E.M. Smith, the Chiefio, has a comment in under my previous post A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol, which was itself an elaboration upon a post at his blog, Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix .
In the comments E.M. noted:
FWIW, I think California is a great example of how the myth of “closer ties” is broken. We’re about as “tied” to the USA as you can get and fully economically and financially integrated. We’ve just had a 3rd city declare bankruptcy and several counties along with the State proper are headed toward it. We are the “Greece of the USA” and everyone knows it. So if ‘closer integration’ was going to fix things: How come California is so messed up financially?
My reply became long winded enough, and covered enough new theoretical ground that I’ve decided to promote it to a new post.
E.M. as to your second point.
Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in the previous post. I never meant to suggest that “closer integration“ in the Princess Anna sense [higher levels of political institutionalization] was going to solve anything, it will almost certainly only make things worse, in my opinion. The main point I was trying to make is that the end state towards which we as a species are heading is one of complete interpersonal connection as a global civilization. The process, from my point of view, may well lead to a shattering effect on nation states, current societal institutions and culture generally above the level of the family [the family will continue to be hard pressed as well], even as Humanity wires itself more and more closely together – massive boundary dissolution. The process could become quite ugly at times, impossible to say what will happen or where, about the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that it will be as bad as we decide to make it.
I’m not good with economic or political prognostication, if you believe what Nassim Taleb and Peilke the Younger have to say, neither are most economists or policy wonks, so I’m not too concerned about my lack of ‘skill’ in these areas. Too much noise in the system at this level – it’s crazy making. All I’m really sure about is that something is going to happen and what ever it is I personally will have virtually zero say in the matter [not that I’d know what to do anyway, I really don’t].
My area of prophetic skill is in being able to identify and understand the underlying pressures that are driving evolution on Planet 3: Consciousness [as hyper-object], Imagination [as a domain of Kosmos], The Eschaton, the Strange Attractor that sits over the event horizon of evolution, ‘The Singularity’, The ‘Big Surprise at the end of History, what ever you want to call it, the force that is pulling everything forward through History.
You can either see these kinds of things or you can’t. Either you’ve outfitted yourself for this kind of activity or you haven’t.
Evolution is one of the most basic patterns of Nature, which is to pull ever higher states of connectivity, consciousness, intelligence out of itself. This pattern will be fulfilled through Humanity, the end state will be something quite different and almost impossible to imagine. Humanity itself may be replaced in this process by what ever is coming down the pike towards us.
As my buddy φ [you’ll notice his ‘Phism of the Day’ in the sidebar] is fond of saying to our more ‘new age’, neo-pagan friends when he has them backed into a corner:
For an aeon we have been the children of the Earth. Childhood is at an end, adolescence is passing swiftly, it is time now to grow up and marry the Goddess.
Our bride awaits.
Something like an entirely new kind of life is evolving on this planet, Humanity is in the process of ‘hacking’ it out of Imagination. An entirely new form of biology will come along with this, it may be silicon based, it may be based on swarms of nanobots and carbon nanotubes, but biology as it has evolved so far will be replaced with a new one, one that is awake and sentient at every level of organization. The trees will talk to you, some trees will walk, if for no other reason than Peter Jackson made the movie of Tolkien’s slice through Imagination. We will become the elves of Tolkien’s legendarium Tolkien and his mythology of the Eldar race was actually an anticipation of Humanity’s future, not just a personal harkening back to an imaginary lost Eden. We will ‘wake up’ nature and talk to it – because we want to – and it will talk back to us in its own voice. That’s the problem with mythology and people who write about it, in hyper-space it is very easy to get the arrow of time backwards. If you have never visited hyperspace directly you might not catch this point.
This process is really, really, real and will be very difficult to derail, it is scripted into the process of Evolution, it IS the process of Evolution. Evolution is some kind of Novelty [in the A.N. Whitehead’s sense of the word] generating engine. It seems to be that there are two generally unrecognized laws operating in Nature, one that Evolution is constantly producing states of greater, depth, complexity and intelligence out of lower level states, and two that each new level is achieved faster than the previous one.
Think about it, everything that is really new and interesting in nature is now happening in the extra-genetic domain of Human culture. In the last 50k years [or so] humanity has ‘hacked’ out of Imagination something like [depending on how you choose to count them] eight or nine new ontological levels to add to Nature’s treasure trove: Symbolic Language, Art, Culture, Technology, Mathematics, Computation, Genetics, Artificial Intelligence… [what comes after this???] half of them in the last century. Take stock of this and you have a situation that will properly stand your hair on end. It is probably formally impossible to anticipate now what will be happening at the end of this century.
All of the basic assumptions that we base our prognostications about what will happen in the next hundred years will be rewritten over and over again on an ever decreasing schedule. We are all victim to a very deep case of normalcy bias, even me on most days.
The ‘Alien’ that you hear discussed on Coast to Coast AM, and by Whitley Strieber in endless books, blogs, and magazine articles is actually ‘us’, or our collective anticipation of our future – by a bunch of knuckle headed, monkey brains, who are not quite ready for prime time.
There may be some kind of a bifurcation in this process, I’d give it about 50/50 odds [based on nothing more than a not even scientific wild-ass-guess], that some fraction of humanity will choose to remain bound to the ‘meat bag’ and remain here on Planet Gaia and create the new-age-eco-edenic-paradise they are desiring while the rest of us shed the monkey forever and live in virtual worlds of our own creation as we venture forth to colonize the universe. But, that’s just a guess ;]
Ray Kurzweil lays out a pretty steep timeline of events on the technology front, things may not go as fast as he is suggesting, but even if you halve his rate of the ingression of technological novelty, by the end of [this or] the next century, Humanity soon becomes unrecognizable to itself – thus the alien abduction experience as mirror of the planetary over-mind in operation.
Consider for a moment what it will be like around here [our local solar system] when each day everyone on Earth uploads the entirety of their daily experiences to what ever replaces our current internet, and while we sleep everyone downloads everyone else’s day. Question is, what does it mean to be Human, or be Humanity, when everyone shares everyone else’s experiences??… ????
Hang around long enough and you will get to find out. This will happen, [and much sooner than any of us can imagine possible], if for no other than reason than I just published the idea and a bunch of people I don’t know and may never meet will set out to make it real – because they want to. This is actually the way things work now.