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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Lance McGill: on 5/29/14 at 22:17pm UTC, wrote Since I am both new to this forum, and do not engage in what I view as...

Neil Bates: on 5/29/14 at 21:56pm UTC, wrote Val, Your article is creative, fascinating, enticing, interestingly...

John Merryman: on 5/2/14 at 1:54am UTC, wrote Val, Thank you for including the bigger picture. You do seem a voice of...

Lance McGill: on 5/1/14 at 21:36pm UTC, wrote I will have to assume you are not familiar with my work, or you would know...

John Merryman: on 5/1/14 at 20:24pm UTC, wrote Val, Welcome to FQXI. It's nice to have fresh blood. Not to say we won't...

Lance McGill: on 5/1/14 at 15:00pm UTC, wrote While I admire your dedication to Mckenna, I really don't see that your...

Joe Fisher: on 5/1/14 at 13:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Mr. McGill, Reality is unique. All of education is comprised of...

Lance McGill: on 5/1/14 at 0:10am UTC, wrote Education is the only real means to "implement" changes in our conceptual...


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FQXi FORUM
October 21, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: A Problem of Concepts by Lance McGill [refresh]
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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 13:20 GMT
Essay Abstract

The biggest problem facing us in charting a course to the future is a failure of concepts, our inability to let go of current ones, and our failures to understand the new ones that will define our future: Morphological Freedom, The Economy of Abundance, and Transparency.

Author Bio

LS McGill AKA Valkyrie Ice, Author of 70+ articles on future technology and it's social impact in such publications as H+ Magazine, Acceler8or.com, IEET, and Transhumanity.net

Download Essay PDF File

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Tommy Anderberg wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 19:57 GMT
A nice read. I really like the emphasis on how very many things will change, including humanity itself ("Morphology"). All too often, we think of the future as the present plus one or two important new technologies.

I am a lot less optimistic than you about the ability of nearly universal competition to end the rule of dominating corporate giants in favor of individuals. We have a few decades of empirical knowledge to draw on here: the Internet's effect on the software industry. Since the mid-90s, any reasonably capable individual has been able to create software and distribute it worldwide. This has not led to the end of software giants. Yes, there are many more software vendors catering to previously unprofitable niches, but on all scales, you see a strong "winner takes all" effect, with one or two products gobbling up 80-90% of the market. It is what you would expect on a global network where users can choose the best solution, no matter where in the world it comes from. For producers, access to a larger market increases the value of the best solution, more competition depresses the value of inferior solutions, and so inequality increases.

Your discussion of transparency is very brief, but it occurs to me that you might want to study Sweden's public sector, which traditionally prides itself of great openness. When e-mails were classified as documents which could be requested under freedom of information acts, officials started using phones again...

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 04:25 GMT
The reason I do not consider my appraisal of the death of corporate giants as optimism is because the environment necessary for their existence is changing.

The example you give of the software industry exists in the current environment, in which the economy of scarcity is still mostly functional. The limited competition model enables the "big dogs" to buy out, or shut out any competition. Witness the endless mergers and buyouts. Take Occulus Rift. The creator would have been a fool to turn down a multi-billion offer, yes? But as the economic reality shifts, so too will such situations change. Limited competition favors massive centralization.It gives enormous leverage due to size, but also creates behemoths who cannot change rapidly. The pace of change is going to increase rapidly. It's a matter of evolution. The giants cannot survive in a environment of exponential acceleration. Already such giants as Kodak have started to fall, unable to keep pace. More will follow.

And yes, my discussion on transparency was brief, as I have written extensively on this subject and chose to focus on the primary concept that it seemed most people failed to be able to grasp.

Nor does your example in any way really counteract my expectations. Of course they tried to avoid openness. Continual attempts to avoid accountability will be rampant throughout the surveillance arms race. And as each attempt is countered, new attempts will be made, in an ever decreasing spiral until no means to continue avoidance remain.

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Tommy Anderberg replied on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 17:43 GMT
> Take Occulus Rift. The creator would have been a fool to turn down a multi-billion offer, yes?

All right, let's take Oculus Rift. It agreed to be acquired for two reasons: (1) unlimited competition and (2) network effects.

1) Unlimited competition: Palmer Luckey was far from alone to realize that cheap high density displays for mobile phones could be used to make...

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Anonymous wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 20:19 GMT
Actually, what you are seeing is the birth of a new breed of giant, one which is based on the Economy of Abundance model of economics. MS, FB, Google, all of these companies are a hybrid corporation which is based in EoA economic models while still competing in a EoS market. Nor do I really dispute your "winner take all" arguments. They are quite valid during this transition phase....

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 04:00 GMT
It should be noted that the "Anonymous post" is from me. I was logged in, not sure why it posted as anonymous.

Val "aka LS McGill"

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 16:20 GMT
Dear Mr. McGill,

I found your essay very interesting. As I have pointed out in my essay REALITY, ONCE, only unique exists. While I do not doubt that some of the abstract generalities you have thoughtfully mentioned in your essay will transpire, they will be sufficiently unique so as to become really evident differently than you seem to suspect that they would.

Regards,

Joe Fisher

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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 19:18 GMT
Lance,

Interesting essay, At once novel and right on topic. Your hypothesis is proved by the very fact that more thought isn't directed to such areas.

I very much agree that our conceptual limits are a major problem, including in scientific advancement as much as changing society. I try to address that in a subtle way in my own essay, showing the value of non 'earth centric' thinking.

I was a little disappointed you didn't suggest any actual way ahead to implement the provision of conceptual tools, but you did note both education and the areas to be considered so it's not a real failing when there are space limits.

I note you have no scores at all yet so I'm happy to be able kick yours off positively. But watch for the trolls, mines had a number of 1's slapped on it without even being read I suspect! I hope you do get to read mine, a romance along with an easy classical re-interpretation of QM's weirdness. But conceptual skills a must!

Well done for yours, good food for thought.

Best wishes

Peter

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 00:10 GMT
Education is the only real means to "implement" changes in our conceptual frameworks. The problem is getting people to acknowledge that the issue even exists, let alone overcome a centuries worth of propaganda and media culture all supporting the flawed concepts.

Our educational systems are geared at uniformity and unquestioning obedience to authority. Critical thinking that challenges the...

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Joe Fisher replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 13:51 GMT
Dear Mr. McGill,

Reality is unique. All of education is comprised of abstractions and it is not unique, therefore, all education is unrealistic.

Joe Fisher

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 15:00 GMT
While I admire your dedication to Mckenna, I really don't see that your post has anything actually germane to the topic.

And for the record, I prefer Val to "Lance" or "Mr. McGill". I'm transgender, so the appropriate tag would be "Mrs." I'm new to FQXI, so I am enduring the publication under my legal name, but as I have pointed out many times, it's not the name I prefer.

Please call me Val. Thank you.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 20:24 GMT
Val,

Welcome to FQXI. It's nice to have fresh blood. Not to say we won't try drawing any.

You do offer up some interesting projections, but you do have to realize you are projecting from various current treads and that's pretty much what everyone does, when trying to predict the future.

For one thing, I would advise being careful how much you dismiss limitations. We are our...

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 21:36 GMT
I will have to assume you are not familiar with my work, or you would know that the only difference between my projections and everyone elses is that I strive to include a much broader set of factors than most do. I make few claims to uniqueness.

Nor do I dismiss limitations. I merely point out that what those limitations are will change rather dramatically. Nor do I claim that every...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 01:54 GMT
Val,

Thank you for including the bigger picture. You do seem a voice of reason in a world which is spinning out of control. That's why I got interested in physics in the first place, because under all the drama, there are some fairly obvious physical processes at work. Then I get to studying physics and it seems lost in its own set of issues. One point I'd make about complex hyperactivity; It seems far more likely the 'singularity' will amount to serious overheating and a general meltdown, than any bursting into some other dimension. Complexity builds up and crashes. Nature incorporates this by having individual organisms be born, push out as long and hard as possible, then die, passing on fragments of evolution. Energy expands, while structure confines. So we go through these cycles of pushing on the structure as much as possible, squeezing through the cracks, etc, until it blows up and we wonder what happened. Then we start putting some of the pieces back together again. The presumption is that after each of these folds, we are a little wiser, but often a lot gets left in the dust that we forgot about. The future is more complex than any one subset of what went into it, but the sum total of all complexity is still less. Then we go back to creating more complexity again and build it up one more time. Expand, consolidate.

Our awareness expands, the thoughts it arrives at/produces, are the consolidated product. These then crumble into the past, to be recycled and mined for new combinations.

I'll shut up now. Welcome.

Regards,

John

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Neil Bates wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 21:56 GMT
Val,

Your article is creative, fascinating, enticing, interestingly written - and sadly and incredibly lacking in votes. I pitched in my two cents, hope that more folks come around.

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Author Lance "Valkyrie Ice" McGill replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 22:17 GMT
Since I am both new to this forum, and do not engage in what I view as dishonest "vote for me and I'll vote for you" tactics, probably not.

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