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The Spirit of The Age

by Dan Robles on January 17, 2011

I read the mainstream media headlines about how the Arizona Assassin was influenced by the Zeitgeist Movement and wondered, ironically, which of these four parties represents The Spirit of the Age?

The Future of Money

There are many people questioning the past, present, and future of money. For the first time in human history, there is substantial access to information and scalable social technology that can enable people to create, store and exchange new value in their communities.  I believe that the act of people building community, in itself, creates new value that may be exchanged through many forms called social currency.

Economics happens when people do things that are important to them.

I have encountered literally hundreds, (I am certain that there are hundreds of thousands), of people developing social currencies in increasingly creative and constructive ways because their community is important to them. People are trying to solve the great puzzle of  human division because their community is important to them. People are trying to resolve the constraints in natural resources and the limitations on our planet, because their community is important to them.

The New Value Movement

It is also increasingly clear that social-economic systems that may have once served well in prior times are operating sub optimally with today’s technology and social order.  What I do NOT see in the New Value Movement are people intentionally trying to benefit from the wholesale failure of others – regardless of whom. However, herein does lay the danger.

Disruption is good, destruction is not so good.

It is easy to form a utopian ideal where humanity’s presence on Earth is redesigned into the system of one group’s design. It is easy to say that all problems are technical or spiritual, and not political.  It is easy to call to action a confrontation of culture as a requirement for building future society in one’s own image.

The problem is when the urgency to realize a utopian vision can result in actions that are destructive to the support system upon which that vision must depend. As such, it should never become the best interest of one ideal to force the collapse of the old system in order to create the new system.  This is the nature of the same “competition” for resources that is clearly inconsistent with natural synergy.

This is the story of much of our human history, unfortunately with predictable results

I believe that it is precisely such a failure that can make the new ideal impossible to attain. To bring about the end of the old era before the new era is sufficiently developed is the great technical challenge we are faced with. No sustainable stage of human evolution has ever been brought on by the wholesale demise of the prior – there was always an integration of the tools developed in the prior paradigm that resulted in the new.  That is the discussion that we need to occupy ourselves with – this is our Zeitgeist.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

@mikeriddell62 June 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

We need revolution not evolution because the this system is broke and needs fixing. And it’s broke in terms of the gap between rich and poor.

I don’t think you’re close enough to the man in the street – judging by this slightly out of touch blog.

Anonymous June 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for the comment. 

Anonymous June 11, 2011 at 12:27 am

Mike; It occurred to me that you are in the UK.  My blog is largely relevant the US, so you are right, I could not very well reflect the sentiments of the UK man on the streets.  I agree there is a gap between the rich and the poor that must be corrected.  The objective of this blog is clearly to correct that flaw in market economics so if you keep reading, you will likely not be too disappointed with my conclusions. 

 The point of this article, however, is that revolution can happen through the introduction of new value , i.e., social value into the financial system.  Social Media is in fact accomplishing this but more development is needed. Revolution in the US, I am afraid, would not correct the flaw.  People are armed to the teeth and the division would likely fall across political ideology rather and any substantially correction.  My sincere hope is that the technological threshold occurs before the ideological threshold.  

Worse than that, I hope that no external event occurs which would accelerate an ideological revolution before a technological revolution can happen.  Our politicians seem more than willing to play with this fire.  That’s the point of the article.   

@mikeriddell62 June 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

Yes I see what you mean Dan. Your politicians aren’t much better than ours in the end – they all seem to be self-serving – putting their interests before those of the public.

Thanks so much for commenting!!!

Cheers, Mike.

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