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Focusing: Where Do We Go From Here ?. Big News!. Humans are Special. Big History is about. Human Specialness. Complexity Building Component 1 of Big History. Everywhere you look, mother nature is building complexity. Humans are at the forefront of that construction project.

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big news

Big News!

Humans are Special

big history is about

Big Historyis about

Human Specialness

complexity building component 1 of big history
Complexity BuildingComponent 1 of Big History
  • Everywhere you look, mother nature is building complexity.
  • Humans are at the forefront of that construction project.
  • It is the common function in the universe
  • We don’t know why it is happening or where it is going but we know it is what we are doing and that it is universal.
  • Big History has given us this context
  • A term introduced by Suzanne Batra and applied primarily in the insect world.
  • Edward O Wilson used it to apply to humans as recently as this year. It is intended to describe advanced social systems.
  • The definition and application are evolving but it includes the division of labor across generations.
  • It occurs only rarely in the animal kingdom.
complexity building ii
Complexity Building II
  • Can we control it? Probably not.
  • Should we try to influence it?
  • To what end? Toward the “Goldilocks” circumstances that enhance sustainability?
goldilocks principle
Goldilocks Principle
  • Fred Spier in “Big History and the Future of Humanity” does a wonderful job helping us understand how complexity building is dependent on the right conditions which include:
    • Suitable building blocks and energy flows.
    • A great many limiting conditions such as temperature, pressure and radiation.
    • Complexity is destroyed when the circumstances are not right.
the other human specialness
The Other Human Specialness
  • We can do tomorrow different than what we did yesterday.
  • This is the essence of social work and it applies at both the individual and group levels.
  • We all have the potential to change our behaviors.
the other component of big history collective learning
The Other Component of Big HistoryCollective Learning
  • What do we men by this?
  • The meaning is evolving but the pace is exponential.
  • I like to think of it as “A big, fuzzy, grey ball of stuff (information and experiences) layered on generation by generation that resides somewhere, probably in academia”
  • How we access, analyze, organize and apply this stuff is the measure of future success. Students may need to be empowered here.
what is violence
What is violence?
  • Why do parents kill their children?
  • Is it innate?
  • Is it learned?

“Wars and genocide have been universal and eternal respecting no particular time or culture”


Guthrie’s stick figures and citation

Paleolithic art has no scenes of war or group violence. This is in remarkable contrast to tribal art, in which such scenes are common. There are, however, at least sixteen Paleolithic images that might be speared humans, mortally wounded or corpses.

  • Study how our ancient ancestors behaved, related to each other, and used technology. (cooking and sewing 27,000-37,000 years BP in France and Spain)
  • Build additional metrics.
  • Explore what Panov is saying about Post-singular Evolution and Post-singular Civilizations