The critical issue for acceptance of strong anti-global warming strategies and rethinking energy is people. Their fear is of losing income. Any plan which does not provide a believable and actionable plan for how people survive the transition - food, water, provide for family,- shelter - will not move the needle. This will require rethinking asset valuations and ownership. A tremendous task, certainly equivalent to the shift from hunter gathers to agriculture, or agriculture to industrialization. The plus side is we are all more or less aware of the news. The down side is, we are very crowded.
All seemed smarter than the republicans except maybe Trump (don't discount him). But Hillary stayed close to the standard democratic social agenda, which seems much more her default position. Sanders is much closer to the key issues and the texture of real lives. The others all seemed like decent good people, aware of social issues. The Republicans are failing across the board. I had the feeling that all of them last night would be overwhelmed by the actual course of events approaching: climate, inequality, technical innovations in the transhuman categories, war, migrations.
Trying for elegant simplicity. We need a politics that can support an economics that is focused on the wealth of the whole society, not just the one percent or the owners of power. We do not have such a politics and we do not have such an economics. It is hard to imagine how we can get the politics first, since it has no task except to keep the momentum of the current system going. We need the new economic thinking that we can then ask the politics to support. New economic thinking is crucial.
I don't like this, but then I have been silent trying to take in all that I don't like, and looking for a way forward that makes more sense. Yet
If you thonk about the things you own you will discover thst they are not as important to you as they used to be. The idea ob obsolesence and the coming of the newer and better has subtly underminec our attachments to our most loved things. The deep problem is, this also extends to people including those cloest and dearest to us. We just do not care as much. Who any longer has a favorite sweater, or book, or chair?
society can be seen as divided into
- those who are rich
- those who work
- those in jail
- The rich pay fines
- the poor go to jail
Evolution is used to justify inequality and the change dynamics of society. "We are evolving with progess. Evolution is natural and so we are natural."Change is good because it is evolution. Yet those who benefit from change are a minority. Sure, washing machines, TV, iPhones.. and a million others But we need to look at the overall system which uses innovation as a path to personal gain. It is obvious that the system is rigged - look at inequality and the ability of the minority to manipulate tax schedules through congress - Nature's evolution is slow, testing out the implications of every change for survivability and advance. Social evolution works differently. We take a new technical evolution (or it could be regulatory or financial) and protect it with isolating it from other systems. and allowing it to emerge and find markets without cross checking with all the other aspects of society and nature. The result si not good. We ruin the environment, overcome primitive society's modes of population control (business and war want more people, as consumers, cheap workers), and increasingly rely on war to obtain or defend. Darwin's Origin of the Species, wherein after many years he finally found the structure of the british upper class in nature, titled the book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The suppressed sub-title as well as the blindness to the idea that cooperation leads to species success tells us much that we are not paying attention to. The very idea of progress, evolution, the idolatry of change is in need of deeper understanding.
The current dominance of economics as the most pervasive language of current events has reduced the world to an immediate and urgent drive to get and preserve “assets”, not to plan, not to design, not to have a vision of the longer term good of society, much less one's own life. At the same time governance structures are unable to cope because the government itself has become an instrument of advantage-seeking. History used to unfold slower and have less reach into people's lives. Now everything is fast and the reach is total: big brother is watching. The goal used to be an ethical society, even if we couldn’t quite achieve it ourselves, and we judged others for violations. Now this seems to be fading and we accept the violations as just part of life in society (without community). To put it more strongly, the vices of the old system: lust, greed, pride, ambition, dishonesty, narcissism become positive qualities and modes of being when tied to success. This is one reason why capitalism is so attractive: it allows a reversal of the old sins into virtues
Very well told story of what has happened, the suck-up if talent weakening social solidarity from below, the probkems of elites being unaware, but little on what can happen now, how will new elites emerge, who, when what?
Mathematics is fascinating and one of the true humanities. Mechanics is a great craft and a testimony to the spirit of human invention and usefulness. But to the extent that the mathematical is teated as definitive of reason and mechanical as the machinery of all life, we are in trouble. And we are in trouble Humans are emotional, which means related and caring. Not irrational. The technical is craft and very much a part of art but when the organic is replaced by mechanical approximations, the loss of the organic is catastrophic. And we are living in a catastrophe. The human, and much of life, is a blend of body emotion and reason. You cannot separate the beauty of the flower from the flower. You cannot understand the meaning of a meal for two from a meal for one. Math maps well onto the actions of the body in space and time. It has reversibility. I can go from here to there and back. Drama maps onto the gut It is not reversible Both together provide a good mapping of life. And note that the mind is a blend of the two mappings, the two symbolic forms, as Ernst Cassirer calls them.