Author Archives: River


Spiral Dynamics mapped to Morris’ Development Index

So, to follow on from this post and per the comments from alan2102, please find below some images of a combines SD dyanmics history and the Morris development index.

From 14,000 years ago:

from 4,000 years ago to make recent hisotry clearer:


Not the cleanest images, but I hope it gives a general indication of what i meant in my previous post.


Listen Up

Leonard Cohen – The butcher


Do not leave me now,
do not leave me now,
I’m broken down
from a recent fall.
Blood upon my body
and ice upon my soul,
lead on, my son, it is your world.

Listen Up


The Rural Alberta Advantage– “Stamp”

Listen Up

Cascandy – “Four (Flip)”… Beautiful

Spiral Dynamics and Ian Morris’ Theory of History

I just finished reading Ian Morris’ “Why the West Rules – For Now” and it is an excellent read. In it, Morris uses a eastern and western development dichotomy to put forward a theory of human history that is based on biology and geography with notions such as culture or the ‘great man’ theory of history taking a back seat. What I liked about it in terms of Spiral Dynamics was his discussion of what he terms Axial thought changes (though he really only talks about the period of 400BCE-400CE as a time if Axial changes) and how they were adaptive from changes in the environment of humans. This environment is one effected both by geography and the increased complexity of human societies. Morris observes the paradox of development where greater societal complexity solves old problems while raising more difficult ones hence the need for new, more adaptive, paradigms.

So with this in mind, we can add the notion of SD to the Morris theory of history. From the rise of Home Sapiens to the first works of art, humans are hunter gatherers who live and die without much of a spiritual life. Theirs is a reactionary life or Beige level. When art and signs of ancestor and nature worship develop we see the entry into the Purple phase. With the rise of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt and the god kings, we see the emergence of the red phase, highlighting raw power and violence.

From here, we have the shift up the spiral to what Morris calls the axial thinkers, Jesus, Mohammed etc. These thinkers over several hundred years introduced new ways of thinking that allowed a shift into the blue spiral. Next, the enlightenment is another clear axial shift that was an adaptation of an industrializing world. Hence the orange rise.

In the 20th century with the rise of more complex societies, we have the most recent paradigm shift into green. Now is where it becomes hard to say what comes next. As Morris’ human development index becomes vertical, we see that the possibility of the Singularity has yet to be reflected in the speed of axial change.

I will post later a diagram showing the spirals as they fit in with Morris’ development index. I also want to talk later about the notion of societal hard ceilings and how new paradigms allow the overcoming of hard ceilings.



Milan, Florence, Rome

A great weekend in three wonderful cities. Milan, as ever, not my favourite city in the world, but most impressive duomo in the world, with what is now my second favourite statue:








The sheer elegance and beauty of seeing ‘David’ blew me away. My new favourite statue:









And last but not least, the bone crypt combines all that is best of art and wonder:


“I think I have a dead man’s boner.” Top comment for Dead Man Bone’s ‘Name in Stone’

“I want them to deliver my mail.” Top comment for Postal Service

“You can make a rubber band slightly heavier by stretching it.”

Max Tegmark giving the best example of E=MC2 I have ever read.

Listen Up

Metro & Sebo K – Transit

We keep our focus on our level so much, that we forget to look up.

Parkour for Bikes


(Via Daily Dish)

Shit Nobody Says

(Via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.)

Listen Up

Findling and Lihab – Stay Down (Original Mix)… Think you will love this “DEEP HOUSE”.

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