Seeing Through The Debris 

Imagine being Joe Schmo on main street in 1964… Sitting outside a drug store (not a Starbucks) but the fake wooden streetscape of our earlier mental conjuration still remains the same. It’s a time before ‘real’ commercial airline travel — the first flight of a 747 is still 5 years away. The closest thing Joe has to the idea of air travel is a 1st generation airliner like a De Havilland Comet and only then because he heard about it on the radio (My Grandpa worked by the way on the De Havilland Comet decompression investigation), and Black and White TVs are still sold more than colour.

Meanwhile, you tell him this: there exists a separate world of classified technology and just one of those things is a Mach 3 Stealth Plane that can fly to the edge of space.

Do you think you could tell Ol’ Joe this without his hackles being raised? Do you think he’d believe you? There would be much shaking of heads and remonstration. I’m not sure Mr Schmo would accept it at all. It would just bounce off the carefully constructed bubble of Red Reality that he’s unknowingly internalised. At the time it would be indistinguishable to him from UFO reports.

Source: Seeing Through The Debris – Anomalous Engineering – Medium

Our current hierarchical view of ourselves and of our consciousness (with “I” at the apex, and “my ideas, my emotions, my experiences, and accumulated skills, etc.”, below) can now be shown to be fundamentally incoherent in a number of ways—the central contention being that in actual fact there isn’t and there can be no centre to our consciousness the same way that there is no centre to a river. Breaking away from the cul-de-sac of the this current/common hierarchical view, this chapter outlines a new model in which conditioned responses of memory—in the form of holarchically ordered, fundamentally interconnected basic assumptions and emotional attitudes—provide a continually shifting structure of consciousness (akin to the changing (infinite, yet finite) structural patterns which may arise in a kaleidoscope)..

Source: In Detail | The Order of Thought

Black America and the Class Divide 

Change, even at the symbolic level, is difficult, of course, and it remains to be seen what this current wave of protests will accomplish. Will the fight against police brutality, symbols of the Confederacy and society’s plethora of micro-aggressions become the basis of a broader movement for the improvement of underfunded public school education, for the right to a job with decent wages, and for the end of residential segregation that relegates the poor to neighborhoods with murder rates as alarming as those on the South Side of Chicago?

What is certain is that the outrage that led to Black Lives Matter and its spinoffs will be with us for years to come unless these legacies of slavery and Jim Crow become remnants of a racist past.

Source: Black America and the Class Divide – The New York Times

 ‘The Quest for God and the Good’ 

In that spirit, the goal of this study is to explore the insights of central thinkers and texts that address fundamental existential questions. Specifically, we will explore the connection between concepts of divinity or an absolute and the good life. While we as moderns often associate religion with the search for eternal liberation or immortality, central texts of the world’s religious and philosophical traditions are equally concerned to uncover the meaning and purpose of life in this world. These key texts and thinkers maintain that human beings find true fulfillment by making contact with fundamental values at the heart of reality.

Our first question as we undertake this search: why is spiritual life so often described using metaphors of quest and journey? A journey implies movement in space, a physical going out toward a destination. A quest too implies going out in search of something. The quest and the journey suggest that history, events, and narrative are meaningful––perhaps even holding intrinsic, sacred importance. In contrast, many traditions speak of God, ultimate reality, or nirvāṇa as a spiritual absolute that does not move or change; they suggest that the ultimate human goal is to arrive at a static eternal perfection. For example, Aristotle’s philosophical God does not change; it is pure Being, the unmoved mover, thought thinking itself. It does not seek or lack; it eternally contemplates its own nature. Similarly, Plato’s realm of the Forms is a beautiful mosaic of eternal, unchanging essences. The metaphor of the quest, in contrast, suggests that narrative, search, and change are meaningful; that the journey itself is its own reward.

The latter perspective is at the heart of this study. It is not my goal to arrive at a universal definition of God and the good. Rather, I will endeavor to present the aesthetic beauty of multiple visions presented by thinkers across history and across cultures. I will suggest that investigation and discovery are themselves processes of value.

Source: Excerpt: ‘The Quest for God and the Good’ by Diana Lobel

The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space

More and more people (although not nearly enough) are coming to recognise that humanity cannot continue on its current trajectory, as the limits we face become ever more obvious, and their implications starker. There is a growing realisation that the future must be different, and much thought is therefore being applied to devising supposed solutions for that future.

These are generally attempts to reconcile our need to make changes with our desire to continue something very much resembling our current industrial-world lifestyle, with a view to making a seamless transition between the now and a comfortably familiar future. The presumption is that it is possible, but this rests on foundational assumptions which vary between the improbable and the outright impossible. It is a presumption grounded in a comprehensive failure to understand the nature and extent of our predicament.

We are facing limits in many ways simultaneously – not surprising since exponential growth curves for so many parameters have gone critical in recent decades, and of course even more so in recent years. Some of these limits lie in human systems, while others are ecological or geophysical. They will all interact with each other, over different timeframes, in extremely complex ways as our state of overshoot resolves itself (to our dissatisfaction, to put it mildly) over many decades, if not centuries. Some of these limits are completely non-negotiable, while others can be at least partially mutable, and it is vital that we know the difference if we are to be able to mitigate our situation at all. Otherwise we are attempting to bargain with the future without understanding our negotiating position.

The vast majority has no conception of the extent to which our modernity is an artifact of our discovery and pervasive exploitation of fossil fuels as an energy source. No species in history has had easy, long term access to a comparable energy source. This unprecedented circumstance has facilitated the creation of turbo-charged civilization.

via Nicole Foss: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – The Automatic Earth.