The human system has three main components: biological, technological and institutional.
The biological component is a kind of interface, through which it communicates with the environment. The senses of individuals and their reasoning faculties serve the system as input signals coming from the environment. On the other hand, the activity of these same individuals constitutes a channel through which the outward signals are delivered to the environment.
Technological component is energy hub that stores system’s energy outside of the biological component. One part of the stored energy serves the functions of a biological component as an interface to the environment and other parts are kept for future periods.
The institutional component regulates and coordinates the work of the biological and technological components. When and what signals to be exchanged with the environment and what parts of concentrated energy to be saved for the future and why they should be maintained are regulated by the institutional component.
To have a pivotal transition to a new state of the human system, we must have a state of crisis in the functioning of these three components. Do we have such crises now?
The biological component has grown so much (6 billion people) that puts the ability of technological component to deliver the necessary energy to its possible limit. On the other hand, the institutional component, in its programming and deployment instructions for performance, is gasping in inefficient management of the biological component. A huge part of this biological component rotates like at idle: most of the people only perform their biological functions, but do not deliver system functions to the human system itself.
The technology component concentrates energy, but makes it so that the majority of this energy goes to serve its own energy losses in transmission and distribution of energy to the other two system components. Any attempt to increase the availability of available power mean higher losses, which naturally raises the question of how long the system can continue to find and concentrate energy from the environment in the way that it does now.
The institutional component is built hierarchical algorithm for servicing the other two components – technological and biological. The hierarchical form is required by the way technological component concentrate energy, and biological consuming energy. The problem is that the growth of biological component requires faster transmission and increasing amounts of energy from the technological to the biological component, whereby the hierarchical form of institutional component reaches the limits of its effectiveness after which functional disorders begin to appear, and then they are transmitted on the biological and technological components.
We come to the question of what can be done in such a general systemic crisis.
The first group of scenarios is associated with reductions of element base of the biological component. As we can see, many of the systemic problems are arising from the growth of this component. Not accidentally, the realization of this scenario begins to generate a variety of obscurantist algorithms in institutional component such as programs to reduce fertility, environmental movements of any type or simply outright genocidal programs. Define them as obscurantist, because what they are seeking is primarily to simplify the system: cutting its interface and customize the whole system to the environment. In principle, this is the systemic behavior of organic systems, not of the human system. In fact, we are being offered to go back to the animals. There is another aspect: though why we may need systemic 6 billion interface units, if the majority of their work is idling? However, they idle in the current state of the system, but that does not mean they do not have the necessary system the potential to be effective at 100% to the system. By itself, each of these six billion units interface represents the most complex machine ever created by the known Universe and it would be a full system folly to throw so highly organized matter in the environment (in one form or another).
The second set of scenarios is related to optimization of the institutional component, but in its present hierarchical form. Perhaps this is best illustrated by the modern concepts for sustainable development, or so-called Third Way, and similar social utopias. I am calling them utopias because these recipes do not account for systematic conflicts between institutional, technological and biological component, and the problems in the institutional component resulting from the problems of the other two components. In fact, these concepts will bring us a few steps back in history, and which (as in the game Ludo) quite naturally will take again in the same problematic position in which we find ourselves now. Of course, it should be noted that social utopias are also always one way or another obscurantist because in an effort to make “good” they actually impose on the entire system algorithms, which are systematically meaningless or which are again aimed to simplify the whole systems in destructive way.
A third group of scenarios is related to the optimization of the technological component. They realy on that one of the components, in this case technological, can develop faster than the other can and therefore prevents its crisis. Unfortunately, this not really recognizes that all three components work together and that any attempt to disrupt the synchronization is a prerequisite for the decay of the whole system. In this sense, only the development of the technological component cannot be the answer to the current systemic crisis, because the revolution in technology alone will only increase this systemic dissonance. In fact, the whole system “feels” this and not accidentally, we are flooded by all sorts of apocalyptic visions of the future related to out-of-control technology of any kind. Thus, the technological development is demonized, and it serves as a barrier to implementation of new scientific discoveries. I do not think that new technologies will be developed before we have already established key institutional components to master these new technologies.
Here I will offer my scenarios to resolve the crisis. If we analyze the transition from agricultural to industrial civilization, it will be seen that in all three components of the then human system the necessary elements were already present, and that they were subsequently merged into a new whole system with a new algorithm of the institutional component. In the late Middle Ages, the necessary technological elements were already established and specific forms of organization of biological components were at their pace. At this point, one of the existing institutional elements began to play the role of system integrator, which connects elements of the three components into a new systemic whole. This system integrator was the commercial capital that connected manufactures, mining communities and impoverished peasantry into a new system entity called capitalism.
I think something like this we should to see today. On the one hand, we have a huge amount of interface elements from biological component that are idle. On the other hand, the technological component develops more effective communication technologies that can towel the crisis in the institutional component actively seeking new ways of concentration of energy, which would pave the way for changes in the institutional component (do not forget that it is hierarchical because of the specific way of concentration of power in the technology component). It is possible that such methods already exist, but are in latent form. Add to that that the mere biological component is already starting to be seen not as a sacred cow but as an object for manipulation by the institutional and technological components. At the same time, the institutional component already develops explosive new type algorithms for employing distributed networks rather than the usual hierarchies. Probably they will be that new system integrator that will connect to a new state the elements of the three components in a completely new system. Why and how?
This is matter of time before one of these spontaneously occurred networking institutional structures to address the elements of the other components as a source of its own expansion. What does this mean? Existing network organizations have an inherent desire to grow their interface component – more members of the community mean more effectively the system enters into new areas of active existence. Note that the large amount of elements of a biological component here turns from disadvantage into an advantage. This active penetration into new territories will lead eventually to the discovery of existing latent or completely new technologies that currently the system generally ignores or cannot utilize. These technologies will be related both to the concentration of energy in new ways and to engineering on the element base of the biological component. One of these can increase the available energy, the other can reduce the consumption of the interface. This will mean competitive advantage of this new type of networking organizations comparing to the existing hierarchies that we know. Quite naturally, the past will be doomed to extinction.
How do I see this in time? Up to ten years, the first network organizations that will put their objective expansion and competition with the old hierarchical structures will start to appear. It seems paradoxical that maybe such structures have already occurred, but in their destructive form: terrorist networks. However, after the deepening of the current global economic crisis a matter of time is someone to think that such networks can be used not for destruction but for economic survival. Note that such economic network structures also exist, but currently are subject to traditional hierarchical structures. Remember that once upon the time the commercial capital has also been subject to the king and his vassals.
I guess that after a dozen years, the new economic network structures will get their hands on latent or new energy technologies that will enable their explosive spread and thus the destruction of the old hierarchical structures. The last phase will be the engineering on the interface of the system and tailoring it to be most effective in dealing with new institutional and technological components. Probably around 2050 we will see the end of the current type of the human system. Most likely, the form of the elements of biological component will be maintained for some time, but will be heavily modified: our bodies will have resistance to climate change, reduced power consumption and integration with the institutional component with built-in in the organism information technology to connect all people in real-time. Further, we can expect the elements of this component to acquire completely new material form, most likely of electromagnetic waves. But this will be another story.
Project Founder and Manager
Jordan Yankov works as a consultant for development of different types of power generation projects, energy planning and development. Jordan has experience as manager in advertising, multimedia, marketing and technology projects. He has graduated philosophy but he never persuaded an academic carrier. Despite that, he maintained his strong interests in fundamental sciences, philosophy and social problems. For several years, he helped d-r Ivan Punchev in his efforts to develop non-classic dialectical logic in mathematical form. As a result, he elaborated his own ideas in the fields of fundamental sciences, artificial intelligence and social prognoses. All of this inspired him to start The Human Future Project as an ongoing streamlined effort to create new paradigm for understanding of the human nature.