The ultimate goal of this web site is to change the world. To be more precise, to assist and to speed up the paradigm shift in our world perception that is already happening, but at agonizingly slow pace.
The same events, facts and patterns of the reality surrounding us can be interpreted in more than one way, with different interpretations giving rise to distinct systemic perceptions or "realities inside us". The "reality inside us" is always a rather crude approximation or a model of the reality outside us. But it is the only reality we perceive as real. The world is our representation. But this representation is the only thing that matters, for we act according to it. The difference between the wise or the experienced man and the fool or the inexperienced person is that the wise/experienced man has a relatively better approximation or model of the outside world and, therefore, has statistically better chances for success in comparison with the fool/inexperienced person who uses a relatively inadequate representation as the basis for his/her decisions and actions. Imagine people that are placed to operate in an enormous room that is totally dark and full of unknown and countless objects of different nature. Most probably, a person who has already spent some time actively investigating the room, has a better model of it in his mind and will perform better, whatever the task might be, in comparison with a person who has been placed in the room very recently, or a person who has been there for a long time but has not moved a finger to study it. Hence, anyone who aims to survive and to excel should strive to maximize the adequacy of his/her world representation through learning, action and experiences accompanied by respective adjustment and refinement of the representation. The world is an objectively existing and constantly evolving reality. It is a process that is subjectively interpreted and modeled by another process, our evolving mind.
The majority of what we call "problems without obvious solution" are simply manifestations of a discrepancy between our representation or our model of reality and reality itself. They are signs of the inadequacy of our current model, failing to account for and to explain unexpected outcomes of our experiences. This inadequacy can arise for two different reasons. First, our current representation of relatively static aspects of reality is too crude and too primitive, in absolute sense or relative to other people´s representations. This can be fixed by subjecting our mind to learning and experiences. Second, the reality is constantly changing, but our model of it does not keep up with the change, it ages and becomes increasingly inadequate. This can be fixed only through the constant testing of the model in interactions with reality and continuous adjustment of the model. If, for instance, you as an adult kept an unadjusted model of reality and continued to believe in Santa Claus and fairy tales and to act correspondingly, that would, most likely, constitute a source of "problems" in your life. Fortunately, most of us tend to adjust our world model in accord with our experiences as we mature and grow older. If you have a "problem" in your interaction with another person, it is because, most likely, your representation of that person is or has become inadequate. You do not know him/her well enough or he/she has already changed, but you continue to approach this person with your "back then" adequate but now obsolete representation. If we have global environmental, economical and health problems, it is because our understanding and mental models of the environment, of economics and of health are inadequate, primitive or obsolete, and require adjustment to the changing reality. On the individual scale, problems result from the relative misrepresentation and poor modeling of the evolving reality by our individual minds. On a global scale, our problems result from the disharmony between the changing world and our shared interpretation of it, our world paradigm or worldview.
The humanity as a whole shares a representation of reality, or a worldview, which slowly evolves as our combined knowledge and experiences increase. The claim is that our current model of reality is becoming rapidly and increasingly inadequate and that this progressing inadequacy leads to the accumulation of global problems in our world and tensions within, as well as between, different cultures and societies. But the current worldview or, if you will, "the world" is only a model. It is only our interpretation of reality. We are free to change it for a more adequate, more accurate and updated model. In fact we are to change it if we want to survive on this planet. We live in an inadequate and obsolete model of the rapidly changing world. The time for a world paradigm shift is due.
I would like to seed here a self-consistent system of rational ideas, concepts and principles that might allow us to see the world differently and more adequately and, hence, to operate in this world more successfully. The form of the presentation is an evolving and open network of interconnected and inter-referenced lecture-type essays, which is intended to grow into a new interpretational system that will eventually re-address every aspect of our lives, triggering along the way a perceptual Gestalt-like switch to a new and better world. The paradigm shift can be achieved through education, action and organization of new and adequate, in respect to our time, structures in both our minds and in our society. In order to succeed, these new structures must overcome the resistance of existing old and obsolete structures, proponents of the old paradigm, in both our minds and in our society.
Key words: self-organization, stochasticity, networks, adaptive plasticity, bounded stochasticity, evolutionary memory, mind, phase transition, self-organizing fractal theory (SOFT-NET), organizational form, organizational state transition, cooperation, competition, organizational hierarchies, self-organized criticality, intelligence crisis, perception, paradigm shift.
Acknowledgements. I am deeply indebted to all my colleagues and friends whose enthusiasm, discussions and comments inspired the creation of these essays.
September 2003, Novato, CA