Our species is about one hundred thousand years old. There were many false starts. Modern genetics has found some surprises including the discovery of ancient cross breeding events between our ancestors and other lineages of man, now extinct. However present evidence is that human origin was out of Africa, in more than one migration, but with the traces of these ancient events still evident in the dispersal of our genes over the earth.
The spread was wide in time and space and the narratives together with the ideas that backed them up were very diverse. As of the present, they have the aspect of fragmented strands, each trying to pursue its own identity and perpetuation, although especially now with the global virus pandemic (April 2020) there is huge uncertainty both at the individual national levels as to the viability of the social and cultural models that vied for existence prior to the January 2020 outbreak.
With the new communication technologies developed in the last fifty or so years, we are thrown into an uncompromising simultaneous co-presence. Everyone in the world is present visibly and audibly at the same time; and it’s not making sense. Quite clearly our trajectory is that of implosion, or explosion, depending on your metaphor. The virus pandemic has simply brought it on, brought forward a looming catastrophe that was going to happen anyway. All those graphs, of population, resource utilisation, climate change, pollution, extinctions cannot continue exponential for long.
I modelled a future plan in 1977 after I had finished reviewing Paul Bouissac’s book on circuses (link). It was a ‘vision’, in the sense of a visual mode model. This vision was of a way through for all of us. It comprised first of an acceptance of the diversity of present day ‘states of play’ or cultural predicaments in global cultures. Then leaders in those groups should help identify ‘goals’ for the next thirty years and indeed some have been implemented already. The carbon emission targets aim for a defined time frame. Commitment to a few more internationally defined goals could then act like ‘tickets of entry’ into a global conference which aims to set up a period of time which I called ‘the Computation’. In that time goals could be aligned globally and new currencies evolved, and resources rationalised, in a process of simultaneous co-evolution.
THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE
The ‘entry configuration’ would go through a period of evolutive change until the ‘exit configuration’, which I imagined as a ‘party’, quite literally a global celebration. We come from far away by our own reckoning, but our species is young compared with nearly all others, and dates from only a hundred thousand years ago. We are now all over the world, and are now all wanting to fit through the small space time window, of the next twenty to thirty years. I called the diagram the Eye of the Needle as a metaphor for this, and I apologise for the ageing graphics..I was thirty five years too early, but maybe it’s time now to make the journey from vortex to cornucopia.
The tasks listed in the bottom right hand border of the diagram are: Material adequacy, sophisticated technology, and the Currencies of celebration. The FHIR project is one such curency.