convergence and resonance: we have to learn to do be different... now26 Nov 2018
this weekend i listened to a lot of podcast content. most notably i’m thinking about the last episode of how to survive the end of the world: Awww Shucks: How Do We Prepare for Climate Apocalypse? and three episodes of the future thinkers podcast: FTP057, 058, 059: Daniel Schmachtenberger – Solving The Generator Functions of Existential Risks.
the wild thing is that the content in the shows is all point in the same direction.
the brown sisters talked about what it will take to get ready to live in a world ravaged by climate change. and the biggest point i feel like they made was this one: we need to learn how to be in right relationship with change and with each other. and the biggest learning we have to do right now is to learn how to relate to each other differently, particularly how do we (the comfortable) learn to relate to the land and the ecosystems that we’re in. most of us have broken relationships to the land we live on and the people we are around. we have to shift that. we also need to learn how to prepare for and live in crisis. and that requires work that is deeper than knowing what to pack and how to grow.
daniel schmachtenberger comes at some similar content from a very different angle, a notably whiter, more academic, more intellectual angle. he speaks of “the generator functions of existential risks” and “exponential technology” and “omni lose lose games.” he uses a lot of intellectual analysis to say a simple thing: we, as a species, have to learn how to do something differently or else. and the ‘or else’ here is that if we keep doing the things we’ve done to get us where we are now, we will create an environment on the planet that won’t hold humans.
“…we have to be different than we have ever been in the history of the thing we call civilization to simply not extinct ourselves. The way we have always been has been a smaller scale of the same thing that at this scale is now extinctionary. That’s a big deal because it means that the solutions we’re looking for do not look like previous best practices, because those were practices at how to win at win lose games where winning at win lose games is now the omni lose lose generator.”
the wilder thing is that it totally aligns with what gibrán is moving with evolutionary leadership. what g’s solution looks like is learning to tend to the we. it is what so many indigenous traditions have known forever. it’s what the theory u folks talk about as moving from “me to we.”
anyway, this is all interesting and it’s really making me think quite hard about what my work is in these moments.
i’ll close with some more words from schmachtenberger. to be clear, i know he’s not saying anything new. what’s interesting to me about him is that the conclusions he’s coming to from his particular social position align with what indigenous people’s have been saying and living forever. i’m interested in his power as a messenger for folks who aren’t yet ready to listen to folks who have always been close to the land.
Yeah, survival of the fittest was something that had a local truth but was not the only global phenomena that was operating, because there was also a tremendous amount of cooperation that was happening. Cooperation within members of a species with each other and between species and inter-dependence on each other. Again, the idea of competition is hyper normal stimuli, it was an early hyper normal stimuli hijack like sugar and porn and airbrushed pictures and likes on Facebook. In an evolutionary environment, fights standout even though they’re not mostly what’s happening. Mostly, if I am in a forest there’s a gazillion interactions happening every second, of soil bacteria having a relationship with each other and gas exchange between me and the plants; that’s just boring but it’s almost everything.
Then I see a couple lions fighting and I’m like, “Shit, that’s really interesting, survival of the fittest.” There is this hyper normal stimuli that made us actually miss-emphasize what was happening as a part of the phenomena – it was not all of the phenomena…”
words / writing / post-processing
714w (including quotes) / 22min / 5min