CoffeeHouse Thoughts #11

These thoughts started yesterday at Santos Coffee House and have continued this morning at Cafe Moto. Santos was a double hammerhead from French and Cafe Moto is a Fair Trade Double French with no need to hammerize it – wonderful: smoky, dark, deep, rich. I would call this a quintessential dark roast.

Creating Our Better Society

As we grow up in society we adapt our mental processes and behaviors to our surroundings. This is not the same as the way a species evolves over time under the influence of its environment. That takes many generations and is gradual process. We remember from our high school biology class that species do not change to survive, they survive because they happened to change.

Our species would continue to evolve as well if left to nature according to a changing environment but I’m writing this morning about something altogether different. We are malleable.

As we grow up if we encounter a dangerous environment our outlook and orientation will be much different than for someone who grew up in an ordered and friendly one. Just compare the outlook of someone who encountered only dilapidated buildings, arguments and violence with someone who progressed through expensive day-car, prep-school and on to a top level education.

Why am I bringing up something which seems so obvious? Well, eventually, way out in our transhuman and extropian future we will have solved this uneven distribution of resources. However I am concerned about the period of time between now and then. How do we get there from here? It presumably will happen in stages and for now we need to solve some very basic issues.

In order to get to a more utopian society I believe we need to get virtually everyone pulling towards the same goal. We are currently a civilization fractured into groups. Some struggle to just get by (for many reasons including those other than economic) others strive to change the whole world to one consistent with their vision and version of a god’s wishes. Others desire to simply jump up to a higher social rung while some are so focused on work that once they retire, they die thirteen months later (ask an insurance actuary).

I suspect that people practice hundreds maybe even thousands of religions throughout the world. Many of them think that their version is the only way to get to a mythical heaven.

We obviously still follow the survival adaptation to form groups even though we have removed most of the threats to our survival. It seems there is only threat from other groups which have formed for self-protection – a paradox.

So, what is our purpose? If it is no longer to simply survive ourselves and give the next generation its start, what shall it be? We certainly have no need to continue cranking out more and more copies of ourselves. What is left? Let us all think about this. We need a new statement of human purpose, a mission statement for humanity but how can we possibly all agree on one? Sadly I think it is going to take generations.

This subject is probably going to fill at least a whole book(or series of books) but let us start somewhere. A small amount at a time let the thinkers, philosophers, scholars, educators, poets, artists and anyone else who is able to see beyond the status quo to start to embrace: inclusiveness, fairness, justice, logic, reason, our Earth and a positive planned Future.

– The CoffeeHouse Philosopher

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