Quora – Which things do you want to change in your society?

Which things do you want to change in your society?

[ 8/8/20 ]

I want everyone to be taught, and to understand that money is a very useful tool in a limited set of contexts, but is a very poor proxy for human value generally.

I want everyone to be taught, and to understand that all levels of complexity in biological and social systems are based upon (and rely upon) levels of cooperative systems, and that maintaining such cooperative systems imposes a duty of care on every one of us to be both respectful of diversity and difference, and to detect and remove cheating strategies on the cooperative.

Most of the world’s economic, political, educational, information and legal systems can currently be most accurately characterised as cheating strategies on the cooperative of humanity – however many good people there are in them – the systems themselves are fundamentally flawed at multiple levels. That is fixable, and it needs to be fixed, and it is a task of considerable complexity and difficulty.

I want social systems that give everyone reasonable levels of security, freedom and resources; and requires of everyone responsible action in social and ecological contexts.

That does not mean everyone having the same or being the same, and it does mean everyone having sufficient resources to have a reasonable probability of being able to achieve whatever they responsibly choose.

That must result in great diversity. So this is real freedom, responsibly exercised.

Freedom without responsibility must end in destruction, as all levels of complexity have necessary sets of boundaries that must be maintained to sustain that level of complexity.

A fundamental issue is that all such boundaries contain fundamental uncertainties and all are context sensitive – so very small changes in context can have very large impacts on what are necessary boundaries (in some contexts).

Automation gives us the tools to be able to do most of the necessary work with very little input from most people, thus enabling significant degrees of freedom for all for the first time in human history.

High bandwidth communication, and high density information storage allow us to develop effective cheat detection and removal systems while also maintaining liberty and diversity. And there must eternally be areas of uncertainty at those boundaries, in all contexts.

We need to all understand that we have a duty of care for the biophysical environment in which we exist, and which sustains us all. It is not a benign system, it is a very complex and indifferent system, with many inherent instabilities and unknowns and more than a few high risk attributes. Mitigating all of those risks is going to take global cooperation, and global cooperation is a very different thing from global control.

Cooperation respects and supports liberty and diversity, and requires individual responsibility.

Control enforces conformity and restricts liberty, and removes responsibility.

And always remembering that liberty in this sense demands responsibility from all of us; to ensure we all respect the lives and liberties of others, and do what we can to sustain the necessary boundaries to maintain the systems we rely upon; each to the best of our limited and fallible abilities.

We must all make mistakes, they are a necessary part of growth and exploration. It is a very good idea to make as many as possible of them far enough away from critical boundaries that we can survive and learn from the experiences.

Being human must necessarily be more complex than any of us can consciously deal with – that is a logical necessity of complex systems.

We all have a duty to do our best in the full knowledge of our fallibility, our errors, and that we will sometimes make mistakes. The hardest thing, and the most necessary thing, is being able to recognise and own mistakes, and to do what is required and possible to deal with any consequences of those mistakes.

There is no requirement that life be easy, and it can be a lot easier and safer than it is right now.

Humanity being cooperative, respecting diversity, is possible; is in fact our default and necessary modality (when we are not forced into destructive competitive systems).

We must all begin to see how the economic incentives of our competitive market based system work against our long term interests, exponentially so with increasing use of high level automation and AI systems. We need those systems, and they are only survivable in a fundamentally cooperative context.

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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