a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
— pt. 13 … A baker’s dozen
Imagination and successful stories
Let’s begin our mini-series conclusion with this forty second video clip from Yuval Noah Harari:
It may well be that the power of our imagination is what distinguishes us as humans. Our ability to create a narrative in which we subsequently invest great faith and existential confidence is a key defining characteristic of humans and how we create culture through image and language.
“Money, in fact, is the most successful story ever invented and told by humans because it is the only story everybody believes.” —Harari
Money is information
Given the place it holds in human systems, money forms what is arguably the most universal human feedback loop (i.e., self-ordering process) that we have for ordering our collective systems. Essentially, money orders our material and organizational systems acting as an imaginary, yet concretizing, feedback loop between desire and availability.
Material and information both live on a spectrum of desirability and availability: supply and demand in dynamic tension—i.e., a “market” structure.
Money is (very loosely) analogous to a key feedback loop in a dynamic field of systemic processes (i.e., Gravesian values).
Information creates reality?
Some argue that reality is made of information… that, in fact, not physical atoms or particles, rather, information forms the most basic building block of Reality. Theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler characterized the idea as “It from bit” — “it” referring to all the stuff of the universe, and “bit” meaning information. Wheeler essentially integrates idealism and materialism, albeit with ‘bit‘ prior to ‘it.’ Without going quite that far, we can hopefully grant and affirm that information animates and orders dynamic processes and systems.
Stages vs loops
I raised the issue of money to serve as an analogous illustration for my reasoning regarding loops vs stages.
‘Stages‘ are basically feedback loops, too.
My contention is that while ‘stages‘ are a form of feedback loop, they are clunky and unwieldy—like a check or money order compared to cash.
A ‘stage‘ is a feedback loop with a step-based control gate — to administer sequencing and factoring-in of antecedents, prerequisites, etc.
We know we’ve been conditioned to the idea of ‘higher’ being ‘superior.’ So, beyond a tap on our conditioning, my question for Graves SD and *Integral* remains:
What do we gain in using the notion of ‘stages‘?
This ‘higher-than’ (step-based) control gate is not the only way to describe and administer the dynamic relations and processes in a system. Other suppler and subtler, less-constrained feedback loop configurations are called for and are, indeed, quite possible here.
My suggestion: non-stadial feedback loops are far-better suited to administering system process dynamics than are ‘stages.’ I’ve now made that change in my approach.
The path leading me here
Since 2018 when I began re-engaging with the Graves/Spiral Dynamics and Integral conversations, I’ve been flummoxed by *Integralists* advocating for DJT/MAGA. I definitely hadn’t anticipated that!
Especially since July of 2020, I’ve been concerned about *Integralists* using *Integral* thinking as a fig-leaf to cover White supremacist ideology. I’d been looking into that and writing against it periodically — to a largely chilly reception, as, apparently, some people don’t like being challenged regarding racism or even the mention of systemic racism; cf. “White fragility….”.
So, I began looking back a hundred years to the time when White supremacist ideology was the core of “American identity,” overtly and very proudly so. I’d been exploring Franz Boas and his stand against “scientific racism”—i.e., stadial theory and eugenics. I was beginning to think about the intersection of stadial theory, Graves/SD, and Ken Wilber [kw]/*Integral*.
Then, in August of this year, Nora Bateson dropped a provocation bomb:
Her TheFacebook post on it got 1,200+ comments. So, yeah.
This was an unexpected, but very welcome, catalyst for me personally and intersected with my project of protesting *Integral*’s fig-leaf problem.
—The “fig-leaf” is a perspectival relativism argument that (darkly, deceptively) offers those who deny the existence of systemic racism cover to believe they’re “right.” The claim is in error.
I’m not sure what happened, because, from sometime back there, I remember kw correctly disparaging such “French parlor tricks.” Now, apparently, the coherence of *Integral* depends on them. I suspect the ‘errant claim’ is an unintended consequence and the product of a dogmatic expression of “all perspectives are partially true,” a core doctrine of *Integral*.
Next week: “Irony: *Integral* ghetto.” Come and see.
[this post ~840 words (~3 min. read)]
I never know what I’ve said until I hear the response. What did you hear me say?