Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: nominated for Webby-Awards

Posted by Brian Fenton on
I don't have anything to add this debate on environmental issues, but I'd like to comment at a meta level about the nature of discourse and the high levels of quality found in this forum. Spiral Dynamics talks about levels of human development and uses simple colours to describe stages of evolution (blue: conformist, fundamentalist, ethnocentric, traditional; orange: excellence, achievement, progress, modern; green: postmodern, multicultural, sensitive, pluralistic; yellow: systemic, flexible, flowing. Summarised nicely by consciousness studies and philosophy author Ken Wilber in an essay he wrote on the Iraq situation (see What is interesting about Spiral Dynamics is that there are considered to be 2 "tiers" of awareness. The vast majority of humans are considered to be at the first tier of growth (I probably am at this level too, try as I might to grow! :-) ) - these include blue, orange and green. What the Spiral Dynamics theorists have said is that there is a huge leap from first tier to second tier (yellow and turquoise levels), the key difference between the 2 tiers being that people who operate on the first tier imagine their values to be the only correct values whereas second tier humans understand the importance of all value systems (by recognising the partial truth in each of them).

I've just been reading about this lately, so it was fascinating to see it in action, to see the divisiveness of comments coming from blue (Jonathan and Patrick), orange (Andrew's first comment), green (Talli, Danielle) where there was a certain digging in of heels over stances. Contrast that with 2nd tier comments from Mike, Randy, Todd and Malte who were open to what everyone else had to say and flexible in their stance. It's wonderful to see such a high quality of world-centric, inclusive thinkers in this forum. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised - it's in the nature of open source software development to attract more world-centric people. Well done, everybody!

PS, Jonathan, Patrick, Andrew, Talli and Danielle: please don't take this as a personal colouring of you. I was referring specifically to your comments as being blue, orange, etc., not to you as people!