Society as a Living Cognitive System

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* Article: Living Cognitive Society: A ‘digital’ World of Views. By Viktoras Veitas and David Weinbaum. The Global Brain Institute, 2016.


Contextual Quote


"Seeing the global society in terms of strict dichotomy of “disorder versus structure/control” is counter-productive for understanding and governing it. Both ends of this dichotomy are undesirable: disorder is simply not a viable solution for society, while stable structures are not sustainable and even harmful due to the increasing social complexity. We therefore propose to approach society in terms of a fine balance of ever adapting temporary structures in otherwise fluid whole — a 'viscous' system."


"What we propose with the image of A World of Views and the Living Cognitive Society is the shift of emphasis from the structures and institutions to the very process of creation, adaptation and dissolution of social subsystems at all scales of the global society. Furthermore, the naturally distributed nature of the process – meaning the absence of central body or ‘trusted party’ governing it – should be embraced, rather than fought with establishing global institutions or ‘world governments’ as, we maintain, no stable structure would be able to outweigh the factors of social complexity driving the society towards increasing fluidity."

- Viktoras Veitas and David Weinbaum [1]


"We propose a conceptual framework for thinking about a dynamically changing social system: the Living Cognitive Society. Importantly, we show how it follows from a much broader philosophical framework, guided by the theory of individuation, which emphasizes the importance of relationships and interactive processes in the evolution of a system. ... .We argue that this approach can help us to conceive sustainable social systems that will thrive in the circumstances of accelerating change. ... Distributed social governance –which focuses on processes of coordination rather than on stable structures within global society."