After reading the Intro and first chapter a few comments. On p. 6 he discusses how monopolies intentionally thwart competition and innovation so as to maintain their stranglehold. But he claims entrepreneurs find a way around it and end up forcing competition with their better tech and price reductions. Yet he discusses on pp. 7-9 Larry Summers 2001 paper, wherein Summers acknowledges the emerging information economy was indeed moving to near marginal cost. Summers though didn't propose something like Rifkin but instead recommended "short-term natural monopolies" (8).

Recall Summers was Obama's pick for Director of the National Economic Council. His policy suggestions were well in line with the earlier promotion of "natural monopolies," and his resume attests. And we're seeing exactly this economic philosophy at play with the FCC Chairman Wheeler's proposed pay-to-play rules, where the ISP monopolies will destroy internet neutrality. Recall that Wheeler was another Obama pick, and was a former, and will return to being, a cable and wireless lobbyist. While Obama claims to back income equality and net neutrality he appoints the likes of Summers and Wheeler who make no bones about their support of monopolies. And without net neutrality good bye to Rifkin's entire plan, which requires it to succeed.

If you haven't yet, please take action to preserve it. Here's one place and you can find several others if you but look.

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Chapter 2 was about the transition from a feudal to market economy. The feudal system was based on the Great Chain of Being, a strict theological and hierarchical structure with God at the apex. Property was communally shared based on one's position in the chain. It was when property became 'enclosed' that it turned into private ownership. And with this the shift from a theological Great Chain to a more secular worldview of individual rights, at least for those that owned property. The hierarchy was retained on a societal level but now based on property instead of God. We might also say that these conditions led to the widespread emergence of egoic rationality for said individual property owners.

We can see that kennilingus retains the Great Chain in its transcend and include philosophy. Granted it no longer sees it as pre-fixed Platonic forms but does retain the morphogenetic gradient which involves from Spirit, or God by another name. Sure evolution plays its part, but it still must follow this gradient back up to Spirit. And we can directly experience Spirit via meditative techniques. Sure we will then interpret Spirit through our evolutionary level, but give proper evolution through transcend-and-include, and proper meditative training, we can and do advance up the chain back toward God. This structure is feudal and theological to the core.

Kennilingus, like the transition to a market economy, retained the hierarchy but also included the shift to individual private property. Along with this came the notion that one was better than others based on their degree of private ownership, if not God. Granted those still into religion combined that into the belief that God favored those who owned more, even in secular circles this better than thou attitude prevailed. It was through one's hard work and merit that they earned a higher socio-economic status. And those without such status deserved their lot due to sloth and laziness.

Or in the case of kennilingus, not evolving enough based on its own theological Great Chain structure, combined with its market-based private property rights. There too is a version of the "if you can manifest money and own more private property it's a sign of your spiritual progress." There is no sign of evolving into the kind of commons Rifkin promotes, or the kind of consciousness that goes with it. Or any analysis of the energy-communication infrastructure that goes along with that. Kennilingus is still stuck in both the feudal and market economic and consciousness models.

I certainly accept progress, which is tied to a kind of 'complexity.' But of a different kind than kennilingus transcend-and-include. We discussed this at length in several threads but this one is a good place to start, bringing in Cilliars, Morin, Prigogine, Bryant, DeLanda, Deleuze, Bhaskar and others. All of which, not surprisingly, are completely absent from kennilingus.

And, btw, Rifkin addresses this other form of complexity science by bringing in thermodynamics. His apt analysis shows how economics was stuck in Newtonian science sans such thermodynamic considerations. The same is true of certain kinds of complexity, chaos and quantum science as well, explored in the link. All of which stems from certain kinds of worldviews.

Rifkin is also good at showing the relation of worldviews to modes of production and communication. It is no coincidence that kennlingus has yet to embrace the emerging Commons, or its concomitant p2p structural dynamics.

Chapter 3 is on the first two industrial revolutions, which required vast amounts of capital to build its infrastructure. It also required vertical integration of huge organizational structures with top-down hierarchical control which he calls not coincendentally "rationalization." I suggest that this is the rationalized Great Chain hierarchy* we saw from the feudal era, where due to public education we entered the formal rational mode. All of which also saw the emergence of the legal rights of individuals.

On 55 Rifkin notes that while greed, deregulation and corruption certainly plays a part in what capitalism has become, he also asserts that this structure was a natural process for this sort of communication-energy-consciousness regime that provided a general increase in the standard of living for all. It's what we might call in kennilingus the dignity and disaster of the era. For now I simply note that in the emerging Commons era the capitalist structure has reached the point where its disasters outweigh its dignities. And, as Rifkin said, its own impetus for ever-increasing productivity at lower marginal costs has made itself near obsolete.

* This mode is still metaphysical in moving from theological to rational justification. How this process goes postmetaphysical will be explored with the emergence of the Commons era, forthcoming.

Chapter 4 is a quick run through of the accompanying worldviews from feudal to capitalism. He starts by noting that worldviews justify themselves as the ways things are, either by divine or natural order. The feudal Great Chain promised salvation by knowing one's place in the hierarchy and doing one's duty. In the transitional medieval market economy this shifted to one's hard labor, earnings and property as signs that one was favored by God, which shifted to a more secular notion of one's autonomy and worth as equivalent with one's property.

When the market economy transitioned into capitalism there arose much more vigorous defense of individualism tied with private property as inherent to human nature. Utilitarianism became the defining worldview justification. This led Herbert Spenser to twist Darwin's idea's into social Darwinism, a justification for “survival of the fittest.” Darwin was aghast at such a torturous distortion of his work.

Nonetheless Spenser saw the way of things thusly: “...all structures in the universe develop from a simple, undifferentiated state, to an every more complex and differentiated state, characterized by greater integration of the various parts” (64). Therefore only the most complex and vertically integrated business should survive, as this was natural to evolutionary development. All of which leads to oligopoly with its hierarchical and centralized command and control. This remains the dominant and regressive Republican view today in the US. And I might add the predominant spiritual, philosophical and economic kennilingus view as well.

Not to fret. At the end of the chapter Rifkin assures us that complexity is not synonymous with such a structure. As I've been saying, there is another kind of complexity as explored in this thread. That's where the emerging structure of the collaborative commons comes in, featured in the coming chapters.

On 71 of chapter 5 he discusses energy as the missing factor in measuring productivity, in addition to the usual factors of machine capital and labor performance. Thermodynamic efficiencies accounted for 86% of productivity gains in the first two industrial revolutions. This figure is misleading though in that the aggregate energy efficiency at the height of the 2nd revolution was 13%, meaning "the ratio of useful to potential physical work that can be extracted from materials" (72). He asserts given the infrastructure and fossil fuel supplies involved, there will not likely be further efficiency increases.

He notes that renewable energy (RE) energy efficiency however will have dramatic increases over fossil fuels. This is because of the exponential growth in RE development, where production prices are dropping and efficiencies are increasing at an accelerating rate much like the PC industry. Plus RE resources are virtually infinite compared to fossil fuels. He estimates that RE can improve aggregate energy efficiency to 40% or more in the next 40 years (72).

There was an interesting discussion of privacy and transparency. Capitalism was the age of privacy and individual autonomy, whereas the collaborative commons there is much more sharing and openness. Throughout much of history humanity did things much more communally and publicly, like eating, sleeping and even excreting waste products. With capitalism we moved many of these functions indoors and in our own private rooms. “The enclosure and privatization of human life went hand-in-hand with the enclosure and privatization of the commons” (75).

While the IoT is opening us again to more communal sharing, it is not a return to the kind that was pre-capitalism. Instead it is a concern with the balance between individual and communal, so that one can still have control over what private information one shares in social networks. We want to collaborate and share more, be more transparent than the capitalistic individualist, but also retain our private autonomy and property to some degree. Hence having some control over what we choose to share or not is a key security issue in the emerging IoT, as well as reflecting a worldview shift.

Chapter 6 on 3-D printing is astounding in the rapid developments being made. See the chapter for the voluminous details. My focus is on how it manifests in the emerging worldview. For one thing, it is based on open source software, not intellectual property. For another it is sustainable, give its additive construction process uses about one tenth the raw materials and wastes far less in the process. The materials used can also be local and re-used waste, thus eliminating high-end base materials manufactured from afar. They can even print out their own parts. The cost of 3-D printers is reducing rapidly so that the means of production will soon be in the hands of individuals and small collaborative groups. The entire process is P2P, democratic, lateral and based in local and regional communities, yet connected to the global community via the smart grid.

On 101 there are two anti-capitalist factions coming together. One is those who have been pushing for a return to more tribal culture using traditional, sustainable methods and reducing consumption. They are now merging with the high-tech nerds with the same values, but by implementing tech like 3-D printing. All of the above features of its infrastructure promote those values without regressing to a form of life that cannot change capitalism (107). Rather the new tech both transforms capitalism to the next wave and retains values from pre-capitalism, the latter also elevated in the process.

Chapter 7 on education is eye-opening. It is being transformed from the authoritarian top-down model where the teacher has all the answers to collaborative learning experiences with teachers as facilitators. Critical and holistic thinking are encouraged over memorization. Previously learning was thought of as a private, autonomous experience where the knowledge was one's exclusive property, and that one had to hoard it to compete with others for grades and jobs, just as in the capitalist paradigm. In the collaborative era knowledge is something to be shared in a community of peers, thereby creating a public good for all.

Virtual, online classrooms are currently supplementing brick-and-mortar and may eventually replace them. Pedagogy is also having students provide services in their local communities, as well as engage in environmental projects. Again this encourages moving education from a private affair into seeing how one empathically relates to others, their communities and the world at large. Such online classes also cost considerably less than attending universities, sometimes even free, thereby making an education available to a much larger portion of society. One of the primary requisites for a functioning democracy is an educated, informed and active public, and this new model is 'paving the way'* toward that end.

*As an aside, that is more than a metaphor. In OOO terms, this model is actually creating infrastructural educational pathways which enact an entirely different worldview. And again, it is not a regressive worldview due to the advanced technological and educational infrastructure being used, thereby creating a progressively better and more integrative view.

In response to your comment at the other thread about teaching holistic thinking in a new educational approach which is more oriented to the third industrial revolution:

Yes, Someting like holistic thinking is what my wife (a pre-school teacher) and I were talking about in terms of part of what I call the "sixth pillar" (psycho-social development conducive of lateral power). As you said earlier Rifkin is obviously committed to the sixth pillar even though he doesn't name it as one of the pillars. It is obvious though that it is a main factor for the TIR. And as you also said, his most recent book is mostly about that (LL?) factor. 

d
theurj said:

Chapter 7 on education is eye-opening. It is being transformed from the authoritarian top-down model where the teacher has all the answers to collaborative learning experiences with teachers as facilitators. Critical and holistic thinking are encouraged over memorization. Previously learning was thought of as a private, autonomous experience where the knowledge was one's exclusive property, and that one had to hoard it to compete with others for grades and jobs, just as in the capitalist paradigm. In the collaborative era knowledge is something to be shared in a community of peers, thereby creating a public good for all.

Virtual, online classrooms are currently supplementing brick-and-mortar and may eventually replace them. Pedagogy is also having students provide services in their local communities, as well as engage in environmental projects. Again this encourages moving education from a private affair into seeing how one empathically relates to others, their communities and the world at large. Such online classes also cost considerably less than attending universities, sometimes even free, thereby making an education available to a much larger portion of society. One of the primary requisites for a functioning democracy is an educated, informed and active public, and this new model is 'paving the way'* toward that end.

*As an aside, that is more than a metaphor. In OOO terms, this model is actually creating infrastructural educational pathways which enact an entirely different worldview. And again, it is not a regressive worldview due to the advanced technological and educational infrastructure being used, thereby creating a progressively better and more integrative view.

 

I don't much think in terms of quadrants anymore. My focus though in reading this book is on worldviews, which one could put in the LL quadrant. Rifkin though has a lot to say about the infrastructures of the commons, so one could put that in the LR. But he is also addressing accompanying worldviews.

Along the lines of putting disciplines in quadrants, by holistic thinking Rifkin means "to tear down the walls that separate academic disciplines and to think in a more integrated fashion. Interdisciplinary and multicultural studies prepare students to become comfortable entertaining different perspectives and more adept as searching out synergies between phenomena" (110). The strict placement of academic disciplines into myopically focused areas is indicative of the capitalist and "reductionist approach to learning that characterized an industrial era based on isolating and privatizing phenomena" (113). This is maintained in kennilingus quadrant and zone fetishism, with little said about how disciplines interrelate. Aside from indexing (giga-glossing),* which is itself just more of the same. Most specialists in particular disciplines are now getting with the newer trend of cross-pollinating their work with other disciplines, thus expanding their specializations while still retaining its boundaries, though now much more porous.

* That was Integral Options' response to this Lingam post.

You don't think about quadrants as much because you realize that they all interact to form each world view. Check out some of my exploration of quadrant interaction from my book-in-progress, Your Third Nature (see excerpt below). But just because we are looking more at dynamic interactions does not mean that we no longer see the static picture frames of quadrants which come together to make a moving picture displaying different world views in different parts of the overall "movie." Like Bohr thought, when we look at them -- observe them (quadrant/perspectives) with our filters or mechanisms or frames of reference -- they seem to act like particles instead of waves. When we think in terms of interactions and whole fields or whole cultural "pictures" (worldviews) the quadrants look more like uncollapsed waves, less deserving of freeze-framed treatment. 

For (relative!) brevity, I selected what I thought was my best of three lines of thoughts explaining the worthwhileness of looking at quad interactions (and risking some quad conflation in the process). In other words this is one of my best justifications for intentional "quad crossover." Intentional quad crossover is as different from unintentional quad crossover as trans-rational thought is different than pre-rational thought.

Excerpt from Your Third Nature

Yet another way to solve the apparent problem of conflating the UL integral quad or quantum quad A way of knowing with the LR integral quad or quantum quad D way of knowing just occurred to me. What if the major perspectives don't actually refer to the kinds of things or content being referred to? What if, instead, a “systems view” is a certain way of thinking about any reality, be it physical/classical or non-physical?

When using a LR integral quad or quantum quad D systems view you are basically looking at any type of collection of objects (whether collections of tangible things or intangible things like thoughts) in a mathematical sort of manner. You are seeing conceptual structures or formulas which help you navigate the given reality domain. Of our three justifications for greater quad D inclusion (seeing the other quads as being systems, as well as at times seeing systems as being part of the other quads), this reason may be the simplest and strongest. Since a systems way of conceptualizing things, regardless of those things' actual domain or dimension, is the essence of quad D (and perhaps Integral's LR quad as well), then inclusion of non-physical or non-classical objects doesn't mean we are merely conflating two major perspectives.

Instead, we are merely applying one way of knowing things to domains where other ways of knowing things are the default programs. We are merely overriding those actual domains' default programs with the systems-thought program. We can simply see a generally non-system reality in a systems sort of way.

It is no different essentially from looking at a tree as either a source of lumber (quantum quad B, UR integral quad) or as a beautiful natural work of art (quantum quad A, UL integral quad). Quantum quad D is referring to a “how;” not a what or bunch of whats. While it is not normally the default program for intangibles like thoughts it can be “run” as a legitimate way to see “how” thoughts act. It may not tell you “what” a thought is, but it can tell you something about how thoughts operate. The following is an example of how quantum quad D could be used as a legitimate program in a domain where we normally use a different (subjective, quad A) program.

You can opt to see your own nocturnal dreaming as being a dream-world “system.” This way of seeing subjective content is not the same way as actually experiencing the dream content while participating in the dreams themselves. Instead, the systems approach to understanding your dream might give you insights into the way that you inner “dream weaver” works.

This systems approach would probably tell you little or nothing about the existential meanings of the dream symbols, but it might help you learn to dream lucidlyto integrate conscious awareness and intention into the otherwise automatic dream world. This awareness of the way you are framing the experience seems awfully close, if not identical to, the practice of metaphraming. The mind-as-a-system view is understood to be a kind of metaphor which you use to help understand mind.

If we dare to look at our own thoughts and/or mind as a “system”―preferably using one or more of the above-mentioned means to avoid indiscriminate quad conflation―then even that “system” of thought or mind can develop into something “softer.” Your third nature can greatly assist you in achieving this “softer,” more “translucent” (to use spiritual philosopher Arjuna Ardagh's term) form of thought/thinking. Your own mind becomes more flexible and see-through.

Your third nature brings a deeper, inmost, “light” into the picture of whatever things you are thinking about, as well as into your picture of the mind itself. This softening and translucence-making of mind reminds me of one of the dreams I shared earlierthe dream in which my own spirit casually carried around my decapitated head!

Perhaps the light never takes specific form like a tree or a rock or other “thing,” but it makes its presence “known” in a subjective, felt, or sensed manner which is unmistakably “real.” Your third nature helps bring a non-dual awareness into your otherwise dualistic “system” of thought.

The logic of quantum quad D is “how.” It explains how you know what you think you know. It also allows you to use the system to achieve a certain outcome. If you understand a computer program you know “how” to make it perform certain calculations, etc. Quad D reveals a set of operations and primary keys. If you know its set of operations you will know both how to know and how to do, within the confines and potentials of that given system. If you know the system's primary keys, or main themes, you'll know the likely correct “trees to bark up” as you search for possible solutions or answers.  

darrell



theurj said:

I don't much think in terms of quadrants anymore. My focus though in reading this book is on worldviews, which one could put in the LL quadrant. Rifkin though has a lot to say about the infrastructures of the commons, so one could put that in the LR. But he is also addressing accompanying worldviews.

Yes, Very important first fruits of the prophesized "Tree of Life." The ability to once again see dynamic, life-like, wholes instead of a bunch of separate parts. The right brain is let in again after thousands of years of being an afterthought or second class citizen.

Science discovered energy and energy fields, thought about it as these phenomenon were being studied, but then in trying to wrap our minds around the anamolies associated with these phenomenon, and trying to get an appropriate theory explaining them, we began to think not only about, but like, energy. In order to understand the wierd things we were seeing in a sub-atomic realm, we had to at some point imagine being energy and seeing life from its point of view.

Intellectual investigation and thought thus led us through a neat back door to intuitive knowing and "spirituality." Reality was floating on top of it all along, but until we "thought about" long and thoroughly enough we were not likely to "think like" energy flow and fields.

But as I said in my first quad-related reply, the dynamic view also includes the static, in an include and transcend sort of way. Just as trans-rational thought includes rational thought while transcending it, unlike pre-rational thought which does not include (much, if any) rational thought. 

And yet I agree with Rifkin and you that now is the time to assume that the static realities will be hardy enough to not need to intentionally shore them up or emphasize them. The evolutionary tug is on seeing interactions of all sorts of things (hybrids) and domains (trans-quad, interdisciplinary). There is enough of a habit of identifying and reducing things that we can afford for some time to take our eyes off of that straight fast pitch ball and look at the new curve ball that acts like a wave. The new batter needs to learn how to hit curve balls. And when he or she does, we will all benifit -- we will win the "game" of survive-and-prosper. 

As a secondary program, however, the fundamentals of quad clarification need to be archived and retrieved when curve ball habits make us miss a good old fast ball. At some point we might become so dynamically and quantum-like or synergistically aware that we forget to take the trash out on trash day.  When that day comes, we will need to differentiate between trash and valuable household objects. 

Yes, adjusting to evolution is a matter mostly of right timing. Now is the time to think like energy. But we also need to pack a few necessities that we may need once again at some point in our future evolutionary journey. 

darrell 


theurj said:

Along the lines of putting disciplines in quadrants, by holistic thinking Rifkin means "to tear down the walls that separate academic disciplines and to think in a more integrated fashion. Interdisciplinary and multicultural studies prepare students to become comfortable entertaining different perspectives and more adept as searching out synergies between phenomena" (110). The strict placement of academic disciplines into myopically focused areas is indicative of the capitalist and "reductionist approach to learning that characterized an industrial era based on isolating and privatizing phenomena" (113). This is maintained in kennilingus quadrant and zone fetishism, with little said about how disciplines interrelate. Aside from indexing (giga-glossing),* which is itself just more of the same. Most specialists in particular disciplines are now getting with the newer trend of cross-pollinating their work with other disciplines, thus expanding their specializations while still retaining its boundaries, though now much more porous.

* That was Integral Options' response to this Lingam post.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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