Monastech

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This is an entry in The Future We Deserve - a collaborative book project about the future. See all the entries or talk about this entry.



"What wisdom does transhuman power demand?" —Joel Garreau in Radical Evolution

It will be the scientists and engineers who have dealt significantly with their own consciousness who have the best answers to the critical technological questions we face.

How might monasticism—anything related to the social model of the monastery—interface with technology to help us build the future we deserve? "Monastech" is a shorthand for this interface between secular monasticism + technology.

Conversations and projects in the Monastech space could offer tech communities the wisdom, equanimity, compassion and other capacities necessary to make decisions about how to innovate in coming decades. How can tech organizations structure themselves around contemplative practices?

Monastech could take the form of an open-source monastic university, an online cyber-monastic community, or any model of community living that confronts the increasingly secular, technological, and complex future we're facing.

High tech companies might pay employees who go on month- or year-long sabbaticals in a monastery. The halls of Google and Microsoft are already crowded with monkish personalities. Giving these employees incentives to spend time in a monastery (perhaps one designed specifically with high tech in mind, or in an art monastery that would expand their creative capacities to new levels) would make good business sense, as they would operate at a significantly higher level — with greater focus, clarity, equanimity, compassion and insight — than other employees upon returning to the work force.

There could be monasteries that exist only online and in the bedrooms and minds of millions of householder monks. The monks will all get up at the same time, chant together, meditate together, eat together. Some cybermonks will work normal jobs, some will work to support the cybermonastic infrastructure. Some will live together in real monasteries. All will be joined in a Universal Otherhood of Otherhoods.

Online tools for collaborative mindfulness will turn their collective conscious power into real, compassionate action. The mindfulness grids and awareness engines they power will guide artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotechnology, for example 'The International Otherhood of Artmonks.'

With technological upgrades to the power of human consciousness, future monks will have what subjectively feels like a 12-year silent retreat in the Himalayas in a matter of seconds.

In a dystopian future, monasteries will serve the same role they did in the last dark age: preserving knowledge, culture and compassion.