How is innovation created in the society networks – and in the Church?

Thoughts about our innovation-poor times and love networks
Nyomtatóbarát változatNyomtatóbarát változat

 

1. Why do we live in innovation-poor times? What do you mean by innovation-poor times??? Artificial intelligence overtakes the human brain right now. It is predicted by a lot of people that singularity, the times of innovation spinning up to endless speed is almost here. The problem is not the quantity of innovation. The problem is the direction of innovation which has got fatally lost. There are almost no collective reflections about the possibilities of inwards growth, about the survival chances of a "post-disaster humanity" or about the methods of preparing for that. Any of these would be real innovations. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How is innovation created in society networks? Where can the sources of real innovation hide? Definitely not where there is "rush". The core of society networks repeats those "innovative ideas" over and over that have received confirmation in the big communication echo-chambers again and again. Dense network connectedness results in group conformity. In every complex system (from proteins through cells to brain) innovation arrives from the edge of the system, from the periphery. Real innovation does not increase our current comfort but it removes us from our comfort zones. Ideas that are born in remote places should not be looked for according to which ones are "useful", "cheap", "comfortable", "able to create big markets", etc., but according to which ones force us to make a much more radical change of our lifestyle than any others do. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Why are love networks important in innovation? How can we let the periphery’s very much disliked ideas, which extrude us from our comfort zones, into the center of the social public opinion? For that it is not enough to loosen the rigid, hierarchical social structures anymore – which has always been enough so far during the history of the humanity because mankind has not ever faced that it has devastated the whole planet successfully on which it should be living. We have to become Earth-conform humans. This is the real revolution. We must not look at the world with our own eyes any longer. We have to look at the Earth with the eyes of God the Creator, the Good Shepherd – considering all its parts as treasures. For this we need love. LOTS of love. The time has come when prophets do not have to be stoned but have to be loved. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

4. How is innovation created in the Church? A technological system that is fundamentally gone sideways cannot be fixed with innovations derived from the same technology. This is the time when "Humanity 2.0" is needed. There has already been Somebody who made this possible with His crucifixion. Almost exactly two thousand years ago... That is why the Church becomes vital in the revival that leads us to our new, Earth-conform selves. For the Church will be able to help sufficiently in this revival, it has to renew itself, too. Where can the sources of revival come from within the Church? First from the love network. And there is a huge difference here which is the essence: the real love network is not the love network that is there among people. The inexhaustible source of the real love network is God’s love and the strength of the Holy Trinity’s loving relationship. The Church being in its right place grows out from this and passes this on with the strength of the Holy Trinity. What can help the Church in all this, except for the essence of the essence, mercy? It is exactly the periphery which this whole essay is about. Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis think agreeing that the Church can be renewed by its periphery. Pope Benedict speaks about the strength of the small, creative, lightning Christian communities. Pope Francis emphasizes the flourishing example of the Southern Hemisphere’s Church. Both are the periphery from where Jesus Christ’s real innovation can break into the center – and at the same time into our souls’ center, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


 

Introduction. This essay is published on Valentine’s Day, the day of love. But I bring a shocking subject here. The patient Reader will surely find love at the end of the writing. What I am writing about is nothing less than our chance to survive. It is hard to think about it because we cannot see the future. That is why I invite the Readers to an active (patient and loving) discussion.

 

1. Why do we live in innovation-poor times?

 

The introductory question may get the attention of many Readers. What do you mean by innovation-poor times??? Artificial intelligence overtakes the human brain right now. It is predicted by a lot of people that singularity, the times of innovation spinning up to endless speed is almost here. The problem is not the quantity of innovation. The problem is the direction of innovation which has got fatally lost. Most of the innovation that is taking place today is selfish and develops itself (it does not break out from the existing direction, but improves it being a "machine-learning type" innovation), which provides a "chance of fulfilment" for the worst self of humanity. And in the meantime we destroy the Earth – our home… [As one of the sad examples of many: conferences on protecting our Earth are often only pseudo-meetings that lead to a very few concrete results, except for the huge amount of carbon dioxide produced by travelling back and forth...] There are almost no collective reflections about the possibilities of inwards growth, about the survival chances of a "post-disaster humanity" or about the methods of preparing for that. Any of these would be real innovations.

 


 

2. How is innovation created in society networks?

 

Where can the sources of real innovation hide? Definitely not where there is "rush". The core of society networks repeats those "innovative ideas" over and over that have received confirmation in the big communication echo-chambers again and again. Dense network connectedness results in group conformity. Unfortunately we are still monkeys. Real innovation would be breaking out from this monkey existence. In one of my recent papers I have summarized that in every complex system (from proteins through cells to brain) innovation arrives from the edge of the system, from the periphery. Real innovation does not increase our current comfort but it removes us from our comfort zones. Ideas that are born in remote places should not be looked for according to which ones are "useful", "cheap", "comfortable", "able to create big markets", etc., but according to which ones force us to make a much more radical change of our lifestyle than any others do. The real question is the chance of survival after an Earth-wide natural disaster. We have to prepare for that not for a comfortable life. Let me say it more brutally and personally: a network researcher will not be needed after such an Earth-size disaster. But a priest will definitely be needed. I can less and less neglect the thought that this is one of the reasons why Our Lord’s call has led me, a recognized researcher approaching his well-deserved retirement, to be a sophomore pastor student at the Lutheran Theological University in Budapest, Hungary.

 


 

3. Why are love networks important in innovation?

 

How can we let the periphery’s very much disliked ideas, which extrude us from our comfort zones, into the center of the social public opinion? For that it is not enough to loosen the rigid, hierarchical social structures anymore – which has always been enough so far during the history of the humanity because mankind has not ever faced that it has devastated the whole planet successfully on which it should be living. Let me quote here József Antall’s (the first Hungarian Prime Minister’s after the free elections in 1989) sentence: "You should have made a revolution instead!" – well, a revolution is not enough here anymore: because it is not the society but ourselves who have to be transformed radically. We have to become Earth-conform humans. This is the real revolution. We must not look at the world with our own eyes any longer. We have to look at the Earth with the eyes of God the Creator, the Good Shepherd – considering all its parts as treasures. For this we need love. LOTS of love. Love of the surrounding world, love of our transformed selves, and love of all those very disliked people who want to force us to change. The time has come when prophets do not have to be stoned but have to be loved. Because otherwise no-one remains here to decide on whether any prophet is to be stoned or loved... That is why love networks are indispensably important in making the innovation unfold that does not eradicate but saves us.

 


 

4. How is innovation created in the Church?

 

How does the Church fit into this line of reasoning? (I can hear the skeptical Reader: Professor, since you have become a pastor student, everything reminds you of this...) A technological system that is fundamentally gone sideways cannot be fixed with innovations derived from the same technology. (For example: global warming cannot be solved with the shielding effect of garbage released to the atmosphere...) This is the time when "Humanity 2.0" is needed. There has already been Somebody who made this possible with His crucifixion. Almost exactly two thousand years ago... That is why the Church becomes vital in the revival that leads us to our new, Earth-conform selves. Because to reject our own sight and to receive God’s view instead – is impossible to do on our own. Because to reject our own loveless selves and to receive God’s love instead – is impossible to do on our own. From this swamp which we have lead ourselves into, we cannot pull ourselves out acting like Baron Munchausen. For the Church will be able to help sufficiently in this revival, it has to renew itself, too. Where can the sources of revival come from within the Church? First from the love network. And there is a huge difference here which is the essence: the real love network is not the love network that is there among people. The inexhaustible source of the real love network is God’s love and the strength of the Holy Trinity’s loving relationship. The Church being in its right place grows out from this and passes this on with the strength of the Holy Trinity. What can help the Church in all this, except for the essence of the essence, mercy? It is exactly the periphery which this whole essay is about. The main point of Professor László Gájer’s lecture held on 30th November at the Péter Pázmány Catholic University in Hungary, was very telling to me. Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis think agreeing that the Church can be renewed by its periphery. Pope Benedict speaks about the strength of the small, creative, lightning Christian communities. Pope Francis emphasizes the flourishing example of the Southern Hemisphere’s Church. Both are the periphery from where Jesus Christ’s real innovation can break into the center – and at the same time into our souls’ center, too.

 

 

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