Hi Kate – introductions. I’m a collective intelligence researcher that looks at how communities generate knowledge. You seem to be interested in the big questions, like “Why wouldn’t MIT students not think in terms of non-equilibrium system dynamics?” I think my work is assistive to yours – in order to get people to care about, and act on the issues you want, you have to create the scales inside their brain that a.) they care, and b.) they feel responsible to act. The Deep OS inside the brain can be assisted by some of the things you mention – such as various games. But it won’t last unless that explicit understanding is transformed over into personal development. And while scientists can develop the sophistication inside various models, linear and nonlinear, they will remain unaware of what they don’t know if they are not developed and integrated in larger social networks.
Empathy is key – and not just empathy as in ‘feel someone’s pain’ or ‘give someone a hug.’ Empathy is actually the information coherence function for social networks and functions in all three of the brain’s primary areas, in different ways, starting with mirroring at the lowest level, moving through emotional/state response, and ending up with data-driven thinking. You’ve observed much of this, and discuss it (I’m not completely done with the book.) My work gives you the Guiding Principles on how it actually works, blending social neuroscience, nonlinear dynamics, system theory, and psychology.
I’m writing you not just as a professor, but as a lifetime environmental activist in hopes you’ll check this out. We desperately need to speed up people’s fundamental receptivity to your ideas. You’ve done an awesome job of simplification of core concepts that make them communicable. What my work can do is show you how to make those concepts map to values in the social system that can create communities who can understand not just the concepts, but also create the sense of responsibility to drive change. I hope you’ll take a look on my website, http://empathy.guru and reach back. None of this work is trivial, but it has to do with how we structure our social communities so that their brains can be receptive to the systems ideas you’re presenting. Why did Isaac Newton settle on an atomistic, particle-driven view? He was part of an atomistic, status-driven hierarchy. And here’s the rub – it wouldn’t have mattered if he had spent time in the garden – because the level of empathy in society wasn’t evolved enough to carry the complex system day you seek. But we swim in different waters now. It’s time to dive into The Matrix – how humans actually create meaning. Because we are running out of time. Best, Chuck