A New Philosophy For The Hero Age

It has been a while since we updated our view of the world. The challenges we face as a civilization cannot be blamed on inertia alone, they are caused by the absence of a new overarching philosophy that combines culture, economics and a new definition of human identity.

The problem is that our civilization is run by an outdated operating system, governed by paradigms created for a previous age.

The last significant update was 260 years ago. Here are the major eras:

  1. The Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination).
  2. The Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BCE, the development of agriculture).
  3. The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science).
  4. The Industrial Revolution (c. 1760 CE, the emergence of machines).
  5. The Information Revolution (c. 2000 CE, the emergence of mechanisms created by humans are outperforming humans, e.g: crowd-sourced information (internet), artificial intelligence & robotics, bio engineering, human identity transformation)

What’s outdated

  1. The Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination).
  2. The Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BCE, the development of agriculture).
  3. The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science).
  4. The Industrial Revolution (c. 1760 CE, the emergence of machines).
  5. The Information Revolution (c. 2000 CE, the emergence of mechanisms created by humans are outperforming humans, e.g: crowd-sourced information (internet), artificial intelligence & robotics, bio engineering, human identity transformation)

Most of our systems still rely on industrial age processes. Our educational system is geared towards producing a workforce focused on repetitive tasks, our economic system is optimized for producing physical products and linear growth, our resource consumption is not circular (make, use, throw out vs reuse), our models don’t take into consideration exponential population growth, many still believe same number and quality new jobs will replace extinct jobs)

In economics we see a similar phenomenon. Here are the major eras:

  1. Hunting & Gathering Economics  (c. 2.5 million years ago, mutual exchange and sharing of resources (i.e., fruit gathered & meat gained from hunting, this was an  egalitarian, sharing economy, a gift economy ).
  2. Agricultural Economics (c. 10,000 years ago, exchange economies,  sedentary cultures living in one place, greater output, promotes property rights and urbanization, a greater division of labor and status ).
  3. Feudalistic Economics (between the 9th and 15th centuries, the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, while the peasants were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him, labor, and a share of the produce, in exchange for military protection).
  4. Mercantilistic Economics (16th century to the 18th century, governmental regulation of a nation’s economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers )
  5. Capitalistic Economics (mid-17th century,  “Capitalist”, meaning an owner of capital, based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets)
  1. Decentralized Exchange Economies (families & tribes form “micro-markets” where food and other goods are exchanged)
  2. Centralized Command Economies (controlled by a centralized power)
  3. Decentralized Choice Economies (firms and households act in self-interest to determine how resources get allocated, what goods get produced and who buys the goods, the platforms for exchange are globally connected market systems).
  1. Animism: (A god in everything, the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena)
  2. Polytheism (Many Gods, the belief in or worship of more than one god)
  3. Monotheism (One God many versions, the doctrine or belief that there is only one God)
  4. Atheism (No god, second largest “religion” in the west and growing)
  1. “Mankind” was created in the image of a higher power (makes us feel “very important”)
  2. Our species evolved from single cells (Archaea, and eukaryotes, makes us feel “less important”)
  3. Our species begins to manage our own evolution (A.I. surpassing our individual intelligence, Genetic engineering is improving our “DNA operating system”, Bio-technology is making bio printing possible, the 3d printing of human tissue and organs, makes us feel “functional & replaceable”)

In 1633, the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church forced Galileo Galilei, to recant his theory that the Earth moves around the Sun. Besides of fears of the churches erosion of power, this was also motivated by a very basic primal fear, the fear a diminishing of our own identity. Suddenly as a species our importance was shrinking.

  1. Part of the world
  2. Separate from the world
  3. At the center of the solar system (makes us feel “big and important”)
  4. In the corner of the solar system (makes us feel “smaller than we thought”)
  5. In the corner of our galaxy (makes us feel “tiny”)
  6. A spec in the universe (questions our significance)

While it may appear that I’m talking about self-importance as a function of vanity it is not so. In fact, defining ourselves as important is a core function of our survival-motivation. In order for me to feel propelled to survive (emotionally & spiritually), I need to infuse myself with a reason to exist and find a purpose of my being alive. Unlike animals who don’t face this dilemma, this uniquely human need comes from our ability to not only act based on immediate, instinctual reactions but on weighed decision based actions.

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