How a Strange Collision of Internet Memes, Unconscious Drives, and Historical Happenstance Is Shaping A New World

This is Rebel Wisdom’s Fourth Newsletter, largely written by Ed Prideaux. We release one every two weeks — to get it sent directly to you, click on our website and add your email address:

We’re often told that ‘religion is in decline.’ Belief is plummeting and the pews are emptying. In fact, Between 1999 and 2020 — almost every country across Eurasia and the Americas showed stark declines in religious belief. But that isn’t the full story, and many believe religion is as much a force as it ever was. It’s just changed shape.

In the fourth edition of…

When you’re lost in a forest at night, it’s best not to call for help. You have no idea what might be lurking in the shadows. Similarly, saying the wrong thing online can get you shamed, blamed and burned. Yancey Strickler called this the Dark Forest theory of the internet in 2019, and suggested that people are increasingly retreating to private spaces to have genuine conversations.

Now, pockets of light are appearing in the darkness. These are the Digital Campfires: communities where people gather to have face to face interactions in real time, usually on platforms like Zoom, and often…

Clubhouse is quickly becoming a major new social network. However, etiquette is still forming on the platform and hosting a good room can be tricky. I’ve spent a couple of weeks speaking in and hosting a number of Clubhouse events and gathered the tips below to help you get started.

  1. The Elephant in the Room

When two seas meet, vast waves rise. As we watch the Gamestop story play out, we’re witnessing a movement birthed on the internet crashing into an established institution. Neither will be the same once it’s over.

It’s the latest example of a phenomenon that may come to define the age we live in: Breach. Breach is what happens when a collective intelligence birthed online bursts into physical world and permanently changes its foundations.

If you aren’t familiar with the Gamestop story, a very simplified summary is that a group of amateur investors on a Reddit thread called r/WallStreetBets have been…

We are a species defined by our tools. Our cognition extends beyond our fingers, branching into the technology we hold and the institutions we build. But everything we wield changes us in turn. If we want to make sense of where we find ourselves in this moment in history, we can begin by exploring the unique relationship we have with what we build. It can show us where we come from, and where we might be headed.

As the US election approaches and COVID forces lockdowns around the world, we cloister inside and spend more time online. And as we…

A new religion has erupted. It has taken over newsrooms, radio waves, HR departments, social feeds and film scripts. It dictates your playlists on Netflix. It tells you what language is acceptable, and what will be punished. It is not religion as we know it, but a simulated religion; a uniquely decentralised and leaderless cult of the internet age.

Incubated in the critical theory of the far left, it was birthed by an ideology that views reality as socially constructed and defined by power, oppression and group identity. Now, it has metastasised into its own entity. …

Culture is on fire. Grief, anguish and anger have erupted from the depths of our collective psyche with a force that cannot be ignored. And the more we try to make sense of it with the tools we’ve relied on up to now, the more lost we become in the smoke and ash.

The killing of George Floyd and resulting civil unrest cannot be explained simply, or explained away. It is at once a tragedy, an injustice, and a tectonic shift that has let loose archetypal forces long held underground.

Many commentators have weighed in to try and provide reasoned…

Conversations with Zak Stein, Stephen Jenkinson & Charlotte Du Cann

What sustains us, beyond the sun and soil? How deep do our roots reach into the unseen places that tether us to the world? These questions arise when reality as we know it ends and we’re plunged into a new world. A land both foreign and familiar, pregnant with potential and aching with tragedy.

For the last month, Rebel Wisdom has been featuring some of the brightest minds making sense of the pandemic. Many of them are systems theorists who have given invaluable insights into why this crisis stretches far beyond Covid-19 and what might come next. …

The Adults and the Children

Long before anyone living was born, four people gathered in the centre of the world. Two were adults, and two were children. Two were male, and two were female. Whether they knew one another, and why they had come together, nobody now remembers.

What is known is that the man was strong and hungry. His eyes were never far from the horizon, watching it as if seeing there some promise no one else could. The woman was smart and resourceful. She was skilled at finding hidden things, her eyes forever searching for opportunity in the…

Chapter 1: Embodied Cognition, Living Systems and the Culture Wars

We are lost in the woods. It is 2020, and the mist grows thick and full of desperate voices. As we wander blindly, we hear growls that might mean the end of us. The decade began with images of hell fire; the burning bush in Australia flickering to the charred husk of Soleimani’s car. We are running out of time, and so we run. The voices cry out paths to freedom, but we don’t know which ones to trust or which way to turn.

We have been lost for some…

Alexander Beiner

Co-Founder of Rebel Wisdom

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store