Not much to add really, just that this has been my take for a long time : Capitalism is slave driving, it protects itself by keeping people poor.
Capitalism creates consumers, expels the worker as a source of value..
Not much to add really, just that this has been my take for a long time : Capitalism is slave driving, it protects itself by keeping people poor.
Capitalism creates consumers, expels the worker as a source of value..
Tesla is now a huge deal in the world, and its stock $tsla is now a topic of constant debate. The current documentary on Elon Musks rise is worth watching as a background. What we have here is an individual that with luck, courage and ingenuity is creating the world he has dreamed of.
Now the stock, NYSE:TSLA what is it? Because it never adheres to valuations and all kind of things are said about it. Some are pure bulls (Gary Black, Value Analyst), some are pure bears (Michael Burry), there’s TeslaQ, which is a group of short sellers where notably Bill Gates is a member of. As I will explain in the next paragraphs, all this pushing and pulling should give you an idea about what determines the valuation of $tsla at the moment.
What is a stock? Its a certificate of co-ownership of a company (officially). The influence of a stock/share holder may vary, at Tesla sharholder meetings shareholders get to make proposals and decisions, so Tesla shareholder status is a real thing you buy when you buy $tsla. However this is not the main focus of shareholders, it mainly is the stock price, its value.
Early investors are people that want the company to exist and be able to grow. This requires both risk taking and understanding what a company tries to achieve. You can get burned, some companies are fundamentally dishonest
The value of a stock depends on how much people want to own it and how much money these people have. If you double the money supply, you double stock prices eventually (this is the reason stocks and home prices always go up : constant inflation). But the real question here is : Is there a hard value in owning a stock. My answer is that if the stock does not pay dividend the intrinsic value of it is zero.
Stocks have a crypto phase
If a company issues stock and it does not lose control over itself in the process, the money the stock was sold for is now owned by the company to work with. If the company does not need any more money to operate, that is it. Why would you own the stock? No reason. Why would it become more valuable? No reason. It is what it is, a certificate of co-ownership.
Even if the company doubles in size, if it tripples its sales, if it does not need anything from stockholders (because it is profitable) the stockholders are to be thanked for their contribution. The stock can basically sink to zero. There is no future dynamic in it. Why would you own an empty box?
There have been cases of non-existent company stock being traded on the NYSE, which where eventually canceled and the people responsible fined (a tiny bit). If a stock does not do anything else but be listed on the exchange then it is very similar to crypto currencies. Tesla stock was until recently still in its pure ‘crypto-phase’, and this is very honestly admitted by its status until recently of ‘junk stock’. Now moving forward I expect things to change, maybe in ways that will make it make more sense to own it.
Dividend turns a stock into an interest carrying ‘loan’
First of all the stock should pay dividend. This turns it into a kind of direct loan to Tesla. Dividend is not liked a lot because it is taxed in most countries. However it turns crypto-$tsla into Dollar-$tsla even if the dividend is tiny. This would also inform people because you would be able to say ‘revenues grew by 50% so the dividend also grew by 50%’ even if the dividend is actually only 1% of renevue and each shareholder gets $0.0004269 per share per year. Less information is lost in the ‘database transactions’.
Paying dividend is the only real thing Tesla can do in the common repertoire (afaik). In reality though it can do more. This is because people want to own Tesla for speculative reasons. With the changes underway (global fossil energy cuts) there is another selling point for Tesla : It will persist. In other words, whereas GM or F can just suddenly fold, Tesla won’t. And whereas the USD can just inflate itself into oblivion, TSLA will ride that inflation from top to bottom, and even when there’s a new replacement currency. This is one of the reasons why people buy the stock, because they know it will be around. The more it will be around, the more they like the stock.
Tesla is working to create the Roboeconomy.com
In this respect Tesla has a lot to offer, solar, cars, robots, autonomous driving software, compute hardware. It will be around. The other companies of the S&P 500 may or may not thrive in the world we are moving into, the Roboeconomy.com, the solar and wind powered, AI driven, robotics exploiting world. Many companies do not belong in the Roboeconomy. To give an example :
Say you have solar and batteries and all processes that feed you and make your home comfortable and move you around are electrified. Say that electricity is traded in a currency called the JouleCurrency.org (which allows you to shift electric energy from solar power plants to batteries near production facilities) and you are one of the people maintaining the system, or you own it because Tesla gave its stock owners ownership of the assets of its utility branch (which it has). Then for living your life, you don’t need banks. You have a currency, but it is your own, it is generated by the solar power plant you own. For you none of the banks in the S&P 500 matter anymore.
Now as far as I understand Tesla is working on this, because it makes sense. We have such a system at the moment, only we mentally separate the banks from the fossil fuel companies, because we are easily fooled. If Tesla would announce that stock holders would receive ownership of fruits of its energy assets this would of course be a great reason to own the stock. Right now though the energy is still sold in the fossil economic system, where fossil banks put heavy debt on any asset because they supply the fossil credit (the fossil energy) used to create them. This will stop once Tesla (or a similar company) can produce batteries, solar panels etc. using only its own renewable energy sources.
I may make a list of all S&P 500 companies and their Roboeconomic potential. Many have none, they will disappear. For now the potential of the Tesla company is amazing, mind blowing. But this does not mean the stock has to be stellar, because there is no intrinsic value link between the stock and what the company does. It would be nice if a link was created. This is what I have been advising for crypto since the beginning (12 years ago), tie it to a real world value. But it may well be Tesla will issue its own energy credit soon, and this will mean war with the Federal Reserve and other banks, and this is the main reason Tesla gets dumped on in the media almost non-stop. This is the reason why hard line pessimists like Bill Gates short the stock.
The best way to fight this at the moment is to enable companies like Tesla, ones that bring about the Roboeconomy.com, bear their sell off to finance things, and then when people start running from other stocks (who may also pay no dividend) into Tesla and companies like it around the world, the stock will appreciate. Better still on a personal level (as stocks are often thought of as a way to secure your existence when you can’t work anymore) is to make sure that where you live, all energy is renewable, storage is available, laws help you develop other solutions, and banks rendered powerless (don’t go into debt!).
What makes countries?
I’m dutch. The dutch provinces became a country when the noblemen ruling them (with force) decided they did not want to pay VAT to Spain anymore. That decision was forced when the spanish local authority wanted to have actual VAT per province and city, instead of an estimated amount. Basically the dutch traders grew tired of the meddling.
Now there where those that kept order and those that traded, and one protected the other to create a wealth creating society of individuals, of course with all kinds of things wrong. At that time you could not survive without being usefull or trying to ply a trade. After the spanish authorities beheaded the first group to complain about the VAT tax (after first conversing and spending an evening playing cards), the people that did not stick their neck out the first time became more important, notably William the Silent.
Now the only thing William did really was give permission to fight the spanish. This meant 80 years of fighting, on and off, which ended when the spanish ran out of gold to pay their mercenaries. Simple lesson learned : Don’t try to exploit far of countries. Stick to your own turf. Of course this is not the mentality you get if you can beat people with a sword, then the dynamic becomes one of the served and the servant, the exploiter and the exploited. Now the history of the creation of the Netherlands is much more complicated and interesting than the above, but it basically was the creation of a society where the fruits of labor where enjoyed mainly by those in that society, not by some foreign entity.
This is what a country is : A group of people that prefer to help each other over helping the people outside the country. It is a wealth creation community, where its much easier to create wealth within than between, mainly because of distance, custom and language differences. The creation of Holland was a decidedly econonomic event.
When we consider the dutch colonies abroad, discovered in the so called golden era of the VOC or “United East India Company” (the first company which issued stock?) You again see the combination of force + economic incentive = country. These ships going to get spice in the East where fighting, not only the natives but also the other countries there, the Portugese, the English, the French (I assume). At some point the dutch ruler gave permission to use the dutch army in those fights. That’s how Holland gained its colonies.
The point I am obviously trying to make is that countries are shaped by entrepeneurs, that want to get something out of them, and then organize so there’s some fighting force to define the limits of who owns what. This is greed, indeed because the dutch had food and shelter and heating (peat) and windmills and a fishing fleet. You could say this is a secondary way to create a nation, because the first way is when you manage to hold of marauders through cunning, force and superior weapons.
What maintains countries?
Now we’re in 2022 and our world looks like a bunch of frogs in a wheelbarrow, everyone is trying things now that NATO is at war with Russia over the ‘sovereignty’ of Ukraine. We can all see there’s a larger agenda at stake, although one has to wonder who’s agenda is prevailing. The desire of NATO is of course to have no significant enemy in Russia. To have no nuclear threat from Moscow. But NATO is a bunch of countries, can we even identify the true motivation for the people of these countries (except Ukraine) to fight? Nope it is dictated by a strategic advantage that can be achieved. So it seems at least.
Putin is trying to reinstate a geographical entity who’s entrepreneurial support has disappeared, who’s history was written with force over reason, in short, he is not going to manage to make a country out of Russia + Ukraine
The borders of countries are hardly defined by commercial considerations anymore. It is totally irrelevant if Greece has a border somewhere if Canada just mines gold there and exports it without giving Greece much of a cut. Borders don’t matter to Gaza if Isreal drills for its gas, or Turkey drills for Kurdish gas. Who cares really what happens in Saudi Arabia as long as the country keeps exporting oil? Why did Holland have to be in Indonesia as long as Shell kept exporting its oil to the world (so it cleaned up a little and ceeded the country (to the US its of course more complicated))? No countries needed if you can do all the trade you want. This is why globalism and nationalism are more or less opposed.
Nationalism is when people realize they are taken advantage off and they start to define a territory from which whatever resource can no longer be freely exported. This is happening with some african countries at the moment. Globalism is the philosophy that the only thing that counts is trade, not people. The extreme of globalism is that the world has no countries, the extreme of nationalism is that each house has its gun.
There needs to be a balance between globalism and nationalism because if you don’t protect your property, resources, women, land, against some foreigner who does not care about your life, you will be living in misery for its short and painfull duration. Globalists of course hide in castle cities, far from the pain they require for their existence. Many have no awareness at all of what they cause. They are the pinnacle of human achievement, like miracles sipping latte and doing pilates. That image of women may be an actual icon, like a religious icon, to the ultimate achievement.
Now as long as a country has enough military force, it can maintain ‘trade relations’ and worship its iconic consumer population. That population is not dying in the trenches, not being pushed from one refugee camp to the next. It goal is to enact the village community, feeling peaceful and at peace in the environment created. The perfect place, “the shining city on the hill”. The violence is elsewhere and continuous. The violence is done by traders and manufacturers, because of that dream city.
To carry it a bit further, the above image of the Friends cafe could be considered as the ultimate icon of western consumerism with widespread consequences for the entire planet. Not that the same type of social dynamic couldn’t occur without it, but it was the total self obsession while ignoring all the processes that had to happen to make it possible.
Countries fall apart?
You could say that the desire to create the above image of life which is strongly at odds with running an exploitative global economy still kept that process going. It was leveraged to make it possible. Things where not for free, had to be specific, where always changing, so that you never had what you where being told you needed. The belief you had to conform to some public norm itself was a major driver of the economy, which is why you are told it is important to always look at other people. Nobody can ever achieve the norm, unless your job in life is to advertise it. Creating a craving to strive for a lifestyle you can only achieve by heavy consumerism drives our economies.
This funds our militaries and keeps our borders water tight and at the same time completely open to globalists. Borders could just shift if it did not affect any trade. Also the removal of a major trade can destroy a country. Take Russia, the modern lifestyle and vibrant economy that was growing there was mainly happening to justify oil and gas exports. Now that there’s some problems there, you can expect the country to be struggling and the use of a latte sipping elite luring people to the country is to be strongly diminished. Will they ever return? They will if Russia makes itself something to fight for.
If the dynamic of a country is the organization of force to secure a trade advantage (another way of saying ‘taking advantage by force’) it doesn’t sound very positive. But if it would be the organization of force to defend a self sustaining community against degradation or exploitation it does. Modern countries are all about the exploiting some trade advantages, and even if they where destroyed or split up they would reemerge due to the desire to organize and attain that same trade advantage again. However because of the enormous hassle of reorganizing after a war, most countries make sure there’s no reason and no possibility for regions to split (like for example oil rich Kurish Iraq splitting from Iraq).
“Negative countries” are regions that nobody wants, larger parts of the world are now negative countries, but will be viable with the help of renewable energy
Nationalism is really a way to strengthen the resolve of a country to keep itself together usually on entirely useless grounds like language, culture, religion. You can be sure if you are a soldier called up to protect your country that you are being used by commercial interests (Russia). If what you hold dear is really threatened, nobody will have to ask you to fight (Ukraine). The exploiting (usually industrialist) have to make you focus on hating something, or you will become aware there’s something to gain, and wonder why you don’t partake in those spoils..
Nationalism and Patriotism are forms of madness. Asserting ownership and forcing others to respect it is not madness, especially if you are not hoarding an existentially important resource
Following the above logic a new country can only be created if there’s a way to justify and fund force. Only if the country the region is now part of is consistently mistreating or under rewarding the people in the region can there be a motivation to separate and form a new country. Of course force needs to be build up before a region can assert itself. Regions like that today that come to mind are Catalonia, the high North of Holland, although that has very little chance of being able to assert independence. It seems ‘independence’ ultimately means ‘in control of local resources’. Saudi Arabia is asserting its independence versus the USA at the moment.
The bigger the country and the more uneven the distribution of resources, the bigger the chance of fragmentation. Russia is likely to split up if it is unable to keep all regions under forced or cooperative control (probably forced). The same goes for all other large countries. I think it is best to already have semi autonoumous states or provinces, and better to recognize regions so that any non-sharing impulse of one can be neutralized by a positive response (sharing of resources). This is much smarter than to strengthen any abusive relationship. This is what the globalists try to achieve to some extend, mainly by distribution of fossil credit. The distribution of renewable energy sources can have a similar dynamic.
In the end I don’t believe there are countries without a purpose, and new ones will be formed every time some imbalance or opportunity develops. Globalist nor nationalist can stop this dynamic, they can only be the ones we identify as battling against the tides of human greed and time..
It seems the expectation of the fossil industry before was total collapse of cililixstion due to climate change and fossil fuel shortages some time around 2030. This now seems to be cut short because there is a real drive to reduce fossil fuel dependence. Liz Truss just kicked out of Nr. 10 Downing Street, Putin in hot water, NordStream cut, Saudi Arabia is cutting US supplies, economies are throttling down. Flights are reduced. This is all very necessary.
To deal with the real challenge we have to look at our ‘solar intake’ (what amount of solar energy we keep on Earth, which depends on the reflection of light also called the Albedo). Today we absorb too much, we radiate less because of greenhouse gasses. This results in ocean temperatures rising, and this in turn means air temperatures will rise.
The above graph shows what’s going on. The heat content of our oceans is rising, and this is not good. In the past the oceans have stratified (hot layer on top of cold layer) and this locked nutrients in down below, and this meant no life in the oceans except near the coasts, where mixing could take place and iron provided oxygen (with or without life). But before this phase was reached the oceans became highly toxic, as all the oxygen was lost and anoxic organic processes took hold, like which happen in a swamp. At the end of the Permian era this led to the biggest extinction in the oceans AND on land, because the toxic gas H2S was released that blew over land. Oxygen breathing species can’t survive high H2S concentrations. Besides the oxygen production slowed down significiantly.
So we need to go to work to keep our oceans alive and oxygenated. This is no mean task if it can be accomplished. Physically though it can be done. The energy is there, all the materials we need are there. Water, carbon, nitrogen, we can make all the polymers needed for floating structures. We can grow crops on them, if we need silica we can get it easily. Also salt water concrete is super strong, so this might help us..What I am talking about is a base in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
There has to be one soon, because we will want to fly electrically, or use hyperloop for transatlantic travel, This is only possible using waystations at first, so we will need a couple of floating islands at sea. The MidAtlantic is interesting because it has a ridge, the dept is less, there are even islands.
The kind of transportation modes are flying, but that will be limited to propellor engines, which are rather slow. Then there’s hyperloop, then there’s ground effect aircraft. All will need charging. Now the reach of the longest range airplane is 500 km, which would mean 6 landing to recharge on the route to New York as the shortest route would be around 3000 km over water.
The ocean is super violent, and storms are getting more violent, but can’t human build something that is big and heavy and can turn the ocean into a workable environement, an airport even? I think we can. These basis can then also be used to do things like generate oxygen and insert it into the deep ocean. The more we use the ocean, the more we cover it, the more we protect it against warming. Even if it is rediculously large, it is time for humanity to venture into this space.
For more than 10 years I have been tryin to draw attention to the role of our fiancial system in the obstruction of our move to renewables. What is more logical than living off energy that is free, local, you can own, a lot like land when most of the people where farmers. But of course this would reduce the profit and power of banks, because where does their power come from? It comes from the fact we can buy fossil fuel with our money.
To repeat my story, the oil producer has a challenge, he has black oily stuff, which is toxic, and not much else, and people could use the oily stuff to make things and do things, but they don’t have it. In the beginning oil was payed for with silver and gold, but that didn’t work because it got burned, used and the amount of gold and silver limited access to more oil. This was solved by leaving the gold standard. Banks played a crucial role in the distribution of oil and derivatives of oil, gas, electricity until today, and they like it.
Oil, gas, diesel, coal are all energy sources that are their own storage medium. Banks that can print money when they want (they have to write a promise to recoup it, a lot of work!) can thus release energy to the working population to use, at will. This is what gives banks power. No use to give a truck driver in France 1000 Euro now that there’s no diesel for sale. He can’t even buy a sandwich with it, because the sandwich shop wasn’t supplied! Europe is seeing energy price increases because there is less energy. The value of the Euro is demonstratively tied to the energy supply. Right now our bank serving governments largely want to shift blame, delay, make people suffer rather than make them choose renewables over fossil. The UK is a great example : Ex Shell economist Liz Truss seems to want to ban construction of solar farms on farmland, even though its a really good combination.
So what does this have to do with Tesla and/or even a world bank? The Roboeconomy is an economy powered by renewable energy, using artificial intelligence and robots. Because of this combination you could say all manufacturing behaves the same as crops growing in a field, it does not need any depletable energy source. Robots can of course build robots and man chip fabs and mines and trucks which can all be electric, solar , wind or wave powered. Because there is no bank involved there is no pressure to do a lot of nonsense we are doing now, instead we can focus on what improves our lives and the wellbeing of our planet.
The central question to ask when moving to a renewable energy powered, AI driven society is
“Will we all be out of a job, poor, as machines make take all our jobs, or will we be able to enjoy the products of these machines for free?”
The answer is the latter, as long as we make sure we or a public utility own the energy sources. The people that like money dependent slaves (banks) don’t like this at all!
Money will still exist in the Roboeconomy, because it is a good way to find out what people want, because it can smooth out timing issues and because resources need to be shared equally. So a basic income is a given, as if we all lived on land that not only produced our food, but also all the stuff we may like. Jobs would also still exist, but they would be the nice ones, the creative ones. We would (if we weed out the deranged despots) end up in a Garden of Eden, with at least a lot of freedom, more social life. The fossil economy is quite the opposite because it maximizes our needs.
How will Tesla become the leader in spreading the Roboeconomy? By supplying batteries, solar panels and AI systems. Tesla is a utility in the US now. It can direct electricity from powerwalls in a neighborhood onto the grid, towards charging or a place where wealth is produced (a pizzeria). This ability will grow, and of course also be grown by the exiting utilities, while being fought by them at the same time, and the result will be a still $ denominated open energy market where everyone shares and trades energy.
Eventually though everyone will increase their ownership of the energy sources, prices will drop for every part of such system, and the pizzeria will own its own storage, solar supply will become a public service, from roofs or fields. The reason wind farms are no being build out at sea is not only because the wind is stronger there, but also because you need to go through the good old banks to buy that energy. Central distribution is the old model.
So in the future we will have an app or a service we can talk to that keeps track of our energy reserves, we don’t need to talk about money anymore, although it does take some trickery, there needs to be a map showing your access to energy in every place. With our current money its hidden or ignored. So if I buy electricity 1 in 16 power plants runs to make up for the distance losses, I never notice. If I walk in the desert by Jericho, my Shekels are worthless : Nothing for sale there! We barely notice that our money is useless in most of our world, simply because we never go there.
I expect Elon Musk to add payment to his Twitter app and allow people to monitor their energy account through it, which would open up the option to invest in storage elsewhere to profit from its use and at the same time use it yourself to direct (mainly) vital energy to the production of wealth.
The Energy App
The App Tesla will build is not that complex, it just needs to know how to route power to storage owned by the person you are transacting with form a storage that you have your energy stored in. You may also be able to buy/own future energy output from energy sources. This means you can buy stored energy now from storage you hand over that future energy input to. The question will be though : Why would an energy producers give you that right. What could you give them. This is the same with oil today :Why would you be able to buy oil with money, if everything is made with oil (as a placeholder for fossil fuels in general)? This is why these sources will eventually all be government owned utilities. Either that or they will be owned by Tesla, a company that can use its robots and solar input to maintain the system at zero cost to anyone, and give away the energy into the distributive Roboeconomy.com.
Maybe it will be more about social responsibility. The norms will change, maybe there will still be people wanting to shoot each other, they can find a place to do that, as is the case now. Humans will remain humans. The super high strung work ethic forced by the banks (who increase the cost and price of everything) will not be prevalent, but some people will still want to fix the most pressing problems. Maybe a simulation can already be made of the mechanism, to be continued..
AI is becoming obiquitous, we may not notice it yet, but much of our online experience is at least guided by AI, if you count Machine Learning, genetic algorithmes in that basket (so not ARGO or real world AI). People discuss AI ethics, but that’s for region in peace and control. In regions where there’s war AI can be used to spot people, target them, guidance systems, maybe jamming of radio, encryption. But nobody will wonder about ethics.
AI is still very safe, as it is not much robust. ARGO (autonomous, robust goal, orientation) is the bad guy. That’s the machine that keeps on going no matter what you throw at it, until it found you and ripped your guts out. Current algorithms really don’t have that talent. But because ethics is an endless discussion with no teeth, a simple rule should be proposed, so this is what this is about : The no-touch rule. Simply said AI should not drive its robot or actuator to ever touch a human.
The no-touch rule is just rule nr. 1. The no-touch rule is very simple, and it is simple to implement. It is an consilidation of the object-avoidance that mobile robots with AI have to do anyway. Tesla’s avoid humans. The occupancy detector (network) assigns no-go areas for the car (and Optimus), and a child on a bike will for sure occupy a volume and be avoided. This is probably not entirely robust, but certainly compared to humans.
The trouble with most rules you could think of is that you then need the robot to pay attention to it and know what to avoid. If you say ‘a robot can not meddle with food’ which is of course a risk, then the robot needs to know food, what it looks like, what food will go into which human eventually, how it will be prepared. You can’t clean meat with bleach (although this happens in industry, and ammonia, bon appetit) but a thinking robot might. It might remove chicken from the fridge in an attempt to get to the cheese, on a warm day that’s a bad idea.
To keep this short, two main strategies to keep robots safe in the beginning. One is to keep them weak. Just make the robots arm break before it can break a human arm. Optimus has motors that can pull 500 kg, but they should be housed in a way that allows something to shear in an emergency, so maybe a visible place on the arm you can hit, where a wedge will break it if anyone is in trouble. Safety through failure. This is on a mechanical level.
On a control level the no touch rule towards humans would be a start, it would be a clearly definable one. You can have an Optimus in a cubicle handling car doors all day, they don’t look like humans. Instructions to it are, 1. don’t leave the cubicle, 2. Do your tasks thank you 3. If a human arrives in the cubicle make sure you never touch him, also not with a door in you hand (which is why for humans anything we hold on to becomes part of our body image).
Humans are born with a lot of talent, for language, manual dexterity, control of external devices. We can say that a human is a super flexible agent that can manipulate the natural world in a high degree. One could abstract this view into defining a manipulator called human and assigning skills and degrees of freedom to it. This has probably been done already.
We humans are programmed by experiences mainly, stories are secondary, they are experiences of imagination, which can make us sensitive to real experiences, allow us to predict the outcome of events, even if we never experienced them in real life before. You can say language is a way to mimic sequential experiences such that in a real experience, say a walk through Paris, we see the Eiffel Tower, then we cross the Lena bridge, then we walk along the Trocadero pond, then up the stairs to the Palais the Chaillot. You may never have done it, but when you do some time in the future, you may remember reading this text and this will help you make sense of your experiences.
In short, based on the above, we are sequence learners, but the sequences we learn are all experiences unique to us. The experiences are moments we record in our neural nets. They can be extremely short, a thing that always amazes me, how come we can remember a moment from 20 years ago, one we did not even think was that special at the time.
At the same time we are error correctors for each other. We can if we share similar experiences, tell each other to cut and pase our sequences, our procedures and stories, so that they end up being more usefull, safer. We can by listening to others transfer the benefit of our highly real experiences to people with less experience. This makes our experiences a currency, it makes it worth it more to pay attention when you know you are doing something unique, you will be more usefull to others, you can make them more safe and secure. You have something to share and will gain status.
So from the above you can say that humans are agents that are programmed by stories and experiences, and that stories can reorganize and repurpose past experiences if the human involved believes there’s something to gain from listening to the story. We are open to editing if we are expecting to become more usefull, more important, happier, healthier. This is how adds work : You can enter this world if you pay attention to it. This is how dogs learn to behave, they try to show the behavior that is rewarded and will forget what is not rewarded. Humans can have much longer sequences though.
The human mind is not stabil or infallible. One of the problems is the expected reward of attending a sequence (story). This reward can be real or unreal. Humans can learn to love things simply by imitation. A smile will make us feel happy, and make us smile, we will have the same emotion as the person smiling (usually) and this will mean a full transfer of the meaning of an experience even though we don’t really experience anything to smile about. This is also how advertisement works. In a sense humans are fully programmable, except when the emotional charge of a story is not recognized or experienced. This happens when we are internally in another sequence, another place than the person that tries to impress us is aware of. Say a thief steals your wallet and smiles, his sequence is beneficial, but you are robbed, and not smiling.
Now there are many directions I can take this story above. The one I am interested in is that where we view humans exactly as a experience based story editor, world manipulator. A complex function or agent, with varying skills and abilities to discriminate dependent on experiences with the real world. Say we view all people like this. All boys, girls, men, women. of any kind anywhere on Earth. We have a planet with a vast amount of super varied minapulators, sensors, actuators, educators, controllers, etc. etc.
The next step is to define a goal for all this capacity. What are all these people supposed to achieve. Happiness, freedom, that is what we all want. This means a life without extreme challenges, a life where what we do satisfies our needs. You could even say a life where stories don’t make us feel short changed, uncomfortable, inferior or even superior. Behavioral adequacy is what makes people happy, so the right experiences, the right stories, no need for a lot of editing.
Of course this is one of the many options for goals to choose, because the goals anyone would choose for humans to strive for will be colored by different experiences. The brits got raided by the Vikings a lot (or Normans) and got tired. The stories did not leave them alone, so they prepared. And the last time they came from the North it didn’t end well. The goal was to prepare. But other people have had other stories, and some may even had almost no stories, simply because they lived unchallenged, did not have many painful experiences. Oblivion is not scary for them because they lived in it.
If we imagine a population with a clean story, meaning they do not have emotional trauma in the past, they are not trying to deal with enemies at the moment, they have adequate behaviour, a structure that everyone accepts because everyone is accepted (or thinks he/she is, utopain scifie movies abound about the illusion, for example Logans Run), then what huamans basically do is eat, sleep, procreate, and work to make it all happen. Life is organized in a way to produce sufficient food. Our diet does not make us overly agressive if its vegetarian. This is like a stabile rural or jungle or savanna community.
In such a world it is easy to see how to error correct. If a person has a trauma or a deficiency or an obsession with a specific other person or a hatred then he/she needs to be replaced by someone with a more balanced story. The law does this in our society. The judge takes the place of the more balanced person, with a book of stories and his/her experiences. This is how in a justice based society sanity is transplanted into the stories of the people living in the real world.
Now in this case there should be no hesitation to remove a person that is unhinged, that breaks the emotional barriers, the rules. Law is often explained in terms of punishment, but the point of law is to avoid degradation and emotional trauma. The punishment is a sad aspect that most people know doesn’t do any good. It should function as a plot point in the stories of people that intent do commit a crime “if I do that then I will be hanged”, and have an emotional charge of fear so people do not follow through with plans that are deemed criminal. A person that sets fire to a house is being judged by his story, his explanation. Justice checks if he was sane, then if he is he must hate someone or be a bad person in general. If he was just being stupid its another story entirely. Maybe it was an accident and we can’t just waste a person in jail or otherwise because of bad luck.
One of the main points I want to derive from this way of looking at people is that we are all the same. We are all capable of absorbing experiences and building stories, we all do this in a unique way but society does not need to adher to specific ways of interpretation or uniqueness to function. Its processes are not that hard to master. Grow food, take care of each other, educate, build, its the level of culture that you choose that makes it more or less hard for the individuals.
What is the maning of a life if you look from this world view? It is important, preserving life is the defining motive of morality. A society that disregards life is bound to desintegrate. All members of a society can error correct each others stories. But an essential part of the error correction is to have experiences that are morally sound, in other words the person aquiring the experiences is functioning socially in society. What is not essential for a person in moral terms is their station, their status. It is not morally wrong to remove a leader that is not morally sound, that makes people unhappy. Democracy was designed to make this possible.
The above shows that as long as real experiences create stories in people, and as long as people can transfer those stories either to sensitize or correct stories of others, with a clear goal of ensuring happiness and well being for all, a society should be able to self stabilize and thrive. It also becomes clear that stories that have no relevance to reality or that have been shaped by people with some bad experience or maybe even an emotional mental condition will undermine happiness and wellbeing. In short, lying is a problem. You can say any unreal impression left on people creates problems. Entertainment is in that regard a problem, especially if it suggest a story that is mentally unsound.
Strangely if we look at modern society it is full of fake and untrue stories. It is full of series where people are killed and psychopats are acting like there’s nothing wrong. We learn history but the goal we are mostly taught is that the ‘economy must grow’. The narrative we hear from our leaders is often flawed or empty. The media is constantly distorting reality in often a divisive way. The peope writing it seem to have other stories they want us to rely upon to frame our experiences. The level of abstraction is high and most news does not affect us personally. At the same time if people make mistakes that do affect people we care about, we are often seemingly deliberately frustrated to teach us not to care. Our society looks nothing like the happy healthy society described above.
Generally speaking one can begin to weave the fabric of stories we need. Stories are not fantasy, they are not whatever you want. I mean the stories of lives that play a part in a thriving society. To enable people to tell the stories they need experiences or people that can educate them. There also needs to be an overaching story of where society is heading. What will the future hold and how do we best prepare.
Today’s (online) media landscape is like a cacophony of narratives, some fake, some entertainment, some true, some relevant, some irrelevant. Our attention, our sequence editor, is pulled left and right because our reasonable addition to productivity from the past has been replaced by a constant pressure to earn money in the economy. It is entirely the question whether realism and social integratedness are optimal in increasing one’s net worth. We are mostly impressed to ignore other people. Only for minor things are we supposed to depend on people that are physically close to us. We live in mental communities. Facebook used to be a great example of how you can have virtual communities solely for social interaction. So basically only to share stories. It is necessary because our economic ‘duties’ remove us from each other.
Economists pretend to try to get the most out of people’s desire to create wealth. They forget that there are people that only look at numbers, and the numbers have to get bigger. These are mainly banks, but also oil companies, big industry. Global corporations are created to milk predictable business models, as well as make it more efficient to manage from every perspective. The story of globalization is that you can be a global citizen and be at home at any Starbucks thus turning cultures into backgrounds, people’s as lower status ‘landlocked’, not you, flying around!
The state of the world itself, its flora and fauna, political stability. the growing nr. of desperate people, shows the stories economists believed where make believe, not realistic. The world has spend ancient energy for a century but has not become more stabil. So what should be the way forward?
Education can provide stories and experiences to shape the expectations and inform the future choices of people. It should be honest, unbiased, not contain opinions or unproven ideas. We need people that know facts and like that ideas are verified with experience, instead of taken on face value. If education is more practical, more relevant to the reality of those taught, it will also be absorbed better. Speaking, reading and writing skills create an individual that can cooperate better. This of course does not match any individuals talent, so rather than try to define higher and lower education just specialize based on talent. Of course AI will start helping with education more and more. It should not make it redundant.
If a person has shown talent in a certain direction its important not to over educate (nobody stops anyone from doing it in their free time) but find a place for the person to work. It is banks that constantly point out who is poor and who is rich and that make lives of poor people suck (for instance through depressing architecture). This should be avoided, make all environments beautifull, healty, clean. People will love to work on that.
To be continued..