The free energy principle states that self-organization occurs through minimization of free energy, which is a measure of potential thermodynamic work. By minimizing free energy, the organism happens to also minimize surprise over its boundary, promoting chances of survival. We discuss the ethical implications of the cognitive goal in detail from an empirical point of view, highlighting the principle of least action as a physical basis of Occam’s razor, the universality of the free energy principle, and its explanation of natural selection. We explain that the free energy principle extends to groups of organisms and helps us understand group-scale adaptations and selection in biology. The free energy principle applies to all scales of organization in the organism from single cells to the entire nervous system. When this principle is taken to its logical extremes of modeling groups, populations and ecosystems, we uncover a new, evolutionarily sensible path at explaining puzzling aspects of human motivation and judgement, including ethical decisions. To minimize free energy, populations have to act to maximize gathering of information, while building effective models at mitigating changes to its dynamic structure. The free energy principle thus provides a naturalistic explanation of some of our deepest ethical intuitions, and valuable principles of social behavior. We interpret the cognitive goal that corresponds to the principle as seeking a dynamic, fruitful, yet peaceful activity that sustains the organism. This state of mind is interestingly similar to the Buddhist intuition of mental equanimity; the organism’s final goal is to be at peace and harmony with the environment. Another immediately relevant aspect is that assemblies must form to promote symbiotic, synergistic, positive feedback loops, which coincides with the findings of ecologists. Therefore, ethics naturally emerges in self-organizing systems. Assemblies of organisms must ultimately unite in macro-minds to achieve the greatest reduction in free energy, as well as building technological extensions of themselves to improve their capacity to do such, therefore the principle also predicts a post-singularity world-mind composed mostly of artificial intelligence.
Reproduced from: https://philoma.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/2009/09_10_24_-_Texte_-_The_future_of_Money_-_B._Lietaer.pdf & http://www.philosophie-management.com/docs/2009/09_10_24_-_Texte_-_The_future_of_Money_-_B._Lietaer.pdf The Future of Money © Bernard Lietaer August 1998 Table of Contents INTRODUCTION 8 Three Promises 8 Underlying Viewpoint 9 CHAPTER 1: MONEY – THE ROOT OF ALL POSSIBILITIES 12 The Time-Compacting Machine 13 1. Age Wave 15 2. Information Revolution 18 3. Climate Change and Biodiversity Extinction 20 4.… Read More
Why has money become such an influential force in the world today?
Why does it generate such powerful and polarized emotions in most individuals?
Collectively, why do supposedly rational financial markets periodically suffer from extraordinary irrational and destructive manias and crises?
The journey to which this book invites you will provide the key to understanding the core emotions that are implanted in our money system, and make it such a powerful compulsion in our societies. It is a journey inside our own heads, bringing to conscious awareness one of the last taboos of Western society: our money. Talking about a taboo is hazardous. Pointing to a society’s shadows is, by definition, risking to upset many people. Talking about emotions and archetypes in a book on money is unconventional. So why this book that deals with the taboo of money by exploring the collective emotions it generates?
To truly understand how money shapes society “out there”, we need to complete the circle and bring into the light how it connects “in here”, inside our own psyche. After all, that is where the engine that is driving it all is hiding.
We consider the fabric of spacetime from a wide perspective: from mathematics, quantum physics, far from equilibrium thermodynamics, biology and neurobiology. It appears likely that spacetime is fractal and quantum coherent in the golden mean. Mathematically, our fractal universe is non-differentiable and discontinuous, yet dense in the infinite dimensional spacetime. Physically, it appears to be a quantum coherent universe consisting of an infinite diversity of autonomous agents all participating in co-creating organic, fractal spacetime by their multitudinous coupled cycles of activities. Biologically, this fractal coherent spacetime is also the fabric of conscious awareness mirrored in the quantum coherent golden mean brain states.
Whitehead’s philosophy, discontinuous nondifferentiable spacetime, fractals, coupled activity cycles, deterministic chaos, quantum coherence and fractals, golden mean.
Since its founding, Capital Institute and its collaborative network have been on a journey in search of a path that leads beyond today’s unsustainable economic system and the finance-dominated ideology that drives it toward an economy that operates in service to human communities without undermining the health of our biosphere and all life that depends on it.
Along the way, we discovered a new way of thinking about economics—an approach aligned with the latest understanding of how the universe and its living systems actually work. We call this approach Regenerative Economics, defined as the application of nature’s laws and patterns of systemic health, self-organization, and self-renewal to the vitality of socio-economic systems.
The seeds of emergence of Regenerative Economies in response to the escalating and interconnected social, economic, and ecological crises that jeopardize all we hold dear is a most hopeful development. Yet the promise of such emergence at scale demands we ask a single, vital question:
What would Finance look like if it were to operate genuinely in service of healthy human communities, and without undermining the long-term health of the planet in the process?
Drawing upon an insider’s understanding of the world of high finance from Capital Institute Founder and President John Fullerton, as well as the principles and patterns of sustainability found throughout living systems in the real world, Finance for a Regenerative World provides a frank assessment of our flawed finance ideology, and a bold, principles-based framework for the future of Finance.
The transition toward a regenerative world is a collective effort that is already underway. To promote collaborative review and comment on this paper (and the ideas it introduces) Finance for a Regenerative World is being released in four acts:
Act I: Context and Implications of the Regenerative Paradigm for Finance
Act II: The Failures of Finance
Act III: Towards a Regenerative Finance and a New Investment Theory
Act IV: An Agenda for the Reform We Need
This chapter aims to demonstrate that Hegel’s notion of organism involves what we today would call “strange loops”—an entangled hierarchy where closed loops of containment occur. That is closely related to the very concept of “true inﬁnity,” which is the basis of the Hegelian notion of freedom. What Hegel calls “self-relating negativity,” the process of active self-limitation, is the basic structure shared both by the organism and by the self. That is precisely what makes reductive materialism untenable. Dialectical materialism, discredited by doctrinaire vulgarization as an “ofﬁcial ideology,” is quietly making a comeback in the natural sciences—not as a schematic procedure to deduce a priori the “laws of matter” but as a way to think through the inner interconnections of evolving complex systems.
© Journal of Peace Research. vol. 27. no. 3. 1990. pp. 291-305
College of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii, Manoa
This article introduces a concept of ‘cultural violence’, and can be seen as a follow-up of the author’s introduction of the concept of ‘structural violence’ over 20 years ago (Galtung. 1969). Cultural violence is defined here as any aspect of a culture that can be used to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form. Symbolic violence built into a culture does not kill or maim like direct violence or the violence built into the structure. However, it is used to legitimize either or both, as for instance in the theory of a Herrenvolk, or a superior race. The relations between direct, structural and cultural violence are explored, using a violence triangle and a violence strata image, with various types of casual flows. Examples of cultural violence are indicated, using a division of culture into religion and ideology, art and language, and empirical and formal science. The theory of cultural violence is then related to two basic points in Gandhism, the doctrines of unity of life and of unity of means and ends. Finally, the inclusion of culture as a major focus of peace research is seen not only as deepening the quest for peace, but also as a possible contribution to the as yet non-existent general discipline of ‘culturology’.
*Presented as a lecture at the University of Melbourne Peace Studies Group, March 1989; at the summer Schools in Peace Studies at the University of Oslo and the University of Hawaii, July 1989; and at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, August 1989. I am indebted to discussants at all these places.
Regeneration refers to the self-feeding, self-renewing processes that natural systems use to nourish their capacity to thrive for long periods of time and their ability to adapt to unexpected, sometimes threatening circumstances. No system can sustain itself over the long-term, if it is not designed to continuously regenerate.
Regenerative development uses the universal laws of systemic health and self-renewal to show how we can develop durably vibrant socio-economic systems as well. It uses the empirical study of flow-networks to make this idea precise.
This approach to development suggests new answers to a critical question for our uncertain times: Can the tools of development be used, not just for episodic interventions that provide short-term relief, but to build the long-term regenerative capacities of local communities and economies? In other words, can the enterprise networks we develop be both profitable and also serve as engines of long-term, regenerative vitality?
This paper explores how Regenerative development backed by the empirical science of flow networks can create a rigorous, commonsense, actionable theory of systemic economic health that:
- Identifies the key factors behind regenerative vitality including the relational structures and social norms needed to create widespread well-being and abundant opportunities;
- Organizes much of what is already known into a working model of systemic health that allows us to address the root causes as well as the symptoms of economic dysfunction;
- Clarifies the connection between moral imperatives and the proper economic functioning;
- Provides effective measures and clear targets for such key factors as inclusivity, resilience, balance, reciprocity, and circulation.
“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings”
John F. Kennedy
Speech at the American University, Washington, D. C., 10 June 1963
So it is in this spirit that I wish to frame my discussion with you today. I have been asked to speak specifically on the topic, of “New Politics: Still Searching for Representation”. Your choice of topic, I sense, has been motivated by a realization that our previous post-colonial experience of democracy has been weighed in the balance and it has been found wanting. I also sense, that you would like hear some concrete proposals in order to make your dialogue more meaningful. In my paper today, I therefore wish to fulfill your terms of reference by engaging in both diagnosis and prescription. I will therefore endeavor to do the following:
First, in speaking specifically to the question of the representation deficit, or the failures of representational politics, I present a brief diagnosis of what are the specific challenges to Caribbean democracy that we are faced with in the present. I will emphasize the present, because as I have shown with the Douglas Hall statement, and as you know very well through the work of Lloyd Best, the problem of finding a new and relevant model of governance in the Caribbean has been as old as Caribbean independence itself. In diagnosing, therefore, I will give a general account of the Caribbean condition today, showing how the world has changed since the fifty years of independence, and how the new reality has challenged the economic and political assumptions upon which Caribbean independence had been pursued. Secondly, I will move from a general reading of the Caribbean condition, to identifying the specific ways in which the failures, reversals and shortcomings in representative politics are reflected. Finally, I will conclude with some prescriptive comment.
I wish to add, that unlike what has been attempted before, my prescriptions will not be specific. One of the dangers in prescribing is the pitfall of speaking in a social and economic vacuum. No political order exists suspended in air. Every political order is merely a reflection of the possibilities allowed by the material and economic social circumstances in which the politics is played out. The political system is always a reflection of the outcome of political contestation between competing interests within the limits of what the economic material conditions will allow. As Marx has put it: “While men make History, they do not make it in conditions of their own choosing”.
Indeed, one of the weaknesses of Lloyd Best and others who have attempted to prescribe detailed accounts of what a future democratic form may look like, is that often their prescriptions have been presented in a social and economic vacuum. Political forms are only determined in the context of concrete politics and concrete practice. In fact, many a taken-for-granted political practice was discovered only in the midst of real struggle, without which those forms would never see the light of day. It is only actual struggle and political practice which can truly determine what is possible.
For these reasons therefore, my prescriptions, will come, not in the form of detailed prescriptions of what a new executive or legislature should look like, or how many members should sit in this chamber or how many members should sit in that body. Instead, I will endeavor to provide an account of the concrete political moment of the present, showing what I think is possible and why I am proposing that we are on the threshold of a new politics and a new democracy.
If I am able to achieve those things, I think I would have fulfilled the task asked of me here today, and I would have provided the Convois with a basis for discussion.