Learning to survive in harmony

from “Constructing the World Mind”

Can our society double up its mind-capacity? It must do so or die; and I can see no reason why it may not widen its consciousness of complex conditions far enough to escape wreck.” – Henry Adams, American educationalist [1838 – 1919]

H. G. Wells thought that the only way out of humanity’s seemingly headlong rush towards self-destruction was by inventing a global process of learning. It is for this reason that he set the goal of organising what he called a World Encyclopaedia. As we approach the Third Millennium the systemic social and environmental breakdown — the mass extinction of species — caused by human behavior, which Wells feared so much, appears to be just about to engulf the planet. It is as if here and now — in nearly our last moment — before the life-destroying process becomes irreversible that an opportunity is being presented for helpless, dispersed individuals to pool their knowledge in order to find a way out of our self-made predicament, or at least, as James Lovelock suggests, to pass on some useful knowledge to any survivors left after a cataclysm. The purpose of these pages is to carry on the work started by Wells in the 1930s by using them to create a group learning process focused on the subject of the World Mind itself. They are also a demonstration of how a systematic method of analysing and synthesising information, called Content Analysis, and a form of Tony Buzan’s Mindmapping (TM) can be used as fundamental tools in the actual construction of a World Mind which could learn fast enough to avert social and environmental catastrophe.

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Knowledge Working – Learning to create an “intellectual authority”

from “Constructing the World Mind”

People whom H. G. Wells called “intellectual workers” would, he predicted, arise from the world’s universities and research institutions and cooperate in order to create an “intellectual authority” – consisting of a “network” linking centres of learning with the people of the world, whom he conceived as its “general intelligence”. The goals of Wells’ life long learning society are listed as: developing individual talents, fostering “each individual’s capacity for independent thinking” and providing the practical knowledge needed “for working and everyday life.” H. G. Wells predicts that knowledge workers will move from the assembly of knowledge to its digestion, with the ultimate objective of achieving wisdom, defined as having “a sense of knowing what to do, when handling complex problems that require understanding and effective decisions.”

Learning – A lifelong requirement

from “Constructing the World Mind”

H. G. Wells says the World Brain’s purpose would be to “make it easier for individuals to learn by and for themselves,” while systematically providing “almost infinitely adaptable” lifelong learning requirements aimed at all sectors of society.

 

A culture of the book

from “Global Learning – Constructing the World Mind”

Much as H. G. Wells argued for a “world encyclopedia” which would be created by means of social construction and knowledge invention, James Lovelock envisages a society organised around a book, much as European society used to be organised around the Bible; but the book would have “to acknowledge science”.
It is germane that the more advanced thinking in the field of information “science” conceives of knowledge management as primarily as a social, rather than a solitary mental activity, while corporate group knowledge working is increasingly construed as being a part of community and team building using techniques of constructive cooperation. Moral transformation is beginning to happen as people begin to value things, such as knowledge systems and ecological systems in more consciously qualitative ways. This revaluation, in which harmonious sustainability as highest value and mere survival as very much second best, will reorient the value of money towards being a means, rather than as an end, as it is in financial profit driven economies.

Considering Radical Life Extension? Why?

A pill might one day help extend your life drastically. Here is what a
study by UQ School of Population Health researchers Associate Professor Jayne Lucke and Professor Wayne Hall has revealed.

Clipped from www.physorg.com

personal benefits to life extension including spending more time with family (36 percent); having more time in life to achieve ambitions (31 percent); and better health and quality of life (21 percent).

“Eighty percent also envisioned at least one downside,” she said.

“These included prolonging a state of poor health (34 percent); financial cost of living longer (16 percent); and outliving family and friends (12 percent).”

She said some of the other results were half of the participants believed the benefits to society would include increased collective knowledge (26 percent); extended lifespan of ‘important’ people (15 percent); and more time to contribute (12 percent).

“More than half (52 percent) of participants thought that life extension would not be beneficial to society though, with seven percent of these participants identifying overpopulation (40 percent) and an increased burden on healthcare and welfare (23 percent) as problems,”

Read more at www.physorg.com

 

Variants of Singularity Proponents

Clipped from ieet.org
If the Singularity proponents are right, the world is going to get really weird—but not in the way they expect.
At the broadest end, the Singularity refers to a point in the future where technologically driven changes have hit so hard and so fast that people on the near side of the Singularity wouldn’t be able to understand the lives of people living on the far side of one; the lives of the post-Singularity citizens simply wouldn’t make sense to pre-Singularity folks.
In its narrowest form,
the creation of greater-than-human intelligence, which is then able to make itself even smarter, and so on in something that is occasionally called an “intelligence explosion”; whether or not the lives of post-Singularity citizens would make sense is an irrelevant question—the ultra-intelligent entities would be so much smarter and more powerful that human beings are little more than ants in comparison.
Somewhere in the middle are those who
tend to see the Singularity as
ultra-tech funRead more at ieet.org