self-arranging, explodable echo chambers
A jarring reminder to diversify social connections and information sources, Adam's quote from The Polarization of Extremes relates how the internet aids in the "the creation of enclaves of like-minded people," making groups more homogeneous, and "squelching diversity."
But that function is only part of the story, and, really, a feature, [not a bug,] if viewed in context of longer and larger processes. The web is the frameworks for -- and accelerator of -- constant connection, explosion and re-arranging of minds and ideas.
Individual talents and perspectives don't have to shrivel within a retribalized society; they merely interact within a group consciousness that has the potential for releasing far more creativity than the old atomized culture. Literate man is alienated, impoverished man; retribalized man can lead a far richer and more fulfilling life--not the life of a mindless drone but of the participant in a seamless web of interdependence and harmony. The implosion of electric technology is transmogrifying literate, fragmented man into a complex and depth-structured human being with a deep emotional awareness of his complete interdependence with all of humanity. The old "individualistic" print society was one where the individual was "free" only to be alienated and dissociated, a rootless outsider bereft of tribal dreams; our new electronic environment compels commitment and participation, and fulfills man's psychic and social needs at profound levels.
the global village makes maximum disagreement and creative dialog inevitable.
-- Marshall McLuhan, The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan (March 1969)
I'll split hairs and suggest that McLuhan was wrong when he said seamless. Separations exist, and are essential for growth within: polarization/contraction provides focus, cooperative motivation; pressure-cook. But the seams are more porous and flexible than in meatspace, due to the web's openness and allowed dynamism in personal identification.
(Build a highly-adaptable, low-bandwidth medium, and all sorts of social norms are discarded because of ease of anonymity. As bandwidth has increased and patterns have been been formalized, anonymity is somewhat less available, but adaptability and fluidity of interaction remain.)
Not that competition ever goes away because everything happens at once all the time. It's a rich situation. But we are learning global harmony.
Our social models, including our corporate world, were designed as mechanical models. But organism and mechanism are very different [...]
At present we're moving away from inventor-created, allopoietic systems to autopoietic systems -- literally self-created systems, living systems in holarchy instead of hierarchy, with negotiations instead of top-down command; systems that negotiate cooperation and thus design themselves from within instead of being engineered and repaired and redesigned by inventors or designers.
Paul Hawken gave examples and a very nice metaphor for this phenom in his Blessed Unrest SALT talk, (mp3 | summary.) ... Don't sweat global: think local and act local, and more appropriate large-scale results will emerge as aggregate.
The last time we were at River's Edge the audience was largely composed of the Sisters of St. Joseph from the congregation next door... I'm happily certain this won't just be an echo chamber for my pre-conceptions.
I finished watching a primetime special on internet social networking, and how it has created, “what seems to be the largest generation gap since Rock-N-Roll.” Our society lives through this thing that i’m now communicating to you on. There is no denying that sites like MySpace and Facebook have single handedly changed our society and the way we communicate. So the question isn’t how do we stop it, yet how do we learn to accept it, and use it in a way that is productive to the human spirit and to the continuation of our existence here on this great planet.
this taken from one of my favorite movies, Waking Life
So, you produce a neo-human with a new individuality and a new consciousness.
But that's only the beginning of the evolutionary cycle...
because as the next cycle proceeds,
the input is now this new intelligence.
As intelligence piles on intelligence,
as ability piles on ability, the speed changes.
Until what? Until you reach a crescendo in a way...
could be imagined as an enormous instantaneous fulfillment of human,
human and neo-human potential.
It could be something totally different.
It could be the amplification of the individual,
the multiplication of individual existences.
Parallel existences now with the individual no longer restricted by time and space.
And the manifestations of this neo-human-type evolution,
manifestations could be dramatically counter-intuitive.
That's the interesting part. The old evolution is cold.
It's sterile. It's efficient, okay?
And its manifestations are those social adaptations.
You're talking about parasitism, dominance, morality, okay?
Uh, war, predation, these would be subject to de-emphasis.
These would be subject to de-evolution.
The new evolutionary paradigm will give us the human traits of truth, of loyalty,
of justice, of freedom.
These will be the manifestations of the new evolution.
That is what we would hope to see from this. That would be nice.
over and out! i’m gonna go up to somebody and tell them hello!
oh! i have a request. can you make the comment block a little bigger? it's hard to see what i write. i know, i know... i'm getting old.
-- drB (January 31, 2008 7:22 PM)
i would like to expand the comment block
to the size
of the world
you give me hope for.
-- Jeff Schuler (February 1, 2008 11:53 AM)