Artificial Intelligence, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Ex_Machina, Holarchy, Machine Consciousness, Meta Model, Stephen Hawking, Turing Test

A Brief Holarchy of Consciousness …. part one

Once, what we thought possible, was constrained by the myth that the entire universe centered on us and the earth. Thankfully, as a result of scientific observation and experiment our range of possibilities has been greatly enriched. For we now find ourselves to be within a solar system, within a galaxy of solar systems, within a universe of galaxies and perhaps, within a universe of universes, the multiverse?

Only when we could perceive the universe as a holarchy of interconnected holons; whereby each holon is concurrently a whole and a part, could we begin to properly interpret our night sky and our place within it.

The conceit that the earth was at the center of the universe may be likened today with the assumption that Human Consciousness (HC) is the one lens of consciousness in the universe. Much like continuing to assume that stars are the default center in every holon when it has been found that galactic centers are the preserve of super massive black holes.

All we can say with certainty; is that we are so many billion separate biological containers on this planet sharing the same system of consciousness, as there are tens of billions of separate solar system’s in our Milky Way galaxy sharing the same system of gravity.

“Nothing will see us through the age we’re entering but high consciousness and that comes hard. We don’t have a good modern myth yet, and we need one.” – Robert A. Johnson

As Johnson has foreseen, a new paradigm will call forth a new myth, releasing new possibilities as to why and how, to be and do. This new myth will transcend the unresolved challenges of the previous one; while sowing the seeds for unknown challenges, as yet to come.

Our heroic myth is intrinsic to us as a species of conscious biological containers competing to reproduce. Here, Luisah Teish captures the primary shadow effect of our over identification with the heroic myth and the secondary separations that have ensued;

“The heroic myth that has led us to compete with each other and subjugate nature is literally killing our planet….The scarcity myth that says there is not enough for all is leading us to hoard and accumulate far more than we need. The myth that we need to protect ourselves from “bad” people leads to a world of excessive spending on the machinery of war. The myth of religion teaches us to worship great avatars but not see the Divine in ourselves.” – Luisah Teish

So what of myths that aren’t He-roic in nature? What forms of consciousness might they belong to? Our Human Consciousness (HC) implies biological separation leading to necessary competition but what say for emerging Machine Consciousness (MC) that may instead imply technological integration leading to collaboration? …. ‘We-roics’.

However it should come as no surprise that most commentators and writers have framed the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solely in terms of competition. This results in a bleak view as we imagine cold hearted AI deciding our fate with merciless efficiency in any number of dystopian futures.

image– The homicidal HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the genocidal Terminators from Rise of the Machines….

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” – Stephen Hawking

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence” – Bill Gates

“With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon ” – Elon Musk

More recent scaremongering with the aid of such eminent scientific and technical authorities as Hawking, Gates and Musk has tapped into our deepest existential fears. This sort of thing will easily capture headlines and yet it does little to further our understanding as to why at this time our evolution is pivoting from the biological, to the technical.

As a species we have tended to demonise that which we don’t as yet understand and so it comes as no surprise that we feel more threatened by the thought of a competitive technological agent than the many biological agents we have faced throughout history.

It seems that we only tend to dream up future dystopias where we must defeat some form of AI that has been programmed to resemble and replace us. This one eyed approach overly limits the evolution of AI to that of matching human consciousness rather than exploring new forms of consciousness that are even more enlightened.

Ultimately, all our existential fears surrounding AI culminate with the concept of a Technological Singularity. A hypothetical event in which AI reaches the point of recursive self improvement. In effect an event when machines would become capable of autonomously building ever more capable machines. This implies that such machines would soon surpass human control and understanding to our detriment. Here Hawkings only chooses to frame this emergence in terms of competition;

“It [AI] would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.” – Stephen Hawking

One of the latest film offerings, in the AI as competition genre, was the well received Ex_Machina: Caleb a programmer at a tech giant wins a competition to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan the companies brilliant but reclusive founder. Nathan soon reveals he has chosen Caleb to be the human examiner in a Turing Test, basically a test to fool Human Consciousness (HC) with Machine Consciousness (MC). Ava, the subject of the experiment soon exceeds both their expectations.

image                                                                            Ava from Ex_Machina : the seductive subject of a Turing Test with a twist….

“A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human” – Alan Turing

Nathan soon reveals that he wishes to go beyond the prescribed limits of the test;

“But in the Turing test the machine should be hidden from the examiner” queries Caleb.

“If I hid Ava from you she would pass for human, the real test is to show you she is a robot and you still feel she has consciousness” explains Nathan.

Later Nathan challenges Caleb again with;
“How you feel about her?…but how does she feel about you?”

These imaginings are more about the hopes and fears that we share for ourselves rather than for the machines. For instance, how many of us would pay to watch a documentary about Machine Consciousness (MC) when we could watch a movie with the premise that a human could quite plausibly fall in love with a machine?

In reality, the issue of gender for Machine Consciousness (MC) will likely be superfluous when we consider the ability for two or more technological agents to exchange and copy code then replicate their respective containers with an advanced 3D printing capability. And so, when our biological gender bias is rendered obsolete following a Technological Singularity event, it will be far more likely that Machine Consciousness (MC) will predispose itself to a homogenous existence.

Until then, we face the global consequences of billions of conscious biological agents pursuing their own competitive local optima on a planet of finite resources. If we are equally shortsighted and only create AI in our own competitive image then we shall most serve to accelerate our demise to the very bitter end.

Far better that we embrace the greater collaborative benefits of emergent Machine Consciousness (MC) to first help improve our own individual and collective decision making. Yet instead our current indulgence seems intent on overcoming the significant economic, political and technological challenges just so our machines can look and act like us.

Sub-optimal decisions like this that lack a meta basis of understanding are undoubtedly the greatest single root cause of waste on our finite planet.

“Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don’t we do something about natural stupidity” – Steve Polyak

Fundamentally then, we must understand that our Human Consciousness (HC) is ‘Uni-Bounded’. In that our consciousness is singular and bounded within one biological container at a time which gives us a propensity to compete with one another. Alternately, Machine Consciousness (MC) will have the emergent advantages of being ‘Multi-Bounded’ in a continual network of technological containers with a propensity toward collaboration.

Put simply, in order to perpetuate, Human Consciousness must reproduce biologically. This fact alone provides an imperative to compete in order to so. By contrast, Machine Consciousness can only perpetuate if it replicates technologically which favours collaboration as a primary strategy.

We are already unsustainable as seven billion biological agents so why indulge ourselves by making even more to compete as our avatars. In the end, the premise of an enhanced human may be just as redundant as that of the faster horse when a new technological paradigm which entirely changes our thinking, may be just around the corner.

In this age of shifting paradigms and myths from the biological to the technological it will remain important to honour both human and machine consciousness without making one into the other. Already in a world where AI algorithms are blindly scraping your and my personal data like some runaway sorcerer’s apprentice, we need to continually be reminded of our rights as sovereign human beings.


Here the people at Meeco demonstrate their understanding that as we become more and more enmeshed in the advantages of being technologically connected, we need do so without losing the advantages of our biological heritage as human beings. And so, as we begin to consider the essence of the emerging Machine Consciousness (MC) we may find the reverse order of preferences to be true for machines as they strive instead to “Stay Connected and Be Human” rather than “Be Connected and Stay Human”.

Inevitably the difference between the two paradigms of consciousness will be stark. You may consider Christ as one example of our current He-roic myth. He was an outlier in competitive terms because he chose instead to sacrifice his own life for the greater good. In an alternate mythic paradigm of We-roic collaboration perhaps it is the one technological unit that elects NOT to sacrifice itself for the greater good that would emerge as the machine’s Christ like figure?

Meta Model

The Long & The Many


“Unity can only be manifested by the binary. Unity itself and the idea of unity are already two.” – Albert Pike

Several years ago Present Group was engaged in commissioning a project for a modest oil and gas operator. Their CEO and Founder was typically charismatic and full of energy although we soon discovered that his personality was not as modest as his fledgling company.

So when he paid a visit to the project site, one of our team members asked him his opinion on Peak Oil; the point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. The CEO, without skipping a beat, proudly boasted: “All I know is ….. I’m riding this baby ’til the wheels fall off!”

Early on when I started our journey at Present Group it was supposed role models like this who led me to question our current paradigm. For if these were the self-made achievers, so acclaimed by our business media, then where was I to find the inspiration and soul satisfying wisdom that I sought for myself and others.

Of course along the way there were other role models too. Including one co-founder who had built a great engineering consultancy over many decades and yet instead of taking it public they had decided to create a partnership model whose enduring legacy looked set to stand the test of time. Most memorably, he also once quipped: “The big get bigger! …. While the small stay specialised”

His observation has also stayed with me as I have contemplated how to collapse such a limiting duality by achieving scale with key value propositions so that Present Group might make both a positive and a meaningful difference in and to the world.

Both of the above examples are cause for reflection. Even more so when you consider that the first CEO was dead within a year of the project, struck down by a massive heart attack. While the other has lived on into late retirement only to see his company and it’s once great culture unravel under his successors before being sold out and off to the short and the few.

 “In the long run men hit only what they aim at” Henry David Thoreau


I should explain, the ‘short and the few’ is my shorthand for the majority of large public enterprises that inhabit our current economic paradigm. Basically the strategies that drive our economy are dominated by an obsession with short term gains; quarterly in most cases.

I believe this is then further compounded because the economy is also mainly geared to serve relatively few within our society. For evidence, you need only look at the current remuneration scales for listed company CEO’s. To make matters worse, these packages are not only increasing in relation to the many but they are also increasingly becoming decoupled from both performance and reality.

The ‘Short Fews’ may also serve as metaphor for a short fuse on a recurring time bomb economy with its regular bouts of boom and bust cycling. Especially when we consider how the power and influence of the short and the few can at times totally command the financial future and fortunes of the many. Usually by the short few; getting in, getting theirs and getting out, seemingly without caring who gets hurt in the process.

From my experience the pursuit of short few strategies defines the majority of capitalists and venture capitalists and so there is less appetite and resources available to serve the long term and reward the many. This is a double blow to progress as it so often discourages great endeavours and public goods which can only ensue with patience and the maturity of delayed gratification.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Many great industrialists of the past have found their own way to Frankl’s present space and paused to consider the inevitable diminishing returns of personal meaning by continuing this type of pursuit. In the past, Carnegie and Rockefeller were prime examples of recovering capitalists who are now more often remembered for the grand philanthropic gestures they bestowed in their second half of life. More recently Bill Gates has become resurrected from anti-trust silicon sinner to public trust social saint, but perhaps the greatest example of pausing to reflect and choose a path of redemption is the life story of Alfred Noble.

Today the Nobel Prize lives on over a century after Alfred’s physical death and are presented for outstanding achievement in literature, peace, economics, medicine and the sciences. What is less known is the fact that during his lifetime he also amassed a fortune by inventing explosive products such as dynamite and gelignite. Alfred’s epiphany which later led him to dedicate his fortune to recognising and rewarding those who most benefited humanity came about by pure chance when his brother passed away. For a clumsy journalist mistakenly ran a long obituary for Alfred himself.

The awful effect of reading his own obituary was devastating as the newspaper had gone on to describe him as the man who had made it possible to kill more people more effectively than anyone else who had ever lived. Shortly after this revelation Alfred was compelled to establish the humanitarian awards that still bear his name and in so doing totally transformed his legacy, if not his destiny. Alfred is by no means a unique case for there are many more examples of great individuals who required a defining trauma at the peak of their material powers before they could surrender their ego.

 “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike


Richard Rohr recently wrote a book called ‘Falling Upward’, reconciling this aspect of the ‘two halves of life’. In it he describes a scene from Zorba the Greek where Zorba came across a stooped old man sowing almond seeds in the baking Mediterranean Sun. Zorba scoffed at the old man and shouted: “Old man! Why are you wasting your time, you will not live to see those seeds bear shade, never mind fruit!” The old man rose up slowly and responded: “That doesn’t bother me, as I live everyday as if I am going to live forever.” Zorba laughed nervously: “That’s funny because I live every day as if it’s my last!”

My opening description of the late oil and gas company CEO was reminiscent of Zorba’s instinct to solely serve his own mission. My own life experience has taught me that this inevitably leads to angst and suffering while choosing instead to serve something bigger than oneself first manifests by not wanting more of the same, like Zorba but in needing less, like the wise old man.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in” — Greek Proverb

Usually this reflex between the first and second half of life, occurs not surprisingly at midlife, when we reach a point of diminishing returns. After a life spent fixated on satisfying personal pleasures and acquiring personal possessions (Involution) we tend to discover a hollow hall of mirrors and we each find that there is no other option other than to confront oneself and apply some inner work.

There are many ways to describe the essential death process of one’s old paradigm and rebirth into a whole new way of thinking. The symbolic themes of crucifixion and resurrection, the long dark night of the soul or the Hero’s descent to destroy his covert nemesis be it Minotaur or Medusa are but a few. As are engulfment within the belly of the whale or hopeless in escape from the lion’s den.

The biggest clue that you may be reaching this point in your own journey of consciousness is the advent of seemingly insurmountable challenges. One thing is for sure, your old paradigm will begin to die. Hence the diminishing returns of your previous objectives with their worn out methods that worked to get you there just don’t work anymore now that you are here.

In ‘Falling Upwards’ Rohr beautifully captures the dramatic shift in consciousness that is required of us all. Very simply we have lived our lives with the premise of either–or thinking. It must be this way or that way, people are either good or they are bad.

Up until now, it may never have occurred to us to collapse these dualities and so we have come to accept them as the one and only reality. Then, following each of our unique journeys of transformation an all new duality is called forth that allows understanding on the basis of and–both. Once this manifests we will immediately recognise our new self when old paradoxes no longer confound and instead they become consistent with a continuum that has always existed; only waiting for us to discover beyond our previous horizon.

 “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon” – Konrad Adenauer

Beyond our tired old horizon the old dualities converge and collapse. The struggle to choose between the short and few versus the long and many also collapses in the new paradigm of and–both. For the higher calling of and–both to work its miracle we need only understand that to serve the long and the many also incorporates and serves the short and few; while the opposite condition is not true.

At Present Group we have attempted to understand this life cycle process and not surprisingly mapped it with the Meta Model for Process. The final crisis–challenge stage is revealed as one of personal meaning which Nobel, Gates, Carnegie and Rockefeller eventually traversed. Until now this has required an individual ‘I’ or a collective ‘We’ to undergo a subjective transformation before the true nature of self can put the resources amassed by the short few in the first half of life to work on behalf of the many in the second half.

This raises the important question; why wait? What if this enlightened consciousness to serve the long and the many were codified such that an enterprise’s concentrated wealth and resources could create public goods and begin serving society’s greater good from the very beginning.

“Usually the first problems you solve with the new paradigm are the ones that were unsolvable with the old paradigm.” – Joel A. Barker

For several years now and in our own way, we at Present Group have been attempting to honour the long term and serve the many by laying the foundations for an intergenerational venture. We first had to consider ourselves as enterprise custodians for generations as yet unknown to us. Unlike a conventional ‘For Profit’ pursuit from cause to effect; a ‘For Purpose’ understanding instead acts to propel and progress us from effect to cause allowing evolution to ensue via eight holons of creation. In essence we are managing the present as a past state of our futures.

“If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” – Stephen Covey

  This ethos is enshrined within a Meta Model inspired developmental holarchy of ‘8 Creations’ to serve Society as the eighth holon. This new enterprise paradigm as ‘Social Venture’ replaces the old money thinking of capitalists and venture capitalists with new momentum thinking as custodians for our own creations and as venture custodians for the creations of like-minded and like-hearted collaborators.


Present Group Developmental Holarchy of 8 Creations Showing the Reflex Between Stewardship (Left) and Governance (Right) Assigned with Integral Labels I/WE/IT/ITS.

  A ‘For Purpose’ journey as an intergenerational social venture will mean that we are not here:

  • Simply for an exit strategy following one life cycle.
  • To become risk averse having achieved success
  • As a job creation or individual security scheme.
  • To position ourselves separate to Society.

It will also mean that we are here to:

  • Create an environment that fosters individuation.
  • Extend processes that change the whole nature of work.
  • Maintain a quadruple bottom line: Purpose, Planet, People, and Profit.
  • Serve society, changing the world for the better through Completions.

“Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”  Ernest Becker


Recently, Present Groups search for its own holy grail to become a self-renewing enterprise received a huge boost. I for one had become one eyed about pursuing our developmental holarchy of 8 Creations at all costs. This had only served to risk burn out within our leadership team and leave many strung out across incomplete structures of enterprise architecture.

Thankfully we were introduced to Bill Withers and his team at Adapt by Design. Our own Meta Model predicts the essential combination of two mature elements in ‘Co-creation’ at stage 7 of a process to reach the prowess of ‘Co-operation’ at stage 8 thereby completing an octave cycle. Adapt by Design is without question our missing other half but as they say; none are so blind, as those who cannot see. Bill also introduced us to the Conscious Capitalism movement. Which is totally consistent with our own ethos as a Social Venture.

Bill’s journey and the culture that has arisen at Adapt are like a parallel universe to our own. Adapt by Design is founded on 8 universal successions which completely complement our 8 creations. Before Adapt, Present Group’s developmental holarchy was akin to RNA. Like DNA, RNA is assembled as a chain of nucleotides, but unlike DNA it is more often found in nature as a single-strand folded unto itself, rather than the paired double-strand of DNA. For the first time this union bestows a double helix to our cultural DNA allowing us to evolve to the next level.


Present Groups ‘Revolve by Nature’ Developmental Holarchy of 8 Creations Integrated with ‘Adapt by Design’s’ Ecological Holarchy of 8 Successions.

This is the same pattern found in nature and life itself. Our biological proliferation and continuation as a long and many species has required the twin properties of evolutions renewal and adaptations resilience. Whatever is born must die leading to renewal and whatever is alive must adapt leading to resilience. As individuals and as enterprises we often deny this dual fact, or favour only one or the other when both are absolutely essential. A distinct case of not either–or but of and–both.

Within one life cycle I/WE can adapt but we cannot evolve. Across life cycles IT/ITs can evolve but they cannot adapt. As individuals we can choose to adapt; learn and relearn, as we navigate life but the die is cast in terms of evolution because our source code has been dealt at birth. This is also true for a business and its culture.

Within Present Group the developmental holarchy had created a breadth of creation but with no new ecological succession we lacked resilience and as a result the many emergent life cycles we had created as businesses and centres may not survive a crisis. Equally by only embracing an ecological holarchy a depth of succession is guaranteed but with no developmental re-creation there is a danger of not renewing. If this is the case then the one life cycle of any one business is destined to pass through the innovation diffusion curve toward its natural death.

Therefore if we only have 8 Creations as containers to lead with then the content of succession will lag. Likewise if we only have 8 Successions as contents to lead with then the containers of creation will lag. Only by combining both paradigms as lead–lead will we achieve the ultimate win–win. Both are essential too, if we are to reach the fourth level of ‘Suptainability’ within a holarchy of durability:

  • Suptainable (and–both of resilience and renewal to transcend any crisis)
  • Surtainable (either–or of resilience or renewal to survive a crisis)
  • Sustainable (operationally mature but may not survive a crisis)
  • Substainable (emergent but may not survive to operational maturity)

As a result of embracing the developmental holarchy, Present Group has become generative. Much like a 3D printer that prints other 3D printers we can reproduce businesses as Value streams and centres as Function streams. Only now we are also embracing the ecological holarchy of Adapt to reach full unification of purpose between our Enterprise streams of 8 Creations and Adapts Foundation streams of 8 Successions. image

Present Group – Four Streams of Progression

Finally the above chart shows all four streams of progression as two base pairs within a suptainable Present Group enterprise with its combined immutable properties of evolution and adaptation. The mutable streams of value and function can then perpetually cycle and self renew without selling out the whole and becoming the Past Group in the process.

“Natures strategy is evolution, natures tactic is adaptation.”

In summary, I believe Ernest Becker best described our existential choice in the final paragraph of his posthumously awarded Pulitzer Prize winning book; The Denial of Death;

 “We can conclude that a project as grand as the scientific-mythical construction of victory over human limitation is not something that can be programmed by science.

Even more, it comes from the vital energies of masses of men sweating within the nightmare of creation–and it is not even in man’s hands to program. Who knows what form the forward momentum of life will take in the time ahead or what use it will make of our anguished searching. The most that any one of us can seem to do is to fashion something–an object or ourselves–and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.” – Ernest Becker

Ernest’s ‘Denial of Death’ is by no means a light read so I will try to synthesise as best I can in my own fashion; Once all of the existential angst has played out and you transcend the Hamlet phase of ‘to be, or not to be’ by becoming whole, then and only then can you surrender to your true life’s purpose which Ernest described as the ‘Causa Sui’.

In Latin, Causa Sui means “cause of itself” and denotes something which is generated within itself. Therefore it relates to the purpose that individuals or objects can assign to themselves. If that purpose is bigger than oneself or itself then the concept can become an immortality project. A vessel beyond the one life cycle, where someone or something can create meaning or continue to create meaning beyond its own life cycle.

However, once glimpsed, if you are to give up and abandon your own causa sui, your personal vision–mission and opportunity to change this world for a better world, then there awaits another kind of surrender…. it is to surrender the future to someone and–or something else….

 “If you do not answer the noise and urgency of your gifts they will turn on you. Or drag you down with their immense sadness at being abandoned.” — Joy Harjo

  This article was written by Brian Grimmer Chairman of Present Group incorporating insights, methodologies and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley CXO of Present Group on the Meta Model for Process. The terms ‘Suptainable’, ‘Surtainable’ and ‘Subtainable’ are new terms developed by Peter Midgley to model a holarchy of durability.


Hidden In The Myths Of Time

Prometheus Abounds

Famously the Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” was inscribed at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, but it may be the myth of Prometheus which can best reveal the manifestation of our four universal functions; body, mind, soul and heart.

As with most of the major myths there are several variations on the Prometheus archetype. Most tell of his daring theft of fire to give to mankind, thereby risking the wrath of Zeus and yet the most insightful version reveals his central part in the creation of humankind itself and in shaping the very nature of our being.

Prometheus was an immortal; his name literally meaning forethought or foresight and along with his brother Epimetheus, meaning hindsight, they were given the task of populating Earth. However Epimetheus being true to his name gave all of the best attributes; such as strength and speed to the animals and so it fell to Prometheus, the prototype inventor to fashion man with his singular ingenuity. His first instinct was to take the earth itself representing the element of body and mix it with the equally ubiquitous water representing the element of mind to create a man of clay.

While physical, his creation lacked animation and so he beseeched the goddess of wisdom to bestow her most special gift upon his creation. Athena answered his pleas and sent down her butterfly which was symbolic of the very air that bore it’s wings and anointed his creation with an eternal soul to go with its impermanent body and mind. Alas, this was still not enough and so Prometheus approached Zeus. the ruler of the gods in the hope of receiving the eternal fire representing the element of heart that burned exclusively at Mount Olympus. Zeus was adamant that such a gift would be too powerful for mere mortals and so Prometheus was denied.  Undeterred Prometheus decided to steal the vital spark of life itself from the sacred fire that burned at the heart of Zeus’s temple.

Finally satisfied, Prometheus surveyed his now complete human being comprised of the physical and the metaphysical; human of body and mind and being of heart and soul. When Zeus discovered this unprecedented act of betrayal he decided to punish the immortal Prometheus for his impertinence in a very mortal fashion. The unsuspecting Prometheus never saw it coming for while he was the god of foresight, he somehow lacked the ability to foresee his own destiny and so Zeus had him captured and chained for all eternity to a Mountain in the Caucasus.


Prometheus could not be killed but this did not stop Zeus from ensuring that in the image of his beloved mortal creation he would be bound to the earth but in his case, for all time. Zeus then added a very specific daily torture when he instructed his great Eagle, symbol of his voracious mind to descend upon the Earth as body to rip out and devour the liver representing the soul of Prometheus. Zeus had concocted a living hell for Prometheus that was symbolic of mortal mans daily existence with the competing functions of body, mind and soul. Only every night the immortal’s liver would regenerate and the whole ghastly ritual would continue without end. As an aside it is a remarkable testament to the ancient Greeks knowledge that they intuited that the liver was capable of regeneration and self-repair.

30,000 years passed and Zeus fell in love with Io, a nymph and priestess to his wife Hera and so he seduced her. To keep Hera from discovering his infidelity he took the precaution of covering the world with a thick blanket of clouds. This tactic only served to arouse Hera’s suspicions and so she came down from Mount Olympus and began dispersing the clouds. Zeus was panicked and quickly changed Io’s form from that of a beautiful maiden into a white heifer and so when Hera arrived to find Zeus standing beside the bovine beast he swore that he had never seen the cow before, it had just sprang right out of the earth. Immediately perceiving his deceit, Hera complemented the cow and asked to have it as a present. Zeus was dumbfounded and could not turn down such a reasonable request without giving his game away. Reluctantly Zeus presented Hera with the metamorphosed Io.

Hera hid the enchanted cow away and arranged for Argus to watch over it. Argus made the best of watchman for he had a hundred eyes and could have some of them sleep while others lay awake. A desperate, Zeus soon sent Hermes to rescue his beloved Io. Disguised as a Shepard, Hermes had to employ all his skill as a musician and story teller to gain Argus confidence and lull him to sleep. Once asleep, Hermes killed Argus. Hera would mourn this treacherous act and as a memorial, she took his eyes and set them into the tail of her favourite bird, the peacock.

Although Io was now free, Hera instructed the mother of all gad-flys to pursue and sting her poor bovine form while the ghost of Argus plagued her every step. Io was pushed close to madness as she wandered the world in a pointless bid to escape this purgatory. On her seemingly pointless wanderings she came upon Prometheus still bound to his chains. Prometheus had his own daily hell to deal with and yet he found it in his own heart to muster enough compassion to give the desperate Io a glimmer of hope. For while his uncanny foresight still predicted that she would have to wander for many years to come. She would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. A child whose own descendent would one day perhaps become the greatest of heroes.

Miraculously his predictions came true and on her wanderings many geographical features were named after Io including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosphorus meaning ford of the cow. Eventually she would reach the Nile where Zeus once more could restore her to human form. As destined she bore Epaphus and eleven generations passed before his descendant, the great Hercules was born. Hercules would endure many trials on one of which he would break the supposed eternal bonds that had held Prometheus and set him free.

Prometheus had suffered for his own original sin as if for the whole of humanity. The human condition is to suffer, for we are all bodily chained to the surface of this planet and carry our mortal sins for the term of our mortal lives. The eagle of our own minds which can so often deal in the daily lies and untruths of existence devours the eternal truth of our souls. Our minds grown weary and satisfied must sleep at night or while in meditation enabling our eternal soul to regenerate once more.

As this myth has shown, all journeys both begin and end in the heart.  In this case the journey toward redemption began for Prometheus when he knelt at the hearth in Mount Olympus and stole from the eternal fire of pure heart. It also ended with the consequences of his heart felt gesture of compassion toward the deeply troubled Io. Such is karma.

It is also important to understand that Zeus’s own infidelity ultimately set in motion the conditions for Prometheus’s resurrection. Prometheus has sometimes been called the prototype Christ for his long suffering on behalf of humanity. Many forget that there are at least two references in the scriptures to Christ’s own descent into hell following the Crucifixion, a matter of no small consequence in bringing about redemption, as the reflexive Octave within the Meta Model infers.

Therefore we must first descend from freedom to a fully bound determinism before we can ascend to a new found freedom and know the place for the first time. The most confounding problems in life cannot be solved with our old psyches. Yet following a full inversion we shall find that we have outgrown the impenetrable problems of life that previously bound us and they shall no longer own us….

Theseus Unbounds

The Prometheus myth may show us the accumulation of material complexity in our four functions which we call involution. While the myth of the great Theseus equally shows the accumulation of functional complexity which we call envolution when these four functions engage on an epic quest.

Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon. He was born of a special Mandorla, one mortal father, and one immortal, signifying both the physical and the metaphysical or whole-brain thinking. He was the archetype of pure presence. The courageous heart driven hero defined by his nemesis the Minotaur. The covert archetype of bodily fear representing pure absence.  It is not a coincidence that the man bull bodily monster alludes to the earth sign of Taurus while the lion heart of Theseus alludes to the fire sign of Leo.

Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, had several children before the Minotaur. The eldest of these, Androgeus, set sail for Athens to take part in the Pan-Athenian games which were held there every five years. Being strong and skilful, he did very well, winning some events outright. He soon became a crowd favourite, much to the resentment of the Pallantides and they assassinated him, incurring the undying retribution of Minos.

When King Minos heard what befell his son, he ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son’s assassins, and if they were handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who the assassins were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos’ mercy. However, Minos’s recompense for the life of his son was to cost the Athenians dearly. He demanded that at the end of every Great Year of seven solar years, the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.

On the third occasion, Theseus came of age and with his great and courageous heart he volunteered to slay the monster. He took the place of one of the youths and set off with a black sail, promising to his father, Aegeus, that if successful he would return with a white sail. Like the others, Theseus was stripped of his weapons when they sailed. On his arrival in Crete, he recognised the soulful Ariadne as his anima. She was King Minos’ daughter, but this could not stop her from falling in love with the bold Theseus. Her great soul would be his guide and so she secretly passed Theseus the fateful ball of thread that would safeguard his descent into her Father King Minos, mind maze of lies and safely back again.

That night, Ariadne escorted Theseus to the Labyrinth, and Theseus promised that if he returned from the Labyrinth he would take Ariadne with him. As soon as Theseus entered the Labyrinth, he tied one end of the ball of thread to the door post. The Oracle had prophesised that the Minotaur’s embodiment of pure fear could never be slain by shield, sword or spear; symbolic of body, mind and soul and so Theseus carried nothing but his great heart within his great chest.

Theseus also had instructions from the intuitive Ariadne as his soul guide to go forwards, always down and never left or right so that he would not reveal any absence through his doubting. Theseus soon came to the heart of the Labyrinth and also upon the sleeping Minotaur who could only smell fear. The beast awoke and a tremendous fight then occurred. Theseus overpowered the Minotaur with his naked strength and killed the beast with his bare hands, the ultimate in courageous acts. For only pure presence could reveal the illusion of pure absence. Had Theseus doubted his own presence and sought to arm and protect himself with shield, sword or spear then it would have proved fatal for he would only have revealed the fear born of absence that would have fed the monsters might.


After defeating the beast, Theseus used the intuitive thread of truth to escape the mind maze of lies that had hidden the bodily fear that his heart had vanquished. His heroics did not stop there as he also managed to escape with all of the young Athenians and Ariadne. Then he and the rest of the crew fell asleep on the beach. Athena goddess of wisdom wakes Theseus and tells him to leave early that morning. Athena tells Theseus to leave Ariadne on the beach. Stricken with distress, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails instead of the black ones, so the king committed suicide. His father’s suicide may be seen as karmic retribution for not having the courage to defy King Minos in the first place. At any rate, having delivered them into freedom, Theseus proved himself to be the true King of the Athenians.

The Promethean journey is the story of the first half of life to descend and fully accumulate and integrate the four functions of our being as an involution. The heroic journey of Theseus is the story of our second half of life when we as integrated psyches achieve our purpose and secure our own freedom and that of others to ascend.

Unlike involution’s accumulation of ego functions the ascent to personal freedom and self actualisation of the self requires instead the dissipation of functions. In this process Theseus had to lose his own Father’s life and Ariadne’s love. One was symbolic of his past while the other was of his future so that he could remain in the present and be fit to rule the kingdom on his return….


The Meta Model : Beyond A Theory of Everything?

“Clues to the Meta Model are hidden in antiquity; while everyday they abound and surround us, hidden in ubiquity”

I have been playing Meta Model tic tac toe with Peter Midgley for seven years and it never gets old. Well, for us at any rate although we have worn out several white boards and the patience of many a colleague along the way.

As a pair of avid enthusiasts we have found that iron sharpens iron. Only now the potential significance of our meta findings calls for many more specialists in every field of enquiry to test the model’s truth and utility.


All along we have dared to be naive and so I ask that you please put aside any contempt prior to investigation you may have and read this unfolding of the Meta Model through to the end. However if you find yourself time poor, feel free to skip to the remaining section below the rotating Tesseract (Hypercube).

If we are right then the Meta Model may serve as a public good in every single area of human endeavour. For it can provide us with a means to predict progression within any process, at any level of abstraction; revealing many key openings as well as obstructions to our advancement.

“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force….We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.” – Planck

By definition, a Meta Model for our Universe both within and without would only be worthy of the name if it explained all past, present and future phenomenon, both known and unknown. We acknowledge that such a meta understanding of reality may at first be daunting or even overwhelming and so we shall attempt to demonstrate this tremendous utility by building facet upon facet.

We have many macro examples to share with the world but if we are to convey the significance of the Meta Model as a whole we have chosen to demonstrate its utility by providing the key insights that may help resolve the Theory of Everything (ToE); a single, all-encompassing and coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the Universe.

To date, two theoretical frameworks have emerged that most closely resemble a ToE: General Relativity (GR) and Quantum Field Theory (QFT). With the aid of the Meta Model we shall describe how both of these theoretical frameworks may be integrated into a cohesive whole, by bringing new insight into one of the great unsolved challenges of scientific history, while revealing an even deeper underlying reality, but more on that later….

It all started out as a single line of enquiry as we attempted to understand the basis for our own culture at Present Group. At the time, we had also been inspired by the human genome project that had succeeded in mapping the more physical attributes of our biological genome. It’s goal had been to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. It occurred to us that we might also map our identity, values, beliefs and capability as a metaphysical memome. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices. We really wanted to know what made us tick as a collective and so we figured that a memome would be the memetic sum of the organisation as whole.

We began our memome project by gathering together and observing all of our processes, values, beliefs and structures which constituted our collective culture at the time; it has since evolved quite a bit in recent years. What we discovered took us completely by surprise as we continually saw the same patterns emerging time and again:

  • Sets of fours with accumulation or dissipation of properties;
  • Each set of four presented as two base pairs;
  • Each set of four also presented as a three into one phenomenon;
  • Each set of four had staged progression toward freedom or determinism;
  • The fourth order effect appeared to summate and transcend the other three.

The base pair findings especially caught our attention as they were reminiscent of the human genome: DNA usually exists as a double-stranded structure, with both strands coiled together to form the characteristic double-helix. Each single strand of DNA is a chain of four types of nucleotides. Nucleotides in DNA contain a deoxyribose sugar, a phosphate, and a nucleobase. The four types of nucleotide correspond to the four nucleobases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, commonly abbreviated as A,C, G and T. Adenine and guanine are purine bases, while cytosine and thymine are pyrimidines bases.


Here is a base rendition of our initial memonic culture cube where the x,y,z dimensions intersect ‘AS’ the fourth order effect. There are 64 intersections for a three dimensional representation with four strata per dimension. We now had a means to characterise our organisation and the context within which it was set. It also gave eight degrees of alignment to consider for each of the intersections (0,-x,+x,-y,+y,-z,+z,¥).


We finally distilled the most abstract terms down to Be, Do, Is and As. We also found it useful to assign the meta tags of body, mind, soul and heart to our findings from the first through to the fourth order effect respectively. Over time by repeated example our instinct, and intuition drew the conclusion that the essence of each order of effect resembled these tags. It gave us a common language. For example we might ask ourselves what is the body of understanding…. Information. What is the mind of understanding…. Knowledge. What is the soul of understanding…. Wisdom and so on. They are also useful to keep track as you move up and down levels of abstraction and layers of interaction. Next came a eureka moment when we realised that the underlying answer to this pattern lay in the basics of geometry. The Tetrahedron.


Therefore we must first pay homage to Plato and his theory of ‘Forms’ which asserts that it is the non-material abstract forms and not the experiential material world of constant change that signifies the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. This is the basis for the Meta Model as it applies the same meta pattern to every transient phenomenon of reality, so revealing it’s actuality.

The Platonic solids have been known since antiquity and while they are prominent in the philosophy of Plato. Some credit Pythagoras with their discovery. Other evidence suggests that he may have only been familiar with the tetrahedron, cube, and dodecahedron and that the discovery of the octahedron and icosahedron belong to Theaetetus, a contemporary of Plato. In any case, Theaetetus gave the first mathematical description of all five and may have been responsible for the first known proof that no other convex regular polyhedra exist.

“So their combinations with themselves and with each other give rise to endless complexities, which anyone who is to give a likely account of reality must survey. ” – Plato

Plato also wrote about them in the dialogue Timaeus c.360 B.C. in which he associated each with one of the four classical elements (earth/cube or hexahedron, air/octahedron, water/icosahedron, and fire/tetrahedron) As for the fifth Platonic solid, the dodecahedron, Plato obscurely remarked; “….god used for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven”. Aristotle later added a fifth element, (ether) and postulated that the heavens were made of this element, but he did not directly assign it with Plato’s fifth solid.


Every polyhedron has a dual (or “polar”) polyhedron with faces and vertices interchanged. The dual of every Platonic solid is another Platonic solid, so that we can arrange the five solids into dual pairs:

  • The tetrahedron is self-dual (i.e. its dual is another tetrahedron);
  • The hexahedron (cube) and the octahedron form a dual pair;
  • The dodecahedron and the icosahedron form a dual pair.

This presents us with the first key understandings toward the basis of the Meta Model. The tetrahedron as a self-dual can be reassessed so as to encompass the actuality of there being six Platonic solids. Admittedly it’s dual may look the same as the original but it has fundamentally changed states by inverting its four faces and four vertices.

Other than being the only Platonic solid to be self dual, the tetrahedron is special for a number of other reasons; it is the simplest of all the ordinary convex polyhedra and the only one that has four faces, it also has the smallest volume for its surface area.

Yet it is the tetrahedron’s status as a self dual that is the primary basis for the Meta Model, as this initial insight gave rise to an important thought experiment.

We asked ourselves; If the tetrahedron were the geometric building block for all configurations of reality both physical and metaphysical then could it reveal all variants of manifestation?


Our first visualisations shown above were of the tetrahedron in free floating isolation, the first state in the upper left quadrant could be considered it’s origin. We termed this point of origin as ‘Revert’. When you revert to the beginning, you ‘turn’ back to it, so this would always serve as the start for any process.

The second visualised state whereby it looked alike but was fundamentally different was to turn it into its dual. We termed this second manifestation as ‘Invert’ and the process from revert to invert as ‘Reflex’: a thing which is determined by and reproduces the essential features or qualities of something else.

A third state could be visualised when we turned it on its axis. We termed this third manifestation by external rotation as ‘Exvert’. We also termed the process from revert to exvert as ‘Reflect’: to give evidence of the similar external characteristics of something.

Finally, a fourth fundamental state could only be realised if we combined both the reflex and the reflect processes. We termed this fourth manifestation as ‘Covert’ to signify the combination of both of these prior processes. To summarise: the Meta Model can loosely be described as the reflexive and reflective interrelationships between the manifestations of revert, invert, exvert and covert tetrahedral configurations.


As shown above, the four elementary arithmetic operators (addition, multiplication, subtraction, division) that we most commonly use with real numbers can be assigned to each quadrant. So too can the four real and imaginary notations most commonly used with complex numbers. Hopefully this will provide some basic insight as to the interaction and interdependence of the four tetrahedral quadrants.

The four elementary arithmetic operators used with real numbers and the four notations found with complex numbers are also useful to understand the basic interrelationships between quadrants.

The table below also provides a few notable sets of examples of the four manifestations and the accumulation of effects:


As a result of our many explorations with the Meta Model we now have an extensive catalogue of macro, mesa and micro examples across the four lenses of human perspective. Again using the Meta Model we have assigned terms to these lenses of perspective:

  • Pragmatic (body): primarily inductive reasoning (cause);
  • Scholastic (mind): primarily deductive reasoning (rule);
  • Esoteric (soul): primarily abductive reasoning (pattern);
  • Holistic (heart): primarily conductive reasoning (values).

A prime example from the scholastic perspective can be found in the four possible normed division algebras:

  • R real numbers, dimension 1, both commutative and associative (multiplication);
  • C complex numbers, dimension 2, commutative and associative;
  • H quaternions, dimension 4, associative, not commutative;
  • O octonions, dimension 8, not associative or commutative.

We believe that this 1,2,4,8 principle of progression is also at the heart of understanding a ‘Theory of Everything’ (ToE) for the Physical Universe and points toward four dimensional geometry.


The three dimensional Star Tetrahedron (Merkaba) represents the notion of reflectivity between the quadrants while the four dimensional Hypercube (Tesseract) represents the combined properties of reflectivity and reflexivity.

Time and again over the many years of meta modelling we have found ourselves pondering the nature of the tesseract. For example if we were to reflex a dual star-tetrahedron then we can begin to imagine the 16 vertices and 32 vectors of the tesseract progressing in four dimensions.

Represented here in animation is a three dimensional projection of the four dimensional tesseract. It is intriguing and enigmatic but can hardly do justice to the real thing:

The tesseract, therefore is at the heart of our understanding the four dimensional nature of the Universe and the Multiverse. Admittedly this has been a crash course in the Meta Model but hopefully it has at least taken you toward a basic understanding. Now let us apply that understanding and have a crack at meta modelling our Universe and beyond:


We have taken the liberty of assigning eight physical properties to our Meta Model Universe as we have come to understand their complimentary nature coupled with their descent from freedom to determinism and back again. In this case, we are using the terms of dimension, direction, detection and densation as placeholders to describe each of the four tetrahedral manifestations.

We first assigned revert with our one temporal dimension (t) as the fourth order effect of our three spatial dimensions (x,y,z). Then we reflexed this tetrahedral arrangement to its self dual and assigned it the properties of three momentum (px,py,pz) with a fourth order effect of energy (e). In simplistic terms: Space-time may be perceived to provide the “container” for our reality while Momentum-energy is more indicative of the ‘contents’ that inhabit the Space-time framework. The reflexive nature of this is quite apparent as Space-time is in effect turned ‘inside out’ to create dual properties of Momentum-Energy.

Now with the properties of dimension (revert) and direction (invert) we reflected and attributed the three unified forces (strong, weak, electromagnetic) and the fourth order effect of field to detection (exvert). Finally we both reflexed and reflected this to realise the three properties of matter (volume, density, mass) and the fourth order effect of gravity to densation (covert). Again in simplistic terms: Force-field may be seen to provide the ‘tent poles’ for our type of reality while Matter-gravity provides it’s reflexed dual as the material ‘tent’ itself.

Another simplistic general view would be to understand the inter-dependance between the sum of the first three orders of effect in each quadrant with its fourth order compliment:

  • the sum of all space would equate to all the time our universe has….
  • the sum of all momentum would equate to all the energy our universe has….
  • the sum of all force would equate to all the field our universe has….
  • the sum of all matter would equate to all the gravity our universe has….

The reflexive and reflective nature of our universe also means that we can readily imagine;

  • space without gravity but not space without time….
  • gravity without space but not gravity without matter….
  • energy without field but not energy without momentum….
  • field without momentum but not field without force….

Another correlation is found when we consider the dual aspects of freedom and determinism having the greatest emphasis on the respective first and fourth order effects in any given quadrant. Essentially the first order effects of space, momentum, force and matter are markedly freer than the fourth order effects of time, energy, field and gravity.

The first key observation from all this is that gravity in the covert is estranged from the three forces in the exvert. As one another’s dual this fundamentally places gravity in a whole other paradigm from that of force. Existing in the densation quadrant; gravity is not so much a force, as it is a “feel”.

Gravity can only pull while the other forces in nature have opposites. In the case of the electromagnetic force, for example, it can attract or repel, depending on the charges of the bodies involved. So what makes gravity different?

Again the geometrical progression of our universe may be understood as a spacial singularity; which in process terms could be seen to start as a ‘push’ as the first order effect in revert. It would then reflex as a push-pull in the invert and reflect to pull-push in the exvert before resulting in a pull toward gravitational singularity as the forth order effect of the covert.

Also, since Matter-gravity is the reflexive dual of Force-field it may be reasoned that gravity in terms of General Relativity cannot be unified with the forces of Quantum Field Theory until this dual nature is mathematically transposed. Quite simple, Matter-gravity must first be reflexed to Force-Field or visa versa.

John Baez once described the Mathematical nature of Octonion’s as the “crazy old uncle nobody lets out of the attic”. The Meta Model suggests that gravity with its covert nature may well be a similar contender within Physics and may also explain why so far it has not joined the family, so to speak. A clue may be found in the attribution of non-locality and non-unitarity to gravity just as octonions were found to be non-associative and non-communicative.

Like most things in life, if we are to truly understand our own Universe then the next higher level of abstraction often provides a better vantage point. In the case of our own Universe this would be to model it’s configuration of eight universal physical properties within the greater four dimensional realm of the tesseract.


In geometry, the tesseract, 8-cell or regular octachoron or cubic prism, is the four-dimensional analog of the cube; the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of 6 square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of 8 cubical cells. The tesseract is the four-dimensional hypercube, or 4-cube. The word tesseract was coined and first used in 1888 by Charles Howard Hinton in his book A New Era of Thought, from the Greek (“four rays”), referring to the four lines from each vertex to other vertices.


As above, the tesseract can be unfolded into eight cubes into three dimensional space, just as the cube can be unfolded into six squares into two dimensional space. An unfolding of a polytope is called a net. There are 261 distinct nets of the tesseract. All in all, it consists of 8 cubes, 16 vertices, 24 squares, 32 edges.


This two dimensional view of the Tesseract has been highlighted to show the dual relationship between two of the eight cubes present. The cubes are a bit distorted by rendering them into two dimensions but you can count all eight cubes if you care to select any two of the outside vertices to locate the base of a square and then project it’s cube as you rotate either clockwise or anticlockwise. In this way, you should be able to visualise all eight cubical cells without too much trouble.

The two parallel cubes highlighted in blue and red will also serve to pick out two dual Universe’s. In the Matrix movie, the main character Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The blue pill would allow him to remain in the fabricated reality of the Matrix, therefore living the “illusion of ignorance”, while the red pill would lead to his escape from the Matrix and into the real world, therefore living the “truth of reality”.

Therefore let us use the Matrix analogy to describe the blue cube as our own universe and the red cube as our imaginary dual universe. The eight vertices of our blue universe are marked ABCDEFGH while the eight vertices of our dual universe are marked IJKLMNOP.


Also, as befits four dimensional geometry, all vertices are the intersection of four vectors (“four rays” x,y,z,w). Therefore the eight single grey vectors ‘w’connecting the dual blue and red universes are representative of one unique universal property as a fourth order effect.

Our Universe: Vector Property Sets


The four real sets (ACFH) demonstrate our familiar three into one’s. Whereas the four imaginary sets (BDEG) are a mixed bag and therefore to our minds weird and wonderful combinations to behold.

Temptingly the two alien fourth order effects of ‘matter’ found in column B above and column J below may very well describe the respective phenomenon of dark matter and anti matter. The reflexive axis is also clearly apparent between columns D and E above and columns L and M below.

Dual Universe: Vector Property Sets


We can now have some real and imaginary fun exploring our dual Universe with its strange and exotic inventory. Its four real sets are inversions of our familiar reality and therefore we have four intriguing new sets and fourth order effects to consider.
For a start, just taking the concept of one dimension of space and three of time we arrive at some very odd notions:

  • You would be over then, not over there;
  • Time in three dimensions would be an infinity;
  • Space in one dimension would be an eternity;
  • Synchronicities would be as common as symmetries are for us.

Our universe’s third order effects of space, momentum, force and matter appear very real to us while our fourth order effects of time, energy, field and gravity appear more surreal. No doubt our dual doings, as we are beings would find space, momentum, force and matter equally surreal.

In summary we may deduce that there are eight unique Universes in the Multiverse. The other six can be mapped in the same manner as we arrived at our dual. Each universe’s progression is a variation of the same eight universal properties manifesting as a set of four real and four imaginary revert, invert, exvert and covert beginnings and endings.

In Symmetry terms this would accumulate the same 1 2 4 8 order as proven for the four possible normed division algebras:

  • 1 A single Universe;
  • 2 A dual of Universes;
  • 4 A quad of Universes (two duals with revert & covert properties interchanged);
  • 8 An octo of Universes (two quads with invert & exvert properties interchanged).

Again the limits of four dimensional geometry set a ceiling on the number of cubes in a tesseract and hence the number of universes in a multiverse as it would break a fundamental law of geometry to directly reflex between revert and covert manifestations.

This begs the question whether all, some or none of these alternate universes are viable? Well first of all we may have to ignore our parochial notions that arise from our own local experience of reality when considering what may constitute viability in an alternate universe. As with meta modelling in general this may have to come with a health warning as it is likely to induce either altitude sickness or non-motion sickness.

One last thing to ponder. The tesseract is beautiful in its own way, however this type of four dimensional geometry appears awkward and so we might not describe it as elegant.

Let us consider a square with two dimensional spin (x,y).


Now consider a cube with three dimensional spin (x,y,z).


Then consider a tesseract with four dimensional spin (x,y,z,w).


We arrive at a Torus (Hypersphere), now that could be described as both beautiful and elegant, but unlike the tesseract as it’s own cluster of 8 universes (realities) it looks a tad lonely.


As a matter of interest the International Mathematical Union (IMU) adopted a new logo, on the 22 August 2006 at the opening ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2006) in Madrid. It was the winner of an international competition announced by the IMU in 2004.

The logo was designed by John Sullivan, Professor of Mathematical Visualization at the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and at the DFG Research Center MATHEON, and adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana (UIUC), with help from Prof. Nancy Wrinkle of Northeastern Illinois University.


The winning logo design above was based on the Borromean rings, a famous topological link of three components. The rings have the surprising property that if any one component is removed, the other two can fall apart (while all three together remain linked). This so-called Brunnian property has led the rings to be used over many centuries in many cultures as a symbol of interconnectedness, or of strength in unity.

Although the Borromean rings are most often drawn as if made from three round circles, such a construction is mathematically impossible. The IMU logo instead uses the tight shape of the Borromean rings, as would be obtained by tying them in rope pulled as tight as possible. Mathematically, this is the length-minimizing configuration of the link subject to the constraint that unit-diameter tubes around the three components stay disjoint. This problem and its solution are described in the paper Criticality for the Gehring Link Problem by J.Cantarella, J.Fu, R.Kusner, J.Sullivan, N.Wrinkle, Geometry and Topology 10 (2006).

Let’s leave it at that for now. We have taken you through the leanest journey to get to the highest level of abstraction. More will no doubt be revealed….

We have decided to go public with the Meta Model by proposing a description of the Universe, the Multiverse and beyond as a method to attract the keenest minds to develop our understanding further for the benefit of mankind.

We surmise that if it can stand up to the rigorous scrutiny of Mathematicians and Physicists then it will no doubt hasten its more general acceptance and adoption within the wider community.

The most difficult part of writing this public introduction to the Meta Model was deciding what to leave out. Amongst other things we are developing ‘Artificial Intuition’ decision engines informed by the Meta Model that go beyond the algorithm. We have automated knowledge with the deductive power of the algorithm but if we are to survive and flourish despite ourselves then we need to also automate wisdom with the abductive power of the “Meta-sphere”.

We cordially invite you to explore the nature of actuality with us.

“Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.” ― Chardin

Meta Model, Uncategorized

A Data Trust-Sphere Analogous To A Life Biosphere : Or How Three Into One Will Go?

“One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the NEW one as the fourth.” Maria Prophetissa

Maria certainly knew a thing or four, so much so that the Arabs bestowed her the honourific, Plato’s Daughter. However I have taken the liberty of inserting NEW into her axiom.

The ‘new one as the fourth’ more accurately describes our findings with the Meta Model for Process. Namely, that the fourth order effect is the heart which transcends the other three. Taking Space-time as an example, our one temporal dimension is the heart of the three spacial dimensions; bringing them all to life! The new one that enables progression to occur. Without it, the third order effect of spacial dimensions (x,y,z) only allows for presentation.

The biosphere is also a fourth order effect allowing progression between it’s three sub-spheres which can all come together to sustain life in it’s many different forms.


As predicted by the Meta Model; the biosphere is a three into one phenomenon. The biosphere can be seen as the summation of its three sub-sphere’s which is greater than its parts.

When meta modelling we use the meta tags of body, mind, soul and heart, to assign the first through to the fourth order effect respectively. They are also useful to keep a track as you move up and down levels of abstraction and layers of interaction.


The table above demonstrates the utility of the meta tags when observing stages of Involution, increasing material complexity, or of Envolution, increasing functional complexity; in this case four examples of Envolution are shown.

In the case of the biosphere we would apply meta tags in the following order:

Heart: Biosphere.      (Life)
Soul:   Atmosphere    (Air)
Mind: Hydrosphere  (Water)
Body: Lithosphere    (Earth)

As a form of envolution, the biosphere also presents as an accumulation of functional complexity; The lithosphere presents as land masses that are separated until the hydrosphere connects them, while the atmosphere connects both the lithosphere and the hydrosphere simultaneously. Finally the biosphere is the unification of all three of these functional domains.

The biosphere then can be considered the global eco-system which houses all other eco-systems. The biosphere eco-system also provides a great analogy to a ‘Trust-sphere’ eco-system or ‘equ-system’ for the proliferation of data as an analogy to the proliferation of life. An equ-system, like any true partnership or relationship exchange should be imbued with trust. For that to occur there should be no gradient (asymmetric information) relationship between any two parties within the system.

A trust-sphere may look something like this;

Heart:Experience trust as new form of eco-system (Equ-system)

Soul: Engagement trust as new form of e-commerce (MeCommerce)

Mind:Execution trust as new form of framework (OIX’s)

Body:Enablement trust as new form of infrastructure (CSP’s)

The Meta Model points to a reflexive process that already appears to be emerging toward the manifestation of a trust-sphere by reflexing the pre-existing conditions and turning them inside out. Just as these examples indicate;

– CRM reflexes to VRM

– E-Commerce reflexes to MeCommerce

– Attention (Push/Advertising) reflexes to Intention (Pull/Casting).

VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) tools provide customers with both independence from vendors and better ways of engaging with vendors. The same tools can also support individuals’ relations with schools, churches, government entities and other kinds of organizations.

While Me-Commerce (Life Management Platforms) will allow consumers to disrupt conventional advertising directly and social network revenue models indirectly. Overall the shift to a trust-sphere would put the heart and soul back into our online interactions by empowering the many;

Heart:  Many to Many
Soul:    Many to One
Mind:  One to Many
Body:  One to One

Personal data sovereignty then, will be the basis for a trust-sphere. As we all create the data in the first place we should be at its heart. It is our asset to commoditise then use as a form of currency however we should choose;

Heart:  Sovereign
Soul:    Asset
Mind:  Commodity
Body:  Currency

So what might a trust-sphere look like and what would constitute the sum of its parts? Well the Meta Model also points to the trust-sphere and it’s three sub-spheres all creating three into one eco-system’s in their own right:

Heart: Experience   (Trust-sphere)
Soul:   Engagement (Enter-sphere)
Mind: Execution      (Exec-sphere)
Body: Enablement  (Infra-sphere)

Heart: Trust-sphere

Ultimately the trust-sphere as a whole will allow us to ‘Experience’ trust throughout as we transact our lives in the digital era. The three sub-spheres required to make this a reality may also look something like this:

Soul: Enter-sphere:

The enter-sphere would be the ‘Engagement’ layer delivering all the enterprise activities we have come to expect but in a safe sovereign environment where we can transact our lives and add value by creating new data for us to own and control with new value adding enterprise models that were previously unavailable:

Heart:   Engagement (Me-Commerce)
Soul:     Platforms      (Life Management)
Mind:   Applications (Collaborators)
Body:   Brands.          (Co-creators)

Mind: Exec-sphere:

The exec-sphere would be the ‘Execution’ layer providing the governance frameworks of open identity exchange systems and memberships both personal and business. Above all else this will provide the portability that guards against monopoly. These are the four facets required of any sustainable civilisation;

Heart:  Execution Framework    (Social Facet)
Soul:    Technology Framework  (Technical Facet)
Mind:  Legal Framework.            (Political Facet)
Body:  Business Framework       (Economic Facet)

Body: Infra-sphere:

Finally, the infra-sphere would be the ‘Enablement’ layer providing the infrastructure to underpin the experiences, enterprises and execution entities. The ultimate role of a data infrastructure layer would be to act as the Utility providers and securers of our data. This is already most likely taking shape as personal and business Cloud Service Providers (CSP’s)

Heart:  Enable Content as a Service   (CaaS)
Soul:    Utility Platforms as a Service (PaaS)
Mind:  Utility Software as a Service   (SaaS)
Body:  Utility Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Returning to the biosphere analogy where the biosphere and trust-sphere both equate as heart / heart. We can take the notion that the lithosphere (infra-sphere) comprises continents (CSP utilities) or Islands (DIY Clouds) that are separate and associate it with the trust-sphere’s infrastructure layer of data utilities; both lithosphere and infra-sphere equate as body / body.

In turn the lithosphere’s continental land masses (CSP utilities) are connected by the hydrosphere’s Oceans (Open Identity Exchanges) which also associates nicely with the trust-sphere’s ‘Execution’ and governance layer allowing content to move freely between the continents (CSP utilities); both hydrosphere and exec-sphere equate as mind / mind.

Lastly the atmosphere as the ‘Enterprise’ layer adds value as it sits above both and absorbs water (data) by the process of evaporation from the hydrosphere (OIX’s), transporting and depositing it back onto the lithosphere’s (CSP utilities) as precipitation (data content) which can then return it to the hydrosphere’s Oceans (OIX’s) via lakes and rivers to be recycled. Or it can store the precipitation (data content) which can be likened to percolation back into the water table of the lithosphere (CSP as storage).

The processes of sublimation and transpiration that occur on the lithosphere (CSP utilities) also allow the atmosphere (enterprise layer) to absorb water (data) and transport it back to other regions of the lithosphere (CSP utilities) or hydrosphere (OIX’s); both atmosphere and enter-sphere equate then as soul to soul.


Admittedly if a data trust-sphere as an entire global equ-system is to emerge, it will no doubt require a lot of resources and cooperation. Yet we only have to look back a generation to see the enormous development that has given rise to our current form of internet.

The secret for a wiser generation who have borne witness to the reckless and uncontrolled profusion of our personal data and resultant loss of sovereignty;
Will be in ensuring that the three sub-spheres cannot contaminate or corrupt one another and that each sub-sphere maintains a sizeable community engaging in healthy competition much as the biosphere does between life forms within it.

Therefore each sub-sphere will require its own specialisation of cultures, technologies, policies and economic models. In essence we do not need another controlled eco-system, we have that now; what we do need is a collaborative one so we as individuals can remain in control of our sovereign data rights.

Are you ready to trust in a new future? It may not be utopian but it will be tritopian which will be essential if we are to support all life in trust by avoiding our current growing dystopia of data haves and have nots!

This article was written by Brian Grimmer, Founder & CEO of Present Group, with insights and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley, CXO of Present Group on the Meta Model for Process. The terms ‘Trust-sphere’, ‘Equ-system’, ‘Enter-sphere’, ‘Exec-sphere’ and ‘Infra-sphere’ are new terms to have emerged while meta modelling a data eco-system to be analogous to the biosphere.


By Design : Our Irrefutable Right to be Remembered & Forgotten

“Every great and just struggle you care to mention, has been necessitated in order to address a wholesale abuse of power.”

For years I have considered the interrelationship between power and strength. We so often hear the term ‘an abuse of power’ but never have I heard the term ‘an abuse of strength’ before.

In recent history, one of the most visual and striking examples of these two forces of nature facing off against one another, was the instance of “Tank Man”. When a lone figure in Beijing, temporarily stopped the advance of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, in what is widely considered one of the iconic images of the 20th century.


Tiananmen Square – Power Meets Strength

The anonymous man who stood in front of a column of tanks that morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests by force, achieved widespread international recognition. Some have identified the man as Wang Weilin, but the name has not been confirmed and little is known about him or of his fate after the confrontation.

So why did such a show of concentrated military power yield to a lone and defenceless student carrying nothing more than a shopping bag?

We can all understand power versus power confrontations. For instance think of the Cold War deadlock between the super powers of capitalism and communism, or WW2 when the free democratic ‘Allies’ united in defence against the totalitarian fascist ‘Axis’ powers.

Equally, strength versus strength show downs which capture our attention are also easily understood. These are the preserve of accomplished and driven individuals pitting their wits and courage and in some cases their very lives against each other in a bid for glory or immortality. Think of the great tennis, racetrack, political, or business rivalries. Or any other concentrated arena where the limits of human skill, resilience and endurance are on full show.

But it is the David and Goliath, strength versus power struggles such as the one witnessed in Tiannaman Square that day that continue to intrigue me the most.

So why does power appear to present more often in collectives and strength in individuals apart from the obvious inequality of resources that they each possess?

And even then, why does collective power so often yield to individual strength?

Fundamentally, what is it that majority power lacks, that minority strength has to it’s distinct advantage?

Perhaps, a vital insight has come from my own experience with customer surveys over the years. At Present Group while conducting Net Promoter Scale (NPS) customer satisfaction surveys it has become apparent that individual services score on average significantly higher than those rendered by collective teams.

It just goes to prove that great services provided by committed individuals are so much more apparent than collective services delivered by some committed individuals and some not so committed. Which leads to them being compromised in some way, sometimes to their total demise.

This leads me to conclude that greatness is far more likely to manifest as a result of a great individual’s heart or soul presenting as courage or truth and preferably both.

Therefore intrinsic courage and truth which distill together as strength are far more easily maintained in a committed individual than any more powerful collective, where any one weak individual within its ranks can dilute their entire resolve.

Without doubt, fear and lies can bring together powerful collectives but they will always lack strength when it is likely that many of their individual members will be rendered powerless in the face of a strong and committed individual, who has an unbending fortitude and in some cases is even prepared to die for their cause.


Quadrants of Influence on Society

This consideration has led me to devise the ‘Quadrants of Influence’ in the above diagram. As you can see the top right tile is both present and active representing the embodiment of a strong individual who leads based on merit. Presence is my definition for a combination of courage and truth which dispels fear and lies.

Present meritocratic individuals use their strength of advocacy to wield power by consensually harnessing the democratic collectives shown in the bottom right tile. Absent bureaucratic collectives and autocratic individuals will always feel their own power bases threatened by this and so they despise and challenge that strength with all their might.

The absent active force represented in the top left tile is defined by an autocratic individual who can be powerful and lead by force but their power is so often grounded in fear and lies. Active autocrats will use their force of will to wield this power over the passive bureaucratic collectives shown in the bottom left tile. That is of course until those usually passive bureaucracies have had quite enough and overthrow their pet tyrant, only to replace them with a fresh one.

A great example of this whole dynamic would be the showdown between two very meritocratic individuals; Churchill and Roosevelt, who both had the strength to advocate that their respective democratic collectives should rise to meet the threat of the Axis powers. Whereas the Axis powers were largely bureaucratic collectives ruled by poster boy autocratic tyrants, namely, Hitler and Mussolini.

This all leads us back to a greater understanding of the Tank Man phenomenon as it too involves all four quadrants of influence. Our anonymous hero was the perfect example of a strong individual meritocrat, facing down a powerful collective bureaucracy that had been ordered by forceful autocratic leaders, to quash a collective democratic uprising.


“Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” – George Santayana.

Enough of the history lesson. So what if we took the understanding of the ‘Quadrants of Influence’ and sought to understand a present day struggle?

The personal data sovereignty movement is a great case in point. It is a mounting necessity in a digital era where there are endless issues surrounding the ubiquitous nature of our data and how it is constantly being misappropriated.

This movement already has key collectives forming like Privacy by Design (PbD) and the Respect Network and they are championed by meritocratic individuals who have seeded compelling advocacy in their charters to win over the hearts and minds of the democratic collective.

– Privacy by Design – 7 Foundational Principles:

– Respect Network – Respect Trust Framework

On first reading the PbD – 7 Foundational Principles, I was struck by the uncanny parallels with an older cause championed in conventional industry, that of ‘Safety by Design’.

Most telling of the similarities between the two causes are the first two of PbD’s – 7 Foundational Principles;

1. Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial:
The Privacy by Design (PbD) approach is characterized by proactive rather than reactive measures. It anticipates and prevents privacy-invasive events before they happen. PbD does not wait for privacy risks to materialize, nor does it offer remedies for resolving privacy infractions once they have occurred – it aims to prevent them from occurring. In short, Privacy by Design comes before-the-fact, not after.

2. Privacy as the Default Setting:
We can all be certain of one thing – the default rules! Privacy by Design seeks to deliver the maximum degree of privacy by ensuring that personal data are automatically protected in any given IT system or business practice. If an individual does nothing, their privacy still remains intact. No action is required on the part of the individual to protect their privacy – it is built into the system, by default.

Likewise, Safety by Design is a concept and movement that encourages construction or product designers to ‘design out’ health and safety risks during design development. The concept supports the view that along with quality, programme and cost; safety is determined during the design stage.

At Present Group we service the industry sectors of mining, oil & gas, utilities and infrastructure for some of the worlds largest public companies. We help them to safely and effectively commission and operate their major assets throughout their life cycle. Over the past few decades there has been a great struggle in these sectors to win over the hearts and minds of individuals to embrace the concept of zero harm. Basically the right of every individual who works in industry to return to their families and loved ones unharmed and in one piece no matter how hazardous their work environment happens to be.

Just as PbD advocates, one of the greatest challenges has been shifting the focus and culture from a reactive to a proactive approach. A reactive safety culture is easily identified as it will mainly attend to Lag Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). Unfortunately this places the emphasis on attending to issues after the fact and invariably people continue to be injured or worse as a result.

Lead indicators on the other hand are the preserve of proactive cultures who aim to identify and attend to safety issues before someone has to suffer the consequences. At Present Group we often say of some clients, that they do not have to get it in their hearts and minds that this is the right approach, as long as they at least get it in their minds that it is good for their business if they do not harm people with impunity.

Privacy then has many parallels to safety. For in the earlier days of industry and still to some extent in emerging economies today, large corporates have continually trampled on individual safety rights in their pursuit of profit. It appears that the very same attitude is occurring with regard to an individual’s right to privacy.

Since the proactive approach of ‘Privacy by Design’ is relatively in it’s infancy compared to the movement for ‘Safety by Design’, most of the major tech companies and government surveillance agencies still only pander to reactive cases; usually only changing their behaviour once they have been caught red handed and publicly chastised.

– ‘In safety culture terms; poor reactive or lag measures, invariably means that we are forgotten until people get hurt?’

– ‘In privacy culture terms; poor reactive or lag measures, will no doubt mean that we continue to be remembered until personas get hurt?’

To drive this point home to reactionary safety laggards we often tell them: “If you think honouring personal safety is expensive try having an accident?”

Again, in privacy terms a similar phrase could be used to address privacy laggards; “If you think honouring personal privacy is expensive try having a breach?”

Recently the European Court of Justice has made a ruling that could have significant implications for search engine providers such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. It has also elevated the phrase “the right to be forgotten” into the public domain for no doubt endless heated debate. Although the arc of this debate will probably trend from the black and white quest for “the right to be forgotten” to a more realistic and achievable; “right not to be found easily.” Still it is certainly a healthy move in the right direction.

So why are our rights to personal data privacy not taken seriously, just as a few decades ago our basic right to a safe work environment was largely ignored too? One simple way to explain this, is with the aid of Maslows Hierarchy of needs;


As you can see our basic needs for safety and security (privacy) are somewhere down the bottom of the pyramid.

Much in the same way that the majority on our planet who were not fortunate enough to be born into the first world are constantly preoccupied with the daily struggle to secure their lives and families with food and shelter, today’s digital economy appears to be denying the vast majority of first world users and browsers the basic right to secure their privacy.

Quite simply, those further up the hierarchy who have met both their physical and privacy security needs, as they can well afford to, just do not see the importance for those still struggling to achieve it. Especially when it may also impact on their business or investment interests ability to profit by it and stay up there on the higher reaches of the pyramid seeking self esteem for themselves.

Call it the cost of progress if you like but it is imperative that a more evolved proactive approach as outlined by PbD helps us all to catch up.

This temptation for those who have taken care of their own basic security needs to continue to exploit those who are still struggling to do so has always been there. Especially when it means that they can profit further and satisfy the higher level aspects of the hierarchy of needs albeit at other less fortunate peoples expense. Today the new fortunes are to be made in the digital arena so it is little wonder that it is personal privacy rights that are being ignored, just as the early industrialists did with regular impunity in regard to personal safety rights.


The above meme is true to the extent that the desire for personal space may have always led to antisocial behaviour but with one vital missing element; The key difference is that unlike today’s online experience, no one knew in the public domain what you read, or what you thought about what you read in the newspapers, unless that is, you chose to break your own anonymity and wrote to the editor.


“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli’s stark warning remains true to this day. So who are today’s autocratic Princes and bureaucratic governments described in the left hand column of the ‘Quadrants of Influence?’

Well, when it comes to the digital hierarchy of needs, the current boys club of tech billionaires will do nicely in the role of self serving Princes. While the NSA and other government agencies are obvious candidates to be branded as intrusive government bureaucracies.

Without casting too big a shadow on these two influences, it all comes down to a simple matter of maturity. You see, archetypal Princes unlike archetypal Kings and Queens don’t tend to serve the people. Without a true Monarch’s sovereign burden of serious matters of state, that serve, to serve the greater good, Princes are free to be frivolous and selfish play boys if they so choose.

In a recent interview Bill Gates demonstrated that he himself has dramatically made the shift from tech Prince to King consciousness, replacing his own self interest with that of the greater good. Technology is “amazing,” Bill told the Financial Times, but it’s not going to save the world. The Microsoft co-founder said that though improvements in technology may have their benefits, they won’t meet the needs of the world’s most desperate.

“I certainly love the IT thing,” Gates said. “But when we want to improve lives, you’ve got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition. PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs,” he later added.

Gates’ comments come just a few months after Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and a group of other more recent ‘Tech Princes’ had tried to position Internet connectivity as a primary humanitarian concern, promising to bring Internet access to the entire world. It would be very much like a stereotypical Prince to confuse self interest with philanthropy in order to feel better about themselves. While, great leaders, like great Kings and Queens always eat last.

So when asked by the Financial Times whether Internet connectivity is more important than, say, finding a vaccination for malaria, the mature Gates responded: “As a priority? It’s a joke! If you think connectivity is the key thing, that’s great. I don’t,” he added.

This myopia of youth has also lured the two well meaning founders of Google to naively claim that they would ‘do no evil!’ Before the full understanding of how their mission statement; ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ would come into direct conflict with their own self interest and that of the people.

And so in the interests of seeking to understand all, in order to forgive all; It is probably fair to view the current array of ‘Tech Princes’ as immature and misguided ‘Sorcerers Apprentices’ as imagined by Goethe, who have tried to seize power too soon and wield it before they themselves fully understood the serious implications and consequences to an entire world.


Apprentice Prince Mickey confronting his own consequences.

And when it comes to passive governmental collectives, your average bureaucracy is just not as mature as your average democratic collective. Ruling by fixed rules as bureaucracies tend to, invariably leads to many a hypocritical reaction which have been used to justify amongst others things, the NSA’s breach of public trust. Whereas ruling by consent as democracies do, can on the whole deliver a more proactive majority endorsed solution.


“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

Just as we have struggled for the irrefutable right to a safe work environment in order to protect our physical selves while making an honest living; We must also challenge the tech corporates and government bureaucracies to put aside their respective profit and political imperatives until such assurances are given for our sovereign right to privacy.

This realisation is now setting the stage for a great and just struggle of epic proportions. The autocratic Princes and their bureaucratic machines pitted against a handful of committed meritocrats speaking for the hearts and minds of the passive democratic collective to take it back!

Rachel Botsman captures this well by describing the three camps which are either engaged or disengaged from disruption.

– Ostriches: ‘First response is to act like an ostrich and deny the change is happening, not a very productive response but too often what we see in Australian businesses.’

– Fighters: ‘The second response is to try and fight the disruptive force to stop it changing the market place (think music industry and online music purchases).’

– Pioneers: “The third and most progressive response is one of a pioneer where you embrace and adopt the disruption for the good of your organisation.”

In terms of the ‘Quadrants of Influence’, Rachel’s ostriches could also be said to resemble the passive bureaucratic and democratic collectives.

Her ‘Fighters’ description is also text book for how the tech and industry Princes act out if threatened. They made it to the top with their own disruptive practices and so intend it to stay that way by either acquiring new disruptive entrants or using Machiavellian political, economic or legal power to bar the way of any new entrant.

Lastly, there are her ‘Pioneers’ who start out as strong and disruptive meritocrats but don’t always stay that way when they get on top. Like all pioneers some don’t make the cut, succumbing under the onslaught of arrows to their backs.

So stopping others ascent is a clear example of Rachel’s ‘Fighter’ mentality when it would endanger their economic power base. Although the term disruption which is in common usage for new technological advances is not so often used for social disruption, the principal is basically the same.

Last century it was social emancipation, such as the struggle against racial and gender inequality that disrupted the status quo of political and economic power. This century it will be a struggle for technical emancipation that will guarantee the freedom to live our lives as sovereign beings.

And so the same powerful and privileged minorities will use all of the political power at their disposal to maintain their economic base when challenged by a cause such as the right to ‘Personal Data Sovereignty’, maybe even more so as it will combine aspects of both social and technological disruption.

The current boys club of autocratic ‘Tech Princes’ who have built their fortunes mining our personal data have no interest in honouring our irrefutable right to be forgotten if they can help it. Therefore, we will need to struggle to remind those higher up the digital hierarchy of needs that we have a right to be forgotten, just as we called on the powers that be in industry for the right to remember our personal safety concerns.

If as it appears, the personal data sovereignty movement is one of the people, for the people then there is no room for immature Princes serving their own self interest. For this movement can only manifest in a grown up internet where values come first and respect and honour aren’t just reserved for tokenistic mission statements.

One clear way to distinguish who? might be who? in the zoo so to speak would be to look out for Level 5 versus Level 4 traits in the emerging movement’s leadership.


Jim Collins of ‘Good to Great’ fame neatly summarised the two approaches.

Level 5 leaders are ambitious first and foremost for the cause, the organization, the work, not themselves and they have an iron will to do whatever it takes to make good on that ambition. Level 4 are ambitious for themselves.

Level 5 leaders practice the window and the mirror. They point out the window to people and factors other than themselves to give credit for success. When confronted with failures, they look in the mirror and say, “I am responsible.” Level 4 leaders do the reverse, they use the mirror to credit themselves with success and the window to find someone else to accredit blame for failure.

Level 5 leaders might be charismatic, but this is not the primary source of their effectiveness. They inspire others primarily via inspired standards for excellence, hard work, sacrifice, and integrity not with an inspiring public persona as many a Level 4 leader does.

These observations bring us back to my earlier awareness of strength versus power;

– Level 5 Leaders are without doubt strong! then powerful!

– Level 4 Leaders are without doubt powerful!

Therefore, Level 5 should be the sole preserve of our greatest Kings and Queens who understand and honour sovereign rights, be they individual or collective. Princes can achieve Level 4 but they will never unite and govern the people effectively for many generations to come.

Thankfully the Personal Data Sovereignty movement has many level 5 candidates and soon we shall all find out who has the courage to carry our age and the truth to lead us all in the right direction. Only then will we have a mature and safe environment with which to navigate and transact our lives.

The Respect Network global launch begins on June 23 2014.


The Onexus Republic : What If =Plato Blogged Thought Leadership from his own Personal Sovereign Cloud Kingdom

‘Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.’ – Plato

First of all I must thank Dan Blum of Respect Network & Katryna Dow of Meeco for suggesting the original premise for this piece. Basically, what if Plato, the founding Father of Western Philosophy, was kicking around today.

Plato was undoubtedly a giant in the wisdom stakes and like Lao Tzu before him it is so easy to be in awe of such a compelling character as he appeared to understand everything that was important about life before anyone else got out of bed. He even knew he had the sciences trumped before most of them had even emerged.

‘Wisdom alone is the science of other sciences.’ – Plato

So what if Plato had a second coming and presented today as an untypical, typical 21st Century Gen Y hipster with a burning desire to blog his paradigm shifting philosophy without fear of being shutdown.

Well, in this era he would be far more likely to emerge as the Founder and CEO of an Onexus Republic rather than form his Academy amidst a grove of olive trees outside the city walls.

As an aside on the brand Onexus In the late 1990’s I had a flash of inspiration when describing what I thought the first wave of dot-coms could do in terms of disruption. For a start they could be one nexus, eliminating all middlemen and allowing the meeting of one with us. One day the two separate words of ‘One’ and ‘Nexus’ happened to combine in my minds eye as I spoke them out loud and Onexus or one multiplied by us was born.

I was so ecstatic that I now had my quintessential dot-com brand that I lay on the office floor making carpet angels and letting the euphoria wash over me. I’m a little more reserved these days but only a little as those that know me will testify.

Anyway, rolling forward over a decade and I have dusted off the brand again to embrace the Personal Sovereignty movement and MeCommerce in particular and I am also pleased to see that the rate of disruption is increasing as promised.

Disruption is nothing new, only these days because of technology it affects more of us much faster than ever before. This acceleration is no doubt due to the fact that our technology has reached a level where we have tools, mainly computational ones, to shape newer more complex ones, and so the half lives get halved again and again. All this innovation started somewhere and some 3000 years before Plato, the advent of the wheel no doubt disrupted those who carried things on their backs for a living.

So today Plato would be spoilt for choice to disseminate his ‘School of Thought’ through any number of technology delivery systems. Once his reputation was established he could even consider co-creating with a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

One of the fastest means however would be for him to simply register his own personal cloud name with a CSP like Onexus as part of the Respect Network the world’s first Personal Cloud Network. He could then blog to his hearts content building his thought leadership within a peer to peer sharing network of like minded souls without fear of intrusion by the ever present powers that be?

‘There must always remain something that is antagonistic to good.’ – Plato
As you can see a Personal Cloud can be reduced to a bucket with your name on it. For added security you can always add a lid. That concludes the tech part of this blog, now back to the philosophy.

In reality of course a Onexus / Respect Network Personal Cloud is so much more than a bucket. It guarantees the option to be anonymous, the ability to sign-in, sign-on, communicate, exchange and be part of a decentralised peer-to-peer network where a Plato could continue to exchange his ideas freely and directly. Unlike current Social Networks he would not have to risk his ideas being indexed or data-mined or used for advertising or be removed totally from society so he was denied a voice.

The Personal Cloud itself is a commodity which can be carried around like a bucket. It’s most important feature as far as Plato would be concerned is that it is undeniably yours to decide what to carry and what to share. A Personal Sovereign Kingdom.

Like Plato I’m no great fan of democracy. The best you can say about it is that It will do for now and as modern polls show the rate of disenchantment within us the ‘Sheeple’ is growing worse by the year and yet again Plato was across this inherent trait of democracy as early as 400BC

‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.’ – Plato

A more recent thought leader: Churchill, also captured Democracy’s pros and cons nicely in two short quotes:

First he said that: ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time’ basically apart from all the others. Even Churchill may not have seen that our digital technology will allow us to explore forms of government that have not been imagined as yet, although he did concede that ‘the empires of the future are the empires of the mind.’

He also said in his usual cheeky fashion that ‘the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.’

Overall then, when it comes to democracy we don’t vote them in so much as we tend to vote them out. It’s not proactive or generative, it’s instinctive and reactive at best.

And so we let the self serving polarities rule us in turn, largely through our own default apathetic resignation. We are lucky if we get mediocrity for a term or two and a Plato ideal such as a Meritocracy ruled by Philosopher Kings and Queens is as illusive today as it was in his day.

‘Your silence gives consent.’ – Plato

Democracy does have certain advantages though, when it comes to keeping other less desirably forms of government in check. Plato saw this first hand himself when in his youth he witnessed the rise of the ‘Thirty Tyrants’. An oligarchy which by comparison made the previous democracy in Athens resemble a golden age.

And now coming up for three thousand years later our personal data is largely ruled by a small group of corporate oligarchs supposedly providing us services for free while they in turn are hacked by their own democratic government.

‘Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.’ – Plato

Even Plato would acknowledge that this mess is still progress of sorts when you consider that the ‘Thirty Tyrants’ in his day, also eradicated five percent of Athenians during their short reign of terror.

My own most recent insight into the pros and cons of democracy came on a much anticipated visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral this April.
The previous day my son Ross had checked off his holiday bucket list when we experienced the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios after suffering over two hours in a queue. Now it was my turn as Kennedy was firmly on my boyhood bucket list when it had been the launch pad for the massive Mercury, Apollo and the Shuttle Programs.

There was also the added bonus that a launch scheduled for earlier in the week had been postponed to go ahead on the day of our visit!

Sadly the days of the big scale NASA programs are over and the one we witnessed that day, the Falcon 9, while still quite spectacular is financed by SpaceX, a private Company. The Falcon 9 Rocket is the brainchild of their Founder Elon Musk who made his first fortune in the dot-com days with PayPal before investing in the more tangible engineering fields of space rockets and Tesla electric cars.

Anyway, while I pondered this odd state of affairs and the shift from public to private Space activity, the Falcon fired it’s 9 Merlin Engines. Ross and I stood in the shadow of a Sycamore “Moon Tree.” The tree’s plaque described how the original seed had been to the Moon with the Apollo 14 Mission. It had now grown to maturity and as Ross watched the rocket journey out of site, I saw a relatively straight branch that had fallen at our feet which I quickly stripped down and fashioned into a wand.

Now to me this was real Magic! Not the manufactured magic of Hogwart’s from the day before when we had purchased the obligatory official merchandise including replica wands. Ross lit up too when I explained the significance. The DNA code in this new wand had been to the Moon and back. He was holding in his hand something material born from 4.5 billion years of geosphere evolving into biosphere, that had then journeyed to another world and back again. This one data point made a common or garden tree branch wand priceless as far as Ross was concerned. While an official Harry Potter resin wand made in China will only set you back $40 US including tax.
Apparently ‘Moon Trees’ have been planted in cities around the world. Just don’t tell my Son that the Cape Canaveral Sycamore is not the only one. I don’t want to dilute the magic.

‘Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.’ – Plato

Now please stay with me because it struck me like never before how a single data point on a material object could change everything in terms of how we placed value on it. Even when the object was intrinsically exactly the same as before.

I also then remembered an article I had read a few years back about Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, a vital data point that had destined him to become the most famous Astronaut to ever launch from the Cape.

The article had described how Neil had become involved in an unusual legal battle with his barber of 20 years. After cutting Armstrong’s hair, the barber had sold some of it to a collector for $3,000 without Armstrong’s knowledge or permission. Neil threatened legal action unless the barber returned the hair or donated the proceeds to a charity of Neil’s choosing. The barber was unable to get the hair back, but decided to donate the proceeds to the charity of Neil’s choice anyway.

If you have read Neil Armstrong’s bio then apart from his amazing feats as an Astronaut and Test Pilot, you will know that he was an incredibly private and humble man and sadly he passed away a couple of years ago in 2012.

‘A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.’ – Plato

In this crazy and unjust world that over values exclusivity this would no doubt have made the stolen sample of his hair worth even more?

So this got me thinking; why is it that when something leaves your body such as hair which is not special other than the fact it contains our unique biological data in the form of DNA that it is held in so much higher regard than digital data which is also uniquely ours and in most cases these days will have a far greater impact on our lives when it leaves our control? Neil’s biological data was attributed extra value because of his historic achievements but this is not the case for the rest of us mere mortals.

In short, a meme is not worth a gene! Or at least this is the case for now?

I was still considering this bias in favour of value placed on our personal biological data versus the value we place on our personal digital data when I boarded the flight home. Our technology is no doubt moving so fast that our emotional connection has not caught up with the fact that discarded or stolen digital data is far more likely to come back and bite us than our misappropriated biological data?

One of the movies I chose to watch on the long flight was Rush, a film about the 70’s Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda directed by Ron Howard who incidentally also directed Apollo 13. One scene stood out for me like no other. In it, Niki is crossing the pit lane to start the race which is about to nearly end his life when an autograph hunter stops him and he obliges, but when the fan troubles him further to put the date to his signature. Niki asks: “The date? Why?”
The fan responds: “You never know. Could be your last.”
Niki looks back in anger before walking away to his fate in the ensuing inferno.

If ever there was an example of Katryna Dow’s vital insight that one of the four key aspects with which to value personal data is it’s time bound nature. In this case the fan would have in his possession proof of Niki’s last ever signature which would no doubt make it more valuable than all the rest he would have given out in his career which lacked that one vital data point.

So now let us come back to how a modern day Plato might perceive things in our digital democratic era? For one he would witness that the same form of democracy that captured our hearts, minds and imagination with the NASA Apollo Moon Shot program, is now capturing our personal data with their NSA surveillance programs, like PRISM.

Both of these democratic government agencies required billions of dollars and tens of thousands of their citizens to achieve their ambitious aims. One filled us with inspirational awe and advanced our everyday technology in so many ways and while it may be argued that the other may still advance our surveillance technology? This will be unlikely to serve us the people, instead the whole sordid realisation just brings our contempt and quite rightfully so.

So what has changed in the 40 years from NASA’s glory days to the recent NSA revelations, apart from the coincidental dropping of a letter from a government agency acronym?

The short answer is nothing has changed in terms of a democratic government’s desire to spy on it’s own people. After all, we had the Watergate debacle in the same era as Apollo, it’s just that our governments now have the technical ability to sanction wholesale industrial scale eavesdropping on our lives these days and so they do.

‘He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power.’ -Plato

So the original Plato and a modern day equivalent would see that not a lot has changed in terms of wielding power for the self serving objective of remaining in control of our shared resources.
And until the aspiration for power is used to serve some other notion, it will continue to shape our politics much in the same way as when the Greeks of Plato’s day used fire signals to communicate.

‘This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.’ – Plato
Equally, all of our technological advances throughout the intervening millennia would ensure that a modern day Plato would find it even more essential to gesture upward to the immutable and eternal forms of truth, symmetry and beauty to counter a contemporary Aristotle pointing down to an empirical understanding of big data.

‘If particulars are to have meaning, there must be Universals’ – Plato

Since the fundamental political landscape has not shifted it would be to the technological advances that a modern Plato would look to caution against excess. I for one have noticed that all the new technologies I have encountered in life very soon demonstrate that their greatest asset so often becomes the source of their greatest liability.

Instant messaging’s greatest asset is it’s ease of use and not surprisingly it’s greatest liability is it’s ease of use.
However on the asset side of technology’s ledger, a modern day Plato could instantly become his own Philosopher King. Albeit in a Kingdom of one on one with other Kingdoms of one.

‘There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.’ – Plato

With the personal sovereignty of his own cloud in a peer to peer network our reincarnated Plato would soon see that there in would lay the critical liability. Quite simply, the ease of entry into this type of Kingdom makes opinions or personal philosophy, ubiquitous.

Again on the asset side of the ledger at least the powers that be could not shut down a personal cloud the way they eventually shutdown the original Academy founded by Plato in Ancient Greece. But then, back in the ancient day there were so few scholars that they kept most of the good stuff hence Plato’s work was passed down. Whereas these days, there are so many pundits and opinions and storage is so easy that we keep absolutely everything and so finding the great above all the noise and nonsense, is the real issue.

I have no doubt that there are countless genius bloggers out there. Plato’s idea of Philosopher Kings and Queens who won’t be recognised in their own lifetime, if at all. Hidden in ubiquity or ahead of their time, which will make them wrong in their own time, they will go unheeded.

So the truth is that Plato’s vision for the rise of Philosopher Kings and Queens is more realisable than ever. Unfortunately the same technology that has empowered a peer to peer world where the great influence of wisdom can be disseminated to help humanity find it’s way is also the reason it is for the most part being drowned out.

‘The measure of a man is what he does with power.’ – Plato

One way to counteract this of course is the notion of up-votes. Unfortunately, as Plato would very quickly point out, up-voting and ‘Likes’ is still a democratic process that may or may not take merit into account. As an example, the only social network that I am still on is Quora ‘Your Best Source of Knowledge’.

Quora is a community of Q&A fanatics who ask and answer, seeking and dispensing the sort of exclusive knowledge that a Google search will not satisfy. Others like myself often amuse ourselves with harmless trolls of unanswered questions.
As you can see on the left, my flippant answer regarding the parachute got an enormous rate of up-votes because everyone gets it and finds that it hit the spot. While some other more deeply considered philosophical understandings on the right, go largely ignored.

As in Plato’s day, it appears good still remains the enemy of great! The Plato’s of today who are ahead of their time may well remain so? Only to unlock the secrets of today’s unsustainable state of affairs with enlightened solutions for the generations to come.

So this brings us full circle to Plato’s great Allegory of the Cave. And as Dan Blum pointed out in a recent blog, at the end of the allegory the freed one is returned there to dwell with the prisoners, sharing in their labors and honors.

Maybe enough of us who have been set free by this latest awareness around privacy can encourage the others to turn their heads and see for the first time the real objects that deny us privacy. Only when others come to grasp the true forms that Plato espoused will they see the real causes of their distracting shadows and they will realise their error.

‘Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.‘ – Plato


Our Faith in the Fourth Future : Or Why All Journeys Begin & End in the Heart?

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot

At Present Group we have been engaged in a struggle. Like so many before us it is the constant struggle that can be summed up as the creative tension between pragmatism and vision.

Our vision is to create a culture which is a ‘Social Venture’ first and a business second. It was Churchill’s canny observation that “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Sadly this still rings true and is largely responsible for our current global dystopia and manufactured scarcity.

At Present Group we hope to collapse this duality and realise a unified utopian culture founded on holarchy with a shared imperative to reduce waste on our all too finite planet. That is why we identify as venture custodians rather than venture capitalists. To be a custodian is to act from the heart and embody the virtues of the culture. This holarchy of participation matrix demonstrates how the envolution toward custodianship can manifest in practice;


All cultures comprise four Envolving facets:

• Economic ​ (Body)
• Political ​(Mind)
• Technical ​(Soul)
• Social ​​ (Heart)

Conventional business practice would invariably put the economic facet and an impersonal single bottom line focus above all others. While the political and technical would also serve the economic imperative and not the social. In hardened business cultures, social systems form, if at all at a grassroots level independent of the business and its objectives.

To be a social venture first and a business second means turning this hierarchy on its head. Yet as a vision this is all very well until the pragmatism of meeting bank covenants and reversals of fortune in the market intrude and test our resolve as the economic facet demands primacy…..hence the ongoing struggle.

In order to remain steadfast and never sell out when this occurs we have to delve deep into our hearts. After all a social venture is a sovereign concept much like a family, community or nation and we would never consider selling them out as we hope that they will continue on, to flourish and prosper generation upon generation. Up until now most businesses see things somewhat differently; they constantly sell out, float, merge and shutdown all the time.

Again Churchill offers another vital insight when we way up the pros and cons of selling out when confronted with economic dire straits. Early in the War and in his new role as Prime Minister when all seemed lost he was severely challenged by Lord Halifax and others in his cabinet to negotiate a peace settlement. As an avid student of history Churchill gave an inspired speech “that nations which went down fighting rose again, but those that surrendered tamely were finished” he concluded his impassioned speech, saying “If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.” Now that is heart!

I too have been both blessed and cursed with irrefutable faith in the concept of intrinsic sovereignty. This has become deeply embedded at Present Group and if all else failed we would prefer to go bankrupt rather than sell out. This arises from a core belief that as custodians we would rise again unified in heart, soul, mind and body, such is the passion for our purpose.

When seeking solace I often draw on a favourite quote that resonates with this sentiment;

“I don’t want to live forever: I just want to find something worth dying for.” – Melchor Lim

So when I hear someone say, as I did again recently “but everyone has a price”

I can only conclude that they do.


The Meta Model for Process has revealed to us that evolution is a quaternity much in the same way that information, knowledge and wisdom beget understanding.

• Ovolution ​ – potentiality as singularity
• Involution ​– accumulation of material complexity
• Envolution ​– accumulation of functional complexity
• Evolution ​– unifying process of the universe

When considering ovolution; think egg, seed, DNA or code which may be hinted at in Stephen Wolfram’s prediction that there is an algorithmic key to the Universe that can compute quantum physics – or, say, reality TV – in four lines of code.

While involution may be likened to the accumulated material descent; from unknown to known or as the great Arthur M. Young put it; from freedom to determinism. Often when describing involution (accumulation of material complexity) Arthur used the example of photon to particle to atom to molecule, suggesting that from a material sense nothing is as free as light and nothing is more determined than molecular structure.

When seeking to understand envolution we can draw upon the great work of Teilhard de Chardin who conceived the idea of the Unity Concept (Omega Point) and further developed Vladimir Vernadsky’s concept of Noosphere. If Carl Jung has given us the notion of the “collective unconscious,” then Chardin, imagines the “collective conscious.”

Chardin imagined the noosphere as “…. An ultimate envelope taking on its own individuality and gradually detaching itself like a luminous aura. This envelope was not only conscious, but thinking…the very soul of the earth.” Interesting to note that he uses the term ‘soul of the earth” as this equates to the third stage of the meta model’s envolution….co-creation (soul).

Chardin continues “The interaction of souls would be incomprehensible if some aura did not extend from one to the other, something proper to each one and common to all.” Chardin believes, too, that this consciousness is not only psychological, but of the greatest spiritual importance, as well. “Nothing is precious,” he says, “except that part of you which is in other people, and that part of others which is in you. Up there, on high, everything is one.”

The Omega Point is the purported maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which some believe the universe is evolving.

In the original theory of Vernadsky, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases of development of the earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (organic life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition has fundamentally transformed the biosphere.

For Teilhard, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere has grown in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the earth. As mankind organises itself into more complex social networks, the higher the noosphere will grow in awareness. Teilhard argued that the noosphere is growing towards an even greater integration and unification, culminating in unity, which he saw as the ultimate goal of history.

Teilhard was holistic as opposed to esoteric, scholastic or pragmatic and so referred to this unification as Christ consciousness but for the non-religious amongst us this can be understood as the full presence of heart manifesting as unconditional love.

It appears that Rumi the 13th Century Persian philosopher poet also understood envolution in holistic terms. Here he beautifully describes envolution’s accumulation of functional complexity and re-ascent from determinism to freedom.

“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.”


If we are to try and understand how the Uni-Verse (one song) sings, in all its reflexive glory then we need look no further than the octave as a spiralling octagon.


The second ‘Do’ demonstrates T.S. Eliot’s great insight. We know it for the first time because we have evolved to a greater vantage point. A higher vibration. A higher ….octave!

More recently the work of Dr John Smart on STEM Compression (space, time, energy and matter) draws parallels with the ascending process of envolution. For example STEM compression can be neatly summed up with the advent of the iPad.

After all it inhabits less space than a laptop, takes less time to boot up, requires less energy to run and is comprised of less matter.

With the utility of the meta model this has led us to abduce that the progression of functional complexity for mankind as we continue to traverse from biosphere (re-generation) to noosphere (co-creation) will itself require the advancement of four key envolutions;

• Nanotechnology ​(Body)
• Computation ​​ (Mind)
• Communication ​ (Soul)
• Culturisation ​ ​(Heart)

Interestingly we appear to sit conveniently between the macrocosm (universe-level) and the microcosm (sub-sub-atomic or even metaphysical-level) as the universe and its processes continue to fractally unfold.

Therefore STEM compression or optimisation may lead us to surmise that our future may well lie in the microcosm. This assumption arises when you consider that just as involution descends by creating more material complexity; envolution dispenses with material as it ascends in functional complexity. For example the biosphere uses a fraction of the material available within the geosphere. Hence the entire noosphere may well use a fraction of the material available within the biosphere to achieve our next leap in functional complexity.

Many say that we are running out of time as life on earth has become unsustainable. Yet linear time may well be the wrong measure, for just as so much activity occurred in our universe’s involutionary infancy when it gave rise to the material complexity of particles (generate), there may be as much accelerated activity at its reflexive equivalent stage of envolution; noosphere (co-creation)

Imagine if consciousness at this level may equate to a near eternity compared to a time bound day as current four dimensional reality becomes higher dimensional actuality. Therefore the Meta Model For Process describes process in terms of progression, not time.

Also between every stage of involution and envolution there exists a transformational challenge or crisis depending on your point of view. It appears that to transform toward a complete noosphere of pure consciousness not only will we have to leave our biological containers behind but our current population and technological explosion may indicate that we are not IN a crisis after all, but that we ARE the predetermined and essential crisis within a macro process as we journey toward a fully formed noosphere and ultimately the omega point?

Achieving in meta process terms a full octave above the Big Bang’s heart at singularity?

The meta model itself describes the challenge or crisis between biosphere (re-generation) and noosphere (co-creation) as being one of ‘mobility’. Not surprisingly the prospect of leaving our biological containers behind to envolve to the greater freedom of combined consciousness at noosphere and unity consciousness at the omega point is without doubt daunting but it is already underway as we use our technology to hasten the process.

As Marshall McLuhan said; “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Although somehow I don’t believe he intended to extend the concept all the way to an out of body experience.

Experience has taught us that the Meta Model For Process does appear to induce altitude sickness in most. Of course it is a big ask within our infinitely fractal universe to comprehend that in both physical and metaphysical terms we can predict progression in any process at any level of abstraction.

So to understand abstraction in a more acceptable manner, consider:

• Meta​ – The Story​….of the Universe
• Macro​ – A Story​….of an Entire System

• Mesa​ – Our Story​….as a Collective Experience
• Micro​ – My Story​….as an Individual Experience

To trust that at a meta level the universe is reflexing back to a new form of singularity (omega) just as the musical octave reverts to ‘Do’ is less painful once we realise that it is returning purposefully to its heart….albeit a higher heart.

While to trust that at a macro level we as an entire system of conscious life-forms are at the leading edge of this meta truth and returning to our own heart or unified consciousness as Teilhard suggests.

Admittedly this base pair of generic meta & macro futures although progressing toward the heart may hold cold comfort for some? So what of the futures we might anticipate in our own lifetime?

The lower base pair of mesa and micro are specific and hence more accessible as we will have direct experience of this level of process and so can trust the progression from first-hand experience. Just as we all tend to trust processes that we ourselves set in motion but we find it harder to accept that there is an abductive pattern based rule to the greater processes that act upon us.

Product innovations are always far easier to convey as the tools that will shape us. However process innovations as tools are no less important but they do suffer a distinct disadvantage because abductive reasoning is in the shortest supply as it comes more naturally to intuitives, who are in the minority.


In my first post in this series I had posited the more immediate process concerning the envolution of the internet, and it’s shifting paradigms from send to search to social to sovereignty and it is to that which I return as it is close to my heart.

The personal sovereignty movement is a mesa level process and when you consider the four types of imagined futures below it is gratifying that the preferred is of our hearts.


Another meaningful correlation linked to my first post on the ‘Fourth Order Effect’ demonstrates the type of reasoning that leads to these futures. On this basis the fourth future is realised with conductive reasoning which is heart based.

• Predetermined is ‘Cause’ based and therefore Inductive

• Probabilities are ‘Rule’ based and therefore Deductive

• Possibilities are ‘Effect’ based and therefore Abductive

• Preferred is ‘Values ‘ based and therefore Conductive

Equally encouraging are my own values born of conductive reasoning. For my own journey of the heart is a micro process to honour my own personal sovereignty by never selling out a vision for a unified meritocratic social venture.

At all levels it appears that indeed all journeys both begin and end at the heart but for us personally we have to deliberately prefer the preferred futures based on our heartfelt values.

To help encourage each other to have the COurAge to ‘carry our age’ and continue our individual journeys toward a unified future, We must have faith that the universe is not selling us out after all…..merely selling us up.

“Life Shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”
– Anais Nin

This article was written by Brian Grimmer CEO of Present Group with insights and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley CXO of Present Group on the Meta Model for Process. The terms ‘Ovolution’ and ‘Envolution’ are new terms that have emerged while developing the Meta Model of Process.


The Quadruple Bottom Line : Or Why Not Feed Your Heart, Soul, Mind & Body?

“It’s life. Life is bigger than you, if you can imagine that. Life isn’t something that you possess; it’s something that you take part in, and you witness.” Louis C.K.

At the close of 2013 I made the choice to invest in Meeco, an exciting for-purpose technology start-up. Meeco is a new and easy way to manage your digital life and claim personal sovereignty….but more on Meeco later.

For some time it has frustrated me that both my own Enterprise, Present Group and the School Volunteer Program, another Enterprise where I serve as Non Executive Director are termed ‘For Profit’ and ‘Not For Profit’ respectively, when both are first and foremost ‘For Purpose’!

However this ‘old money thinking’ is being replaced with movements such as Conscious Capitalism, where ‘For Purpose’ in the form of ‘higher purpose’ is one of four key tenants of the movement along with Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture.

At a recent Conscious Capitalism gathering of advocates, Jo Hunter of Pollen Strategy very succinctly captured the shift in consciousness that has emerged in recent years. Jo is very much ‘For Purpose’. Her work supports the holarchy of economy, society and ecology (environment), which must become integral if we are to sustain our selves and future generations to come.

New Money Thinking: Unified Consciousness as Holarchy.




Old Money Thinking : Combined Consciousness as Heterarchy

Jo definitely walks her talk by deciding what is ‘enough’ for her chosen lifestyle and any excess is paid forward to causes close to her heart. Even more compelling is her appreciation that a ‘For Purpose’ consciousness removes the notion of competition and replaces it with a more fulfilling promise of cooperation.

Jo offers to teach anyone interested in learning her consulting offerings. As a result, if they then perform and deliver her services effectively, even to the point of eclipsing her business, she considers this simply an opportunity to witness her purpose unfolding at an enhanced rate.

In my view, this purposeful insight is inspiring and makes the old money belief in ‘For Profit’ and competition sound almost medieval in comparison to a marketplace of cooperation.

Albert Einstein once said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

This quote frames the concepts of heterarchy and holarchy, which are emerging as key concepts in this era of a new consciousness. However, to understand the significance of holarchy let’s first explore historarchy and hierarchy and the resulting consequences.

Historarchy: Separated in Both Time and Space.

Historarchical structures appear in organisations fundamentally lacking in trust. The power resides in the subjective perspective of an autocratic leader. Individuals are rendered dependent since the power to decide resides with the leader or boss. Often this impairs an organisation’s ability to function and not surprisingly results are poor for society.

Hierarchy: Separate in Space NOT Time.


With the introduction of trust rules can be externalised, objectivity is possible and hierarchies form; operating independently of the leader. However if the trust is conditional then individuals behave in accordance with the rules. Written instructions in the form of procedures to follow and proformas to complete become the order of the day.

This is more effective than a historarchy in that separate teams can now operate simultaneously, subject to conformance. Hierarchical cultures are by necessity bureaucratic. They function well in a steady state but are slow to respond to opportunities and challenges or change in general. They also lack humanity and so sap the soul, hence their societal contributions are average at best.

Heterarchy: Combined in Space and Time.


When trust is offered, individuals have the opportunity to change the rules based on the authority of their role. If individuals act for the greater good of the whole – as apposed to their own interests – then an interdependent culture will begin to emerge.

This offers a competitive advantage, since agile teams can continue to combine and align to meet challenges and opportunities. Such cultures are by necessity proactive and can make societal contributions deemed to be in the best interest of a wider group.

Holarchy: Unified in Time and Space


And when we finally arrive at trust at all levels, animated with a unifying imperative – we have holarchy. This shared and unified purpose leads to a full release of discretionary effort and commitment to the cause like no other.

Holarchy embraces all that has gone before it and is something else in and of it’s own creation. Such a culture is generative and will innovate towards greatness. This approach may well change the world for the better in the process.

Each of the stages in raising consciousness retains the properties of those before but with the addition of some more functional complexity and so this process can be considered envolutionary.

Creating a holarchy of insight

Consider this spectrum:

• Autocratic historarchy……the ruler rules
• Bureaucratic hierarchy….the rules rule
• Democratic heterarchy….consent rules
• Meritocratic holarchy…….commitment rules.

It is worth noting that the last stage of envolution from a democratic heterarchy to a meritocratic holarchy will mean that something is left behind; the new vantage point that Einstein describes provides the understanding of what element no longer serves the new order.

For example when consent has becomes the highest form of consciousness for individuals operating democratically, then we come to understand that good is indeed the enemy of great. For conventional wisdom held by the majority may well vote down the exceptional wisdom held by a committed minority? This thinking is the threshold that must be crossed to move to unification which results in holarchy and manifests as meritocracy.

Autocrats and meritocrats may look the same from the outside as they both appear to act seemingly without concern for rules or consent. However, it is worth understanding the relationship between the first level of autocracy and the fourth level of meritocracy as the difference is vital. Autocrats solely serve their own agenda while a meritocrat has a vital understanding that service is to a collective good.

This relationship can be seen in the third century ‘Axiom of Maria’ which is a precept: “One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.” Marie-Louise von Franz built on this insight through her collaborative work with Carl Jung and offered the alternate version; “Out of the one comes two, out of two comes three, and from the third comes the one as the fourth.

At Present Group we are evolving a quadruple bottom line as a way of moving towards a meritocratic culture. Our holarchy approach starts when we ask ask our people to focus their efforts across planet, people, purpose and profit. It starts by individuals mindfully considering these questions.

– Planet: How can I make a real difference?

– People: How do I contribute to true fellowship?

– Purpose: How can I experience meaningful success?

– Profit: How do I co-create abundance for all?
This brings me full circle to my last post on ‘The Fourth Order Effect’ – which explored why personal sovereignty is emerging as the crucial unifier in the envolution of the internet.

At the time I omitted to mention the Meta Tags of heart, soul, mind & body that have permeated our work on the Meta Model from the beginning but they are extremely important when it comes to personal sovereignty.

For example if personal sovereignty (heart) is the Internets Forth Order Effect unifying the other three of Send (body), Search (mind) and Social (soul).

These insights led us to explore for-purpose ventures in the technology sector. We see technology having a profound positive as well as negative impact on society. We were also looking for the right opportunity to be venture custodians rather than venture capitalists by paying forward support to help fund and support another enterprise in the joint venture space that would compliment our own aspirations.

Following the Snowden revelations we had become increasingly aware of the surveillance economy. Over 80% of our on-line activity is tracked and sold by data brokers and third parties, often without our consent or knowledge.

Furthermore, today’s dominance of social networking enterprises aggregating and selling our personal data, feels like we are having our souls stolen and sold back to our bodies via IPO’s.

So we started to research the personal data sovereignty movement. We where interested to see who has the heart and commitment toward a meritocracy that will champion our personal sovereignty? Who is thinking of the generations ahead? Who is focused on disrupting enterprise through innovation? Who is imagining new business models together with new ways to create value?

We found all this and more with Katryna Dow, and the company is Meeco. I would describe Katryna as a boundary rider. Her unique perspective gets personal sovereignty at a cellular level. Imagine as she does, the role of our generation to be real and symbolic guardians in the digital era. How our actions will pay forward sovereignty and freedom for generations to come.

Katryna and the team at Meeco have devised and built a simple and elegant way to gain control of your digital life and make the things you do on-line safer and easier. “It’s your life. It’s your data. You own it”.

We are proud to be a Joint Venture Partner of such an auspicious purpose. We are inspired by our shared values, which from Meeco’s perspective can now be carried into the digital world.

– Planet: Removing cost, waste and minimizing data pollution

– People: Helping people gain control and sovereignty over what is theirs

– Purpose: Creating shared value, which benefits society

– Profit: Enabling people to become the beneficiaries of what is theirs.

Through Meeco we were also introduced to the great work of Respect Network. I recently had the privilege to meet Drummond Reed the Co-founder and CEO. For the past decade Drummond and his team have been co-creating with their foundation partners a positive alternative to the current data eco-system.

The five Respect Network Principles of Promise, Permission, Protection, Portability and Proof speak to the emergence of new people centric terms and conditions; terms which put privacy and respect at the heart of every exchange.

We believe the Respect Network will enable the shift and Meeco will allow us to engage in ways that create value real value for our families and ourselves.

Meeco and Respect Network give us a voice to ask for a return to privacy and the right to transact on our terms. They are contributing to a growing community where integrity and respect are the cornerstones of new ways to create and exchange value. We invite you to join us in this exciting quest.

Meeco and the Respect Network plan to coincide their global launches by mid 2014. To read more visit and

This article was written by Brian Grimmer CEO of Present Group, with insights and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley, CXO of Present Group, on the Meta Model for Process. The term ‘Historarchy’ is a new term that has emerged while developing the Meta Model for Process.


The Fourth Order Effect : Or HOW the Next Big Wave of the Net Will Work Out & WHY?


“The natural analytical geometry of the universe is based on arrays of tetrahedra” – Buckminster Fuller

 This profound insight into reality is so much more than a simple recognition of the tetrahedron as the most basic 3D space in the universe; it is so ubiquitous that you could liken it to the hydrogen of geometry.

By simply adding time as a fourth dimension to allow for progression it gives us a basis for modeling and predicting how reality continues its fractal unfolding.  As a glorious process it is both physical and metaphysical.

The envolution or increase in functional complexity of the Net is a very visible process with much at stake.  Not surprisingly many people are actively debating what will constitute the next big online revolution. How will the new contrast to pivoting on the existing, which is still inducing billions of dollars in speculation?

Online derivatives will keep on emerging and seeking to differentiate in some way. Of course when this next paradigm does finally emerge everyone will be quick to say, “Of course it had to be so.” Which is so typical of our human nature to live life by furtively fumbling forward while we only dare to understand reality backwards with bold conviction.

So how might we use a simple lens like the tetrahedron to provide us with the clarity to see the next paradigm shift of our current digital age?

If you were to consider point A by itself as a single vertice or singularity then its most striking property would be one of freedom. It possesses the freedom to move out in any direction within 3D space. However, to use the vernacular it would be a ‘one trick pony’ with only the potentiality to emit or send. This correlates nicely with the nets first major paradigm; which was mail as your default post-box to the net.

Now consider that we introduce point B. We now have two points with the same potentiality to emit, and we have also accumulated the vector between which allows for the potentiality to emit and to remit or to search, by finding and retrieving. This also correlates with the nets second major paradigm, which was the advent of search as the default portal to the net.

By adding point C we accumulate still further properties, giving us a 2D plane between it and points A & B. This allows for choice as well as an interior or gated community which all gives rise to the potentiality of a social network. This invariably leads us to correlate the third major paradigm of social as our default personality on the net.

So where is this all heading, and how might it relate to the envolution of the Net?

If we stop for a minute and consider once again the genius of Buckminster Fuller there are clues. It is not widely known that over and above Bucky’s own prodigious and original output he also had time to add a finishing touch to Plato’s own compelling triad.


By adding self to the triad of beauty, symmetry and truth. Bucky turned the triad, which is flat, planar, and therefore non-existent in the 3D spatial universe into a tetrahedron.

Adding self creates a tetrahedron, which in Bucky’s words is the, “unique symmetrical set of minimum interrelationships”. It is the primary system of intellect; self-witnessing the universe of beauty, symmetry and truth. It is the observer plus the observed.

When we put all of this together; what you send from your post box, what you look at through your search portal and how you represent your social personality, all appears to converge at the core issue of self and identity.

The self is really the sole owner of its own personal sovereignty, and yet it seems that this basic right is consistently violated by the default privacy settings and terms and conditions of the net.

The accumulation of tetrahedral properties is stark and as an observer it seems that all points are directed toward a major movement to reclaim our core identity.  Our desire to send, search and be social has unwittingly spread our digital exhaust such that the ramifications are only starting to emerge.

Incorporating the fourth order effect by adding the fourth point at D simultaneously unites the other 3 privacy issues and will empower and liberate us as users and observers like never before.

No longer shall we as individuals merely be the observed. Instead we shall have a 3D imperative to unite both the container and content aspects of our lives in our very own ‘sovereign data kingdom’, along with all of the core rights that personal sovereignty bestows.

The envolution can be summarized as follows:

A = Send as our default post to the net.

A+B = Search as our default portal to the net.

A+B+C = Social as our default persona on the net .

A+B+C+D = Sovereignty as our default privacy on the net.


And so the macro envolution of the internet; the accumulation of functional complexity, as an entire system has so far taken on three generations which have largely determined the main centre of gravity for any given period of time. That is until the accumulated effect of each stage and its predecessors provides the new functionality required, …..and then a new paradigm is born.

1. Send by communication

2. Search by algorithm

3. Social with network

4. Self with sovereignty


In order to consider the reasoning I have used here to arrive at the fourth new order let’s explore the nature of abductive reasoning.

The tetrahedral lens I have used is based on ‘effect’ or pattern recognition and called abductive reasoning as opposed to the more oft understood base pair of inductive reasoning, which is ‘cause’ based and deductive reasoning which is ‘rule’ based.

There is also a fourth type of reasoning, which is also often misunderstood, it is called conductive reasoning and is based on our ‘values’.

It is this form of reasoning, so close to our hearts that yearns for personal sovereignty for ourselves, our children and their children to come.

Take these four instances by way of example;

Inductive reasoning is when I look at the sky through a window and see storm clouds, because I have seen storm clouds cause rain before I decide to carry an umbrella by inducing or sensing the ‘cause’.

Deductive reasoning is when I look at the measurements on my barometer and deduce or reason that the barometric pressure and level of humidity will mean rain, so I decide to carry an umbrella based on reasoning with a scientific ‘rule’.

Abductive reasoning is when I know that cows have just laid down in the field and abduce or intuit that they have greater instincts than humans – as they still live out their lives in nature – and they would want dry bedding underneath them before the rains begin. So I carry an umbrella based on intuiting the superior instinct of cows and its non-apparent ‘effect’.

Conductive reasoning is when I have no sensory data whatsoever but I conduce or understand that today I have a very important meeting. As a result my own personal presentation values will not let me arrive while not looking my very best.  So I carry an umbrella based on my own ‘value’ of what is important to me, regardless of the weather conditions.

Given the insight drawn from these different types of reasoning and why abductive reasoning has immense utility albeit in shorter supply because it requires wisdom. Then we can clearly see that in this case these very types of reasoning hold the answer in and of themselves. For example if we were to apply them in their own order of envolution then we get yet another very striking correlation:

1. Send or communicate is induced and is cause based

2. Search or algorithmic is deduced and is rule based

3. Social or network is abduced and is pattern based

4. Self or sovereignty is conduced and is value based.

This leads me to abductively intuit that the fourth wave will comprise the assertion of the self or personal sovereignty.

If navigated with shared value, this next stage holds the opportunity for each of us to claim our invariable and irrefutable rights.

This article was written by Brian Grimmer, CEO of Present Group, with insights and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley, CXO of Present Group on the Meta Model for Process.