What do Richard Branson, Howard Bloom and ‘the Elders’ all have in common? and how does it portent the disintegration of the global human superorganism?

  I’m sure you’ve all laid awake at night wondering what the answer to that one might be…

podcast page here

Direct download: TME2.3-chaos_theory.mp3


10 thoughts on “The Mosaic Effect: season 2, episode 3: chaos theory

  1. i haven’t listened yet but peter gabriel and richard branson are “elders” to the global village? if the answer is yes is Branson going to start offering some Phillip K. Dick-esque free one-way tickets off the planet? “Start life again in the off-world colonies!”

  2. heh. I can just imagine the conversation:

    ” I’ll be happy to bankroll you and help you achieve world peace, but there’s just one catch… you need to invite peter gabriel along. sorry.”

  3. how do you see an increase in the number of individuals awakening to their own fundamental natures effecting how this superorganismic trip pans out? if we are to assume the bioligically hardwired imperatives of each organism (as outlined in your podcast) are propelling the human project, and that what we now have is an oligarchical elite involved in a single compulsive thrust toward disintegrating this superorganism and all its constituent… then would that make them archetypal load bearers of unconscious processes beyond their understanding? if so, i’d still say the key battle ground still lies in the hearts and mind of each every individual to retool their identities into something free and ready for a more implosive and shareable magickal rearrangment of power. 100th monkey style warriors of the heart opening to a more distributed, and sustained realisation of shared self-determination in the light of selflessness and love! …. thanks for another great podcast zac.

  4. It’s kind of complex, to say the least. I think our evolutionary process functions through tension of various forces. you have the drive to greater consciousness, balanced against the neurogenetic swarming archetypes.

    it may seem bleak and terrible that our genetics program us to perpetually group into swarm collectives, build up and concentrate power in a few hands, and then implode in a divisive orgy of violence… but it may be that this exactly what will drive a few of us to higher reaches of consciousness. not to mention that historical situations such as these almost always breed innovation.

    it’s one of the funny paradoxes of swarm logic that the more any one actor can see the whole picture, the less well the whole thing functions. a bird in a flock works best when they only pay attention to the bird right in front of them. ants work by a bucket brigade of puking into each others mouths.

    It may be that people like ‘us’ are what’s really tearing the world apart, and it’s the oligarchs that are trying to save it. but I guess it depends what you mean by ‘world’ or ‘us’. Give me a trillion dollars and I’d probably do something very much like branson is…

  5. Do culture heroes figures always have to come from Outsider types? Seems to me that there’s an argument to be made that the hero-making machinery, at least the image factory, is firmly in the grips of the the dominant “oligarchs”. I tend to think that characterizing the whole thing as “evolution” isn’t necessarily that helpful–it’s not some dude’s neuropeptides and hormones or even his DNA that are making social-level decisions, although there is something to be said for both archetypes and social type behavior (which I think exist at a level above that of organism). That, and I suspect that technological progress matters much more because it is such a levelling factor. Now even apartments in the ghetto have labor-saving devices like dishwashers, and cell phones, even ones with remarkable features are very cheap, especially considering that crap like a $600 iPhone is a luxury with a lot of bells and whistles but a $50 phone has all the same functionality–and technology is almost anti-heroic, it elevates everyone. Oligarchic classes aren’t anti-technology, they’re just more interested in their status than in distribution of wealth. although that is getting to be a bigger problem with every barrel of oil we burn.

  6. I think for complex societies to function there can only be so many soveriegn individuals, everyone else playing a support role. If everyone was a sovereign there would be more conflict and less complex organization.

    I think what Christopher S Hyatt was getting at in the “Psychopath’s Bible” was to focus on being a sovereign individual yourself and accepting most people play a support role, instead of thinking everyone needs to be brought to the level of being a sovereign.

    If a mass democracy of sovereign individuals making totally free choices could succeed why hasn’t it? Why should it be a goal?

    Maybe people that want to be free and sovereign should just try to be oligarchs. eventually.

  7. @ Ted: “Maybe people that want to be free and sovereign should just try to be oligarchs. eventually.”

    See, I think those are separate roles, that’s why I have trouble with them. That, and while I tend to agree with you on Hyatt’s point being for an individual to do their thing while navigating through the regular part of society, it’s kind of hard to sort out, since the easiest means to power, wealth, etc., seem to involve the greatest degree of compromise. Anyone can be an investment banker, but do you really want to work 80 hour weeks in a glorified frat house? Anyone can go into politics, but do you want to spend years at a law firm and then years in petty state positions? Everywhere you look, there’s hoops to jump, and each hoop means a greater deal of conformity. It was like what Erik Davis was saying about Burning Man: sure, maybe corporate recouperation of it was inevitable, but there’s a significant something lost as something moves away from the separate–i.e., sacred–space or time, and to pretend it isn’t lost is to have missed the entire point.

    What does this have to do with oligarchial rule? I don’t know, save to say that folks like Branson, who are eccentric, are the exception, not the rule, among leaders.

  8. A society full of fully realised individuals wouldn’t function very well as a society, one thinks. bit of a paradox, isn’t it? individuals would spend too much time thinking about what needed to be done, and not enough time actually doing it. you’d also have trouble building large infrastrucutre for emergencies and whatnot, becuase all the individuals would presume they should take care of themselves, and presumably can. I guess that’s why the farther up the chain you go, the more gestures of conformity you need to make.

    when I applied for this government job, the aptitude test for math and english was about 20 minutes long. the personality test was 250 questions and took over an hour. and that’s for an entry level peon job.

    next episode is in the pipe BTW…

  9. What exactly do you mean by ‘fully realised individuals’?

    From your above comments it seems to me that you’re not talking about ‘enlightened’ individuals, because of course a specific political orientation, sociological function or behaviour set (such as thinking a lot as opposed to doing stuff) are not the same thing as metaphysical experience i.e. you can still act in just the same way/hold down the same job/be as fucked up as you were before completing the process.
    A prime example of enlightenment not equalling individualism/selfish behaviour would be Daniel Ingram – an arahat no doubt, who works as an emergency medic.

    I think a lot of Hyatt’s stuff is a great illustration of the Western magician’s propensity to confuse behaviour/poltical orientation with the practice/purpose of magick. Rather predictably, I would argue that if your magical practice isn’t about metaphysical experience, you’re a big dirty degenerate.

    By ‘realised’ then, do you just mean someone who has simply woke up to the fact that The System is fucked?

  10. I think I mean more in the political or philosophical sense. the way a libertarian might use it.

    It’s like how wilber talks about holons having agency and communion, and a fully developed individual would have too much agency and too little communion, at least in the narrow sense of ‘individualism’

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