The following is the preamble to my small book We Can All Win! (PDF). Published online April 15, 1999 and gifted to my fellow humans. We humans can choose to make our future better.
The Future will be Different
Timothy Wilken, MD
It’s early in the 1900’s along the East Coast of America and two young brothers are traveling to their secluded laboratory in an open motor car. They have recently invented a new vehicle of transport. With them is a wealthy railroad man, one of the many potential investors to whom they’ve pitched their invention. The three men talk as they drive along.
Hoping to influence the potential investor, the taller brother predicts the impact of their newly invented vehicle on society, “Our invention, will change the way humans travel in this world. We will go faster, farther, and quicker than ever before. And, people will use our vehicle to go all over the world. Someday, you will travel to London in a just a few hours.”
“Yes,” added the younger brother, “and travel won’t be expensive either. Our invention is highly efficient, with very little mechanical friction compared to all other methods of transport.”
By the time they arrive at the laboratory, the railroad man seems friendly if not a little skeptical of their project. Within a few minutes the vehicle was ready for a demonstration. They seated the railroad man comfortably in the center of the vehicle and took up their operating positions near the front.
Soon the motor was warmed up and running hard. The vehicle vibrated considerably and was also quite noisy. There were two long spinning devices that made it frightfully windy. The potential investor began to wonder to himself. “How could this device be any real improvement over the train or the motorcar?”
Then the vehicle began to slide along the ground on what appeared to the investor to be some type of track. Suddenly, the ride improved, the sound from the track was gone.
“Oh,” thought the railroad man, “this is much nicer than I thought.” Not even his best railcars rode this smoothly. And then ,for the first time, the railroad man realized they were rising into the air. Panic replaced curiosity, and soon his screams drowned out even the sound of the motors. The younger of the inventors, noticing the investor’s distress, signaled his brother to get back on the ground right away. Later, safe on the ground, he asked his brother what had happened. The older brother replied, “I should have told him about leaving the ground.”
“You didn’t tell him the Flyer was an aeroplane?” Asked Orville in disbelief.
Wilbur replied in frustration, “So many of these investors won’t even come to the laboratory if I tell them it’s an aeroplane. So, I told him what it would do, and let him experience the “how” for himself.
I invented this story about the Wright brothers as an introduction to some recent scientific discoveries and inventions that will allow us to do something that has been thought impossible for all of human history.
Scientific discoveries have the power to turn the world upside down. Prior to the first flight of the Wright’s Aeroplane, when one believed something was impossible it was common to say, “You could no more do that than you could fly.”
We are now 100 years later, and no one would say such a thing today. In those 100 years, humanity has continued to make scientific discoveries and invent evermore powerful tools. Many other things that were once thought impossible have become common place today.
The ability to make scientific discoveries and create inventions is one of the defining characteristics of being human. This ability results from the little known fact that we humans are Time-binders.(1) Time-binders adapt to the stressors in their lives by analyzing and understanding their world. It is this unique awareness of time that grants us humans the ability to analyze and understand our world. By observing change over time, we come to understand process. And this understanding of process is the basis of knowledge. When humans act with knowledge they gain the ability to control. As our knowledge increases, the control we can exert in and on our lives increases as well.
With the growth of the human population and with the ever increasing knowledge, humans now exercise ever increasing control over their lives, and over the lives of others and the environment as well. And, whether for good or for bad humanity now dominates the planet earth.
This unique human power of dominion is made possible by the human ability called time-binding. It is through the binding of time that humans come to find themselves, in turn, bound together. Humans are bound by their mutual beliefs, bound together by their ability to store beliefs and to pass these beliefs onto their children.
Humans are bound together by their common ‘knowing’ in the form of science, art, religion, language, music, history, and myths that are passed from generation to generation. We humans are bound by a powerful inheritance. Our inherited legacy is alive. This legacy is constantly and continually growing; constantly and continually advancing. Every generation of humans refine, improve, and expand the knowing of their fathers and mothers; refine, improve, and expand the knowing of all the other humans who have ever lived.
Time-binders do this by living and thinking; by thinking and deciding. And not only is this legacy of human ‘knowing’ alive and growing, it is growing at an ever increasing rate. The rate of knowledge growth is never greater than it is right now. The scientific discoveries presented in UnCommon Sense are based on the knowledge available now in 1999. Understanding time-binding is the key to understanding ourselves and explaining time-binding will be an important focus of this book. Time-binding is one of a group of discoveries that I will designate as the “synergic sciences”.
The term synergic comes from the root word synergy. The dictionary defines synergy as the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. A simple example might be two muscles working together or two medications combined to treat a medical illness. R. Buckminster Fuller writing in 1975 explained:
“Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately. Synergy means behavior of integral, aggregate, whole systems unpredicted by behaviors of any of their components or subassemblies of their components taken separately from the whole. Synergy is the only word that means this. The fact that we humans are unfamiliar with the word means that we do not think there are behaviors of “wholes” unpredicted by the behavior of “parts”.
“Synergy can best be illustrated I think, by chrome-nickel-steel – chromium, nickel, and iron. The most important characteristic of strength of a material is its ability to stay in one piece when it is pulled – this is called tensile strength, it is measured as pounds per square inch, PSI. The commercially available strength of iron at the very highest level is approximately sixty thousand PSI; of chromium about seventy thousand PSI; and of nickel about eighty thousand PSI. The weakest of the three is iron.
“We all know the saying, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. Well, experiment on chrome-nickel-steel, pull it apart, and you will find that it is much stronger than its weakest link of sixty thousand PSI. In fact it is much stronger than the eighty thousand PSI of its stronger link. Thus the saying that a chain is as strong as its weakest link doesn’t hold. So, let me say something that really sounds funny: Maybe a chain is as strong as the sum of the strength of all its links. Let’s add up the strengths of the components of chrome-nickel-steel and see. Sixty thousand PSI for iron and seventy thousand PSI for chromium and then and eighty thousand PSI for the nickel, that gives you two hundred and ten thousand PSI. If we add in the minor constituency of carbon and manganese we will add another forty thousand PSI giving us a total of two hundred and fifty thousand PSI. “Now the fact is that under testing, chrome-nickel-steel shows three hundred and fifty thousand PSI–or one hundred thousand PSI more than the combined strength of all the links.
“This is typical of synergy, and it is the synergy of the various metal alloys that have enabled industry to do all kinds of things that man never knew would be able to be done based on the characteristic of the parts.” (2)
The synergic sciences focuses on the whole system to understand the relationships between the parts. These relationships can be positive – synergic, they can be indifferent – neutral, or they can be negative – adversary.
Using the synergic sciences, we humans can restructure our relationships so they are positive. This means that we can be more happy, more effective, and more productive though synergic relationship.
Then we will see, as with the Wright brother’s aeroplane, that the synergic sciences will allow us to accomplish many things never before thought possible.
Like the Wright’s aeroplane, the synergic sciences can solve enormous problems for humankind. And, like the Wright’s aeroplane, the synergic sciences can bring many positive and wonderful changes to our lives, but the “how” will be very different from the way things are done today. The synergic sciences present us with a remarkably new view of humanity and of our human potential. This new view may challenge many of your current beliefs and some of your basic values. But this is good news, because without a major change in beliefs and basic values our human problems are not solvable.
Therefore, as you read, I ask only that you suspend judgement a little while. The synergic sciences are not hard to understand, but like all new knowledge they require some investment of your time. I ask only that you take this opportunity to think carefully and consider fully.
The synergic sciences allow the creation of tools that can turn the world upside down in the most positive of ways. They offer a basis for finally understanding humanity, the human condition, and ourselves. UnCommon Sense brings good news of a better way for humanity – a way in which we can all win. A way that will allow us to create a positive, safe and comfortable future for all of humanity. This is not a partial solution. The synergic sciences can be used to create a safe and positive future for all of us. They will allow us to make a world that works for all humans living today – all six billion of us. And they promise a world that could work for even more of us. If all solutions were synergic solutions, the carrying capacity of planet earth could approach 50 billion humans.
And this is without any need to damage the earth, or degrade our environment. This is the enormous promise of the synergic sciences. UnCommon Sense will explain how this can be accomplished. But to reach that safe and positive future, we will have to change the way in which we relate to each other.
Today most human relationships are either adversary or neutral. Adversary and neutral relationships by their very structure must result in conflict, loss and indifference.
The first discovery I will present is that of the synergic relationship. Synergic relationship enables human individuals to interact with each other in a new way. A way that creates positive alliances marked by strong commitment and trust. The synergic relationship offers us the choice of co-Operation as an alternative to conflict and indifference.
UnCommon Sense will reveal the methods and techniques for creating synergic relationships. Synergic relationship allows you to build strong mutually beneficial alliances with others and to effect corroborative solutions to even the most difficult of problems. This new way of relating can be applied to oneself as an individual, to our spouses–husband or wife, to our children and our extended families, and perhaps more importantly to everyone else – our local and global communities, and finally it can be applied to our relationship with the earth, and eventually even to the universe itself.
However, today we humans are not safe. Today our human world is filled with conflict, loss, and indifference. We have the potential for a positive and safe future, but that potential provides us no guarantees.
Tomorrow may be neither safe, nor positive.
UnCommon Sense points to the opportunity for us to transform ourselves, to change our relationships with each other, to choose synergy, and in so doing transcend our problems.
UnCommon Sense is written as a guide and includes the necessary knowledge and information to safely pass through this stage of human evolution.
Asked of one respected futurist in 1962, “What will the human population be in one hundred years?” He answered, “It will either be very large or it will be zero.”(3) …
In the hope that it will not be zero, let us begin.
Earth, 1999, April 15
(1) Alfred Korzybski, The Manhood of Humanity, E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1921
(2) R. Buckminster Fuller, SYNERGETICS–Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, Volumes I & II, New York, Macmillan Publishing Co, 1975, 1979
(3) Andrew J. Galambos, V50–Introduction to Volitional Science, Free Enterprise Institute, Los Angeles, 1962
UnCommon Sense—Introduction (html)