Veils of Reality: How being blind to how we see makes our problems cyclical

An alternate story of human nature, human history, and human possibility


This is a project concerned with where evolution and culture meet. It is an infrastructure of ideas, technologies of perspective designed to upload a “mutation” into the cultural genome.

One of the premises of this project is that our society’s conflicts, our inability to balance productivity with the well-being of everyone who contributes to it, our inability to protect the environment for future generations, the loss of faith in our political process or economic order, are not issues resulting from inadequate technology, in its traditional sense. Nor are these results of inadequate research or inadequate information, but are an outgrowth of a largely invisible crisis of perspective.

In a selfish culture, someone with an above-average intellect may achieve greater success by ignoring the wider consequences of his actions.

In a warlike culture, technologies, regardless of the intent behind their construction, will be adapted for the purposes of war.

The innovation that will turn us from the steady creep of destruction will not be something built by a machine, it will be a shift in how we see, a shift in the extent to which we are capable of reflecting on the relationship between how we organize the world in our minds and what we do in it.

Where do evolution and culture meet? Can we take processes that are automatic, and consciously reorganize our system of knowing so that we can see more clearly, act more meaningfully?

Culture is like genes, the codes we inherit that shape our relationship to reality, and reality is the mirror against which the code would be refined. But unlike our DNA, how we see is not typically adaptive. Unconsciously we gate and manage the information we encounter to conform to our present reality, which is shaped and conditioned long before we are capable of understanding that conditioning.

Can culture evolve from an arbitrary closed assortment of truths, toward a process, an open system directed to ever-increasing well-being? Can culture evolve to see how it hides, has hidden, the feedback our unconscious truths have been receiving from reality?

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