Humanism…. the current form of rebellion

Humanism…. the current form of rebellion

Over and over again I keep spotting a modern rebellion. A rebellion against the modern cults of science, technology and money and individualism.

The rebellion isn’t against the object, its against the approach. The denial of the human aspects and ignorance of the collective ecosystem we live in.

Today we value….
Reason and logic over feelings and intuition.
Business over arts
Science over spiritual practices.
Digital over analogue.
Self over society.
Raising dams over building bridges
Leadership over collective change
Power over service
Statistics over social change
Complexity & newness over simple and repetitious old thruths
Consumption over the planets finite resources
Winning over standing for what you believe
Cynicism and apathy over trust and hope
Statistics over stories
Knowledge over wisdom…..

We are trained from childhood to see things in a linear way. Cause- effect-cause- effect. 

The truth is we do live in an ecosystem, an interconnected system…. people, planet and society.

These connections are so complex that like all ecosystems the resulting interactions are often unpredictable. The results are often non- linear.

The greatest insights we get come from understanding this. 

If we look at art, science, enterprise the process of discovery is the same…..

Starting with an idea, a hypothesis and assumption. 

Tested through making, experimenting and building.

Developed through observation, sensing and using our intuition (being open to sensing the the happy accident)

“Its not so much making something but noticing when something is starting to happen. noticing and building on it- okay that’s new what does it mean, where can I go with it?” Brian Eno, artist & musician

At the core is always asking “what does this mean for me?”

Humberto Maturana points to this connection”Everything said has been said by somebody

Even digital is an expression of the human brain as Peter Senge says

“Machines ultimately do what humans can conceive if humans can conceive it it doesn’t happen

It would take 2/3 generations before people used computers to do what people had never done.”

The result of the greatest insights is a merging of the external and internal world.

I see so many examples of this kind of thinking is emerging reemerging. A modern version of the holistic way of thinking, being and living all old cultures are rooted in.

Whether it’s discussing why creative fields have to prove their value, or listening to Alain de Botton on the glamour of science, or seeing the animosity CEOs of big banks get today, or doing the U Lab course, transforming business, society and self, or the rise of mindfulness, meditation, metacognitom or the apathy towards career politicians.

Some examples that hearten me…

The Lean Startup, and why it changes everything

Walker Arts Centre, participation explored by Sarah Schultz. 

Peter Senge on U lab, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management,

Adapted minds

Leonard Shlain, book Art and Physics and his great talk on this

Connected, Film by Tiffany Shlain

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

Adam Gopnik interview on On Being

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” Albert Einstein

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