"...What has to be investigated and described is a vast network or matrix of interlocking message material and abstract tautologies, premises, and exemplifications." (p. 20 in my book).
JC, what does this passage mean to you?
The passage I have underlined is on the next page:
"Every evolutionary step is an addition of information to an already existing system. Because this is so, the combinations, harmonies, and discords between successive pieces and layers of information will present many problems of survival and determine many directions of change."
"...Throughout, the thesis will be that it is possible and worthwhile to think about many problems of order and disorder in the bilogical universe and that we have today a considerable supply of tools of thought which we do not use..."
On a personal level I can apply the first phase to the genetics vs. environment or the "nature or nurture" question. If I choose to think the question implies an either/or response and chose one over the other, I'll miss the fuller understanding that comes from not separating them, but appreciating the dance they perform together. I give up the feeling of certainty for an appreciation which feels like deeper insight. It feels truer, but leaves my ego a bit thirsty, which is fine. but it's hard to check the right box.
The other two phases facilitate my current obsession of the Holocene/Anthropocene. At first I didn't appreciate why a name change mattered and even felt it bordered on something immoral as if I were dooming future generations. Then a light went off and it seemed immoral to pretend reality should not be called out for what it is. I felt I was, and still do see others, albeit unconsciously, struggle to remain in a bygone era. It takes a lot of energy to resist this. I'm trying to compose something about all of this, but its difficult to stay focused for me and venture out onto what feels like uncharted territory. The frustrations or guilt or fear for that matter seemed tied more to the Holocene. The Anthropocene only requires acknowledgement, much like the dance mentioned earlier. The ego gets crushed a bit, but the deeper understanding's far more attractive to me than checking off some silly box.
Interesting thoughts. More and more I find myself moving away from either/or thinking, and looking at things more in terms of balancing polarities (defined by Tim Winton as "any seeming pair of opposites that represent the poles of a continuum.")
From the question posed in the original seed, one thing which could be considered with Transition more in mind is how ( in your gut ), do you primarily see events unfolding? What rate of change is occurring? What measures of adaptation make sense? I find myself drawn to Jorgen Randers work and accept his challenge to prove him wrong. David, I know you've mentioned John Michael Greer's writings, how do those writings influence your belief which in turn affect perception and thus preparation? How does an individual, or a community, update adaptation strategies? Flux seems to becoming more dynamic, and choices made influence the position of the target being aimed at, and the availability of options to reach the target.
I can only respond on a personal level, not representing TW or the Transition movement in general. People in the Transition movement can be all over the map in terms of what measures of adaptation make sense, and what rate of change is occurring.
The biggest influence on me regarding this topic is David Holmgren's Future Scenarios. He looks at 4 major scenarios: fast climate change/slow peak oil; fast climate change/fast peak oil; slow climate change/slow peak oil; and slow climate change/fast peak oil. And then he goes further to talk about nested scenarios - things won't likely unfold in a linear way according to one of the above, but it'll be different in different locations and on different scales.
Right now things are looking like fast climate change/slow peak oil (his "Brown Tech scenario), but I think there's a fair chance it'll shift to fast climate change/fast peak oil sometime in the near future (his "Lifeboats" scenario).
I don't follow Greer as closely as some others do, but in terms of the peak oil issue, I think he's so far proven to be more accurate than most others; he generally seems to see a fairly slow but persistent decline. I haven't read Jorgen Randers.
As for what measures of adaptation make sense to me, I try to prepare to some degree on several fronts - and I confess that I don't think I've done adequate preparations on any of these fronts, but some is better than none. So there's a little bit of effort toward emergency preparedness at the family level; some efforts toward both personal resilience at the family level, as well as some efforts focused on reducing carbon footprint (usually these two dovetail); there's some effort directed toward neighborhood level resilience; some efforts toward workplace sustainability; and a lot of effort directed toward community level resilience and sustainability.
BTW, a book I read a few years ago and really loved was Sharon Astyk's "Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front."