- Jul 2022
A key point I make is that that the boundary between knowledge and ignorance is not impermeable. It is open to political appropriation by less powerful groups. In other words, calling attention to the problem of strategic ignorance by elite actors – and demanding more accountability from those actors – can lead to a new "war of position", in a Gramscian sense. In my book, I term this argument the Lorde principle, after Audre Lorde, in homage to earlier academic and activist work that my argument builds upon. I suggest that the Lorde principle encompasses the way that unknowing can be a revolutionary force for good.
The Lorde principle is a leverage point for activists representing and from the persecuted masses that can hold people in positions of power who abuse strategic ignorance for personal gain and collective harm.
- Jun 2022
The experts were asked to independently provide a comprehensive list of levers and leverage points for global sustainability, based on the potential for disproportionate effects to address and reverse the deterioration of nature while meeting societal needs. They were asked to consider actions by the full range of possible actors, and both top-down and bottom-up effects across various sectors. The collection of all responses became our initial set of levers and leverage points. Ensuing processes were then informed by five linked conceptualizations of transformative change identified by the experts (Chan et al., 2019): ● Complexity theory and leverage points of transformation (Levin et al., 2013; Liu et al., 2007; Meadows, 2009); ● Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems (Berkes, Colding, & Folke, 2003; Folke et al., 2010); ● A multi-level perspective for transformative change (Geels, 2002); ● System innovations and their dynamics (Smits, Kuhlmann, & Teubal, 2010; OECD, 2015) and ● Learning sustainability through ‘real-world experiments’ (Geels, Berkhout, & van Vuuren, 2016; Gross & Krohn, 2005; Hajer, 2011).
Set of levers and leverage points identified by the authors.
Creating an open public network for radical collaboration, which we will call the Indyweb, can facilitate bottom-up engagement to both educate the public on these levers as well as be an application space to crowdsource the public to begin sharing local instantiations of these levers.
An Indyweb that is in the form of an interpersonal space in which each individual is the center of their data universe, and in which they can see all the data from their diverse digital interactions across the web and in real life all consolidated in one place offers a profound possibility for both individual and collective learning. Such an Indyweb would bring the relational nature of the human being, the so called "human INTERbeing" alive, and would effortlessly emerge the human INTERbeing explicitly as the natural form merely from its daily use. One can immediately see the relational nature of individual learning, how it is so entangled with collective learning, and would be reinforced with each social interaction on the web or in real life. This is what is needed to track both individual inner transformation (IIT) as well as collective outer transformation (COT) towards a rapid whole system change mobilization. Accelerated by a program of open access Deep Humanity (DH) knowledge that plumbs the very depth of what it is to be human, this can accelerate the indirect drivers of change and provide practical tools for granular monitoring of both IIT and COT.
Could we use AI to search for levers and leverage points?
Two linked concepts are relevant to prioritizing indirect drivers: leverage points (where to intervene to change social–ecological systems) and levers (the means of realizing these changes, such as governance approaches and interventions). Both concepts are intended to identify which changes, for which social variables, are likely to have disproportionately large positive effects on social–ecological systems
leverage points and levers can bring about disproportionately large positive effects.
Levers and leverage points for pathways to sustainability
Leverage points to study for Rapid Whole System Change
- individual inner transformation
- collective outer transformation
- Stop Reset Go
- interpersonal computing
- indirect drivers
- human INTERbeing
- Deep Humanity
- leverage point
right now we're not being honest with each other about our values and if that's happening then we cannot form norms you can't design norms they happen 00:47:46 out of human action not human design but they only emerge when there is a real consensus about our shared values and so we've got to get back to that i mean it seems almost like like self-evident and we'll duh but like 00:47:59 if if we're going to continue to self-silence or even lie about our beliefs like the result are going to be collective illusions at scale and whole societies can be taken down by those and listen it 00:48:11 would something like a free society living in a democracy like we take that for granted that is a blip in human history the idea that it can't disappear overnight is silly it can and it will 00:48:23 and it would be one thing if it disappeared because privately we collectively gave up on that experiment right but it's a tragedy if it disappears not because of 00:48:34 private change in values but because of collective illusions and that's that's what for me felt like the urgency to write the book right like that it just felt like things were spinning out of control 00:48:46 and yet we have more data on private opinion in america than probably anybody else i would argue um and i can tell you it's just not true right so i think that's both there's both a dangerous aspect to 00:48:58 illusions but also a hopeful one you know because history has shown us that if you recognize the illusion and you take an effort to dismantle it social change can happen at a scale and pace that would seem unimaginable 00:49:10 otherwise well i can't think of any other way to end in that message so thank you todd so much for this marathon you did with me and two parts thank you we obviously have so much shared values and we're not 00:49:22 as divided as people tell us we are [Laughter] but but now we know why right now we know why it feels that way and if we if we can recognize that we really can no longer trust our brain to accurately 00:49:36 read group consensus then we can get back to this it never really mattered right be who you are learn to be authentic um discover your real self and and work really hard to be congruent between your 00:49:48 private self and your public self the rest takes care of itself
Exponential change can happen if social tipping points are triggered by a few influencers have a change of heart because they have become educated on how the collective illusion operations, and how congruency of these few influencers can cause exponential change.
it's essential and i just love the idea of setting an example for others you know 00:44:40 that's that's that's the way out of this trap is you start doing that and then other people in your group start doing it and then all of a sudden your group's the whole illusion breaks down the emperor has no clothes 00:44:53 or the emperor has clothes the effort does have clothes eventually eventually guess what i'm trying to say eventually yeah what's great about illusions is that they're powerful when they're enforced but they're fragile because 00:45:04 they're social lies right like like you don't want it to be true you wish it weren't true and so what you're really looking for is is wait a minute like so for some of us we just need one 00:45:15 other person to speak up to give us the the the strength to do the same other people need more but what you see is once you start getting the crack in the illusion it affects what we call like bandwagon 00:45:28 change right like it'll just swerve quickly and suddenly it looks like almost overnight the group has shifted its view so whenever you see stuff um it's funny in politics they call it momentum there's no such thing as momentum that's not what that is that is 00:45:41 that is that is an illusion where people's private behavior is like oh wait a minute this is like i can now say what i really think right i feel comfortable saying what i really think um so when you see like sort of exponential change 00:45:53 in public opinion like that's usually the that's usually that there's an illusion underneath there um because if people privately believe something it is very hard to change that and so you know doing that is like one off right i have 00:46:05 to change your mind or change someone else's mind and so you'll usually see slow linear growth or change in in public opinion when you see it change really quickly like it did with marriage equality marriage equality the public 00:46:17 approval for that i mean it's unreal since what since 2003 to today it's basically flipped in terms of its its acceptance like that doesn't happen if privately most people were against it it just doesn't 00:46:30 such a good point so much the reason why it's so hard is because like the oxytocin bonding mechanism is run so deep in our dna and our biology and and overriding that is not easy 00:46:42 because once we feel this social trust we we can lie you know we can we'll do anything well i cheat steal for our in group
One of the key triggers for social tipping points is shifting the values of influential people under the spell of collective illusion from incongruency to congruency.
most people are dying to do 00:42:37 this like there's just something hollow to living someone else's life right and if i could impress anything on listeners or viewers like a lot of reasons why we're doing this 00:42:49 right now to ourselves is because we believe the group is against us but just think how would you behave if you knew that most people in your groups that matter to you we're in agreement with you like 00:43:02 think about what that changes about your behavior and and your your potential for happiness and flourishing and i'm telling you it's just where we are right now in this society and like i think social media has a lot of 00:43:14 upside but with respect to collective illusions it is a fun house of mirrors it is almost a guarantee to distort uh what you think the group consensus really is so we just got to be thoughtful about the ways not just the 00:43:26 ways we engage on online because that's just always going to be there but learning about collective illusions and getting some skill and not letting those distortions affect how we treat one another in real life because that's where it really really 00:43:39 becomes a problem
If people who are incongruent can imagine how our societies would flourish were we as individuals more congruent, this could be a powerful leverage point for system change that dispells the collective illusion.
- Nov 2021
A final cluster gathers lenses that explore phenomena that are arguably more elastic and with the potential to both indirectly maintain and explicitly reject and reshape existing norms. Many of the topics addressed here can be appropriately characterized as bottom-up, with strong and highly diverse cultural foundations. Although they are influenced by global and regional social norms, the expert framing of institutions, and the constraints of physical infrastructure (from housing to transport networks), they are also domains of experimentation, new norms, and cultural change. Building on this potential for either resisting or catalyzing change, the caricature chosen here is one of avian metaphor and myth: the Ostrich and Phoenix cluster. Ostrich-like behavior—keeping heads comfortably hidden in the sand—is evident in different ways across the lenses of inequity (Section 5.1), high-carbon lifestyles (Section 5.2), and social imaginaries (Section 5.3), which make up this cluster. Yet, these lenses also point to the power of ideas, to how people can thrive beyond dominant norms, and to the possibility of rapid cultural change in societies—all forms of transformation reminiscent of the mythological phoenix born from the ashes of its predecessor. It is conceivable that this cluster could begin to redefine the boundaries of analysis that inform the Enabler cluster, which in turn has the potential to erode the legitimacy of the Davos cluster. The very early signs of such disruption are evident in some of the following sections and are subsequently elaborated upon in the latter part of the discussion.
The bottom-up nature of this cluster makes it the focus area for civil society movements, human inner transformation (HIT) approaches and cultural methodologies.
Changing the mindset or paradigm from which the system arises is the most powerful place to intervene in a system as Donella Meadows pointed out decades ago in her research on system leverage points: https://donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-places-to-intervene-in-a-system/
The sleeping giant of billions of potential change actors remains dormant. How do we awaken them and mobilize them. If we can do this, it can constitute the emergence of a third unidentified actor in system change.
The Stop Reset Go (SRG) initiative is focused on this thematic lens, bottom-up, rapid whole system change, with Deep Humanity (DH) as the open-source praxis to address the needed shift in worldview advocated by Meadows. One of the Deep Humanity programs is based on addressing the psychological deficits of the wealthy, and transforming them into heroes for the transition, by redirecting their WEALTH-to-WELLth.
There are a number of strategic demographics that can be targeted in methodical evidence-based ways. Each of these is a leverage point and can bring about social tipping points.
A number of 2021 reports characterize the outsized impact of the top 1% and top 10% of humanity. Unless their luxury, high ecological footprint behavior is reeled in, humanity won't stand a chance. Annotation of Oxfam report: https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Foxfamilibrary.openrepository.com%2Fbitstream%2Fhandle%2F10546%2F621305%2Fbn-carbon-inequality-2030-051121-en.pdf&group=__world__ Annotation of Hot or Cool report: https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Fhotorcool.org%2Fhc-posts%2Frelease-governments-in-g20-countries-must-enable-1-5-aligned-lifestyles%2F&group=__world__
- Nov 2020
Svelte by itself is great, but doing a complete PWA (with service workers, etc) that runs and scales on multiple devices with high quality app-like UI controls quickly gets complex. Flutter just provides much better tooling for that out of the box IMO. You are not molding a website into an app, you are just building an app. If I was building a relatively simple web app that is only meant to run on the web, then I might still prefer Svelte in some cases.
- good point
- framework taking care of responsibility so users can leverage it and not have to worry about that responsibility themselves
- using the right tool for the job
- Oct 2020
However, this would lead to further divergence. Tooling that is built around the assumptions imposed by template literals wouldn't work. It would undermine the meaning of template literals. It would be necessary to define how JSX behaves within the rest of the ECMAScript grammar within the template literal anyway.
- exceptions to the rule
- good point
- benefiting from shared tooling that can be reused
- ECMAScript standard
- leverage the fact that tooling already exists