Hi, my name is Mitch Shapiro. Thanks for taking the time to visit this blog.
For many years I’ve had the sense that the human race is, in fact, in a race. Not a race against other humans (though it sometimes seems that way), but rather a race against time, and between two tendencies we all share as human beings.
One tendency is grounded in fear and can manifest, among other things, as hatred, prejudice, greed, addiction and violence. As we all have observed, these tendencies can manifest across a range of intensity and scope, from mild and interpersonal to brutal and global, as in wars and genocide. While this tendency can be combined with strategic, tactical and technological intelligence (as in wars of aggression, financial exploitation, etc), it is incapable, in my view, of expressing wisdom. And while it may have helped our species survive as our technological capabilities have evolved, it is not well equipped to help us thrive in an increasingly crowded and ecologically strained world.
A countervailing tendency is grounded in empathy, compassion and a sense of deep and satisfying connection to oneself, to others, and to the natural world. When this tendency is combined with strategic, tactical and technological intelligence, I call the result “applied wisdom.” This is reflected in the tagline for this blog: Ageless wisdom wielding 21st century technology.
In terms of my background, my graduate degree and professional work have focused on the telecom and media industries and, most recently, on the evolution and role of the broadband Internet. As I see it, the latter provides 21st century humans with history’s most powerful platform for communication, collaboration, information exchange and mass-scale mobilization of resources.
To me, this is a very big deal, especially since we appear to be running out of time in our race to address mass-scale global issues such as climate change. This, of course, relates to the title of this blog, “Evolving Human Systems.” As I see it, we face an increasingly urgent need to evolve our systems for living together on planet earth in ways that successfully address these issues….or collectively face the consequences of not doing so.
At a more individual level, I’ve long had a strong interest in how I and others can understand and experience more of the second tendency described above (i.e., empathy, compassion, inner fulfillment) and less of the first (or at least to be less controlled by our fear-driven tendencies). This interest in reflected in the alternative reading of this blog’s title, which focuses on the need for us to be “evolving humans” in order to create and manage systems that allow us to not only survive as a species, but also for each one of us to have the opportunity to realize our potential.
My hope is that this blog makes at least a small contribution to this inner and outer process of human evolution. And I welcome comments from anyone who shares this general goal and believes they have something to contribute to the blog’s discussion and, more importantly, to that evolutionary process.