Internet as an evolving Life Form

Illustration by Barrett Lyon – THE OPTE PROJECT

WIRED published a fantastic article with a updated map of what the Internet looks like right now.

WIRED (@WIRED) tweeted: In 2003, a security researcher used a network mapper to sketch a map of the entire internet. In 2021, he did it again—and showed just how quickly it’s expanded:

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A Trippy Visualization Charts the Internet’s Growth Since 1997 | WIRED

https://www.wired.com/story/opte-internet-map-visualization/

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Please see the article for yourself MUST SEE 👍

The last window in the article shows a animation how thus life form “evolved” , including sounds 😊

Fireworks for the Father of Internet, Vinton Cerf !!!

What you see in the evolvement video can possibly be explained with the “BowtieTheory” proposed by Albert-Laslo Barabasi, famous Network Scientist.

Also details of the world connectivity map are shown, like how the Chinese part of Internet is evolving.

With thanks to WIRED

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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Connected Microgrids for Clean Energy Exchange IOEN

Interesting initiative from Australia, where in some local areas renewable Solar and Wind turbine energy use is already exceeding fossil fuel energy use. Obstacle: these local sources yield fluctuating energy streams, because sunshine and windforce varies; and also sharing & consumption varies so it must be distributed computer controled and accounted for. Redgrid.io and its operating company IOEN.tech are building and rolling out systems to do that succesfully. Money is exchanged by way of tokens that are now swappable with bitcoin systems.

To understand where this comes from think about the wonderful combination many people are discovering of solar panels on your house with the Ecar (batteries on wheels) you have. But then you find out it is more clever to share the solar energy and the batteries of your friends in the whole neighborhood. But then you want a low cost way to collect usage data (for this internet of things) and do accounting and billing, so costs and revenues are distributed fairly. That system is what Redgrid and ioen.tech have built.

IOEN is an interconnected system of virtual microgrids that facilitates transactions within & between local energy ecosystems based on @Holochain (transaction system on distributed and interconnected PC’s or server boxes).

IOEN – The Internet Of Energy Network Unlocking Global Minigrids • The Internet of Energy Network is an interconnected system of minigrids that facilitate transactions within and between local energy ecosystems: from the appliance level, to energy generation, storage, and consumption.

This is a message from them last week:

Hey Everyone, just want to jump in and share something pretty exciting. Our Internet of Energy Network (IOEN) token launches have been going very successfully so far. 

This is a massive milestone in our 3 year journey to build the protocol that enables intelligent IoT microgrids. ⚡⚡

If you missed out and you’re keen to get involved, we’ll be listing on the centralised exchange gate.io at 12am Friday (AEDT) / 1pm Thursday UTC: https://www.gate.io/en/startup/217

📣
📣
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There will be heaps of content coming out over the next 48 hours at:

 – IOEN Telegram – https://twitter.com/IOEN_global

 – IOEN Twitter – https://twitter.com/IOEN_tech

 – IOEN LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/79695234

New Roadmap : https://medium.com/@IOEN/roadmap-building-the-internet-of-energy-network-145b0c2dbff

Look for yourself if this will fly or not !! My guess is that it will grow like a bushfire, bottom up. Reason: these guys and girls need no permission. Neighborhoods will benefit and the climate of our Nature. Aim is climate neutrality in 2029 ?.

A bit more on the “carrier” of these systems #Holo its HoloChain and its ambitions:

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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What will Succeed Wi-Fi and why: Indoor Optic Mesh Ti-Fi

Recently, on September 28 2021, I gave a brief presentation at the famous Wireless Optic Communication Conference (#WOCC), Eindhoven, but presented online. The conference lectures can be seen at https://www.owcconference.com/previous-editions/

  1. The video of my 15 minutes lecture is available at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP0cejGcxik.
  2. The Paper it self can be downloaded from this URL:

3. My view on what drives the ongoing huge growth in Bandwidth Demand is as follows.

In my paper I have shown a drawing with on the right side a Computer Bus with Chips (like cpu’s) connected that do CONTENTION on the Bus/backplane, consisting of multiple parallel wires. Only one chip at the time can do a call or answer on this Bus. Further to the left there are a number of other “places of contention for connection resources”: The I/O interface, the USB (universal serial Bus) cable, the hub/router, Ethernet cables, the outside optic fiber link with Ethernet like traffic (VLAN), a level 2 Switch, wide area links, level 3 routers, etc. all the way to server farms of Cloud Services. At each of these “places of contention” digital traffic (streams of IP packets) are filtered (Bus calls are not sent all over the network) and handled localy, so only data that is destined for longer distant servers is passed through. This also means that the long distance link speeds do not have to be designed for the addition of the device (like Laptop) speeds. The architecture i propose can handle a number of local indoor 1 Gb/s devices on one 1 Gb/s link from the network provider/ ISP.

My most important message is that Telcos & cableco’s & network access providers should notice who their CLIENTS are: the new superpowerful CPU’s and GPU’s !!! Like from Intel and Apple Mx. These millions of IC’s will drive bandwidth demand, and ……will need optical Ti-Fi. It is not only the people who experience occasional slow network speed but their computers, and even more specific the CPU chips inside them who get restless.

((foto cartoon))

Let me explain this in more understandable terms. If you open an online webpage on your screen then, DEPENDING ON THE NETWORK ACCESS SPEED, the App working on the CPU tries to get connection to a number*) of internet addesses to get blocks of info and or pieces of film to put on the screen. The App and the CPU want reactions to their request and one of them is delayed it repeats the request. etc. etc. The cpu is pushing and pushing very unforgiving until the answered pieces are on the screen. If the speed of the connection is better the number*) of outstanding requests is increased, with adds or suggestions to the page. In that way a slow line does not seem very bad. It just gives the impression of slowly filling screens, not showing its incompleteness. In other words, the billions of recent Faster CPU’s from Apple computers and Intel are driving bandwidth demand.

This project fits in the long time trend of changing networks from Electronics to Photonics (#Fotonica). In other words from moving Electrons to moving and switching Photons.

This Ti-Fi project is an example a rare “Moonshot Project”(vital breakthrough), as defined by powerlady Mariana Mazzocato. So is RedGrid.io and IOEN.org in Australia and #Holo in Turkey. During WWII in the UK that was Radar.

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

PS. On November 9, 2021 I will present this IDEA briefly with a short lecture at the FiberVakdag in Harderwijk: https://www.fibercarriers.nl/fiber-vakdag/

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The Coming Mass Migration “Move” on our Globe

Just out: the book by Parag Khanna (see other posts on this Blog) called “MOVE: How Mass Migration will reshape the World”

This important because it goes far beyond the stream of migrants on rubber boats from North Africa barely reaching Spain and Italy. And beyond the streams from Syria and Afganistan. Decades ago the CIA already warned that climate change would force many in the World from their farms to the cities and then abroad to survive with their families. As Ai Wei Wei explained these families do not start to migrate unless they have no other choice to leave everything behind. It is not just fortune-seekers. Or criminals who often populate the first waves, as we have experienced in our country. And it is rather sinister that some countries keep them out, for instance Saudi Arabia, who shoots every bordercrosser through the feet so they can not even walk any further. Hungary is also a ruthless stopper, although they should realize the Hungarians themselves are migrants from long ago forced out of Ugria, now in Siberia, during the Big Westward Migration.

Migration of large numbers of people is of all ages, and sometimes creating opportunities and wealth like the commercialy skilled Jews who where forced out of Spain, who could settle in Antwerp and Amsterdam. and like the very hard working and reliable Protestants who where forced out of France (Hugenots) and could settle in Amsterdam and London.

Here is the review of the book:————————–

A compelling look at the powerful global forces that will cause billions of us to move geographically over the next decades, ushering in an era of radical change.

In the 60,000 years since people began colonizing the continents, a recurring feature of human civilization has been mobility–the ever-constant search for resources and stability. Seismic global events–wars and genocides, revolutions and pandemics–have only accelerated the process. The map of humanity isn’t settled–not now, not ever.

Afgan families on the move. Will they survive ??

As climate change tips toward full-blown crisis, economies collapse, governments destabilize, and technology disrupts, we’re entering a new age of mass migrations–one that will scatter both the dispossessed and the well-off. Which areas will people abandon and where will they resettle? Which countries will accept or reject them? As today’s world population, which includes four billion restless youth, votes with their feet, what map of human geography will emerge?

In Move, celebrated futurist Parag Khanna provides an illuminating and authoritative vision of the next phase of human civilization–one that is both mobile and sustainable. As the book explores, in the years ahead people will move people to where the resources are and technologies will flow to the people who need them, returning us to our nomadic roots while building more secure habitats.

Move is a fascinating look at the deep trends that are shaping the most likely scenarios for the future. Most important, it guides each of us as we determine our optimal location on humanity’s ever-changing map.

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I ordered it today so I can not yet give my own impression, but it is obvious that this “migration” will be one of the most important issues, related to Climate Change, we have will have to deal with.

It contains a number of very telling maps of EurAsia changing.

To just close the borders and pretend it does not exist will be useless. If we look more closely, and not only at Football Teams, we should realise: “WE ARE ALL MIGRANTS”.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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Updated Submarine Cable Map

See link below to open it

TeleGeography did it again. They updated their in-zoomable worldmap of cables under the seabed.

See: https://www.submarinecablemap.com/

Date: end of September 2021.

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

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Wondering how the Internet functions?

Better readable in article, see link below

Hat tip to the AMS-IX and Peter van Burgel, CEO.

  1. Have you ever wondered how the internet functions? Read this interesting #article by Internet Society in which they explain everything about the #internet #ecosystem

https://www.internetsociety.org/internet/who-makes-it-work/

In fact this article describes WHO (Organisations) play a role in the development and running of the “network of networks“.

2. In fact the ISOC.ORG article does not state WHAT Internet is. Here are two definitions:

A. “The Internet, or simply the Net, is the publicly available worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and many other protocols.” Source : https://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/ict-healthcare-closer-look-role/15369

B. The formal definition, see https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/what-is-internet/ Fred Goldstein did define it like this:

” An internet is a voluntary agreement among private network operators to exchange traffic for their mutual benefit”  (The Internet is a prototype internet.) That’s all — it’s an agreement.

It’s not a network, or a Thing of any kind.  Part of the agreement is to exchange routing information.  In order to reduce conflict, IANA assigns address blocks. Etc.

3. To visualize the Internet i made a drawing of it like the Mandelbrot  Fractal, see https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/internets-expand-in-a-fractal-pattern/

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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Landmark book The Network Weaver Handbook

“The Network Weaver Handbook” (June 2017) by June Holley is a practical guide for people interested in catalyzing a new Network of People or enhancing an existing one.

And it is becoming more urgent each day to get people to cooperate online and offline to help eachother, to solve problems and to change society in positive directions.

It can be downloaded for $20 from this link: https://networkweaver.com/product/network-weaver-handbook-pdf/

For an extra $30 you can recieve an copy on paper (aboit 400 pages !!) by snail mail.

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  1. REVIEW KA (Kelly Ann) McKercher gave the following review about this handbook:

The Network Weaver Handbook by June Holley is a treasure trove of resources for anyone working in change. I particularly like June’s articulation of the shifts in deep structures we’re seeing. June describes:

🪜 A shift in how we relate to each other from hierarchy to peers working together to co-create [worlds] that work for all

🪜 A shift from pressures of conformity to a deep appreciate of our differences and the ability to use those differences to make breakthroughs in our creative processes

🪜 A shift from a control mentality to creation of a web of support that enables us to find others, communicate easily, access resources and reflect on our work (p.9)

Image description: A photo of a white, spiral bound book – the front features a lines and nodes that make up a network and the title is: ‘network weaver handbook – written by June Holley.’ Thanks Euan Black for the recommendation.


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2. Description

The Network Weaver Handbook is a practical guide for people interested in catalyzing a new network or enhancing an existing one. Each chapter contains a short section describing key concepts, case studies, and many activities. Following each chapter is a resource section with readings, handouts, checklists, and worksheets — which you can easily duplicate and hand out to people in your network. 398 pages. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION Why Networks? 8 Does a Network Approach Make a Difference? 12 How to Use This Handbook 13


PART 1. UNDERSTANDING NETWORKS


CHAPTER 1. STARTING WITH NETWORKS Section 1. Networks Basics 16 Section 2. Using the Social Web to Support You and Your Network 24 Reflections on Starting with Networks 27


CHAPTER 2. NETWORK LEADERSHIP Section 1. Leadership Roles in Networks 29 Section 2. You are a Network Weaver 39 Section 3. Network Weavers Work Together 40 Network Weaver Checklist 43 Network Weaver Roles 45 Catalyzing Networks 47 What Network? 48 How Will We Work Together? 49 Reflections on Network Leadership 50


CHAPTER 3. HOW TO INTRODUCE A NETWORK APPROACH TO OTHERS Section 1: How Networks Are Different 51 Section 2. How Do We Share What We Know? 55 Section 3. Using the Social Web to Make the Case for Networks 56 Why Networks? 58 Why Networks? (2) 60 When a Network Lens Is Useful 61 Organization – Network 62 Combining Organizational and Network Approaches 63 Thoughts about Introducing a Network Approach 65


PART 2. IMPROVING YOUR RELATIONSHIP NETWORK


CHAPTER 4. ANALYZIG AND VISUALIZING YOUR NETWORK Section 1: The Relationship Network 68 Section 2: Network Mapping 69 Section 3: Getting Ready to Analyze Network Maps 71 Section 4: Assessing Your Network 75 Options for Mapping 78 Practice Analyzing a Map 79 Map Your Network 81 Questions for Analysis 82 Analyzing Maps 83 Steps to A Healthier 88 Network Map 88 Characteristics of a Healthy Network 91 Assessing Your Network 92 Priorities for Your Network 95 Moving To Action 96 Thoughts on Visualizing and Assessing Your Network 100


CHAPTER 5. CONNECTING TO INCREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR NETWORK Section 1. What is a Network Connector? 101 Section 2. Listening to Connect 102 Section 3. Closing Triangles 103 Section 4. Helping Others Learn to Close Triangles 104 Section 5. Adding New People to the Network 105 A Network Connector Story 108 Visualizing Your Personal Network 110 My Network Connector Plan 111 Listening to Connect 112 Identifying Potential Triangles 113 Twosies Checklist 114 Closing Triangles (from Jack Ricchiuto) 115 Closing Triangles 116 Expanding Your Periphery 117 Who is Missing? 118 Connecting Clusters Worksheet 119 Thoughts about Increasing the Effectiveness of Connections 120


CHAPTER 6. CREATING A NETWORK CULTURE Section 1. Network Values 121 Section 2. Network Behaviors 123 Network Values Checklist 129 Awareness Activities 130 Opportunity-seeking 131 Appreciation 132 Accurate Assessment 133 What can I give? 134 Thoughts about Building the Network Culture 135


CHAPTER 7. ENGAGING YOUR NETWORK Section 1. Interacting in New Ways 136 Section 2. Increasing Participation through Engagement 137 Section 3. Engaging Difference 139 Section 4. Deep Reflection, Everywhere, All the Time 140 Appreciative Interviews 142 Increasing Participation Through Engagement 143 Bringing Together Difference for Better Outcomes 144 Questions to Ask That Lead to Deep Reflection 145 Sample Reflection Ideas 146 Thoughts about Engaging Your Network 147


CHAPTER 8. TRUST IN NETWORKS Section 1. Understanding Trust 148 Section 2. Assessing Levels of Trust 149 Discussion on Trust 151 Creating a Culture of Trust 152 Trust and Networks: How Can We Go Deeper? 156 Network Trust Assessment 165 Sharing Strengths and Challenges: 167 Personal Trust Assessment 167 Thoughts about Trust in Networks 169


PART 3. MOVING TO ACTION


CHAPTER 9. SELF_ORGANIZING Section 1. Understanding Self-organizing 172 Section 2. Moving to self-organizing 179 Section 3. Integration and Reflection 181 Section 4. Project Coordination 181 Section 5. Coaching Project Coordinators 183 Section 6. Social Web Platforms to Support Project Coordination 184 Section 7. Using Social Web Platforms to Support Other Self-organization 186 Self-organized Projects 189 Opportunity Process 190 Project Coordination 191 Project Coordinator Role 192 Ground Rules for Small Groups 193 What Do Project Coordinators Need to Think About? 194 Project Coordinator Coach 195 Thoughts about Self-Organizing 196


CHAPTER 10. FROM INNOVATION TO TRANSFORMATION Section 1. How Do Networks Lead to Transformation? 198 Section 2. Creating a local innovation ecosystem 199 Section 3. Leadership for Innovation 209 The End of Footbinding in China as an Example of the Power of Networks 212 Innovation Asset Assessment 214 Identifying Innovators 216 Network Transformation 217 Learning from Small Experiments 218 Thoughts about Innovation in Networks 219


PART 4. INTENTIONAL NETWORKS


CHAPTER 11. INTENTIONAL NETWORK BASICS Section 1. Definitions and History 222 Section 2. Identifying your Intentional Network 231 Section 3. Leadership in Intentional Networks 237 Section 3. Network Elements 238 Network Focal Point 240 Network Function Assessment 241 Your Network Needs to Decide… 244 Thoughts about Intentional Network Basics 246


CHAPTER 12. FORMING A NEW NETWORK Section 1. Introduction 247 Section 2. Forming a Network 248 Section 3. Steps in Organizing Your Network 248 Forming A New Network: Are We Ready? 257 Network Interest Tracking 258 Map Drawing Activity for New Networks 259 Sample Cooperative Agreements 260 Thoughts about Starting a New Intentional Network 263


CHAPTER 13. TUNE-UP FOR AN EXISTING NETWORK Section 1. Coordinating the tune-up process 264 Section 2. Assessing Your Network 265 Section 3. Tune-up 265 Assessing Your Current Issue Strategy 271 Relationship Building 272 Thoughts about Tuning Up an Intentional Network 273


PART 5. SUPPORTING NETWORKS


CHAPTER 14. CREATING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR NETWORK Section 1. Role of the Network Guardian 277 Section 2. Systems to Support Networking and Communication 277 Section 2. A System for Resource Flow 284 Section 3. Designing a Network Support System 287 Personal Communication Assessment 289 Using Social Media to Support Your Network 290 Current communication ecosystem 293 Your Network Communication Strategy 294 Resource Pool 295 Assessment of Your Network’s Support System 296 Ideas for a Support System for Your Network 298 Designing the Network System of Support 300 Thoughts about Network Support Systems 301


CHAPTER 15. NETWORK WEAVER SUPPORTS SYSTEMS Section 1. Network Weaver Roles 302 Section 2. A Support System for Network Weavers 304 Section 3. Training Network Weavers 304 Section 4. Coaching Network Weavers 305 Section 5. Communities of Practice 306 15 Steps to Incubate Network Weavers 311 Sandboxes 313 Wisdom of the Crowd 314 Coaching Sessions 315 Freeing Up Your Time 316 Tracking Priorities 317 Thoughts on Network Weaver Support Systems 318


PART 6. NETWORK STRATEGY


CHAPTER 16. DEVELOPING YOUR NETWORK STRATEGY Section 2. The Strategy Development Process 321 Section 2. Four System Change Processes 326 Section 3. Transformative networks are multiscalar 329 Drawing Your System 341 Network Evaluation 342 Network Indicators 345 Collective Sensemaking 346 Thoughts about Network Strategy 347


CONCLUSION


APPENDICES Appendix 1. Building Communities Through Network Weaving 350 Appendix 2. Networks, Self-Organizing, Breakthroughs and Scale: A Case Study 359 Appendix 3. Glossary of Network Terms 371 Appendix 4. Quotes 375 Appendix 5. Bibliography 376


INDEX 381

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As Connectivist also for PEOPLE, I do recommend it !

jaap van till, The Connectivist

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The USA is Split, will it result in Civil War?

The USA is Split in two populations

If you think that after Biden won from Trump in the presidential election in the USA, the fight against Trumpism and anti-democratic thinking is over, I have bad news for you It is not.

A recent tweet stated that the fight in the USA Senate and House is between Filibusting (GOP) and Democracy (Democrats). This is clearly a simplification and focussing on symptoms of much deeper processes that have been going on for decades. And which are still at work !!! Example: a USA sherrif blaming Jews for Russian Communism (?????).

To better understand those processes star American journalist George Packer has written a book available since July 2021 “Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal” and it was summarized by him in the very revealing longread article (a mustread, sorry) “How America Fractured Into Four Parts” [ The Atlantic ] for which I give the link below:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/07/george-packer-four-americas/619012/

Not two America’s, but FOUR groups of BELIEVERS = FOUR RELIGIONS. Each self- and confirming eachother within their bubble. And most of it is not logical, as mr. Spock would say. Ther is no way you can argue with them to correct faults or trying to change their belief. That is a waste of energy. As i found out from a taxidriver in Boston (and one in London too). The trouble is that these groups have stopped listning and communicating with people from the other three beliefs.

In history this splits where connections (my field) failed to work this results sooner or later in conflicts, violence, bullets firing and even civil war. Even as long ago as general Grant. He forcasted that the US split in mindset between southern agriculture (plantations) and northern industries (factories) would not be over after his military victory.

And the sad thing according to George Packer is that none of the isolated Four Beliefs are offering an effective answer to the Crash/Crisis of 2008, which we still are in.

The USA needs a new Religion / Belief System that works ! In my humble opinion we have to live through a transition between Capitalistic “Value Extraction” (at the expense of the many, and Nature) and “Value Creation” by p2p connection between a diversity of skilled people, with cooperation & synergy. Then: recycling and regeneration of ecologies.

To prevent the mentioned conflicts and even civil wars it is urgent that the new paradigms are well understood in society and that the special type of persons i have called #BTWIENERS (sounds better than “weak links”, right?) will weave links between people accross borders and mental dividing lines !

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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A Youtube discusslon can be seen about “The Four Americas” description of George Packer in his book and the article mentioned above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJaxXOXGY3g

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How To Stop #Fascism ?!

Expected August 26 2021

((updated on August 16 2021 with the Guardian interview with Paul Mason, see below))

My friend and colleague Paul Mason has written a new book with the above title. With subtitle: History, Ideology, Resistance

Is it urgent to read this? YES. For instance the population of the USA has been manipulated into FOUR (4) different separate beliefs, see the story about that process started after the crash in 2008 in my next blog. About 50 % of the US polulation will vote for Trump if there would be elections now. So the Biden [Democrats] victory did not stop the growth of Fascism (more fancy name: #Authoritarianism). Trump / GOP / Facebook…. have not stopped.

See the announcement of Mason, and I suggest you (pre) order the book and read it! https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/status/1422092835680133120?s=20

PS. My recipe to construct an answer to fascism is to start organisations that concentrate on P2P Value Creation instead of Value Extraction (the NeoLib market mantra).

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

An interview which describes the main message of this book appeared online at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/aug/14/paul-mason-how-to-stop-fascism?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

====================== text of The Guardian interview===========

Paul Mason: ‘The big lightbulb moment for me was reading Frank Herbert’s Dune when I was 12.’ Photograph: Antonio Olmos/Observer

Paul Mason: ‘Modern fascism’s interests are being represented in government by rightwing populists’ by Killian Fox

The former Channel 4 News broadcaster on writing at 4am, reading Carlo Rovelli and the danger posed by the new wave of fascism that’s on the rise across the world

Killian Fox
Killian Fox

Sat 14 Aug 2021 18.00 BST

Paul Mason was born in Lancashire in 1960, the son of a headmistress and a lorry driver. He started his career as a music teacher before becoming a journalist in the early 90s. He joined BBC’s Newsnight as a business editor in 2001 and he later worked for Channel 4 News, jobs that took him to China, Gaza and across Bolivia. In 2016, Mason quit broadcasting to pursue writing full time. His latest book, How to Stop Fascism, draws from his own anti-fascist activism in the 1970s and 80s and explores how a new wave of fascism in the 21st century can be prevented from rising.

What prompted you to write the book at this particular moment?
In September 2019, I was on a peaceful pro-remain rally in Whitehall that got surrounded by quite violent Brexit supporters, who turned out to be Tommy Robinson fans. They were shouting: “Paul Mason, you’re a Marxist… you’re a traitor to our country.” Ten years ago, such people would have been talking about migrants taking our jobs, and now they’re worried about Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin. I realised something had changed: rightwing populism has been given intellectual coherence by the thought architecture of fascism. As someone who’s been involved in anti-fascism on and off for four decades, it made me think, I need to go back and relearn what fascism is.Advertisement

Do you have a concise definition?
We need to be careful, because definitions are not explanations. And when you’re facing a phenomenon like the far right, that mutates quickly, definitions aren’t that useful. But for me, a definitive statement would be that fascism is the mobilisation of people’s fear of freedom after they’ve seen a glimpse of freedom – of the possibility that technological modernity and education and universal rights could actually free us. They’re not just afraid of other people becoming free. Deep down, they fear their own freedom, too.

Looking around the world, do you see fascism still as a sort of closet phenomenon, an incipient threat? Or has it realised itself anywhere?
There is no fascist state in the world. But modern fascism doesn’t want that, it’s happy for now. Its interests are being represented in government by rightwing populists and authoritarians such as Duterte, Erdoğan, Orbán, Bolsonaro and, I’m sorry to say, Johnson. Fascists are quite happy to see these leaders scour the insides of democracy and push narratives that undermine truth, the authority of judges, of academic institutions, because it’s in that space that the fascists do what they do, which is to prepare.

Who do you mean, exactly, when you talk about modern fascism?
I’m talking about fascist or far-right groups such as the Proud Boys in America and the online networks of white supremacists. In the UK, the far-right groups are small but their online influence is large. Who is the proxy for them? Well, they had the Brexit party, they had Ukip, and now they’ve got parts of the Tory party. Rightwing populism is no longer functioning as a kind of firewall that protects us from fascism. It’s functioning as an accelerator.

Is there clear evidence that these groups are on the rise?
There’s no better evidence than the fact that they managed to storm the legislature of the oldest democracy in the world. The evidence in Germany is the double-digit growth for the Alternative für Deutschland, and in Spain the 3 million votes for the Vox party. We can’t obsess about membership figures because, in a networked society, membership figures aren’t the issue. It’s who’s retweeting, who’s posting 10 times a day on a secret Facebook group, and it’s a lot more than a few thousand people.

C4 News is great, but the constraints of public service broadcasting were getting in the way of the truth

Do you feel we are underestimating the fascist threat?
Pentti Linkola, the late Finnish ecofascist, basically said the Earth can sustainably support about half a billion people, and the other six and a half billion ought not to exist. When it comes to choosing who to cull, the implication for modern ecofascism is: those whose future economic development is detrimental to the Earth – in other words, the peoples of the global south. Linkola said this has to happen, if necessary, through war and genocide. Hitler thought in millions. Modern fascism is thinking in billions. And if you believe there’s even a 5% chance that these guys will one day find their path to power, we should be doing far more to debunk and pre-bunk their ideas.

What else should we be doing to stop fascism?
Hannah Arendt described fascism as the temporary alliance of the elite and the mob, and the only thing that ever defeated that was the temporary alliance of the centre and the left – and that’s what we need. We need a better institutional response, meaning anti-fascist laws of the kind that Germany has, including official state surveillance of non-violent groups that are headed towards fascism. But deeper than all of that, we need to create and hold on to an anti-fascist ethos. There is now an overt and legitimised hostility to anti-fascism, because Trump has redefined what it is, by stirring up fear of antifa.

You quit broadcasting in early 2016, just before Brexit, Trump and all that followed. Do you regret missing the opportunity to cover those things as a news journalist?
No, I quit in order to be able to have an opinion for them. I found that the truth I was able to tell in a documentary produced outside Channel 4 was closer to the truth than the truth I was telling for Channel 4. Not because Channel 4 News is in any way bad. It’s probably the greatest place I’ve ever worked. But the constraints of public service broadcasting, I think, were getting in the way of the truth. For them the first thing is impartiality.

Which British politicians do you rate?
Above all Clive Lewis, who understands the need for a central-left alliance, and for it to be based on an ethical anti-fascism. I think Caroline Lucas also gets it, and so does Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne mayor. Nadia Whittome is a young MP who speaks for her generation. But that’s about it really.

What books are on your bedside table?
I’m not a huge reader of modern fiction, though I did enjoy Arkady by Patrick Langley. I’m reading a lot about thermodynamics at the moment and I’ve got a textbook by the Nobel prize winner Ilya Prigogine, and the lovely book Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli. I am a huge fan of Thomas Pynchon, I reread his big books every year. I am also a huge fan of Virginia Woolf – both her fiction and nonfiction.

Which nonfiction writers working today do you particularly admire?
Well, Rovelli is one. Adam Tooze is another. Natasha LennardRichard Seymour and Laurie Penny – everything they produce I consume and find value in.

What kind of reader were you as a child, and which books and authors have stayed with you since childhood?
The big lightbulb moment for me was reading Frank Herbert’s Dune when I was 12. I was bought it for my birthday and I literally lay on the floor and read the entire thing in a day. The central concept is something that informs my politics: that the things that are done to the most oppressed people on Earth make it possible for them to defeat the biggest evils on Earth. That was the lesson I took away from Herbert. And I remain of the belief that those to whom bad things are done can find the moral courage to fight back successfully.

What’s your writing routine?
I write quite early. My partner is legendarily frustrated by the fact that I’m sometimes up at 4am. I love the darkness of the early morning.

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Third Transition in Science: to include Evolving Biospheres

From EGO, to ECO

((Blog Updated July 18, 2021))

Summary: We are entering THE AGE OF VALUE CREATION. Do you enter it too?

That requires a totally different mindset from what are the main mantra’s of our present governments, politicians and businessmen, and unfiortunately also most scientists deeply embedded in vested interrests, funding systems and peer reviews. I do not blame any of them but i take the step to bring certain new directions to their attention. I am retired and independant, so I do not care if they agree or not. These mantra’s are based on the #NeoLib (market will solve all problems) faerytale, which is running against its boundaries. For instance things are failing in Health Care, Law, Education,Agriculture, Culture, Law enforcement, Banking, Defense and maintenance of Flora and Fauna. Also the infrastructues of Tranport of goods and people, Tranport of Information (FttH etc) and Transport of Energy are not maintained well everywhere or are seriously lacking. Reason #neoLib is based on Value Extraction, at the expense of People and Nature. Sure, it was a great motor for the economy and society but it is now running at its end

The point is that young people all over the world are concerned an curious what will happen after the Pandemic, which has harmed them and left them lonely and depressed, and after the floods in Europe and other large and small unexpected climate catastrophies. I see it as my task to help them look in new directions they can explore themselves 🙂

The recent paper from Kauffman and Roli, you can download below, marks a major breakthrough in Science. My impression is that it will also have huge impact on our society. In line with the slogan about the Third Transition in Science displayed above.

It is called: “The Third Transition in Science: Beyond Newton and Quantum Mechanics” –A Statistical Mechanics of Emergence–

  1. Here is what a review of it said:

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The Third Transition in Science: Beyond Newton and Quantum Mechanics — A Statistical Mechanics of Emergence | by Stuart A. Kauffman & Andrea Roli | ArXiv

[…] It is fundamental to the Newtonian Paradigm that the set of possibilities that constitute the phase space is always definable ahead of time. All of this fails for the diachronic evolution of ever new adaptations in our or any biosphere.
[…] Therefore, with respect to all diachronically emerging adaptations via seizing affordances, no numbers. No integers, no rational numbers, no equations such as 2+3=5. No equations so no irrational numbers. No real line. No equations with variables. No imaginary numbers, no quaternions, no octonions. No Cartesian spaces. No vector spaces. No Hilbert spaces. No union and intersection of uses of X and uses of Y. No first order logic. No combinatorics. No topology. No manifolds. No differential equations on manifolds. Further, without an Axiom of Choice, we cannot integrate and take limits on the differential equations we cannot write.
[…] These facts mean that we are, surprised or not, at the third major transition in science.

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2. Here is the formal summary of the paper as submitted to ArXiv :

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The Third Transition in Science: Beyond Newton and Quantum Mechanics — A Statistical Mechanics of Emergence

Stuart A. KauffmanAndrea Roli

Since Newton all of classical and quantum physics depends upon the “Newtonian Paradigm” (NP). Here the relevant variables of the system are identified. The boundary conditions creating the phase space of all possible values of the variables are defined. Then, given any initial condition, the differential equations of motion are integrated to yield an entailed trajectory in the pre-stated phase space. In the NP the set of possibilities that constitute the phase space is always definable ahead of time. All of this fails for the diachronic evolution of ever new adaptations in our or any biosphere. The central reason is that living cells achieve Constraint Closure and construct themselves. Living cells, evolving via heritable variation and Natural selection, adaptively construct new in the universe possibilities. The new possibilities are opportunities for new adaptations thereafter seized by heritable variation and Natural Selection. Surprisingly, we can neither define nor deduce the evolving phase spaces ahead of time. The reason we cannot deduce the ever-evolving phase spaces of life is that we can use no mathematics based on Set Theory to do so. The ever-new adaptations with ever-new relevant variables constitute the ever-changing phase space of evolving biospheres. Because of this, evolving biospheres are entirely outside the NP. One consequence is that for any universe such as ours with one or more evolving biospheres, there can be no final theory that entails all that comes to exist. We face a third major transition in science. We must give up deducing the diachronic evolution of the biosphere. All of physics, classical and quantum, however, apply to the analysis of existing life, a synchronic analysis. We begin to better understand the emergent creativity of an evolving biosphere. We are on the edge of inventing a physics-like new statistical mechanics of emergence.

Subjects:Physics and Society (physics.soc-ph); Biological Physics (physics.bio-ph)
Nature is strong and self creating

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3. Let me explain my personal interest in this breakthrough paper. Since I was very young in the 1950’s I was amazed at how I and others could take apart/ down ‘things’ into smaller and smaller pieces and then learn how the ‘thing’ worked. I could then repair parts if needed and put the device back together, getting more curious each day. Family and friends started to bring things to me to repair. In the 1960’s lots of news came about atomics and physics finding smaller and smaller particles & waves to comprehend our world and extract value= energy from atomic reaction. Then I started to imagine explorations in the other direction: upwards synthesis. Necessary since for instance if you take living things apart and put them together again, sometthing is gone: LIFE. What would happen if we mix and combine components into greater and greater complexity. I leaned to design and construct networks and help build them for and between companies in Europe. Indeed, running up the stairs of the Tower of Babel. From signals, signs, words, information, data, meaning, imagination, images, and the top level: sociology, biology, wisdom and nature.

Yes, I studied emergent behaviour like in social media but also in ant-hills and how trees communicate in woods. All of this is part of the new “Complexity Science” where we have to find non-mechanic and non quantum explanations. This connects wonderful with the paper described in this blog. The “network effects” that are at work in society and ecosystems (biospheres) I have described in another blog [1]. There I defined a forth network effect which shows how value is created by combining = synthesis (see the direction !) people with diverse skills, to cooperate when they share understanding and a common goal. This value generation which can be attributed to “Synergy”. A very recommendable book about that is written by prof. Peter Corning [2]. I am curious why Stu and Andrea have not mentioned Synergy in their historic paper.

Nature does not ask permission

I am curious what leading edge scientist like Corning, Wolfram, Haramein, Barabasi, Yaneer Bar-Yam, E.O. Wilson, Nowak, Szathmáry, Alexandre Lemille and Csermely will comment on this paper. Maybe we should organize a Second Solvay Conference about the Post Transition Science?

Yes, I am impressed and delighted that we are making a transition to the Era of Systems Biology, Circular Economy and Regenerative Ecologies. If we survive, that is.

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

[1] Van Till, 2015, https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/np9-engines-for-the-new-power-the-four-network-effects/

[2] Peter Corning, 2018, “Synergistic Selection” – How Cooperation Has Shaped Evolution and the Rise of Humankind -; World Scientific Publishing Co.

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For my readers in Brazil: Greed & Extraction vs EcoSystem
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