Daniel Schmachtenberger, Nate Hagens, The Metacrisis

Daniel Schmachtenberger: “Modeling the Drivers of the Metacrisis” | The Great Simplification #42

[ 27/October/22 ]

I just got home from doing a beach survey of endangered birds on my electric bike.

I have been vegan for 12 years.

I am making changes.

We can all make changes.

We can acknowledge that we can make such choices as we reasonably can to move things in a sustainable direction.

Agree that we need to transition to long term sustainability, we need to close a lot of currently open material loops.

The curve is not 200,000 years old, it is 4 billion years old.

It is a “double” exponential.

Not only are the levels of complexity increasing exponentially faster, but the number of infinite dimensions is also increasing exponentially.

The multiple levels of systems within our subconscious brains, and our various social and linguistic structures, that tend to simplify the complexity present, to create whatever it is that we each individually experience as reality for us, tend to blind us to the complexity and uncertainty actually present.

Yes we can make tools and abstractions, and that is powerful for us; and it has an exponentially increasing tendency to make us over confident about our simplistic assumptions and approximations.

Yes, we can do recursive abstraction, and it necessarily gets exponentially more complex and time consuming as we do so. I have gone to 12th level abstraction, and that is impossible to communicate to other individuals.

There are tensions between sociality and creativity. The multiple levels of pressures for social agreement are direct constraints on individual freedom and creativity.

Agree with Daniel about a “third attractor”, and agree that it is “not easy”, and as I see it, it is empowerment of all. We need indefinite life extension. Ordinary people need to have a reasonable probability of living with the long term consequences of their actions. When we have that, then we will get the sorts of coordination and cooperation that are the only real counter to the threats of central control, and capture of powerful systems by non-aligned agents. Ordinary people need to be empowered with the time and incentive and willingness to challenge authority, required to counter the risks from authority. And no strategy is without risk. The great strength comes from cooperating diversity (all levels, all domains).

When one can view life as “Search”, across domains of the possible for systems that are survivable, and one can appreciate that for a fully loaded processor, the most efficient search possible is the fully random search, then having multiple independent levels and systems of “Search” is actually the safest long term strategy.

Understanding how we got here is one of the hardest parts.

Understanding the fundamental role of cooperation in the emergence and survival of complexity is hard. It is deeply complex.

It is much easier to simplify it down to – Evolution is competition. That is easy, and it is wrong! Wrong at a level that embodies existential level risk.

The idea of a superstructure of coordination has some value, but it seems to me to be much more closely some version of random search delivering patterns that work in practice in some set of contexts – at least to the degree that they do, which is better than most others they have encountered – which is a higher level evolutionary selection system.

Yes – groups with their entire “tech stack” and their entire “conceptual stack” part of which is their “social stack”.

Yes – we select across all levels, simultaneously – even those most are not aware of.

Yes we have the necessity of stewardship, and that necessity extends far beyond the “biosphere”.

Yes – the “in group” has to include everyone – even those we like least.

Our motive can be ordinary evolutionary motive – to survive – on the longest term imaginable.

Agree that distributed understanding is fundamental.

Where we seem to fundamentally part ways is around the solution space.

The idea that we need to rethink “info-sharing” cannot end well – it necessarily results in some sort of fixed caste system, and some form of totalitarianism.

What is needed is far deeper understanding of uncertainty, and the responsibility that necessarily comes from that.

We need systems that allow anyone to progress through any set of systems, provided that they can demonstrate awareness of appropriate levels of responsibility. No set of fixed rules or systems can ever be sufficient. It demands responsibility of all individuals, all levels. It is never enough (at any level) to simply follow the rules. The “rule of law” is and always was an overly simplistic approximation to what is needed. It is a simplistic form of boundary that has uses in some contexts, but always contains at least as many dangers as benefits, as many of today’s systemic spaces adequately demonstrate.

We must stop telling people that following rules is good enough. It isn’t. Never was. Never can be.

Any level of freedom demands an appropriate level of cooperation and responsibility and respect for diversity if it is to survive.

The mathematics of that is beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.

Rule of law removes “Search”, and that limits the advancement of knowledge, and that increases the risk from the unknown unknown.

We need search at the boundaries, eternally, if long term survival is the desired outcome.

That has to be fundamental to the systemic space design. It was clearly a deep aspect of many ancient cultures.

Freedom is fundamental – even if guys like Sam Harris and Trick Slattery are so bounded by their assumptions that they are unable to conceive of it – that doesn’t change the reality of it.

Any system of governance has to have freedom, responsibility, cooperation and respect as founding principles – all of them are fundamentally mathematically linked to the long term survival of the evolution of complex systems. No logical escape from that in any form of logic I have explored (and I have explored a few sets of non-binary logics).

Anything not firmly based in those principles is by definition some form of totalitarianism in disguise.

It has to start at the level of the individual – if it is to have any long term chance of survival.

Freedom and responsibility have to be foundational at every level, every stack, and they both necessarily contain uncertainties – no logical escape from that – ever!

The freedom of individuals is important – fundamentally so; but the part that is often missing in the American experiment is that all such freedom has to be accompanied by cooperation, respect, and responsibility (all levels, all domains, all stacks).

Anything less than that and freedom self terminates – necessarily.

Any system without freedom self terminates – necessarily.

Respect has to lead to acceptance of any diversity that is not an actual and unreasonable threat to the survival of any.

These have to be fundamental to all axes, all grids, eternally.

Everything else is necessarily dynamic and evolving – that is an eternal aspect of “Search”, of life itself.

A sense of the sacred is important, and it cannot dominate the ideas of freedom and creativity. Part of responsibility is finding a context sensitive balance in any and all specific contexts.

What is required in all domains is acceptance that competition is only survivable if it is built on a cooperative base.

That is a fundamental given.

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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