Yoda: Integral Science Is the Force — Joining Intelligence with Integrity

Crowd-Sourcing, Culture, Economics/True Cost, Governance, Innovation, Knowledge, P2P / Panarchy, Resilience, Transparency
Got Crowd? BE the Force!
Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Imagine that the year is 1543 and you have just completed reading Copernicus’ newly published book, On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, that has attempted to convince you that your daily experience of the sun moving around a stationary earth is an illusion. What do you think the chances are that you would have accepted the Copernican argument that violates your direct perceptions?

Thomas Gentry, Nonlinear Dynamicist, 1995

Is Integral Science related to Paul Ray’s work on Cultural Creatives?
Yes, ISI is working toward the same Integral Society identified by Paul Ray (see Cultural Creatives, 2003). We believe Integral Science provides a clearer understanding of why Integral Society is emerging and a more solid foundation for understanding what the Cultural Creatives must do to make it sustainable.

Is Integral Science related to Ken Wilber’s vision of Integralis?

Though there are some overlaps, Integral Science’s empirical foundation leads to some different conclusions from Wilber’s Integral Psychology and Integralis. Both views, for example, integrate spirituality and the evolution of consciousness, Integral Science integrates them into a seamless view of physical reality, using serious work from across disciplines, and taking great care to logically connect the dots from different fields.

Why is Integral Society emerging?
What does Integral Science say about what it will be like? Great changes are driven into being by the failure of the previous system, a breakdown whose root cause is cultural decay and whose main marker is a web of crises popping up in every sphere. Vowing to find a better way, a new cultural thrust then builds itself up around a new noble vision and defining metaphor that it believes will avoid the fiascoes of the old.

Hence, today’s great change, like those of the past, is being propelled by crises felt in every field. Think of education, health care, politics, energy, the economy, community, justice, and the environment. Yet, while these individual calamities grab attention, it is slowly becoming clear that the root problem is cultural decay. Late Modern culture has become a malady and late Modern America epitomizes the result.

Learn more.

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Owl: Why the Elite Would Lose a Civil War

Crowd-Sourcing, Economics/True Cost, P2P / Panarchy, Politics, Resilience
Who? Who?
Who? Who?

Why The Elite Would Lose a Civil War

“Despite the fact that the banking elite wants to generate riots and stir social disorder in order to collapse the U.S. economy so they can buy up real assets on the cheap, if such chaos was to spill over into a full blown civil war, the consequences for the technocrats would be disastrous… In reality, even if a tiny minority of armed Americans chose to resist government oppression – the odds would be stacked hugely in their favor. Consider the fact that there are almost 100 million gun owners in the United States, who in total own over 300 million firearms and rising. There are only around 1.4 million active duty personnel in the entire US military – that includes the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Even if you include national guard reserves, the total figure is less than 2.3 million. Even if just five per cent of American gun owners actively resisted in a civil war, that would be five million Americans – more than double the entire US military and national guard, many of whom are already engaged overseas. So even if the government used the military to fire upon U.S. citizens, the troops would be easily outnumbered.”

This part of the article reminds one of John Robb’s super-empowered global guerilla*:

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Tom Atlee: A society governed by the people’s wisdom…

Politics, Resilience

Tom Atlee
Tom Atlee
A society governed by the people’s wisdom…

Last weekend I joined a small group exploring the idea that society could have the capacity to generate “public wisdom” and that we could empower that wisdom to support wiser public policy and popular behavior.

Because many people don’t know what we mean by “public wisdom”, we clarified that, for the purposes of this inquiry,
the word “public” means that

– the wisdom is generated by ordinary people
– in groups who embody the diversity of their communities
– for the guidance of officials and the citizenry (the whole public)
– regarding public affairs and the concerns of the citizenry
– in forms that are known about and readily accessible to everyone.

and the word “wisdom” means, simply,
– taking into account what needs to be taken into account
– for long term broad benefit.

Evidence suggests that under the right conditions, ordinary people can produce that kind of wisdom on behalf of their community or country. (I explore those “right conditions” in my 2012 book EMPOWERING PUBLIC WISDOM.)

In our gathering last weekend, my colleague Carolyn Shaffer invited me to answer the following question:

“How is life in the public realm better after empowered public wisdom takes hold?”

Her question invited me to assume that a culture of empowered public wisdom had already come about. It was an interesting exercise. I want to share with you my answers. Perhaps they will help you see why some of us are so attracted to this approach to social change.

When I imagine myself in a culture that enables and empowers public wisdom, I imagine a society in which the following are true:

Read full article.

John Robb: Resilience With Stacked Functionality

John Robb
John Robb

How Your Home Can Produce MORE With Less

When I walk through my home and around my yard, I’m constantly looking for ways to do more with the space I have available.

More? No, I’m not talking about finding ways to store more stuff by stacking and packing it in every nook and cranny.

Instead, I’m talking about finding ways to produce more in less space.

One of the secrets I’ve found to producing more, is to stack functionality so that the same space can do many things simultaneously.

panels 1Here’s an example. Here’s ground mounted solar system that a family in Devon, UK had installed (via Chris Rudge). Incidentally, this install is about what a family needs to power their home.

Ground mounted solar panels are often a smart choice, if you have a place to put them for a variety of reasons (cost to performance). However, ground mounted panels deprive you of usable land unlike roof mounted panels.

How do you fix this?

By using the space under the panels as a shed, chicken coop, or other useful structure. Something like this solar shed (via Pete Blanchard):

panels 2Can more functionality be added? Sure. You could turn the panels into a rainwater harvesting system, by adding a gutter and a cistern.

You could also turn the shed into a place that houses a battery bank to provide back up power for your house. Or, you could turn the shed into a workshop to use the power produced by the panels to make things you can sell to the world.

Be creative. If you have some ingenious ideas, please share them in the comments below.

Resiliently Yours,

PS: This is a classic engineering technique. It’s also something that is used in permaculture design.

PPS: Think about stacking functions serially and in parallel.

Michel Bauwens: Economic Value of Nature – Priceless — AND Irreplacable

Earth Intelligence, Resilience
Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens

Why the economy needs nature

Nature is not a drag on growth – its protection is an unavoidable prerequisite for sustaining economic development

Tony Juniper

The Guardian, 9 January 2013

One of the greatest misconceptions of our time is the idea that there is somehow a choice between economic development and sustaining nature. The narrative developed by the chancellor, George Osborne, since the 2010 general election provides a case in point. He says environmental goals need to be scaled back to promote more growth.

The reality we inhabit is somewhat different, however. One hundred per cent of economic activity is dependent on the services and benefits provided by nature. For some time, and during the last decade in particular, researchers have investigated the dependence of economic systems on ecological ones, and in the process have generated some striking conclusions. I tell the stories behind their findings in my new book, What has nature ever done for us?

While many mainstream economists suffer from the kind of delusions that make it perfectly rational for them to accept to liquidate natural systems in the pursuit of “growth”, different specialist studies reveal the huge economic value being lost as decisions and policies that are geared to promoting economic activity degrade the services provided by nature.

For example, as we struggle to cut emissions from fossil fuels, one study estimates that the value of the carbon capture services which could be gained through halving the deforestation rate by 2030 is around $3.7 trillion. And the wildlife in the same forests has huge value too – about 50% of the United States’ $640bn pharmaceutical market is based on the genetic diversity of wild species, many of which were found in forests. And it’s not only the genetic diversity in wildlife that brings economic benefits.

Among other things, wildlife also helps to control pests and diseases. The cost of losing India’s vultures has been estimated at $34bn, largely because of the public health costs associated with their demise, including increased rabies infections. The annual pest-control value provided by insectivorous birds in a coffee plantation has been estimated as $310 per hectare while the annual per hectare value added from birds controlling pests in timber-producing forests has been put at $1,500. Great tits predating caterpillars in a Dutch orchard were found to improve the apple harvest by 50%.

The services provided by animals, such as bees, doing the pollination work that underpins about one trillion dollars-worth of agricultural sales has been valued at $190 billion per year.

Read full article.

See Also:

What has nature ever done for us? [Review]

Patrick Meier: Creating Resilience through Big Data

Patrick Meier
Patrick Meier

How to Create Resilience Through Big Data

I’ve been invited by PopTech and the Rockefeller Foundation to give the opening remarks at an upcoming event on interdisciplinary dimensions of resilience, which is  being hosted at Georgetown University. This event is connected to their new program focus on “Creating Resilience Through Big Data.” I’m absolutely de-lighted to be involved and am very much looking forward to the conversations. The purpose of this blog post is to summarize the presentation I intend to give and to solicit feedback from readers. So please feel free to use the comments section below to share your thoughts. My focus is primarily on disaster resilience. Why? Because understanding how to bolster resilience to extreme events will provide insights on how to also manage less extreme events, while the converse may not be true.

One of the guiding questions for the meeting is this: “How do you understand resilience conceptually at present?” First, discourse matters.  The term resilience is important because it focuses not on us, the development and disaster response community, but rather on local at-risk communities. While “vulnerability” and “fragility” were used in past discourse, these terms focus on the negative and seem to invoke the need for external protection, overlooking the fact that many local coping mechanisms do exist. From the perspective of this top-down approach, international organizations are the rescuers and aid does not arrive until these institutions mobilize.

Read full article with links and graphics.

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Theophillis Goodyear: Short-term Adaptation Can Be Long-Term Maladaptation

Theophillis Goodyear
Theophillis Goodyear

It occurred to me as I was reading Beatrice Benne’s article, “Demystifying Pattern(s) of Change: A Common Archetype,” that America is facing calamity now because we’ve been so wildly successful at going through the adaptive change cycle, over and over. But the successes were short-term, and now all these short-term successes are adding up to a dead-end long-term strategy.

So it’s not only important to successfully adapt, it’s also important how you adapt. It’s not only change itself but the quality of change that’s important; and we can only measure quality by thinking in eons rather than years, decades, and centuries. Today’s joyous rebirth can be tomorrow’s problem child.

So Benne’s patterns made me think of fractals because fractals repeat patterns in successively larger scales. Short-term patterns add up to larger long-term patterns. So successful change, in and of itself, can be extremely misleading. Of course this is common knowledge to systems thinkers.

It’s the success of humans that is killing us as a species. We’re similar to the rabbit plague of Australia. We have no natural predators to speak of except for our own species.

But the main point I wanted to make about the patterns illustrated in Beatrice Benne’s article, is that each pattern can be a small section of a larger fractal pattern. Short-term successes can be collectively heading to long-term failure.

So the kind of insights required to solve short-term problems are often not enough. We need to start seeing these short-term patterns as small waves adding up to form a larger wave. And of course that’s exactly what systems thinkers are doing. But sometimes it’s good to state the obvious out loud.

Phi Beta Iota:  In order words, the corruption of short-term deal-making is the cancer of long-term resilience.  We’ve not only eaten our seed corn, we’ve been crapping in our water well.

John Steiner: THE GLOBAL MARCH TOWARD PEACE by Gareth Evans*

BTS (Base Transciever Station), Culture, Peace Intelligence, Resilience
John Steiner
John Steiner

A starting point for the new Secretaries of State and Defense.



Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister for eight years and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, is currently Chancellor of the Australian National University and co-chair of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect. As Foreign Minister, he was at the forefront of recasting Australia’s relationship with China, India, and Indonesia, while deepening its alliance with the US, and helped found the APEC and ASEAN security forums. He also played a leading role in bringing peace to Cambodia and negotiating the International Convention on Chemical Weapons, and is the principal framer of the United Nations’ “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Project Syndicate, 27 December 2012

CANBERRA – If we were hoping for peace in our time, 2012 did not deliver it. Conflict grew ever bloodier in Syria, continued to grind on in Afghanistan, and flared up periodically in West, Central, and East Africa. There were multiple episodes of ethnic, sectarian, and politically motivated violence in Myanmar (Burma), South Asia, and around the Middle East. Tensions between China and its neighbors have escalated in the South China Sea, and between China and Japan in the East China Sea. Concerns about North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programs remain unresolved.

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Yoda: Demystifying Change – Thesis, Anti-Thesis, Synthesis

Advanced Cyber/IO, P2P / Panarchy, Resilience
Got Crowd? BE the Force!
Got Crowd? BE the Force!

May the force be with you….

Demystifying the Pattern(s) of Change: A Common Archetype

April 17, 2012


Complex Adaptive Systems Adaptation at the Edge of Chaos

Without going too deep into the theories, complexity science and the theory of complex adaptive systems teach us that complex adaptive systems (CAS) and living systems (LS) adapt to changes occurring in their environment in a state away from dynamic equilibrium, at the edge of chaos—a paradoxical transition phase of simultaneous stability and instability.  At the edge of chaos, when the conditions are right, the components of CAS and LS are able to spontaneously self-organize, without any blueprint.  The result is the emergence of new structures of higher-level order and new patterns of organization better adapted to the environment.  This creative process, taking a system from dynamic equilibrium to the edge of chaos, and, then, to a higher state of order, coherence and wholeness is depicted on Figure 2.  It is important to note that emergence is never a guarantee.  When the system does not have the required learning capacity to creatively self-organize and transform, it may go through an immergence—a process of disintegration and complete breakdown.

Read full article, additional graphics.

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NIGHTWATCH: Chinese Claim to East China Sea Based on Continental Shelf

Geospatial, Resilience
Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

China: China has submitted to the United Nations what it calls geological evidence that it contends prove that disputed islands in the East China Sea are Chinese territory

China says its continental shelf extends across to the Okinawa Trough, just off the Japanese island of Okinawa, an area that takes in island territories owned by Japan.

The continental shelf is the relatively gently sloping seabed from the shoreline that ends when the seabed drops off steeply to much greater depths. Waters on the continental shelf are usually around 600 feet at most.

Details of China’s claim are in its presentation Partial Submission Concerning the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles in the East China Sea.

Xinhua the state-run news agency reported Chen Lianzeng, deputy head of China’s State Oceanic Administration, saying geological characteristics show that the continental shelf in the sea is the natural extension of China’s land territory.

Comment: The Chinese submission is an example of legal chicanery as a high art. Japan’s ownership of the islands is by right of conquest and occupation. China’s submission to the UN is based on geology. This is an incongruity. Geology has no standing against physical occupation and administration.

The Chinese are seeking the moral high ground and presenting themselves as victims. In fact, they are manipulating the UN to back-up their assertions of ownership with scientific documentation in a forum that is hostile to the US and US allies. China does not want to administer the Senkakus. It wants to explore and exploit seabed resources. .

Fortunately, Japan has no obligation to comply with any UN determination, which ineluctably would rule against Japan.


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SchwartzReport: Growing Food in Desert with Solarized Seawater — AND Stabilizes Sea Level

Economics/True Cost, Innovation, Knowledge, Resilience

Growing food in the desert: is this the solution to the world’s food crisis?

Philipp Saumweber is creating a miracle in the barren Australian outback, growing tonnes of fresh food. So why has he fallen out with the pioneering environmentalist who invented the revolutionary system?

Jonathan Margolis

The Observer, Saturday 24 November 2012

Desert blooms: Philipp Saumweber, the founder and CEO of Sundrop, with a tray of his “perfect” produce. Photograph: Jonathan Margolis for the Observer

The scrubby desert outside Port Augusta, three hours from Adelaide, is not the kind of countryside you see in Australian tourist brochures. The backdrop to an area of coal-fired power stations, lead smelting and mining, the coastal landscape is spiked with saltbush that can live on a trickle of brackish seawater seeping up through the arid soil. Poisonous king brown snakes, redback spiders, the odd kangaroo and emu are seen occasionally, flies constantly. When the local landowners who graze a few sheep here get a chance to sell some of this crummy real estate they jump at it, even for bottom dollar, because the only real natural resource in these parts is sunshine.

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John Robb: My Home Supports Me, Does Yours?

John Robb

Increasingly, My Home Supports Me. Does Yours?

I think every home should be a productive asset.  An asset that helps you succeed in life and supports you as you get older. Unfortunately, most people don’t see it that way. They see a home as an empty shell. Their perfect home doesn’t produce.  In fact, it costs money.   Their homes only  generate a return if you are lucky enough to sell it for more than you bought it. That doesn’t cut it for me.

Particularly when there are a great many low cost — in time, effort, and money — things that can be done to increase your homes ability to produce. Simple things people can do to avoid wasting money and making themselves vulnerable to adversity. The best way to do start is to take a modular approach.

A Modular Approach to Rainwater Harvesting

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John Robb: Global Economic Reset — And Surviving It

Communities of Practice, Officers Call, Policies, Resilience
John Robb

A Global Economic Reset? Don’t Wait to Find Out. Build Something Better

By John Robb

Building a resilient life, home and community is its own reward.  It’s simply the best way to live a good life.  However, there’s also another reason to do it.  It’s where the global system is headed, and the penalties for not starting early are steep.  To really understand this, here’s a well-written and detailed report on how and why a collapse of our global financial and economic systems are likely to occur.

It’s a new report called, “Trade Off” by David Korowicz.  Here’s a quick summary:

  • The global financial and economic system is now a network. Everything is connected.
  • This system has become VERY big and VERY complex. It’s simply beyond what government bureaucracies and markets were designed to manage/control.
  • Inevitably, as with all unstable systems that can’t be manged/controlled, it will collapse. It will shrink to a size that can be managed through markets and bureaucracy.

As reports on this topic goes, it’s very well written and provides quite a bit of conceptual detail.  However, as with ALL reports on this topic, it doesn’t offer a solution.  Why? There simply isn’t one available for the system as it is today. No fix. No patch. No tweak that will auto-magically fix our system’s problems.  So, what happens when the global system resets? Nobody really knows, but….

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Reflections: Intelligence for the President Revisited

All Reflections & Story Boards, Economics/True Cost, Education, Innovation, Knowledge, P2P / Panarchy, Politics, Resilience
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Click on Image for Bio Page



I am delighted to find some of my earlier work being looked at with new eyes.

Intelligence for the President–and Everyone Else: How Obama Can Create a Smart Nation and a Prosperous World at Peace (CounterpPunch, Week-End Edition,Feb 29 – Mar 02 2009)

Fixing the White House and National Intelligence  (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 23/2 2010)

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