maps 4.0

‘… it is just coincidence that most people today believe in nationalism, capitalism and human rights.  History cannot be explained deterministically and it cannot be predicted because it is chaotic’*

When he mentions chaos, Yuval Noah Harari is thinking about two levels of chaos – one being the natural world and universe, the other being what happens when we react to this world and universe.  Life cannot be predicted without hindsight, that is, ‘an event that has already taken place has 100% probability.’  As we turn towards the future, the probability percentile drops.**

Harari wouldn’t have known but the order in which he mentions nationalism, capitalism, and human rights, causes me to think of Theory U‘s Societies 1.0 to 3.0.  In a nutshell, 1.0 is an autocratic society in which a few people determine the fates of everyone else.  This spawned 2.0 with the merchant traders and guilds becoming the forerunners of industrial capitalists.  In response to these initiators, groups began to organise themselves for protection, trade unions and, later environmental groups: 3.0.  Each of these have left a hertitage of “maps” and are still creating them – and maps are very important, as Denis Wood is at pains to point out:

‘In no walk of life have people failed to use the power of the map to connect themselves to the world.’^

Denis Wood makes a helpful point when it comes to the shortcomings of Society 3.0 – some are always left out:

‘Accusingly, there seems to be no geography of children, that is, the earth’s surface as the home of children.’^

I think this is changing but there’s always someone left out and this begs the question about what the characteristics of Society 4.0 and its maps will be.  Perhaps this is where we find ourselves but I remind myself that just when you think the world is moving forward, there’s something that happens to yank us back.  I confess my optimism, though.

Maps 4.0, I think, will involve the different ways and places in which we find each other.

‘Every social association that is not face-to-face is injurious to your health.’^^

‘What connects us beyond our kinship ties?  Story.’*^

Whilst 3.o is about rights, 4.0 isn’t about everyone having the same.  It’s going to be more about those who make the discovery that they are able to give and, therefore, to receive:

‘Whoever is capable of giving of himself is rich.’^*

(*From Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens.)
(**From Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness.)
(^From Denis Wood’s The Power of Maps.)
(**From Nassim Taleb’s The Bed of Procrustes.)
(*^From Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal.)
(^*From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)


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