Which Way is Up?

by Jan Huston


While complexity is a normal feature of evolving systems (e.g., cosmic, biological, intellectual, political, technological), efforts to assess the future of humanity are often confounded by the complexity of global civilization. This article takes a bird’s eye view of all evolving systems to see them as coevolving. This view enables identification of symmetrical processes of system change and transformation, which contextualizes complexity. These symmetrical processes are then mapped onto humanity’s evolutionary journey – defined as a sociopolitical system – to locate the current period of the human journey and assess the probable alternative future destination or options. The result is an ability to identify options offering the greatest benefit for humanity – maximizing our evolvability – and thus indicate, which way is up?

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