[extropy-chat] Extropy, Political Viewpoint and the Future of ExI's List

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Fri Oct 7 03:15:19 UTC 2005

Here is a little text taken from the PowerPoint presentation lecture.

... The environment in which politics functions has not made adequate 
progress over the past century.  Culture developed from a world in which 
kings ruled, landowners enslaved, and citizens elected.  Politics became a 
means for people to determine how they wanted to be governed.  But politics 
does not always work, and eventually stagnated in the 20th Century.

Politics is not futuristic enough. What is vastly needed is a strategic 
crafting of politics that is inclusive of the best ideas we have, across 
political boundaries, and sculpts these ideas into a plan of action that 
actually deals head-on with issues.

What I thought about when I once ran for office, and what I think about 
today, is the development of a new political system that is non-partisan 
and trans-political.  By this I mean a transition stage in which we 
cultivate better ways to assess how society views issues and how those 
issues affects society.  One big question is how to get everyone’s opinion, 
not just those who vote and not just those who are elected.  Could it be 
accomplished through a blogocracy?

A blogocracy would preview the blog’s reputation systems for recognizing 
authenticity of people, bonding for people of the same social circles, and 
of bridging people in different circles. The non-partisan blogocracy would 
emerge as a trend of nomothetic and diplomacy-based referendums for voting 
on issues through pervasive computing environments. This would help enable 
instant feedback and communication between people in diverse cultures going 
through diverse situations in their own personal lives.  The ubiquitous 
environment would produce rapid multi-cultural communication networks with 
instantaneous discussions, idea building and selection of choices on 
dealing with issues (voting).  This communications produces a broader 
understanding and cooperation through online politics.

Another idea concerns voting on issues rapidly by using molecular logic 
gates which would be a level of molecular nanotechnology as a novel format 
for computing power.  The application would be rapid, it would be 
efficient, and it would be time-conscious and independent from bureaucratic 

So this leaves the onus on the person, the individual to determine for him 
or herself where taxes go­to feed the children in Africa, toward 
desalination of water, national security, or alternative energy, for 
example.  The point, which is so necessary for us to consider, is whether 
critical thinking is a skill that people can practice in a networked 
idea-exchange around the world.  But if people don't have the skill of 
critical thinking, it is not going to work.

What we can be sure of is that change will continue happening and we need 
to design the means for breaking away from constraints and limitations that 
keep us from realizing the fact that we can design our future – barring an 
unforeseen catastrophe.  What we need is an economic strategy to 
distinguish plausible from implausible claims about technologies such as 
molecular nanotechnology.

In order to explain the role of the futurist as global designer, 
Buckminster Fuller, the famed architect and futurist, and comes to 
mind.  He strove to see the big picture­the dynamics of the world and 
growing population.  He was a designer who believed that the Earth's many 
problems could be solved by individual thinking and applied effort. He 
called this effort the “comprehensive anticipatory design science” which 
incorporates whole systems thinking in doing more with less.  Fuller’s 
whole systems thinking advocated using nature’s own principles of design as 
a never-ending flow.  This never-ending flow reminds me of the futurists’ 
notion of the continuous cycle of change.

But design’s complex adaptive system is what I'm most interested in here 
today.  And I believe Walt brought that up by talking about systems and 
complexity.  Complexity and adaptive systems are happening simultaneously 
and “it” [design’s complex adaptive system] is that moment when the 
adaptation takes place and the variables suddenly form new patterns.  And 
those new patterns start forming balancing and reinforcing loops that, in 
turn, form new patterns.  This is happening simultaneously as the world is 
becoming more prepared for the full automation and the perpetual adaptation 
for the change of nanotechnology.  But I don't want to take this too far 
out of focus on the adapting systems, its agents and the variables that are 
forming themselves.  I want to bring it back to what we can do with the 
brainpower that we have here in discussing global design and our future.

In 1982, I met Bucky Fuller.  He was holding a conference on the World Game 
plan.  Adjacent to the stage was a big map and people would come up from 
the audience and start moving symbolic shapes representing products and 
commerce in the different locations around the planet.  Each one had a 
formula of how they had to make the world work together and they bargained, 
they bartered, they traded, they negotiated.

And they came up with ways that each location could produce something that 
would benefit the other area, knowing full well that a lot of the problem 
in the world is getting the resources to the people in need.  What they did 
was to form links­like bridges­where they recognized a problem and use the 
symbolic shapes representing different products, whether it was agriculture 
or technology or education, to remedy the problem.  It made a beautiful 
design.  It was then that I made up my mind that design is not just 
essential to the future­it is our future.

Another creative thinker, Bruce Mao, produced a project called Massive 
Change.  What Bruce is doing in Canada is figuring out ways to explain, 
through the art world’s museums, how change happens on many different 
fronts.  But he's not looking at it as a transhumanist or a futurist with 
the perspective that proaction is what needs to take place now in 
determining not just the ethics (and not just the philosophy - and not just 
the physical protocol of it), but what we can do in a “game plan.”

Today there is a software program where people come together (and they pay 
a good amount of money for it) and work on games that are based on Fuller's 
world game plan.  It's all animated, it's electronic and you can be in 
person, or through the net, and take on different roles.  So you are given 
a card and you join the team.  You don't know what your role is going to be 
but you have the card and you find out that you have to trade something, 
maybe something that you don't believe in.  Or you have to solve a problem, 
maybe one that you've already solved or one that you would never want to 

The point here is that it's teaching people different skills and developing 
communications.  The reason I think this is important for global design is 
that we know we have the talent, we know we have the skills, we know we 
have the opportunity.  What we don't know is whether or not we can work 
together because of a lot of the biases. I think that Wrye [Sententia] was 
mentioning that in regard to sentence structures and how even in one 
sentence we might not grasp the same meaning.  It’s how we phrase words and 
how we build design that will make a difference in how we communicate together.

A shape can take many different forms.  It can be angular, move around, 
gyrate one way or another, become a spiral, move up and down and around, 
and form many vortexes and apexes from which to create new designs, new 
complex adaptive systems and new ways of dealing and thinking about 
things.  But if we look at the world as a design as I think Bucky Fuller 
did, with varied backgrounds and expertise needed to develop a design for 
the future, I think that we can work towards that end.

And I think maybe one of the best ways is through storytelling.  But it's 
not like we have to tell the story to someone else or we have to sit and 
listen to the story being told to us.  Perhaps we take on the 
roles.  Role-playing is an excellent way, like systems thinking, to teach 
each other how to deal with change and play (participate) on the other side 
(opposing side).


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