Information and Complexity
In a context in which Information and Complexity form an exponentially growing portion of our wealth, commerce, general economy, world view and context, the following concepts require our attention:
- 1. The Raw Materials and Natural Resources of Truth
- 2. The Extropic Processes of Sense rather than 404-53453 (NON-SENSE, that is, Entropy)
- A. Problem-Solving (Untying Knots)
- B. Seizing Opportunities (Tying Knots)
- 3. The Peaceful Commerce of Understanding and Agreement
- (Laws, Contracts, Codes of Honor, Morals, The Presumption of Innocence, The Standards of Evidence, and Proof of Guilt)
- 4. The Final Products of Meaning, Produced, Critiqued, and Consumed only by Autonomous Individuals
- 5. The Horrific Threats to Authority of: Mindfulness; Wisdom; Maturity; Rational, Informed and Competent Decision
Superior rationality and intelligence is a threat to only one sort of person: the person whose opinion must be right, despite the fact that there are more informed and intelligent opinions to be had, simply for the asking. Only mindless and heedless obedience will serve their purposes. Once a truly intelligent person becomes aware that these orders diminish their own wealth, happiness, and well-being, they are of course, immediately willing to ignore the orders of "Authority Figures" as pointless, meaningless, or even harmful, to themselves and to all for whom they feel concern or empathy; in fact, that these orders are harmful to their entire culture, society, and the entire populace.
"Authority Figures" are most informed in a handful of otherwise useless subjects: grasping and keeping social, political, rhetorical, and cultural power, mostly by denying it to persons more fit, adaptive, cooperative, and constructive than themselves. The truly intelligent have grasped the advantages of engaging in symbiosis with their fellow man, advantages far more powerful than using their fellow man dumbly and brutally. By wringing the most obvious forms of wealth from the intelligent, Authority Figures deny and destroy the power of willing agreement and negotiation, foster distrust throughout society by making promises they cannot keep, and prevent the real and complex resolution of problems and leveraging of opportunities through unintelligent and simplistic responses.
The people who ought to be in charge of our society have reconciled themselves to their captivity and mortality without needing to hold the evolution of Time and Mankind in abeyance, simply to consider themselves the very last word in the evolution of Mankind and Society. None of them is willing to destroy the society they are attempting to improve, simply to be in charge and hog all the wealth and glory. That's what tyrants are for.
Real leaders lead, without holding the future or their fellow man captive. That is the only future we have, and we neither have nor deserve a future otherwise.
Sense Meaning Understanding Truth
Meaning-information exists within the System (Human -- Genetics, Biochemistry, Homeostasis, Metabolism, all largely Ding an Sich)
Truth-information exists within the environment of the System (Galaxies, Biosphere, Natural Phenomena)
Sense-information exists within the relation between Meaning and Truth (Sensations, including bodily sensations, perceptions and cognitions, sentiments, etc.)
Understanding-information exists within the relation between the Sense-complexes of different systems, establishing a diplomatic or hostile stance between Systems. (Social policies, Cultural values, etc.) Note that an incomplete or unbalanced Understanding can be manipulative, covertly hostile, or simply be a difficulty of miscommunication. Ignorance of the Symbiotic Optimum on the part of one or both parties tends to make this imbalance far more likely.
The Symbiotic Optimum
The greater the abundance and diversity of species within an ecology, or the greater the abundance and diversity of individuals within a species, the greater and more diverse the wealth available to the whole. Individuals in a healthy Super-system rarely consume more than they produce, and the excess production can be offered to other individuals in return for a consideration which is less abundant (or even somewhat less super-abundant). Where individual organisms might hoard or retain resources, they often share other items of value freely, such as plasmids of genetic material among bacteria (much to our chagrin as humans).
The more modern and handy example of the Symbiotic Optimum is the specialization of tasks, which makes our modern society and culture possible. The value of this principle is uncontroversial, and many if not all truly effective and productive members of our society subscribe to it heartily. In the age of Cognitive and Computational surplus, these take the form of ways of organizing uncontroversial information, and reconciling arguable opinions with each other and the facts at hand.
By abusing those within a society who are actually more intelligent and who subscribe to the ideals of the Symbiotic Optimum, modern political leaders leave little room to keep pace with entropic change and problem-solving efforts, much less seizing opportunities and making rapid extropic progress. The principle of the Symbiotic Optimum need only be applied fairly, impartially, and completely, and the need to suffer Authoritative fools gladly simply disappears in a puff of illogical smoke.