Money Guide

The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later

New York Times bestselling author and legendary investment guru Ric Edelman reveals his forward-thinking guide on how technology and science will reshape the way we save, invest, and plan for the future.

It is much deeper than Edelman realises.

All markets exist for exchange.
Exchange is predicated on scarcity, and the idea that we are prepared to give up something we have that is valuable to us, for something we consider more valuable. Variations in distributions and value sets allow such transactions to be win-win (and they aren’t always).

Nobody pays for the air they breath when outside in clear air.
In that context, air is universally abundant.
Exponentially expanding technical capacity has the ability to deliver universal abundance of an exponentially expanding set of goods and services, rendering the idea of money exponentially less useful as a tool to assist in decision making.

I make the assertion that markets and their derivative value myth of money has already dropped below the point of net social utility, but that most people are so embedded within the monetary paradigm that they just cannot see that as yet.

I have no shadow of reasonable doubt left that the concept of money now poses the single greatest existential threat to humanity, on a large and increasing number of dimensions and paradigms.

If we want a reasonable probability of long term survival then we need to transition to an abundance based value set when making decisions about our long term future.

Some sort of Universal Basic Income seems to offer the greatest probability of success as a transition strategy, to get us through the coming few decades.

The very idea of finance now seems to be clearly characterisable as a cheating strategy on the cooperative system that is human society – and games theory is clear that any form of cooperation requires attendant strategies to avoid being dominated and destroyed by cheating strategies.

And I get it is a very complex system, a very deeply nested set of complex systems.
And at root, if any of us are to have a reasonable probability of living a very long time, our systems must be fundamentally based in cooperation, with base values of individual life and individual liberty, applied universally – with all the contradictions and complexities such things deliver in their derivatives.

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Ideapod – Trimtab

Ideapod – “Call me TrimTab” – Bucky

That only looks at one aspect of stability, the ultra stable vessel.

There is an infinite spectrum of stability.
Family saloon cars tend to be designed with stability in mind, it takes effort to make them go off a straight line.
Racing cars are much closer to a neutral stability point, and require far greater driver skill, and are far more responsive as a result.

Modern high performance flying wing aircraft are so unstable that it takes computer systems making corrections several thousand times per second to keep them flying, and the pilot’s control only indicates to the computer what it should have as a target set of parameters.

I contend that in many senses our society is now much more like the unstable aircraft, and it is only the work of many millions of individuals that keep things running as well as they do.

And at a meta level, yes, there is room for some re-alignment of values in the parameter sets we are seeking to maintain. A change away from markets would help.

[followed by]

A lot in what Aesara says.
Integrity and analogy are powerful concepts to bring together, and they need a few more.

It seems clear that all our perceptions are analogy in a very reals sense, in that we do not get to experience reality directly, rather we experience a subconsciously created model of reality.
The more effort we are prepared to put into learning about our own personal model and the systems that support it, to learn its strengths and weaknesses, to re-align values and systems that are no longer appropriate, the better off we will all be.

And there is another aspect.
Sometimes our models are based on very different value sets, and there is very little room for alignment.

Sometimes we need to go to the minimum possible value set to achieve alignment.

It seems clear to me that the minimum such set is universal respect for life and liberty, in that order, with all the derivative responsibilities that come from them.

Doing that on the longest time frame works.

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What did you want to be as a kid?

March 3-8,’17 ~QofDay~ What Did You Want to be as a Kid?

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Have you been successful in being that?

In broad terms, a problem solver and explorer, and someone who lives for the rest of eternity.

Both things seem to be happening, and a lot more needs to happen quite quickly for the rest of eternity in good health and empowered freedom part to have a reasonable probability – and it is not yet beyond the realms of possibility.

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Evonomics – Economic paradigms

Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Charles Darwin: A New Economic Paradigm

The Piketty debate exposed the dysfunction in economics

Interesting article as far as it goes, and I agree with all of Swami’s additions, and even when those are included, there seem to me to be three major paradigms that are missing, if one is to create interpretive schema that have utility in this very complex set of systems we find ourselves in.

1 The view of evolution given focuses only on competition, and ignores cooperation. That view is fundamentally incomplete.
Evolution is an exploration of systemic possibility spaces through differential survival.
Competition is one of the systemic possibilities.
Cooperation is the other major systemic possibility.
And systemic strategic spaces are infinite, with infinite variations of themes.
In games theory terms, when the major survival factors are within group, then competitive modalities dominate; and when the major threats to individual survival are from outside the population of individuals, then higher levels of cooperation can be strongly selected. And games theory is clear, that raw cooperation is always vulnerable to cheating strategies, and requires attendant strategies to prevent invasion by cheating strategies. Arguably the entire finance industry can be characterised as cheating strategies in this sense, and it is more complex than that, as I am sure Swami will point out. And each sentence in this part could become a book, as could some of the words alone.
So saying evolution or economic systems are about competition ignores more than half of reality.
Yes competition is real, and so is cooperation, and everything in between.
And when one looks at the evolution of complexity, in every case major advances are characterised by the emergence of new levels of cooperation.
When one takes this view, our long terms security lies not in competitive, but in cooperative paradigms.
And I enjoy competing as much as anyone else, and I do so within a higher level cooperative context.

2/ the possibility of indefinite life extension.
In 1974, as I completed my undergraduate studies in biochemistry, I could see that from a “cell’s eye” perspective, every cell alive today in all organisms alive today would consider itself to have been alive for some 4 billion years. Because from the perspective of each cell alive, whenever it divided, the other other half of the division was the “other cell”.
So from this cells eye view, every cell alive today in a human being has gone through many cycles of division in a body, becoming either an egg or a sperm, joining with either an egg or a sperm, and being part of another body.
So therefore, every cell must carry as the default set, the biochemical tools for indefinite life, and all the mechanisms for organ differentiation and cellular senescence (biological aging) must be overlain on top of that. So achieving indefinite life extension is “simply” a matter of understanding that process.
In 1974 I saw that 4 stages of understanding were required.
1 Map the entire human genome (2002)
2 Accurately model protein 3 dimensional folding structure (2008)
3 Develop useful simulations of quantum chemical effects within those enzyme structures (2012)
4 Build a digital model of a living cell – in progress.
We are very close.
Many groups have now seen the logic that was clear to me 43 years ago.
If that final step isn’t already understood by some small number of individuals, it soon will be.
When every individual has personal self interest stretching out thousands of years into the future, then the sort of long term view I have held for the last 43 years will become more common.

3/ the impact of exponential technologies, particularly in the area of fully automated manufacturing. At present we can fully automate many processes, mostly related to information processing, and the economic value of many of those has dropped to zero.
As that technology spreads into manufacturing and energy production, an exponentially increasing set of goods and services will become like the air we breath – vitally important to each of us, yet of no economic value.
That reality poses a fundamental challenge for any market based system of values.
How can we use markets to manage things sensibly when many things have zero value.
Putting zeros in equations doesn’t usually produce sensible outcomes, particularly where divisions are involved, but also with multiplications.

We are in a period of transition.
We are moving from a historical reality dominated by scarcity, to a coming reality of technological abundance.
How we manage that transition is fundamental to our survival.

We do not see vast numbers of high tech civilisations sending messages from nearby stars or galaxies.

I suggest that would seem to indicate that the coming transition is not simple.

Yes we live in very complex systems.
And we are capable of making choices as to the nature of the highest levels of such systems.

And at the highest level, games theory is clear – only the cooperative have a high probability of survival.

And nothing is certain.
Everything is probability functions.
We could all make our best efforts and still have it all go “belly up”, that is a real possibility.
And if we don’t make our best efforts, belly up is a very high probability. The number of possible failure modalities is also increasing exponentially.

[followed by]

Hi Eric,
Within the set of things required for human existence and reasonable degrees of freedom of action (air, water, food, shelter, sanitation, energy, education, communication, healthcare, transport, tool-sets), then we can achieve universal abundance.
Of course in the infinite set of the possible, the vast majority will remain scarce. And the sorts of lifestyle possibilities that most currently conceive as high end don’t actually require a lot of mass or energy if you get really smart about how you provide them and close all material loops to achieve close to 100% recycling.

When technical abundance achieves Drexler’s molecular level manufacturing, then we are very close to universal abundance for all practical purposes.

The Sun is a vast source of energy, and likely to remain so for a considerable time (far longer than mammals have existed to date) – so not of immediate concern.

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Project for Progressive Ethics

Post in Project for a progressive Ethics

Message on Meetup

Hi Dil

Having had a 7.8 earthquake here a few months back, haven’t logged in in a while, so just got to see your message.

Can’t find any place to leave comment on any of the links you provided, so will briefly comment here.

It seems clear to me that any attempt to discus ethics without understanding both the evolutionary nature of embodied cognition and the heuristic nature of understanding and behaviour, and the logical context of a reality that embodies both lawfulness and randomness in its fundamental substructure; are fatally flawed.

Hence Sartre et al while interesting in an evolutionary context are fundamentally lacking a coherent framework in reality.

My views on such matters are fundamentally grounded in some 50 years of exploring both philosophy and science including biochemistry, quantum mechanics, relativity, games theory, complexity, computation, etc.

What context do you wish to engage in?

I am interested in contexts that give a reasonable probability to indefinite life applied universally, with the maximum degrees of freedom possible; acknowledging that there can be no absolute predictability when complex systems involving chaos and maximal computational complexity are involved.

Arohanui

Ted

[followed by]

Hi Dil at al,

One thing that has become clear in the 12 year process we have had here in Kaikoura in developing a community consensus approach to coastal marine management (www.teamkorowai.org.nz) is that agreed values matter.

Yes, we are all different in many different ways.
Yes we will each have many variations on many different themes of systems derived from both genetic and cultural evolution that implicitly impel us towards particular outcomes. These come under the broad heading of “feelings” and cover a vast array from things like breathing, a liking for sweet things, sexual attraction, to things like Jayne’s “structions” and many levels of implicit systems embedded in culture more generally and language specifically.
We all have those.
We need them to make any sort of sense of the vast amount of information presented to us.
Differential survival seems to have selected things that work (on average over time).
So many levels of evolved heuristics within us that in one sense make cognition possible at all, and in another sense install a set of Bayesian priors from which we make judgments.

And in working together, when bringing many different sets of understandings and beliefs and values, we found it essential to first find a common set of values we could all agree upon – something that we could come back to when things got difficult, and start again.

In terms of general ethical principles for humanity, it seems that the vast majority of people can agree on two universal principles:
1 a respect for individual sapient life; and
2 a respect for the liberty of all sapient individuals, where it doesn’t pose undue risk to the life or liberty of anyone else.

And in complex systems, boundaries need to be flexible or they become brittle and break.

And when individuals with conflicting assumptions or ethics clash, resolution requires us to go beyond cultural boundaries, ours and theirs; and the easiest way to get there is to suspend judgement and listen from the space of agreed values.

So it seems to be more of a process thing. And it takes time, requires both trust and commitment. And commitment is usually judged by actions in reality.

So yes – I agree that it is irrational to ignore the irrational, and there is something of an art to mixing the rational and the irrational. As a general rule of thumb, the more time you have, the greater the involvement of the rational aspects of evaluation of the factors present.

I attempt to always involve both aspects of my being in all choices.
And the vast majority of what I do isn’t choice, it is patterns already present doing what they do.
And a large number of those patterns are there as the result of past choices, and committed actions on my part to turn them into lasting habits.

And freedom is a very complex subject.
Freedom is never without constraint.
To be without constraint is to experience hard vacuum – not healthy.
Our existence is predicated on about 20 levels of constraints (from the sub atomic on up through the highest levels of abstraction).
Learning the degrees of freedom available within those constraints seems to be one of the arts of aging and wisdom.

One is never free from consequence.
Yes one can step off a cliff, and a few second later there will be consequence (definitely unwanted in my case).

So it seems clear to me that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.

And in an infinite realm of possibilities, freedom must logically result in exponentially expanding diversity, with all the challenges for communication and coexistence involved therein.

And it does seem possible to work through those challenges, if one has a base level commitment to the values of life and liberty.

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London Futurists – James Bartlett – Society Broken

Radicals: A disturbing guide to the future? with Jamie Bartlett

Society is deeply broken. That’s a belief shared by a wide mixture of ‘Radicals’ – a variety of individuals, groups and movements who reject the way we live now, and who are attempting to find alternatives.

Have not read the book, but I reject the thesis that society is broken.
To accept that it is broken implies that it was ever whole in the first place.

It seems clear to me that evolution is exploring the many levels (potentially infinite) of possibility spaces available (both physical and strategic). That is what evolution does – essentially a random walk through available possibility spaces in a very real sense.

One of the intriguing insights from database theory is that the most processor efficient search is a fully random search. Abstracting that a few levels in the context above leads to some interesting contemplations of possibilities.

What I do accept is that many of the systems and heuristics that worked well in our biological and cultural past are no longer appropriate to our probable future.

How we manage that transition will define us.

[followed by]

I guess I meet the definition, of going to the root of issues, in order to initiate change from the base right up through the entire structure.

When fundamentally new properties are added to a system (like indefinite life extension, and fully automated production), that is an entirely appropriate response, when the old system was based on predicates with very different properties.

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Ideapod – response to “Stop trying to change the world”

Stop Trying To Change The World

Disagree with the thesis on a couple of levels.

I love the Margaret Mead quote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

And while I acknowledge that everything we do, and everything we interact with, changes us, it …is also possible to one individual to catalyze a change. And yes, most often there are many individuals, all fairly close to seeing the same thing, and not always.

It can certainly be powerful to work in a collaborative process, and I enjoy doing that. And we are capable of thinking far faster than we can communicate, so sometimes we can get much more done alone than in a group if one is truly exploring new territory. And there is risk in such a strategy, substantial risk.

At some point, to make change real, communication will need to happen, the memes have to transmit, stick, and replicate.

I have been committed to changing the world for over 50 years – like many.

[followed by]

Yes and no.

Yes – certainly – be the change. And change is difficult, it takes a lot of persistent consistent effort. I know that becoming vegan 7 years ago after 55 years of being a carnivore is one of the hardest things I have done.

And certainly, failure is part of achievement. In the realm of entrepreneurship there is a saying “fail fast, fail often”. Failure teaches us what doesn’t work. If we learn those lessons, then we end up finding what does work.

I have 4 times stood for parliament on the basis of creating universal abundance through automation, and the need to have something other than market systems in place to create stability and security. Failed each time. Learned something each time.

Change does happen.

The world today is very different from the world 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 years ago.

What sort of change do we want?
How do we make a difference to the sorts of change that happen?
What are our highest values?
What is our long game?

[followed by]

Exactly what process would that be that you want us to trust Maria?

Evolution is essentially a random walk through the possibility spaces available. It works through differential survival.

If, as I am, one is committed to the values of life and liberty, applied universally to all sapient entities, then one cannot use differential survival, as if one is true to one’s values all must have a reasonable probability of survival.

Having been deeply engaged in both economic and political processes over the last half century, I have no great trust in either. Both have major failure modalities that are all too common.

Individual awareness seems to be our greatest asset, yet economic and political incentive structures work directly against it.

Fundamental structural and strategic change seem to be our only reasonable alternatives.
And it must be a matter of individual choice.
And the basic context matters – influences choice.

Agree in the sense that we cannot be attached.

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