Welcome to The 2nd Enlightenment
This is an outline of very broad brushstrokes, an opening dialogue/outline if you will. It is meant to be a guide to potential outcomes based on historical events. Various topics will be further explored and fleshed out in the future.
Historical perspective: Out of the Dark Ages
“The Renaissance achieved popularity in describing the self-conscious cultural movement based on the revival of Roman models that began in the late-13th century.
For the historian Michelet, the Renaissance was more a development in science than in art and culture. He asserted that it spanned the period from Columbus to Copernicus to Galileo; that is, from the end of the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century (1492-1650)
Some Marxist historians prefer to describe the Renaissance in material terms, holding the view that the changes in art, literature, and philosophy were part of a general economic trend from feudalism towards capitalism, resulting in a bourgeois class with leisure time to devote to the arts.
The invention of printing (movable type in reality) democratized learning and allowed a faster propagation of more widely distributed ideas”
History of first media revolution
The Reformation is mainly known
The 95 Theses Martin Luther nailed to the Wittenberg Church Door on October 31st, 1517, criticized the church’s sale of indulgences, which Luther saw as corruption. By Luther’s time, indulgences had evolved into payments that allowed anyone who could afford them to skip purgatory. Less known is the role Luther played in allowing ordinary people to read in their own language versus having to have Latin translated to them through the clergy.
“The Reformation was a triumph of literacy and the new printing press. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German was a decisive moment in the spread of literacy and stimulated as well the printing and distribution of religious books and pamphlets. From 1517 onward, religious pamphlets flooded Germany and much of Europe.
By 1530, over 10,000 publications are known, with a total of ten million copies. The Reformation was thus a media revolution.”
Thus the Renaissance and Reformation set the stage for The 1st Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is generally thought of as the period between the 30 years war and the French Revolution, roughly 1650 to 1800. I set the date for its earliest beginnings at 1517 with the unleashing of the primary force that ultimately drove it. The beginning of literacy in Europe.
History rhymes, not repeat itself. How will the 1st and 2nd Enlightenment’s be the same and how will they be different?
1. Who -The Roman Catholic Church and Big Media
2. What -The aggregation and dissemination of information
3. When- 500 year Anniversary
4. Where -The printing press and the internet
5. Why- Literacy and Natural Literacy
6. How- URL
7. The rhyme: The 95 Theses and The 95 Species
1. Who -The Roman Catholic Church and Big Media: Prior to the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church controlled the dissemination of information throughout medieval Europe. There were many groups such as the Cathars, the Templars and even the Dominicans and Franciscans to a certain degree, who had tried to splinter off from the church. With generally catastrophic results. Friday the 13th is still remembered as a bad day because it was the day of the Templars comeuppance in 1305.
Post ReformationProtestant Inquisition history versus Catholic (Spanish) Inquisition- The Reformation sparked over a century of religious conflict and instability on the European continent. The 30 years war, which started 100 years afterward, was the direct result and culmination of the Reformation. The propaganda and publicity created by the Protestants, via the printing press, was so good/copious most people have not heard of the Protestant Inquisition to this day. Most have heard about the Spanish Inquisition though ( ThankyouMonty Python). Despite the fact that meticulous records kept by both sides of the conflict showed that many more people died at the hands of the Protestants than the Catholics. Being the new kids on the block, they were much more lethal and vicious in many ways than their Catholic counterparts. Kind of like Al Qaeda as compared to ISIS today. But due to the fact that the printing press allowed the Protestants to rapidly create their propaganda and dominate the new medium, their opponents were overwhelmed and the Reformation is now history.
Back in the olden days when I grew up, before the Internet, there were basically 3 television stations. ABC, CBS
andNBC with a little squirt of PBS in 1970. I recall my mother getting me and my brothers together to watch this new show that was about to air called Sesame Street. Along with newspapers and radiothe media market was very tightly controlled. With the advent of cable and then the Internet, the media playing field has been flattened. Newspapers go out of business every day. Russia has a vote in our democratic elections. Arab Spring. And 4 billion people at the end of a mouse click.
2 & 4. What -The aggregation and dissemination of information & Where -The printing press and the internet: They are the same in that the aggregation and dissemination of information
isat the root of both periods. The movable type printing press allowed for the rapid aggregation of new information. Prior to this, it might take years to create a single manuscript, which was a copy of an earlier work and in Latin, a language that common people could not read. Once aggregated though, dissemination was limited to one person handing a piece of paper to another person. The Internet not only allows for the aggregation of information but the immediate dissemination thereof to 4 billion people with the click of a mouse. Basically the printing press on steroids. There was roughly a 150 year transition period last time due to the physical nature of dissemination. Not today. Distribution is virally exponential. Welcome to The 2nd Enlightenment!
3. When- 500 year Anniversary. The 2nd Enlightenment has launched on October
31 st2017 with the distribution of The 95 Species to the World Wide Web on the 500thanniversary of Martin Luther nailing The 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church Door on All Saints Day Eve (a.k.a. Halloween) October 311517. The year prior he had published his 97 theses with not so nearly as much of a stir. The difference between writing about something and publishing an editorial in the equivalent of the daily paper of its day. Or the internet if one wanted to shave 133 years off the process.
5. Why-Literacy and Natural Literacy: the key to the 1st Enlightenment was the beginning of literacy for the common people. The key to the 2nd Enlightenment will be natural literacy or the ability for an individual to read nature for themselves. For the average Joe/Josefina, until now, information about nature was in a foreign language that had been interpreted by others. Natural Literacy will allow you to read nature for yourself by not only allowing one to read nature but also be able to translate natural/geological
time tablesinto human timetables so that one can become part of the conversation. A reciprocal dialogue with nature.
6. How: Paper vs.
URL’s. The printed page was the internet of its day. In this day and age, the single most potent potential outlet for information is something called a Universal Resource Locator or URL. Better known as a .COM by most. As in The 2nd (second) Enlightenment.com. Who evershowed up first, out of the 4 billion people who have access to the internet, owns the URL. The average odds to win the super lotto are about 250 million to one. If this were a lottery (which it was to a degree) winning this URL would be 16x less likely than winning the super lotto. And look how long that takes to win on many occasions.
7. The rhyme: The 95 Theses and The 95 Species: And species of what???
The 5th kingdom has been almost entirely overlooked in our day-to-day lives. Fungi. Mushrooms. Most people know virtually nothing about them yet mushrooms (as land
macrorganisms) will far outnumber both plants and animals (as land macrorganisms) when the final tally is in. It is thought that only about 10-15% of the mushrooms on earth havebeen discovered. The number of species of fungi on earth is estimated to be between 1.2 and 5.1 million species. Fungi make up 90% of the biomass composition of organisms in healthy forest soils. They are extra important to nature, as expressed by their sheer numbers/biomass, but why not to us humans?? In most cases, mycelium represents “The Matrix” and Morpheus hasn’t shown up to pass out the red pills yet. It hides from view inside virtually everything in nature, the brains of the outfit as well as the administrator. This needs to change. From my point of view, this is the single biggest factor in humans “perception problem” AKA antroprocriticism.
Integrating human and natural systems. We are part of nature, nature didn’t exclude us from the party, we have excluded ourselves.
Fortunatelyhumans are good at sociocultural activities. If Darwin is correct and it is the survival of the fittest- the fittest it turns out being the best cooperators, not dominators -this should be something that human beings are particularly good at. The problem is that there is no problem- from natures point of view –only perception issues. All other organisms on earth understand the biological mathematics that representsuccession and participateto create abundance, aggregating resources and biodiversity in an ecosystem to its carrying capacity. This is homogeneous worldwide. The sum is greater than the parts. Leaving one’s unutilized resources in a state that the next organism in the line of succession is able to utilize them. There is no such thing as “thrown away” in nature. I’m currently working with 95 species of mushrooms that will allow humans to easily participate in succession, like all other organisms and biological systems on earth. To accomplish this, I have created the 1st true service to service mutualistic relationship between human beings and another organism(s -among other tools) The reason that this is a good fit is that, as a macroorganism, mycelium is on par with plants and animals in order of magnitude and abilities while at the same time, operates perfectly as a microorganism. The disconnect comes in that all other organisms on earth operate on geological timetables. Human beings operate on human timetables, minus the 200,000 organisms that make up our microbiota. What I do is to simply translate “human” into “geological”, information that other organisms can understand. I tell my mushroom partners how to quickly and effectively break down my unutilized resources (postconsumer waste) and turn it back into useful resources (plants/sequestered carbon) I call it Personal Carbon (to grow your Personal Stash ;>) This allows me to administer “the black box” that we call soil efficiently and effectively without being neurally networked to the soil ecosystem 24/7/365. In a carbon negative manner. After 40 years of agricultural experience, I have fired myself and allow my unencumbered mutualistic mycological (mushrooms), entomological (bugs) and mature soil microbiota (microbes) systems to do what they know best. How did plants manage to grow themselves before H. sapiens appeared 200,000 years ago and showed them how to do it? Let’s take a look at what this relationship might look like in common reality.
“Nature is an ally to be partnered with not an adversary to be conquered”