The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization

Two great trends are evident in the evolution of life on Earth: towards increasing diversification and towards increasing integration. Diversification has spread living processes across the planet, progressively increasing the range of environments and free energy sources exploited by life. Integration has proceeded through a stepwise process in which living entities at one level are integrated into cooperative groups that become larger-scale entities at the next level, and so on, producing cooperative organizations of increasing scale (for example, cooperative groups of simple cells gave rise to the more complex eukaryote cells, groups of these gave rise to multi-cellular organisms, and cooperative groups of these organisms produced animal societies). The trend towards increasing integration has continued during human evolution with the progressive increase in the scale of human groups and societies. The trends towards increasing diversification and integration are both driven by selection. An understanding of the trajectory and causal drivers of the trends suggests that they are likely to culminate in the emergence of a global entity. This entity would emerge from the integration of the living processes, matter, energy and technology of the planet into a global cooperative organization. Such an integration of the results of previous diversifications would enable the global entity to exploit the widest possible range of resources across the varied circumstances of the planet. This paper demonstrates that it’s case for directionality meets the tests and criticisms that have proven fatal to previous claims for directionality in evolution.


The direction of evolution: The rise of cooperative organization
John E. Stewart

Available online 1 June 2014



Can Systems Of The People, By The People, For the Titans, Long Endure? | Errors We Live By | Big Think

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Lincoln proclaimed good government is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” (from Wycliffe’s 14th-century Bible). That last clause provides a tyranny test. Tyranny being any power used “not for the good of those…under it,” but for the tyrants benefit.

Orwell reviewing Hayek’s Road To Serfdom said free markets were “a tyranny probably worse…than that of the state.” He knew tyrants are easier to stop than a “tyrantless tyranny” of bad ideas. A constitution-like balance of powers within economies must ensure they serve “the people.”

Daniel LaLiberte‘s insight:

Don’t forget the danger of the tyranny of the majority.  I believe there can be such a thing as too much cooperation, which can result in the imposition of the will of the majority over that of minorities.  True consensus decision making needs to fairly consider the views of all.

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Rising Up! The Growing People-Powered Movement Is Showing Power

See on Scoop.itGlobal Consensus

A report shows that we are seeing the largest protests in world history, with a steady increase in the overall number of demonstrations annually.

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Global Citizens to Elites: Join Climate Fight ‘Or Step Aside’

See on Scoop.itGlobal Consensus

More than 100 organizations representing millions of global citizens held a demonstration in Bonn, Germany on Friday as they delivered a direct message to government leaders gathered for climate talks with a simple, but urgent message: “Stand with us, or step aside.”


The morning event saw organizations from every continent – including trade unions, social movements, environmental groups, gender and youth groups, indigenous groups and NGOs – join together to demand climate justice as they warned that current levels of inaction by governments are dangerously off-track in addressing the climate emergency.


“We are more determined than ever to fight for the survival of our families, our communities and our peoples across the world – a survival that rests on nothing less than the fundamental transformation of a system that has generated massive impoverishment, injustices and a climate crisis that threatens all life on earth.”



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Public Confused About Climate Change? It’s Everybody’s Fault But the Media’s

See on Scoop.itGlobal Consensus

The New York Times reports on the new American Association for the Advancement of Science report on climate change, and wonders whether it will make any difference. Reporter Justin Gillis notes that, “because so many people are confused about the science, the nation has never really had a frank political discussion about the options.” 

So public misperceptions about the reality and severity of climate change aren’t just the fault of the fossil-fuel industry – scientists are also to blame,  for being too nuanced. In any case, it certainly isn’t the fault of the media who for so long pretended (and often still pretend) that those two groups’ opinions are of equal validity. Nor is it the media’s fault that there’s never been a national discussion about solutions to climate change–how could they engage in such a thing, when people are just so confused?

– Julie Hollar is the managing editor of FAIR’s magazine, Extra!.

Daniel LaLiberte‘s insight:

A large and growing majority of the public *do* know the truth about climate change, despite the media being unfairly balanced about the issues.  People *do* want action more than the media has reported, and more than pursued by government, owned and operated, as it is, largely by the same wealthy powers that run the media.

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The Missing Part of the Internet – Collaborative Decision-Making Made Easy with Loomio

See on Scoop.itGlobal Consensus

The world needs a better way to make decisions together

Democracy isn’t just about politics — it’s people getting together and deciding how things should be. It’s a skill we can practice with people wherever we are: in our workplaces, our schools, and our communities.

Loomio is a user-friendly tool for collaborative decision-making: not majority-rules polling, but actually coming up with solutions that work for everyone.

Real democracy needs to include everyone

Our mission is to make it easy for anyone anywhere to participate in decisions that affect them.


The internet has made it so easy to talk to each other, but there’s no easy way to make decisions together online. Loomio bridges that gap, providing space for people to come together and talk things through, hear all perspectives, and reach clear outcomes. It’s like a missing piece of the internet, and we need your support to build it.

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Web Inventor’s Bold Call: Time for ‘Online Magna Carta’

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Tim Berners-Lee issues call for “a global constitution – a bill of rights” to defend digital rights

“we need to make sure we establish the principles that the Web’s been based on — principles of openness, principles of privacy, principles of not being censored.”

“It’s time for us to make a big communal decision,” he told BBC. “In front of us are two roads — which way are we going to go? Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control — more and more surveillance?”


“Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?” he continued.


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