I’m not getting much sleep lately, taking on too much, burning with ideas; not a good plan. But then neither is humanity’s plan for us all to make decisions 16 times faster every lifetime forever.
It indicates we’re missing something, like where the heck are we going anyway! Sounds presumptuous perhaps, but I can fix that. The underlying problem is that our perceptions of where we are operate on a sliding scale.
We always see change as a little more or less compared with the present, always sliding our base of reference with the change, and that denies us the overall comprehension of things that would come from seeing where we are on nature’s absolute scales. It takes a little getting used to, but nature uses the same scale for everything, the developmental history scale, growth and decay, adjusted to the time horizon of anything that’s happening.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a spark with an invisible seed that starts from nothing and grows to maximum intensity in a thousandth of a second, or a world civilization with an invisible seed that starts from nothing and grows to maximum intensity in a thousand years.
Every kind of happening goes through the four phases of development: Inflation, Integration, Disintegration and Decay, a life cycle. You can read the turning points and judge your place and role in what makes them tip one way or another.
Being oblivious to the consequences of making decisions 16 times faster every lifetime forever(1) is a bad plan. It’s a very very bad plan to do that with your own physical life support system, also designing it to get 16 times bigger every lifetime forever(1).
What natural systems do, the ones we’d like to emulate I think, is not to reinvest their positive feedback in compounding rates of growth until they explode with contradictions and collapse. What they find instead is a point in development they’d like to refine to perfection and divert their positive feedbacks to that purpose instead.
Whether to pursue growth to destruction, climaxing your creative efforts with loosing your base, or taking growth to perfection, climaxing your creative efforts with broadening your base, is a very common choice in personal-scale social and business matters of all kinds.
What’s keeping mankind from making good common sense decisions about it globally are partly the various vested selfish interests. There’s also the fact that the scientists can see that there must be limits rapidly approaching of all kinds, but have not been able to make any useful model of living systems.
More than anything, though, our inability to judge where we are and where we’re going as a civilization is because of its vast scope and that it looks to us as if it was static at any given moment. That appearance is what our sliding scales of perception present us which hides where we are on nature’s absolute scale.
The question is, are we getting messages from the future? Are we heading into a period of ever more rapid dodging of natural limits? Is there anything we’d like to perfect in how we live in this fantastically beautiful place we found to experiment with?
What are the likely consequences of pushing the speed of human development, consumption and change to a point of failure? We can each know these answers. All that’s missing is the common sense realization that much of what applies to creative happenings on a personal scale also applies to any other.
1) 3 1/2% real growth = real doubling of activity to make decisions about every 20 yr. In 80 yr life => 2*2*2*2 = 16 times, making each year’s change about half the size of the whole system of 80 years before, forever, supposedly….