I have worked for several months to develop the ideas in this article and to articulate them in an accessible way. They are fundamental understandings underlying the co-intelligence vision of a wiser democracy.
If the ideas intrigue you, you can find a longer version with more detailed guidelines and references online. I wrote the abstract below to make it easier for you to see the whole pattern at once. I hope you find both versions interesting and useful.
As a civilization we have tremendous collective power, but we don’t always use it wisely. We can make good decisions, but we face messy, entangled, rapidly growing problems with complex, debatable causes. Efforts to solve one problem often generate new ones. We need more than problem-solving smarts here. We need wisdom.
A good definition for wisdom here is
the capacity to take into account
what needs to be taken into account
to produce long term, inclusive benefits.
To the extent we fail to take something important into account, it will come back to haunt us. But often we only realize we overlooked something long after our decision has been implemented. Certain practices – because they lead us to include more of what’s important – can help us meet this challenge. Here are eight complementary ways to do this. The more of them we do, and the better we do them, the wiser our collective decisions will be. Continue reading “Tom Atlee: Making Wise Decisions on Public Issues”
Today in cyber threats: more than four million Windows PCs have been commandeered by a botnet that cybersecurity experts are calling nearly “indestructible.” Known as TDL-4 (it’s the fourth iteration of the malicious program), this particular little nuisance hides in places security software rarely checks and speaks with other infected machines and their overseers in a novel encrypted code. Some are calling it the most sophisticated threat out there today. Watch your back, Stuxnet.
Phi Beta Iota: Apart from the known fact that the US Government ignored documented warning from Winn Schwartau, Jim Anderson, Bill Caelli, and Robert Steele in 1994, what we have here is the culimination of fifteen years in which governments continue to operate as Industrial Era hierarchies, choosing secrecy to protect incompetence rather than multinational sharing to achieve resilience–they are as a result inept beyond belief. The cloud–given the plethora of proprietary and therefore generally insecure hardware and software–is not going to be cleaned up on the present course, where spam is 75% of all email despite the best (isolated) efforts of all concerned. M4IS2, anyone?
Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that’s only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
There are a set of documents at the DOT&E website which offer DOT&E insights into the reason for why about 40 programs have experienced delays — and costs. These documents relate to a Tony Capaccio story in today’s Bloomberg News (below).
The document titled “Updated DOT&E Input on Program Delays” (at the DOT&E link shown above) identifies various specific reasons for the problems programs experience — different from most of the explanations from contractors and other system advocates in and out of the Pentagon. (Eg. for the F-35: Fly rates per month lowered to more realistic projections (from 12 max for all variants and venues to 10 max for CTOL/CV flight sciences, 9 max for STOVL flight sciences, 8 max for all mission systems); increased planning factors for re-fly and regression (up 15% for flight science, 10% for mission systems); more time required for software development and incremental builds.”)
Beyond the F-35, the various systems described in the analysis are typically more obscure programs (eg. AIM-9X 8.212 Software Upgrade) but there are also a few better known ones, such as LCS, which is described in “fly before buy,” Congress and the Navy want to rush ahead of testing to buy 4 LCS in the 2012 HASC DOD Authorization bill for $1.8 billion in production costs.
Availability of complete mission packages will be delayed until at least 2015.
Instead of withholding production of untested systems with clear and obvious development problems, Congress and the Pentagon are intent on business as usual. The LCS is a good example: instead of “fly before buy,” Congress and the Navy want to rush ahead of testing to buy 4 LCS in the 2012 HASC DOD Authorization bill for $1.8 billion in production costs.
Some will think the DOT&E analysis and documents to be obscure and too “in the weeds” to pay much attention to. Instead, they offer a major part of the explanation for why hardware costs and delays are so out of control, and they offer a stunning view into how little is being done about that.
Is there a new anti-intellectualism? I mean one that is advocated by Internet geeks and some of the digerati. I think so: more and more mavens of the Internet are coming out firmly against academic knowledge in all its forms. This might sound outrageous to say, but it is sadly true.
Robert David STEELE Vivas: Digerati are not geeks. They are adept at social media, a process, rather than the substance of any discipline. Their scorn for the mandarins of knowledge would not be possible if academia had not lost its soul, sanctioned massive intellectual corruption, and fragmented itself to the point of irrelevance. The serious educational literature (not something the digerati read) is clear: inspiration and innovation
emerge faster, better, and cheaper from minds that are prepared, to include a foundation of memorization and a deep familiarity with the thinking of those who have come before. The digerati point of view half-right and is embodied in Smart Mobs, Wisdom of the Crowd, Everything is Miscellaneous, and Maria Popova’s latest thought, that “information curation is the new authorship.” The digerati approach splits the roles of originator of an idea and connector of an idea down, and assumes that “the collective” can replicate and even surpass the individual human brain, without recognizing that the whole is only as good as the sum of the part foundation plus whatever the collective adds. My own finding re Wikipedia is that the mob destroys intellectuals. My own efforts to enhance the Open Source Intelligence page there were destroyed by idiots that “assumed” that because I pointed to oss.net so much (to many of the 800 people whose work is there including the 144 that received Golden Candle Awards) I was “self-promoting.” The digerati are fragile and very shallow, and by Larry Sanger’s very interesting account, a new form of neo-Luddite. The academy is corrupt and fragmented–we are in an era where all forms of organization have lost their soul and whatever semblance of philosophical context they may once have possessed. We are suffering from the Paradigms of Failure that I discussed in the pre-amble to ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (EIN, 2008). There is only one option leading to stabilization & reconstruction: INTEGRITY. The digerati aren’t–as a general rule–very appreciative of holistic thinking or in-depth expertise–they are a spoiled generation badly in need of some personal suffering and exposure to global reality–IMHO.
“The nature of cyberspace is borderless and anonymous,” R. Chandrasekhara, secretary of India’s telecommunications department, told a cyber security conference in London last week organised by a U.S.-based think tank, the EastWest Institute. “Governments, countries and law — all are linked to territory. There is a fundamental contradiction.”
Phi Beta Iota: The national secret intelligence communities mean well, but they are cognitively and culturally incapacitated in relation to both the global threats and the global infomation sharing and sense-making possibilities. It may just be that the solution has to come from a private sector service of common concern that can provide the integrity now lacking in governments and most corporation. Scary thought. M4IS2 is inevitable….delay is costing trillions.
Here are a few of the BIG lies used to support the status quo. What we need, rather urgently, is a counter-narrative
LIE 1. The earth is an open system with infinite supplies and sinks;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Earth is a closed system, changes that used to take 10,000 years now take three, humanity is “peaking” the entire system.
LIE 2. Everything must be monetized;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Money is an exchange unit and an information unit; in the absence of holistic analytics and “true cost” transparency, mony is actually a toxic means of concentrating wealth and depriving communities of their own resources (e.g. land).
LIE 3. The extreme unregulated free market is the only option for a modern economy;
POSSIBLE TRUTH: Information asymmetries and “rule by secrecy” have been clearly documented–the free market is neither free nor fair. A modern economy needs to be transparent, resilient, and hence rooted in the local.