Metamodernism preserves knowledge
History can be divided in pre-classicism, classicism, modernism, and postmodernism. Pre-classicism is a collection of knowledge accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years until Greece, classicism over few thousand years since Greece, modernism over a century or so since 18th century, and postmodernism over few decades in the second half of 20th century. Classicism, modernism, and postmodernism removed some knowledge from previous periods, causing a drastic contemporary reduction in knowledge and increase in risk and values.
Metamodernism, coming after postmodernism, aims to restore the lost knowledge from each period making it available for contemporary use. This is enriching knowledge from each of the periods making it safer and more valuable. Modernism and postmodernism especially had little time to develop knowledge yet have great power and are therefore very unsafe. Their risks and quality would be lowered by adding pre-classical and classical knowledge.
Openness formalizes power exchange
Centralized power system is always changed by the power of its members. While it changes its members it is also changed by its members. This is a constant presence in all power centralization.
Openness allows the centralized power system and its members to formalize and control this power exchange. Openness makes this power relationship transparent and improves the benefits for both centralized power and its members.
Without openness, a closed centralized power system is still changed but most likely in a damaging way, which then also corrupts the effect over its members.
Centralized power systems are always changed by its members, and they have a choice to make it beneficial for all through openness, or make it damaging to all by being closed.
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Powerless member change as a hyper-centralized system defense against change
Hyper-centralized systems resist change. The greater the system is the harder it is to change due to complexity of change and risks associated. Most common strategy hyper-centralized system uses to resist change is to request system members who are not decision markers to make changes. Since these members have no power over the system they will start making changes which change their own behavior but will not change the system. These changes can be beneficial or detrimental to the lives of these members, however the system will not be changed, or if there is any change it will be symbolic, far from the change actually required for the real result.
Conflict between art and hyper-centralized power
Art is a form of communication which creates and shares highly subjective personal perspectives. It is created and shared by all individuals. Personal subjective perspectives are necessary for development of consciousness.
Hyper-centralized power promotes only a single perspective, narrative, idea, plan. This perspective is simplified and generalized so it is accepted by the majority of the system members with minimal conflict. Art is in direct conflict with hyper-centralized power perspective because it creates complex, nuanced, and unlimited perspectives.
Hyper-centralized power manages the conflict with art using following strategies:
– Moving the focus from the art purpose – sharing of perspectives – to art production process (technology, technique),
– Hiding the true perspectives offered by art by changing the meaning and presentation of art,
– Expanding its perspective to include some art as a way to reduce the conflict,
– Expanding hyper-centralization in the realm of art by sharing the power with few artists.
Art can protect itself using following strategies:
– Prioritize the purpose of subjective perspective sharing,
– Educate the audience about the subjective perspectives and their unavoidable conflict with hyper-centralized power perspective,
– Avoiding centralization by constantly building inclusive supportive decentralized open systems.
As hyper-centralize power grows, art will be further reduced in favor of consumption of a single simple generalized perspective and not for production of many personal subjective perspectives. Art will co-exist with hyper-centralized power but in an extremely diminished and centralized form used to further empower the hyper-centralized decision makers. It will not offer necessary perspectives for growth of individual members which will reduce the consciousness of individuals. This reduction and lack of development might be covert due to the use of remaining art surrogate which minimizes the conflict.
Metamodern and open artificial intelligence design
The main purpose of modernism is to reach perfect objective efficiency. All major contemporary artificial intelligence (AI) projects are modernist.
In all major projects AI is used to replace human decision making by reducing it drastically to the most efficient decision making parameters. Remaining parameters benefit the centralized power which designed it, maintaining the main functions of the decision while removing parameters which provided benefits to the members of the system influenced by the decisions. Removed parameters were based on empathy and other human behaviors.
Example is credit score rating which included a human-to-human interviews, but is now completely automated by AI. Human-to-human interviews still included, to some extent, higher level functions such as empathy, wisdom, compassion, relationship. Once automated credit score rating has been reduced to only a fraction of parameters a human used. Such reduction in the decision making process increased the efficiency of the process in the short term.
Mechanical automations applied, for example, in factories, copied and added to human processes increasing efficiency and benefiting all members of the system. However, AI does not copy the whole decision making process, but actually reduces it drastically by removing higher level human thinking. Such thinking was developed in humans as a safety precaution and a relationship element. Once such thinking is removed, such decision making processes drastically loose value and potentially cause damage.
This is a problem metamodernism and openness should address. Metamodernism as a design method should allow AI designers to fully understand the decision making processes – it their entirety. Such understanding would allow them to prevent or minimize damage by pure modern design.
Openness applied to AI design should be used as a continuous improvement method which minimizes further damage once AI starts engaging.
Reduction of meaning as a resistance to change of hyper-centralized systems
Centralized power depends on centralized mass media and centralized ideology to avoid change. It will always produce content which reduces the overall meaning. It will not only reduce the amount of knowledge and wisdom accessible, but it will also reduce the meaning of words. It will promote the use of empirical language in which words have only one meaning, and lower the use of other forms of language in which words have multiple meanings representing multiple perspectives.
One of the symptoms of hyper centralized power which avoids change is reduction of meaning and perspectives.
As centralized system focuses on a goal, and gets closer to that goal, it promotes more and more a narrow perspective and meaning which serves that goal. Often this goal is not formalized because formalization itself is a risk which leads to undesired change.
As perspectives and meaning are reduces, frustration and need for change will increase. However, only possible way to change is openness which increases knowledge, wisdom, meaning, and perspectives. Using the reduced language and perspectives to achieve change will not cause any relevant change.
Diversity of representatives is in conflict with openness
Diversity of decision makers in a centralized system is not a relevant step towards the equality. It implies indirect limited representation of the specific groups of people by the decision makers who come from those groups of people. However it offers no guarantee that knowledge, wisdom, and decisions of the members of those groups will be included in the centralized power decision process.
Representation as a system of collective decision making is using diversity to extend its centralized distribution of power. Representation, diversity, and openness are many cases placed in conflict because representation and diversity can maintain centralization as is, while openness changes it.
Centralization and empty content
Mass media – a necessary component of hyper-centralized system – must produce substantial amounts of content to maintain the centralization. This content must not contain any values and can not oppose any truth.
Therefore it is empty content – content which does not develop consciousness and is not entering in conflict with any established truth. Purpose of this content is to exist and spend the limited cognitive resources of system members. It is not engaging members on the level of intelligence or consciousness, but on the level of instinct, or is avoiding any engagement.
Manufacturing of empty content is the result of a closed system which is not capable to create values and change, but focuses only on managing risk – avoiding conflict with truth and avoiding radical unknown incontrollable change.
To add values to content it is necessary to open the mass media and switch to open decision making in the centralized system. Once values are added to the content and mass media, intelligence, and – more importantly – consciousness will start to develop.
Otherwise empty content will continue to regress consciousness and intelligence of its members.
Purpose of collective and collective guilt error
Collective can not be treated as an individual because individuals do not below to a single collective, and collective is an abstract generalization of their knowledge.
Therefore collective guilt, a concept often used in journalism and politics, is false and its application is an error.
It is possible that when high level of pressure is applied on many individuals that they align their goals more and more with collective goals. However, this situation is often manufactured by centralized power using mass media and economic sanctions. The same individuals, when pressure is released, quickly give a lower priority to collective goals and focus on individual goals.
For individuals, collective is a source of intelligence and knowledge. They outsource some of their cognitive tasks to a collective and evaluate only results. Individuals have a very high capacity in evaluation of collective intelligence results, however their decisions appear poor to those who do not share their resources, pressures, and overall situation.
Anarchism, coercion, revolution, change
Main goal of anarchism is to remove coercion from all systems. In error, most anarchist wish to remove institutions which use coercion which can only be attempted through a revolution and has proven ineffective.
Coercion can only be eliminated by itself, and not by elimination of institutions which use it. If institutions are removed while coercion is not directly addressed, coercion will remain within the system and enter new rules.
Most effective way to remove coercion is to keep institutions but remove coercion by offering a move effective and more valuable method than coercion.
Design and ontology
Design is an act of merging ontologies for the purpose of acceptance of one or more ontologies within others.
Role of a designer is to be a bridge between ontologies. Designers must understand both ontologies and discover the way way to fit them into a single product.
Metamodernism and openness as ontological methods for collective intelligence and consciousness growth
Knowledge can be defined as an ontology. Language is the dominant ontology management method in contemporary systems. It is more effective than imagery and other methods because contemporary systems depend highly on abstract yet precise ontologies. Therefore ontology, knowledge, and language are one in this article and will be presented by the “ontology”.
If a goal of a system is to increase collective intelligence and consciousness, system changes should be observed through ontology changes. Ontology changes between traditionalism, modernism, and postmodernism show what kind of language is needed for metamodernism and openness to increase collective intelligence and consciousness.
Traditionalism had a stable ontology. Modernism rapidly expanded the traditional ontology by adding to it and rarely changing it. Postmodernism is mostly focused on changing traditional and modern ontology, adding little to both. Postmodernism depends on closed centralized power to create these ontology changes.
Metamodernism and openness should direct ontology development towards following goals:
– Postmodernism expands instead of changes traditional and modern ontologies,
– Ontology changes are more open and less centralized,
– Adoption of non-binary (oscillating) ontologies.
If ontology development is directed towards these goals a system will experience increase collective intelligence and consciousness growth, and will avoid reductive conflict caused by closed and centralized ontology changes.
Hyper-change, openness, metamodernism, agile
The rate of change is accelerating reducing the protection of traditional or empirical knowledge. This accelerated change is called hyper-change. Hyper-change will continue to accelerate. To avoid increase of damage caused by hyper-change it is necessary to apply openness and agility in the hyper-change process.
Openness will allow collection of real-time knowledge which can be used for prevention and reduction of damage. Agility will add controlled stops in the hyper-change process allowing adaptation to the openness knowledge.
Metamodernism is valuable for including all system members, visible and not visible, in openness. Metamodernism is currently the most inclusive approach to knowledge exchange and it decreases overall damage caused by hyper-change.
Intelligence, consciousness, collective, culture, openness
Intelligence is the ability to solve problems with currently available information. Consciousness is the ability to be self aware which enables far more complex problem solving that intelligence. Individual consciousness and collective intelligence are in conflict. There is always a delay between individual ability to understand and the collective ability to create.
Individual humans have the capacity for consciousness, but they can only create real change when as a collective. Also our consciousness – wisdom and abstract thinking – depend greatly on the collective education, exchange, and culture. Culture being a collection of wisdom, often simplified, over hundreds of generations.
In simple words – an individual is smarter than a collective, but the collective is more able than an individual. Also the collective makes the individual smart, hoping that in return the individual slightly increases the collective smart. The main difference being that individual has consciousness while the collective never had and never will have consciousness.
As automation in a system – a collective – increases it should strive towards automating intelligence while it uses more of individual consciousness. Openness is a tool to achieve this. Openness allows individual consciousness to influence the collective intelligence. The more open a system, a collective, is, the more it will use individual consciousness to increase its own intelligence.
The risk of accelerated and globalized collective aka grand narratives
Grand narratives, mass media, and hyper-centralized power can not exist without each other. Their total opposites are personal experiences, personal connections, and small group cooperations, such as family. They are extreme sides of the spectrum with many more options in-between.
Our fulfillment requires participation in both extremes and all options in between. We understand the world in narratives and we need all types of narratives – small and grand – to understand our function.
While all narratives can be wrong, grand narratives, mass media, and hyper-centralization are too complex to fix quickly and damage they cause is great. Damage from great narratives is caused by the conflict with personal stories, and between the grand narratives competing for power.
The expansion of mass media is forcing generalization of grand narratives and creating bigger conflicts between personal and grand, and also between different grand narratives. The speed of change is also accelerating and does not allow time for adaptation.
Without hyper-centralization and such high reaching mass media, individuals required much less energy to balance the grand narratives with more personal ones. Changes and conflicts were slower and smaller giving us time to adapt and repair. Now extreme generalization and speed of change are creating internal individual conflicts which do not have the time to be resolve.
Solution to this is openness, which reduces the conflict between grand and personal, but also slows down generalized changes and conflicts. This will give more time to individuals to process the changes and minimize damage.
Human development roadmap
The ultimate goal of human development are equality and immortality.
Both equality and immortality represent absolute safety of an individual. Equality is safety as a member of a system in social and economical aspect. Immortality is safety from natural harm, including injury, illness, aging. All humans want these two safeties. Immortality is the ultimate goal of technology development and equality is the ultimate goal of power development.
It is unclear at which order immortality and equality should be reached – which should be first. Historically technological resources have increased and decreased inequality, and greater equality has also increased and decreased technological development. If immortality is reached before equality it will surely offer more time for the development of equality.
To reach equality following gradual steps must be made:
Step 1) Openness – some systems allow some influence,
Step 2) Participation – some systems allow some participation,
Step 3) Democracy – all systems allow full participation.
I use the word democracy in its true meaning – full direct democracy accessible to all members of all systems, unfragmented in smaller systems. Only once democracy is reached, then equality can be achieved. It is impossible to have equality if all members of all systems are denied even the slightest participation rights.
Therefore, the ideal human development roadmap is:
Step 1) Openness,
Step 2) Participation,
Step 3) Democracy,
Step 4) Equality,
Step 5) Immortality.
Openness is a quality of a centralized system to allow members and non-members direct influence on its decisions, therefore decentralizing it to some extent for the benefit of both the system and its members.
Influence is defined as data, information, and knowledge shared from individuals who do not make decisions to individuals who make decisions. Openness is a complimentary source of decision relevant information to experts which hold centralized decision power. Example of such systems are ones in which decisions are made by engineers, scientists, managers, product designers, editors, politicians.
Openness informs decisions and minimizes risk of damage caused by insufficient informed. Without openness centralized decision makers can cause damage to some or many members. At the same time openness increases benefits and efficiency of centralized decisions through added information, and it increases member education making acceptance easier.
Openness depends on technologies which enable it. If there are no technologies which directly support it, it is diminished. Reduction of information, like in polls or complex requirements for participation, reduces openness.
Openness also depends on the centralized decision makers ability to use the information: skills, culture, cognitive bandwidth, and management.
One of the challenges of the human conditions is to find our own voice. Finding a voice is a way we communicate with subjects – ourselves, people close to us, and the society. Our voice is different from our identity. It is a form of communication – a visual, a sound, speech, an action. Our voice is confirmed by a change it causes, it is a method by which we exercise our power. Our voice defines our identity.
We all have a voice. An engineer designs blueprints, a rapist is violent, an artist makes art, a parent screams, a nurse speaks kindly. We can have many voices for different goals and subjects. Every voice offers an opportunity for our development. Each change created by a voice is a reward. We develop in a direction for which we are most rewarded.
Without a voice we are isolated from ourselves, from those around us, and from the society, and our development regresses. Being denied a voice means that we are denied power. We can be denied a voice directly or indirectly. While direct denial is an obvious form of violence, indirect is more covert and its definition is changing with culture and technology.
Because our voice is part of a human condition, it is important that any system facilitates development of voices and that it eliminates their denial. If a system deliberately or accidentally denies voices it will regress.