Civilization, by Stage and by Maturity

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Order / Civilization /

Civilization, as I’ve already emphasized at, is a sword with at least two edges. Civilization is Janus-faced. Ivan Illich distinguished two Churches: the Church as “she” and the Church as “it.” Illich served the former and opposed the latter. (It was the latter of course that defrocked him.) That’s nice and poetic. For civilization I want to be more logical (more Korzybskian, more Batesonian).

This is a first draft, but try this on:

Within Time there is Existence.

I capitalize so you see that I’m talking categories: sets and subsets.

Within Existence (cosmos) there is Pleroma: the physical Universe.

Pleroma is necessary for the emergence of Creatura: the universe of life.

We can’t be certain of these nestings: I follow what seems to be as the best we can do: once reason is applied: disciplined, self-skeptical review against knowledge and imagination. Life could have predated this universe, but what evidence we have obviously runs the other way.

Given Creatura, Sentiens (sentience, intelligence) emerges.

Given Sentiens, we may specify: Persona: the universe of moral agency: mature intelligence: responsible.

I first called Persona “Humana.” If they are identical sets, we may use them as synonyms: redundancies. I beg that we see them as potentially distinct. If we meet sentient aliens (or other earth creatures) capable of moral agency, of maturity, it would be chauvinistic to call them human.

My introduction of the possibilty, the need for, maturity, for moral agency, necessitates that we see these recent categories as decimal fractions. There’s room for growth. From zero to one: Person.001, Person.01, Person.1 … (And infinite room for debate on where you or I fit, or Buddha, or Jesus, or Charles Manson … or ET, the dolphin, Washo …

It is in that context, currently being developed for (and at) Macroinformation, that I wish to consider civilization: with (initially) two sub-divisions:

Evolutionary stages and Maturity within a stage


That’s the evolutionay stage. The logical classification is in whole numbers: 0, 1 …


That estimates the maturity of the civilization within the evolutionary stage. The classification is in decimal fractions.

Note that we must anticipate a statistician’s right wall: a threshold no sentience is likely to cross. We may hope that evolution will see a civilization1.9; don’t hold your breath for a civilization11.0. Ted Williams, Michael Jordan, Pélé, Hashim Khan … may have been very near the right wall for human athletic excellence, but in an evolutinary universe, don’t look for a perfect


Note that the two designations, 1) Stage and 2) Maturity, could be combined into one extension: civilization0.03. Such a civilization is in the first evolutionary stage and has matured within that stage to the decimal fraction of civilizational maturity “.03.”

I will make time to argue that all kleptocracies remain civilization zeros: all of low maturity. In other words, civilization has a long process of evolution ahead of it: if we’re lucky. Best if we try a little Lamarckian effort: before time runs out on us.

No directory has been more cumbersome in its growth than my Society (or Social Pathologies) folder. As of this date there are two hundred and forty files there: every one of them incomplete, due for expansion, spinning off into related issues … Some have attendant sub-folders while the majority of those that don’t should have just such.

It’s only recently that I did a major overhaul: actually a series of overhauls (merging my “society” and my “history” folder, for example). The file I thought to add today prompts me to start revising again:

My Civilization modules emphasizes that there are at least two major and contradictory meanings-associations in the word: one “good”; the other “bad.” My adoption of Jared Diamond’s term “kleptocracy” helped: up to a point: a point that must now be overpassed.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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