BeyondCivilization

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Summary: Humanity's next great adventure? Thomas likes a book by Daniel Quinn. "If the world is saved, it will not be by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all." Lion questions the existence of "no programs at all," and notes his perception, from afar, of Quinn's books.

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< * Divisions into "Takers" and "Leavers" strikes me as UsAndThem. I suspect I'm one of the "Them," because I don't feel like one of "Us," in this context.

to

> * Divisions into "Takers" and "Leavers" strikes me as Us vs. Them. I suspect I'm one of the "Them," because I don't feel like one of "Us," in this context.


Humanity’s next great adventure. A book by daniel quinn.

If the world is saved, it will not be by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all.

There are some interesting aspects connecting this book with WikiCulture in special with CommunityWiki, although I’m just able to name a few:

  • organization of the book is “one meme per page”
  • power of vision

I don’t quite understand Quinn.

I have a copy of BeyondCivilization here in my bookshelf, somewhere. I just never got read more than a few pages of it.

  • I like civilization. Quinn seems to say that civilization is a bad idea. So, I’m not really into Quinn.
  • If “civilization” doesn’t mean what I think it means, but instead means something else, then I’m just lost. Someone will have to explain to me what’s interesting to me here. I think Quinn & Quinn fans have a job to do in explaining what they mean better.
  • I’ve read a number of arguments something along the line of storing up food, and requiring people to work for it. But it seems to me that, in our civilization, if you want food, it’s easy to aquire. At a minimum wage, you should be able to pay rent, eat food, and have enough left over to sock away %50 of your income. (I know a guy who happily does just this.)
  • I know a lot of green Anarchists who like Quinn a lot. I like green Anarchists, but I don’t really trust their thinking. So, my thoughts about their thinking rubs off on Quinn.
  • Divisions into “Takers” and “Leavers” strikes me as Us vs. Them. I suspect I’m one of the “Them,” because I don’t feel like one of “Us,” in this context.
  • “New minds with no programs at all” strikes me as double-think. It’s like the person who insists everone should be OpenMinded to all things: There’s simply no such thing. Life is made out of a mixture of OpenMinded and ClosedMinded. The same with “no programs at all”: No “program,” no life. No way of operating. It’s like trying to construct a sentence without words, words without syllables, syllables without sounds. Programs are the substance of our lives.

In all, I find Quinn more distracting than anything else. I’d rather think about X, but now I need to have conversations about Daniel Quinn. Perhaps Ken Wilbur will be next.

I’d like to know the ideas that are insightful to you, that are important to you. But I’m not excited by the whole package.

On a tangential note:

I do not look at the environment in terms of either dominance or co-existence.

The traditional presentation of the dichotomy is this:

  • “Do you believe in dominating nature,..”
  • ”…or do you believe in co-existing with nature?”

…to which the immediate and obvious (and desired) reply is: “why, co-existence, of course!”

But see, I think I’m being tricked: I think that I think something else, when my mind is not clouded by ThePowerOfQuestions.

My unclouded belief is simply that: I do not have a relationship with nature.

Allow me to explain the almost unthinkable.

  • I know a man named Phil.
  • Do you want to dominate Phil?
  • Or do you want to co-exist with Phil?

Likely, you want neither. You do not want to dominate Phil. Nor do you want to live with him, celebrate him, be cautious not to over-extend yourself around him.

Likely, you have nothing to do with Phil, and, in the absence of some compelling information, don’t want to have anything to do with Phil.

Now, there are aspects of both “dominance” and “co-existence” in your remote relationship with him. We all belong to society, after all, and we all pay our dues (or “taxes.”) You benefit, in some small way, from the taxes he pays. Perhaps we can call this: “dominance.” But then there is also co-existence. He’s Lion’s friend, after all, and you like that a friend of Lion makes Lion’s life better, which means that Lion’s less grumpy around you, or something. And it works the other way, in turn, and so we all happily co-exist in one big family.

But basically, you don’t know Phil, and it doesn’t matter, and it’s not a matter of “dominance” or “co-existence,” because Phil’s just this guy, you know?

This is the same way I look at nature.

I think we should make sure that we, as a species, do not destroy our environment. At the same time, I don’t see why we should strive to “co-exist” with it: Can’t it just be a pile of rocks, like some asteroid? I do believe in honoring the universe, and I do believe in honoring nature. But I don’t think I need to worship it, and I don’t think we should somehow try and humble humanity before nature: That makes an error (I believe) of personalizing nature, of turning nature into a person. And I just don’t see it that way.

What does this have to do with Daniel Quinn?

It’s just “guilt by association.” I actually don’t know that Daniel Quinn says anything about nature. I just know a bunch of Green Anarchists who dig Quinn, and I know that a Gorilla is one of the narrators in a Quinn story.

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