inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #151 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 10 May 16 05:24
    
This is the 'official' last day of our conversation..Mark I want to
thank you for a rich discussion, great give and take, links galore,
a PhD education hidden within this topic...I wish you all the best
with the Center and hope you will keep us up to date on your
findings during the coming year.

Thanks to all who actively participated...Ari, Jon, Paulina, Craig,
sir Gault, et.al...you made this quite lively, brought great
questions, comments and perspectives to a complex subject.

While our conversation comes officially to a close, this topic will
always remain accessible to all. Please feel free to continue
sharing or commenting, as always, we will endeavor to respond to you
at any time.

Best to all, 'live a long digital life, and prosper'!! 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #152 of 195: Mark Stahlman (spheres3) Tue 10 May 16 09:07
    
Ted et al:  Thanks *very* much for the invitation and all the lively
dialogue . . . !!

We live in a wacky world, which has only become *much* more wacky as
a result of DIGITAL technology.  No, Toto, we aren't in Kansas
anymore.

The ultimate *balance* between the FAUSTIAN (science), APOLLONIAN
(reason) and MAGIAN (faith) souls of the Western Sphere will be
determined by how we all respond to the *effects* of these
technologies as they change each one of us fundamentally.  Yes, "We
shape our tools and, thereafter, they shape us" (John Culkin, 1967)

My "godfather" Norbert Wiener came smack up against this
civilizational conundrum in the 1950s and it led to him being thrown
under the Cybernetics bus.  My "mentor" Marshall McLuhan came smack
up against this in the 1960s and it led to him being thrown under
the "Whatcha Doin' Marshall McLuhan?" laugh-circuit bus, as we
*amused* ourselves to death.

So, on the face of it, I come from a long line of (famous) losers .
. . <g>

However, as I hope this dialogue has illustrated, my attitude isn't
a pessimistic one at all.  The failures of my "heroes" are, as best
I can tell, as much the result of the times in which they lived as
their own weaknesses as "apocalypticists."

Alas, those times are no more and today we are *all* walking on new
DIGITAL ground and now have *digital* lives.  So, on that basis, I
may have a greater chance at success.  Wish me luck . . . !!
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #153 of 195: Craig Maudlin (clm) Tue 10 May 16 09:35
    
Indeed. Good luck, Mark! And thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #154 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 10 May 16 18:08
    
Drawing from Gertrude Stein’s quote “Act so there is no use of a
center” referred to by Alex Scrimgeour in his essay for the
Start-Up’s tumblr, the panel aims to examine how the internet and
social media have disrupted our perceptions of distance and
proximity, challenging positions of power between centers and
peripheries. On this panel four speakers, all equally involved in
the art-world, yet coming from divergent backgrounds and acting in
often drastically opposite directions, will discuss the way that
these recent changes continue to affect their current positions and
strategies. This will be an occasion to share experiences, discuss
notions of ethics and responsibility, openly talk about the
influence of the market on current artistic production and art
institutions, and possibly imagine new tools and perspectives for
the future.

More West, maybe they need to watch this: Pink Floyd, Another Brick
in the Wall (Oriental version):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp_7llzmAv4
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #155 of 195: Back in Columbia Blue: (oilers1972) Tue 10 May 16 18:52
    
Yes, thank you Mark!
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #156 of 195: Paulina Borsook (loris) Tue 10 May 16 23:18
    
wrt #154, where is this panel?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #157 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Thu 12 May 16 04:32
    
http://fahrenheit.flaxfoundation.org/panel-discussion-act-so-there-is-no-use-o
f-a-center/

Sorry for not citing the panel Paulina, they met last September, the
link will take you to their website....I don't see that they
recorded it, or followed up, tho they may have blogged about it.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #158 of 195: Paulina Borsook (loris) Thu 12 May 16 10:25
    
thanx. i generally dont have the patience to watch panel discussions (or
most videos, actually) --- but was just curious about this was.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #159 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Wed 27 Jul 16 11:21
    
Hi Mark, very interesting discussion.

I see you all have been having a bit of a "complexity" rumble, both
with and without scare quotes.  

As a former Chairman of the Santa Fe Institute (and an SFI
researcher before that: 
http://www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Jim%20Rutt) I'm happy to
join with the no scare quotes contingent!
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #160 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Wed 27 Jul 16 11:26
    
For those interested in a reasonably well written materialist view
of reality with complexity put in about it's rightful place, I'd
recommend Sean Carroll's newish book:  _The Big Picture: On the
Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself_

I don't agree with every jot and tittle but a good intro, though
maddeningly non-rigorous.



 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #161 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Wed 27 Jul 16 11:28
    
If you don't have time for the book, his philosophical stance,
"Poetic Naturalism" can be had here:  

https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/poetic-naturalism/
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #162 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 29 Jul 16 17:25
    
Thanks for adding to our treasure trove of links Jim

Saw a quote from Werner Herzog in Wired today worth posting here:
When asked, "Does the Internet need us?" he replied, "It's a
beautiful question  - -  - I don't think it does."
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #163 of 195: John Spears (banjojohn) Thu 4 Aug 16 13:44
    
What an interesting afternoon read. I'm still left with an
incomplete understanding of EAST. I'm completely ant-ROBOT. 

What are the practical implications? What happens when 39% of the
jobs disapeer in the next 34 years(Buncombe County NC, as quoted
from an Asheville Citizen-Times article from yesterday)?

>>#4 We are heading into a situation in which only 30% of the US
workforce will have a paying job.  Some think that "Basic Income"
will address this but, of course, it won't.  As a result, nothing
that is being said by any public official about economic "growth" is
even remotely possible (yes, including Trump).

I agree. The BMI is a possible stop gap, and if everybody started
life on equal levels, then maybe mankind could survive. If it's just
another way to divide the "have's from the have not's", then it will
only buy a little time, at best. 

Honestly, I don't think we will evolve that far: we have
overpopulated Mother Earth, and something will give. A natural
disaster, an epidemic- something will reveal mankind's hubris.
Mother Earth will survive(I hope). Mankind may or may not. 

That's as hopeful as I can get. 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #164 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Fri 5 Aug 16 07:55
    
Lack of imagination John!  Isn't a world where one doesn't need the
sweat of one's brow in "work" to live a MUCH better world?  I now
recoil in horror every time I hear politicians promising "jobs". 
Considering the nature of so much work in a modern economy, it's
little better than a call promising "slavery".

Admittedly with several thousand years (but only a relatively small
part of total homo sapiens history) of "work = survival" it will
take an adjustment to get used to decoupling livelihood from "work".


As to:

"If it's just another way to divide the "have's from the have
not's", then it will only buy a little time, at best."

Indeed so.  Thus the REAL challenge of the next 30 years, waaaay
beyond the thoughts of Bernie or Elizabeth Warren, is to create a
socio-economic-political-system without haves and have-nots.  In a
great irony of history we should be able to arrive at something like
a Marxian paradise, without Marxism along the way.

In my political work, I've very hopeful that Millennials are ready
for this transformation.  If the generation that comes behind them
is even more so, then it ought to be an transition around 2050.

This will be an interesting test for humanity: can we actually learn
to take advantage of being unencumbered free people?  Will we rise
to great creative heights, or descend into drugs and wire-heading?  

Don't know for sure, but am hopeful.  I do know that freeing
humankind from working at Walmart, let alone underground coal mining
or "cash crop" farming in the tropics will be the greatest
liberation of humanity, ever.



 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #165 of 195: John Spears (banjojohn) Fri 5 Aug 16 08:34
    
I'm with you, Jim, but when is society going to start lifting ip the
losers? By "losers", I mean the people with no assets and no way to
acquire assets, except work. 

We still have polititians promising to "return" jobs, when that is
clearly not the topic that needs to be addressed. Thirty years ago
was almost like yesterday, yet this article predicts mass
joblessness in my home county in 30 years. I believe the article has
one sentence about a GMI.

<http://tinyurl.com/jxz7bvt>

Jim, perhaps my imagination is stunted by the sheer hopelessness of
my situation. As a disabled 57 year old, I am indigent and survive
on our current GMI for disabled people, which is a called SSI and
provides a maximum of $733 a month. I have no quality of life: the
used laptop I type on was a hand me down, and when it stops working,
I'll have to beg for another. I have no investments, no net worth.  

We have a housing crisis in my home city, yet there is no discussion
here about where to house the 5000 SSI receipients in my county. All
the discussion is about "affordable housing", which is code for
workforce housing.

There is an elephant in the room, and most people are ignoring it.

People such as myself are the "canaries in the coal mines" of the
automated, jobless future. How we are treated today(or mistreated)
is a sign post to how the poor/jobless will be treated in the
future.

What are we doing now, as a society to take care of our displaced
workers? First, blaming the victims, and second, promoting an 
endless game of retraining which will only chase after disapeering
jobs, and enrich those who operate for profit education.


I would argue that we are criminalizing poverty, and corporations
are profiting through the resultant public/private prisons. That's
not encouraging.

Can you share some reasons why I should be encouraged? I understand
how automation can free mankind from work, but how will automation
free man from needing money to buy "things" needed for survival?

Will the wealthy just willingly give up their money to share with
the poor? Won't that take a shift in morality as well as automation?
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #166 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 6 Aug 16 05:36
    
This all just got interesting...a 'resurrection' of the
topic...carry on, I'll chime in once I've digested these last posts.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #167 of 195: John Spears (banjojohn) Sun 7 Aug 16 10:53
    
Ted, this topic has certainly perked up my interest. The three
Spheres concept is eye-opening. 

I'll do my homework and read the links that Jim posted. 

I've been poking around the digital life center web site.

I'd like to be more optimistic. 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #168 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 10 Aug 16 05:27
    
Smile, me too...I think our own Buddhism folks would have a lot of
positive inputs re all this, but it just didn't seem to catch with
them...I am under the personal illusion that I have made some kind
of integration with my Christian roots and Buddhism and I don't have
any problem embracing the Digital East/West ...so, either I'm
missing it entirely or there was a lot to add to this conversation.

But, you are right, Mark made it quite difficult to explore and
expand on the East part of the spheres.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #169 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Wed 10 Aug 16 13:47
    
John asked:

"I'm with you, Jim, but when is society going to start lifting ip
the
losers? By "losers", I mean the people with no assets and no way to
acquire assets, except work."

Indeed that is the case today.  We are at the early stages of a
transition, which if made correctly will address that problem.

If we think about the longer arc of world history, from 600bce to
1700ce or so we lived in an "honor culture" ruled (mostly) by male
elites with inter-elite competition being mostly about reputation
(ie "honor").  

Starting slowly from 1700ce, we have developed "democratic
meritocracy" to replace the honor culture. 

While the democracy part was good as compared to rule by elites, the
meritocracy was not nearly so good for anybody not a "winner".  

Traditional elites were very often required by tradition and
customary expectations to make sure nobody fully fell thru the
cracks, at least in their sphere of control.  Under meritocracy, at
least in it's pure form, it is "root hog or die".  If you have no
merit, you have no worth.

Social Darwinism is the sub rosa justification for meritocracy.

Since 1900 or so, there has been a slowly building trend towards
rejecting "meritocracy" for "dignity".  In a "dignity culture" your
worth is intrinsic and not based on a utilitarian meritocratic
calculus.  

Some of the Northern European countries are part way along the road
to Dignity, though even there those not working are still thought as
a lesser sort of person.

And in a world dominated by the need for "work", perhaps that is a
very understandable, perhaps even mandatory attitude for a
successful society.

However, as we transition from liberation from most work via
technology, there exists a road more clearly towards a Dignity
culture.  imagine a society where 70% of the consumer GDP was
allocated to a fixed per capita Citizenship Wage, (today that would
be about $26K per year per person) that provides a decent standard
of living for everybody.  Those that want more can "work" but it is
by no means necessary.

Of course it is not guaranteed that we will make the transition to a
full Dignity culture.  Other attractors also exist: Neo-Fascism (the
China model), Neo-Feudalism (the Koch Bros), Neo-Medievalism
(religious zealots form various cults) etc.  

Among our most important work is help steer the coming transition
(and a MAJOR transition IS coming) towards the better attractors,
and not the worse ones.  

I actually gave a talk a couple of years ago on just that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8vgmMGr3v8
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #170 of 195: John Spears (banjojohn) Sun 14 Aug 16 09:47
    
Ted- I gained some understanding on the East/West divide from Mark,
enough to know it's based on the difference between a linguistic
system built on alphabet vs. pictograph. It wasn't made clear to me
why that makes such a huge difference, and there were many links to
Amazon ads for books I likely will never have the chance to read.

Thank you, Jim, for taking the time to converse and for links I can
access. I really enjoyed your talk. 

I realize that I've spent my whole life pondering just such positive
attractors, and the role of art in promoting positive attractors.
Now the digital world has come along, and I'm no longer confident
popular art such as music and novels can accomplish as much as
before: information is diffused and transient.

More than any topic on the WELL, this one has me thinking.  
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #171 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 15 Aug 16 01:29
    
Wow, John, glad we vibed with you..this one is certainly 'link
rich'...Mark went out of his way to document...

Jim, thank you for your inputs, they add a richness to the
conversation.
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #172 of 195: .. (banjojohn) Mon 15 Aug 16 08:21
    
Well, the social darwinism based meritocracy has always seems like a
farce from my point of veiw. Luck, good or bad, plays too many roles
in the lives of the people I've known. I welcome a dignity based
society.

Successful people want to think they did it on their own, but I
question that, as most successful people I've known had a support
system that permitted the self investments(education) that lead to
their success.

  

 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #173 of 195: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 15 Aug 16 12:21
    
My mother would throw in angels and ancestors as well; the cloud of
hosts surrounding us :) Hey, but that's just how I was raised to
"see" things. 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #174 of 195: Modal Ursine (modalursine) Mon 15 Aug 16 13:08
    
I'm not taking a position on this, but suppose (as posted above)
that only 30% of the working age population has a paying job. 

In what ways would a "basic income" scheme fall short? 

Poster says "it wouldn't work", and he may well be correct, but then
again, the devil is in the details. 

Who gets the basic income or who doesn't, how much and for how long,
and do you still get the basic income if you manage to land a paying
job? 

Does the basic income go away in one fell swoop or is it phased out
depending on how much your making on your day job, or does everybody
get to keep whatever they can make above the basic, or what? 
  
inkwell.vue.490 : Digital Life - a conversation with Mark Stahlman and friends
permalink #175 of 195: Jim Rutt (memetic) Tue 16 Aug 16 07:12
    
The theory of Universal Basic Income (henceforth UBI) is that it is
a "by right" benefit for some defined group, not means tested.  

One formulation I am aware of makes it by right for all US Citizens
over the age of 3, with those 18 years and older getting a full
share and those between 4 and 19 getting a half share.  

No phasing out or recapture.  Every one in the qualified group gets
exactly the same benefit.  

One of the many perverse effects of means tested programs is that it
provides a DISINCENTIVE to work.  The marginal return per quantum of
work is REDUCED by the recapture if it is a sliding scale like EITC.
For notchy programs like Medicaid, the cutoff line is a HUGE
disincentive to pass it. 

From a practical political perspective non-means tested programs
such as Medicare and Social Security retirement have much stronger
political support than means tested programs like Medicaid and TANF.


Further, in a world where "earning one's bread by the sweat of one's
brow" is asymptotically going away, a UBI has a very nice smooth
transition mechanism: just gradually increase the proportion of the
consumer GDP that goes to UBI.   

For those interested tracking news about UBI there is a pretty good
community on reddit in the BasicIncome sub-reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/
  

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