Perhaps, one of the tragedies of the 2000 election is that America was denied its first futurist president. I met Al Gore in 1982 at a futurist conference in Washington when he was just an unknown congressman.
You must login to vote
Al Gore was a multiplex thinker. Someone who could hop from one level of reality to another.
I also saw that he was a poor public speaker and not a very skilled politician. This combination proved to be Al's undoing. He was lucky that Bill Clinton had the genius to make him Veep. This gave him his only real shot at being president and he blew it big time. The rest is history.
But what does multiplex thinking really mean?
Well, at these futurist conferences I learned to think globally and act locally. To act globally and think locally too.
I saw that we need to see things on a global level as well as a local level simultaneously because everything is inter-connected. I saw that what we did on a local level had huge effects bit by bit on bigger and bigger scales.
Al saw this.
I did too.
I started to look at macro-evolutionary trends.
During the last century humans have been given opportunities that past humans never had. Machines now can do all manual work. Most of our food growing and manufacturing is done by a small percentage of our population. Everyone else works in the service and information industries.
All manufacturing and food growing in theory can be automated now. Also a lot of things in the service and information industries as well. But if humans automate everything how will all this vast new automated wealth be distributed?
We lack the political software for handling this opportunity.
If people had a lot of leisure time what would they do with it?
Most schools today train people to be job-seekers looking for work in an increasingly unstable employment environment.
Besides working for a paycheck. People work hard doing domestic chores, doing hobbies, and helping other people out, but they don't get paid for doing this
So work and employment are not the same, but employment gets compensated with a paycheck and work much less, even though its just as important.
Today, the more the information revolution accelerates the more we see people involved in mental tasking. No more farm or factory work. This forces people to live in their minds more and the internet is connecting these minds more and more. So a tribal kind of consciousness is possible again via the web. This will accelerate with internet video and text-messaging.
The less people burn energy for driving and the more people spend time tele-commuting the more the nature of consumption changes and is less harsh on the environment. Of course info smog is now a serious problem just as serious as physical smog, but that's the challenge of living in a mental/digital environment.
This mental work which will dominate future generations is still not fully compensated and understood by economists even as it becomes more and more important.
So besides digital survival cards. Small business loans will be critical more than ever as people start working for each other. The official job market will shrink.
Did I say digital survival cards?
I will get to that.
Our population is also now aging fast. In Europe, Japan, and Russia, the populations of these countries can't even replace themselves. It's well known that when humans reach a certain standard of living they start having less kids. China and India will reach this threshold in the next forty years. The big demographic bubble that started in the 1400's will pop at that time.
So less people and less physical consumption. If digital life de-centralizes everything than huge bureaucracies are no longer needed. Skeleton and flatter digital bureaucracies can dole out to people who still need the basics--digital money cards to spend every month on survival if they need it. Not all will need this subsidy, but whoever needs it can get it.
The left/right debate makes no sense in a digital age. Smaller, generous and smarter government is possible on all levels.
People with more free time need to learn to be more creative and their schooling will never end. Employment will be less, but work will always be around. There is a difference between these two.
Who will pay for all this?
Well, societies always found new ways to redistribute wealth and a digital society will do the same. Am I talking scifi here?
Star Trek is closer on the horizon then anyone cares to admit.
What is needed is more IMAGINATION.
That's what level-hopping is all about.
Seeing things from multiple angles in order to find the optimal solution. This essay has been an exercise in level-hopping.
Obama is a great level-hopper and he may not have the solutions to America's problems, but he will ask a lot of questions from multiple angles in a search for those answers.
When one studies meditation and discovers the various layers of mind any individual has. One sees the huge resource the mind really is with answers to any problem to be found by tapping the right mind layer.
This is no different for a group mind.
The internet is creating a global mind with multiple layers for creative tapping.
Human minds pooled together become an even bigger resource.
Is this like 2001: A Space Odyssey?
That star-child at the end of the movie symbolizes the leap in evolution to a bigger global mind.
Don't tell this to Palin, or McCain, or Bush though. Their level hopping is not something to really write home about. Pretty bad software in those heads. It's worse than Windows....
I'll take Linux please....with a dash of Buddhist meditation.