When was the last time you ironed wrinkles out of fabric?
Seems to be most of what my life is about.
Translating between paradigms, finding ways of making new ideas available in different paradigms, going below the paradigms, to the underlying structures, and seeing what can be altered there to smooth the flow in the paradigms above.
My realisation this morning was about value and was at several levels.
There are many people looking for alternative systems of valuation that do not require fiat money – as they identify the political and financial manipulations of fiat money as the greatest threat, but it isn’t, that is only a subset of the deeper issue.
The deeper issue goes to the whole notion of value and markets.
The real issue is that people have gotten used to substituting market value for real value.
Real value is personal, to each and every one of us.
For each of us, oxygen is of huge real value.
If you doubt that, just try putting a plastic bag over your head and sealing it at the neck with a rubber band, and try breathing for a few minutes (if you really want to try that, please ensure you have someone else present who can remove the plastic bag when you go unconscious, and get you breathing again – I don’t want anyone dying in this experiment).
Oxygen has huge value to us because it is essential for our lives, and each of us values life.
Yet under normal circumstances, each of us has all we need from the freely available air, so when we go to market, no one offers us anything for air, as they have all they need.
Market value (money) is scarcity based.
Market value is also context based.
It is about supply and demand, in the moment.
As such, the very idea that there can be any objective measure of market value is a logical nonsense – it is the logical opposite of a market.
Market value is a function of context at many different levels.
How scared are we?
How confident are we of future supply?
How confident are we of future need?
What are the costs and benefits of hoarding?
There does seem to be an attempt by a small but powerful group to use such things as political systems, economic systems and mass media, to produce a sort of uniformity of the human condition to bring a level of certainty to market demands, thus ensuring incentives to supply remain relatively stable, and market value is relatively stable; but the wrinkle in the board is the scarcity function.
In order to maintain market value, scarcity must be maintained (or at least the perception of scarcity – as what we are dealing with in markets are individual perceptions and individual valuations).
Markets are great tools for allocating scarce resources, but they cannot deliver abundance to all – abundance is anathema to market value.
Humanity is capable of cooperating to deliver abundance and security and freedom to all, yet our dominant social paradigm of market valuation (money) is directly opposed to such an outcome.
Raw cooperation is unstable unless it has attendant strategies to stabilise it.
Cooperation requires strategies that remove incentives to cheat; yet in the past many societies have implemented strategies that put the system above the individual, and instigated the death penalty for transgressions. That cannot be stable.
It seems abundantly clear to me that individuals must be our highest value.
Only upon that base can we build societal stability in the very long term (thinking millions of years here).
So we find ourselves in a world where money is valued above individuals in much of it, and societal systems are prepared to go to war, and kill innocent individuals and destroy property, simply because it is profitable to do so.
That is quite a wrinkle!
The iron seems to have several requirements.
One is automation to deliver abundance of all the essentials of life at no cost – so everyone has life, liberty, and education as a given.
The other is new levels of cooperation, across all social systems. It seems that humans cooperate best in groups of about 150-250 individuals, where every individual knows every other individual.
It seems that we need to organise society such that every individual belongs to several such groups, and the intersecting web of connections that results allows us to develop stable inter-group trust networks that allow us to operate strategies that provide the stability against cheating that is required.
It seems that there are infinite classes of possibilities that meet each of these requirements, and it doesn’t seem to matter much which we use, so long as we use one or more of them.
That is the “big wrinkle” in my mind.
The smaller wrinkle is producing an appropriate iron!