A fascinating talk of Daniel Schmachtenberger on complex systems and how this relates to our society and future. He certainly has a deep understanding of complex dynamical systems and most of what he says makes very much sense. I like how Schmachtenberger puts it: “We have to figure out the win-win game where anyone’s incentive and advantage is tied to the collective advantage.” Which also means that a group dynamics must not be focused only on the wellbeing of the group losing sight of the incentive for the individual. At the end he speaks of the necessity of “acquiring a sense of self as an interconnected dynamic biosphere.” Here, Theilard De Chardin noosphere is reverberating in the background.
And yet… a feeling that something is missing, something lacking …. In fact De Chardin did not envisage this as a purely materialistic or organizational development. Listening to this video my impression was that it lays too much emphasis and hopes on technical solutions (such as “factoring capacities to adapt to the tech”, “aligning incentives”, “infrastructures”, inside “self-regulating adaptive complex dynamical systems”, “cellular automata”, “exponential tech”, “feedback loops”, etc.) It captures only the external aspect, the mechanistic expression of… of what? IMO, looking on it only from the materialistic tech-perspective won’t be enough. The culture shift will have to be a shift of consciousness. If the nature of the human being won’t change also the social structure and infrastructure will, at best wear another mask but remain essentially the same. Acquiring a sense of self is first and foremost a feeling, an inner perception of interconnectedness, the intuitive realization of the multiplicity in unity a la Bortoft (and beyond Bortoft). This is essentially a spiritual psychological realization IN US and that can’t be apprehended by the analytic mind alone that invents some planetary machinery. My understanding is that we need to develop a sense of interconnectedness, community, trans-nationality, trans-culturalism based on the inner perception that deep down we are One. The question is how we can develop in young people empathy, rapport, togetherness, and this inside a paradigm where the “freedom of the soul” isn’t frustrated? It is about building an environment where these things are nurtured and can flourish. Only that can create real cooperation replacing competitive behaviors. The ultimate challenge is that to transcend this egoistic, greedy and selfish animal we are to become something else. Once this has been set as a basis, the “complex adaptive system” can be build and, perhaps, will grow by itself as a natural expression of the immanent spirit of a living inner unity in diversity.