- The informed public mind that democracy depends upon can no longer be achieved through public news and discourse produced through contentious economic, political, and social interests.
- In the 21st century—in the Anthropocene—humanity is united for the first time by a public need to know physical, biological, and cultural realities as creator-drivers of those realities (who are also created by them). This position is a new position. With it comes a new need to know.
- A new philosophy of public mind is called for as design of the next internet/web3 takes off. Recapitulating old paradigm ideas of public mind—where a logic of human harm-benefit dominates—would be a grave misstep.
- Changing the news is humanity’s #1 imperative, the trim-tab of our time. Turning public attention and curiosity to physical, biological, and cultural realities, frees the public mind to ask questions essential to learning, essential to ethically-charged discourse, and essential to wise action.
- While some argue that humanity already knows or seeks to know physical, biological, and cultural realities, such an argument ignores the default nature of questioning produced through economic, political, and social interests. In truth, the science that gets done is the science that gets funded, which is almost exclusively driven by financial, commercial, and military interests. In truth, the primary public interest in the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, rivers, landmasses, and biota—the fundaments of planetary life—remains fixed on losses and damages to human life, jobs, and property. In truth, indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing remain off-radar unless useful to natural resource management or human rights campaigns. Assumptions that humanity is freely pursuing scientific inquiry, is free of blinding self-interest, or freely engages extant ways of knowing, are wrong in every way that counts to an informed and self-informing public mind in today’s world.
- How could a public mind look at physical, biological, and cultural realities in their own terms and conditions? What questions would be conceived and pursued? What ethical yield would arise? To all such queries, the answer is surprisingly simple. As simple as asking what one will see, objectively and subjectively, when attention is turned to realities under one’s nose that were previously ignored, dismissed, backgrounded, or simply unimagined. The full reality of a child, a mountain, an ocean, a gut biome, internal and external electromagnetic energies, and so forth, emerges into the present moment. Human curiosity—legitimized and magnified by a shared need to know—takes off. Who is this being? What is this ecology in its soundscapes and species, weathers and chemistries, perhaps its exchange of ions? What is going on in the middle ground between observer and observed? What emotional conditioning obstructs or distorts perception? What kinds of perception are possible? Which tools are useful? The significance of such learning is nearly inestimable. Ethical capacities surpass the ethics of human harm-benefit. Human-centrism is replaced by relational intelligence. Discernment for wise action flows in all directions, bottom-up, horizontally and vertically, free of crippling resistance. Wise action becomes common sense.
- The question of how We, the People, will choose to mediate the world to ourselves, is a question of evolutionary consequence. What We, the People, determine to be the most important news and discourse of our time is determinative of what We, the People will pay attention to, think about, support through consensual action, and expect representatives to represent. Starkly put, the aims and goals of today’s public mind stand at an evolutionary crossroad. Either the public mind remains passively informed by contentious economic, political, and social interests, or the public mind equips itself through internet/web3 with a new level and kind of learning key to the enlightenment of creator-drivers of physical, biological, and cultural realities.
- Today’s economic, political, and social chaos worldwide—much-exploited and over-determined by powerful parties—is precisely what can be expected at the end of a paradigm that no longer functions. The paradigmatic aims and goals of an economic, political, and social worldview no longer serve. In philosophical terms, the ‘know-what’ and the ‘know-how’ crucial to ethical life, the life of the mind, the informed public mind of a democracy—all of which organize and govern—are being and will continue to be mis-identified.
- A new paradigm—a physical, biological, and cultural worldview—is not just an idea, it’s an idea that can be birthed. Designing the next internet/web3 to equip every person with the capacity to question (or join in questioning) what is going on within physical, biological, and cultural realities, is, one could say, the greatest and most urgent design-work that can be imagined.
- As social media crashes and burns, reduced in many ways to a cacophony of old paradigm voices, a new and acute hunger is rising. People want to come into alignment with the questions that matter, that inform action, that recognize the creativity possible between humans and earth. Building mind media that mediates physical, biological, and cultural realities, is exactly what needs to be built.
Casey S. Walker, November 2022
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