Social reform

Is it possible to gather the wisdom of all mankind to design a better, more reasonable and more humane social system from the perspective of human nature to adapt to the modern society, country and all mankind?

[ 18/Feb/22 ]

Yes, and it is complex.

One of the things that must be accepted is that such a system cannot be a singular thing, but must rather be a multileveled community of “things”, all of which accept the existence of all others.

Security resides in diversity.

Security also relies on cooperation. A deep understanding of the strategic basis of evolution shows that all new levels of complexity emerge from and are reliant upon new levels of cooperation. Contrary to popular dogma, it is cooperation that is at the base of the emergence of all levels of complexity, and competition can and does certainly exist. But competition, of itself, tends to drive systems to some set of minima on the available complexity “landscape”, whereas cooperation allows for freedom to explore all landscapes that are not actually an unreasonable existential level risk. Both freedom and security are optimised in fundamentally cooperative contexts (even Adam Smith appreciated that fact to some significant degree).

So it is entirely possible to design systems that give every individual levels of security and freedom that they consider reasonable, and freedom without responsibility is necessarily self destructive (as without responsibility it destroys the very constraints that make complexity at that level possible – and that is a deeply, recursively, complex subject).

And such systems need not have any upper limits. If people want access to more energy, materials or freedom than the earth can support, then they need to go off planet, and that could be a realistic option reasonably quickly. The technology to launch large amounts of moon mass into earth orbit where we could make large sets of complex machinery is relative straight forward to develop and deploy.

And all systems have necessary sets of constraints that must be maintained, and those impose certain classes of limits in any sets of contexts. It is a deeply complex suite of subjects.

And it does appear to be doable, and it does seem to be the only approach with any significant long term survival probability. And it does require fundamental reform of many of our current systems, particularly the economic and political systems. And that will require the highest degrees of responsibility from each of us, each to the best of our limited and fallible abilities.

[followed by]

Hi Johnnie

Human beings are very adaptable. They respond to context.

Put them in a context of limited resources, and they will compete – necessarily.

Put them in a context where they can see the continuing abundance and security are possible, and that defectors on cooperation and responsibility are appropriately treated, and that all benefit of such defection is removed (plus a little bit); then humans can be very cooperative and very creative. Creating such a future of abundance is possible with modern automation; and having such abundance does break the system of money and markets, as anything universally abundant has zero value in a market (by definition – think oxygen in the air, arguably the most important thing to all of us, yet of zero market value).

Much of the current suite of issues comes from the ideas embodied in our current economic systems, the systems of money creation and money manipulation that are entirely divorced from any connection to any real goods or services; and the suites of perverse incentives that flow from those. And there are similar suites of issues in most of the systems in use today (educational, political, communications, etc).

One of the things that is needed is giving all people a reasonable probability of living with the long term consequences of their actions. That will tend to develop responsibility over time.

People generally need to be taught from a very early age that simple binary distinctions like True/False and Right/Wrong can be very useful in some contexts where rapid decisions are required, but are not generally an attribute of reality, which seems clearly to be vastly more complex, nuanced, uncertain and in some cases unknowable. And having such notions demands responsibility from all, if they are to be survivable.

So it is deeply complex, and it is doable, and I do not see any other path with any significant probability of long term survival.

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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