Why to invest our time and attention in an Integral Operating System

I started reading the work-in-progress online Excerpts from Wilber’s forthcoming “Kosmic Karma and Creativity” and found the gems quoted below. They are followed by my burning questions.
“[T]he technological revolution can speed through the social system extremely quickly–leaving the old cultural worldview completely out of sync with the new realities. To change that cultural worldview requires, of course, a difficult subjective transformation of consciousness in order to tetra-mesh with the new social realities of increased depth.”
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“[T]hat modest 2% of the population that is now integral might soon swell to 5%, 10%, or more. I believe that, as with any evolutionary unfolding, we will especially start to see evidence of this increasingly integral consciousness at the growing tip, or at the leading edge, or in the avantgarde (by whatever appellation)–in academia, the arts, social movements, spirituality, thought leaders.”
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“Once individuals download and install [an Integral Operating System] IOS in their own worldview, they begin more conscientiously attempting to include all views, all approaches, all potentials in their own sweep of the Kosmos. IOS initiates a self-correcting, self-organizing outreach to all aspects of the universe previously marginalized by worldviews that were too narrow, too shallow, too self-enclosing to serve as more transparent vehicles of Kosmic consciousness.”
The power and clarity of those provocative ideas triggered some new insights and questions:


The value of operating systems–based on computer code or AQAL–is increasing to their users when more people use it, for similar reasons: “it is easier to exchange files in its data format, it is easier to hire staff that is trained in the use of the software, and it is even easier to find books that explain how to use the software.” (Jacob Nielsen usability guru on the “concept of increasing returns” )
If Wilber and Nielsen are right, as I believe, then the path to widen the leading edge of the wave–let’s say, move from 2% to 4% of the population–will require a continuous expansion of IOS users. Where are the user groups supporting us? Not yet? It’s not too early. Of course, “installing” an Integral Operating System is not as simple and fast as downloading and configuring software. Yet, ramping up to “increasing returns” on our investment of time and attention to install and learn using it, follows a similar pattern: The more users, the stronger the morphic field that causes more uses.
What does all this tell us about the potential for collective intelligence of individuals and communities on the leading edge of the evolutionary probability wave that moves from green to yellow and turquoise (in Spiral Dynamics terms)?
Once IOS is published as a multi-media product, and its user groups start working on how to translate it into various contexts and make it more user-friendly so that it can double its mindshare faster, it probably will.
When that happens, we will have a new, potent enzyme for 2nd Tier collective intelligence that is indispensable in any emergent social structure needed to steward the evolution of an integral culture into a Kosmic habit.
If so, whether we “install” IOS that serves as a “transparent vehicle of Kosmic consciousness” (Wilber) or not, is a personal choice but with tremendous impersonal, evolutionary consequences. In the moment of understanding that, how the evolution of consciousness depends on each of us became palpable for me.
That realization has also made it clear, I cannot avoid taking responsibility for it. What does it mean? To start with, it’s about taking time for thinking through and publishing what I’ve just posted here. To continue, it’s about engaging in “open source” IOS development projects and making sure that I always have and use the most current version. ☺

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6 Responses to Why to invest our time and attention in an Integral Operating System

  1. Larry Victor says:

    George, I applaud efforts to create truly collaboration facilitating systems – we were asking that in ENA in the late 1980s. I am concerned that IOS by Wilber may contain his bias, which could be dangerous.
    There is a wide split between the two co-authors of the 1996 book Spiral Dynamics. http://spiraldynamics.com/ gives you access to both camps. Don Beck has some relationship with Wilber, but Wilber’s summary of SD is grossly deficient – and kept me from reading SD for years. I feel more resonance with Chris Cowan’s camp, where they are quite explicit as to the deficiencies of Wilber’s ventures. Both acknowledge but do nothing with Robert Kegan’s Subject/Object model of adult epistemological stages (first published in 1982 and also ignored by Clare Graves, founder of SD). ALL ignore many other significant indiviual differences in cognitive and affective capacities that block effective communication and sharing.
    It may be that the IOS is neutral re Wilber; and this is the first I have heard of it. Open Source is only “democratic” for those who have the special technical competencies to code. I don’t know how users seeking features, but don’t know how to code them, can participate. And, I know that many with coding competencies lack the openness to envision outside some limiting boxes.
    But, what is most critical to me is that the query, “WHO ARE HUMANS” in “detail” remains highly controversial; research into the enormous diversity in cognitive/affective domains remains in its infancy and dialog between competing camps appears non existant. I am not sure that a new OS will help with this. But, we do need an OS and new tools to Support/Enable/Augment/Facilitate [SEAF] collaboration. To this end I have been working on identifying needed tools and how they may be combined in what I am calling Colab Studios (where a F2F team work in a colab version of the old “War Room”, rather than the traditional model of one person to one I/O interface).
    PS — a few months ago you participated in an online event with many of the old participants from the 80s and early 90s, ENA and NetWeaver. Lisa? I discovered it after it ended, but have inquired as to the promised report – but have heard nothing.
    Thanks, Larry

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  2. Joan T. Sullivan says:

    Awesome and mind-boggling.
    How can one rule out biases? We all have them. Wilber speaks to me. All can be stepping stones. There’s ultimately ONE Truth. Can the human mind know it without dying? It’s an awakening. All that man has written becomes unnecessary, if the truth be experienced. All – a Word.

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  3. Thoughtful Comment on Integral Operating System

    over at Blog of Collective Intelligence.

    A good comment as well.

    Now, how the whole idea of an “Integral …

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  4. Larry Victor says:

    The Principle of Complementarity, needed to make Quantum Theory viable, demonstrates that there cannot be one logically consistent explantory system for all of “reality”; that we need at least two. TWO, or more, complementary truths. Wilber, and many others, continue to defy this aspect of Reality and seeks a single, absolute truth.
    One can’t rule out bias, but one can admit to them and collectively we can attempt to account for them. One truth is that there are many in that small percent that Wilber looks to who do not agree with Wilber’s analysis or methods.
    Wilber speaks to many, as his methods are well crafted to entangle minds. His “Integral” approach is far from comprehensive. His Four Quadrants is one of many useful tools, but he quickly turns it into the foundation of his reality. There are alternative ways to a better Humanity in balance with GAIA than Wilber’s – which has no process to construct viable “programs” for what this new emergent population will do.
    I do not oppose Wilber’s efforts. I am only alerting others that his is not the only game in play, no matter what he claims.

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  5. George, it’s really quite remarkable to find this posting here. I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night (august 20), so I did some thinking during those quiet and peaceful hours of the night.
    One of the things I was intrigued about, was the power of network effects for the adoption of an IOS. I say ‘an’ IOS, because I agree with Larry in that Wilber’s version of a post-postmodern integral perspective should and does not preclude many others from developing and sharing their versions. An integral ecosystem indeed!
    Anyway, if I were skeptical of morphic resonance and that kind of ‘stuff’, I would probably be converted on the spot, here and now. Your thoughts and quotes resonate deeply with how I feel about this, even if I don’t want to make it all too personal in terms of endorsing one flavour of integral, SD, or any other OS.
    The fact is, once more of us start resonating on a level of consciousness that is spacious enough to include all these different perspectives and all these evolving human endeavours, the interconnections will start (have started!) enacting a unique ‘WE’, which can support and foster new ways of organizing ourselves as a species.
    Thanks, George!

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  6. fish Fisher says:

    Your thoughts and quotes resonate deeply with how I feel about this, even if I don’t want to make it all too personal in terms of endorsing one flavour of integral, SD, or any other OS.

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