Future Shock

Our Wired Future – the Age of Aquarius?

This article was originally posted in 2007 – for some reason it never found its way home from Patheos so I’m reposting it here.

We like to think of the Age of Aquarius as the time of peace, love and understanding:

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius!!*

It’s a nice fantasy, and while Aquarius is indeed concerned with issues of fairness and equality and honesty, we mustn’t forget that Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius,  is the planet of liberation and revelation, but also of technology. Bill Gates’s keynote speech in 2009 to the Consumer Electronics show delivered a vision of the “Connected Experience” as provided by Microsoft, which connects everything we need for 21st century life so we never have to leave the house.  Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and the tendency of Saturn to be cold and hard takes a bit of the bloom off the fantasy of the Aquarian Age as being a utopia of kindness and love.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a technology addict and acclaimed gadget geek, and I love the connectedness that the wired experience provides. But there is a danger that a wired life of technology is beginning to replace real life. We’re connected via internet, television and cellphones, but how connected are we to our communities and family? At the dawn of the technology revolution it’s very exciting, but my friend Tim Boucher (whose blog is now defunct) looked down this road and delivered this chillingly prescient report:

How many years this will take to happen, I can’t say. Maybe five years? But the world is going to look like this. […]

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By |2019-06-12T07:03:49-04:00June 12th, 2019|Age of Aquarius, Future Shock|0 Comments

In praise of hierarchy: A tale of the Uranus/Pluto square

In case you missed it, ever since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, followed by Uranus entering Aries in 2010, these two planets were locked in a challenging aspect that inspired and motivated the change that we have seen between 2010 and 2017.  (You can catch up here if this is all new to you.)

I always find it interesting when the zeitgeist (defined: the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time) reflects for the mainstream thinker the planetary cycles that astrologers have been talking about and explaining in the context of planetary cycles.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by economist Niall Ferguson (may be behind a paywall) tells a part of the story of this planetary cycle:

Established, traditional order [Capricorn]  is under assault [Pluto] from freewheeling [Aries], networked disrupters [Uranus] as never before. But society craves centralized leadership ([Capricorn], too. …

Networks rule not only in the realm of business. In politics, too, party establishments and their machines have been displaced by crowdfunded campaigns and viral messaging. Money, once a monopoly of the state, is being challenged by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which require no central banks to manage them, only consensus algorithms.

But is all this wise? In all the excitement of the age of hyper-connection, have we perhaps forgotten why hierarchies came into existence in the first place? Do we perhaps overestimate what can be achieved by ungoverned networks—and underestimate the perils of a world without any legitimate hierarchical structure?

The answer is, of course going from one extreme (rigid hierarchical societal structures) to another (chaos and anarchy) is not a great idea.  Nature and human nature both tend to swing from one […]

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By |2018-01-07T18:45:55-04:00January 7th, 2018|Future Shock, Life|2 Comments

Pluto in Capricorn: The Death of Capitalism?

end of capitalismAstrologer Richard Nolle posted a link to this article on Facebook:

At the very moment of its ultimate triumph, capitalism will experience the most exquisite of deaths.

This is the belief of political adviser and author Jeremy Rifkin, who argues the current economic system has become so successful at lowering the costs of production that it has created the very conditions for the destruction of the traditional vertically integrated corporation.

Rifkin, who has advised the European Commission, the European Parliament and heads of state, including German chancellor Angela Merkel, says:

No one in their wildest imagination, including economists and business people, ever imagined the possibility of a technology revolution so extreme in its productivity that it could actually reduce marginal costs to near zero, making products nearly free, abundant and absolutely no longer subject to market forces.

With many manufacturing companies surviving only on razor thin margins, they will buckle under competition from small operators with virtually no fixed costs.

“We are seeing the final triumph of capitalism followed by its exit off the world stage and the entrance of the collaborative commons,” Rifkin predicts.

The creation of the collaborative commons

From the ashes of the current economic system, he believes, will emerge a radical new model powered by the extraordinary pace of innovation in energy, communication and transport.

“This is the first new economic system since the advent of capitalism and socialism in the early 19th century so it’s a remarkable historical event and it’s going to transform our way of life fundamentally over the coming years,” Rifkin says. “It already is; we just haven’t framed it.”

Some sectors, such as music and media, have already been disrupted as a result of the internet’s ability to […]

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By |2018-06-11T11:23:20-04:00July 12th, 2016|Future Shock, Money and markets|5 Comments

The Fifth Sacred Thing and upcoming Water Wars

10491447_sIn 1993 Starhawk, an early spokesperson for the neo-pagan movement, wrote a book called The Fifth Sacred Thing.  In this post-apocalyptic novel, set in San Francisco, a theocratic dictatorship has seized all of the assets of the earth: air, food and water, and is the sole source of pharmaceutical antidotes for the ecological poisons they themselves create.  The Fifth Sacred Thing is Spirit, after the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

It is a scenario that is not so far-fetched today, but in 1993 a world such as this seemed far in the distant future.  But in the 20 years since then, and in the 20 years hence (the story is set in 2048), Pluto will have traveled through fire (Sagittarius, 1995-2008), Capricorn (2008-2023), Aquarius (2023-2043) and Pisces (2043-2066).  And the world’s population will have increased by 2.5 billion, most of these in the poorest countries with the fewest resources.

Pluto’s journey through Sagittarius (expansion and foreign cultures) globalized the planet in a way no one could have imagined previously.  Pluto is now in Capricorn (capitalism and society) where it is breaking down the structures upon which humanity has relied for hundreds of years.  When Pluto moves through Aquarius (technology and revolution) we are likely to see the kind of technocracy and rule by machines that have been imagined by science fiction writers for years. And Pluto in Pisces (ocean) is likely to bring the water wars.

Humans can live without food for a while, but we cannot live without water.  When water becomes scarcer than gold, it becomes a precious commodity.  Wars over water are nothing new, especially in the southwestern United States where water was diverted from rivers to fertilize the barren deserts of California and […]

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By |2013-09-06T07:30:49-04:00September 6th, 2013|Ecology, Future Shock|0 Comments

Esoteric websites to be banned along with porn in the UK

censor-this from DavidIcke.com

I think we can categorize this under the square of Uranus to Pluto:  Obsessive (Pluto) government practices (Capricorn) cracking down (square) the technological rights (Uranus) of individuals to feed their own minds (Aries).

From the Huffington Post:

The United Kingdom’s new internet filters promise to block much more than just pornography, according to a report by the digital advocacy organization Open Rights Group.

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced online porn would soon become automatically blocked in order to “protect children and their innocence.” The filters will be implemented by the UK’s major internet service providers, which encompass 95% of British web users.

Based on conversations with several ISPs, Open Rights Group says the new “parental controls” will reach far beyond pornography. By default, the controls will block access to “violent material,” “extremist and terrorist related content,” “anorexia and eating disorder websites,” and “suicide related websites.”

In addition, the new settings will censor websites that mention alcohol or smoking. The filter will even block “web forums” and “esoteric material,” though Open Rights Group does not specify what these categories would include.

In the United States pornography (NOT including, of course, child pornography) is considered a first amendment right and pornography in any case is subject to a wide range of interpretation.  Back in Queen Victoria’s day a bare ankle was considered pornographic and piano legs were discreetly covered up in order to avoid embarrassment.

Including “esoteric material” opens up a whole other question – is the British government afraid of the masses becoming educated in esoteric practices that for thousands of years been the exclusive province of a small minority?  This has been called by some a “War on Consciousness” and perhaps can be […]

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By |2013-08-15T07:36:29-04:00August 15th, 2013|Consciousness, Future Shock|6 Comments
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