voice of humanity: A Voice of Humanity on the Web    
 A Voice of Humanity on the Web7 comments
21 Aug 2003 @ 12:49, by Roger Eaton

Putting aside the practical questions just for the moment, let's say a voice of humanity really is doable and we go ahead and it works. What should we expect?

When humanity speaks, then of course everyone will listen, and more than that, everyone will realize that everyone else is listening, too. Soon enough it will become apparent even that everyone knows that everyone realizes that everyone is listening! Just as in the 1960’s, among a certain strata of American society, it was assumed that everybody had watched CBS News the evening before (the “Cronkite effect”), so the whole world will be presumed to be up to date. A reference to the latest from humanity will usually be apropos, even with strangers, whether at the beauty parlor, or out for drinks. In sum, the voice of humanity will engender a self-aware global human consciousness.

Isn’t humanity already conscious of itself? Well, yes and no. Though a huge number of people do realize it is one world, still only a much smaller number credit our fellows with this awareness. We know, but we don’t know that others know.

Will it be a good thing, though, this global consciousness? I do think so. Implemented with care, a voice of humanity promises to build a positive awareness of our global identity, making us glad to be associated with our brothers and sisters around the world. The kindly voice of humanity, always worth listening to, will come to characterize the stranger for us, greatly improving our opinion of the "other".

Consider. Can a hateful message be elected by humanity? In general, the answer is no, because messages that tilt toward one group at the expense of another will be disadvantaged. Such messages will attract too many negative votes, and some less pointed message will usually carry the day. Humanity naturally stands above the nations and their sqabbles, so any attempt to target one section of humanity unfairly or with violent feeling will run up against not only the opposition of those attacked, but also against the average good affection and wisdom of those on the sidelines of any particular dispute.

Rather messages of kindly wit and wisdom will generally carry the day. The win-win message will always have the advantage, just as divisive messages will always be at a disadvantage, and no message that ignores our needs at the individual level can succeed. Humanity will prove to be the champion of the individual against the demands of the nations.

Moreover, the voice of humanity will embody the global perspective, legitimizing it and giving it tremendous political power. Nations that disregard the common welfare will come up against a concerted global campaign to make them mend their ways. Finally we will have the platform we need to address the obvious global problems - economic, ecological and political. For the first time we will have a real chance to put war behind us and to stop corporate offloading of economic costs onto the natural and social environment.

We must realize, though, that the fact that divisive messages can't win means that humanity cannot pronounce upon divisive issues. Sure there will be the extraordinary cases where humanity finds a win-win solution that has eluded previous efforts, but in general the voice of humanity will not do as a replacement for government -- and we need to make sure we don't try using it for a direct democracy. Rather, the voice of humanity must be an additional feature of the political landscape, one that will tend to ameliorate and soften, making it easier for the common good to be considered, and harder for the special interests to monopolize and control.

Finally, a caution. A voice of humanity, as presented so far anyway, has the makings of a dominant authoritarian instrument. The same fundamentalist "true believer" personality type that now bedevils the world on behalf of several religions, could conceivably adopt humanity as God, or as the Messiah and who knows what might come of that. And yes, it takes one to know one, I confess. But that is the point -- we all have some of that longing for a simpler world, where we can just do our part and feel that the big picture is being taken care of without our having to think about it. For the voice of humanity to remain benign, we have to stay aware of its malignant possibilities.

The concerted scapegoating of a small group during some difficult period, when global troubles threaten to overwhelm, is a possibility. Scapegoating is all too human to begin with and though one might think there are too many enlightened people for any such event, it is hard to be sure how a voice of humanity might evolve. There is a worrisome possibility that over time humanity might take itself rather too seriously, and we become our own worst tyrant. Especially we need to be careful lest a charismatic political leader form a special relationship with humanity.

We certainly don't want to be too pessimistic here, either. Overall, a voice of humanity offers us an unexpected and very welcome means of getting through the coming critical phase for mankind, where the population curve must peak and begin a long slow decline towards a sustainable future for the earth. Another article, "The Two Sides of the Global Village" will further address the nature of collective communication on a global scale and offer a couple ideas for lessening the chance of a negative outcome.

[< Back] [voice of humanity]



21 Aug 2003 @ 14:39 by ming : Voice of Humanity
I do believe too that the voice of humanity would tend to be a positive one. But I'm not sure I believe there's just one voice. I'm struggling as well to seek and encourage and facilitate global consciousness. But would it speak with one voice? Or would it speak with many voices? Or, many facets at least. It is like, what would a forest say if it could speak? Probably not any one thing. The consciousness would be about awareness of a lot of things happening, and interconnecting. The forest might be conscious of where the nourishment comes from, how the different species interact. It might be busy doing its thing. But it might not really have anything much to say, even if it could. I wonder whether humanity is like that - that global consciousness would simply be that we all do our thing *together* and we're busy with how it all inter-connects, but that there's no particular statement we have a need for making.  

22 Aug 2003 @ 09:31 by mre : One Voice or Many?
Responding to ming's Aug 21 comment, "Voice of Humanity"

Clearly many voices -- one for Paris, one for Europe, one for Los Angeles, one for the global Green movement, one for the Green party in Germany and so forth, a collective voice for every polity that has the interest to sustain one. And of course, a voice for humanity as a whole. Why would we omit it?

Lending consciousness to the parts and not the whole is a course for disaster, I fear. Imagine what an exchange between Europe and the U.S. would degenerate into if not conducted under the umbrella of a global perspective. The pride of the groups would quickly be aroused by the smallest misstatement or perceived innuendo. Collective communication harnesses these group dynamics for the benefit of all, but only if there is also a global voice to govern the hubbub.

What do you think? There are a couple of ideas coming up in another article for diluting the potentially authoritarian command of a voice of humanity. For one thing, in that forest of collective voices there will be two trees greater than the others: the global voice of womenkind and the global voice of mankind. Each of these will carry authority scarcely less than that of humanity. Trickier is an idea I have for a division into "simple humanity" and "organized humanity". It needs detailing, but here is a quick version: Clearly there needs to be a structure that filters the messages as they go up from the local to the global level. Only highly rated messages get fed back down at each level to wider and wider audiences. What I am calling simple humanity will be a set of audiences/groups, that are randomly picked, so each group will be a holographic splinter of the whole. Organized humanity will be humanity self-organized around its interests. The same people make up the two humanities, and both humanities are structured from small groups feeding up into larger and larger groups, but the difference in organization is critical. Messages selected by "organized humanity" must have passed through a process that lets through only messages that are acceptable to some special interest group. This gives these messages greater particularity, but also denies the possibility of messages that are of general interest only. Messages selected by "simple humanity" will not have that particularity, but will guarantee that the general interest of people taken as individuals has a voice.  

22 Aug 2003 @ 13:33 by ming : Organizing humanity
I think that principle of small groups feeding into larger groups, from the bottom up, is THE key way for humanity to organize itself well. But the very hard part to solve is how to do it well. I.e. without the possibility that anybody can highjack the system, and get themselves elected to represent some people they don't really represent. So it somehow has to be a mechanism that one just can't thwart.

One factor that makes it difficult is the problem in how to say/write/represent any datum/issue in any universally recognizable way. Different people will mean different things by the same words. And we often tend towards dumbing things down and selling simple superficial statements about things, rather than facing the real complexities. So, how do we manage to be with the complexities, and keep it all connected, without getting overwhelmed?  

9 Feb 2004 @ 14:56 by Josef @ : Why not individuals?
I am generally reluctant to concede that proper messages can only come from organized groups.

I would rather be inclined to think that messages originally stem from the individual mind who has analyzed a problem area and communicates a solution (in the widest sense).

Such a message could find group agreement in some cases, but there could be messages that have no ready-made group to decisively uphold them. Should they be excluded? I don't think so. There should be a mechanism for the filtering up of such messages that does not depend on organized groups.  

15 Feb 2004 @ 09:36 by Roger Eaton @ : re: Why not individuals?
Messages can come from individuals as well as organized groups, of course. Moreover, a collective message (i.e. a message from a group) can be addressed to an individual as well as to another group. This means that there can be a dialogue between an individual and a group. It will make sense, for instance, for the Secretary General of the United Nations to correspond regularly with humanity as a whole.

The idea of a mechanism for the filtering up of messages that have no ready-made group to uphold them is key to the long run success of the voice of humanity project. Only with such a mechanism in place can we expect the voice of humanity to respect the rights of individuals even after hundreds of years. Please see my comment "One Voice or Many?" above.

Fortunately, there is a ready made mechanism in the overall design that implements a filtering up by "simple" humanity. This is the listening group hierarchy for the voice of humanity. See the {link:http://blog.voiceofhumanity.net/newslog2.php/_v252/__show_article/_a000252-000018.htm|Handling Collective Messages} article.

Participants will be randomly assigned to a listening group for humanity. Anyone who wants to write a message as an individual rather than as a member of a group can write in their listening group. Such a message is implicitly addressed to humanity as a whole, and if it receives highest marks, it will go up the listener hierarchy until it reaches global consciousness.

Another way to think of the listener hierarchy is as "general interest groups" GIGs as opposed to "special interest groups" or SIGs.

There is an issue whether GIGs should be stable or whether they should be reformed for every incoming message. In other words, should each voh participant be assigned permanently to a GIG or should the GIGs be ephemeral -- formed and reformed for each occasion? I am inclined to think they should be permanent so we might each enjoy making the acquaintance of the widest possible range of participants in our personal GIG over the years.  

30 Dec 2008 @ 23:56 by 堀北真希 @ : thanks
Very good site. Thank you.  

8 Jun 2009 @ 06:08 by jewelry @ : pearl
Read to exercise the brain.
Surround yourself with friends.  

Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:

Other entries in
24 Jun 2007 @ 23:17: Global Assembly now accepting sign ups
26 May 2007 @ 19:26: WiserEarth / Paul Hawken
18 Mar 2007 @ 23:19: Latest InterMix Design
30 Dec 2006 @ 17:53: A Nonviolent Service Arm for the Global Assembly
19 Nov 2006 @ 15:45: Global Assembly Dialog Progress Report
12 Oct 2006 @ 15:49: True Religion Creates Community
1 Oct 2006 @ 18:24: Voice of Humanity and the Information Commons?
24 Sep 2006 @ 22:12: The Outsider has a place in the Global Assembly Dialog
17 Sep 2006 @ 20:44: "Unity and Diversity" and "Unity in Diversity"
11 Aug 2006 @ 05:13: The Wedding of Humanity and Nonviolence

[< Back] [voice of humanity] [PermaLink]?