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The Cognitive Roots of Conflict

As planned, the table below maps various thoughts regarding climate change – the biggest crisis of our time. Entries are noted for both those who propose action and those who resist it, highlighting the differences producing the conflict that has blocked action for decades. As proposed earlier, these data, beliefs, and other thoughts are organized along the cognitive scale of 9 functions identified in our AI vs Humans study.

Cognitive Map of Climate Change

 

Cognitive Functions

 

Driving Action

Opposing Action

9. Vision, Dreams, Peak Experience Thoughts, altered state of consciousness without sensory input. 

  • Vision of sustainable world required
  • Firm hold on industrial past

8.  Imagination, Creativity, 

Intuition Novel ideas and knowledge gained without sensory input.

  • Need creative solutions

 

7.  Values and Beliefs Ideas held in importance and considered true.

·       Majority favors action

·       Climate deniers

·       CO2 is good for plants

·        

6.  Purpose, Will, Choice Ability to set a purpose and choose some action.

·       Paris Accord of all nations

·       Nations and corporations taking action

·       Coal diminishing

 

5.  Emotion, Empathy Mental reaction of strong feelings: anger, fear, vicarious emotions of others.

·       Fear of future devastation

·       Millions of climate migrants

·       Fear that other nations will gain advantage

4.  Decision, Logic Determination arrived at after consideration.

 

·       Discount future threats

 

3.  Information, Knowledge, Understanding Inventory of knowledge processed, encoded and stored for action.

·       IPCC research

·       Green Taxes remitted to citizens

·       Carbon Capture

·       Copenhagen experts rate climate as low priority

·       Disinformation that action will hurt economy

·       Massive 60% decrease in CO2 required

2.  Learning, Memory Process of Acquiring data, information, knowledge or skill through instruction or study.

 

·       Block on learning

1. Perception, Awareness   

Sensory experience through touch, sight, sound, smell, taste. 

·       Extreme Wx is here

 

·       Disasters explained away

 

 

 

 

 


Cognitive Functions
 
Driving Action Opposing Action
9. Vision, Dreams, Peak Experience Thoughts, altered state of consciousness without sensory input.  Vision of sustainable world required Firm hold on industrial past
8.  Imagination, Creativity, 
Intuition Novel ideas and knowledge gained without sensory input.
Need creative solutions  
7.  Values and Beliefs Ideas held in relative importance and considered true. Majority favors action. Climate denial.CO2 is good for plants.
6.  Purpose, Will, Choice Ability to set a purpose and choose some action. Paris Accord of all nationsNations and corporations taking actionCoal use diminishing  
5.  Emotion, Empathy Mental reaction of strong feelings: anger, fear, vicarious emotions of others. Fear of future devastationMillions of climate migrants Fear that other nations will gain advantage
4.  Decision, Logic 
Determination arrived at after consideration.
  Discount future threats
3.  Information, Knowledge, Understanding The inventory of processed, encoded and stored knowledge for action. IPCC researchGreen taxes remitted back to citizensCarbon Capture Copenhagen experts rate climate as low priorityDisinformation that action will hurt economyMassive 60% decrease in CO2 required
2.  Learning, Memory 
Process of acquiring data, Information, knowledge or skill through instruction or study.
  Block on learning
1. Perception, Awareness   
Sensory experience through touch, sight, sound, smell, taste. 
Now clear that extreme Wx is here. Disasters explained away

What purpose does this cognitive map serve, you may ask? TechCast is not entirely sure, but it does suggest provocative strategies that could resolve this conflict:

9. Vision  Starting at the top of the table, the obvious idea that comes to mind is, what would happen if analysts offered a thoughtful, plausible, and inspiring vision of a sustainable future that resolves the climate problem? If done well, especially with the participation of those opposed, it is at least conceivable that hearts would soften to see that a better world is possible.

8. Imagination, Creativity Moving down to the function of imagination, creativity and intuition, we certainly could benefit from a healthy dose of creative thought to define a sustainable vision.. 

7. Values and Beliefs  This function may be the nub of the problem. How to recast the diehard beliefs of climate deniers? Some will never yield, of course, but an honest engagement of those holding opposing belief systems could possibly shift opinion toward reality, especially if supported by a compelling vision and the hard facts further down in this table.

6. Purpose, Will, Choice   Noting the actions being taken by governments and corporations should have an impact on overcoming resistance.

5. Emotion, Empathy   If those doubtful about the need for change could witness the enormous tragedies ahead, a change of heart would make all the difference.

4. Decision, Logic     This cognitive function demands a great deal. How can we engage people in a realistic problem-solving experience that weighs the evidence to reach valid conclusions for change? TechCast has no good answer yet, so stay tuned as we await the contributions of our experts.

3. Information, Knowledge, Understanding   See above. These are the basic elements needed to reach sound choices.

2. Learning, Memory   Better processes and information sources are needed to break through misunderstandings to gain accurate knowledge. 

1. Perception, Awareness Ahhh! The very source of experiential life. What would creative simulations of the disasters lying ahead do to shift awareness? Visits to locales actually experiencing climate shift? Meeting those suffering from procrastination?

Please note that the above are simply TechCast’s preliminary thoughts on these profound questions. That’s where you come in, dear experts and readers. Using our customary method of collective intelligence, we now invite you to weigh in with comments to help clarify this topic. Kindly add, modify or challenge entries in this cognitive map. Suggest solutions that may resolve the conflict. Offer other conceptual frameworks. Or tell us whatever else may be useful.Contributors will be cited in our next newsletter for framing the topic better. 

Send comments to Bill at Halal@GWU.edu. And please keep comments short — no more than 100 words. To encourage people to actually read web content, we have learned that less is more, 

If this study proves useful, we could expand it to include other intractable conflicts — abortion, gun control, inequality, immigration, etc.

For a final note, it is important to recognize that the dominant issues blocking action on climate involve subjective forms of thought (5-9) rather than objective thought (1-4). Objective thought (knowledge, logic, etc) is crucial certainly. But the reason nations are unable to resolve the issues of our time is that action is blocked by subjective consciousness (emotion, purpose, values, beliefs, vision, etc). This conclusion illustrates the central thesis of Bill’s new book, Beyond Knowledge, which follows. 

As planned, the table below maps various thoughts regarding climate change – the biggest crisis of our time. Entries are noted for both those who propose action and those who resist it, highlighting the differences producing the conflict that has blocked action for decades. As proposed earlier, these data, beliefs, and other thoughts are organized along the cognitive scale of 9 functions identified in our AI vs Humans study.

Cognitive Map of Climate Change 


Cognitive Functions
 
Driving Action Opposing Action
9. Vision, Dreams, Peak Experience Thoughts, altered state of consciousness without sensory input.  Vision of sustainable world required Firm hold on industrial past
8.  Imagination, Creativity, 
Intuition Novel ideas and knowledge gained without sensory input.
Need creative solutions  
7.  Values and Beliefs Ideas held in relative importance and considered true. Majority favors action. Climate denial.CO2 is good for plants.
6.  Purpose, Will, Choice Ability to set a purpose and choose some action. Paris Accord of all nationsNations and corporations taking actionCoal use diminishing  
5.  Emotion, Empathy Mental reaction of strong feelings: anger, fear, vicarious emotions of others. Fear of future devastationMillions of climate migrants Fear that other nations will gain advantage
4.  Decision, Logic 
Determination arrived at after consideration.
  Discount future threats
3.  Information, Knowledge, Understanding The inventory of processed, encoded and stored knowledge for action. IPCC researchGreen taxes remitted back to citizensCarbon Capture Copenhagen experts rate climate as low priorityDisinformation that action will hurt economyMassive 60% decrease in CO2 required
2.  Learning, Memory 
Process of acquiring data, Information, knowledge or skill through instruction or study.
  Block on learning
1. Perception, Awareness   
Sensory experience through touch, sight, sound, smell, taste. 
Now clear that extreme Wx is here. Disasters explained away

What purpose does this cognitive map serve, you may ask? TechCast is not entirely sure, but it does suggest provocative strategies that could resolve this conflict:

9. Vision  Starting at the top of the table, the obvious idea that comes to mind is, what would happen if analysts offered a thoughtful, plausible, and inspiring vision of a sustainable future that resolves the climate problem? If done well, especially with the participation of those opposed, it is at least conceivable that hearts would soften to see that a better world is possible.

8. Imagination, Creativity Moving down to the function of imagination, creativity and intuition, we certainly could benefit from a healthy dose of creative thought to define a sustainable vision.. 

7. Values and Beliefs  This function may be the nub of the problem. How to recast the diehard beliefs of climate deniers? Some will never yield, of course, but an honest engagement of those holding opposing belief systems could possibly shift opinion toward reality, especially if supported by a compelling vision and the hard facts further down in this table.

6. Purpose, Will, Choice   Noting the actions being taken by governments and corporations should have an impact on overcoming resistance.

5. Emotion, Empathy   If those doubtful about the need for change could witness the enormous tragedies ahead, a change of heart would make all the difference.

4. Decision, Logic     This cognitive function demands a great deal. How can we engage people in a realistic problem-solving experience that weighs the evidence to reach valid conclusions for change? TechCast has no good answer yet, so stay tuned as we await the contributions of our experts.

3. Information, Knowledge, Understanding   See above. These are the basic elements needed to reach sound choices.

2. Learning, Memory   Better processes and information sources are needed to break through misunderstandings to gain accurate knowledge. 

1. Perception, Awareness Ahhh! The very source of experiential life. What would creative simulations of the disasters lying ahead do to shift awareness? Visits to locales actually experiencing climate shift? Meeting those suffering from procrastination?

Please note that the above are simply TechCast’s preliminary thoughts on these profound questions. That’s where you come in, dear experts and readers. Using our customary method of collective intelligence, we now invite you to weigh in with comments to help clarify this topic. Kindly add, modify or challenge entries in this cognitive map. Suggest solutions that may resolve the conflict. Offer other conceptual frameworks. Or tell us whatever else may be useful.Contributors will be cited in our next newsletter for framing the topic better. 

Send comments to Bill at Halal@GWU.edu. And please keep comments short — no more than 100 words. To encourage people to actually read web content, we have learned that less is more, 

If this study proves useful, we could expand it to include other intractable conflicts — abortion, gun control, inequality, immigration, etc.

For a final note, it is important to recognize that the dominant issues blocking action on climate involve subjective forms of thought (5-9) rather than objective thought (1-4). Objective thought (knowledge, logic, etc) is crucial certainly. But the reason nations are unable to resolve the issues of our time is that action is blocked by subjective consciousness (emotion, purpose, values, beliefs, vision, etc). This conclusion illustrates the central thesis of Bill’s new book, Beyond Knowledge, which follows. 

 

 

 

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