Layman Pascal

Strange Affects

What Should We Do With a Schmactenberger?

metamodern scene

DANIEL SCHMACTENBERGER is admirable, useful &  boring.  And that might be exactly what we need.

Okay, maybe "boring" is the wrong word. 

I like Daniel and enjoy him.  The topics he addresses are the same ones that excite many of us.  So why am I making this mild but unnecessary ad hominem attack?  What I am doing here is exaggerating for the purpose of highlighting different affective tones within our extended and diverse emergent communities.   

Some people may find him a bit robotic, technocratic and "game-theory-ish."  Conversely, there are many others in our nascent scene that might strike people as being flakes, dreamers, throwbacks, disrupters, reactionaries, anti-rationalists, crypto-centrists, witches, patriarchal dominators, over-intellectuals, etc. 

We contain multitudes of different thematic styles that will inevitably both challenge each other and exaggerate our differences through hyperbolic assessments of each other.  That's quite normal.  We should expect it.  However, we should also be building up the mutual embrace and integrative attitude that allows us to coordinate and thrive across the many different styles and reactions that circulates between us.   

It can be difficult to figure out what we all have in common.  Are we not scientific enough?  Are we not occult enough?  Is there too much meditation or art or politics?  Perhaps what we have in common is that we are people who eventually answer "yes & no"' to all these questions. We are citizens of the Both/And. 

And if we are going to have a real civilizational impact then we need to operate across a wide swathe of affective and thematic styles.  Who are we going to send to the United Nations?  Who will help shepherd things like the Consilience Project?  Ken Wilber?  Bonnitta Roy?  Alexander Bard? Layman Pascal??? 

No.  You need a Schmactenberger for that stuff. A grounded, ethical, well-connected autodidact who is deeply concerned about the rivalrous "Game A" tendencies that are amplified by our god-like technologies.  He is holding a major part of our project.  He is fulfilling a role. 

The point that I'm circling around here is the need for us to start thinking in these terms.  Thinking that we should be embracing a meta-community and cultivating a shared scenius by appreciating our emergent specialized roles across a wide spectrum of affective styles. 

Although we need the creative ferment provided by challenging each other's perspectives, we may also have a moral obligation to stop complaining that our witches are not left-brained enough -- or that our computational tacticians are not adequately open to the feminine or the psychedelic. 

It takes all kinds. 

More importantly, we are that "it" which takes all kinds.

To produce a movement, to cultivate a culture, to influence a civilization, requires a very general incorporative attitude that develops and encourages a good conscience toward the diverse moods, emphases a sense of teamwork between the wildly varying communication styles discovered among the various transformational communities and agents.   

Part of the practice for developing this sensibility is to regularly sample a variety of styles.  Although I would rather hug Daniel than listen to him talk for three hours, I was receptive when David Fuller suggested to me that I listen to the second part of the Third Attractor ramble that Rebel Wisdom put out with the Schmactenberger.  


Because I'm hearing things I don't know?  Because I agree with it all?  Because I'm endorsing this general approach?  No.  

I do this because I want to taste a bit of where Daniel's thinking is at right now and also because he represents an important sub-genre in the Emerge networks.   Although I must admit I enjoyed his attempt to describe the complex relations between hyperagents, institutions and egregores.  

At about 1:30:30 into this video, he turns to education (one of my key areas of concern) and makes an interesting speculation about how the symbiotic deployment of human tutors and simulated past geniuses could produce a large-scale decentralization of the high-calibre, multi-disciplinary intelligence needed to grapple with the metacrisis.   

Check it out if you get the chance.  More importantly, make it part of your general social practice to touch in with various thematic and communicative styles within the general network of Emerge communities.  You don't have to be the perfect blender but we should all be pro-actively trying to deepen the connections between these affects in ourselves.
Words by Layman Pascal
Layman Pascal was incarnated on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. He used to be a meditation teacher, yoga instructor & public speaker — but he's feeling much better now.