technique is to relinquish any sort of clinging – to material possessions... to cultural identities... and even – to firmly held beliefs! The core praxis is the <em>liberation</em> from all forms of clinging. Or put differently – the liberation from exactly the kind of drives that motivate Odin the horse to behave like a (territorial) animal!</p>
 
<p>What we have here is really a key element in our puzzle – the one that links our <em>personal</em> pursuit of happiness with our <em>societal</em> one...</p>
 
<p>Of the ten chapters of the Liberation book, the first four federate suitable knowledge from a variety of sources and traditions, to give a broad outline of the territory of "happiness between 1 and + ∞", which is now opening up before us. Chapters 5 and 6 place the Buddhas (and Buddhadasa's) discovery into this picture – whereby it becomes transparent how exactly this insight fits in, and completes the puzzle. The last four chapters are then about our societal pursuit of happiness, that is, about the kind of environment that we would need – to both live in and to create – if this sort of pursuit of happiness should become possible. </p>
 
<h3>Religion for the third millennium</h3>
 
<p>So what will be the future of religion (according to the "Liberation" book)?</p>
 
<p>You see, here is where what we've told about [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]] in Federation through Images comes in handy: We don't really need to predict the future. We don't need to – and indeed we cannot – say what religion "really is" or needs to be in the third millennium. We can just <em>postulate</em> the meaning of this word, and of the related words! We can create a convention which does no more than explain how <em>we</em> are using those words.</p>
 
<p>And even then we didn't need to do more than just [[knowledge federation|<em>federate</em>]] an authority, Martin Lings. We remind you that there are no "metapysical" assumptions here, that the only thing we ever rely on is the observation of (here everyday) phenomena, or "phenomenology". </p>
 
<p>The observation is that there <em>is</em> indeed a source of human motivation that is beyond Odin the horse-style (uncultivated, uninformed, turf battle-motivated...) self-interest. Great works of art, and of science, acts of selfless courage and advancements toward liberty and freedom... would have been impossible without it. Examples are abundant and don't even need to be mentioned. So imagine those sources of motivation arranged around a periphery of a circle: "beauty", "truth", "justice", "motherhood"...; we chose to (follow after Carl Jung and) call them [[archetypes|<em>archetypes</em>]]. Imagine that there is a central archetype in the center of the circle. Do you want to call it "God"? Or do you prefer to call it just "love"? That is entirely up to you. The important point is that when one is in contact with any of them, when one is connected with or "plugged into" an archetype, then one is motivated and empowered in a different way.</p>
 
<p>We may then think of [[religion|<em>religion</em>]] as (any) praxis whose goal is to stimulate and enable this connection. Religion, understood in this way, is simply an aspect of culture – whose importance we'll easily understood in the context just provided.</p>
 
<p>We hope that the story we just told – in the context we provided above – will add appeal and adventure to the impending development of this praxis.</p>
 
<p>You will have no difficulty understanding that [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] resolves the issue that was associated with religion in the old [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] ("does God exist") in exactly the same way in which science resolved the disputes of the scholastics ("how many angels can dance on a needlepoint") – by changing the way of looking,  so that the questions is seen as both undecidable and irrelevant. Indeed, if you've looked at Federation through Images, you'll know that – by convention – concepts here are just concepts that is, our own creation, which determine how we look at the world and what we are able to see and communicate. By the same convention, it is impossible and also meaningless to try to decide the "reality" of a concept.</p>
 
<p>You will also have no difficulty understanding why the issue of directing or re-directing our "pursuit of happiness" acquires an entirely different status. It is no secret that we have abandoned this question – and with it also the creation of values, and of culture at large – to commercial interests; you just need to look around. Even great Google earns 90% of its revenue from advertising! Of course in the old scheme of things this is just the operation of the old god, the Market. But if we should be serious about changing course, or the paradigm, we should be able to do better than that.</p>
 
<h3>Can religion become a <em>cause célèbre</em>?</h3>
 
<p>There are several reasons why we chose this book, Liberation, and this theme, "religion for the third millennium", to serve as the 'Trojan horse' with which we will break the news about Knowledge Federation and the emerging paradigm to general audiences, and ignite the general dialog. To most people, "religion" means believing in something, typically in "the existence of God", and then usually in some specific variant of this belief, such as that Jesus was the son of God, or that Mohamed was God's last prophet. The related beliefs – both when they are religious, and when they are <em>anti</em>–religious – tend to be strongly and passionately held, and often maintained against counter-evidence. (Is it because those beliefs have been a product of our socialization?)</p>
 
<p>In a way we want to play a Judo trick on the current narrow scope of interest of the people and the media – by offering a story that they won't be able to refuse. Which will at the same time bring forth insights and ideas that can radically transform those interests.</p>
 
<p>The space is open to us to <em>resolve</em> the issue of religion – but in a new-paradigm way. The presented evidence (which will be submitted to prime this conversation) will challenge the beliefs of <em>all</em> those camps – both the people who consider themselves as religious, and those who may be devoutly <em>anti</em>-religious. It has turned out that we can do that in <em>the</em> most innocent way imaginable – by just telling stories (once again those real-life ones, the [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]]). Or in other words, by federating [[giants|<em>giants</em>]]. </p>
 
<p>While as always insights of a multiplicity of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] are combined to make a point, here too the story has a central hero. His gave himself the name Buddhadasa, which means "the slave of the Buddha" – and thereby made it clear that he too was just federating the insights of an earlier and more worthy master. </p>
 
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  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Knowledge federation dialogs</h2></div>
 
  <div class="col-md-7"><h3>A conversation that matters</h3>
 
<p>In the midst of all the systemic incongruences and devolutions, we've managed to do one thing right – through the mechanism of academic tenure, and the culture of academic freedom, our society has developed the capability to select, educate and sponsor a sub-society of free-thinking people. The question is  – How is this capability being used?</p>
 
<p>The importance of how we answer this question in this historical moment cannot be overstated. The transition that is now before us, from a society whose evolution and daily functioning are marked by turf rivalry, to a society capable of creating a well-functioning world by co-creating its well-functioning components, will have to depend on such a degree of freedom. Furthermore, this transition will naturally have to begin at the university, because new thinking and new knowledge are what is needed to illuminate the way to all those other re-evolutionary changes.</p>
 
<h3>Our proposal</h3>
 
<p>“[T]he university should make structural changes within itself toward a new purpose of enhancing society’s capability for continuous self­-renewal", Erich jantsch wrote, and lobbied at a leading university for such changes to be put into place. When now, a half-century later, we are proposing to make this question the subject of an academic dialog, we are supporting this proposal by a blueprint of an entire paradigm proposal – that's been outline on these pages. The rationale, as we have seen, is that we can now talk about co-creating 'the light bulb', instead of being focused on 'improving the candle', and ignoring whatever doesn't seem to fit that task.</p>
 
<p>We have motivated our paradigm proposal by three profound changes that developed  during the past century – of our understanding of the nature of knowledge (or [[epistemology|<em>epistemology</em>]]), of information technology, and of the needs our society has with regards to information, owing to the new situation it's in. We shall now revisit those three changes and summarize how our proposal responds to them, based on what's been told on these pages. </p>
 
<h3>Change of epistemology</h3>
 
<p>We have seen – in Federation through Images – how the leading physicists saw that the results they were reaching challenged the age-old assumptions about the nature of knowledge and reality. In Physics and Philosophy, Werner Heisenberg in particular gave a direct and clear account how the 19th century created a limited and narrow way of looking at the world, which determined not only what the scientists were doing but also and most importantly the zeitgeist of our culture. And how fortunate we were that the modern physics reached <em>a rigorous disproof</em> of this narrow frame of concepts! And Albert Einstein diagnosed that the age-old "correspondence with reality" as the foundation for creating truth and worldview, had the disadvantages that (1) it cannot be rationally verified and (2) it is the major source of illusions that dominate both human lives and academic practices.</p>
 
<p>We have seen how a different foundation for truth and worldview can be developed that is broad and solid in three independent ways, because (1) it is based on a convention (and conventions are true in a rigorous sense, just as mathematical definitions are true "by convention"); (2) the conventions are written so that they reflect the new epistemological findings; (3) the whole thing is a [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] – which means that it is capable of evolving and correcting its structural errors by updating itself, when the available knowledge and the 'environmental conditions' demand that.</p>
 
<p>We have seen how, on this new foundation, we can liberate knowledge and knowledge work from "narrow frames of concepts" of any kind – by allowing for concepts, and methods, to be freely created.</p>
 
<p>We have seen how, on this new foundation, we can develop knowledge work, which we called [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]], whereby guiding insights and rules of thumb can be developed on any practically important or interesting topics, and on any desired level of generality. The information of this kind can then give us suitable orientation, help us handle the complex realities we have created – and reduce the cognitive burden that our present information has imposed on us. </p>
 
<p>The simple point, the takeaway, is that we can no longer rely on any single individual, be she a voter or a leader of a country – to assemble all the relevant details and see through them and make a decision. We must do our thinking and digesting and deciding <em>collectively</em>, by dividing, specializing and self-organizing our knowledge work – by developing the praxis that we've been calling [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]]. </p>
 
<h3>Change of information technology</h3>
 
<p>We have seen – by telling the "incredible history of Doug" in Federation through Stories, that the new media technology was <em>created</em> for this very purpose – of enabling an incomparably more efficient and effective or "concurrent development, integration and application of knowledge" – compared to what was possible based on printed text and its derivatives. And how to to take advantage of this opportunity, "different thinking" also needed to be in place. We have seen that not only the "new thinking" is yet to be developed – but that this "thinking gap" even left us in the dark regarding this Engelbart's all-important message – <em>for an entire half-century</em>!</p>
 
<h3>Change of our society's condition and needs</h3>
 
<p>We have seen, on this page, that according to [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] who organized the federation of knowledge on this most timely of issues, our global condition is so new that we are culturally unprepared to even understand it clearly. We have then seen how this challenge can be turned into a sensationally positive vision of an emerging larger societal paradigm – which can engage us in a co-creative and free rather than "sustaining" or worrying way. </p>
 
<p>We have seen, further, that the approach to knowledge we are proposing <em>both</em> shows the way to the emerging paradigm and thus calls it into existence <em>and</em> suits the emerging paradigm as its functional element, just as the conventional science suited the Enlightenment as we've had it and the Industrial Revolution. </p>
 
<h3>A new paradigm</h3>
 
<p>Not in a specific discipline, but in knowledge work and creative work at large!</p>
 
<p>Thomas Kuhn pointed to two key characteristics of a new paradigm: It (1) resolves the reported anomalies and (2) opens up a new frontier to research. What we've just discuss amounts to three categories of anomalies – in three core areas that determine knowledge work's 'environmental conditions' (fundamental, technological and pragmatic or societal). We have seen how [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] as paradigm can resolve those anomalies in a quite thorough or "academic" way. And in Federation through Applications we have seen how this new approach to knowledge opens up a vast frontier for creative engagement and contributions. </p>
 
<p>And so we are now able to submit to this conversation our [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] proposal as a way to enable, or trigger, a sweeping change – by doing no more than what we anyway need to do, namely align knowledge work with the relevant knowledge. Self-reflect and act. Use the academic [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]] to create an even larger mirror where we the people may see the world we are creating, and ourselves in it – and adapt our way of being in the world accordingly.</p>
 
<h3>The time to act is now</h3>
 
<p>This year we are celebrating the
 
<ul>
 
<li>60th anniversary of the publication of Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy</li>
 
<li>50th anniversary of Engelbart's famous demo (where the technology was shown that provides the CoDIAK capability)</li>
 
<li>50th anniversary of the Club of Rome (by which the nature of our society-s condition has been mapped)</li>
 
</ul></p>
 
<p>During the past half-century, and especially in recent years, our shared awareness of our new condition (of the "global issues") has grown. The technology that Doug envisioned 50 years ago is on everyone's desk. The time is now ripe to turn the page and act.</p>
 
<h3>We are <em>not </em> starting a turf strife</h3>
 
<p>By proposing this new paradigm, we are not saying that conventional science is dysfunctional and needs to be replaced. Science has served us extremely well for the purposes for which it has been developed! But our post-traditional society now also has  <em>new</em> needs and purposes that need to be served. Those two [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] – traditional science and (the one pointed to by) [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] – are (to use Thomas Kuhn's useful keyword) <em>incommensurable</em>; which means that each of them is more suitable for its own purpose or purposes; each of them allows us to see certain things better than others.</p>
 
<p>It would be contrary to the spirit of the societal paradigm that now needs to emerge, and in strife with its needs, to create an academic-political power battle around this paradigm proposal. Indeed, we shall not even press the issue. The emergence of the new paradigm will have to depend on <em>some</em> of our academic colleagues having the kind of integrity and courage to face the issues we are proposing to put on the academic agenda and work on them.</p>
 
<p>The ball is, in other words, now in <em>your</em> part of the field</p>.
 
<h3>See also</h3>
 
<ul>
 
<li>Proposal to Stanford and Google. Opportunity for new leaders and centers of excellence to emerge? But isn't that what new paradigm's are about?</li>
 
<li>The Lighthouse proposal; both ended up being [[Quixotte stunt|<em>Quixotte stunts</em>]].</li>
 
</ul>
 
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<h3>Odin the horse</h3>
** OLD **
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<p>But before we revisit Bourdieu's concepts, let us sketch the other two [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]] that complete the [[threads|<em>thread</em>]].</p>
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<p>Odin the Horse is a short real-life story about the territorial behavior of Icelandic horses. This excerpt will be sufficient for our purpose.</p>
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<p>When Odin the Horse – an ageing leader of the herd – runs parallel with New Horse pushing him into the river, and away from his mares, he is protecting just the physical spot on the turf and the specific social role that he considers his own.</p>
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<p> Imagine – in the manner of sharing a certain way of looking at things – our culture as a turf. Then the first thing you'll notice about this turf is that it's considerably more complex than the turf of the horses – just as much as our society and culture are more complex than theirs. There are the kings, and there are his pages; and there's the nobility. Furthermore you might be in king's favor, or in <em>dis</em>favor. You'll feel the difference by the way the king addresses you, as soon as you him. And even if you won't know consciously, <em>something</em> in you will know. You see everyone bow as the king enters, and you automatically do the same. How could it be otherwise?</p>
  
<h3>A theme that matters</h3>
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<h3> Descartes' Error</h3>  
<p>And finally – we need to talk about our proposal, and [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] – that's been showcased on these pages. But the focus here – and relevance – is not on our proposal as such, but the larger theme it "proactively problematizes" – which is the nature and the ecology of <em>academic</em> creative work.</p>
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<p>Antonio Damasio completes this [[threads|<em>thread</em>]] by helping us understand why [[symbolic power|<em>symbolic power</em>]] is so powerful, even when – and especially when – nobody's aware of its existence.</p>  
<p>In spite of all the commercialization, commoditization, devolution... that's been plaguing our institutions through the centuries, and at an accelerated speed lately – there's been one thing we've done right: the academic tenure. And the tradition of "academic freedom" that goes with it. The idea is that there needs to be a category of people who are suitably selected, educated and sponsored to think completely freely with no bonds to commercial and other interests. If some of the insights shared above did strike a chord and you are agreeing with us that we cannot entrust the evolution of our culture and our society on the market, the competition and "the survival of the fittest", if you see how Peccei might have been right when concluding that we must "find a way to change course", then you'll agree with Jantsch that the university that is, the mentioned category of people, will have to play a key role in this transformation. The key question is then – about the way in which we are using this most valuable resource, the human creativity, and the support that the society has given it. It is <em>that question</em> that we want to put on the agenda by presenting this alternative.</p>
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<p>Damasio, a leading cognitive neuroscientist, explained in a most rigorous, scientific way a key element of our social psychology that you may not even have noticed namely why we don't wake up wondering whether we should take off your pajamas and run naked in the street. Damasio showed that the content of our conscious mind is controlled by an embodied cognitive filter, which presents to it for deliberation only those possibilities that are "acceptable" from the embodied filter's point of view, of course.</p>  
<h3>The crux of our proposal</h3>
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<p>You might already be guessing how this all might fit together?</p>  
<p>
 
<ul>
 
<li>To institute the academic and real-life praxis of federating knowledge according to basic information needs of contemporary people and society – create basic insights, principles, rules of thumb... which can help us the people orient ourselves in the complex realities we've created, and handle them accordingly</li>
 
<li>To institute the academic and innovation praxis of creating knowledge federation systems – and give it the status of "basic research". </li>
 
</ul>
 
Or – put more simply – to establish [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] as an academic paradigm parallel to and incommensurable with the conventional paradigm.</p>
 
<h3>What we might learn from our prototype</h3>
 
<p>An academic reader may have recognized that our [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] presentation on these pages is in fact a careful presentation of – and a case for – a new [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] in creative work. On the front page we motivated this proposal by three changes that developed during the past century (in our understanding of epistemology, what knowledge and meaning are all about; in information technology; and in societal needs). We provided  four pages that elaborated the details, where we showed how the [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] prototype
 
<ul>
 
<li>provides a new methodological foundation for creating truth and meaning, which allows us to repair the reported fundamental anomalies <em>and</em> align knowledge work with contemporary needs of people and society</li>
 
<li>provides a platform for taking advantage of contemporary information technology that fixes the core anomaly we have in this domain namely that the information technology we have was <em>created</em> to enable re-configuring of knowledge work that we are calling [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]], and yet we used the technology to merely re-implement the old patterns that emerged based on the printed text (or to use Engelbart's metaphor – he created the technology to give our 'vehicle' a whole new source of illumination, the light bulb – and we used this technology to merely recreate the candles) </li>
 
<li>provides exactly the kind of information, the "evolutionary guidance" that can help us "change course" – by doing no more than just taking advantage of the knowledge we already own (by fitting the pieces into the new emerging reality, the metaphorical [[invisible elephant|<em>elephant</em>]], instead of fitting the pieces in an old and outdated paradigm – and throwing away or ignoring whatever fails to fit in</li>
 
</ul></p>
 
  
 +
<h3>Socialization explained</h3>
 +
<p>We may now understand Bourdieu's keyword "field" as a symbolic turf, or metaphorically as a game with rules and distinct avatars, each having a set of capabilities. You may understand "habitus" as a distinct position on the symbolic turf, or as everyone's set of capabilities. Odin the horse has one. And so does Alexander the Great, and everyone else.</p>
 +
<p>You don't bow to Alexander – off goes your head. Each habitus has a socialised collection of ways to negotiate its relative power with the owners of each other habitus. </p>
 +
<p>And finally,  <em>doxa</em>. The more familiar word "orthodoxy" signifies that there is one "right" social order, and one "right" story, the "right" way of conceiving of the world. <em>Doxa</em> is a further step in the same direction, where only <em>one</em> option is allowed to exist. Doxa is what we've been socialized to call "reality".</p> </div> </div>
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
   <div class="col-md-3"><h2>See</h2></div>
+
   <div class="col-md-3"></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>The dialog</h3>
+
  <div class="col-md-6">
<p>David Bohm saw the "dialogue" as simply what we must do in order to shift our present paradigm (or put even more simply "what we <em>must</em> do") – see [http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/Chaos-Complexity/dialogue.pdf On dialogue]. Two volumes edited by Banathy and Jenlink deepened and refined our understanding – download a copy of one of them [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/200025879_Dialogue_as_a_Means_of_Collective_Communication here]. Bohm's dialogue is a slow and completely unguided process. We experimented with turning Bohm's dialog into a 'cyclotron' by increasing vastly its energy – see [https://keypointdialog.wiki.ifi.uio.no/Category:Key_Point_Dialog_Zagreb_2008 the project's web site].</p>
+
<p><blockquote>  
<p>Issue Based Information Systems were conceived in the 1960s by Horst Rittel and others to enable collective understanding of complex or "wicked" issues – see [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issue-based_information_system this Wikipedia page]. Dialog mapping tools such as the IBIS / Compendium, and [https://debategraph.org Debategraph] have been conceived to empower people and communities to tackle "wicked problems" of people to co-create knowledge  – and even to turn the usual debate into a genuine dialog. See [https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Dialogue+Mapping%3A+Building+Shared+Understanding+of+Wicked+Problems-p-9780470017685 Jeff Conklin's Dialog Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems].</p>
+
If I could convince more slaves that they are slaves, I could have freed thousands more.
<h3>The Paradigm Strategy</h3>
+
</blockquote>  
<p>[http://knowledgefederation.net/Misc/ThePSposter.pdf Poster], [http://www.knowledgefederation.net/Abstracts/ThePS.pdf abstract], [https://polyscopy.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/the-paradigm-strategy/ blog post]</p>
+
We let Harriet Tubman's observation serve as an epigram pointing to the quintessential practical consequence of <em>doxa</em>; and of the the kind of power ("symbolic power") it has over us. Symbolic power is what makes us accomplices in our own disempowerment! </p>
<h3>The Liberation</h3>
+
<p>How can we <em>ever</em> be free?</p>
<p>[http://www.knowledgefederation.net/Misc/Liberation.pdf Book introduction]; background in blog posts [https://polyscopy.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/the-garden-of-liberation/ Garden of Liberation] and [https://polyscopy.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/science-and-religion/ Science and Religion]</p>
+
<p>(The Liberation book will be our attempt to give an answer to this enduring question.)</p>  
 
</div>
 
</div>
 +
<div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Tubman.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Harriet Tubman]]</center></small></div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
<!-- INSERT
 
 
-----
 
-----
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>Liberation dialogs</h2></div>
+
<div class="col-md-3"><h2 style="color:red">Reflection</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>XXXXXXX</h3>
+
 
<p>While the choice of themes for our dialogs is of course virtually endless, we have three concrete themes in mind to get us started.</p>
+
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Consequences</h3>
<p></p>
+
<p>We offer the following four consequences of what's just been shared for reflection – and conversation.</p>
<p>[[File:PSwithFredrik.jpeg]]<br><small><center>Fredrik Eive Refsli, the leader of our communication design team, jubilating the completion of The Paradigm Strategy poster.</center></small></p>
+
 
<p>Point: Federates knowledge across disciplines. Threads... whole methodology. POINT: How to handle issues. RHS prototypes.</p>
+
<h3>Why we cannot see systems</h3>
<p>POINT: invitation to bootstrap together. Created for RSD6. Invitation. An intervention. Central point.</p>
+
<p>An often used parallel – between our [[socialization|<em>socialization</em>]] and the Indian tradition of training an elephant to stay put when tied by a rope to a branch – can be used to explain why we ordinarily cannot even conceive of [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]]. The point is that we've evolved in such a way that our systems are not admissible to our conscious deliberation; they are a result of our socialization.  Our obedience to systems is pre-conscious – just as is wearing clothes and saying "hello".</p>  
<h3>Conversation about socio-cultural evolution</h3>
+
<p> This explains a paradox that permeates this proposal that larger-than-life benefits that become accessible when we allow ourselves this new degree of freedom of thought and action are habitually ignored.</p>  
<p>This is a simplified version of the [[power structures|<em>power structure</em>]] theory, still rich enough to strike a good conversation. The point is the de-volution. The unguided evolution. What do we do when we don't have knowledge? A careful indeed snapshot of our evolutionary moment. We have been evolving destructive systems from the beginning of time. The more aggressive ones prevailed. Further, they create our awareness. FAAAAR from being "free to choose", we become our own worst enemy. ...</p>
+
<p>The obstacles to our proposal are cultural and social. Overcoming them is an <em>evolutionary</em> step – which needs to be understood and handled accordingly.</p>  
<p>Key point: We look left, look right, and we adjust what we do according to "interests". The result feels safe... but the systems we create can be arbitrarily meaningless, making us work, compete... Can we do better than that?</p>
+
 
<h3>Conversation about strategy</h3>
+
<h3>Redefining politics</h3>  
<p>POINT: There's a better way to do it! Excerpt from the abstract...</p>
+
<p>The second consequence of the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] is that it changes the conventional political game ceases, from "us against them" to <em>all of us</em> against the obsolete socio-cultural structures (for which our technical keyword is [[power structures|<em>power structure</em>]]). </p>  
<p>Even the environmental movement seems to have forgotten its own history! How should we direct our efforts so that they <em>do</em> have an effect?</p>
+
<p>We'll say more about this below, when discussing the religion for the third millennium – so let it only be said here that while it may appear that the kings are the winners in a social game, and their pages are the losers, <em>this view radically changes as soon as we are able to see the game from the outside.</em> <em>Everyone</em> is socialised into a certain role, or <em>habitus</em>. And [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]] can make <em>everyone</em> much better off. Odin the horse doesn't really need all those mares. He's an ageing horse, the farmer had good reasons for bringing New Horse to the farm. But Odin doesn't think in this way. In fact he doesn't think at all. He only feels that someone is violating his turf, he feels threatened, and just he wants to push him into the river.</p>  
</div>
+
 
 +
<h3>Redefining reality</h3>  
 +
<p>The third consequence is that the idea of reality – which in the traditional cultures occupied the most honoured position as <em>the</em> foundation on which our creation of truth and meaning is based – now becomes the heart of our problem. The reality, or more precisely Bourdieu's <em>doxa</em>, is perceived as what organizes the game, as the very structure of the symbolic turf – which keeps us disempowered without noticing. </p>
 +
 
 +
<h3>Why giants are ignored</h3>  
 +
<p>Have you been wondering why the [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] tend to be ignored? <em>In spite of</em> the gigantic usefulness of their ideas? And their intrinsic beauty and value?</p>  
 +
<p>The problem with [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] is that they're too large. If we would let them in, they'd occupy way too much space on the symbolic turf... </p> </div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
----
 
----
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Liberation dialogs</h2></div>
+
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>Religion as liberation</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Conversation about the book</h3>
+
 
<p>The book breaks the ice – offers a theme that cannot be refused</p>
+
<div class="col-md-6"><h3>Buddhadasa's discovery</h3>  
<h3>Conversation abut science</h3>
+
<p>After just a couple of years of monastic life in Bangkok, barely in his 20s, Nguam Phanit (today known as Buddhadasa, "the slave of the Buddha", and celebrated as a reformer of Buddhism) thought "This just cannot be it!" So he made himself a home in an abandoned forest monastery near his home village Chaya, and equipped with a handful of original Pali scriptures undertook to live and practice and experiment as the Buddha did. </p>
<p>Heisenberg – 19th cent. science damaged culture. Can we, in 21st century, do the opposite – and empower culture. Even do the kind of things that were NOT done in the past? </p>
+
<p>It was in this way that Buddhadasa found out that the essence of the Buddha's teaching was not at all as it was taught.</p>  
<h3>Conversation about religion</h3>
+
<p>Buddhadasa further understood that what he was witnessing was a simple phenomenon or a "natural law", the rediscovery of which marked the inception of all religions; that all religions had a tendency to ignore this essence; and that his insight could be transformative to the modern world. </p> </div>  
<p>Enlightenment liberated us from... Can it be again? Really conversation about pursuit of happiness...</p>
+
<div class="col-md-3 round-images">[[File:Buddhadasa.jpg]]<br><small><center>[[Buddhadasa]]</center></small></div>
</div>
 
 
</div>
 
</div>
 +
<div class="row">
 +
<div class="col-md-3"></div>
 +
 +
  <div class="col-md-7"><h3>Liberation prototype</h3>
 +
<p>Buddhadasa’s insight is being fully federated within the book manuscript titled “Liberation” and subtitled “Religion for the third millennium”. This will be the first book in the Knowledge Federation trilogy, by which the ideas sketched here will be made accessible to general public. </p>
 +
<p>Here we only highlight several points, which will help us weave together and complete some streams of thought that are central to our initiative. </p>
 +
 +
<h3>Cessation of suffering</h3>
 +
<p>According to legend, Prince Siddartha, who later became the Buddha, left wealth and security to withdrew into the forest and find the cause of suffering. “Suffering”, however, is a rough translation of the Buddhist keyword “dukkha”, which denotes <em>a specific kind of suffering</em>. </p>
 +
<p>This explanation will serve us well enough: <em>dukkha</em> is, simply, what drives Odin the horse to engage in turf behavior.  Applied to humans, <em>dukkha</em> is that part of the human nature whose characteristic emotions are anxiety and worry; and which urges us to control and dominate. </p>
 +
<p>Dukkha is so much part of our everyday life that we tend to take it for granted.</p>
 +
<p> The isight into how much <em>dukkha</em> colors our daily experience and our relationships is life changing. Even more so is the insight into the exquisite way of being that the liberation from dukkha entails. The Buddhists talk about <em>sukkha</em>; other traditions talk about bliss or charity or unconditional love. </p>
 +
<p>What is most interesting for us, in the context of [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] and [[guided evolution of society|<em>guided evolution of society</em>]],  is the possibility of substituting our present naive or misguided pursuit of happiness with (what one might call) evidence-based or informed pursuit of happiness – which can take us incomparably further than our present one.</p>
 +
 +
<h3>Way to cessation of suffering</h3>
 +
<p>The Buddha called it <em>dhamma</em>. Buddhadasa interprets this completely central keyword as pointing both to a certain natural law, and to living and practicing in accordance with this natural law. It’s like watering the plant – you engage in a certain discipline, and something grows. Asking “why” is beside the point. It’s enough to know that Odin the horse can be tamed; its whims don’t need to dominate our emotions, and our behavior. </p>
 +
<p>The essence of this practice, of the ‘watering’, is to remain free from any sort of clinging – both to what is desirable and to what is not. The key is “mindfulness at the point of contact” – at the point when something we might be inclined to cling to presents itself to our senses or to our awareness, the mind is present and alert and says “no”. A natural way to train Odin is by serving causes that are larger than oneself. </p>
 +
<p>Two points are most interesting from the point of view of “a great cultural renewal”, the possibility of which we have undertaken to illustrate:
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>The Buddhist practice is not just different – it is <em>opposite</em> from the ecology in which our modern culture emerges us. Meditation combined with “mindfulness” <em>removes</em> from us the overload of impressions; it allows us to become <em>more</em> sensitive (recall Nietzschje).</li>
 +
<li>You may see how Peccei’s wish may realistically come true: <em>dhamma</em> is the natural law that links our capability to experience happiness with our work on improving our “human quality”!</li>
 +
</ul> </p>
 +
 +
<h3>Seeing the world as it is</h3>
 +
<p>Buddhadasa doesn’t use the word “enlightenment”. Rather, he describes the accomplished or elevated state of veing as “seeing the world as it is”. </p>
 +
<p>Our discussion of the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]] offers a ready explanation: The liberation Buddhadasa is talking about is not only the liberation from <em>dukkha</em>; it is also the liberation from our socialisation, and our socialised ways of looking at the world.</p>
 +
<p>So interesting that those two things – our suffering and our socialization – might be closely related!</p>
 +
 +
<h3>There are two ways to God</h3>
 +
<p>Buddhadasa describes the Buddha as a reformer and a rebel. The rebirth he was talking about is not the physical rebirth of the HIndus, but the rebirth of our ego-centeredness, which can happen one hundred times a day. </p>
 +
<p>He describes how just a few centuries after the Buddha the belief system of Hinduism took over, and replaced the original teaching of the Buddha, the real way out of suffering, here and now. </p>
 +
<p>This invites the following conjecture: That there are two approaches to religion, corresponding to what we’ve been calling the <em>homo sapiens</em> and the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] evolutionary streams. That religions tend to begin when an especially gifted person, a true [[giants|<em>giant</em>]] of religion, discovers the <em>dhamma</em> (or whatever this may be called in his or her language) and practices and becomes transformed. Other people see this result, and gather round him to see if they can reach it themselves. </p>
 +
<p>But as the movement grows, and its forefathers are gone and forgotten,  the “socialization” sets in and the institution suffers exactly the kind of transformation that we’ve described above on the examples of social and military organisation, and the corporation. Religion ceases to be an instrument of our liberation, and becomes an instrument of our socialization. </p>
 +
 +
<h3>Federating religion</h3>
 +
<p>In most people’s minds the word “religion” is associated with a strongly held (clinged onto) set of beliefs.</p>
 +
<p>When we compare those beliefs together, surely they appear to us as irreconcilable. </p>
 +
<p>When, however, we consider religions to be world traditions within which most valuable <em>experience</em> has been developed – about inherent human possibilities, about the ‘seeds’ we carry inside and how to ‘water’ them – the religious scene becomes entirely something else.</p>
 +
<p>You will now have no difficulty seeing how [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]] and [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] engender an approach to knowledge that can help us do the latter – just as our traditional approaches to knowledge focused on the <em>worldviews</em> of religions, and ignored their true gifts. </p>
 +
<p>The point is simply this: When we focus on what's valuable and common in experience, and treat the worldviews as "syntactic sugar", then we can easily show that
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>a radically better realm of human experience  (call it nirvana or nibbana or enlightenment or...) is accessible through a certain [[praxis|<em>praxis</em>]] </li>
 +
<li>there's a strong agreement among the world traditions about the nature of this [[praxis|<em>praxis</em>]] </li>
 +
</ul> </p>
 +
<p>We are now back to where we started. Recall Heisenberg's observation about the "narrow frame" or narrow way of looking at the world that the 19th century science gave our ancestors, which was damaging to culture and in particular to religion. </p> 
 +
</div> </div>
 
----
 
----
 +
<div class="row">
 +
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>Stepping through the mirror</h2></div>
  
<!-- OLD
+
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Back to polyscopy</h3>
 +
<p>The last on the list of [[prototypes|<em>prototypes</em>]] on the right-hand side of The Paradigm Strategy poster is the Polyscopy prototype. We've talked about [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]] quite a bit in Federation through Imges, where we've seen it as the approach to truth and meaning on the other side of the metaphorical [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]]. We reached the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]] from a fundamental interest, by exploring what the [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] have found about "language, thought and reality", as Whorf's put framed it. Here we are once again standing in front of the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]], but now with a handful of <em>most practical</em> or cultural interests – by exploring what the [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] have said about success, happiness, love, values, religion...</p>
 +
<p>On this side of the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]] the winner takes it all. And the winner – that's the traditionally the king. Or perhaps today – the millionaire. So everyone today wants to be a millionaire, just as in olden days everyone dreamed of being a king. </p>
 +
<p>Can you imagine a radical change of values – similar in magnitude to the change from the values from the Middle Ages to the ones of modernity?</p>
 +
<p>Can you see how Peccei's dream may now come true – about a "great cultural revival", where "human development is the most important goal"?</p>
  
 +
<h3>Religion on the other side of the mirror</h3>
 +
<p>All we need to do to get there, once again, is to see ourselves in the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]]. We then instantly realize that how we define winners and losers is all just part of our socialization, it's all part of the game we've learned and accepted as reality. We also realize how much what we <em>experience</em> as desirable and pleasant can be just simply our perception, a result of <em>that</em> collection of illusions (recall Einstein). We become ready to listen to the experience of others – and <em>correct</em> our ideas and our experience. </p>
 +
<p>The Buddha (as the tradition portrays him) may well be seen as showing us the way (through the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]]) – didn't he leave the wealth and power of his royal existence, to pursue a whole other way from suffering to happiness? Christ may then be seen as pointing to the ultimate sacrifice – of one's "interests" or "happiness" or "ego" – for the sake of a larger good.</p>
  
<p>This [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] has been designed for a specific audience – the RSD6 conference of of the Systemic Design Research Network in 2017 in Oslo. The members of this community are mostly academic researchers who are <em>already</em> focusing their energies on characteristic contemporary issues; and who have <em>already</em> recognized the systemic approach as an essential component, and are applying it in their work. Can we still tell these people something that might be new and relevant? Could we perhaps even surprise them? And most importantly – can we add a capability, a course of action, to their already so well-developed repertoire, and help make it more impactful?</p>
+
<h3>Emperor Alexander meets the Buddha</h3>  
<h3>A strategy</h3>
+
<p>What would have happened if a great historical king, such as Alexander the Great, met an enlightened follower of the pursuit of happiness on the other side of the [[mirror|<em>mirror</em>]]?</p>  
<p>Among a number of messages and lines of action that are woven together in The Paradigm Strategy poster, there is of course the main message, which is conveyed by the very title. We wrote in our [http://www.knowledgefederation.net/Abstracts/ThePS.pdf abstract]:
+
<p>The event – Alexander visiting Diogenes (who was sunbathing in front of the barrel he was living in) – is familiar. And so is this detail, quoted here from an ancient text.  
<blockquote>
+
<blockquote>  
Polyscopy points to the pivotal role of a community-wide gestalt (high-level view of a situation or issue, which points to a way in which it may need to be handled). The motivation is to allow for the kind of difference that is suggested by the comparison of everyone carrying buckets of water from their own basements, with everyone teaming up and building a dam to regulate the flow of the river that is causing the flooding. We offer to the RSD community what we are calling The Paradigm Strategy as a way to make a similar difference in impact, with respect to the common efforts focusing
+
So the king came up to [Diogenes] as he sat there and greeted him, whereat the other
on specific problems or issues. The Paradigm Strategy is to focus our efforts on instigating a sweeping and fundamental cultural and social paradigm change – instead of trying to solve problems, or discuss, understand and resolve issues.
+
looked up at him with a terrible glare like that of a lion and ordered him to step aside
</blockquote>
+
a little, for Diogenes happened to be warming himself in the sun. Now Alexander was
</p>
+
at once delighted with the man’s boldness and composure in not being awestruck in his
<h3>A federation of insights</h3>
+
presence. For it is somehow natural for the courageous to love the courageous, while
<p>[http://www.knowledgefederation.net/Misc/ThePSposter.pdf The poster] federates a number of insights and points of evidence to support the above main point. The poster is fairly self-explanatory, and if you explore it you'll might find some food for thought for yourself as well. The insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] across fields of interest are combined together into [[threads|<em>threads</em>]], which are then woven together into [[patterns|<em>patterns</em>]]. There are only two, so let's focus on them for a moment.</p>
+
cowards eye them with misgiving and hate them as enemies, but welcome the base and
<p>If you've skimmed through Federation through Stories, then the Wiener's paradox will be already familiar. The message is that even the most basic insight of the systems movement, and the one most that is most relevant to people – because it shows why all the rest is relevant – has not yet been communicated to the public! But the Wiener's paradox is of course a more general [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]], from which all of our academic and other culturally relevant knowledge work tends to suffer. Insights are reached, but they are not turned into common knowledge! The communication-and-feedback of our society are broken, the insights we produce are not listened to.</p>
+
like them.</blockquote> </p>  
<p>So if our society does not have – and does not use – suitable information to navigate through the complexities of modernity, then how in the world do we manage? We must have developed a substitute? And indeed we have! The second [[patterns|<em>pattern</em>]], the [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]], provides an answer. It is an insight that combines an old book with the same title, but makes its message incomparably more agile and sharper, by combining the insights of Pierre Bourdieu with the ones of Antonio Damasio, and through four similar combinations or [[threads|<em>threads</em>]], and thereby also demonstrating some of the [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] techniques. The message is that – being unable to penetrate through our complex reality, and for other more subtle reasons as well, we have been devolving culturally as [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]]. The <em>homo ludens</em> is the cultural species that is ignorant of – and generally uninterested in – the questions of meaning and purpose. The <em>homo ludens</em> simply learns its different roles, and importantly his profession, as one would learn the rules of a game; and then plays competitively, to maximize what he perceives as "his own gain".</p>
+
<p>This wasn't, of course, their entire conversation. Diogenes did not miss this opportunity to make his main point, that virtue and wisdom, rather than inherited social status, is what distinguishes true royalty:
<p>You might recall now – if you've been looking at Federation through Images – that there is no single "true reality picture" here; everything is just models, angles of looking, points of view. The idea is that a certain way of looking will explain <em>certain things</em> better than another one, which may have of course its own advantages. And so we'll mention one out of many points of view that this poster makes available –  namely that the academic tradition too may be suffering in some degree to this same [[homo ludens|<em>homo ludens</em>]] devolution. This little piece of [[polyscopy|<em>polyscopy</em>]]-enabled theory would then postulate the existence of a most curious cultural sub-species, called the <em>homo ludens academicus</em>, which according to common logic should not exist at all. As everyone knows, our social role is to make sure that the biological <em>homo sapiens</em> is evolving as the <em>homo sapiens</em> also culturally.. But we can fulfill that role only to the extent that we ourselves are still on the <em>homo sapiens</em> track! We left the exploration of this most interesting question, of the real-life existence of the <em>homo ludens academicus</em>, to some future conversation.</p>
+
<blockquote>... [Diogenes] went on to tell the king that he did not even possess the badge of
<p>The question that we offered to the Research in Systemic Design community was to look into <em>their</em> system – which is of course also <em>our</em> system – the academic discipline, and its standard equipment and procedures including the conferences, presentations, publications and the rest. The Wiener's paradox suggests that our contributions to this system and within this system may have little or no real-life effect. The poster explains how and why this unpleasant situation may result. Shall we take this opportunity and examine carefully what is going on? Or shall we be uninterested, and resume our business as usual?</p>
+
royalty. . ."And what badge is that?" said Alexander. "It is the badge of the bees, "he
<p> But if the academic publishing is a paradox and hence not a solution – then in what way <em>can</em> we fulfill our all-important role? The poster presents an answer in terms of a single keyword – <em>bootstrapping</em>. If our own system is no longer suitable for the purpose it needs to achieve – then we need to change it! We need to <em>create</em> new ways to collaborate, and communicate, and achieve impact. But isn't that what we've been talking about here all along?</p>
+
replied, "that the king wears. Have you not heard that there is a king among the bees,
<h3>A call to action</h3>
+
made so by nature, who does not hold office by virtue of what you people who trace
<p>The poster both made a call to action – and enabled a suitable response. We invited the RSD community to co-create the poster together with us. The <em>bootstrapping</em> link in the middle leads to a copy of the poster where suggestions and comments can be made online. In this way the poster becomes an online collaboration or federation tool that federates the knowledge of the community – and joins it with the insights of the represented [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], and with our own insights. Our invitation was of course to help co-create both the tool itself and its messages.</p> </div>
+
your descent from Heracles call inheritance? " "What is this badge ?" inquired
</div>  
+
Alexander. "Have you not heard farmers say, "asked the other, "that this is the only
 +
bee that has no sting since he requires no weapon against anyone? For no other bee
 +
will challenge his right to be king or fight him when he has this badge. I have an idea,
 +
however, that you not only go about fully armed but even sleep that way. Do you not
 +
know," he continued, "that is a sign of fear in a man for him to carry arms? And no
 +
man who is afraid would ever have a chance to become king any more than a slave
 +
would."
 +
</blockquote>  
 +
</p>  
 +
 
 +
<h3>Rebuilding the tower of Babel</h3>  
 +
<p>According to an old myth, a very long time ago the humanity was well on the way to reach this other realm of cultural possibilities that the founders of religions and adepts of spiritual practice have been pointing to. But they got divided by their different ways of speaking and looking at the world, and the project failed.</p>  
 +
<p>We are now in a position to do it again.</p>  
 +
<p> </p>  
 +
[[File:Babel2.jpeg]] <br><small><center>A detail from the Earth Sharing installation (in 2018 in Bergen), where our dialog series began.</center></small>
 +
<p> </p>  
 +
<p>You'll find a brief report about this [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] in Federation through Applications. Further details will be provided also here.</p>  
 +
</div> </div>  
 
----
 
----
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
   <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Liberation dialogs</h2></div>
+
   <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Academic self-renewal</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>A dialog for general audiences</h3>
+
 
<p>It is clear that – if we should truly break the bubble created by contemporary media's messages and interests – we need a stronger medicine that what The Paradigm Strategy poster might produce. You might recognize the themes represented there (What strategy may really make it feasible or even easy to resolve the large contemporary issues?) as hugely relevant and interesting – yet they are not what the majority of people are interested in. So how can we break the silence and strike a conversation that matters?</p>
+
<div class="col-md-6"><h3>What the giants had to say</h3>  
<p>We here put forth a theme that is so close to everyone's socialized identities, which is so loaded with emotions, that it is highly unlikely that it <em>can</em> at all be ignored.</p>
 
<h3>A meme</h3>
 
<p>This dialog, and the book that the dialog is about, are technically steps in a federation of a single idea or meme – the essence of the teachings of the Buddha, as interpreted by Thailand's enlightened monk and scholar Ajahn Buddhadasa. This meme is, however, a key piece in the puzzle of the emerging paradigm – which links personal interest ("pursuit of happiness") with the societal interest (reconfiguring our society's nuts and bolts to meet the needs and the challenges of our new and changing condition). It's like a piece of magic – linking most snuggly and seamlessly with one another! The following excerpt from a speech heard at the Suan Mokkh forest monastery that Buddhadasa created is found in Liberation's introduction:
 
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
We are living in a world laden with problems that are so new and so complex, that even our best minds hardly have a clue what we might do about them. And here we are offered an insight, or we may also call it a meme, which – if we could bring it back home with us and put it to use in our daily lives and workplaces – would transform our world so thoroughly, that those problems would naturally disappear!
+
<p>What are the scientists to do next? </p>  
</blockquote>
+
<p> There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers — conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial. Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their purpose. </p>
</p>
+
</blockquote> </div>  
<h3>A conversation about religion</h3>
+
<div class="col-md-3"> [[File:Bush.jpg]] <br><small><center>[[Vannevar Bush]]</center></small></div>
<p>It would be difficult to find a theme that better represents, both as an example and as a metaphor, the general societal paradigm shift we've been talking about. "Religion" for most people means believing in something – for ex. that Jesus was "the son of God", or that Muhammed was "the last prophet". Science too means believing in something – which again for many people means believing in something opposite from what the religious people believe. So whether one is pro or against religion, this conversation is bound to arouse strong feelings – because it will challenge the beliefs of <em>both</em> traditional camps. The interlude might be as follows: At the dawn of the Enlightenment the people liberated themselves from a stringent religious worldview to became free to "pursue happiness" here and now. But what if in the process we have misunderstood <em>both</em> religion <em>and</em> happiness? What if at the inception of our great religious traditions we will find a <em>phenomenon</em>, we may even call it "a natural law", which brings with it a possibility to create an incomparably better human life, and society.</p>
 
<p>The issue here is at the core of the paradigm shift. Sketch: Today our [[religion|<em>religion</em>]] is a combined belief in the naturalness / value of selfishness, which is turned into the best world for all by the survival of the fittest. In this sort of ideology it is difficult to find a place where [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]] can truly blossom. And vice versa...</p>
 
<h3>A conversation about science</h3>
 
<p>The liberation book quotes a whole page-and-a-half from Heisenberg's "Physics and Philosophy" – the excerpt that tells how the 19th century science created a "narrow and rigid frame of concepts" (a way of looking at the world) which marked not only science but also the worldview of the majority of people. And "how lucky we are" that the modern physics disproved this "narrow frame" and the corresponding worldview. This sets the stage for science giving the people back what is due to them – a broader worldview, that will help them rebuild whatever in culture has been damaged. Heisenberg pointed to religion as <em>the</em> prime candidate.</p>
 
<p>The "liberation" we are talking about is not only the essence of religion; it is also what may be needed to put science on a new and better track. Buddhadasa talks about "seeing the world as it truly is" as the goal of Buddhism. Athletes work on themselves, on their own material. It appears that the scientists don't need to, that "the scientific method" and being "objective observers" are enough to secure the best results. The nature of human creativity, however, turns out to be something else, not how we see it today (...). The development of creativity, of humans with clear vision, has its dynamic and its "natural laws" that underlie it. Do we know them? Can we harness them?</p></div>
 
 
</div>
 
</div>
 +
<div class="row">
 +
<div class="col-md-3"></div>
 +
<div class="col-md-7">
 +
<p>Vannevar Bush was an early computing machinery pioneer, who before the World War II became the MIT professor and dean, and who during the war served as the leader of the entire US scientific effort – supervising about 6000 chosen scientists, and making sure that we are a step ahead in terms of technology and weaponry, including <em>the</em> bomb. </p>
 +
<p>In 1945 this scientific strategist par excellence wrote a <em>scientific</em> strategy article, titled As We May Think, from which the above excerpt is taken. The war having been won, Bush warned, there still remains a strategically central issue, which the scientists need to focus on and resolve – our organization and sharing of knowledge. Bush's argument is for collective sense making. He observed that we must be able to in effect think together as a single mind does – which explains his title. </p>
 +
<p>Doug Engelbart heard him (he read Bush's article in 1947, in a Red Cross library erected on four pillars, while stationed as an army recruit in the Philippines) – and carried the project significantly further. Doug foresaw (already in 1951!) that the enabling technology would not be the microfilm (as Bush thought – microfilm too needs to be sent and broadcasted) but digital computers equipped with an interactive interface and linked together into a network.  And he created the technology that was still missing  (see Federation through Stories).</p>
 +
<p>Norbert Wiener also heard him. Wiener cited Bush in the already mentioned last chapter of his 1948 Cybernetics (see Federation through Stories). Wiener took this initiative further by developing cybernetics – which is a different and complementary direction than Doug. The message we need to receive from cybernetics is that we the people act through systems. And that it is the structure of those systems that determines whether our action will be effective – or self-destructive. And that proper communication in a system is necessary if the system should have control over its effects on its environment – and on itself just as well.</p>
  
<!--- KF DIALOG
+
<h3>A case for academic self-renewal</h3>
 +
<p><blockquote>
 +
[T]he university should make structural changes within itself toward a new purpose of enhancing the society’s capacity for continuous self-renewal.
 +
</blockquote>
 +
Erich Jantsch, who gave us this most timely advice a half-century ago, understood that it is the <em>evolution</em> of our systems that is the key to changing our condition. That the only system that <em>can</em> be capable of [[bootstrapping|<em>bootstrapping</em>]] this evolution is the academic system. And that to be able to do that, <em>the academic system itself needs to self-organize</em> as it might suit this new role. </p>
 +
<p>The academic system <em>is</em> indeed already in charge of our society's evolution, or <em>autopoiesis</em> or self-renewal. Through research, this system creates the new knowledge that <em>drives</em> the evolution of other systems. And through education, it recreates the world with every new generation of students. The only question is whether we in the academia are also <em>doing</em> this job.</p>
 +
<p>As we have seen, neither Doug Engelbart nor Erich Jantsch found a fertile ground for their ideas at a university. Also the core message of cybernetics, or the systems sciences, is yet to be heard. </p>
 +
<p>Vannevar Bush's most opportune strategic initiative is still waiting to be taken up.</p> 
 +
<p>So why don't we at the very least have an honest academic <em>conversation</em> about this all-important theme?</p>
 +
<p>What we would like to offer to this most conversation, what we'd like to put on the round table around which we are going to sit, is an academically solid case for academic self-renewal.</p>
 +
<p>A careful reading of the material we've presented here will reveal three distinct arguments and three <em>reasons</em> for this course of action – focusing on technology, epistemology and ecology.</p>
 +
<p>Here's a brief summary.</p>
  
 +
<h3>The technology argument</h3>
 +
<p>The printing press – which served as technological underpinning to Enlightenment – only automated the social process that was already in place, authoring and broadcasting of documents. The new media technology is, however, <em>qualitatively</em> different; it is properly speaking a collective nervous system.</p>
 +
<p>To see why the new technology enables us to make a quantum leap in our collective intelligence – <em>only if</em> we self-organize in an entirely new way (if we learn to function as cells in a nervous system do), imagine what would become of your own intelligence if your cells would be using your nervous system to only broadcast data to your brain and to each other. You may be thinking your thoughts and walking toward a wall. Suddenly, you find yourself <em>standing</em> a meter from a wall, with full awareness of this fact. This would not have happened if your eyes were trying to signal this fact to your brain by writing academic articles in some specialized domain of academic interest!</p>
 +
<p>And as we have seen – the new technology was <em>conceived</em> to enable the [[collective mind|<em>collective mind</em>]]  re-evolution, a half-century ago, by Doug Engelbart and his team.</p>
 +
<p>[[knowledge federation|<em>Knowledge federation</em>]] is <em>by definition</em> what a collective mind should be doing. Our technical [[prototypes|<em>prototypes</em>]] we developed – in education, public informing, scientific communication and other core areas – show how different our systems now need to be; and what an enormous difference this can make.</p> 
 +
 +
<h3>The epistemology argument</h3>
 +
<p>There is a reason why the traditional university is not so interested in technology. Our most valued academic preoccupation is "basic research" – whose goal is to "discover" the mechanisms and processes by which the nature operates.</p>
 +
<p>The epistemology argument is that the reasons for the traditional academic values – and mechanisms and processes – are historical. At the time when they developed, the esteemed goal of a philosopher was to distinguish truth from illusion, to find our how the things "really are" in reality. The solutions to this time honored challenge that the pioneers of science conceived were so vastly advantageous, that they quite naturally became the society's – and the university's – esteemed standard.</p>
 +
<p>We have seen (in Federation through Stories) that this approach was, however, too narrow for supporting core elements of human culture. An erosion in culture took place. And then the naked narrowness of this approach to social construction of truth and meaning emerged <em>as a hard fact</em> in modern physics, and in other sciences and in philosophy as well.</p>
 +
<p>We have seen in Federation through Images that modern science finds the whole "correspondence with reality" approach to truth and meaning unsound for two reasons: (1) it cannot be verified and (2) correspondence with reality tends to be a result of illusion. We have then seen how a foundation for social creation of truth and meaning can be developed which is triply sound and solid:
 +
<ul>
 +
<li>Because it is a written convention (and truth by convention cannot be disputed)</li>
 +
<li>Because its fundamental conventions are the state-of-the-art epistemological insights, written as conventions</li>
 +
<li>Because it is a [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] – and hence equipped with a mechanism for self-renewal, when new insights require that</p>
 +
</p>
 +
<p>We have seen how on this foundation a new [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] for knowledge work can be developed, which gives us the people exactly the kind of knowledge we need.</p>
 +
<p>We have seen that in this new [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] the work on the <em>design</em> of knowledge work principles, values, tools, mechanisms and processes rightly claims the status that the "basic research" now has. </p>
 +
 +
<h3>The ecology argument</h3>
 +
<p>We use this word, "ecology", to point to the fact that the power of human systems has grown so much that we can now impact, even irreversibly, the bio-physical and natural systems, and ultimately endanger the very systems that have so successfully supported the emergence and proliferation of life on our planet</p>
 +
<p>We also use this word to point to the human-systemic ecology we've created, which now drives our technological, societal and cultural evolution. </p>
 +
<p>We have seen in this module that the ecology we've been relying on – uninformed self-interest, mediated by "the survival of the fittest" – has from the beginning of civilization, and into the modern times, favored the most aggressive societal structures (such as the Macedonian Phalanx, and the modern corporation). It is those erosive [[power structures|<em>power structures</em>]] that now coerce us to not only destroy our environment, but to even remain oblivious of that very fact.</p>
 +
<p>We have seen that the [[guided evolution of society|<em>guided evolution of society</em>]] has been pointed to as <em>the</em> natural remedy; and as the next large stage of our evolution. We have seen that the guided evolution of society crucially depends on an "evolutionary guidance system" or in a word, on suitable <em>knowledge</em>. </p>
 +
 +
<h3>Homo ludens academicus</h3>
 +
<p>This brings us to <em>the</em> key issue of this conversation – the <em>academic</em> ecology.</p>
 +
<p>are our present academic value system, and the system of academic remuneration and promotion, still suitable for supporting this re-evolutionary new role of the university – whose urgency and importance is so rapidly growing? Will the university be able to give our society the knowledge it needs? Will it enable its self-renewal?</p>
 +
<p>We can answer this question in two very different ways. We can be "objective observers" of our system and its evolution. Or we can take a proactive stance toward this evolution.</p> 
 +
<p>If we now tell you that the present-day academic ecology (the so-called "publish or perish", which so flagrantly favors routinized hyper-production in traditional academic fields) does not give us the ecology we need, that it favors a certain cultural sub-species at the detriment of others, we will not be saying anything that you don't already know. We propose to call this presently "fittest" cultural sub-species the <em>homo ludens academicus</em>.</p>
 +
<p>You will also have no difficulty seeing why the <em>homo ludens academicus</em> is an evolutionary miscarriage. And why his cultural subspecies should not even exist. Isn't it the very <em>purpose</em> of the academic system to keep us the <em>homo sapiens</em> track?</p>
 +
 +
<h3>Reviving the academic spirit</h3>
 +
<p>Galilei, and Giordano Bruno and Copernicus, are of course exemplary figures. But if we should go back to the original academic spirit, we must go further back in time than that – all the way to Plato; and to Socrates, his teacher.</p>
 +
<p>It was Plato, as you'll easily recall, that <em>created</em> the Academy from which the modern academic tradition evolved. And it was his teacher, Socrates, to whom Plato gave the credit for creating the very spirit on which the Academy was founded.</p>
 +
<p>And Socrates was, by today's standards, a strange kind of academic indeed. HIs publication record, as you might recall, was all but impressive . His work was to engage people in – dialogs!</p>
 +
<p>His goal was to help his fellow citizens see that what they saw as reality was largely an illusion, which gave them illusion of power. </p>
 +
<p>Socrates was sentenced to death for impiety, and for corrupting the Athenian youth. But his spirit lived on. And it led to Plato's academy, but to its rebirth in the Renaissance, and ultimately to the modern-day university. </p>
 +
<p>Can we once again revive some of that original spirit, in <em>this</em> age?</p>
 +
 +
<h3>Occupy your university</h3>
 +
<p>"The future will either be an inspired product of a great cultural revival, or there will be no future", wrote Aurelio Peccei. </p>
 +
<p>Not long ago, when it became obvious how intolerably wasteful and unjust our global monetary system was, people found themselves called to occupy Wall Street. Certainly we must leave our spectator position, we must learn to react and act. The question is – What strategy may be most promising?  Where – in what system – can the re-evolutionary change of our society most naturally begin?</p>
 +
<p>When we begin to look into this question, we realize at once why the Wall Street may not be the answer. Those bankers wouldn't really know how to change their system – <em>even if they wanted to</em>! They too are just doing what they are paid for – making the rich richer. Isn't the growing income inequality an eloquent sign that they are doing their job expertly? And hasn't the banking elite acquired their expertise at our elite universities?</p>
 +
<p>Judging from what's just been told, occupying your local university would appears to be a more promising choice.</p>
 +
<p>And if you already <em>are</em> at a university – then there's nothing left to occupy!</p>
 +
<p>All that remains is doing what <em>we</em> are paid for – being <em>creative</em>. And yes, perhaps also being creative <em>in new ways</em>, when the circumstances require that.</p>
 +
</div> </div>
 +
----
 
<div class="row">
 
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-3"><h2>Knowledge federation dialogs</h2></div>
+
<div class="col-md-3"><h2>The next step</h2></div>
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Conversation about the prototype</h3>
+
<div class="col-md-7"><h3>It's important to start right</h3>  
<p>Prototype becomes complete when there's a feedback loop that updates it continuously. And when it lives in the community, acting upon how we think and what we do. This conversation will serve both ends.</p>
+
<p>As Lao Tzu already observed, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is all-important, however, to take that one step in a good direction.</p>
<p>The prototype, as we have seen, was carefully designed to serve as a paradigm proposal, and as a proof of concept. We motivated our proposal by pointing to three sweeping changes and trends, and to the need to adapt what we do with knowledge to those trends. We then showed how substantial, qualitative, quantum-leap improvements can be achieved within the order of things or paradigm modeled by [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]]:
+
<p>It might surprise you now to hear that we see consider this first step to be an <em>inward</em> or ethical one, rather than a surge of action. And yet from what's been told you might have discerned that an <em>embodied</em> ethical stance will have to be the very root from which the contemporary cultural revival can grow. </p>
<ul>
+
<p>As long as we remain competitive role players in a competitive world, our hands are soiled and we are bound to soil everything we touch.</p>  
<li>Regarding the foundations for truth and meaning: We saw how in the new paradigm a foundation can be created that is <em>triply</em> solid: (1) it is a convention – and a convention is true by definition (2) it reflects the epistemological state of the art in science and philosophy; (3) it is a prototype – hence ready to be changed when new insights are reached</li>
+
<p>If you've realized this, than you can also understand how <em>we</em> intend to handle this situation. We want to above all keep our intentions clear. And we want to leave a clean space for you to step in.</p>
<li>Regarding the pragmatic side, making knowledge responsive to new needs of people and society: The prototype has that as an explicit goal. The improvements that are possible within it cannot be overstated – and we pointed to them by using various framings such as "the largest contribution to human knowledge", as what we <em>must</em> do to make our civilization sustainable, and as "evolutionary guidance", necessary for meaningfully continuing our cultural and social evolution.</li>
+
<p>This is a very delicate path for us to walk. We'll surely make many mistakes. But we see no other way to go; and there's no turning back.</p>
<li>Regarding the IT side – we have seen that this technology offers a whole new <em>principle</em> of communication and hence a new principle of operation to our knowledge work and our institutions. We have seen that this technology was <em>created</em> with that very purpose in mind, with Douglas Engelbart and his lab, and demonstrated in 1968. We have seen that (was it because it did not fit into the prevailing paradigm?) their proposal was not yet even <em>heard</em>.</li>
+
<p>Being "nice" and accommodating each other's whims and foibles, and by extension the existing [[power structures|<em>power structure</em>]], is obviously not a good direction. But neither is starting a turf strife – which can only create more of the dynamic that got us into trouble.</p> </div>
</ul>
+
</div>
</p>
+
<div class="row">
<p>Thomas Kuhn's view of new paradigms points to "anomalies" and to new possibilities for creative work as distinguishing characteristics. And so, by telling stories or [[vignettes|<em>vignettes</em>]], we could point to large anomalies that were reported a half-century ago by Werner Heisenberg, Vannevar Bush, Norbert Wiener, Douglas Engelbart, Erich Jantsch and very many other [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] without meeting the kind of response that might reasonably be expected. On the side of the new achievements, we showed a large collection of [[prototypes|<em>prototypes</em>]], each pointing to creative challenges and opportunities, and vast possibilities for improvement and achievement,  in their specific areas.</p>
+
<div class="col-md-3"></div>
<p>Is there room for this new academic species at the university? What action should follow?</p>
+
<div class="col-md-6">
<h3>Conversation about transdisciplinarity</h3>
+
<h3><em>We</em> will not change the world</h3>  
<p>Knowledge federation defines itself as a [[transdiscipline|<em>transdiscipline</em>]]. Norbert Wiener began his 1948 Cybernetics by describing a pre-war transdisciplinary group of scientists in the MIT and Harvard, discussing the issues of the method. Cybernetics emerged, from Mas as a common language and methodology through which the sciences can share their results across their disciplinary dialects. Mathematica biologist / philosopher Ludwig von Bertalanffy developed the general system theory for a similar purpose. In 1954, at Stanford University,  von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, James G. Miller and Anatol Rapoport initiated what later became the International Society for the Systems Sciences. What we've added to these most worthwhile efforts is "the dot on the i", the capacity to turn this into something we the people can understand and be guided by.</p>
+
<p>"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has", wrote [[Margaret Mead]]. (We mention in passing that as <em>the</em> first woman leader of the systems community, Margaret Mead championed the strategy that this community should apply systemic thinking <em>to its own system</em>!) You will find evidence of our thoughtfulness and commitment on these pages.</p>
<p>All these efforts to melt the disciplinary silos and make knowledge freely flowing and accessible to all were by their nature transdisciplinary, of course. Was <em>that</em> reason why they never really met with the kind of response, at our universities, that would give them universal visibility and impact? Similarly, as we have seen, Douglas Engelbart and Erich Jantsch – whom we credit as "founding fathers" of [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] and [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]] respectively – found no response at major universities for their ideas. Engelbart liked to tell the story how he left U.C. Berkeley where he worked for a while after completing his doctorate, when a colleague told him "if you don't stop dreaming, and don't start publishing peer-reviewed articles, you will remain an adjunct assistant professor forever." </p>
+
<p>And yet it is clear to us, and it should be clear to you too, that we <em>cannot</em> change the world. The world is not only us it is <em>all of us</em> together! </p>
<p>"The individual players are compelled by their own cupidity to form coalitions", Wiener observed in Cybernetics, commenting on the kind of social dynamics that develop in a competitive environment, that was diagnosed by von Neumann's results in game theory. Is the academic discipline such a coalition? Can we evolve the university in a collaborative way, and make it more humane and more useful to our society?</p>
+
<p>So if the world will change, that will be a result of <em>your</em> doing; of <em>your</em> thoughtfulness and commitment!</p>
<p>Let's begin by acknowledging that this theme could not be more interesting and relevant than it is. To say this more technically, what we are talking about is arguably <em>the</em> "systemic leverage point" with highest potential impact. Every society has a number of especially creative individuals, who are capable of doing what may seem impossible. The question now is about the ecology by which creative people are empowered to contribute to the core issues of our time – or not.</p>
+
<p>We've all been socialized to think and act <em>within</em> our systems.  Deviating from this feels unnatural; it <em>hurts</em> – and yet that is the re-evolutionary next step that those of us who are able simply <em>have to</em> take!</p>  
<p>In the conventional order of things, when strengthening the university's usefulness and responsibility or responsiveness to the society is on the agenda, there are essentially two strong voices that are heard: (1) Tighten the funding and the publish or perish, and force the researchers to prove themselves (or rove the value of their work) on the academic market; let them "publish or perish";  (2) Tighten the funding and make the academic researchers prove themselves on the real-world market; let them survive if they can secure their own funding. We however champion a third possibility – where creative human beings are given the freedom to pursue socially relevant causes. The university that is marked by dialog and collaboration, not strife and competition. While our initiative was largely self-funded (by the enthusiasm and savings of our inspired members), it must also be said that it would have been impossible without at least some of us being on tenured academic positions and in places such as Japan and Norway where the academic freedom is still valued and carefully protected. We would like to submit to this conversation that <em>more freedom</em> not less is what our general conditions are calling from. The academic "publish or perish" is so obviously "Industrial-age" that we really don't need to say more about that. On the other hand, the university can now take the leadership in the transformation of our society to the extent that it is capable of first of all transforming its own culture and values. It is noteworthy that some of the [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] that initiated [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] and [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]] did not find support for their work at the leading universities. Can we do better now?</p>
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<p>All the rest will be just fun; just creative play! </p> </div>
<h3>Conversation about knowledge federation / systemic innovation</h3>
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<div class="col-md-3 round-images"> [[File:Mead.jpg]] <br><small><center>[[Margaret Mead]]</center></small></div>
<p>There are several themes and questions here. Can we give the university the capability of evolving its own system? Can we direct innovation, or creative work, in a systemic way, and help direct our society's evolution? </p>
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</div>
<p>Another pivotal issue – how do we use the 'muscles' of our technology? In what direction is our capability to create and induce change taking us the people, and our civilization? Can we refine our steering of this centrally important activity?</p>
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<div class="row">
<p>Essentially this is what Erich Jantsch tried to do. And what Wiener started. And what Engelbart struggled with. The issue is – shall we let uninformed selfishness and competition, streamlined by "the market" or "the survival of the fittest", guide the way we steer and build our systems? And how we use our capability to create? Or do we need freedom, responsibility, information, and knowledge? And if this latter is the case (which we should be able to show beyond reasonable doubt – but leave it open to conversations which will build something even more important – our capability to talk through this important matter) – then what should this information be like? Who will do [[systemic innovation|<em>systemic innovation</em>]]? In what way? Jantsch's proposal is of course a starting point. Our various [[prototypes|<em>prototypes</em>]] are another. There is infrastructure being built up at the ISSS and the ITBA. Can we build on those?</p>
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<div class="col-md-3"></div>
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<div class="col-md-7"><h3>Knowledge federation is not <em>our</em> project</h3>
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<p>See if you can see [[knowledge federation|<em>knowledge federation</em>]] as <em>your</em> project, not ours. </p>  
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<p>From this point  on we'll be implementing our [[back seat policy|<em>back seat policy</em>]] – holding onto an advisory role, and offering help to people and groups worldwide who'll want to take this initiative further. We'll do that because <em>it is that very act</em>, of taking initiative, and only to a lesser degree its results, that brings the new [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]] into being.</p>
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<p>Collaboration is to the emerging paradigm as competition is to the old one. In Norway (this website is hosted at the University of Oslo) there is a word – <em>dugnad</em> – for the kind of collaboration that brings together the people in a neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon, to gather fallen leaves and branches and do small repairs in the commons, and then share a meal together. </p>  
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<p>It is the <em>dugnad</em> spirit that now needs to replace competitive career game play.</p>  
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<p>If there is any leadership you may expect from us, its extent is the creation this creative space and this invitation. If there is anything we expect from you, it is to be completely free to take the lead. We've passed you the ball, and it's now in your hands. </p>  
 +
<p>Surprise us with a creative move of your own. And if you'll want us to play along, invite us to a <em>dugnad</em>!</p>  
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<p>If our commitments allow and your idea feels resonant, rest assured that we won't be able to refuse.</p>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
  
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<!-- CLIPPINGS
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#c1
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</p>
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YYYYY
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<p>In keeping with our general approach, we're about to face this challenge by
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<ul>
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<li>building on core insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] </li>
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<li>engaging everyone, our "collective intelligence", to weave them together and develop them further</li>
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<li>evolving a way of speaking, and a "public sphere", capable of condensing any diversity of insights to a single point, and of using that point to orient – and begin – action</li>
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</ul>
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You may think of the [[prototypes|<em>prototype</em>]] we are about to put together as a roadmap for giuided evolution of society. We'll only be covering an area on this roadmap, the one we haven't covered in our other three modules. We'll be weaving together core insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]] in the humanities, to illuminate the very nature, and the course, of our cultural and social-systemic evolution. The insight we are aiming at will answer the key question: Can we rely on "the invisible hand" or "the free competition" to guide us still further?</p>
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<p>Or do we need to change the very nature of our evolving, and create and use suitable information as the guiding light?</p> 
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<h3>The paradigm strategy</h3>
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<p>We wrote the following in our abstract to the academic conference where this roadmap, which we called "The Paradigm Strategy poster",  was initially shared:
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<blockquote>
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The motivation is to allow for the kind of difference that is suggested by the comparison of everyone carrying buckets of water from their own basements, with everyone teaming up and building a dam to regulate the flow of the river that is causing the flooding. We offer what we are calling the paradigm strategy as a way to make a similar difference in impact, with respect to the common efforts focusing on specific problems or issues. The Paradigm Strategy is to focus our efforts on instigating a sweeping and fundamental cultural and social paradigm change – instead of trying to solve problems, or discuss, understand and resolve issues.
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</blockquote></p>
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<h3>The Paradigm Strategy poster</h3>
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#C2
  
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<p>The idea is to engage everyone's collective intelligence toward developing an overarching key insight, but not only. We shall put on our map the insights of [[giants|<em>giants</em>]], so that our conversation may elevate us "on their shoulders" and help us see further. </p>
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#C3
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<p>Close to the dividing line, on the new paradigm side, you see "bootstrapping". [[bootstrapping|<em>Bootstrapping</em>]] is shown as that singular act by which we become part of the emerging [[paradigm|<em>paradigm</em>]], of the [[guided evolution of society|<em>guided evolution of society</em>]].</p>
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#C4
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...

Latest revision as of 01:01, 23 December 2018

The paradigm strategy

Putting our proposal to test

So far we have given a fairly complete overview of an emerging approach to knowledge. What remains is to test it by applying it to a real-life theme.

We could talk about anything

What theme do you find most interesting? Education? Or democracy? Or what to do about the large contemporary issues? We can focus on any theme you choose. And yet our conversation is bound to be different from any you've had.

The difference is made by the overarching principle that defines our initiative – where education, democracy, religion, health and everything else are seen as inter-related pieces in a larger system or hierarchy of systems. Where those systems are perceived as gigantic mechanism, which determine how we live and work, and what the effects of our lives and work are going to be. Where the reconfiguration of those systems, to suit humanity's new condition, is seen as humanity's next evolutionary step. And where the new information technology is conceived of as our society's new 'nervous system', which enables and also demands that our systems, and people, should communicate and collaborate in an entirely new way.

Let us focus on the key point

There is, however, a single theme, which – in this systemic approach to knowledge, and to institutions and issues – must be given priority.

Neil Postman gave us this hint:

The problem now is not to get information to people, but how to get some meaning of what's happening.(...) Even the great story of inductive science has lost a good deal of its meaning, because it does not address several questions that all great narratives must address: Where we come from; what's going to happen to us; where we are going, that is; and what we're supposed to do when we are here. Science couldn't answer that; and technology doesn't.

And Aurelio Peccei gave us this other one:

It is absolutely necessary to find a way to change course.

What is the nature of our condition? Where are we coming from? Where are we headed?

Do we really need to change course?

We've chosen to put to test knowledge federation, and to set the stage for our dialogs, by shedding some light on these questions.

Large change made easy

Donella Meadows talked about systemic leverage points as those places within a complex system "where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything". She identified "the mindset or paradigm out of which the goals, rules, feedback structure arise" as the most impactful kind of systemic leverage point. She identified specifically working with the "power to transcend paradigms" – i.e. with the assumptions and ways of being out of which paradigms emerge – as the most impactful way to intervene into systems.

We are about to propose – as an overarching theme for our various conversations – to approach our contemporary condition in this most powerful way.


These conversations are dialogs

Designing the social life of ideas

Notice this subtlety: A novelty in this approach to knowledge is that it cannot and doesn't want to tell how the things "really are in reality". Its purpose is to allow for free creation of a multiplicity of ways of looking at any single theme – and to let the resulting insights act upon each other.

Communication in this new approach to knowledge is not and cannot be one-way.

By designing and evolving these conversations, we will be developing a new form of social life, where people and ideas interact and improve one another.

We are not just talking

Don't be deceived by this word, "conversations". These conversations are where the real action begins.

By organizing these dialogs, we want to develop a way to bring the themes that matter into the focus of the public eye. We want to bring the insights of giants to bear upon our understanding and handling of those themes. And we want to engage us all to collaborate on combining those insights with everyone else's, and evolving them further.

The purpose of these conversations is to create a public discourse that works; which makes us collectively creative, knowledgeable and intelligent. We want to evolve in practice, with the help of new media and real-life, artistic situation design, a public sphere in which the themes, the events and the sensations are stepping stones in our advancement toward a new cultural and social order.

The medium we'll develop will truly be our message!

Changing the world by changing the way we communicate

There is a way of listening and speaking that fits our purpose quite snugly. Physicist David Bohm called it the dialogue. We build further on his ideas and on ideas of others, we weave them together into another keyword we use, the dialog.

Bohm considered the dialogue to be necessary for resolving our contemporary challenges. Here is how he described it.

I give a meaning to the word 'dialogue' that is somewhat different from what is commonly used. The derivations of words often help to suggest a deeper meaning. 'Dialogue' comes from the Greek word dialogos. Logos means 'the word' or in our case we would think of the 'meaning of the word'. And dia means 'through' - it doesn't mean two. A dialogue can be among any number of people, not just two. Even one person can have a sense of dialogue within himself, if the spirit of the dialogue is present. The picture of image that this derivation suggests is of a stream of meaning flowing among and through us and between us. This will make possible a flow of meaning in the whole group, out of which will emerge some new understanding. It's something new, which may not have been in the starting point at all. It's something creative. And this shared meaning is the 'glue' or 'cement' that holds people and societies together.

Contrast this with the word 'discussion', which has the same root as 'percussion' an 'concussion'. It really means to break things up. It emphasises the idea of analysis, where there may be many points of view. Discussion is almost like a Ping-Pong game, where people are batting the ideas back and forth and the object of the game is to win or to get points for yourself. Possibly you will take up somebody else's ideas to back up your own - you may agree with some and disagree with others- but the basic point is to win the game. That's very frequently the case in a discussion.

In a dialogue, however, nobody is trying to win. Everybody wins if anybody wins. There is a different sort of spirit to it. In a dialogue, there is no attempt to gain points, or to make your particular view prevail. Rather, whenever any mistake is discovered on the part of anybody, everybody gains. It's a situation called win-win, in which we are not playing a game against each other but with each other. In a dialogue, everybody wins.

Real reality shows

Two people could be talking over a coffee table. If they turn on a smartphone and record, their conversation can already become part of the global one.

What we, however, primarily have in mind are public dialogs, which begin in physical space and continue online.

We have a hunch that such dialogs could become true sensations!

What could be more real, and more engaging, than watching a new Renaissance emerge? Hearing its pulse, feeling its birth pains...

Already our resistance to this emergence, our blind spots, our reluctance to make a step – are downright sensational!


The Paradigm Strategy poster

A roadmap for guided evolution of society

We have developed the Paradigm Strategy poster as an evolving roadmap to the key point. As we suggested above, the key point is an overarching and collectively created and shared insight or gestalt, which clarifies the nature of a situation, and shows how to handle it. The key point of this poster, and of our conversations, is envisioned as a wormhole into a new social and cultural reality. The poster turns our conversations into a practical way to change course.

PSwithFredrik.jpeg

Fredrik Eive Refsli, the leader of our communication design team, jubilates the completion of The Paradigm Strategy poster.

We recommend that you look at the poster as we speak.

You may imagine the left-hand side of the poster, which has the yellow background, as a roadmap for a collective ascent to a mountain top, from which the key point – which is in the middle of the poster – can be clearly seen. Four ways to reach the top are offered. You will recognize that they are threads – each joining three vignettes together.

The right-hand side of the poster, which has white background, shows how to follow the direction the key point is pointing to.

The poster as it is now is a starting point for our dialogs. The dialogs will be federated, with the help of suitable technology such as the Debategraph. The map will be updated as necessary, and the overall result will be used as a starting point for the next dialog, which will develop it further.

The key point offered is in essence what we've presented on the front page, with the help of the bus with candle headlights or the Modernity ideogram. The idea is to challenge the paradigm, the way of functioning and evolving culturally and socially, where unwavering faith in "free competition" and "the invisible hand" has precluded the use of knowledge. Can we once again empower knowledge to guide us? Can knowledge once again make a difference?

An invitation to bootstrap

The poster is conceived as an invitation to begin to bootstrap – and in that way join the emerging paradigm as an aware and active participant.

The poster is interactive; the QR codes will open up files with further information (they are hyperlinks, so that also the digital version of the poster is interactive). The "bootstrapping" thread leads to the QR code and file with an interactive online version of the poster – where it will be possible to post comments, and in that way be part of the online dialog, through which the presented ideas, and the poster itself, will be developed further.


Wiener's paradox

No communication – no control

Let's begin with the first thread, in the upper left corner.

Its focus is on the steering system of "spaceship Earth" (as Fuller called our metaphorical bus) – an issue of some interest, if we should consider "changing course".

The first giant in this thread is Norbert Wiener. Wiener studied mathematics, zoology and philosophy, and got his doctorate from Harvard in mathematical logic when he was only 17! He went on to do seminal work in several fields, including cybernetics – the science of steering.

The following excerpt is from Wiener's 1948 book Cybernetics, "control and communication in the animal and the machine".

There is a belief, current in many countries, which has been elevated to the rank of an official article of faith in the United States, that free competition is itself a homeostatic process: that in a free market the individual selfishness of the bargainers, each aiming to sell as high and buy as low as possible, will result in the end in (...) the greatest common good. This is associated with the very comforting view that the individual entrepreneur, in seeking to forward his own interest, is in some manner a public benefactor, and has thus earned the great rewards with which society has showered him. Unfortunately, the evidence, such as it is, is against this simple-minded theory.

Translate "homeostatic process" as "steering", and you got the point.

Or one half of Wiener's point, to be exact.

The other half has to do with the fact that control depends on communication. The second half of Wiener's point is that our communication is broken. How else could we believe in that "simple-minded theory" (Wiener argues), considering what von Neumann and Morgenstern found by studying game theory (which they co-founded)? (Von Neumann and Morgenstern too were giants; among Von Neumann's seminal achievements is the design of the digital computer architecture that is still in use.)

Wiener makes his point by summarizing their insights, and explaining how they are confirmed by everyday experience.

Evolution is the key

We've talked about how Erich Jantsch continued this thread in Federation through Stories. We'll here only highlight two points, which are two stages in the development of Jantsch's own ideas: (1) "The task is nothing less than to build a new society and new institutions for it. With technology having become the most powerful change agent in our society, decisive battles will be won or lost by the measure of how seriously we take the challenge of restructuring the “joint systems” of society and technology." (2) The most powerful interventions into a system are the ones that affect how the system evolves. The key is to understand how the way we ourselves are present in the system (our values, principles and actions) influences the system's evolution.

The invisible hand wins the dispute

Let us fast-forward to Ronald Reagan and to this thread's conclusion.

In 1980, the year when Erich Jantsch passed away, Reagan won the U.S. presidential elections by running on the invisible hand agenda.

In our present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,
Reagan claimed. Which of course meant that "the individual selfishness" combined with the free competition is not only the only steering that spaceship Earth needs – but also the only one we can trust.

Theres's no need for censorship

How did Reagan reach this conclusion? In what way did he win this battle of opinions?

Notice that Reagan had no technical expertise to argue with giants. His expertise was as a media artist; he was trained literally as a role player.

But Reagan didn't really need to argue with giants. He could just simply – ignore them! Reagan, and the American public, ignored not only the giants, but also thousands of articles of other researchers in cybernetics and in game theory, who followed in the footsteps of giants.

We are back to Galilei in house arrest.

Four centuries later, there is no need for Inquisition trials; or for house arrest. There is no need even for censorship! In the society where powerful media are used to only broadcast messages, it's the campaign dollars and the air time they buy that decide what the people will believe.

And what direction the "spaceship Earth" will take!

Take a look this video snippet where Reagan says, in a seductive tone,

we believe then, and now, there are no limits to growth, and human progress, when men and women are free to follow their dreams

to get an idea how also the effects of The Club of Rome's "The Limits to Growth" study could have been annihilated.

And how our political discourse became as it is.

Wiener's paradox pattern

Already this single thread is sufficient to see the Wiener's paradox. We use this pattern to point to situations where academic research has no effect on public opinion and policy. And to the systemic causes of this phnenomenon.

To see what the Wiener's paradox means in practice, imagine us academic researchers speaking to the political leaders and the public through a telephone line. But the line has been cut! And there is anyhow nobody on the other end listening.

Like good Christians, we turn the other cheek. We just publish more. And as we do, the insights of giants become dimmer. We ourselves may no longer remember them.

Wiener did not formulate the paradox. He just created it (he created an instance of it) – by first pointing out that the communication line was broken; and then committing to it his own insights.

The academic community to whose inception he contributed followed him.

As long as a paradox is treated as a problem, it can never be dissolved

warned David Bohm.

How pervasive is this paradox?

When we do research to understand some real-world problem – are we in a real sense contributing to its solution?

Or are we only re-instantiating the paradox?

Reflection

It's time to connect dots

What are the scientists to do next?

There is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers — conclusions which he cannot find time to grasp, much less to remember, as they appear. Yet specialization becomes increasingly necessary for progress, and the effort to bridge between disciplines is correspondingly superficial. Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their purpose.

Vannevar Bush was an early computing machinery pioneer, who before the World War II became the MIT professor and dean, and who during the war served as the leader of the entire US scientific effort – supervising about 6000 chosen scientists, and making sure that we are a step ahead in technology and weaponry, and the bomb.

In 1945 this scientific strategist par excellence wrote a scientific strategy article, titled As We May Think, from which the above excerpt is taken. The war having been won, Bush warned, there still remains a strategically central issue, which the scientists need to focus on and resolve – our organization and sharing of knowledge. Bush's argument was for collective sense making. He urged the scientists to develop suitable technology and processes that would enable us to think together, as a single mind thinks. (Our threads are inspired by Bush's technical idea called "trails".)

Norbert Wiener heard him. He cited Bush in 1948 Cybernetics, as part of his argument that our communication is broken. And of his warning that we were about to lose control. Wiener was making a case for cybernetics as the discipline that would inform the repair work.

Doug Engelbart also heard him. He read Bush's article in 1947, in a Red Cross library erected on four pillars, while stationed as an army recruit in the Philippines. He too carried Bush's project further, by providing the required technology. Doug foresaw (already in 1951!) that the enabling technology would not be the microfilm as Bush thought (microfilm too needs to be sent and broadcasted), but digital computers equipped with interactive interfaces and linked into a network. He physically created this "super new nervous system" for us, and showed it in his 1968 demo (see Federation through Stories).

Systemic Innovation

What should be the next step in this process?

You'll notice that the first design pattern on the right-hand side of the poster is systemic innovation.

If we should give the systemic insights the impact they need to have, and if we should use the information technology as it was meant to be used – we must now learn how to weave them together and apply them in real-life system design; or evolution.


Understanding evolution

Illuminating the way

But what if Reagan was right? Perhaps "the invisible hand" is our best guide?

What can Darwin's theory tell us about social evolution? How well has the "survival of the fittest" served us so far?

What do we really know about this theme?

These questions are addressed by the second thread on the poster.

What we may learn from Darwin

From the studies of evolution we'll adopt an insight that Richard Dawkins explained in "The Selfish Gene" – which led to the development of "memetics" as a research field applying the theory of evolution to society and culture. The idea is to understand evolution as favoring the fittest gene – or meme or 'cultural gene', when the social and not the natural world is our interest. Whether we may want it or not, evolution by the survival of the fittest will blindly make the fittest memes proliferate.

What made us fittest

Noam Chomsky, the MIT linguist, begins the second thread. When asked what in his opinion was a high-social-impact insight that the research in linguistics was about to produce, Chomsky pointed to a (still unorthodox, he qualified) conclusion that our language is not a means of communication but of worldview sharing. (Here's an improvised explanation: A bird may see a hawk and go "tweet, tweet, tweet", and other birds will go "tweet, tweet, tweet", and soon enough all of them will be either tweeting or out of sight. But that's not how human communication works!)

This may seem like an evolutionary error. But Yuval Noah Harari is there to explain why it's not – why this singularly human ability, to create a story and make it a shared reality, made us the dominant species on earth. Put a gorilla and a human being on a deserted island, Harari explains, and guess who's more likely to survive? But if you put ten thousand gorillas on a football stadium, you'll get complete chaos! It is our shared story that organizes or gamifies our behavior!

Harari pointed to money as a prime example of such a story. Give a gorilla a banana – he'll gladly take it. Ask him to trade it for a dollar – he'll most surely refuse. The reason why a printed piece of paper has more value to us humans is that we jointly believe it does.

What price we've paid

How has the money, as our shared story par excellence, been directing our societal and cultural evolution? What sort of social organization, what kind of behavior did it favor?

In the third vignette of this thread, David Graeber, the anthropologist, will point to an answer. The story is adapted from Graeber's book "Debt; the first 5000 years". We here use it as a parable.

Imagine that you are living 23 centuries ago, that you are an exceptionally gifted young king, and that you've received the best education available in your time. Your ambition is no less than to rule the world.

You know that with an army of 100 000 men you have a good chance to succeed. But there's a logistical challenge: To feed and clothe an army of that size, you'll need an army of 100 000 supply workers.

So you think of a solution: You'll print coins and give them to your soldiers as salary; and you'll request of everyone else to pay you those coins as taxes. In no time everyone will get busy taking care of your soldiers, and supply workers won't even be needed!

Your business model, as we might call it today, is now almost complete; but you've still got one problem to solve.

Alexander the Great – the historical king we've asked you to impersonate – needed half a tone of silver a day to maintain an army that could satisfy his ambition! How could anyone secure such massive amounts of precious metals?

Alexander had, it turned out, two options at his disposal. And he used them both.

One of them was to raid foreign countries, turn free people into slaves, and have them mine silver and gold.

The other one was to raid foreign monasteries and palaces, and turn sacred and artistic objects of silver and gold into coins.

Your business model is now complete. You might object that it's a kind of a Ponzi scheme; but as you know from history, for awhile it was quite "successful".

Our theme here, however, is the cultural and human consequences of this way of evolving. Who is, really, the winner in this evolutionary game?

We let you draw your own conclusions.

Reflection

The corporation

As the University of British Columbia law professor, Joel Bakan had an insight that, he felt, just had to be federated. It took him seven years. The result was not only a popular book, but also an award-winning documentary. Both are called The Corporation. You may watch the film by clicking here.

Bakan showed how through a legal-political evolutionary process, the corporation acquired the legal status of a person; and became the most powerful institution on the planet. Most of us are working for corporations, directly or indirectly. The corporations organize us into super-organisms, which turn our daily work into real-world impact. Who are we really working for? What sort of character does this 'person' have? Bakan goes through a checklist and shows that the corporation exhibits all the characteristics that define the psychopath.

Connect Bakan's insight with the following Zygmunt Bauman's observation:

Modernity did not make people more cruel; it only invented a way in which cruel things could be done by non-cruel people. Under the sign of modernity, evil does not need any more evil people. Rational people, men and women well riveted into the impersonal, adiaphorized network of modern organization, will do perfectly.

If you may not have the time to watch the whole film, have a look at these two minutes. Bakan shows the footage of a shark, while the commentator explains that a corporation is "a perfect externalizing machine" in the same way in which a shark is "a perfect killing machine". (The corporation maximizes its profit by externalizing its costs of operation – by passing them onto the public and the environment.)

Do you see where our chosen evolutionary stream is carrying us?

Do you think we'll become "sustainable" by letting it carry us ever further?

We must change course

This way of evolving was arguably the only one possible, while our tribes were competing for survival with harsh nature and one other.

Now that our global tribe is about to destroy its life-support system, this way of evolving has become simply impossible!

We wrote the following in the abstract by which the paradigm strategy was announced:

The motivation is to allow for the kind of difference that is suggested by the comparison of people carrying buckets of water from their own flooded basements, with everyone teaming up and building a dam to regulate the flow of the river that is causing the flooding.

Knowledge Federation

Bela Banathy wrote:

[E]ven if people fully develop their potential, they cannot give direction to their lives, they cannot forge their destiny, they cannot take charge of their future—unless they also develop the competence to take part directly and authentically in the design of the systems in which they live and work, and reclaim their right to do so. This is what true empowerment is about.

The first prototype on the right-hand side is the Knowledge Federation transdiscipline.

When after our first year of self-organization toward the transdiscipline we came to the Silicon Valley to break the news (at the workshop we organized within the Triple Helix IX international conference at Stanford University, in July 2011), we began by telling a springboard story called Knowledge work has a flat tire. Our point was that knowledge work has a structural defect; and that this structural defect must be taken care of before we can reasonably continue to speed ahead (by producing, and broadcasting more).

We then introduced Knowledge Federation as (a prototype of) a new kind of institution, roughly similar to a tailor workshop, where alterations to professions or institutions or systems can be made to better suit the people who work in them, and our society.

To be continued...