Archive for the ‘Solutions & Responses’ Category

A couple months ago, a video started circulating among the internet niches I frequent, called “Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization.”  The video was a recording of a lecture given by David Eagleman at the Long Now Foundation and broad-casted by FORA.tv.  I don’t know why I didn’t post it back then, but I wanted to get it on the blog just because it’s a great, thought-provoking talk.  Here’s the link to the FORA.tv page for the talk.

The reason I was encouraged to post this FORA.tv talk was the result of a recent interview I listened two where David Eagleman spoke Jay Hughes of the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies on his “Changesurfer Radio” podcast.

Description from the IEET post on “The Net, Brains, and Civilizational Resilience“:

Dr. J. chats with David Eagleman, a fellow of the IEET and director of the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law at Baylor College of Medicine. Eagleman is author of the bestseller Sum, on fictional afterlives, Wednesday is Indigo Blue, about synaesthesia, the e-book Why the Net Matters and the forthcoming Incognito: The Brains Behind the Mind. They discuss the thesis David outlined for the Long Now Foundation that the Internet makes our civilization more resilient than previous ones.

Given just how central energy is to sustaining complexity (i.e. making everything work), I’m still not entirely convinced that the internet will solve all of the problems we face in this century.  I certainly agree that it gives us a better chance of managing our civilizational risks – but that assumes the keepers of the status quo don’t fight it.  With concerns over the freedom of the internet growing every year due to cyber warfare and other disruptive possibilities, it seems at least possible that much of the liberating potential of the net will be muzzled instead of cultivated.

In terms of opportunities, I think any strategic thinker, entrepreneur, or good investor would be wise to seek opportunities related to the 6 ways that the internet could avert the collapse of civilization.  Presumably, if these are actually ways to avert or mitigate major future catastrophes, then those who figure out how to align with these ideas will stand to protect & benefit themselves and those around them.

For quick reference, the 6 “civilizational life-savers” according to Eagleman are:

  1. Try Not to Cough on Anyone
  2. Don’t Lose Things
  3. Tell Each Other Faster
  4. Mitigate Tyranny
  5. Get More Brains Involved
  6. Try Not to Run Out of Energy

Perhaps in a future post, I’ll explore these areas in a bit more detail – looking at their potential to actually avert civilizational collapse, or possible opportunities that arise out of focusing on these ideas.

Stay tuned.

Cheers,

-a.j.m.

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“What permaculturists are doing is (some of) the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don’t know what the details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options. We need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical groups that are doing that”.

~Dr. David Suzuki, Geneticist, Renowned Environmentalist and Broadcaster

h/t to Australian Story Artist Nick O’Sullivan for this awesome drawing of

David Suzuki (link to O’Sullivan’s blog – with lots of other great pics)

Additional Resources:

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/