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Robert Kall on OpEd News has an interview with Noam Chomsky: America in Decline, US Operating Procedures for Blocking Democracy.  I, for one find this a strange title.  I thought that way back in the 1960s Chomsky and I were on the same wavelength about the failure of America with respect to the word "democracy".  In spite of the fact that our scientific paths have diverged significantly, I have always shared a lot with him politically. I don't know this guy Robert Kall but I got on some e-mail list that has him.  I find this on quite deceptive.  If you go to the link you will read:

The transcript of this interview will be available in a day or two.
 I am turned off big time by such tactics and I distrust Kall as a result.  Read on below and you may join me.

Here is what Kall actually provides:

Interview rough notes-- mostly the questions asked.

Objectivity vs reality?

What's your take on the media today. What's your take on how it is now and how it could be?

"US deficit-- solved by health care reform-- is an international scandal."

 in the face of looming collapse, how can we save our civilization?

do you see a model that works in the future-- be it capitalism or something else?

And you referred to the idea that intelligence can be lethal-- Ernst Mayr's theory-- in referring to global warming. Do you see a future that we survive in?

You've said you have to learn the fundamental science that's going to be applicable to whatever comes along next. And the same thing pretty much happened in medicine needing biology and engineering needing physics. How about with Economics? An you said, "Well, unification is kind of an intuitive ideal, part of the scientific mystique, if you like. It's that you're trying to find a unified theory of the world. Now maybe there isn't one, maybe different parts work in different ways, but your assumption is until I'm proven wrong definitively, I'll assume that there's a unified account of the world, and it's my task to try to find it."  And you talk about the complexity of systems, how they are modular"

How do economics and marketing fit in?

In your Atlantic interview with Yarden Katz, you said,

"At some point in human evolution, and it's apparently pretty recent given the archeological record -- maybe last hundred thousand years,  a computational system emerged with had new properties, that other organisms don't have, that has kind of arithmetical type properties... "

Leonard Shlain and Walter Ong-- talk about writing and the Gutenberg press.

and the internet and Occupy Wall street.

Can you talk about the Transition from hunter gather to agriculture, to city and civilization to corporatization". and the future of civilization"

In your Interview with Amy Goodman. titled Who Owns the World,  You talk about America in Decline:

 "The decline is real, but it's not new. It's been going on since 1945. In fact, it happened very quickly. In the late 1940s, there's an event that's known here as "the loss of China.""--  And you talk about how the "Vietnam War was fought primarily to ensure that an independent Vietnam would not develop successfully and become a model for other countries in the region. " And how, ""In the last 10 years the South American countries have begun to move towards independence and a degree of integration." And you say  the Arab Spring is another such threat. It threatens to take that big region out of the grand arena. That's a lot more significant than Southeast Asia or South America.  "So far, the threat of the Arab Spring has been pretty well contained. "We managed to ensure that the threat of democracy would be smashed in the most important places."

 Finally, you spoke about, how, "in Egypt, the United States followed a standard operating procedure when one of your favorite dictators gets into trouble." Now that's very interesting. Can you describe that procedure?

How about Gaza? How is the balance changing with Qatar now providing funding as well as Iran? What do we do?

You're Jewish, I'm Jewish. Apologists for Israel say that Israel takes Gazans to Deborah Hospital and why should they put up with the rain of bombs?

I guess it takes a special kind of chutzpah to compare yourself with Chomsky, but these questions and more are answered in our new book:GLOBAL INSANITY: HOW HOMO SAPIENS LOST TOUCH WITH REALITY WHILE TRANSFORMING THE WORLD. Here is the jacket summary:

The Global Economy that sustains the civilized world is destroying the biosphere.  As a result, civilization, like the Titanic, it is on a collision course with disaster.  But changing course via the body politic appears to be well nigh impossible, given that much of the populace lives in denial.  Why is that?  And how did we get into such a fix?  
In this essay, biologists James Coffman and Donald Mikulecky argue that the reductionist model of the world developed by Western civilization misrepresents life, undermining our ability to regulate and adapt to the accelerating anthropogenic transformation of the world entrained by that very model.  An alternative worldview is presented that better accounts for both the relational nature of living systems and the developmental phenomenology that constrains their evolution. Development of any complex system reinforces specific dependencies while eliminating alternatives, reducing the diversity that affords adaptive degrees of freedom: the more developed a system is, the less potential it has to change its way of being.  Hence, in the evolution of life most species become extinct.  
This perspective reveals the limits that complexity places on knowledge and technology, bringing to light our hubristically dysfunctional relationship with the world and increasingly tenuous connection to reality.  The inescapable conclusion is that, barring a cultural metamorphosis that breaks free of deeply entrenched mental frames that made us what we are, continued development of the Global Economy will lead inexorably to the collapse of civilization.  

I think our book answers these questions and more. Tell me what you think.

Originally posted to don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Systems Thinking, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and Postcapitalism.

Poll

Noam Chomsky's ideas

7%3 votes
17%7 votes
0%0 votes
5%2 votes
12%5 votes
57%23 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:00:02 PM PST

  •  America has not failed as a "democracy." (3+ / 0-)

    It never was intended to be a democracy. It was designed to be a republic as discussed in detail by James Madison in Federalist 10.

    It was expressly designed to choose representatives by means of elections, and these representatives, it was hoped, would be "enlightened statesmen," who would do a better job of determining the public good than the People themselves. And our republic was expressly designed to keep the People from ever taking action except through their elected representatives.

    It is all there in black and white in the Federalist essays.

    Now, history shows that Madison's design, or as he called it, "the scheme of representation," has failed to provide us with enlightened statesmen to lead us and that has made all the difference. But the part of his system that was designed to keep the People from ever directly exercising their will has worked perfectly.

    There are many things that one can fairly criticize our government for, but not for failing to be a democracy.

    Of course, the Two-Party System, which was not designed by the Framers, and was not wanted by them, has contributed greatly to our problems.

    The Framers were trying to design a government for the rich classes because they feared the lower, poorer classes, and it appears that they succeeded.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:16:26 PM PST

    •  I get really tired of this old worn out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diane Gee, Don midwest, Be Skeptical

      response.  As if we don't all know that.  Do you even care to understand why I wrote this diary?

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:22:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I do care. Since I wrote my comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        don mikulecky

        I followed your links to another diary. I read it and the comments. I followed a link from that diary to the description of your book which I also read.

        I suppose, based on your sarcastic remark, that I misunderstood your your words about your agreement with Chomsky on the "failure of America with respect to the word 'democracy'" If you will tell me a little more about just what you meant by that remark I will be better able to respond to your sarcasm.

        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

        by hestal on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:32:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  democracy is what we want...not what we have (0+ / 0-)

          it is quite simple I think

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:39:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is true but your remark in your diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            don mikulecky

            should have included the idea that the constitutional system was never intended to be a democracy and on that account it has succeeded. Since the Framers did not try to create a democracy, and since democracy is what we want, then creating a democracy is a task that passed to the successors of the Framers, including you and me. So we are the failures. That, I think would be a clear statement.

            I am not an author, though I am trying to be, but I know the ones I like best are the ones who write clearly, without confusing dependence on antecedents that are known only to the author and his associates.

            But this is not to say that I am not interested in buying your book. Is it possible for you to give me a link to the table of contents. Do you offer a Kindle sample?

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:47:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for your suggestion (0+ / 0-)

              It has nothing to do with my diary

              An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

              by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:44:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually it does. Your diary is a promotion (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharon Wraight

                for your book, and I commented on your opaque writing. And I also asked two questions so that I might learn more about your the contents of your book. For example, if it wanders all over space and time like Chomsky does then I am not interested.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                by hestal on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:15:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I've interviewed him 4 times now (7+ / 0-)

    He is brilliant, warm and very responsive to good questions.

    Not to mention a sweetheart personally.

    ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

    by Diane Gee on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:26:53 PM PST

  •  Don, could you explain this phrase to me: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, mookins, Churchill

    developmental phenomenology that constrains their evolution

    I guess I'm hung up on how phenomenology constrains something.

    “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

    by dskoe on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:23:46 PM PST

    •  In a mechanistic context you would be (0+ / 0-)

      very correct in wondering that.  The chapter on development rejects mechanism and adopts complex systems ideas.  In that context the constraints on evolution come not from mechanism but from contextually dependent loops of cause.

      DNA, for example, acts in different ways in different contexts.  Otherwise development would never happen since the same DNA is there at every stage.

      In evolution the same ideas come into play.  Only when context allows it do new species arise.  This is also a phenomenological process depending on the conditions existing at the moment things happen.  

      We have myriad examples of such phenomenological events.  The unfolding of global warming and climate change are another case where context and interactions determine what happens.

      Now, in particular, for the evolution of our global system, the choices that exist become fewer as the system develops.  Aged systems are highly constrained by what they have already become....meaning what options they have already discarded and can't get back. These constraints are real.  They reflect absence rather than presence.  Had the system not developed as it did it would have different options.

      Does this make sense to you?

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:58:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It does, mostly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        don mikulecky

        When you are speaking of evolution, are you addressing only physical evolution, or cultural evolution and other types as well?
        I had understood from years ago, that genetic change was the result of essentially random variation only a few cases of which would survive.  So survival depends upon which context obtains.  If that mechanism is obsolete, and "contextually dependent loops of cause" is something else, please explain.

        For me "context" would and must be very complex.

        Please forgive my ignorance.  I'm mostly a blue collar guy, though I have some physics and a bit of math.  I read these things to learn.

        I'm interested in your book, but not sure I have the background to read it.

        “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

        by dskoe on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:39:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You do very well......the basic idea is that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dskoe

          breaking connections between things loses vital information and misleads.  The context of "evolution" ala Darwin is embedded in the local and global evolution of the earth system.  One form of closed loop is new species .....>new enironment ........> new species and so on.  Now bring in a "special" species...Homo sapiens and the profound effects it causes.

          Genetic variations are not "random" in the purest sense.  They occur in a highly constrained context and operate on conditional probabilities.

          Cultural evolution is very  dependent on context.  Technology is a big factor here.  

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:53:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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