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WikiLeaks: Optimising the World?

WikiLeaks: Optimising the World?

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Published by MarcusTanthony
WikiLeaks Julian Assange wants to change the world. But is he limited by his own mind?
WikiLeaks Julian Assange wants to change the world. But is he limited by his own mind?

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Published by: MarcusTanthony on Jan 07, 2011
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 WikiLeaks” Optimising the World?
 You can also read this article on
 www.22cplus.blogspot.com As I have read more about Julian Assange’s radical transparency, I have become mincreasingly interested in the way he sees the world. Here is a man following his “Bliss”(at least in a certain sense), and motivated by a strong sense of justice. In this post I amgoing to pull together a few observations about Assange, especially in relation to the ideaof ways of knowing. Ways of knowing are the particular intelligences which we prefer touse to make sense of the world.
The Light Side
Let’s begin with some positives.Suellette Dreyfus, who wrote the book 
Underground 
with Assange, notes a positive traitin him, and that is curiosity – the bedrock of all learning. In a world full of so many listless people whose light, passion and curiosity has been snuffed out by dull educationsystems and the harshness of modern life, Assange is a tremendous example of someonefollowing his Bliss, regardless of the consequences. Now in early mid-life, his passion is beginning to pay off in a big way – at least if we consider fame, attention and an ability to change the world as being “successful”.Julian Assange is also man of ideals. Dreyfus says that Assange is driven by “the deepdesire for justice”. As I mentioned in a recent post, this burning desire emerges from hissoul issues. It is, however, accompanied by the burning rage of the Rebel and thegrandiosity of the God-man archetypes. In terms of the former, Assange has beenquoted as saying that during his recent week in prison, he has “burned with more rage
 
Marcus T. Anthony 
(PhD)Email: mindfutures at gmail dot com
 
than he knew what to do with.” This is perfectly understandable, especially given hissoul issues.
Schools, fools and IQ tools
 When it comes to the matter of Assange’s schooling, Suelette Dreyfus paints a picture of a frustrated genius, bored by his dull-witted peers and an education system which wasunable to accommodate his enormous intellect. She believes that his IQ was “off thecharts”, quoting a friend who says that it is 170 or more.The problem with IQ scores, regardless of how measured, is that they assume thatintelligence is a mostly verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical process. This isimportant in understanding what Assange and WikiLeaks can and cannot do (and I won’t go into the many problems with the IQ concept here – see my book 
 Integrated  Intelligence
for an overview). As an aside, we have to wonder how much Dreyfus’ depiction of Assange draws from thecomputer geek/genius mythology. Perhaps it is a case of hyperbole, given that Assangereceived bare passes for his math courses at the University of Melbourne, according to Wikipedia.Dreyfus reports that Assagne only attended public schools irregularly, and his teachers were at a loss as to how to instruct him. So Assange largely gave up on school, finding itmore efficient to educate himself by reading books. He learned to tune out if peopledidn't feed him information fast enough.Dreyfus writes:
 I've watched Assange do this many times. It's not meant to be rude, though it canmake him seem aloof. It is, I suspect, a habit learned from these early years. It cangive him the air of an absent-minded professor.
This is not to be unexpected. A person who spends much of his time engaged in theintellect will tend to be absent minded. I can vouch for that myself. I have had to retrainmy own mind to be more engaged in the real world, having spent the first 30 years of my life almost entirely in the intellect. The essential point I wish to make here is that theintuitive realms are best accessed, acknowledged and understood when we are inpresence, and when the mind is still. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that Assangehas little understanding of the intuitive or spiritual ways of knowing. Indeed, I have yetto see any reference to it in his writings, or in accounts of him.
 Assange’s Super-Machine Mind?
I have often commented about the machine metaphor dominating modern cognitivescience (and indeed much of science and society). I have also suggested that “money andmachines” societies, where the dash for cash and computer technology are dominant,(http://22cplus.blogspot.com/2010/03/deep-futures-beyond-machine_18.html) arecreating an increasingly dissociated, disembodied, robotic expression of mind whichcuts us off from the spiritual and intuitive. I call this the alienated mind. It isfascinating, then, to note the following way that Dreyfus describes Julian Assange:
 
…his brain is running several processors in parallel, like a high-powered desktopcomputer. If some information is of more interest, more processing power will bediverted to that to optimise the running of the machine. Sometimes he thinks he hastold you something when he hasn't. This is probably because his brain moves so much faster than his voice; by the time he opens his mouth to speak, his thoughts have zoomed a million light years down the next thought path.
Equating intelligence with information processing speed is of questionable value. Inintelligence testing, for example, there is only a relatively small correlation between thetwo concepts. Neither speed of operations nor volume of data can adequately definehuman intelligence. If such was the case, quiz show champions would run the world,and the Buddha would be classified as a retard.
Money and Machines Societies: No Place for the Wise?
Changing the focus from “intelligence” to wisdom provides further insight. If we takepeople generally considered to be wise, many would appear to have no particularabundance of information, nor a capacity for quick thinking: a few that come to mindare Mother Teresa, Eckhart Tolle, and The Dalia Lama. Indeed if I was to point out thesingle defining quality of wisdom, I would name “equanimity” as being key – the ability to remain present and at peace regardless of circumstances. Whether Julian Assangepossesses these qualities remains to be seen; although Dreyfus does describe him as“remarkably calm” in person.The lack of appreciation of wisdom and spiritual intelligence in modern societies andeducation systems is also highlighted in Dreyfus’ article, albeit unintentionally. She writes:
The computer geek in (Assange) always gravitated towards optimisation of everything. Some people are born engineers and the desire to optimise is a good test of this. Once, when Assange was packing boxes to move house, he complained at howlong it took. Most people just throw things in boxes and tape them up. Not Assange. Heapproached putting his books in boxes as though he was solving a puzzle aimed at using all the space in the box most efficiently.
Optimisation and efficiency. These are qualities valorised by modern money andmachine societies and their relentless drive for ego-gratification and materialprosperity. A more significant question is whether Assange has qualities which move beyond these. Genuine leadership of humanity, and the development of the futurecannot be mere monuments to efficiency and optimisation alone. Deep Futureshttp://22cplus.blogspot.com/2010/03/deep-futures-beyond-machine_18.html
 
require experiences, relationships and meanings which touch the heart and soul, andconnect us with the body.Marcus
Books by Marcus T Anthony: see next page

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