Continuing a long running discussion
Kind of, and it is more complex than that.
I don’t have much money now – less than $10K.
And all that I have (house car etc) is debt free.
I have been thinking and planning long term, making decisions based on delayed gratification on time scales of decades, for over 40 years, that have nothing to do with religion.
So I am not “normal” in that respect, I am well out on the edge of most distribution curves – I acknowledge that.
Yes there is a sense where in practice most people would rather die than consciously change habits.
I have seen that a lot in the last 7 years, since curing myself of “terminal cancer”. Lots of people have come to see me, and few have had the discipline to start or continue the regime I have followed. Those few who have are all alive, the rest have, for the most part, died pretty much on schedule.
So, yes, I see that and acknowledge that.
And I think I have a reasonable handle on why that is so, on the conditions of experience and choice and habit that make it as it is. The fundamental biology doesn’t seem to be a lot different, and there are some very real differences. I know my IQ is 160+ and I know that in the psychological literature IQ is the strongest predictor of many things – and there are broad distributions in all psychological distributions, so nothing certain there.
We all develop context sensitive habits in life. That is one thing that neural nets do really well.
You cannot untrain a neural net, and you can teach it to respond in a new way to a new context.
Distinguishing such a context, and maintaining both the context and the distinction, do seem to be possibilities.
And under stress we all revert to basic distinction sets – that is a strong biochemical system, it takes a great deal of training to over-ride it in all contexts, then to learn to cover any trace in behaviour that the over-ride has taken place, until a time and place of ones choosing.
In terms of reality, it seems beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that there are two very different types of reality present.
There does seem to be an objective reality, but we have no direct access to that. It is out there, it is complex in ways that take a long time to get any sort of reasonable handle on, and it is fundamentally unpredictable in many distinctly different classes of ways, and in different contexts, even while at the same time approximating predictability in other contexts in ways that allow us to build digital computers and atomic clocks. Understanding the mathematics and logic of that is not something many people achieve and is not something taught in many schools.
The other reality we all have is our experiential reality. What we live in day to day. That seems to be a subconsciously created model of the “objective reality” that has worked at various scales of genetic and cultural evolutionary time; and has survived our own personal life experiences and choices. So the qualia of our experiential existence seem to be a software on software thing, contained within the extremely complex piece of hardware that is a human brain within a human body. About 20 levels of computational systems, with many instances of types of system at each level, all interacting.
The more levels of distinctions and understandings one has about the nature of this existence that we find ourselves in, the greater the range of options available to influence its future development.
And anyone who thinks that control of such a complex set of complex systems is even possible is living in fairy land. The best any of us can hope for is some sort of influence, in an ongoing iterative process.
That does seem to be the “reality”.
[Followed by – Aug 2017]
I see it very differently.
I see the exponential increase in the power of automation, and in the productivity of machines and systems.
In that sense, it doesn’t take very many people to instantiate major systemic change.
If it really was down to what people invest their time in, then consider the earthquake here in Kaikoura.
In the last 4 months about 2 million tons of debris has been extracted from very dangerous situations and transported about 10 miles.
If that had been done by people power, it would have required about 7 million people to move that much material.
About 200 people have done it using large machines.
In a few years, no people will be required – just the machines.
Already on the existing site there are two 50 ton diggers that are entirely remote controlled. They are used in the most dangerous of situations, by operators in much safer places nearby.
So it is entirely possible for a very small set of people to produce a set of technologies that radically alter the energy use of the majority of people, while increasing the options available to them (a definition of freedom).
The very idea of markets and money is now the single greatest impediment to such a transformation.
Fully automated production really does alter a lot of things in very fundamental ways.
Our ways of thinking about it are much slower to change.