World government or something else

Is the world government the solution to Earth’s woes?

[ 17/November/21 ]

Like many others here – no – a singular government is always more problem than solution – for a vast array of reasons.

What is required is cooperation between all levels, classes and instances of diverse agents.

Some of the major problems with singular governance:

1/ Evidence is overwhelming that the real world is complex beyond the capacity of any computational entity to deal with in real time, thus every entity has to make contextually relevant simplifications of the context they are in. The more removed decision making is from the actual context, the greater the probability that the simplification chosen will be unsuitable to the context. All individuals contain vast processing capacity (most of it subconscious) and to survive we need to harness that effectively. That means devolving as much decision making as possible to individuals; and that will vary greatly with contexts. The more complexity and urgency present, the lower the utility of any form of central command. Traditionally this was one of the great strengths of market based systems, before new levels of automation fundamentally undermined their founding assumptions (last 20 years).

2/ In any system, any single critical point is vulnerable to 2 major failure modalities – single point of capture by a destructive agent, and single point of failure due to inadequate model of the situation. Both of those risks are minimized by having multiple classes and levels of cooperating agents with diverse trust and communication networks.

3/ There is no universally agreed role for governance. For some it is maintenance of those boundaries that are actually essential for the security of complex systems (like us, our cultures, our technological and scientific systems); and for others it is the maintenance of traditional systems. There are valid roles for both conservative and liberal views and actions in all systems, and what sort of balance is appropriate is always highly context sensitive.

4/ Any real expression of liberty must result in levels of diversity that in some instances are so different that they are essentially incomprehensible to other classes of agent. Real complexity with real liberty does actually deliver a potentially infinite class of such things. Provided all accept fundamental cooperation then they are actually our best route to long term security.

Any real sets of solutions to our current woes must accept a range of things that many are uncomfortable with:

Fundamental cooperation between all classes, instances and levels of complex agents;

Acceptance of notions like eternal novelty, fundamental uncertainty, maximal computational complexity that prevent totally accurate prediction of the future, even as they deliver ever more accurate ranges of probabilities;

Find a wide diversity of practical balances between tradition and creativity;

Accept that every level of freedom requires new levels of responsibility if it is to have a reasonable probability of surviving long term.

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 www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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