In it together

4-6 November ’15 ~Q of Day~ What is Together & What is It?

Is it time within the lives of the generation of people on Earth that exist today, to re-calibrate the ethics of distribution, if all humans are morally ethical beings and in it together?
What is ‘together’ and what is ‘it’?

Lots in this question.
All humans can be moral and ethical beings, and we can also be very selfish and competitive beings – which we are depends very much on context.

As to what is the “it” that we are in “together” – that is a very good question.

At one level the it seems to be a gravity well, created by a ball of largely molten rock with a thin solid skin on the surface, which has an even thinner layer of water over most of it, and a scum of various life forms in and around the wetter bits.

At anther level, it seems that we are each part of social system that is evolving at an exponentially increasing rate – with a vast range of individual levels of knowledge and awareness about the nature of those social/cultural and individual evolutionary processes, and the wider biological and physical context.

So “it” seems to be a rapidly changing set of physical, cultural and individual processes, most of the interesting aspects of which contain aspects of levels of awareness of the many levels of processes at play.

Ideas like “right” and “wrong” seem to this individual to be simplistic notions that we have to teach children, but all adults need to get past as soon as possible, and accept that all actions have complex sequences of impacts in reality, and we are all in this massive dance with the consequences of everyone else’s choices, as well as our own – and most often none of them go exactly as anyone planned. No one can predict all the outcomes of any choice with 100% certainty, so ideas like right and wrong have no real validity. And we can aim to be cooperative, and make reasonable efforts to take the needs of others into account when we make our choices.

It seems that in conditions of relative abundance, cooperation is a far more powerful strategy than competition, and that is very much dependent on context. If things really are scarce, and only a few can survive, then competition will win out. That seems to have been common enough in our evolutionary past that we all come equipped with both general classes of strategies at both biological and cultural levels.

We seem to have the possibility of creating systems that will ensure abundance, and thereby ensure that fundamentally cooperation will always be the most appropriate strategy – and within that cooperative context, there can be interesting competitive systems.

So yes – plenty of room for diversity, variation, debate, levels of understanding.

And for me it is not a matter of recalibrating the ethics of distribution, so much as it is a matter of automating and decentralising the means of production, such that there is no need of distribution. The concept of distribution comes from a centralised mode of thinking. If you decentralise (personalise) and universalise production, then there is no distribution issue.
It is a matter of transcending, going beyond, the ideas of the past, and into new and vastly more powerful paradigms.

[followed by]

Hi Judi

I wonder at your claim “I no longer have a sense of pulling together with everyone to keep the social ship afloat”, as I think that is precisely what we are doing here.

Here we are not constrained into thinking the “ship” should be any particular shape, or be going in any particular direction.

Here we are able to consider turning the “ship” into modular coracles with communication networks and solar power systems that would allow the “ship” to split into as many units or reform into as many units as its occupants deemed necessary (both individually and collectively) on an “as needed” basis.

Here we are not as constrained by our cultural pasts in our considerations of what might be most beneficial to all in our future, where we might need to reinforce some constraints and where others can be relaxed..

So I definitely see you as “pulling together with everyone”, and maybe in the sense of a “lead dog” connected to the team by a “long bungy”.

I see us as a herd of cats exploring what cooperation and freedom might mean, in contexts simply unavailable to most at present, yet not too far from becoming real possibilities.

[followed by]

I’m kinda with you Andrew

The path forward has to be such that it can become clear to even the 1% of the 1% (in fact to everyone) that it is in their own long term self interests to be cooperative at the highest of levels.

It seems clear to me that such a path is in fact achievable, and it requires dispelling quite a few myths that are currently unquestioningly accepted as truths by many people, so is not a simple or certain thing, and it does seem both possible and even probable.

And there is an old saying along the general lines of “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean the bastards aren’t out to get you!” šŸ˜‰

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
This entry was posted in economics, Ideas, Our Future, Question of the Day and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s