1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 It has been a while since my mind was stirred by cascades of such valuable insights. No foundational changes (for me); but significant reminders of prior insights hibernating and very useful perspectives on the use of common terms, such as “nature” and “composition”.  The most recent and most powerful was a 2010 essay by Bruno Latour titled “An Attempt at a ‘Compositionist Manifesto‘”..  This followed a reading previous night of reviews and excerpts from Douglas Rushkoff’s very recent book: “Present Shock“, introducing the concept/term “presentism”.    Each excitingly expands the context about time and change, the topic of my more recent nuet.us blog posts: more specifically tied to the concept of Blind Spots in our Future and the difficulty I have sharing my insights on our Crisis-of-Crises, Big Challenge, and my UPLIFT proposal.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 I was in full agreement with Latour’s arguments for his use of “compose” for what we may do today; in particular because I have used the term for a few years in the same sense for myself – and for many of the same reasons (although not so well explicated as by Latour). The ways we view our own actions is not trivial,  Composing involves considerable feedback, both emotions in creativity and frustrations in the mechanics of writing, and concern for varied audiences, etc.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Latour is very effective in deflating the big bag of wind called “NATURE”, as the “positive humanist” name for all that is non-human, in line with the Great Bifurcation. The concepts were not new, but newly expressed for me and reminded me of past sensitivities when using “nature”. It reminded me of the improper use of the term “wilderness” I learned from an old issue of Whole Earth Review.  All those living in a “wilderness” find it “home”, it is a wild place only for trespassers. I have already gone through what Latour hopes to introduce to most about the negative aspects of the concepts we label “nature”.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 My thrust here, in this essay, is how I might “progress” (another term “critiqued” by Latour) in this general direction, possibly “composing prospects” for convening a learning expedition with Bruno, Douglas, myself and a few others.  What would be the “nature” of such an enterprise?

  • 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0
  • {This is my common use of “nature”, to signify the “workings of systems” I might use or be part of – implying quality precision-to-need. No implications of an ultimate reality of truth.}

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Recently I participated in a long TheNextEdge blog dialog about futurism and futurists; coupled with my own explorations on agency for sufficient change facing what I call Our Big Challenge (“picture” is a deceptive metaphor). How to comprehend and work with others on “our futures” was my obsession.  So, it was with great surprise to find Latour and Rushkoff claiming that almost everyone had abandoned “our futures”.  But, “things” are not that simple and the whole “enchilada” is again wide open.  I will not attempt that here.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 FUTURE to PROSPECT.  A quote from Latour specifically caught my attention:

  • 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0
  •     “We are progressively discovering that, just at the time when people are despairing at realizing that they might, in the end, have ‘no future,’ we suddenly have many prospects . Yet they are so utterly different from what we imagined while fleeing ahead looking backwards that we might cast them only as so many fragile illusions. Or find them even more terrifying than what we were trying to escape from.”  Earlier: “He has suddenly realized how much catastrophe His development has left behind him. The ecological crisis is nothing but the sudden turning around of someone who had actually never before looked into the future, so busy was He extricating Himself from a horrible past.”  Latour claims that our obsession with “the future” a few decades ago was actually a focus on an (extrapolated) past.
  •     This shift clarifies for me my difficulty sharing “societal metamorphosis”, “emergence vs transformation”, Mission_2000, and now UPLIFT. These are labels for PROSPECTS, not future proposals.  So many people are so entrenched to view human change as variations on trend projection (with minor operational transformational attempts) that they are unable to imagine significant alternatives.
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  •         For me, a PROSPECT is much more than a vision (the end point of a transformational sequence).  I have used the pair “mission/vision” to label this distinction. Working with prospects can involve scenario construction and plotting for future choices, but is very much more.Maybe the metaphors for a causal nature are far more captivating that we realize?
    I have never forgotten reading a “fact” that at Darwin’s time the term “evolution” was NOT used to describe his process of variation/selection because “evolution” was the term labeling the deterministic unfolding as occurs in embryonic development, and not the stochastic process of Darwinism. What I read argued (to the extent that I remember) that when the term “evolution” began to label the Darwin process it carried with it the deterministic connotation, causing considerable confusion.  Might the same-type connotational baggage being carried from FUTURES (studies in trend analysis) as an implied determinism when ORIGINATIONAL PROSPECTS are proposed?

    10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 In that human cognition is often non-logical, we can imagine people being open to interventions to modify trends – some that, over time, could have significant influence (such as technological innovations); and yet be blocked in the ability to imagine (a blind spot) a total replacement from scratch.  To some, such a proposal maybe reserved for those with divine powers, GODS.

    11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 NOTE:  I have elsewhere claimed that contemporary science is limited to the study of transformation and that there is yet to emerge a competent science of true origination, beginnings, creativity, emergence.  We will need to invent this new science as part of our PROSPECT.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 I have more essays by Latour to read, as part of a Magellan Course I am about to take, and I await Ruskoff’s book from the library. It is premature for me to claim that they are sufficiently liberated from the metaphors of a transformational nature to be open to consider a truly radical prospect: UPLIFT and the Migratory Metamorphosis from humankind to Humanity. But this quote from Latour is encouraging: “Let’s stop fleeing, break for good with our future, turn our back, finally , to our past, and explore our new prospects, what lies ahead, the fate of things to come.”

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 How might we humans begin to work on PROSPECTS?  Are there any essential competencies we currently lack? What scaffolding and technologies might be useful?  How do we “integrate” the emotional and conceptual, the sensory and the textual, the personal and the collective, etc.? How important is it that we know of personal details as cited in the Appendix?

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Most of what I have said so far relates to Latour. Yet, those familiar with my more recent rants can report my continuing critique of the best practices of activists in digital social networks. Rushkoff’s PRESENTISM provides a clarifying metaphor – there is no real movement “into the future” and my detection of a BLIND SPOT is very real.  Details Doug will provide in his book, and many details he probably has to share which didn’t get into the book, will prove very useful.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 As mentioned earlier I fantasize a temporally extended, well seafed process involving myself and others interested in exploring and learning to work with COMPOSING PROSPECTS.  I just now flash on how this may be viewed as a variation of my recent blog doc: Publishing Our Future.

  • 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0
  •     Composing Prospects should label the whole enterprise emergent in time; much more than Writing a Prospectus or Publishing a Future..

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 I grok some essential differences in Composing Prospects:

  • 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0
  •     Process ontology dominant.  Although there will be many, detailed scenarios and project proposals they will never assemble as an existential representative for our Prospect.  Many of these sems will be in systems of (seemingly competitive) complementarity.
  •     At many moments coordinated actions will be taken based on the collective knowledge and wisdom at the time. The outcome is never certain, and always experimental.  Alternative or “competitive” actions may be taken for evaluation – but seldom to determine a winner.
  •     Individuals learn to relax their drives for certainty, closure, and control. Persons gain agency by being holarchically collaborative (reesee personal to planetary).
  •     more ………..

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 On re-reading this a few days after writing I realize how rambling it became – but it is the start of a composition.  Meanwhile, while ill, I viewed six hour+ lectures by Latour.  Just a few days ago, at The University of Edinburgh – as the 2013 Gifford Lectures, Bruno Latour launched what might be the most significant effort to re-frame almost all of relevant, contemporary reality – into new frameworks hopefully better suited for humankind to relate appropriately with Gaia (which replaces “Nature”). SCIENCE, RELIGION, NATURE, AND POLITICS are all significantly re-framed.  What I have hinted at in this rambling essay are in context – as his re-framing may be seen as preparing-the-stage for the innovative performance of his “Manifesto”.  My concern is that just preparing-the-stage is an enterprise of such magnitude, complexity, and challenge that few will engage sufficiently.  I know that my 8 hours viewing the 6 videos, struggling with Latour’s accent, leaves me with much more work to do.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 The six lectures can be accessed at the site where a Magellan Course has recently started with the intent to work with these lectures.  I will refrain from commenting here on these lectures.
Please don’t view this post as a crafted effort to present a system of new ideas.  It is an attempted invitation to join in a new style enterprise to compose a prospect of the highest significance to  “all we hold so dear”.
APPENDIX – ON PROBLEMS COMPREHENDING.  However, a troublesome caution was encountered when reading and viewing Latour – my difficulty keeping concentration. I confess I have always had this difficulty with philosophical literature and I have actually read far fewer philosophers than most might expect.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 The meaning of many words become “slippery”. They “shift in color and vibration” (I have no visual imagery). Nothing is stable. Yet, there is a COMPOSITION circling an emergent coherence. This is his Compositional Manifesto article.  As he explicitly works with NATURE some of the other words he uses to assist him become slippery (for me).  This is probably due to my poor short term memory and never having fully focused on a concise definition of terms.  This makes this long essay by Latour difficult to process, but also exceedingly valuable. It calls for study, not just reading.

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 This is partly due to my personal disability with all sensory recall – I have none!  Yet, I wonder whether our best processes are adequate for us to explore and act on prospects of planetary and species-wide magnitude?

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 For most authors I read, I lock onto a meaning for all words used and have no difficulty reading (although the meaning I give some words may be different from those expected by the author).  When reading Latour’s essay I found myself trying to hold meaning for phrases to relate to the meaning of other phrases, and failing. On re-reading I discovered that I couldn’t settle on the definition of some terms and was unable to come to closure on some sentences. I expect that some persons have similar experiences attempting to read and comprehend my writings.

  • 24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0
  •         I have often speculated how persons not trained to read complex text may experience similar difficulties and find reading an unpleasant task to be avoided. When researching mental imagery while reading with my Intro Psy students in college I discovered that those with strong visual imagery had special difficulty reading highly conceptual texts where the visual imagery interfered with comprehension.
  •         I do this all the time when reading narrative and descriptive texts – I usually ignore most descriptive words as they trigger no sensory imagery for me. To focus on them while reading is far too time consuming and contributes very little. Yet, I do enjoy reading many novels.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 I know that my own writing is quite difficult for others to read. Although most of my writing is channeled unconscious (nuet), I do frequent editing. I desire my compositions (as I call them, and docs when presented) to be crafted with a high degree of precision of terms. I intend my compositions to be studied for full comprehension. I am prone to narrow down the meaning of a conventional term (and specify that in a glossary specific to the doc) or to coin my own terms (or term systems, such as vector terms).

  • 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0
  •         My recent compositions read fine to me, but I find my writing often awkward for older documents. Yet, I usually appreciate the craftwork and precision, even if only my own and for me.
  •         I should be said that my lack of sensory recall applies to my remembering my own compositions. There are many for which I encounter their titles frequently, so they are “on my list” and some I have re-read many times.  However, I have composed a lot, and forgotten a lot. Sometimes I discover a document I had written years ago that I am now attempting to compose – having totally forgotten having composed it and often quite surprised at the detail of the original.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 Adding this Appendix is motivated by my realization that the many that will participate in Composing Prospects will have different degrees and even styles of comprehending different parts. The scientific standards of full comprehension by all in a viable discipline must be relaxed. Yet, something that results in an “ecological coherence” must exist.  This may be simply saying that what will be composing for Humanity/Gaia will be well beyond the full comprehension of any single human – but would exhibit a clear collective signature.

6 Responses

  • Glistening, I believe we need some team dialog on options before we jump in on survey projects. I can think of many surveys which could be done as a system. I will be composing a prospectus for what we might be doing next. Such a survey you propose might be very useful, but we need to discuss what we might do with the results before we start the survey.

    Things are getting a bit “sticky” out there. That FB thread is morphing and expanding and becoming a microcosm of some of human activity. I very briefly skim but will not participate. I feel for Bonnitta, specially now that two keep hitting on her for deleting their posts. Now it is a group therapy session without a therapist. It all started when I questioned the strong climate denial among participants – and could never get my points even looked at.

    The BIG survey project is a Global Census on WHO IS HUMANKIND?

  • Glisten

    I have had an idea (again!). I would like to suggest we make a survey of the ‘field’ of innovative systems, and catalytic projects, proposals, and practices, in communication, education, interdisciplinary scientific research and humanities, and see how much of NUET’s forecast schemes are already emerging, covered partially or proposed to be developed. I hope this exercise will provide a scaffolding of “already existing” activities for us to incorporate into any (meta) proposal we could develop with a view to beginning to co-ordinate efforts toward a more coherent and effective future for us all.

  • Ria, I greatly appreciate your commenting in this blog. I have read your two Kosmos articles; copy/pasting parts to this outliner and making notes. We are working towards the same significant goals and “collective presenting” could be another name for a process in my model. But, we are not on the same page, don’t use the same language, and have some different assumptions. Yet, you responded to my post. At this stage I don’t see us in competition, and that we both would gain by more interaction. For me to expand on my notes and the parts I copied to respond to (most for clarity) would take many hours and from decades of experience this is not the route for deeper sharing. We need a circle of two.

    There are two terms that I am not clear on your meaning: authentic and source. I sense these reference a metaphysical domain beyond humankind and Gaia. I fully acknowledge a “reality” beyond humankind and Gaia but am not convinced by their reports that any humans have information from this domain that is not deeply interwoven with their human processes. Over my many decades I periodically dip my interest in search of reports I can believe are “authentic” – even personally knowing truly phenomenal persons who claim such access. I accept that persons do experience what they report; what I question is their interpretation of those experiences as related to the human process.

    Ria, I could add more, but won’t. I wish you well in improving and spreading your circles. I would gain greatly from participating in circles on many topics. Thinking about F2F circles triggered my interest in online circles which brought up the works of two persons I have forgotten about for over a decade: Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lentz. They designed the first groupware and coined the term and were instrumental in the design of the first social networking (hosting) software I used in 1984 called MIST+ (for which I had to buy the first IBM PC). They moved to Oregon and set up an exciting online presence called AWAKENING TECHNOLOGY. One feature was a visual circle on your monitor where each person was a point on the circle and they were facilitated in realtime processing. http://nexus.awakentech.com:8080/at/awaken.nsf?open Apparently they were still active in 2010 from their website: http://nexus.johnson-lenz.com:8080/jl/We3.nsf/Agents/Initialize?Open . Also, Humanizing Hyperspace (1989): http://www.context.org/iclib/ic23/jnsnlenz/ .

    Typical of my stupid behavior, I never attempted to bond with them, lost touch, and forgot. What they envisioned in the days when most online activity involved plain text was a way of bring what you call “collective presenting” to cyberspace. The potential still exists, and now we have many more tools. “Awakening Technology” was to mean both “a technology for awakening” and a process to “awaken technology”.

    • Thanks for responding Nuet!
      I have heard about this group Awakening Technology, because for a couple of years I was close to George Por, who was also related to Peter and Trudy. I guess they envisioned what we all are searching for – and I know I am generalising here!

      And yes, we are not on the same page, have different assumptions… and I think we all can learn from each other.

      With love from Belgium,

      • Ria. Interesting. I was a close colleague with George Por from 1988 until he left the USA – after which our direct contact is in hibernation; although I try keeping up with his work. I don’t remember him mentioning P+T, but we could have and my memory system can’t access. We were both following GROUPWARE in those early days and that may have been where George first encountered P+T, as did I.

        It is important that we recognize “THE BOOK” having more than one page (systems of perspectives & paradigms) even when they have difficulty engaging some pages. A barrier to the emergence of Humanity are the many who insist that “THE BOOK” has only one valid page.

        I have many close friends and colleagues who focus on different pages, and although we share frequently and support each other, we don’t seem able to visit each others’ pages – even when invited. A continual challenge. My lack of mental imagery in all sensory modalities – no recall of the past, no sensory imagination – puts me in a situation never having experienced what other claim foundational for their reality. However my mind works in compensation for the above disabilities, no one has yet been able to experience complexity as I do.

        Please send me essays or other creations from you; I will be interested.

        With love from nuet, the woven world, inner hosted by Larry

  • You might be interested in reading about some action research I/we have done – especially on this collective signature.
    Two articles were published in Kosmos magazine: http://www.kosmosjournal.org/articles/collective-presencing-a-new-human-capacity and

    I can resonate with the forgetting of what you wrote! I have it all the time now that I am checking a lot of material to write a book on this matter (Collective Presencing). It is only by ‘getting it under your skin’ that it doesn’t go away any more… telling it to other people; immerse your self in it with a group; find the bigger frame – things that helped and help me to counter this.

    With love from Belgium,


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