Kafka and necessity


Hi Paul
What one considers necessity is very much a function of the set of assumptions one accepts, and the sets of values one chooses.

I accept that I am ignorant of Truth, and that the best I can hope for is useful approximations to reality that are usually reliable in particular contexts.

I also accept that it is likely that these approximations will be superseded on a semi regular basis by better approximations that work more reliably across a greater range of contexts, and that such a process will continue for the rest of eternity (should I be so fortunate as to live that long). That seems to be the inevitable conclusion of any serious investigation of the idea of infinity, in its many different aspects, including algorithm space, levels of abstraction, strategy spaces and possibility spaces. Gives a new level of appreciation for the old Buddhist saying “that for the master, on a journey worth taking, for every step on the path, the path grows two steps longer” – one of the best descriptions of infinity I have come across.

[followed by]

Hi Paul,

I don’t see it quite that way {surprise 😉 }.

Certainly there are no shortage of people willing to exploit others by whatever mechanism. The impacts of their schemes and choices does exist, and in the larger scheme of things actually seems to be relatively minor most of the time.

What seems to be most important in how things have evolved is the sorts of assumptions people accept as being reasonable and supported by the evidence sets available (which is always modulated through the time and experience available to consider such things – most people are too busy doing things related to group cohesion and immediate survival to have the time to dig too deeply into assumptions).

Agree with you that there are many systemic untruths.
In a sense I think it likely that most of the constructs that I find useful are probably untrue in many meaningful senses, but in the circumstances I have encountered thus far in my existence, they appear to be sufficiently useful approximations to something that they have not yet been falsified by any evidence sets and interpretive schema that I am aware of.

What we each consider in our own self interest very much depends on how long we expect to be around, and what sorts of probabilities and discount rate we apply to future expected benefits.

Since 1974 (as I complete my undergrad biochemistry) I have been clear that indefinite life extension was possible, and would be achieved.
I was initially somewhat over optimistic in my estimates of when that would happen.
Since then I have put much more thought into the stages required.
Significant money is now going into the final stage of the 4 stages I identified. I expect the problem to be solved within the decade, and would give it a 50% probability of being within 2 years, though I doubt anyone who figures it out will make it public initially. If I had to choose amongst the most likely groups it would be Google’s Calico.

Thus I have a reasonable expectation of living a very long time.

Exponential technology would seem to be delivering exponential decrease in risk, so the future trend, provided we can transition out of market based thinking and into abundance based thinking (which is not certain, and does seem probable) should be towards continual decrease in discount rates and exponential increase in future rewards.

Thus it seems logical to be worth accepting whatever hardships are required in the short to medium term to allow stable transition to long term abundance.
This seems to be the most rational choice of benefit.

Essentials – enough clean air & water, wholesome vegan food, energy, shelter, healthcare. freedom of travel, communication and association, tools to communicate with. Fairly minimal list, easily deliverable. Everything else is essentially marketing fluff.

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 www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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