πŸ“‘ A Dreaming World

Bookmarked A Dreaming World by Venkatesh RaoVenkatesh Rao (ribbonfarm.com)

The world is asleep, but actively dreaming. Often fever-dreaming. But the body politic of the world is in the rigor mortis of REM sleep. It cannot act to unleash the built-up energy.

The essential immobilized dreaminess is why I call this psychohistorical tenuousness. Psychohistorical tenuousness is world history dreaming about being, without progressing to becoming. All adjacent possible, no actuality.

But psychohistorical tenuousness is not the mere absence of wind. It is like being in becalmed weather that is always threatening to turn stormy but never does. Or like being part of a sleeping world that is twitching like it might snap awake with a scream of terror any moment.

Venkatesh Rao reflects on the idea of trends. He provides five tests for what makes a trend.

Here are 5 tests which together I think are almost necessary and sufficient for an interesting and general trend.

  1. The scope is world, not categorically restricted to economy or art or US politics
  2. The trend must be new β€” it must weave a new strand into world history
  3. The trend must already be robustly in evidence
  4. The trend must have enough momentum to persist for a while
  5. There must be markers of emergent coherent adaptation

Reflecting on the current situation, Rao suggests that we are currently in a phase where we are in something of a lull, that is always threatening.

The world is asleep, but actively dreaming. Often fever-dreaming. But the body politic of the world is in the rigor mortis of REM sleep. It cannot act to unleash the built-up energy.

Psychohistorical tenuousness is world history dreaming about being, without progressing to becoming. All adjacent possible, no actuality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *