Geremy Rifkin & Consciousness Society
Technologies Department, Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Chisinau, Romanian
To cite this article:
Dumitru Todoroi. Geremy Rifkin & Consciousness Society.Communications.Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 137-145. doi: 10.11648/j.com.20150305.19
Abstract: Human society is on the threshold of Consciousness Society and is currently supported by The Third Industrial Revolution which, according to estimates by scientists in the field, will be created during the years 2019-2035. Dramaturgical Consciousness goes along side with the distributed energy and communication systems of The Third Industrial Revolution, as well as Psychological Consciousness that came with The Second Industrial Revolution and Ideological Consciousness which participated in The First Industrial Revolution. Empathic human civilization has a multitude of features which in Consciousness Society will be specific and to the Robotic Civilization. Books  and  on the basis of our multiple references support us in demonstration the truth of statement: "In Consciousness Society the Artificial Intelligence (ROBO-intelligence) will be equal to Human structured Intelligence and this Society will be Empathic".
Keywords: Consciousness, Society, Energy, Distribution, Communication, Intelligence
The American Dream, has always emphasized "individual opportunity to success" and generally regards success in financial terms [1: - p.501]. For the long time, the American Dream, with its emphasis on personal opportunity and material success, was the gold standard to which much of the world looked for inspiration and guidance.
In the XXI-st century, the emerging European Dream of quality of life is beginning to attract the Net generation. Although the American dream is still the standard for many, it lost some of its hegemony as young people turn their attention to (1) tackling global climate change, (2) restoring the health of the biosphere, (3) protecting the Earth’s other species, (4) maintaining safe communities, (5) providing universal access to health care, (6) ensuring a high-quality and affordable universal education, (7) living a less materialistic and more experiential lifestyle, and (8) creating communities rich in cultural diversity.
Quality of life is a shared dream that can only be realized collaboratively [1: - p.546]. In such a way the European Dream focus more on quality of life and regards success in terms of social criteria like providing universal health care, quality education, leisure, safe communities, and a clean environment. Layard [2: -p. 52] writes: "From the psychological reality it follows that if money is transferred from a richer person to a poorer person, the poor person gains more happiness than the rich person loses. So average happiness increases. Thus a country will have a higher level of average happiness the more equally its income is distributed – all else being equal."
The American Dream puts the premium on individual autonomy and opportunity and emphasizes material self-interest as a means to secure both personal freedom and happiness. While the European dream doesn’t discount personal initiative and economic opportunity, it tends to put equal weight on advancing the quality of life of the entire society. Quality of life emphasizes the common good as an important means to securing the happiness of each individual member of the community.
2. Quality of Life
Promoting a quality-of-life society requires a collaborative commitment at two levels: (1) civic-minded engagement in a community and (2) a willingness to have one’s tax money to promote public initiatives and services that advance well-being of everyone in the society. Resurrecting social capital in the civic society and vitalizing public capital in the governance sector will be essential for achieving the dream of quality-of-life in every society.
Civic society [1: - p. 549] is where we establish (1) fraternal and affectionate bonds, (2) create culture, and (3) contribute to the social capital of the society. It is where we engage in both (4) light and deep play with one another for the sheer joy of companionship and with (5) the desire to make a difference in the levels of others and well-being of the community. We (6) volunteer our time willingly and enthusiastically, and (7) the reward comes in the form of strengthening affiliation and intimacy. (8) Participation in sport clubs, (9) pursuit of the acts, (10) assisting others in need, (11) preserving the natural environment, (12) monitoring the young, (13) caring for the old, as well as (14) promoting public works projects and initiatives are all ways we take part in the civic and cultural life of the community.
Creating quality of life require not only a commitment of social capital but the commitment to invest public capital to promote the common good. Europeans have long shown a willingness to tax personal incomes – in some countries as much as 45 to 50 percent - to advance the quality of life of everyone in the community . That’s [1: - p. 551] why in Europe (1) health care is a public good and as result, infant mortality rates are lower and life expectancy in longer than in the United States. European countries also spend more public funds on (2) assisting the poor and have lower rates in childhood poverty than in Unites States. Europeans also (3) enjoy safer communities, have far lower homicide rates, and have far fewer incarcerated people. The (4) public transport system is among the best in the world. Europeans also have the most stringent regulations in the world regarding (5) environmental safeguards.
A quality-of-life society promotes both the market and social modes simultaneously by emphasizing personal economic opportunity along with a sense of collective commitment to create a sustainable society for every citizen. In the Third Industrial Revolution, "distributive power" becomes the technological means to greatly expand the entrepreneurial initiative while establishing a collaborative approach to securing well-being of society. Empowering hundreds of millions and eventually billions of people to produce their own energy makes everyone a potential entrepreneur in a vastly expanded global marketplace, but this time reconfigured from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Millions of small- and medium-size enterprises and producer cooperatives will expand commercial opportunities on the lateral scale never before experienced.
Billions of people sharing energy will require new governing policies at the local, regional, and transnational levels to ensure universal access to power generation and distribution and equitable dispensation of the commercial fruits of the Third Industrial Revolution. It is only by encouraging both individual entrepreneurial initiative in the distributive energy market and seamless collaboration between neighborhoods, communities, municipalities, regions, and nations in the marshalling, storing, and delivering of energy that we can create a sustainable global economy in the coming century.
Streamlining the market and social models to accommodate a distributed and collaborative Third Industrial Revolution will be the pressing political agenda [1: - p. 552-553] for the next half-century as governments transition to a new dream of creating a quality-of-life society in the biosphere world.
Quality of life of late has become an important factor in rethinking many of the central assumptions of twenties-century economic theory. At the top of the list is the near obsession with recording the gross domestic product (GDP). It has [1: - p. 547] long been the compass for judging the well-being of America and other countries.
The problem with GDP is that it only measures the value of the sum total of economic goods and services generated over twelve-month period. GDP does not, however, distinguish between economic activity that actually improves the quality of life of the society and negative economic activity that takes away from it. Every type of economic activity is calculated in the GDP, including (1) the building of more prisons, (2) enlarging the police force, (3) military spending, (4) spending for cleaning up pollution, (5) increased health-care costs resulting from cigarette smoking, alcohol, and obesity, as well as (6) the advertising spent to convince people to smoke and drink more or eat processed and fatty fast food.
A number of attempts have been made over the years to come up with a suitable alternatives to GDP. The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), the Fordham Index of Social Health (FISH), the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), and the Index of Economic Well-Being (IEWB) are among the more popular indicators. They each attempt to determine "real" economic improvement in human welfare.
The earliest effort at establishing an alternative index was the ISEW, created by the World Bank economist Herman Daly and theologian John Cobb in 1989. Their index begins with personal consumption spending and then adds unpaid domestic labor. Than they subtract activity that is primary designed to militate losses, like money spend on crime, pollution, and accidents. The ISEW also adjust for income disparity and depletion of natural resources . The GPI include many of the same criteria but adds the value of voluntary work in the company and subtracts the loss of leisure time . The FISH measure sixteen social-economic indicators, including infant mortality, child abuse, childhood poverty, teen suicide, drug abuse, high school dropout rates, average weekly earnings, unemployment, health insurance coverage, poverty among the elderly, homicides, housing, and income inequality . The IEWB takes into account such thinks as the family savings and the accumulation of tangible capital such as housing stocks, which means one’s sense of future security .
Both the French government and the European Commission are working on high-level studies to create quality-of-life indexes to judge the real health and well-being of the economy and the citizenry [1: - p. 548].
3. The Renewable Energies
The introduction to the first two pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution – (1) renewable energy and (2) "building as power plants" – requires the simultaneous introduction of the third pillar of the Third Industrial Revolution. To maximize renewable energy and to minimize cost, it will be necessary (3) to develop storage methods that facilitate the conversion of intermittent supplies of these energy sources into dependable assets. Batteries, differentiated water pumping, and other media can provide limited storage capacity. There is, however, one storage medium that is available and relatively efficient. Hydrogen is a universal medium that "stores" all forms of renewable energy to assure a stable and reliable supply is available for power generation and equally important, for transport.
In 2008 the European Commission announced a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), an ambitious public /private partnership to speed the commercial introduction of a hydrogen economy in the 27 member states of the EU, with the primary focus on producing hydrogen from renewable sources of energy. By benchmarking a shift to renewable energy, advancing the notion of building as power plants, and funding an aggressive hydrogen fuel-cell technology R&D program, the EU has erected the first three pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution. The forth pillar, (4) the reconfiguration of the power grid along the lines of Internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe, the United States, Japan, China, and other countries. [1: - p. 520-521]
In the future, (5) intelligent utility networks will also be increasingly connected to moment-to-moment weather changes – recording wind changes, solar flux, and ambient temperature – giving the power network the ability to adjust electricity flow continuously, to both external weather conditions and consumer demand [1: - p. 522]
The shift from internal combustion engine to electric and hydrogen fuel-cell plug-in vehicles requires a comparable new commitment to (6) the Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure.
4. Distributed Collaboration
The Third Industrial Revolution, with its emphasis on distributed information, communications and energy and peer-to-peer collaborations, continues the process of greater individualization in more integrated and complex human organizations while flattening hierarchical forms of managing economic, social, and political life.
To appreciate the potential impact of a new distributed capitalism, it is necessary to understand the power or distributed communications as a managing agent for a distributed energy society.
4.1. Collaborative Medium
In a traditional business setting, one never divulges internal data that might compromise one’s advantage over a supplier, competitor, client, or ever a colleague. In a collaborative setting, by contrast, it is only by sharing data openly with one another that the players can optimize their collaboration together and create addition value for everyone in the network. A venture like Linux, for example, only works when the software, code, and new applications are openly shared among everyone in the network. [1: - p. 533]
The Internet is transforming the world into a giant global public square where literally billons of people can connect, collaborate, and create value together simultaneously and in real time. It’s probably not an understatement when Tapscott and Williams [3:- p. 41] claim that "the ability to pool the knowledge of millions (if not billons) of users in a self-organizing fashion demonstrates how mass collaboration is turning the new Web into something not completely unlike a global brain". They note that the Net generation numbers more than two billion young people who have grown up using the Internet as a collaborative medium.
Their nonhierarchical, networking way of relating to each other and the world, their collaborative nature, their interest in access and inclusion rather than autonomy and exclusion and their sensibility to human diversity, predisposes the millennial generation to being the most empathic generation in history.
4.2. Internet Generation
Distributed computing, often called grid computing, is the centerpiece of the second-generation information technology revolution that is sweeping the global business community, facilitating new global social networks and revolutionizing the education system.
The statistical trends show that the Internet generation consistently outplaces their older cohorts when it comes to acknowledging gender equality, championing ethnic diversity, respecting the rights of minorities and previously outcast groups, and being more accepting of sexual differences, more open to marriage across racial and religious lines, and more sensitive to the rights of other creatures. [1: - p. 543]
4.3. Empathic Collaboration
Empathic sensibility lies at the heart of the new management style. The simple reality is that the distributed information technologies and distributed communications and energy infrastructure, all based on distributed computing, are giving rise to distributed capitalism and necessitate a new type of management that is compatible with the Third Industrial Revolution.
Goleman at al. [4: - p. 59] start with the importance of establishing transparency at every level of management. By transparency they have in mind not just sharing information but also expressing "an authentic openness to other about one feelings, beliefs, and actions … empathic people are superb at recognizing and meeting the needs of clients, customers, or subordinates …" Emotional transparency builds trust amount employees and fosters collegiality and collaboration. Being more open with one’s feelings, in turn, encourages more empathic engagement.
The Columbia University Business School in New York City is one of a number of Business schools that has introduced social intelligence pedagogy directly into its MBA curriculum. Its Program on Social Intelligence (PSI) "is organized around the psychological capabilities involved in collaborating with, motivating, and leading others" and draws together faculty from the psychology department and the business school to provide experiential opportunities, both in the classroom and in the community, to develop empathic skills.
4.4. Consciousness Evolution
A new Dramaturgical consciousness is beginning to emerge amount the millennial youth, for first generation to grow up in the Internet and live in the collaborative social spaces that exist all along the World Wide Web. The new consciousness goes hand in hand with the distributed communication and energy regime of the Third Industrial Revolution, just as Psychological consciousness accompanied the Second Industrial Revolution and Ideological consciousness attended the First Industrial Revolution.
4.4.1. Role-Playing Experimentation
New Dramaturgical consciousness [1: - p. 554-555] shows early signs of propelling a younger generation to global cosmopolitanism and a universal empathic sensibility. Dramaturgical consciousness flows directly out of Psychological consciousness and represents a universalization of the role-playing experimentation of groups of the last half of twentieth century. While the baby-boom generation experimented with role-playing as a therapeutic technique, in their adult years they integrated practice into their parenting styles, spawning the first generation in history to grow up with dramaturgical frame of mind. Role-playing is no longer a therapeutic technique but, rather, form of consciousness for Generation X and the Millennial Generation.
Dramaturgical consciousness becomes almost a necessity in a complex, interconnected, high-speed civilization. If life is the acting out of countless personal and collective social dramas, than the more complex the economic and social networks in which one is embedded, the more diverse roles each person is called on to play. In the dramaturgical way of looking at human behavior, the self is no longer a private possession of an individual, but, rather "a sense given to a person by the very people he wishes to share it with". The self, then, is not an entity, but rather "a kind of fictional, constructed, consensually validated quality" that results from the interaction and communication between people [1: - p. 561]. If so, then one’s very being in the world depends on acting out scripts onstage with other players, each of whom validates a part of one’s selfhood. This view is quite different from Gegel’s notion that each person’s unique self is both imprinted in and manifested by the possessions he or she acquires over a lifetime.
4.4.2. Shift in Consciousness
The shift in consciousness reflects the shift in communications from the first-generation centralized electricity to second-generation distributed electricity. The whole world might well be a stage, but during the twentieth century most of the people were in the audience, whereas in the twenty-first century everyone is onstage and in the front of the spotlights, thanks to YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, the blogosphere, et al.
The advent of the movies, radio, and television created the first mass audience in the history. Millions of people crowded into giant movie houses or huddled at home around the family radio, and later the television set, watching and listening to a select number of highly stylized and carefully choreographed stories that plumbed the depths of human emotion and sentiment from tragedy to farce. Millions of people became passive audiences, in the sense that they had no way to interact directly with those on the screen or in the studio.
4.4.3. Para-Social Relationships
Still, they weren’t completely passive. While they couldn’t talk back and affect the actors audiences did create relationships of a sort with the actors through engagement in Para-social relationships. The Para-social relationship was first examined by Donald Hurton and Ricard Wohl in 1956. They noticed that radio and television "give the illusion of face-to-face relationship with the performer" and that the more radio and television actors adjust their acting to "the supposed response of the audience, the more the audience tends to make the response anticipated" [6:- p. 215]. Although the viewer could not carry on a dialogue in the normal sense of the term, he or she did create a shadow dialogue of sorts.
Today, the Para-social relationships have become part of everyone’s lives – we often chat about our favorite actors, TV hosts, and other personalities as if they were intimate friends whose lives intersect with our own. Para-social relationships allow millions of people to be exposed to the stories of divers others in a range of unique environments – even if they are fictional in character. The Para-social relationships, in effect, become a classroom for exploring a range of emotional responses to the plight or circumstance of other and enlarging one’s empathic repertoire.
The Internet revolution transformed Para-social relationships to peer-to-peer relationships. The shift from centralized top down, one-to-many communications to flat, open-source, many-to-many communications allowed new generation to be the actors in their own scripts and to share a global stage with two billion other like-minded thespians – all performing for and with one another. Now the world truly is a stage and everyone is an actor. Today millions of people spent a lifetime role playing and performing for each other on the World Wide Web. Hundreds of millions of people, equipped with webcams, Skype, cell phone cameras, video recorders, and the like are acting out their lives for one another – and experimenting with new roles and personas in the largest continuous performance in history.
4.5. Dramaturgical Consciousness
The dramaturgical perspective (1) place communications at the heart of human activity, (2) redefines the self in relational terms, (3) makes experience itself a theatrical affair, and (4) transforms property into symbols that help people act out their many dramatic roles as they flit in and out of networks of lived experiences, each representing a different aspect of their life story. The dramaturgical perspective is, in the final analysis, (5) a vivid description of the state of mind that accompanies a generation that is continually shifting identities, roles, scripts, and stage settings as it toggles between social and commercial networks, both in virtual and real space.
Dramaturgical consciousness raises the troublesome question of authenticity. Whenever the question of performance comes up, it inevitably leads to the related question of pretending versus believing. In the Age of Mythical consciousness, being heroic was a measure of a man, while in the Age of Theological consciousness, one was expected to be pious (devoutly), and in the Age of Ideological consciousness, man of goodwill were expected to be sincere and of good character. In the Age of Psychological consciousness, being personable became an obsession. For the generation growing up in a Dramaturgical consciousness, however, being authentic becomes the test of the man or woman.
If human being are, by their very nature, dramaturgical, then how we establish the idea of authenticity? If everyone is always consciously, or even unconsciously, playing out multiple roles with different scripts and on different stages, how do we know who the authentic person is behind all of the masks?
5. Intelligence, Emotions, Feelings and Behavior
The various theatrical devices the pastors use "bear the ideals, fantasies, desires, and fears of their followers" and become "the containers of other people’s feelings" [1: - p. 565]. To be effective at what he does, however, that is – to bring out the feelings of his parishioners and allow them to reflect of their emotions and behavior and respond appropriately to the catharsis – the pastor needs to engage in the theatrical conceit. It becomes a contrivance that makes an authentic response by members of the congregation possible. In other words the pastor’s very performance, even though it is make-believe, becomes instrumental to creating authentic responses.
Constantin Stanislavski talks about surface acting versus deep acting. The first relies on the art of deceit, the second on the art of imagination. Surface acting is form over substance, while deep acting emanates from deep inside the performer’s subconscious. Stanislavski points out that all feelings have a history – they are the result of past embodied experiences. Therefore, the deep acting requires the actor to induce his own subconscious and remember how he felt and the emotions he conjured up in similar situations.
5.1. Intelligences Training
In real life, after providing context, deep acting has real-life consequences. Experiential ROBO-intelligent creation  researchers, for example, raises legitimate concern that acting is increasingly being used as a training technique to prepare a service-oriented workforce on how to manage their feelings. That’s true, but it is also true that deep acting provides a theory and technique to help train ROBO-intelligences (1) to be more mindful of their own feelings, (2) to keep a firm memory of them, (3) to improve their ability to conjure up those memories from their subconscious and (4) to harness them to their imagination, so that they might experience another’s plight as if it were their own. Deep acting, when used for the appropriate pro-social end, is a powerful mental tool to stimulate empathic feelings [1: - p. 570]. Empathy is the means by which we participate in deeper realms of reality, for reality is the shared understandings we create about the world by dint of the relationships into which we enter. Deep acting, then, can prepare people to extend the empathic bond, and, with it, deepen one’s sense of reality.
5.2. Role-Playing and Myriad Identities
What does dramaturgical consciousness tell us about the psyche of the millennial generation? Many psychologists – perhaps most – agree that in a diverse, complex, interconnected world of increasing novelty and fast-changing contexts, with children growing up in both cyberspace and real space, and in both a parallel and linear temporality, multiple role-playing and myriad identities are becoming the norm. They disagree as to whether dramaturgical consciousness is necessary leading to an advance in consciousness or possibly a disintegration.
Where privacy was the coveted value of a bourgeois generation which defined freedom in terms of autonomy and exclusivity, access is the most sought value of the millennial generation, which defines freedom in the terms of the depth and scope of one’s relationships. Exclusivity has become less important than inclusivity, and the competitive ethos is becoming to be challenged – albeit tentatively – by an ethos of collaboration [1: - p. 571]. We live in a world in which getting and holding one another’s attention becomes paramount, and relationships of all kinds become central to our existence. Descartes’s dictum "I think, therefore I am" and the humanist psychologist dictum, "I participate, therefore I am" have been replaced by a new dictum "I am connected, therefore I exist". The dramaturgical way of thinking is unique to the modern age.
5.3. The Dramaturgical Self
The dramaturgical self becomes more plastic and thespian and such behavior comes to the thought of as normal, the very idea of authenticity recedes in importance. To be "authentic" presupposes an immutable core self, an autonomous psyche. The dramaturgical self, then, is open to two very different interpretations. Sociologist Louis Zurcher  suggests that if we abandon the idea of the self as "an object" and think more as "a process", then the self is open "to the widest possible experience" and become truly cosmopolitan. This underlined one more time that dramaturgical self in the future society of ROBO-Human consciousness interconnections, based on the idea of implementation the adaptable tools in creating the adaptable ROBO-intelligences , will help to develop investigations of adapters in the "data" to "agents" transformation processes: data à operations, data à instructions, and data à controls.
Empathic consciousness [1: - p. 575] of dramaturgical self can continue to grow and become the psychic and social glue for a global consciousness. If the sense of self as a unique ensemble of relationships is lost, and becomes only a "we", empathy is lost and the historical progression toward global consciousness dies. That’s because empathic awareness is born out of the sense that others, like ourselves, are unique, mortal beings. When we empathize with other, it’s because we recognize her fragile finite nature, her vulnerability, and her one and only life. We experience her existential aloneness and her personal plight and her struggle to be and succeed as if it were our own. Our empathic embrace is our way of rooting for her and celebration her life.
By affording the opportunity for individuals to play their "true self" role the Internet provides a unique virtual stage for the engagement of dramaturgical consciousness. While playing one’s true self is a role, just like playing one’s actual or ideal elf, it is a role of lifetime. A factorial form allowed millions of people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to find and release their innermost feelings and develop a keener empathic sensibility. What’s different this time is overarching reach of the Internet and the ability of millions of people to be in direct intimate contact with each other on the global public stage. The potential to experience empathic sensibility and to take it to a global level is now within reach.
5.4. The Fame Factor
But before getting too carried away, there is a dark side to the technologically mediated global public stage that deserves equal attention – that is, the Internet’s incredible power to inflate and amplify each person’s desire for recognition – the fame factor. While the Internet is a tool for sharing and collaboration, it also serves as a forum for boundless exhibitionism and narcissism. The same medium that opens up the possibility of showing one’s true self to others and nurturing more embedded relationships and shared intimacy can put everyone on Earth on center stage, in front of the biggest audience ever assembled in history.
The rap on today’s young people in the age group that stems from toddlers to young adults in their early thirties (everyone born after the mid-1970s) is that they (1) are coddled, (2) overexposed, (3) overindulged, (4) told they are special, believe that to be the case, (5) are self-centered – "it’s all about me" – and (6) are trapped in their self-absorbed inflated self-esteem. We are also told, however [1: - p. 581], that they (1) are more open and (2) tolerant, (3) less prejudiced, (4) multicultural in their views, (5) nonjudgmental, (6) civic- and (7) service-oriented, and (8) more collaborative than other generation in history. Here’s a short snapshot of the two very different sensibilities that seem to be riding side by side in the psyche of the two generations that have grown up with a dramaturgical consciousness.
Researchers also sense that the drive for fame reflects a new sense of (1) existential aloneness and (2) desperate need to be recognized. The desire for fame is often driven by (3) fear of mortality and (4) the need to gain at least a fleeting sense of immortality or, if not that, (5) at least to know that one’s existence is duly noted, recognized, and celebrated by millions of others. Fame (6) reinforces the idea that one’s life has meaning. Some wonder whether (7) the precarious nature of human existence itself – with the prospect of climate change and nuclear Armageddon threatening our very survival – might not play a subconscious role in generating the desire for fame and immortality.
Some psychologists and educators [1: - p. 583-585] believe that a contributing factor to the fame fetish is the self-esteem movement that spread across the country in the 1980s and 90s and become deeply embedded in child-raising practices and, even more important, in school pedagogy and curriculum. The elf-esteem movement has proven to be an unqualified success. The problem is that when so many young people feel they are special and more important than other people, they (1) become less tolerant of others and (2) less willing to brook criticism; they also (3) are less able to manage failures that are inevitable part of life and (4) less able to express empathy to others.
6. The Millennials
The Millennials are the first generation to have grown up entirely with the Internet and to be fully embedded in social networking, text messaging, and the like as a way of life. New surveys and studies suggest that the distributed nature of the new information and communications technology and the collective relationships they spawn are increasingly reflected in the collective psyche of the generation. The Millennial Generation appears to be much more connected to their families and enjoy a high sense of familial attachment and trust. Millennial children – especially among the middle class – spend more time with their parents than perhaps any other generation in history. Fifty percent of Millennials see their parents daily and 45 percent talk with their parents by cell phone each day .
Surveys also show that Millennials are "(1) much more likely to feel empathy for others in their group and (2) to seek to understand each person perspective" [1: - p. 586]. Studies also show that they are (3) much more disposed to give the opinion of each member of a group equal weight, (4) to work collaboratively, and (5) to seek group consensus. Having grown up on the Internet, they (6) are less likely to accept the word of experts and (7) more likely to believe in the combined wisdom of crowds. They (8) are less trusting the centralized command and control and (9) top-down exercise of authority and (10) more responsive to the kind of flat participatory knowledge-gathering found in open-source models like Linux and Wikipedia. They are (11) more keenly engaged in a larger community and even global community. They are (12) far more concerned about the planetary environment and especially climate change, and (13) more eager to support sustainable as opposed to unregulated growth. They are also more supportive of a (14) larger role by government then older generation. The Millennials’ more empathic approach (15) to the environment, (16) to need of the poor, and (17) the larger community is also manifest in their more active civic involvement. The Millennial Generation is (18) is also the most cosmopolitan in USA history [1: - p. 587]. Their cosmopolitan attitude split over into (19) the question of immigration. The more empathic consciousness of Millennials is due, in large part, to their own makeup: they are (20) the most racially diverse generation in USA history. The Millennial Generation around the world, at least in developed nations, (21) is the more tolerant of any generation in history in its support for gender equality and (22) the most willing to champion the rights of the disabled, gays and our fellow creatures.
7. Distributed Communications
Now that hundreds of millions of people find themselves having to voluntary downsize because of economic circumstances, the opportunity exists to shift the pursuit of happiness from emphasis on riches to a focus of meaningful relationships and from market capital to the social capital.
The shift from emphasis on a quality and worth of one’s possessions to the quality and meaning of one’s relationships – or quality of life – require a change in both special and temporal orientation. The exclusive-autonomous self, embedded in in private property relations, gives way to inclusive-relational self, participating in both the virtual and break-and-mortar global public square. The efficient use of time to maximize individual material self-interest makes room for the empathic use of time to deepen civic relationships and steward the environment.
7.1. Biosphere Consciousness
If the quality-of-life society were to become both the dream and norm around the world in the twenty-first century, we finally might be able to break the dialectic of history [1: - p. 591] by which increasing empathy inevitable leads to increasing entropy. A more equitable distribution of nature’s wealth could allow the formerly overindulged to ease into a more sustainable lifestyle, while those less well-off can improve their lot. A more sustainable quality of life in the developed countries combined with the greater share of responsibility toward advancing standard of living and well-being of people in less-developed countries would bring human civilization into balance while aligning our species’ consumption habits to nature’s ability to recycle and replenish the stock.
The great value of new distributed Third Industrial Revolution is that it allows us to connect the human race in a universal embrace, while using only the renewable energies that bathe the Earth and in a way that allows everyone their fair access to locally available energy sources. This would bring the human race to the gasp of biosphere consciousness in a climax global economy.
All the stages of consciousness that human being have entertained through history still exist and are very much alive, in various shades and degrees. Most of us are composite, in some measure, of our deep historical past, and keep alive bits and pieces of ancestral consciousness, in a form of mythological, theological, ideological, psychological, and dramaturgical frames of reference. The challenge before us is how to bring forward all of those historical stages of consciousness that still exists across the human spectrum to a new level of biosphere consciousness in time to break the lock that shackles increasing empathy to increasing entropy.
In the world characterized by increasing individuation and made up of human beings at different stages of consciousness, the biosphere itself may be the only context encompassing enough to unite the human race as a species. While the new distributed communications technologies – and, soon, distributed renewable energies – are connecting the human race, what is so shocking is that no one is offered much of the reason as to way we ought to be connected. We talk about access and inclusion in a global communications network but speak little of exactly why we want to communicate with one another on such a planetary scale. This problem is one time more complicated as in Conscience Society communications will be not only of the human - human type but, mostly, will be of the human - robot type .
7.2. The Old Science and the New Science Views
As a network concept become more and more prominent in ecology and ecosystems, systemic thinkers become to use network models at all system levels, viewing organisms as networks of cells, organs, and organ systems, just as ecosystems are understood as networks of individual organisms . A new Systemic Science is emerging whose operating principles and assumptions are more compatible with network ways of thinking. The old science views nature as objects; the new science views nature as relationships. The old science is characterized by (1) detachment, (2) expropriation, (3) dissection, and (4) reduction; the new science is characterized by (1) engagement, (2) replenishment, (3) integration, and (4) holism. The old science is committed to making nature productive; the new science to making nature sustainable. The old science seeks power over nature; the new science seeks partnership with nature. The old science puts a premium on autonomy from nature; the new science on re-participation with nature.
The new science takes us from a colonial vision of nature as an enemy to pillage and enslave, to a new vision of nature as a community to nurture. The right to exploit, harness, and own nature in a form of property is tempered by the obligation to steward nature and treat it with dignity and respect. The utility value of nature is slowly giving way to the intrinsic value of nature [1: - p. 599-600]. Our growing (1) involvement in networks, our (2) newfound ability to multitask and operate simultaneously on parallel tracks, our (3) increasing awareness of economic, (4) social, and (5) environmental interdependencies, our search for (6) relatedness and (7) embedness, our (8) willingness to accept contradictory realities and multicultural perspectives, and our (9) process-oriented behavior all predispose us to system thinking. If we can harness holistic thinking to a new global ethics that recognize and acts to harmonize the many relationships that make us the life-sustaining forces of the planet, we will have crossed the divide into a near-climax world economy and biosphere consciousness.
Now the newly emerging biosphere awareness is being accompanied by cutting-edge curriculum designed to help young people develop am even deeper sense of interconnectivity and social responsibility at the level of their personal psyches.
7.3. Collaborative Learning
The adaptable thinking method [16,20] can help to jump from the old thinking to the new thinking in the empathic Biosphere Consciousness Society – the society of ROBO – HUMAN collaborative activity, learning and relationships. Empathy workshop and curriculum now exists in eighteen states of USA, and the early evaluations of these pioneer educational reforms are encouraging [1: - p. 601]. Schools report a marked (1) reduction in aggression, (2) violence, and other antisocial behavior, a (3) decries of disciplinary actions, (4) greater cooperation among students, (5) more pro-social behavior, (6) more focus attention in the classrooms, (7) a greater desire to learn, and (8) improvement in critical thinking skills.
In collaborative learning environments, the process becomes as important as product. The old hierarchical model of learning gives way to network ways to organize knowledge. Learning becomes less about drilling expert knowledge into individual students’ brains and more about how to think collaboratively and critically. To be effective collaborative learning requires (1) mutual respect among all the players in the cohort, (2) a willingness to listen to other perspectives and points of view, (3) being open to criticism, and a (4) desire to share knowledge and (5) be responsible for and (6) accountable to the group as a whole.
The role of the teacher in collaborative learning environment is transformed. New teachers think of teaching as helping students converse with increasing facility in the language of the communities they want to join… . It goes without saying that collaborative learning, with its (1) emphasis on mindfulness, (2) attunement to others, (3) nonjudgmental interactions, (4) acknowledgment of each person’s unique contributions, and (5) recognition of importance to deep participation and a (6) shared sense of meaning coming out of embedded relationships, can’t help but foster greater empathic engagement. In this sense [1: - p. 607], collaborative learning transform the classroom into a laboratory for empathic expression which, in turn, enriches the educational process.
The European Union is the first continental governing institution of the Third Industrial Revolution Era. The EU is already beginning to put in place the four-pillar infrastructure for the European-wide energy regime, along with the codes, regulations, and standard of effectively operate a seamless transport, communications, and energy grid that will stretch from the Irish Sea to the doorsteps of Russia by middle of XXI-st century [1: - p. 615]. Asian, African, and Latin American continental political unions are also in the making and will likely be the premier governing institutions on their perspective continents by 2050.
In the new era of distributed energy, governing institutions will more resemble the working of the ecosystems they manage. Just as habitats function within ecosystems, and ecosystems within the biosphere in the web of interrelationships, governing institutions will similarly function in a collaborative network of relationships with each integrated into the other and the whole. This new complex political organism operates like the biosphere it attends, synergistically and reciprocally. This is biosphere politics.