On my facebook page – in response to the Christchurch Mosque shootings
The insanity in Christchurch is hard to come to terms with.
For me, life is the highest value, liberty come after that.
Valuing life first means that we all have responsibilities that come before liberty.
It isn’t OK to kill anyone. Damage to prevent them injuring others – maybe.
We have the ability as a society to meet all the reasonable needs of everyone. We need to do that.
I can only guess at the anguish and pain being felt by many at present.
My empathy and condolences and respect to all.
We have a responsibility to ensure that we lower the probability of anything like this happening again to as low as we possibly can.
Complexity theory is clear, that rules cannot do that.
This is not a matter of rules, it is a matter for values and responsibilities.
Its down to each and every one of us.
What do we value?
What are we going to be responsible for?
For me, life must come first.
There can be no excuse for what happened today!
[In response to Jacky’s comment about the role of social media (Added next day)]
It can be stopped Jacky, but only if we get the majority of people accepting responsibility.
We have the technology to track and stop such things, but at present such technology is likely to be hijacked by something even worse.
Our society is fundamentally oppressive at present.
It didn’t start out that way, but changes in technology have changed the incentive structure within the systems of capital and markets that dominate our social world today.
If we are to survive, that needs to change.
We need to acknowledge some realities.
We need to acknowledge that technology is perfectly capable of meeting the reasonable needs of everyone on the planet, and we need to put in place the systems to do so.
At the same time, we need to acknowledge that rule based systems cannot work reliably in complex adaptive systems. The only systems that can achieve any reasonable sort of mathematical stability (of a sort) are value based systems.
There are two values that must be primary in all value hierarchies if we are to achieve any sort of reasonable stability:
1 – the value of individual self aware life (human and non-human, biological and non-biological).
2 – the value of individual liberty – within the context of valuing life first.
This produces a necessary hierarchy of responsibilities – to ensure that nothing we do poses an unacceptable level of risk to the life or liberty of anyone else; and as we all rely on the environment and society, it means being responsible in social and ecological contexts.
Beyond those two, people can then adopt whatever values they responsibly choose, but those two, and the responsibilities they demand, have to come first and in that order.
But that is a very big change from where we are now.
Right now scarcity and rules dominate – and responsible individuals place themselves at risk every time they exercise responsibility that is at variance with some rule (which is most days, most hours, for anyone who is sufficiently aware of the insane number of rules we have in our systems).
We need to move to a society where abundance and values dominate.
Something like a universal basic income could be part of an effective transition strategy.
If we have the values of individual life and individual liberty primary, then having technology that monitors everyone is reasonably safe.
In our current rule based system, having technology that monitors everyone just puts everyone at risk, because no-one can possibly obey all the rules (there are so many that no-one can even know them all).
So I see a need for many things to change.
We can value diversity and liberty, but only if we value life itself, first, and accept all the responsibilities that must come with that.
That will be a big change for many within the existing power structures; and welcomed by many others.
Big question – exactly where is that balance right now?!