Welcome to the desert of the real – A civilization ruled by fools is bound to collapse

The fall of Troy by Kerstiaen De Keuninck

The fall of Troy by Kerstiaen De Keuninck

The false can never grow into truth by growing in power.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

We are witnessing the convergences of a number of interwoven crises, with multiple, interlocking effects and symptoms, building up a “perfect storm”:

A regional cooling of the climate forecast for North America and Northern Europe (Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us, Guardian, 22 February 2004; Global warming may lead to colder winters in Britain, Independent, 30 June 2006; Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’ says leading scientist, BBC, 28 October 2013 Cold winters have been caused by global warming: new research, Telegraph, 27 October 2014; Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say, The Independent, 23 marzo 2015; Climate scientists fear ‘Day After Tomorrow’ scenario, MSNBC, 10 September 2015; Two distinct influences of Arctic warming on cold winters over North America and East Asia, Nature, 31 August 2015; Death rate rises as cold snap grips UK, Guardian, 4 February 2015; NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses, NASA, 30 October 2015; Growing Antarctic Ice Sheets May Have Sparked Ice Age, Live Science, 04 December 2014); the Syrian and Iraqi Armageddon; ISIS-Daesh; the European refugee and migrant crisis; the Western and Chinese financial instability (Here’s how the growing corporate debt bubble could burst, Fortune, 4 October 2015).

Our leaders, at least in the West, do not appear to be able to perceive the distress of the engines of our civilization. Or perhaps they are not in a position to effectively intervene, obstructed or driven as they likely are by powerful and selfish interest groups (Naomi Klein, Disaster capitalism: how to make money out of misery, Guardian, 30 August 2006).

At some point, in the foreseeable future, ordinary people could decide that it is time to rise up and seize the power from leaders that are failing them.

WAR ON TERROR

They do not move beyond short-term solutions, such as dropping bombs to make the world a safer place, escalating the problems instead of solving them. After fifteen years of battling it should by now be clear that the “War on Terror” cannot be won and only serves the purpose of radicalising young Muslims, as in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Somalia, Yemen). A perpetual war which is eroding the principles we uphold and claim to defend from the assault of extremists.

WAR ON REFUGEES

Presidential candidates such as Trump, Carson, Bush, leading European intellectuals, and several Eastern European politicians have expressed frightening views on the fate of immigrants, refugees, and ordinary citizens, involving mass border-closing, mass deportations, mass internments, mass surveillance, that is, the creation of continent-wide Guantánamos in Europe and North America.

They are allowed to do so on the back of fear of Islam and Terror (“First they came for the Muslims…”).

As Alexander Hamilton once remarked in Federalist 8 (1787): Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property…a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort…to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights.”

In point of fact, during WWI and WWII, the U.S. government imprisoned thousands of citizens whose only fault was to belong to the “wrong” ethnic group. McCarthyism and the McCarran Internal Security Act (1950) somehow revived the witch-hunting spirit of the provisions included in the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), allowing the detention, expulsion and de-naturalization of persons suspected to be engaged in “un-American” activities.

Nowadays, one sometimes wonders if a neo-McCarthyist Committee of Uneuropean Activities will at some point be appointed.

The rejection of Syrian and Iraqi refugees would condemn many of them to certain death (see the Jewish precedent in 1930s Europe) and would bolster the Daesh caliphate, whose chief aim is to ensure a permanent clash of civilizations by fuelling divisive feelings in societies.

Solidarity, compassion, unity, inclusiveness, humanity, love may well be the ultimate kryptonite against neoconservative and Islamic fundamentalists.

WAR ON CLIMATE

With thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe each day, over the next winters Europe’s exorbitant energy costs could make this humanitarian crisis even worse than it already is.

Cold temperatures kill 20 times more people than hot temperatures (Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study, Lancet, 25 July 2015) and yet the Paris climate summit’s attendants are asked to pledge nearly $1 trillion in GDP every year for the rest of this century in order to reduce global temperatures by a minuscule 0.048°C (Bjorn Lomborg, Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100, Global Policy, 9 November 2015).

These are precious sources that could be much better spent on means to help the vast majority of Syrian refugees professing to be willing to go back to their country once the civil war will be over to remain in safe areas in the Middle East and to rebuild their houses, businesses and the nation’s infrastructures.

AN IMPENDING, SYSTEMIC COLLAPSE?

We know from the past that instances of regional climate change leading to cooler and more extreme and unpredictable conditions are responsible at least in part for widespread civil disturbance, warfare and social collapse due to repeated crop failures (Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, 2014).

If this is the case, then a systemic collapse triggered by several butterfly effects and processes of structural degradation is on the cards. This is by no means an unprecedented occurrence (e.g. Bronze Age, Mayan and Anasazi decadence, Vikings forced to abandon their colonies in Greenland and North America, etc.: regional cooling appears to have been the chief cause of these events) and we should be already making sensible preparations for what is to come (Brandon Lee Drake, The Influence of Climatic Change on the Late Bronze Age Collapse and the Greek Dark Ages, Journal of Archaeological Science, 2012).

AN ABRUPT ENDING TO THE HOLOCENE

We have some very strange weather at the moment, but what’s interesting is that some of the research we’ve done shows that there have been times in the past when the jet stream has been as far south as it is now. In the 1680s and 1690s the jet stream was as far south as it is today, but all that really does is demonstrate how incredibly complicated predicting weather is. Our climate in the 1690s and 1690s wasn’t as it is now, that period is known as The Little Ice Age.
Dennis Wheeler, Emeritus Professor of Climatology, University of Sunderland, 6 march 2014

when the atmosphere cools, the jet stream becomes more erratic, swinging in zigzags, first north then south, and becoming very weak and susceptible to disturbances caused by sea temperature and by snow and ice on land and sea…Recent severe weather conditions in North America and elsewhere are a result of this weaker, more erratic pattern of windflow. High pressure building over the southwestern United States seaboard, aided by ocean temperature conditions, zigzags the jest stream so that it is too weak to push the “blocking high” system away. A dominant flow from northwest to southeast is established across the whole of the United States east of the Rockies, encouraging the southward flow of the jet stream and cooling a great area of ocean south of Newfoundland.

Douglas Orgill and John Gribbin, “The Sixth Winter”, 1979

As the planet was warming (1979-2001) the jet stream was moving north, at a speed of 12-13 miles per year (the polar convective cells were shrinking). Now that it has stopped warming, the jet stream is gradually shifting southward (the polar convective cells are growing): “Instead of circling the earth in the far north, the jet stream has begun to meander, like a river heading off course. This has brought chilly Arctic weather further south than normal, and warmer temperatures up north. Perhaps most disturbingly, it remains in place for longer periods of time” (“Jet Stream Shift Could Mean Harsher Winters”, Discovery, 16 February 2014).

Jet streams trending equatorially are a phenomenon linked to cooling poles (a greater differential between tropical and polar temperatures) and to low solar activity (an active sun flattens the jet stream: more latitudinal (“zonal”) jet stream; a quiet sun makes it more meandering: more meridional jet stream) (cf. Brian Fagan, “The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850“).

What will likely occur over the next few years is that heat will be pulled from the tropics to the poles to offset their cooling trend. This means more powerful storms, overall windier conditions and maximum precipitation (i.e. snow), as it normally happens when warm meets cold. When mid latitudes will be cool enough, nothing will stop the Arctic cooling and the northern hemisphere will plunge into an ice age.

So, no matter how counterintuitive this may sound, global warming produces global cooling and triggers glaciations. Every ice age has been preceded by an upward spike in global temperatures increasing oceanic evaporation and precipitations falling as snow, feeding glaciers at high latitudes and high elevations.

If this is the beginning of a cooling phase or even the end of the current interglacial, then we are to expect snowy winters and shorter, hot summers keeping the oceans warm, with more evaporation.
This is how it works:

The beginning of the last glacial period was characterized in the Northern hemisphere by major accumulation of snow at high latitudes and the formation of a huge polar ice sheet. For climatologists this was paradoxical, since snowfall is always associated with high humidity and relatively moderate temperatures. Now, a French team coordinated by María Fernanda Sánchez-Goñi, a researcher at EPHE working in the ‘Oceanic and Continental Environments and Paleoenvironments’ Laboratory (CNRS/Universités Bordeaux 1 & 4) has solved this paradox. By analyzing sediment cores dating from 80 000 to 70 000 years ago, the researchers have shown that during this period water temperatures in the Bay of Biscay remained relatively high, whereas temperatures in mainland Europe gradually fell. Carried northwards by wind, the humidity released by this thermal contrast appears to have caused the snowfall that formed the polar ice sheet.

Interglacial periods do indeed end with a global warming phase, as a gap is needed between warming tropics (warm oceans provide the necessary moisture) and cooling subpolar zones, for a glaciation to occur (Andrews and Barry, Glacial Inception and Disintegration during the Last Glaciation, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 6, p.205, 1978; How Global Warming Can Chill the Planet, Live Science, 17 December 2004; Kukla and Gavin, Did glacials start with global warming? Quaternary Science Review, Vol. 24, August 2005, pp. 1547–1557; Wallace S. Broecker, The End of the Present Interglacial: How and When?, Quaternary Science Reviews, 1998, Vol. 17, pp. 689-694; Tatjana Boettger et al., 2009, Instability of climate and vegetation dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe during the final stage of the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) and Early Glaciation, Quarternary International, 207, 137-144; María-Fernanda Sánchez-Goñi et al., 2013, Air-sea temperature decoupling in Western Europe during the last interglacial/glacial transitionNature Geoscience, Vol. 6, pp. 837–841).

Scientists analyzing the geological and ice records tell us that ice ages take place in a regular cyclic pattern and normally last about 100,000 years, with intervening interglacial periods of 10 to 15,000 years which “tend to occur during periods of peak solar radiation in the Northern Hemisphere summer”.

Because five of the last 6 interglacial periods have lasted about 11,500-12,000 years, and the Holocene began approximately 11,700 years ago, we should not discount the possibility that we might be nearing the end of the present interglacial period, a tipping-point which will return us to a glacial period marked by cooler, dryer climate, killer frosts, frequent floods, lower food production, and expanding ice sheets and sea ice.

It is thus not unreasonable to expect a marked cooling between 2018 and 2025, with wild swings in climate, and a drop of Northern Hemisphere sea and air temperatures greater than in the late Sixties (Thompson et al., An abrupt drop in Northern Hemisphere sea surface temperature around 1970, Nature, 467, 444–447).

The two main features indicating that we have already entered a transition phase are (cf. Müller and Kukla, North Atlantic Current and European environments during the declining stage of the last interglacial, Geology, 2004; Risebrobakken, Dokken and Jansen, Extent and Variability of the Meridional Atlantic Circulation in the Eastern Nordic Seas During Marine Isotope Stage 5 and Its Influence on the Inception of the Last Glacial, American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph Series 158, 2005; Stefanie B. Wirth, The Holocene flood history of the Central Alps reconstructed from lacustrine sediments: Frequency, intensity and controlling climate factors, Quaternary Science Reviews, September 2013):

  • Increasing precipitations during the cold season at high latitudes and on the mountains (Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies, NOAA 1967-2013), which causes a quick build-up of the ice sheets;
  • A cooling North Atlantic, as the North Atlantic Current struggles to penetrate into the Nordic Seas;

According to the Danish Niels Bohr Institute, the last ice age ended circa 11,711 years ago, “as if a button was pressed”. This transition generally takes place rather abruptly (Mini ice age took hold of Europe in months, New Scientist, 11 November 2009; Steffensen, J. P.,et al., 2008, High-resolution Greenland ice core data show abrupt climate change happens in a few years, Science, 321, 680-684; Flückiger, J., 2008, Did you say “fast?”, Science, 321, 650-651):

During the past 110,000 years, there have been at least 20 such abrupt climate changes. Only one period of stable climate has existed during the past 110,000 years–the 11,000 years of modern climate (the “Holocene” era). “Normal” climate for Earth is the climate of sudden extreme jumps–like a light switch flicking on and off…The historical records shows us that abrupt climate change is not only possible–it is the normal state of affairs. The present warm, stable climate is a rare anomaly.

Jeffrey Masters

The most famous evidence of this abrupt weather change comes from Otzi, the “Tyrolean ice man” whose remarkably preserved body was discovered in the Eastern Alps in 1991 after it was exposed by a melting glacier. Forensic evidence suggests that Otzi was shot in the back with an arrow, escaped his enemies, then sat down behind a boulder and bled to death. We know that within days of Otzi’s dying there must have been a climate event large enough to entomb him in snow; otherwise, his body would have decayed or been eaten by scavengers. Radiocarbon dating of Otzi’s remains revealed that he died around 5,200 years ago (Baroni & Orombelli, 1996). The event that preserved Otzi could have been local, but other evidence points to a global event of abrupt cooling. Around the world organic material is being exposed for the first time in 5,200 years as glaciers recede.

Lonnie G. Thompson, Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options, 2012

ONWARD WITH THE ANTHROPOCENE!

Ultimately, the question we should ask ourselves is: what would be the fate of North America and Northern Europe if climate change orthodoxy were wrong (A complete list of things allegedly caused by global warming)?

We are about to find out whether large portions of the northern hemisphere will be made suddenly uninhabitable by an increasingly dry and freezing climate and, eventually, by the advancing ice sheets.

The demonization of CO2 has been one of the most outrageous fallacies in the history of science. The rate of photosynthesis, and therefore the flourishing of life on this planet, is determined by the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The more, the better: plants grow faster, healthier, stronger.

Photosynthesis counters entropy, that is to say, life extinction. Deliberately cutting CO2 concentration is like draining the biosphere’s blood. Our carbon emissions are, as it were, a profoundly innovative way for Gaia to sustain its biosphere and, possibly, forestall some of the effects of the forthcoming ice age.

A human civilization committed to fighting off glacial inception through CO2 emissions, greening the deserts and melting the ice to lower Earth’s albedo would be the most expedient ecological invention ever devised by Mother Nature: humans as a cure for the ice cancer.

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One single man or woman can change the history of a whole species (eng/it)

Poslovni svetovalec Garry Jacobs. V Ljubljani 26.3.2015

Garry Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A short summary of his welcome address to the First International Conference on Anticipation, Trento, 5 November 2015

He has been witness to a string of massive failures to anticipate the future, such as the inability of Kohl and Gorbachev to foresee that the fall of the Berlin’s wall would occur within a few days from one of their meetings during which they had concurred that the German reunification would take perhaps one generation.
These experiences and Roberto Poli’s advocacy supported by sound and cogent arguments have convinced him of the importance of anticipatory techniques, also for those aspiring to realize unrealized, unmanifest futures.
He argues that this paradigmatic shift may well prove to have an immense significance for the understanding of the human world and hopes that the conference “will alter our mental patterns and fully restore the subjective factor in this discipline as well as elsewhere”.
In his opinion “bringing together two apparently irreconcilable forces is what triggers innovation and creativeness” and this is what is needed in education.
He adds an insightful anthropological remark: “human beings do not behave like all other animals. One single man or woman can change the history of a whole species, starting with a vision, an aspiration, the power of an unrealised idea”.
This is because values are intangible and yet they are the deep drivers of history, exerting an inexorable influence on our thoughts and deeds.
Unknown unknowns do not bother Jacobs: “With no uncertainties there would be no possibilities to explore and no responsibilities to shoulder”.

Garry Jacobs, Amministratore Delegato dell’Accademia Mondiale delle Arti e delle Scienze.

Una breve sintesi del suo intervento di benvenuto alla Prima Conferenza Internazionale sull’Anticipazione, a Trento, il 5 novembre 2015.

E’ stato testimone di una serie di grandiosi fallimenti nell’anticipare il futuro, come per esempio l’incapacità di Kohl e Gorbaciov di prevedere che la caduta del muro di Berlino sarebbe avvenuta pochi giorni dopo un loro incontro in cui avevamo concordano sul fatto che la riunificazione tedesca avrebbe richiesto forse una generazione.

Queste esperienze e le perorazione da parte di Roberto Poli della causa dell’anticipazione, attraverso valide e convincenti argomentazioni lo hanno convinto dell’importanza delle tecniche previsionali, anche per coloro che aspirano a realizzare futuri irrealizzati e inespressi.
Jacobs sostiene che questo cambiamento paradigmatico potrebbe avere una portata immensa per la comprensione del mondo umano e si augura che il convegno “cambierà i nostri schemi mentali e ripristinerà completamente il fattore soggettivo in questa disciplina, così come altrove”.
A suo parere “ciò che riunisce due forze apparentemente inconciliabili è anche ciò che fa scattare l’innovazione e la creatività”, e questo è ciò di cui abbisogna il settore dell’istruzione.
Aggiunge un’osservazione antropologica davvero perspicace: “Gli esseri umani non si comportano come tutti gli altri animali. Un singolo uomo o una singola donna possono cambiare la storia di un’intera specie, partendo da una visione, un’aspirazione, la potenza di un’idea non ancora realizzata”.
Questo perché i valori sono intangibili eppure sono i motori più profondi della storia, esercitando un’influenza inesorabile sui nostri pensieri e azioni.
Le incognite inconoscibili non preoccupano Jacobs: “Senza incertezze non ci sarebbero possibilità da esplorare e responsabilità di cui farsi carico”.

A chance for peace in a multipolar world

World

No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for #‎peace‬ and ‪#‎fellowship‬ and #‎justice‬. No nation’s security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective #‎cooperation with fellow-nations. Every nation’s right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable. Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible. A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.
U.S. President #‎Eisenhower, ‘Chance for Peace’ address, 1953

 

In today’s multicultural world, the truly reliable path to coexistence, to peaceful coexistence and creative cooperation, must start from what is at the root of all cultures and what lies infinitely deeper in human hearts and minds than political opinion, convictions, antipathies, or sympathies – it must be rooted in self-transcendence: ‪#‎transcendence as a hand reached out to those close to us, to foreigners, to the human community, to all living creatures, to nature, to the universe; transcendence as a deeply and joyously experienced need to be in harmony even with what we ourselves are not, what we do not understand, what seems distant from us in time and space, but with which we are nevertheless mysteriously linked because, together with us, all this constitutes a single world; transcendence as the only real alternative to #‎extinction.
Czech President Vaclav #‎Havel‬, 1994

 

The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal ‪#‎fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature.
Such understanding and respect call for a higher degree of #‎wisdom‬, one which accepts #‎transcendence, rejects the creation of an all-powerful élite, and recognizes that the full meaning of individual and collective life is found in selfless service to others and in the sage and respectful use of creation for the common good. To repeat the words of Paul VI, “the edifice of modern civilization has to be built on spiritual principles, for they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light on it” (ibid.).
El Gaucho Martín Fierro, a classic of literature in my native land, says: “Brothers should stand by each other, because this is the first law; keep a true bond between you always, at every time – because if you fight among yourselves, you’ll be devoured by those outside.”
Pope #‎Francis‘s speech to the UN, 25 September 2015

Peak humanity: time to shift from quantity to quality

World_population_growth_rates_1800-2005

Our global population is aging. The moment of peak youth on this planet was in 1972. Ever since then the average age on Earth has been increasing each year, and there is no end in sight for the aging of the world for the next several hundred years! The world will need the young to work and pay for medical care of the previous generation, but the young will be in short supply. Mexico is aging faster than the U.S., so all those young migrant workers who seem to be a problem now will soon be in demand back at home. In fact, after the peak, individual countries will race against each other to import workers, modifying immigration policies, but these individual successes and failures cancel out and won’t affect the global picture.

The picture for the latter half of this century will look like this: Increasing technology, cool stuff that extends human life, more older people who live longer, millions of robots, but few young people. Another way to look at the human population in 100 years from now is that we’ll have the same number of over-sixty-year olds, but several billion fewer youth.

We have no experience throughout human history with declining population and rising progress (including during the Black Plague years). Some modern countries with recent population decline have experienced an initial rise in GDP because there are fewer “capitas” in the per-capita calculation, but this masks long-term diminishment. But there can always be a first time! 

Here is the challenge: This is a world where every year there is a smaller audience than the year before, a smaller market for your goods or services, fewer workers to choose from, and a ballooning elder population that must be cared for. We’ve never seen this in modern times; our progress has always paralleled rising populations, bigger audiences, larger markets and bigger pools of workers. It’s hard to see how a declining yet aging population functions as an engine for increasing the standard of living every year. To do so would require a completely different economic system

https://edge.org/response-detail/23722

Optimism arises from decreasing birth rates around the world. Education, health care, family planning, urbanization, and especially increased opportunities for adolescent girls and women are all highly correlated with lower fertility. Families are desiring and deciding to have fewer children. Increasingly they have the means and know-how to make those decisions. If fertility rates drop from 2.5 today down to 1.6 in the near future, then peak humanity will occur around 8 billion by 2025 and will actually decrease to 5 billion by 2100. Exponential patterns work going up and could also work coming down.

Environmentalists might applaud such a scenario—a planet at the turn of the next century with 2 billion fewer people than today—as it seems like fewer people would relieve some of the pressure on the planet’s ecosystems. The economic consequences of such a population decline, however, could be catastrophic in the short term. It is not clear that we can have economic growth with a declining population. If economies don’t grow, then paying off debt becomes an exponential burden unleashing a downward economic spiral. The collapse of our global economy is counter-intuitively also likely to be devastating for our global environment, as desperate people aren’t likely to care much about protecting the planet. And economic growth also helps drive the decisions of families to have fewer children. It seems we are in a triple-bind between containing population growth, protecting the environment, and growing economies. Big Problems!

The prospect of declining fertility also raises evolutionary concerns about the future of humanity on a soon to be child-scare planet. Children are literally the future of our species. Children humanize us. They inspire adults to be nurturing and future oriented. We need a planet with fewer children in a world that invests more in those few children, even though they may be someone else’s children. Fostering that kind of altruism and long-term commitment is a very Big Question.

http://www.metanexus.net/blog/peak-humanity

Tomorrowland – The future of the future is ours to create

damon-lindelof-quotes

The present is the fleeting point in time in which the future is about to become the past…there is only one past although there are many different interpretations of it, but there are multiple futures and the present is the moment when that future happens and the others don’t, and the moment that happens is over and is consigned to the past.

Niall Ferguson on the John Batchelor Show

Our present is determined by the past and by the future

Jacques Vallée, a theory of everything else, TEDX

Physicists as renowned as John Wheeler, Richard Feynman, Dennis Sciama, and Yakir Aharonov have speculated that causality is a two-headed arrow and the future might influence the past. Today, the leading advocate of this position is Huw Price, a University of Cambridge philosopher who specializes in the physics of time. “The answer to the question, ‘Could the world be such that we do have a limited amount of control over the past,’ ” Price says, “is yes.” What’s more, Price and others argue that the evidence for such control has been staring at us for more than half a century.

George Musser, The Quantum Mechanics of Fate, Nautilus, 30 January 2014

In front of me I saw the space of all possibilities, that is, all states of affairs that can possibly happen. They were lying in front of me there like objects in physical space…thus, I concluded, there is no contradiction between determinism and free will.

Benny Shanon, Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience, Oxford University Press, 2002.

For every choice we encounter in life, a new timeline is spun off until another choice comes along, and then the process is repeated again and again throughout one’s lifetime.

Parallels, season 7, episode 11, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Casey Newton: There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is… which wolf wins?

Eddie Newton: The one you feed.

Tomorrowland

quote-from-movie
In the long run, today’s prevailing “serve nobody by yourself” mindset is suicidal.

We are all in this together and we co-create our interpersonal reality and our future via the butterfly effect.

My evolution is your evolution is our evolution.

Angry, greedy and fearful people driven by pain, guilt, resentment and desire to control, punish and hurt others, are too self-absorbed and narrow-minded to see problems as opportunities for cognitive and moral regeneration and maturation.

They tend to see them as obstacles to be removed and cleansed.

This is why the societies and timelines they build are dysfunctional, uncreative, selfish, inhumane, inelegant, tribalist, rapacious, chaotic, impotent, sterile, morally bankrupt, isolated, manipulative, violent and, ultimately, doomed.

Cynical, nihilist, and apathetic people do not score much better in terms of civilization- and future-building skills.

Conversely, sensitive, compassionate and creative people aspiring to wholeness, capable of owning up to mistakes, shouldering their responsibilities and facing their shadows instead of projecting them upon a scapegoat, are far more likely to build graceful, brighter, soulful and peaceful, more coherent, self-respecting, resilient, caring, eco-friendly civilizations and timelines that flourish and thrive (From a sociopathic civilisation to a socio-therapeutic civilisation, WazArs, 15 October 2014).

All in all, it’s about self-fulfilling prophecies: what you see and what you ask for is generally what you get.

Everyone is bound to mostly perceive corroborating evidence and act accordingly, thus strengthening their worldviews.

This is what makes the mentality of right-wing armageddonists and zombie/Mad Max survivalists, or left-wing deep ecology extinctionists, cosmic rebootists and climate change catastrophists so toxic for everyone else: they are an evolutionary dead-end of human thought that may well lead to an evolutionary dead-end for humankind.

They are driven by necrophilia and misanthropy, not by life-boosting and evolution-accelerating aspirations and sentiments (The first human revolution and creative explosion – a prelude to another possible Great Leap Forward? WazArs, 24 October 2014).

The thing is, our future is not a foreign, exotic, mysterious, alien country.

It is one among many possibilities, the summation of our individual choices and visions, and this means that we have an important say in its making.

We are sovereign individuals and we are not to be mere pawns.

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The eternal recurrence of the same – can we learn from past mistakes?

serenity2

Teacher: Earth-That-Was could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many. We found a new solar system, dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. Each one terraformed, a process taking decades, to support human life, to be new Earths. The Central Planets formed the Alliance. Ruled by an interplanetary parliament, the Alliance was a beacon of civilization. The savage outer planets were not so enlightened and refused Alliance control. The war was devastating, but the Alliance’s victory over the Independents ensured a safer universe. And now everyone can enjoy the comfort and enlightenment of our civilization.

Young River: People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.

 *****

“Star Trek: Voyager: Dark Frontier: Part 2″ (1999):

Borg Queen: Assimilation is complete.
Seven of Nine: 300,000 individuals have been transformed into drones. Should they be congratulated as well?
Borg Queen: They should be. They’ve left behind their trivial, selfish lives, and they’ve been reborn with a greater purpose. We’ve delivered them from chaos into order.
Seven of Nine: Comforting words. Use them next time instead of “Resistance is futile”. You may elicit a few volunteers.

“Star Trek: Voyager: Unimatrix Zero: Part 2″ (2000):

Borg Queen: You like having friends, don’t you? Assimilation turns us all into friends. In fact, it brings us so close together, we can hear each other’s thoughts.
Alien Boy: Is that fun?
Borg Queen: Yes. It’s fun.