“They could be shown the mastery of their minds and bodies, so that they could achieve the full expression of their powers, not spend their lives like ineffectual ghosts trapped in a marvelous machine beyond their skill to operate. They could break the domination of pain, so that it became a sentinel and not a tyrant, sending messages which the rational mind could accept or ignore as it pleased. Above all, they could choose to die only when they wished; they would be shown the many paths that led beyond the grave, and the price that must be paid for immortality in all its forms. A vista of infinite time would open up before them, with all its terror and promise. Some minds could face this, some could not; here was the dividing line between those who would inherit the universe, and those who were only quick-witted animals.” ~Arthur C Clarke
I am a creature of words.
I picked up reading and writing very quickly, though my pedantic instructors were more hung up on my spelling skill and handwriting than my writing style and fidelity of expression. Like modern math instructors are irrationally focused on arithmetic (raw number crunching) over mathematics (interaction and theory).Put simply, in my opinion, writing is better than talking and becomes a form of action. What I do with writing is something that I do, not something that I say. It is the building and perfecting of something. Not merely the discussion of it. School did it’s very best to hide this fact from me, because school is about making little industrial revolution era robots, not enriching the lives of new people.
On the subject of broken education, it’s amazing how they are sneaking us towards a more stratified and classist society, almost caste oriented even. The real top players of our culture were almost universally born into it, and not just by inheritance, but my parental choice. Tiger Woods didn’t choose golf, his parents did. Basing training on early aptitude is one of the advantages indirectly acquired by self directed learning and unschooling.
I’m always trying to step back and see the big picture so that I can find the weakest root problem to attack but a large enough frame of reference can become paralyzing, so while I am open minded, I am also clear about my current conclusions and I try to always have a solution proposal attached to any complaint.
I realized in grade school when I thought about how I was being treated by my peers and the faculty that there was something wrong here, something pervasive, and I tried to find out what. The only people who were ever nice to me were the lunch room people and the custodial people and while I knew they outranked me by whole worlds being “adults” I also knew they were treated like machines by all the other adults. That was the beginning of my social exploration from an investigative/scientific/macroscopic standpoint.
Before I continue I’d like to say that I suspect things are going to get slowly better for awhile as reform is championed and there after things will get suddenly, drastically, better as a result of key disruptive technologies.
The real achievements of humanity are and were subjective and organizational. And those are the areas where our most recent achievements are most obvious. The smart phone for example is just an insanely efficient connectivity tool, a synapse converting each human brain into a wildly complicated neuron, interconnecting them to form a more advanced higher order mind, the culture itself.
Put simply, charisma and people management are more important than any technical skill unless that skill directly leads to a disruptive technology for the craftsman/technician/whatever. Economy of scale assures this. I’ve wasted my life mastering logical debate and objective policy evaluation type skills under the mistaken impression that people are persuaded to change their actions based on these things, when they aren’t.
Nothing taught me this lesson harder than when NO ONE whom I personally know would listen to me about bitcoin back when it was 5$ a coin. No my family not my best friends not people who called me a genius otherwise. Facts. Don’t. Matter.
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” ~Max Planck
Those best able to create the impression that wealth is a reward for ability in the minds of their peers are the ones that became leaders over others who were more fit to lead but “chose” not to. Think about it. Who gets the better deal? The best fighter who is constantly having to prove it or the best liar who convinces everyone he’s the best fighter without even having to fight?
these new leaders set those terms in the first place, or were able to set terms based on what they could meet. Like a squad of Trek fans convincing people that the best way to assert fitness is though a kirk vs picard debate. Cultural rules gain emphasis as members of the culture allocate command based on them. Which is why seemingly absurd things persisted long past their contextual significance relevant to objective reality. The caste system is a good example. Religion as well. Cultural inertia.
Social alphas do not earn their status. They are born into it. People have always been (thus far) the real height of technology. Specialists. But now the culture is the technology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room In a sense it knows more than we do, especially as the number of people within the system act with little to no understanding of (or interest in) the the larger picture. We are as ignorant by and large as the individual neuron is.
The dawn of agriculture had the impact it did because it allowed human beings to behave like cells in an organism and differentiate to the point of inability to survive outside said organism.
The impact of this cannot be overstated. It’s like going from 175 pounds of homogeneous algae to a human being. Allowing for a diversity of cells that could be deployed in concert despite individual weaknesses created a whole new order of qualitative difference. (Compare the cells in my hand vs the cells in my brain or liver.)
The industrial revolution had hardware, but all the software was in the brain of whoever operated the machine. To a degree skill could be built into the machine and process but it would be many decades before that really started to reach its true potential. (Ford, McDonald’s)
Some believe that notions of intelligence and education are biased as they are towards mechanistic black and white thinking out of ignorance of any alternative, and seek to correct this problem by cleverly relaying facts in an attempt to cure this ignorance.
I see a more conspiratorial and exploitative option. The system was set up for, by, and directed at, these mechanistic bookish fact obsessed people because they aren’t a threat expressly because of their obsession with facts. They can be handled like livestock from above without their awareness more easily. That’s why science has never ruled society, yet technology has always been the most directly powerful thing in society. Even I took decades to see this and I’ve basically spent my life studying it. (I’m expected to try and sell this information instead I’m asking for donations. No doubt you’ll indirectly punish me for this.)
Specialists need protection and support from outside to allow them time to focus. Also as the focus on the smaller scale deepens, oblivity to the larger scale proportionally grows. Males in particular when they specialize and focus lose the opportunity and the inclination to examine the bigger picture.
One could easily argue that understanding this larger picture is itself a kind of specialty. Which is where, in my opinion, familial autocrats come from. A good king needed to be trained from childhood for the job. (Like what it took to make tiger woods a golf master. Or the Spartans. The best specialists aren’t trained, they are grown.)
The mythical golden age of our rapidly evolving past ended from our perspective because around the end of that time the advancements slipped outside the default human cognitive spectrum, like the pitch of a sound rising beyond the ability for the human ear to detect. At that point the only real evidence the average person had of advancement was the word of specialists and the technology they eventually produced.
The vast bulk of new words added to the human language between then and now are scientific and technical specialist terms not used outside labs, scholarly journals, and industry publications.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emx92kBKads (Yes it’s dated, but that’s part of the point. In less than 6 years it comes to look ancient. In a sense, humanity’s greatest asset is the speed at which is becomes accustomed to what in the past would have been, if not actually was, astonishing. This is also why the profit motive is bullshit. People don’t need to be forced to do the needed things. They will do them out of sheer boredom if nothing else.)
The support for a kitchen sink method of education supported by the vast majority of the west’s inhabitants and their resulting puppet cultures is a symptom of top heavy governments not knowing how to deploy the option of focused education and attempting to take all of them to hedge the (lack of a) bet. A kind of institutional argument from moderation. Which is a mistake ultimately because it pushes us back towards that algae-like homogenization. In attempting to empower the first wave of educated people with a “well rounded” (read as, indecisive, unfocused) education they damaged diversity, which is specialization, which is that thing that means the difference between roaches and termites, algae and people, solitary wasps and a planet spanning ant supercolony.
Indeed, but the conflict is between, as it always has been, altruism and psychopathy. Homogeneity and diversity.
People in power are often educated but correlation does not denote causation. They have degrees because they are in power, not power because they have degrees. A rich kid is best served by college because of it’s networking value and because it is a place for them to deploy the real advantages they were born with by being surrounded by a bunch of children under the delusion that class mobility is open to them if only they work hard.
But those middle class children never had a chance. The curse of middle management. All responsibility, no authority to make strategic changes. Again, as above, we’re getting too top heavy. The middle is shrinking, the top is getting more dense, and the bottom is getting more voluminous. It’s going to either collapse or fall over unless technology changes the game, which I believe it will again, as it did when the press was invented, and when the plow was invented, etc.
The problems are those which impede the flow of information and criminalize the deployment of technology. Everyone has an opinion about how to “fix” education. Don’t confuse incompetence with a covert agenda. Don’t project your assumption of agenda onto a snake with no head. It is a system run by psychopaths, who have at best a fragmentary and transient awareness of the larger scale, and then only parsed as a threat/opportunity matrix. A stimulus response machine. A human with a lizard or insect mind. A philosophical zombie.
Assuming the point of an organization is to solve a problem, as opposed to create one for the profit of a different system is often a mistake. Think about the example of a jobs program being deployed to fix municipal plumbing. Is the point to fix plumbing? Create jobs? Or get candidate X more votes than candidate Y? Or any other number or combination of goal and meta goal?
When it fails is is due to ineptitude? Or is it as I said, that they simply lack the strategic authority? That’s what I do. Point out strategic solutions that obviate entire swathes of other secondary problems. (Like how libertarians, gays, and atheists could band together and kick the state out of the religion enforcement business, solving many of the secondary issues they all care about by attacking the root problem.) My goal has been to mine down to the axiomatic ethical bedrock and from there trace upwards to the deepest social problem. (And I have.)
We must choose. Do we want slavery or don’t we? If we don’t we must act as I suggest in the link above. There really is no middle ground that can work in the long term so long as humans are as they are physically/neurologically.
Again, don’t confuse incompetence for agenda. No one wants to hear the truth it seems because the truth, carried to the end of the logic chain means that their entire life’s work make be futile, or worse.
Also don’t assume class mobility or any kind of broken meritocracy. The people at the top didn’t work their way up or “earn” it. They are there because of options their ancestors exploited which now no longer exist. Options that may have however only been exploitable by certain groups. As an example, how many currently wealthy families are so because of shrewd use of the depression?
In any case, the issue in this context is how society allocates command authority and scope. Of which religion, finance, and government are subsets. A dollar after all is just an order of strength proportional to the market context. 100$ will buy me a hamburger crafted to my most exacting specifications, but will buy me an oven that might well kill me.
I believe humanity is and always has been ruled, since the invention of culture which permits ruling by definition, by those with only one real skill, the skill to manipulate.
As culture grew and became more peaceful, the emphasis of advantage shifted away from altruism and towards psychopathy. In epochs past this would mean a period of fragmentation during and after which altruism would be revalued.
“Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.” ~Edward Osborne Wilson, (The Father of Sociobiology.)
Suppose you asked “How does selfishness confer advantage in groups?” My response is that a cooperative group is defined by denial or at least delay of fulfillment of individual need in favor of group needs.
A good example is planting seeds instead of eating them. If I’m given the town’s supply of grain to plant but instead I make bread for myself I thrive and everyone else starves.
It seems to be an intrinsic facet of the universe that exploitative behavior is inherently profitable in certain contexts. (Which is why capitalism ultimately will need leg braces in the from of a UBI and a wealth cap.)
Think about 3 kids growing up alone in the woods. One kid is selfish, one kid is apathetic, one kid is generous.
As they grow the generous kid will give away more of his food, the selfish kid will steal/take, and the apathetic kid will have his food stolen but also get free food from the generous kid. The selfish kid being better fed will get bigger leading to superiority in those contexts while the other two would wither or remain average.
The selfish kid dominates within the group.
Now imagine another group of 3 but these kids act as a team. Economy of scale grants these kids an effective food supply of 4 or 5 kids so that each of them is larger than the average of the first group. The groups collide. The 3 coordinated kids beat the larger leader of the first group and absorb the other two kids, if not the bested leader as well.
The sharing culture beat the selfish culture, but only when the cultures had the opportunity to clash.
Because game theory:
This story has a happy ending. There is a required fragmentation of the larger group (world wars) that brings value back to altruism by creating groups to compete with each other. However, the context of the fragmentation can, and I believe will, be rendered non-violent in future iterations. (Anti-trust laws and the organized splintering of large organizations foreshadows this truth.) Indeed world wars have already been replaced by what previous generations would have called mere skirmishes. The great powers don’t wage all out body depleting physical war really anymore. In a sense we killed world war when we (humanity) detonated the first atomic bomb. The next great war was a cold one fought on an entirely different battleground. That’s no coincidence.
You’ll notice the USSR experienced its re-fragmentation event, and is now starting to move past us in altruistic areas. The USA and the west generally avoided this breakup by A “winning” the cold war and B strengthening the homogeneity of euro union member states. But now both of them are falling behind in human rights issues and care for the poor because as altruism pays off less and less, psychopathy comes to dominate the allocation command authority more and more. Also notice how each of the major powers dance on the edge of fragmentation and unification. United States, China and it’s many provinces that were once nations, the EU… While the ones that commit to either a hard core fragmentation or a hyper focused unity fail in some critical way to acquire power.
I think in the vast majority of cases where leadership incompetence appears to be the case, the reality is that the leadership placeholder is merely a psychopath and rather than incompetent, simply doesn’t care about the long term issues and is doing whatever is required to stay in power or acquire more power.
The idea that authority comes from ability is a myth created by people in power to keep it by giving workers something to feel superior about as opposed to revolt/reform.
Authority comes from the ability to convince the group that you deserve it. Granted as stated above, it is technologically possible to dominate the entire group, but never for long. Use of a technology on a population, or the delegation of its use to others always means its eventual escape or acquisition by the group at which point the question shifts back to the basic diversity/homogeneity domain.
I’ve spent my life trying to share and refine these truths. But I lack the funding (command authority) to invest in greater command authority. In short, no one gives a damn what I have to say because of who and what I’m not backed by. (No degree, no status, no power, no wealth, no group identity, etc.) And therefor I lack funding entirely.
I’ve studied this my whole life. If you can, trust me. Odds are very much in our favor that we’ll be fine as a group. I’ll see a martian colony in my lifetime. That alone doubles our chances for survival.
It will be the people best able to manage the chaotic mob that rules. The guy that can found a town, not rebuild its water supply. Even if none of the survivors can do anything, a competent public relations man can direct and select people to learn the required skills. (See Lost, Walking dead, any other group vs disaster movie.)
I don’t have the ability to make them feel as they need to before they’ll listen. They must feel it before they can think it. I can only speak to the facts and logic. I gambled and lost :/ I did write a book. I unpublished it because no one listens.
I believe I see what needs seeing, but I’m open to seeing more always. I tried to write two books so far. No dice. And as I grow more and more poor and old, I’m in no position to try again.
But despite this I feel the need to share my findings, despite knowing they will be ignored. The solution, as with avoiding the problems of a command economy, is to let those people themselves determine their usefulness.However, psychopaths do rise to the top precisely because they are unencumbered by ethics and can thus manage people without having to rely on reality for backing. (Kind of like how the most successful currency on earth is based on a lie.)There are three camps that matter here, two, depending on where you place the zero. Camp one, are those who axiomatically believe that life and joy are the ultimate good things. Camp two believes that death and pain are ultimate good things. (Religion, social Darwinism, self serving sadism, etc.) And camp three, the ones who don’t have any ethical axioms at all because they lack ethics entirely. For camp three, ethics are merely something that must be faked where being caught and punished are an issue. (Pol pot for example and other proponents of positive liberty schemes by any means necessary up to and including mass extermination and wholesale torture.)
I could go on forever.