Email to Zat

Hi Zat

I read and enjoyed both The future belongs to Polymaths and There are two ways to read, and while I enjoyed aspects of both, I got serious clashes from both also.

In Polymath, you end with “Nothing exists independently of its surroundings and that fact doesn’t change just because we decide to be blind to it with narrowed disciplines” and yet you use the term earlier “Reality is redundant”, and the term “redundant” has the idea embedded in it of unnecessary replication.

I would like you to seriously consider that the idea that it is “unnecessary” seems to be both dangerous and wrong at the highest of levels.
Security resides in resilience.
Having multiple instances is a necessary part of resilience, as what is redundant in normal contexts can be essential to survival in contexts that are low probability high impact {abstract that to as many levels as you are capable}.

So what you wrote is an idea that can be very dangerous if let loose in low resolution political contexts.

In “ways to read” you make the claim that there are two ways. Can I suggest that claim is simply another instance of what you warn against, but one level abstracted.

Consider, that there may be an infinite spectrum of spectra of ways to read, and that the dimensionality of such structures can grow indefinitely (think TARDIS of the mind, if you are a Dr WHO fan).

When you make the claim “Instead of spending your life figuring out how the mind works, you can just seek out the experience of someone who already knows” it has embedded within it the idea that anyone actually knows how the mind works, so can easily be interpreted in ways that are not open and helpful. I certainly agree in the sense that we need to learn what lessons we can from the investigations of the past; and we need to be ready to challenge any and all when it seems appropriate to do so (and making such calls on appropriateness will always be as much art as science; we do in fact seem to be at least that complex).

For me, all knowledge, all understanding, all experience, is necessarily some sort of simplification or model of reality; reality does in fact seem to be sufficiently complex to demand such things. And understanding at least that much, demands a certain form of humility; even as it can lead to context sensitive confidence.

We are becoming technically capable of delivering universal abundance, yet our dominant ways of thinking and valuing (market value/money) are scarcity based concepts.

Whether we manage to transition from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking will define our survival probabilities; and in my best guess we have about a decade to get it done (half that if Peter Thiel’s agent based modelling assumptions are anywhere near accurate).
So there is real utility in being as clear and as accurate as we possibly can, while retaining all the psychological mechanisms of appeal and transmission (meme design).



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) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
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