reality in layers

Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by Radium, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i think that the world has always been a very big place and that there has always been many different agents acting in it.

    as they are exposed to many different things, they become gripped by many different forces. gripped tightly by forces that are super to them, they are prompted by what grips them to max out to many different things

    reaching out to these things that represent an ability to sate whatever is gripping them, they adjourn and go out to try to create more and more of it

    this creates a never ending drama in humanity as these many different forces and the many different agents that represent them grow out and exert pressures against each other as they struggle to exist

    who ultimately gets to say who should exist and who shouldnt

    i think that this kind of statement is interesting and i think that the push to try to suppress human suffering and achieve some kind of transhuman state w technology is something that might turn into a very strong or stylish ideology in humanity

    there are probably previous versions of that too f.e religion is a kind of trans-humanism

    what might an entity like the vatican and its longer reaching arm catholicism react like to technology that can prolong human life expectancy indefinitely? can a person enter heaven if they never have to suffer death? how might an entity like islam or christianity react to it? can the pull and allure of religions co-exist w technology like that?

    if they couldnt, what ways might they try to react to technology like that? would they be right to try to supress it?

    yeah i agree

    and i think the hardest part in suppressing the progress of technology is that you would have to try to suppress it globally. this wasnt always true.

    if resources to produce goods are inherently scarce i think that this creates two effects 1. a larger, more dominance exerting agent is always created that is going to try to create a sustained un-threatened access to it and that 2. this creates lesser agents that try to supplant that agent by trying to remove it by force or by using innovative alternative strategy.

    this is a link to a 2011 BRICS forum talk that i forwarded to the panelist from india who i think had the most important commentary. the whole talk is interesting tho

    Africa 2011 - Building South-South Relations - YouTube

    he makes a very strong statement about technology and a very strong statement about the rigidity of the systems of power that emerged post ww2 and sets the tone for what kinds of pressures and struggles we might start to increasingly see as we look out to the future and what kinds of new technology and new systems it might bring in

    that is we may not see new systems and new technology here in the west and it may have to emerge globally by lesser, more adaptive agents.

    but whoever creates technology that can do things like prolong human life expectancy indefinitely or create a more ephemeralized means of producing goods must think of ways to fit that into current society effectively and newer systems of government and economy would probably have to be created to accommodate these huge new changes. this is going to create tremendous new pressures on society globally as different agents push and pull against each other as they struggle to create what things they think should exist in society and reality

    if the technology that we've been talking about in this thread were suddenly realized today, what kind of society do you see us as having 50 years from now?
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  2. exodus 31315

    exodus 31315 Kanaan

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  3. Radium

    Radium f k

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    so um

    what do you guys think
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  4. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    i've been trying to think about your question and honestly i keep running up against a wall.

    as i understand it you're asking how society will change given the hypothetical scenario that technology makes it so easy for people to provide for themselves the basic necessities of life to the point that the coporations which are currently necessary lose their immediate niche, sort of like what the internet is doing to the record companies right now. in turn the role of government, assuming it still has a role, will presumbly change as well.

    i assume what you're really asking about is whether there will be a new type of power structure to fill this void, and if so what this power structure will be based on, if not the need to procure goods from companies in order to stay alive. let me know if i'm off point in this assumption.

    so to think about this i try looking at the precedents we have to work with. ever since we started this experiment called civilization we've basically had the same basic top-down structure, albeit it has gradually become more complex and versatile, that basic chain-of-command model is still the only way we know how to work as one cohesive unit. it is utterly impossible for me to imagine a humanity without this type of structure regardless of how appealing that idea might be. that's not to say it's actually impossible, i might simply lack the imagination to go there.

    but perhaps if technology makes it so that we don't need corporations and leaders for actual goods, they'll make it so that we need them for other things. or perhaps they'll at least maintain better access to certain things. two that come to mind are land and information, one of which being limited and vital, the other being unlimited but so complicated that the more of it there is the harder it can be to navigate. i sometimes think about how if we all really did get sucked into some virtual reality type matrix/supercomputer, the new god would probably be a search engine like google.

    anyway i'm just throwing things out there, i'm not sure if i touched on your question or not but i'll leave it at that in case i'm rambling in the wrong direction.
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  5. Radium

    Radium f k

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    a god search engine is interesting. that is, something that we might say has a capacity to store and know infinite amounts of information. using human intelligence as a kind of rough precedent, we might understand a god search engine as creating intelligence by storing vast amounts of analogues. by a process of analogy it can create a kind of emergent intelligence the way that we can but unbounded by any physical barriers the way that we are. that is, it would have a capacity to create infinite analogues in a kind of infinitely expanding analogy matrix.

    it might look something like dreaming. in dreams i think we are kind of like a constantly growing and constantly shedding aggergate mass of loosely balled together analogues. these bumpy and lumpy analogue balls then kind of roll around imperfectly by a process of analogy to different corresponding analogues. its body is very sticky so that any analogue it touches gets picked up into the rest of it adding a new bump to its aggregate shape. these new bumps that it picks up change what shape it takes and thus determine what path it takes next as its bumpy and lumpy body rolls out imperfectly to its next analogue

    f.e. a --> b (you may have a dream where you are at a playground from your elementary school and then suddenly youre playing a game of basketball and then suddenly michael jordan is your teammate and then you suddenly find yourself wearing a red sweater that matches his red jersey) --> c (and then suddenly its raining like the day you were wearing a red sweater in the 4th grade and as it rained your red sweater was darkened by the rain drops creating an abstract polka dot pattern on it) --> d --> ...

    or a + b = ab + c = abc + d = abcd --> ...

    the exact way that analogues are triggered is probably something infinitesimally more sensitive than that (to the extent that something as innocuous as a strand of hair probably contains a capacity to trigger a near infinite amount of different analogues to it) but basically by a process of analogy your analogue ball just rolls around in this way to different corresponding analogues in your analogy matrix as you dream. human thought can probably only abstract a max amount of analogues at any point so that is probably why we are constantly discarding things in dreams and things seem to just vaguely float in and out of existence. so just as we are constantly adding things we are constantly shedding things too as way to constantly re-set that max amount

    something that doesnt have that kind of barrier acting on it (like a god search engine) presumably can just keep indefinitely adding more and more analogues to what is an infinitely growing analogy matrix that has a capacity to abstract an infinitely expanding amount of analogues at any point. that is it never sheds away any of its growth and thus just keeps growing out indefinitely. so that as we may only ever know a max of something like abcd at any point it may have something like abcdx at any point where x is infinitely new analogues


    a way that it can generate infinitely new analogues might express out as it actually rolling out an infinite amount of imperfect miniature analogue balls into an infinite amount of imperfect physical universes to basically house them. these miniature analogue balls are sticky and imperfectly shaped and roll out over an imperfect and uneven surface to produce tremendously nuanced kinds of paths as they swirl and zig zag over this uneven surface to pick up new bumps for its ever growing and ever shedding body.

    every analogue ball rolled out in this way is thus completely novel. that is there are never any duplicates; every analogue ball that it creates in this way is new and unique from the next.

    there is this possibility that these novel agents are produced in this way as they are the only kinds of things that represent an ability to input a novel query into a god search engine. that is, to produce a novel query -- it must first create novel agents.
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  6. Radium

    Radium f k

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    yeah its a hard question.

    its really taken from buckminster fuller who thought that nature had this kind of gestation rate and that it creates man as a part of that and that man creates things like society and technology as part of that too.

    here is a link to part 1 of a series of talks called everything i know on youtube where he explains that kind of thought and many other things. i think the whole thing is 42 hrs in its entirety so you have to surrender like a month to view it but its extremely enriching and relevant the kinds of questions this thread has

    Buckminster Fuller - Everything I Know - session 01 (entire) - January 20, 1975 - YouTube

    i think like 3/4 of the way into it he starts talking about his dymaxion house and the shower systems he and his team were trying to design for it. he was trying to create these like really strange air blast showers that blast you w air and not water to clean you that worked so effectively that you wouldnt even need to have soap. it was kind of just this unexciting report about its arrangment and efficacy but it suddenly clicked that what he was really trying to do was not just to ephemeralize the way we take showers; but that largely he was actually trying de-commodify water

    that is by making these more effective air based showers, an ability to conserve more water is created so that we wouldnt have to consume as much of it in society. just imagine doing that for every kind of commodity that exists in society. just imagine doing something like that to things like gas and housing and electricity. i think that in trying to ephemeralize everything, he was actually trying to de-commodify everything too

    a commodity is just a good that s created and consumed by a society. so to do this, traditionally it creates two things: workers and their owners. thus this creates a sort of power struggle as they always try to advance society out to their own respective favor to the detriment of the opposite.

    this was realized by aristotle in politics:

    The Internet Classics Archive | Politics by Aristotle

    this was highly impressive to karl marx who elaborated that these oligarchs ultimately always max out and turn into capitalists and that they ultimately always centralize power and thus max out to oligopoly and monopoly. these democrats, soured by this act, max out and turn ultimately into socialists and then ultimately communists.

    f.e the capitalist is created and sustained by his ability to generate surplus value from his commodity, as surplus value is the thing that unlocks the ability for the capitalist to purchase more and more workers and more and more equipment, that he then takes and uses to commodify more and more things. so by creating surplus value, the capitalist can ultimately grow out and commodify more things in reality, creating more surplus value to re-grow himself in this way again and again and again. marx predicts that the capitalist, in his never ending insatiability to create more and more surplus value, ultimately destroys his many rivals, drives down the wages of his workers, pushes out to commodify anything and everything, and centralizes out to oligopoly and monopoly.

    but to keep creating more and more surplus value he has to work in constraint to some barriers like physical reality (earth only has x amount of say tungsten in it so you can only commodify as much of it as you can physically pull out of the earth) and that somebody has to purchase his commodity (thus to create more surplus value he must try to push down wages increasingly to zero, but never to zero) and things like that. a really neat work-around to that is that he can drive down wages increasingly to zero by out-sourcing, and then to maintain purchases of his commodity, give out a credit card to everybody.

    and he must worry about his workers democratically taxing his surplus value. this is probably the most worrying thing to the capitalist as it triggers what aristotle and what marx viewed as this catalyst to push out to the creation of a socialist democracy, and then possibly ultimately, communism. that is, it creates a trend where power starts to move in respect to their favor and to the detriment of the opposite, violating the urge for the capitalist to do the same thing.

    its a really ancient and interesting kind of power struggle i think. but the key thing is that what links them together like that initially is the need to create a commodity for society. thus if you took out that link the relationship actually falls apart.

    aristotle and marx create this diametrically poled model but as i can see it there are actually three great agents at play, each with their own respective goals: the capitalist, what are now his many workers, and ultimately, technology. the capitalist is probably the most animalistic and primevally driven by his urges, his many workers acting defensively to it sort of sighing out hopefully and usually passively for a state of equilibrium or more, and technology acting like a force of nature super to both.

    aristotle and marx may not have had an abilty to actually recognize that technology was actually an agent at play and that it may have actually been super to both this whole time. that is aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) didnt even know about electricity and marx (1818 – 1883) was 63 when thomas edison patented the light bulb

    so fuller is very interesting as he represents an ability to make statements about technology and what its ultimately doing that aristotle and marx certainly couldnt have. the most interesting commentary he has about it is ephemeralization. so that if i had asked fuller what he may think society might look like in 1000 years he might say something like:

    jobs get increasingly scarce as they are increasingly ephemeralized by technology. the economy gradually starts to shift from something like 6/10 work --> 4/10 work --> 2/10 work --> 0/10 work. that is less and less workers are necessitated to produce any commodity for society and thus there are less and less capitalists too. but it probably takes a really really long time to fully get to the ideal state of 0/10. thus at least some workers and at least some capitalists are probably necessary en route to that state.

    so i think the very dominant question going forward is what things can we start to ephemeralize en route to that state right now? what things probably cant get ephemeralized just yet? and what kind of government has to exist to ultimately smooth this out and prevent any blocks to it. you must probably have some kind of socialist democracy, but to have that you must first have an intellectual class to effectively create input to it. how do we do these things?
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  7. reggie jax

    reggie jax Well-Known Member

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    sorry for the late response - i'm somewhat at a loss when trying to respond to your post, but i'll give it a shot. it's an interesting topic though.

    work is really important to society so i think perhaps the most central question is what will unite a society without it. i think it's arguably of equal importance as the commodities themselves. the very basis for society has traditionally been survival, going all the way back to our roots where the tribe was a conglomeration of families which depended on one another for group hunting, protection, etc.

    society has always had sort of an underlying objective to it. on the surface the objective of society is to maintain society, though the more fundamental reason that maintaining society is important to the members is that we need that structure to live the way we want to live. this means we all have a common goal to work for, and so we can also specialize our workforce to increase efficiency since this cooperation exists between us.

    so say that the necessity for work just to sustain the people and support our way of life gradually disappears - does the need for a over arching society then disappear along with it? i think that there are a few needs that come to mind which i can't conceivably picture being eliminated by technology.

    one would be security. left to our own devices, and with the technology to accomplish what we like, we still need protection from other humans. unless there is some sort of robotic security force with the ability to neutralize human threats, which i think most of us would find a chilling thought.

    so maybe we still would need to work together in that aspect and give the authority to a security force, which in my mind would also necessitate a type of government to oversee that force which could be held accountable by the people they are supposed to keep safe, which seems to imply some sort of democracy or representative leadership would still be ideal. another thing we would seemingly need to cooperate on is maintaining a suitable environment - this also would imply the need for an overarching authority.

    another question that springs to mind is whether humans will ever be content with just sustaining a suitable lifestyle - will we not always reach for more? even if we are content in terms of basic needs, as a race we have an adventuring side to us, an inquistive drive.

    even if life on earth were permanently suitable for life, which it won't be, would we not want to travel to other parts of the galaxy? to other galaxies? if current theories are accurate, this will only get harder as the other galaxies continue to accelerate away from us. so that seems to necessitate a scientific infrastructure which necessitates things like education and a frontier of new research.

    maybe this could fill the void as a new objective for human society, and a new task for workers, should their work become obsolete. i can see no practical end to this struggle for advancement and knowledge. assuming we reach such an understanding of the universe that we can travel anywhere we want, the next logical step would seemingly be to disperse and start sending humans to every corner of the universe we can access.

    "what kind of things can we start to ephemeralize en route to that state right now?" this is speaking hopefully: the fossil fuel industries. i'd expect communication technology to continue to change as rapìdly as it has been, probably more so. computers will get smaller, cheaper and more plentiful. phones will likely become obsolete.

    "what things probably can't be ephemeralized just yet?" thats a good question. the internet, or some similar network of information? the devices we use to communicate seems likely to change but the necessity for communication seems more permanent. also i have a hard time picturing how we could ephemeralize the need for suitable housing assuming the population continues to grow.

    "what kind of government has to exist to ultimately smooth this out and prevent any blocks to it?" good question. i don't really know. i'd like to say democracy but that's not necessarily so. a dictator with a clear cut agenda very well might do a better job of it. but you can't really trust that.

    "how do we do these things?" i don't have an answer to this either that would work any better than the current system. if anything i think the need to compete on a global scale is a good motivator for many of these advances. i'm honestly not expecting capitalism to fade as the global order any time soon.
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  8. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i agree that to create common good humans have to exist in cooperative groups. so some kind of government is probably always necessary, so long as cooperative groups that try to advance out to whatever is presently gleaned as common good are required to exist.

    aristotle recognized three basic forms of this: tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy.

    from them he chooses democracy as greatest and states that democracy is the most conducive to (what he has gleaned as) common good. for democracy to work it must ensure relative equality and grant "moderate and sufficient property" and "lasting prosperity" for everyone. failing that, he reasons that democracy withers away from what is common good and knots into extremes of tyranny or oligarchy.

    so government, to realize this kind of common good, must use democracy, and democracy, must use systems that can distribute wealth and property as evenly as is feasibly allowed by present reality.

    thus, what reality feasibly allows for this changes over time, as technology changes our relationship to reality over time.

    the need to have a government and its corresponding attendants (eg security forces, law givers, educators) probably stays constant, like you say, as the need to generate "moderate and sufficient property" and "lasting prosperity" probably keeps trending to increasing accessibility for everyone, as buckminster fuller might like to say. from here we can start to have a gaze that can look for things that are more accommodative of this vs things that are more likely to block it.

    i think that question is two-pronged: what kinds of agents are necessary to a government that is intellectually synchronized to common good and what kinds of technology has to exist so that agents like that can safely and freely exist

    Aristotle / The Keys to Democratic Governance

    aristotle points out that a democracy of just very poor and very rich doesnt really work; this creates discord and from it society trends to things asynchronous to common good. he proposes that to have a democracy intellectually synchronized to common good, you ought to try to reduce poverty; the only alternate recourse being to reduce democracy. i think there are many ways you can try to reduce poverty. and failing this i think there are many more clever and nuanced ways you can try to reduce democracy.

    you can reduce democracy in a society by two kinds of coercion: by exerting brute force or by engineering consent. exerting brute force is pretty straightforward and engineering consent is probably more complex. actually its incredibly paradoxical: why should so many obey whims of so few to their detriment? this is of course tyranny or oligarchy and certainly not democracy. thus tyranny or oligarchy count on an ability to coerce to exist. can you think of what kinds of coercive systems currently exist in society to achieve this

    anyway from greater kinds of technology we may have an ability to prevent the very poor, and from that, as aristotle recommends, we may have a greater kind of democracy, more conducive to common good

    i think that poverty is created by an inability to access life enhancing systems

    of life enhancing systems i can think of a primary six and i think that you can probably think of more

    food and water

    housing

    energy

    transport

    education

    healthcare

    each have a unique set of barriers that presently prevent free and true accessability, thus necessitating an economy; we're here at this state now. from here each thing must take a different and unique course en route to a new fully ephemeralized state. thus we must unlock these fully ephemeralized states, not unlike the way man needed to unlock hands and then language and then society just to get to this present state now.
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  9. Radium

    Radium f k

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    ephemeralizing energy is really interesting as everything uses energy in some way at some point. thus by ephemeralizing energy you increasingly ephemeralize everything related to it too. for example of earth's total water, 97% is salt water, only 3% is fresh water, and only one-third of that fresh water is not frozen. adding to that, desalinating water is very energy intensive making it very expensive and presently unsatisfactory for most water use.

    Water resources - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Desalination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    as 97% of water on earth is salt water desalination is a super abundant yet energy intensive alternative. thus a large increase in desalination output needs to have a correspondingly large increase in energy use. that energy is presently generated mostly by coal and some natural gas. thus producing cheaper forms of energy like solar or wind might create a good work-around to reducing the cost of energy needed for desalination. recognizing that, nations at more risk to water scarcity might more urgently choose to create a greater clean energy infrastructure to accommodate this task.

    Energy in Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Solar power generation world record set in Germany | Environment | guardian.co.uk

    germany set a wr for solar generation this may as part of a larger energy plan they now have called energiewende. the comments in that link are probably more interesting than the story

    anyway i think this is good news and i think its interesting to keep an eye on germany over the next 5-10 years and what precedents they might demonstrate to other nations that need to have more novel and more ephemeralized ways to get energy too.

    i think youre right housing for growing populations is definitely complex yet as of today i dont think having space to do it is a great challenge. more challenging is creating access to afford housing. can you think of any way to do that effectively

    an even more complex thing is probably healthcare for growing populations; especially aging kinds

    Population ageing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    something interesting about a huge onset of en masse aging is that we spend less and less as we age more yet need to have more and more healthcare. how does a society of non-spending non-workers create access to ever increasing amounts of healthcare?


    i think that the great ability that capitalism has is its ability to prompt initiative. it can do this as an artifact of it always trying to commodify anything and everything in reality. that is when anything and everything is a commodity, you can only generate access to things in this system by commodifying yourself too. from that a very nuanced initiative to work is created for humanity: every human is transformed into some kind of commodity and then bought and used to generate some other kind of commodity

    this system is really very elegant in that way and you can start to pick out how capitalism has had such great success at creating things for society from it as it trends to try to commodify more and more things over time.

    i think a de-commodifying force like ephemeralization is extremely disruptive of that. you can sort glean why a de-commodifying force might upset a system that is always trying to commodify anything and everything that it can. a pretty evident consequence is that by doing this it interrupts initiative as it presently exists. so the question is to what extent. for example do you think an ephemeralized society can produce things like scientists?
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