Plan S, Sustainable Living for the Long Term,  Phase One,  Executive Summary 

paper02.doc, last uploaded to 24 May 08

Note: This is paper02.doc saved as paper02.htm for those without Microsoft Word.
The content is identical, but the formatting got screwed up a bit.

Original Creation Date: May 18, 2007

Henry Fiddler, E-mail:

I have spent forty years studying the problems we face as a human species. My work as a generalist has allowed me to step back to see the big picture of how our civilization has failed, why it has failed, and what we must now do to succeed. I am working on Plan S: a detailed, written plan to create a major paradigm shift that will put humanity on a successful and sustainable course for the long term. I need your help in completing this plan. –Henry Fiddler

The last two centuries have been characterized by the most massive changes in human history. We have experienced an industrial revolution, huge advances in scientific understanding, development of instantaneous communication, a population explosion, the highest level of material wealth in history and major advances in personal freedom for many. However, much of this has been fueled by the huge energy leverage provided by fossil fuels. Just as many of our world citizens are growing accustomed to these benefits, just as we can imagine the day when we can feed and provide basic necessities for every person on the planet, we see the threats of global warming, ecological destruction, overpopulation, species extinction and resource depletion, threatening our civilization. Is humanity doomed to a never ending cycle of failed civilizations? Plan S is the story of how humanity can finally break out of this vicious cycle, and live sustainably for our remaining time on planet earth.

The three brain-mind disciplines of Evolutionary Psychology, Personal Development, and Neuroscience, reveal a path to success. Their integration reveals why as a species, we behave as we do, how this has caused our failure, and what we can do to move towards success. Our evolutionary quantum leap from the animal world is our ability to form images and stories in our minds and to manifest them in the material world. Since we are uninformed regarding how our minds work, we have been unintentionally and naively programming them for failure (i.e. collapse), rather than success (i.e. sustainability). Everything that Personal Development (the success industry) teaches can be applied not only to individual success, but also to species success. This is the key insight at the core of Plan S, which can lead humanity to live sustainably. Plan S is unique in the sense that it integrates all three brain-mind disciplines, along with hundreds of others, to move us into the realm of generalist thinking and problem solving (i.e. outside the box thinking). The result is paradigm shift.

Plan S, Sustainable Living for the Long Term,  Phase One,  Concept Paper 

Original Creation Date: May 18, 2007

Henry Fiddler, E-mail:


1918: The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler
1961: A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee
1988: The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joseph Tainter
2004: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond

Over the past 10,000 years ~25 complex civilizations have gone through a cycle of birth à growth à decay, or in Toynbee's words, challenge à response à collapse. Western Civilization is in the early stages of collapse now. Plan S provides for a paradigm shift that leads humanity out of this cycle into sustainability over the remainder of our projected species-span, estimated around 10 million years.


If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.  –Chinese Proverb
Matt Savinar, an attorney from Santa Rosa, California, has created an extensive website, It provides the best analysis available regarding the current state of affairs, faced by Western Civilization. Mr. Savinar explains in his opinion why we're doomed. He provides detailed and extensive metrics and references to support his opinion. He provides no solution other than the age old "head for the hills". There is now a rather large supply of similar books and websites that end by admonishing, "If we had only started building sustainable alternatives 30 to 50 years ago, we wouldn't be in this situation!" They point out that we knew about our problems decades ago, but failed to act. Why is this so, and why do we appear to be repeating the well documented cycle that has occurred so many times throughout history?

In the short term, can humanity avoid the complete collapse of Western Civilization? And in the long term, can humanity figure out how to live sustainably, and get out of this heretofore unending cycle of rise and fall of complex civilizations?


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. –Albert Einstein

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.  –R. Buckminster Fuller

There has been much talk for decades about an upcoming paradigm shift, however not much has shifted and there hasn't been much action towards creating it. Plan S is about creating the paradigm shift, but first we need to study and understand our problems and potential solutions in depth. Henry Fiddler has been doing just that for the past four decades. In order to get out of this vicious collapse cycle, let's look at what we've learned lately that might help us avoid repeating past mistakes. For millions of years we've had bodies, minds, and a planet, but unfortunately, the users manuals were missing! It's no wonder that so many civilizations have collapsed, lacking any idea of how things worked. Now, thanks to the scientific method and cheap energy, we've figured out many of the natural laws of our universe. We now have some users manuals that we might be able to use as a guide. This is helpful, but we're still witnessing the collapse of Western Civilization. Why?
For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.  –Henry David Thoreau

The root of our problems is to be found in our instinct based human nature. The key to enacting the long awaited paradigm shift lies in our brains. But this information is very new. Evolutionary Psychology only arrived on the scene ~3 decades ago (1975). And Evolutionary Psychology and Personal Development are virtually unaware of each other. We need to integrate these 3 brain-mind disciplines. We must move away from trying to treat hundreds of effects independently, and get to the root cause of our problem: our brains and how we use them. Then we may design and install a well integrated sustainable civilization for the long term. Result: paradigm shift!

Solution, Detail
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.  –Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Our minds are the most powerful asset we have, and we highly underutilize them. Humanity does have the ability to understand and solve its problems. We need to learn how and why our brains function and malfunction. The best book on this from Personal Development is Think and Grow Rich, © 1937, by Napoleon Hill. Evolutionary Psychology is the newest brain-mind discipline. It explains that our innate human nature is largely governed by instinct and is under genetic control. This is best described in Dr. Timothy Miller's book, How to Want What You Have, © 1996, Chapter 3: Human Nature. In order to understand how our brains malfunction, read Jay Hanson's webpage on the Maximum Power Principle: It contains many valuable insights from Evolutionary Psychology. Also, Neuroscience is providing insights into the workings of our emotional and spiritual centers in our brains.

There is a great deal of doom and gloom thinking these days. Since solutions have not been forthcoming, many people ignore problems and live in denial. We need to move past this kind of thinking and into our power center. We can do this by changing our frame of reference from our normal narrow frame (5 generations, ~160 years), out to our projected species-span (~10 million years). From this vantage point, we can see the "big picture" and act rationally.

We must stop talking about our problems, without proposing solutions! This kind of talk results in "negative mind programming", and leaves readers feeling demoralized. We need to be careful how we use language and ideas, since everything we put into our minds ends up programming them. Due to our ignorance of how our minds work, we have been programming them for failure (i.e. collapse), rather than success (i.e.  sustainability).

To reverse this trend, we can find times when people have met great and so called "impossible" challenges and succeeded. How did these people use their minds? We can focus on their strategies for success, study them, and model them. For example:

We must build plans that take the above into account. We must then act to implement those plans. Due to the information explosion, Western Civilization has become the most specialized civilization in history. As a result, we tend to approach our problem solving from a narrow, insular, specialist perspective. The list of our ills runs into the hundreds, with some of the top offenders being: global warming, ecological destruction, overpopulation, species extinction and resource depletion. All these ills are inter-related and inter-dependent. Planning for a paradigm shift requires generalist, interdisciplinary, outside the box thinking. This is just the opposite of our insular, specialist thinking.

According to Matt Savinar and Jay Hanson (mentioned above), there is no way out of this grand collapse and dieoff, and they leave their readers in a doomy gloomy state. These well meaning authors fail to bring the Personal Development brain-mind discipline into the picture. Everything that Personal Development (the success industry) teaches can be applied not only to individual success, but also to species success.

The key to creating our species' plan for a successful and sustainable future, is to move from specialized short term thinking, to generalized long term thinking. We must also integrate Personal Development at the species level. By doing this, a variety of workable solutions will naturally appear. Plan S builds a knowledge base that supports specialists to unite, and integrate their thinking and planning processes. Then, we can all cooperate as generalists, and plan for our species’ sustainable future.

Plan S considers hundreds of specialties in the generalist knowledge base, which integrates the three brain-mind disciplines. A specific plan has emerged called S-Day. A specific date will be set (S-Day), on which a worldwide paradigm shift occurs. On this date, humanity will move in a whole new direction with respect to attitudes, laws, currencies, religion, science, material and energy use, etc. In other words, a sustainable civilization for the long term will be born. Initially, the infrastructure will appear the same, but humanity will enter a transition period away from our present collapsing unsustainable Western Civilization, and towards the new sustainable one. Here are some obstacles that have been identified and how they might be overcome.
Appendix: Some Items Needing Archiving and Interpretation