The World Model

It is easy to say that we should fight climate change. Most people that do don’t actually fight. Fighting is uncomfortable, it is dangerous, you have to adapt constantly because you are facing constant resistance. Almost nobody is doing that, for a large part because political positions are occupied by people preselected for their acceptance of the destruction of our planet, partly because the media (and add industry) are biased to where the money comes from, and climateactivists don’t have a bank yet.

It is clear politicians make promises and break them, their game is to lie to ensure their power and find new lies to distract people when their earlier lies are being called out. The memory span of the average voter is limited, and if you’re not into politics you can’t link events logically further back than about 2 weeks. Trump is a hardcore example of that, he goes by the adagium that “people only know what you tell them” and so he flatly denies he did things in the past, counting on the fact that the majority that see his denial are not exposed to the debunking of that denial. Its high precision lying, and very effective in keeping people behaving predictably.

Now, due to the coronacrisis, a lot of people are demanding recovery funds are spend in an environmentally sound way. These are almost promises. We don’t know what the power of these people is, sometimes none, sometimes they are in a bank or some other institution. We don’t know what they vote when push comes to shove. We have plenty of fake political parties that always vote anti-social right wing but talk social-left wing, and look slippery and clean the rest of the time.

We need a world model, a simulation of what happens if we do things. What happens if we build a dam, what happens if we give USD to this company or that company. What happens if we mine here or dig there. It’s no longer beyond our abilities to do so. We can model the money and resource streams, simply from satelite data. We know what prices are, we know what is offered in the market, we know what skills people aquire (when their brains are not shut down by their smartphone). We can model human behaviour, aging, we can model everything. Many lives are similar, that’s been the goal of industry to create consumer ‘flavours’ that feel unique enough to join massive groups. But really a person without any sense of electronics or physics, what is he going to do? The only option such a person has is hold and use tools made available to him/her, and the result of that is highly predictable.

Most new industrial designs are cat drawings, so when the end products are in the field they can be understood completely. If they are not you can send drones to scan them, to listen to them, to measure radiation and make a profile. We are very close to thinking AI that has no problem intergating such knowledge in to a model. AI is already used to create and tune models of all kinds. We need to start working on a model of our world, so that we can run accurate simulations of policy decisions.

The political realm is incredibly dated. You as a voter think you have influence over some options that are presented to you, but you don’t control vast parts of your world you depend on. Fossil fuel emissions dropped 8% during this corona crisis, and where dit the other 92% keep going? Industry. Did you notice from your locked down home? Nope. Do you notice the hunger in Sudan, Egypt, Syria, India? Nope, so much pain you are shielded from, not only by yourself but also by the media. This crisis is not over yet. As banks free up money to hand out and try to restart this monster economy promises are made about the climate sanity of it all. How can we be sure any of those promises are kept? What do they entail? We must go through with the “Green Deal”! But what does that actually mean? Can’t we do better? Is it going to save us?

We have climate models, like smoke detectors, but we need to see the actual fire, and know what actions yield what results. There should be a scientific field optimizing a world model created from a combination of the weather, climate, air pollution, logistics, gaming and many other models that are already being created. Al the users can then tap into this model and optimize it. Then we can at least see the actual situation, we can control divices to take action where needed or possible, we can extrapolate based on best knowledge. This should be a global effort, to finally know what the fuck we are doing to it and how we can do better.