This website is about change, intellectual change. It is dedicated to broadcasting and discovering ideas that are swirling towards a new understanding of life and our place in it. On the small scale it is, alas, just one person’s idiosyncratic views. On another scale it would hope to be a node connecting others working towards a new, probable, culture-shifting philosophical synthesis.
Why do I say that a new “culture-shifting” philosophy is imminent? The trends seem to indicate just the opposite since certainty, truth, and academic prestige have eroded drastically over the last half century. But collapse can be opening for the new, and the trends can be harbingers or seeds of the new. For intellectual hunters, gatherers, and trackers there is big game in today’s publishing jungle. The critiques of evolution are more likely the seeds of a new synthesis than its failure. A theory of mind that succeeds is more likely to be a new vision of ourselves than an explanation of an outdated understanding (viz., the one where certain apes evolved computer-like brains). Unmistakable trends are shifting the focus from the organism versus the environment to an extended organism as an organism-environmental complex of relations. And certainty itself is coming into question as understanding and communication shift to frames based on constraints, possibilities, and weighted exchanges. Into the new arena are whole new languages: networks instead of logic, dynamic systems theory instead of deterministic dynamics, constraints instead of control.
These trends of a possible new synthesis are taking place in the midst of a great cultural diffusion that is placing experiential experimentation ahead of idea-reinforced cultural certainties. The everyday matrix is a lot richer than it was for my parents. Just as ideas are rapidly evolving so are our basic interactional expectations. This everyday relational ecology is feeding on and can feed more into the growth of the new languages of constraints, networks, and dynamic attractors. The fertility for the new can be found in the high and the low – the intellectual and the everyday.
Lurking behind these big issues is, as always, the question of the design of the cosmos and the origins of good and beauty. Emergence of order as a property of dynamic systems and complex networks is a very different understanding of the divine than the old notion of a creator agent. What is likely to be astounding to our age will be the appreciation of how networks across the planet are self-organizing into another level of life, into another type of evolutionary transition.
Those are some of the promises towards a
In the spring of 2003 I stopped driving and networking with the Epistemology Express RV and moved to the Esalen Institute on the Big Sur coast of California. Lucky for me! I met the woman of my life. I loved her; she loved me, and I am no longer single. And I continued writing and networking as the Institute hosted annually an Evolution and Consciousness conference. I got in three years in a row and met some wonderful, equally engaged if not as fanatical co-pursuers of a new synthesis in this broad theme. My new work shifted from interest in epistemology and knowledge and more towards the nature of reality - matter interconnected by minds. Recent writing is in the Circles section. The story of Pamela and me and some other stuff about this persona is in the My Niche section.
Now (since 2006), settled back in the Bay Area, I continue with this same passion. It would be great if this site could stir your interest in the possibilities for this field, but I fear that my writing is still too dense. I never know if I am writing or researching. What is good is that writing in this public space motivates me to keep trying to reach some style of clarity between academia and the local bar. This is the gift of the Epistemology Express which kept me traveling between universities but stopping at RV parks. Carrying the original vision, thinking with the best, and saying it straight is where I dream to go.
The goal that has most changed at this website is that I would hope to be more of a resource for others interested in or working on new solutions to old problems. The And Gratitude to the many dedicated scientists, thinkers, and personal explorers teasing the mysteries in this fallow yet gathering-excitement time before a potential new renaissance of ideas even as our material ecology does a serious wobble. Of all of them and you - special thanks to Gregory Bateson, anthropologist, psychiatrist, biologist, and author of "Steps to an Ecology of Mind" among other works who died in 1980. section is a huge library of quotations from hundreds of works across many disciplines. It is posted in the hope of offering help and inspiration to others as well as of (partially) expressing my gratitude to so many great thinkers who are currently bringing out so much new research and imaginative solutions.
For an overview of the current state of this evolving site see the Site Map. I have to look - to see what I have done or am doing. Alternately, hit the contact button below, tell me about important new ideas, and start another circle.