Archive for February 4, 2010

Minimal Consumption Entitlement: 05

February 4, 2010 4 comments

Many people, through their comments on the blog and e-mails, have pointed out that the biggest obstacle to implementing such a system is human hierarchical behavior. I could not agree more, and is the reason that many of my posts, directly or indirectly, refer to the concept of an ‘ape mind’.

As I have previously hinted, the problem is similar that faced by the architect in the matrix. The AI in the matrix was transhuman and was therefore not bound by limitations of the human mind.

The Architect “:The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime.”.. ” The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature.”.. “.I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection.”

The Architect: “As I was saying, she stumbled upon a solution whereby nearly 99.9% of all test subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level”.. “Ergo, those that refused the program, while a minority, if unchecked, would constitute an escalating probability of disaster”

The subtext is easy to understand, if you are so inclined.

Humans because of their evolutionary baggage will never accept a perfect system, unless we evolve past ourselves. Therefore any system has to be by necessity imperfect, even if perfection was attainable. Any progress in our system must take certain human behavioral peculiarities into account.

The next two questions are:

How do you get most people to play along?


What do you do with sociopaths in the system?

Let us first define what hierarchy in human beings implies. There are two related but separate expressions of that concept in humans.

1. I should make more/ be more important/ more popular than others.

2. I should be be able to hurt/ kill/ abuse others.

The first expression, by itself, is not troublesome and can be used to motivate people to improve, innovate or do stuff. It is the second expression that is very problematic.

The concept of being able to screw over other people might make sense in a zero sum world or a more autonomous primitive society or empire. However it cannot coexist for long in a world as tightly coupled as ours. Any significant crisis could destroy the good will necessary to keep the system afloat.

Such behavior worked as long as the fall of a society did not kill most of its members. You can jump from 3 feet and not break a single bone, and even a fall from 6 feet might not kill you. However a much more complex system dependent on everything to work well cannot afford sociopathic behavior to prevail. You cannot jump from 30 or 60 feet without a significant chance of death or permanent disability.

The good news is that most human beings are not intrinsically sociopathic, but rather tend to display such characteristics in an environment of scarcity. Which brings us to the next question: What do we do with the inherent sociopaths?

The key is to identify sociopaths. People with such tendencies are far more likely to be found in certain vocations than others. Therefore the first step is to make those vocations useless and unnecessary, or reduce their importance to the proper functioning of the system. If you have read my previous posts, you know what I am talking about and how to achieve it. Having said that, I have no illusions about most people accepting the idea because it is good. Circumstances will force them to, and indeed it is best that we allow such parasites to over extend their feeding and thus lose reliable hosts. This process is already happening as we speak, and is likely to accelerate. I will write about that in more detail in another post.

Once such parasites are widely seen as what they are, they could be processed in an appropriate manner. We have no compunctions about excising tumors and cancers from the body, so why should ‘respectable’ parasites be any different? It is however important that they are not shown any more compassion than what they exhibited. While such a world would look different from the one we have now, it would be more conducive to cooperating towards achieving bigger things than a world in which everyone is trying to screw everyone else (and nobody can really win in the end).

I will write in more detail about dealing with the inherent sociopathic tendencies of the few, and the necessity of conscious choice, in my next post.