Evonomics – Human Nature – Rand

Evonomics – Human Nature – What Ayn Rand Got Wrong About Human Nature and Free Markets

Some truth in many of the views here, and little sign of the beginnings of comprehension of the complexity that results when evolution is working recursively on multiple levels in multiple domains.
Genetic effects require sharing genes. Every human shares at least 50 genes for every one that has a slight variation. To a reasonable first order approximation we are genetically homogeneous.

Mimetic evolution is something else entirely.
To a good first order approximation we display a set of mimetic “genotypes” and phenotypes that displays greater variability than is expressed in the entirety of the ecology of the biosphere.

Rand’s logic is mixed in many important ways.
She does not draw clear distinctions between the deep time genetic influences upon our likes and dislikes, the more recent but still reasonably deep cultural influences on the unexamined heuristics underlying most of the assumption sets that masquerade as truth and desire in the minds of most people, and the influences of science and logic on how we build our models and understandings and experiential being.

There are enough classes of complexity in the paragraph above to fill libraries, and take decades to develop the beginnings of a conceptual map and understanding of the sorts of classes of strategies involved, without getting too specific as to the details of any of them.

We are social entities.
No individual can develop language or science or engineering or philosophy or anything else of significance alone.

Nor is it viable to force subjugation of anyone to anything.

Those are not the only two options.

Cooperation can work, provided that secondary strategies are in place that effectively mitigate the risk of destruction of the cooperative by “cheating” strategies.

When most things were in fact genuinely scarce, market exchange and capitalism had a certain utility, and a certain set of associated problems.

Now that we have the technical ability to automate any process (from mining to refining to manufacture to delivery to service delivery), the idea of valuing things by their exchange value in markets actively works against the interests of all of us. That is so because markets cannot give a positive value to any universal abundance, and automation allows us to deliver a large and exponentially growing set of goods and services in universal abundance.

It is automation that provides the key that allows both liberty and abundance.

So in one respect, it is not at all simple, it is complex beyond the current conceptual abilities of the vast bulk of humanity to even glimpse.
I fell in love with mathematics 55 years ago, evolution 50 years ago, biochemistry and behaviour 45 years ago, and computing, complexity, logic and philosophy about 40 years ago.
What I know that I don’t know vastly exceeds that of which I am reasonably confident in most common situations, and I suspect that which I don’t know, and don’t know that I don’t know, is, and will always remain, infinite (should I manage to live the rest of eternity).

And I have had to go through the process of completely retraining my neural network in respect of taste, having gone vegan 6 years ago, after 55 years of being a carnivore, as a result of a terminal cancer prognosis (now 5 years since the last tumour) – so I have a certain skepticism about the applicability of many of the genetic systems of our past to our current situation.

So I am clear Rand was wrong about the levels of cooperation, and she was very close in respect of the need to value life and liberty. What she did not conceive of, was the possibility of indefinite life extension, combined with exponentially increasing computational ability, providing a strong incentive to cooperate with others in creating an environment of freedom that supports us all to live as long as we choose in as much safety as we choose. That is a very long way past Rand’s set of assumed and unexamined truths.

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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