The claim Jim Coffman and I make in our coming book is that Homo sapiens has lost touch with reality while transforming the world. Little by little I have been using this series to establish that idea on firm ground. The reasons have been many and we have no where exhausted the arguments. We have cited some books by well known authors that all give us pieces to the puzzle. The idea that something is radically wrong is not hard to accept when we watch the political dialog and rhetoric and just plain foolishness going on as we plod along in this election year. What is much harder to accept is that there are meaningful explanations for these common phenomena. Reading our blogs we see the republicans as a bunch of really weird persons saying incredibly dumb things. That should win the election for us right? It may well do that. I keep prodding you to look beyond the election for the questions I am asking will be there then. We will have come no closer to answering them. The real question is: what is real in our present situation? That's what we set out to answer. Our conclusions are radical. There is good reason for that. "Radical" is definitely a context dependent word. We are probably as radical as anyone out there yet we want you to believe that we have put things together in a way t5hat makes sense. If you read on below I'll try to spell it out step by step.
I'm not going to bother linking books and references in this diary. I have tried to do that carefully throughout the series. Nor will I try to make you feel comfortable about your doubts and skepticism for they belong there. I can not do the cognitive work that you need to do for you. If you read George Lakoff you will see what I am talking about. Your unconscious, like mine, has tons of baggage that we have collected from every imaginable source over our entire lives. That is the basic starting point. Until you are willing, as some of us already have begun, to step out of your belief structure and the unconscious frames it works from, you will remain merely a skeptic. I will not be able to convince you. The way I have changed my world view over the years is to take certain risks. One of the most dangerous and important is to try to think in a way you are resisting. Let your mind try to grasp ideas you "know" are wrong. This is dangerous! You may, in fact see what the other point of view is based on. Then you still have a choice. But now it is a conscious choice! I don't own those thoughts. Much of it is a take off on Lakoff and other sources I could be quoting. What are some of these things that you have down there in your unconscious that make it hard to go along with the evidence I have bombarded you with?
Let's start with a big one. The categories of knowledge and the labels for them that you have accepted as "real" aspects of the real world are supposed to tell us how knowledge is dealt with by an enlightened person. I challenge this. It is all based on a model. The model is not what you bring up to the conscious level when you think, it is the results of that model. I have been challenging that model. The only way you can deal with that challenge is by examining the model and how it factors into these "self evident" things that I seem to deny. My basis is the dicovery that we share in a common legacy that goes back a long way. I learned about this mainly from Rosen and then Lakoff but now many others have joined in the paradigm shift in various ways.
Let's look at some aspects of the "clay feet" of the old way of thinking about the world. Vine Deloria Jr. has suggested that the Western Christian Creation Myth is destructive to our relationship with nature. Rosen has told us that the Cartesian, Newtonian reductionist basis for the mind/body duality and the machine metaphor are destructive to having a good relationship with nature even through science!. Brian Arthur and Katherine Hales have told us that we are no longer in control of the products of our minds in this explosion of "technology" we have created to transform nature into something like Dr. Frankenstein's monster. Robert Reich and others have told us about the system's character of Capitalism and the new Global Economy. The world is changing at a rapid rate. One way is the thing that we call nature is more and more dominated by us in ways we do not control! Our "share" of nature is an ever increasing one. How much longer until we have made ourselves the ultimate controlling factor as we totally lose control?
Has "Nature" become reduced to what we see in Zoos and the "discovery Channel" for most of us? Is there much left of "Nature" that we have not altered irreversibly? This is a very coherent picture of where we are. No folks, reality is not "discovered" by science. It is not what we capture in films and photographs. It does not exist in our labs. We have transformed it. Where is the grand plan? Who decided that we should do this? Are we aware of what we have done and are doing? look at your world model and tell me what it yields as answers to these questions. I submit that it is based on a collective set of myths and poor models that got put into your unconscious over your lifetime and that you have probably never really been confronted with the mass of evidence that we have assembled to show where it lost touch with reality before.
No we won't settle these things in this diary or in any number more. I'll keep laying out the case, but it will take time. Meanwhile, try my risky experiment. Try to see the world in this new way. I'll warn you that if you succeed there is a high probability you will be irreversibly changed. Hopefully your ability to be in touch with reality will have increased.