What should matter most

What should matter the most to an individual, his own welfare or society’s?

[ 18/10/20 ]

Both are essential.

Neither works without the other.

Exactly where the balance lies will be different for each of us in different contexts; and that is part of the complexity of being human. There is not much about us that is as simple as most belief structures would have us believe. We are, each and every one of us, profoundly complex, and potentially creative.

Learning how to use creativity for the benefit of all, while maintaining such boundaries as are require for survival in context, is part of the art of life.

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Ginger Campbell’s interview with Seth Grant

Ginger Campbell’s interview with Seth Grant

[ 12/10/20 on my facebook page]

This is the best podcast I’ve listened to in a while. Yet another level of complexity in the brain – deeply more complex. I suspect more to come. Grant focuses on proteins alone (proteome), sugars (glycome) and lipids display similar levels of diversity and have similar degrees of functional modification. Our brains have many different types of alphabets, leading to may different sorts of books and libraries of functionality – and they all interact.

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The greatest problem for humanity

[ 12/10/20 ]

The biggest and most important problem, is how to get global (and beyond) cooperation between all levels of self aware language capable agents present.

The survival, security, prosperity and freedom of all of us depend upon this.

We must have respect for all aspects of diversity that are not an unreasonable threat.

Every level of agent needs to have what they consider reasonable levels of freedom and security; and that is only possible when everyone acknowledges that there are real limits that must be respected for survival, and that all rights come with necessary responsibilities.

Everything else pales into insignificance when compared to this – no shadow of reasonable doubt remaining in my mind.

The New Zealand response to Covid-19 is, at any level you care to examine it, clear evidence of the thesis.

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Lifeboat foundation link to Neuralink

[ 12/10/20 Lifeboat foundation link to Neuralink]

So many levels of trust required for that to happen that I simply do not have in the economic and political and technological systems we have at present. Far too much incentive to hack operating systems, and the idea of hackers or remote AIs having low level access to my neural hardware (even via some equivalent of some set of beat frequencies in some dataset) is not something I am comfortable with.

If I could be confident it was read access only, with no possibility of write access, I may consider it. And the only way that is going to happen is if everything is open source, and that is not going to happen in today’s economic or political climate.

So certainly something that is needed, and yet another thing that is only really useful or stable in a globally cooperative context.

Everyone needs to get comfortable with multiple (and increasing) levels of diversity coexisting in peace – with all levels having what they consider reasonable levels of resources and freedom.

NOT global control.
Global cooperation between diverse agents (multiple levels of them).

Nothing less has any reasonable probability of survival.

The article itself is full of errors, but does point in the general direction of some real issues.

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Perspectives, responsibility

[ 9/10/20 On Michael Skye’s facebook page]

There is certainly great value in being able to see multiple perspectives, and part of that which is really powerful is being able to see the systemic evolutionary drivers of the classes of perspective that we all necessarily start with, and to understand the necessary boundaries for the survival of all the levels of structure that make us possible.

Sure, the idea of being “right” is the enemy of possibility – as it is a gross simplification of complexity.

And that does not detract from the idea that all form required boundaries, and that there and necessary responsibilities that come with every level of freedom, if it is to survive in reality.

What few can yet see is that the very idea of money is now a direct threat to our long term survival.

Freedom without responsibility is necessarily self terminating.

The greater the level of freedom claimed, the greater the requirements to explore the nature of the responsibility demanded.

We are all social animals – necessarily. We are individuals in societies – always, all levels! We are both. Each is necessary. Each has values and responsibilities.

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Moral responsibility and climate change

Should we hold individuals morally responsible for climate change?

[ 8/10/20 ]

What do you mean by moral responsibility?

Are we morally responsible for supporting an economic system that guarantees poverty for the masses rather than one that ensures that everyone has a reasonable minimum (without necessarily capping the maximum).

When anyone starts approaching complex questions like economics or climate change or legal systems then simple models are going to fail, and one needs to become comfortable with uncertainty.

We can all take degrees of responsibility for climate change by limiting our use of energy – and doing that has macroeconomic consequences in the current system.

Technical solutions to climate change are relatively simple but not in the current economic and political dogma.

So any simplistic attempt at moral responsibility is likely to do more harm than good.

If we all make reasonable attempts to support each other and the environment that supports us all – we are all better off; and in the current economic and political systems that will only get us so far. Fundamental reform of both economics and politics is required, and that is a deeply non-trivial set of very complex problems that require an approach that is more about avoiding undesirable boundaries than it is about achieving known targets. Complex systems cannot be accurately predicted – they require guidance rather than direction.

To the extent that morality provides guidance about the things to be avoided it is useful in complex situations.

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Human Nature

Which is the human nature theory accepted nowadays?

[ 7/10/20 ]

Depends who you are talking to.

For someone like me, who trained as a biochemist, has studied reasonable amounts about mathematics, logic, psychology, history, logics, and complexity – then the answer is:

It is complex.

Every different individual has a complex nature that is partially determined by many different factors:
Genetics;
Culture;
Experience;
Understanding;
Choices (past and present);
Context (physical, psychological, cultural, emotional).

All of these are important factors in us being what we are, and in the degrees of choice we perceive as being present in any particular context.

Any one of those factors already has more information stored about it in libraries than any human could possibly read in any normal lifetime. Really complex – seriously so !!!

Human beings are the most complex things we yet know of in this universe.

I have been studying the systems that make us what we are for over 50 years, and I have more open questions than closed ones; and the vast majority of people have never begun to consider many of the questions I find interesting and important.

And my understanding is built upon some levels of fundamental uncertainties in all relationships – so it is a very different sort of thing to what most people encounter in their education.

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Rights and responsibilities

Facebook post by Diana Paulikas

[ 7/10/20 Facebook post by Diana Paulikas (#workprocastination) on “The American experiment”]

The last time I was in Washington DC I literally wept as I read the inscriptions on the buildings and sidewalks that held such promise, but the actual experience is one of lies and distortions and deceit at so many levels. DC is the most profound example of Newspeak currently embodied in the world.

Rights only work if accompanied by responsibilities.

Truth no longer applies to the system if there are market interests (they are specifically excluded in law).

The system has been doomed by taking three overly simplistic (and essentially wrong) positions:

1 – equating liberty with competitive markets, when in reality liberty is much more closely related to cooperation and diversity at all levels;

2 – equating evolution with competition, when in reality all new levels of complexity in evolved systems are based upon new levels of cooperation, and all levels of cooperation require evolving sets of cheat detection and removal strategies if they are to survive (and in this sense, it is the cheating strategies that need to be removed, not the agents exhibiting those strategies; the agents must pay a penalty and that penalty must be within quite narrow bounds if the system is to actually survive);

3 – assuming that all levels of complexity can be reduced to simple binaries. That is not so. Sure, when faced with severe constraints binaries can be useful to provide rapid responses, and most of the complexity that actually exists most of the time requires far greater depths of uncertainty and diversity than can be accommodated with simple binaries. A two party political system guarantees political failure in today’s world of multiple levels of extremely complex systems. A world based on simple ideas of True and False cannot deal effectively with uncertainty and novelty; and today’s complex world demands of all of us a respect for and acceptance of complexity, uncertainty and novelty. And sure, under the stress of immediate threat falling back to simple binaries has real utility, but how often is such stress real, and how often is it manufactured by some level of agents for the control of other levels of agents?

The American experiment needs to survive, and it needs to survive in a way that allows all levels of agent to express their best approximation to what seems most likely to be real; and it needs to appropriately punish the generation and distribution of deliberate misinformation at any and all levels; and that must be balanced against the absolute right of all to speak their best approximation to truth. Free speech in the sense of the freedom to speak that is intended to improve the accuracy of the models and understandings in use must be allowed and protected; where as speech designed to degrade or impede the development of such must be discouraged. And that will be difficult for many who believe dogmas that have actually been disproven beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.

There will eternally be uncertain boundaries at multiple levels in any such system. That is essential to any real embodiment of the notion of freedom. Accepting that logically inescapable fact will be difficult for many who prefer the simplistic certainty of one “Truth” at some level.

And boundaries are essential for the survival of structure, at all levels.

So there will eternally be difficult conversations as those boundaries are approached (any level).

We seem to be far too close to (or beyond) many levels of such boundaries right now.

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Ignorance

RQ: I think its safe to presume educated people too behave ignorant, thus what are the other major factors that causes ignorance in people?

[ 5/10/20 ]

All people are necessarily far more ignorant than they are educated – that just comes from having multiple sets of infinities available to explore.

What is usually meant by such questions is the degree of education expected in any particular set of contexts. One can be highly educated about the mathematics of quantum mechanics, and have little or no awareness of the social etiquette of any particular group or culture.

So often education and ignorance are present in all of us in all contexts to some degree.

There is a well documented bias in humans called the Dunning-Kruger effect where a little knowledge tends to give far greater confidence than is appropriate. Most of us experience it multiple times in multiple domains. Eventually most learn to be alert to it, and it still happens.

Respect for individuals and diversity is usually a good idea (unless you are really confident that you are being exploited, and even there a degree of respect need to remain, even as you take appropriate action to stop the exploitation).

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Global or National

Which do you believe would be more advantageous to you as an individual and to the country in general, to go global or to focus and improve your country’s own?

[ 5/10/20]

It is not an either or question.
The best thing I can do for my own long term welfare is to encourage non-naïve cooperation at every level, local, regional, national and international.

And you need to be clear that cooperation and control are two very different things.

Cooperation is agents (at any level) with some reasonable degree of autonomy, engaging in conversations to reach agreement about a path forward.

And such engagement is always going to contain uncertainties, and will need to be revisited from time to time as contexts change.

So I am clear beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that my long term self interest, and the long term self interest of all other individuals, is best served by cooperation.
And that contains multiple levels of complexity, as real freedom results in novelty, which must be respected even as it contains risk.

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