Tuesday, March 15, 2011

...That instability [between stasis and dynamism], or our awareness of it, heightened by the fluidity of contemporary life: by the ease with which ideas and messages, goods and people, cross borders; by technologies that seek to surpass the quickness of the human mind and overcome the constraints of the human body; by the ‘universal solvents’ of commerce and popular culture; by the dissolution or reformation of established institutions, particularly large corporations, and the rise of new ones; by the synthesis of East and West, of ancient and modern─by the combination and recombination of seemingly every artifact of human culture. Ours is a magnificently creative era. But the creativity produces change, and that change attracts enemies, philosophical as well as self-interested… With some exceptions, the enemies of the future aim their attacks not at creativity itself but at the dynamic processes through which it is carried. In our post ─ Cold War era, for instance, free markets are recognized as powerful forces for social cultural, and technological change ─ liberating in the eyes of some, threatening to others. The same is true for markets in ideas: for free speech and worldwide communication; for what John Stuart Mill called ‘experiments in living’; for scientific research, artistic expression, and technological innovation. All of these processes are shaping an unknown, and unknowable, future. Some people look at such diverse, decentralized, choice-driven systems and rejoice, even when they don’t like particular choices. Other recoil. In pursuit of stability and control, they seek to eliminate or curb these unruly, too-creative forces … Stasists and dynamists are thus divided not just by simple, short-term policy issues but by fundamental disagreements about the way the world works. They clash over the nature of progress and over its desirability: Does it require a plan to reach a specified goal? Or is it an unbounded process of exploration and discovery? Does the quest for improvement express destructive, nihilistic discontent, or the highest human qualities? Does progress depend on puritanical repression or a playful spirit? … Stasists and dynamists disagree about the limits and use of knowledge. Stasists demand that knowledge be articulated and easily shared. Dynamists, by contrast, appreciate dispersed, often tacit knowledge. They recognize the limits of human minds even as they celebrate learning … Those conflicts lead to very different beliefs about good institutions and rules: Stasists seek specifics to govern each new situation and keep things under control. Dynamicists want to limit universal rule making to broadly applicable and rarely changed principles, within which people can create and test countless combinations. Stasists want their detailed ruled to apply to everyone; dynamists prefer competing, nested rule sets … Such disagreements have political ramifications that go much deeper than the short-term business of campaigns and legislation. They affect our governing assumptions about how political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural systems work; what those systems should value; and what they mean  ....  These are not the comfortable old Cold War divisions of hawks and doves, egalitarians and individualists, left and right. Nor are they the one-dimensional labels of technophile and technophobe, optimist and pessimist, or libertarian and stasist that pundits sometimes grab to replace the old categories. They contain elements of those simpler classifications, but they are much richer, encompassing more aspects of life ─ more aspects of the emergent, complex future..."

Source and/or read more: http://3.ly/rECc

Publisher and/or Author and/or Managing Editor:__Andres Agostini ─ @Futuretronium at Twitter! Futuretronium Book at http://3.ly/rECc