reply to post by SkepticOverlord
While I agree with you on some accounts, I want to look at how a society might adapt over time, and some serious dangers over the next year. Given the
moment were in, my view of what is happening may be a bit different, at least odd. There is a consistent thread that runs through most historical
civilizations. There is a sense that "some" ill defined, mercurial stability in society is breaking down. Once predictable, well ordered events and
people are not as predictable. Institutions and individuals can not be counted on. Even the weather is getting worse. This is one of the most
consistent cultural historical threads. In the west we have the legend of Atlantis, and other Earthly paradise's from our distant past. Why are they
so appealing? We like to think at least once we achieved high technology, a cultured society, with liberty and justice for all, or something like
that. If we did it once we can do it again. And to tell you the truth I think there is a high likelihood there were some ancient civilizations that
did more then we know, or even something we can't do as well today. Levitate pyramid blocks? Well, I really doubt it. But there may have been some
cultures once that was able to develop and enhance-focus the mind. It interests me because we KNOW SO LITTLE about so much of the past. We use
technology to enhance our strength and computers our brain power. But I believe if we can imagine it, we can do it. In time we'll have telepathic
ability, not in the distant future, but thanks of course to machines. It might freak us out like radio first did, but we'll get over it... Technology
has a tendency to work our magic, but its often expensive, and noisy.
I look at societies as basically three types. The simplest is the most adaptable to changes in a small family group or tribe, and good adaptability to
the environment and has what I call a high adaptive dynamic. I think the only "job description" would have applied to the group, not one person.
They had to eat, protect themselves, care for the children, try not to freeze, and avoid other groups who may not like them. I think anyone with an
idea could take the floor. Assuming no one was an individual (ridiculous of course), this could be the purist form of socialism. This society is the
least "institutionalized", and the least phased when s*** happens. Whats most important is a high dynamic also means greater creativity in the
mind. You don't have a written language, when you start to "do cave art". I think they would start with pictographs. Bison means food, hand trace
means me, rat means Fred (some anthropologist help me out here). Memory was a life and death discipline before writing. You needed it for EVERYTHING,
perhaps individual and group identity most importantly. Creativity was the root of all skills as well as identity. "Progress" would start with
abstract thought. Humans haven't, IMO changed that much. Our ability to deal with change is now more regimented, institutionalized, predictable and
hence less dynamic. The advantage is major social systems and structures are remarkably stable over years. We go into debt, we get fat, we use the
net, I worry if I'm trying to be to funny for my own good. To the guy in cave number one, he would think of them not as luxury's, but insanity
incarnate. Maximum reasonable flexibility also means minimum long term stability. One things for sure. They had no word for "trivial", and no one
was ever board.
The second type I'll call a low dynamic, homeostatic-emphasis society. In this category I put the long duration ancient culture's, around before
total collapse at least 500 years. First like all civilizations including all ours today with the possible exception of traditional isolated cultures,
they all had one fatal flaw: They all thought they were immortal. Sorry. Be it ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome. The UK is interesting in no longer a
traditional empire, remains tremendously strong because many of it's institutions are identified with stability. It also has many of the more dynamic
features we only see in democratic (one way or the other) traditions. And while the UK can not adapt as quickly as a more dynamic society, the balance
of stability and adaptability maintains both economic and political order. The US is in this category, but does have more economic clout, and is the
only major super power. Thats the kind of strange investment that only pays off if you never use it.
The world is now manifesting what I call a third type of society. If industrial was mass production, and post industrial is information, multiple
nations along with corporations and institutions are becoming transnational. This is where the primary organized structure of human society will no
longer be nation-states, but objective driven associations that have no physical boundaries. One reason is it makes huge economic sense. You can't
move a city or country on a map, but you can move almost anything else. Most of all ideas and money. Sure we all will still need a place to live, a
ship will need a dock and an aircraft at least for the next 15 to 20 years will need an airport. A lot of things just won't appear to change, except
how you think about them. Thats the key to a lot thats happening and IMO will happen. What will change will be our perspective.
In a more dynamic society change is the norm. In a more institutionalized society, stability is more prized. I'll call this one a society based on
dynamic awareness. Think of it as evolution not that were at the mercy of, but can direct. Very little at first. The nature of the beast will have
training wheels in case we have to much fun playing with the nature of things that never before existed. As little or as much as were comfortable
with, in time. Institutions may not be in the same building or in time operate the same way they do now, but the concept of money won't go away. Not
because how I currently think of it and how it's expressed as a power arbiture makes all that much sense. If you think it does try reading the tax
code, talk about Byzantine. Just don't blame me if you go blind.
One major impact I think will be how we look at the basic formula for solving problems. Like it or not we will still be tied to different parts of the
industrial and economic hardware for a long time. At least in the physical sense. The political systems and of course our long term crazy uncle the
MIC, will do nothing but follow this prediction to the letter: They will resist any actions that they think, rightly or not erodes their power and
economic base. For the time being, we have to work with finite resources, some version of the current monetary system, transportation systems that are
degrading, but an improving communications and distributed processing network largely driven by software improvements, or should I say modifications.
Wide spread quantum computing, and molecular based computers and machines are coming, their just not here for most of us. Only major advances in
technology will move the process a lot faster. The area I'm really exited about is when computers can follow our lead and think abstractly. We'll
know they can because they'll give us something to ponder. When we start questioning our own points of view, it's likely to be spooky but like any
near death experience its also likely to leave one hell of an impression. The old ways and answers are not robust and adaptable enough. North Korea is
one giant starving gulag, many might welcome a war. Terrorists know big noisy attacks bring hammer blows. Not knowing were being attacked is a real
danger, and likely more dangerous. We couldn't be doing worse with the environment if we tried (IMO). A cascade failure of a major ecosystem is very
possible, IMO. Thats when death moves in a wave and wont stop until theres nothing left to kill.
[edit on 2/6/10 by arbiture]