Theoretical Man: being human right there with public man So, tell me what does make us so wonderfully human?
What I have discovered through my own experience is that being human has something to do with the need to balance paradoxes.
We – humans – we are just one. The same animal that gets up in the morning and has breakfast un-showered, is the same animal who shows up at the office in suit and tie – or whatever equivalent – for negotiations, job interviews or a dry key financial indicators presentation. But that is not the end of the story, we are really just one, just one culture. we all know this, and we all know that this is not all, there is a paradox of existence that needs to be balanced, the we and the I. In this presentation I will focus on one aspect of theoretical man, the balancing of the public and the private, and what that may or may not have to do with technology.
The logic of theoretical man centers around language, representational language, and the very creation – invention – of culture through language. While on language let me add a note to my use of the words man and men. To me a man is genderless and it is a figure of speech, it is not about gender.
There is enough information and scientific data out there to corroborate or underline just about any theory or opinion that you may come up with, it borders on total meaninglessness. I chose an ab initio approach, that is, from first principles. I have based my observations on my own knowledge in solid state physics and quantum mechanics, with the help from the contributions of Benoit Mandelbrot, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Bertrand Russel, Kurt Gödel, Richard Sennett, Christof Koch, Gregory Bateson, Lance H Gunderson and C S Holling, to name a few of the major influencers of my thinking. Of course Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, Lawrence Lessig and David Galipeau continue to provide good pointers along with all others with whom I interact in one way or another.
This will continue along the lines of what I sketched in The Rise of Public Man.
reboot is happening in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 31 and June 1, 2007.
I will follow up with a write up on what all of this means. Meanwhile for those who have requested the slides, here they are:
Thank you all for the feedback after my talk that went beyond and above anything that I could possibly have expected. The LIFT audience is a truly exceptional group of people who have touched me in ways that I could not even have dreamed of.
Update: The videos are up on the Lift conference site, and here it is the one from this presentation…
I stumbled upon this little blurb about an upcoming report on climate change that has invited me to think out loud about this issue.
This is not new is it?
I remember that in my student days in California, and that was about 30 years ago, there was already considerable debate on environmental issues and climate change. To put this in perspective I have to remind myself that then I was programming in FORTRAN and using a teletype terminal to access timesharing or using punched cards, however I was also wearing western cowboy boots that are so much en vogue these days. I do remember that there were classes being offered in the likes of topics like environmental chemistry and what not.
My observation is however that climate change is a global issue. Humans by their very selfish nature are not sensitive to global issues, and in addition humans are very adaptable and can live in just about any kind of climate. Humans respond to the immediate, not to the global. If it is not in their genes, it certainly is in their habits, but the global is not a concern for anybody other than a scholar, intellectual or philosopher. The global is however bartered and negotiated by another subspecies of the human race, l’homme politique, not the scholar, not the intellectual and certainly not the philosopher. The rest of us folks just watch the show – the disconnect between politics and reality – and continue either to struggle for existence or else in pursuit of our own hedonistic goals; the global is however very seldom included in our own personal agendas, we are into the immediate and that which brings us direct positive feedback towards reaching our goals.
We, this we being the human populace, have fiddled with our resources and we have transformed what we found laying around so as to fit our immediate needs and gave very thought as to what consequences or impact our doings would have on the very ecosystem that is feeding and maintaining our habitats.
I wonder what it is that is going to change our thinking and more importantly our plan of action?