If you look hare at the many things I have written, you will find some consistent themes.
My prime values have not changed:
1/ Individual life – mine and everyone else’s.
2/ Individual liberty – and that has to come with responsibility for the lives and liberties of everyone else.
And if you investigate that seriously, then it means being responsible in ecological and social contexts, as our lives and liberties depend upon both. The oceans supply us with most of the air we breath – as one example.
All complex forms have complex boundaries that must be respected. So liberty demands that we respect those boundaries because our lives do depend upon them in the long term.
Another set of consistent themes in my writing are about the need for automation, and the dangers that come to life and liberty from using markets and money in a context of advanced automated systems. This is extremely complex.
Complex systems do not obey simple sets of rules. Really complex systems always respond in some ways that are entirely unpredictable; so we cannot make plans or rules and expect them to deliver reliable outcomes, complexity demands ongoing experimentation (eternally), and that requires giving individuals the freedom to experiment responsibly and to make the mistakes that must inevitably happen.
So one thread of thought is around the use of Universal Income as a way of avoiding the worst of the dangers of combining automation and markets. And that isn’t any sort of final solution, and it should buy us enough time to work out more effective sets of longer term strategies.
Another consistent theme in my writing is about the power of cooperation in evolution, in fact the necessity of it for the emergence of new levels of complexity.
We are the most cooperative entities to ever have existed, and we can compete if required.
Competition is destructive of liberty, and a threat to survival.
Liberty and security are both optimised in cooperative contexts.
And when I say cooperation I do not mean government control. I mean for the most independent responsible agents choosing to cooperate because they can see that it actually is in their long term best interests.
And it can be hard to see that, for a whole host of reasons that you will also find in these writings. Sense-making is difficult. The more stressed we are, the more our subconscious brains tend to simplify what gets through to our consciousness. That is just how we work.
If we want people to be able to deal with complex and nuanced situations, then we need them to feel secure. The more stress they feel, the less able they are to deal with complexity and diversity. There are very good evolutionary reasons why that must be so.
What I see happening too often is over simplification of very complex situations leading to increasing risk.
And there are some things that will be hard for some initially.
Freedom must result in diversity.
If there is real freedom, things have to get weirder – that is just how it must work.
We all have to learn to accept and respect diversity, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable (particularly when it does).
So I am asking for you to ask your friends to read this, and then for you all to vote for me as MP for Kaikoura.
A lot of my writings over the last 10 years are collected here.
You can see that I have been consistently working on many issues at many levels.
Time to make things happen faster.
Authorised by Ted Howard, 1 Maui Street, Kaikoura