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Events and Memes

Events and Memes

There are a number of nomenclature issues here (I'm reminded of the challenges faced by Pierce and Whitehead), so bear with me as I struggle through language that will undoubtedly repurpose perfectly good words and force them into shapes that will be confusing and confounding to those who know more than I do. Our fundamental units are the Event and the Meme.  An Event is a dynamic relation of dynamic relations.  In principle, every relationship is an Event, but in practice only those Events that endure or repeat, which I will call "coherent" Events, are of interest.  Thus, if two strangers pass in the night, that is an Event, but an incohere

On a New Economy - Part I

On a New Economy - Part I

Part I - The Problem Lets start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).  When we design an economy, we have a few specific problems to solve: * To identify the best ideas and experiences * To identify the most capable individuals and groups * To motivate the most capable individuals to form the most effective groups to deliver the best ideas and experiences * To allocate resources to the most capable individuals and groups to most effectively deliver the best ideas and experiences In addition, and crucially importantly, in an environment where some resources are scarce (i.e., there is not enough to go around) also * To allo

Morality and Ethics

Morality and Ethics

Morality and Ethics. 1. Definitions I will be appropriating the terms morality and ethics in this document.  I have selected these terms because they are close to the concepts that I want to address, but because of their long, complex and often contradictory histories, it is worth taking some time to refine what I mean by "morality" and "ethics" to ensure precision. Morality is the effort to articulate rules for behaviour that are objective and external – they come from the outside.  Morality is characterized by rules and principles.  "Thou shall not kill."  Rules that apply regardless of the individual involved and rules that should

The Evolution of Culture

The Evolution of Culture

Culture Evolution The evolution of culture flows through a number of different dynamics.  I want to look into each one of these dynamics as they behave individually and interact with each other to generate large-scale cultural evolution.  The primary activity of every human being is the formation of "meaning architectures".  A meaning architecture is a system for predicting and controlling ones circumstance to achieve a satisfactory condition.  The content of "satisfactory condition" and the strategies for prediction and control are highly variable and their movement is both one of the primary consequences of and drivers of cultural evolutio

Ethics 2.0

Ethics 2.0

I want to assert that maximization of Ethics is both a conceivable and achievable objective.  To get there I'm going to have to take evolutionary thinking out of the world of "just genes" and apply it generically across a much broader field. 1. The strategy of all entities is to predict and control their circumstances so as to achieve a satisfactory condition.  As a baseline, this satisfactory condition is "reproductive success", that is, an increase in the population of the entity over the long term.  While I want to include the totality of traditional evolutionary theory in this concept, I also want to extend it to include a large number o

Ethics 3.0

Ethics 3.0

I want to take another cut at the term "ethics" because I feel that my description last time left some crucial aspects confused.  In my last long diatribe, I described ethics as "a machinery for perfecting our imagination;" or as the ability to "predict and control" our imagination; or as "the ability to optimize creativity."  All of these are true and accurate, but the language fails to gather in the threads. Creativity doesn't mean poetry.  Creativity means the atom bomb, the flying wedge, tai-chi, the steam engine.  Creativity means power.  Power to predict and, more, to control your circumstances to achieve desired results.  Ethics, then

Perennial Instrument

Perennial Instrument

The Construction of a Perennial Instrument Assertions: * There is a global institutional order, largely initiated as the aftermath of WWII and growing organically through to the fall of the Eastern Bloc, at which point it substantially accelerated.  This order includes both active and passive interconnections that span economic, technological, social, cultural, political and military dimensions.  By "institutional order" is meant the organizational and conceptual mechanisms by which human activities are focused and directed.  This includes governmental organizations (the US Military, the EU ministry of agriculture, medicare),

Media and the creation of Culture

Media and the creation of Culture

A culture is a collective organism.  The media and information technology of a culture are the nervous system of that culture - and, as such, define its collective values, expectations, experiences, assumptions. To understand our current culture, you have to understand its evolution and, in particular, its evolution in relation to media.  From this it is possible, perhaps, to make some predictions about the future and maybe, just maybe, to effect that future for the good.  Certainly this is needful I'll begin with the baby boomers.  A seminal moment in our culture in many ways.  The experience of the baby boomers was a strong mix of direct

On Power

On Power

The nature of power. I think that there are two major axes around which human power is deployed.  One is external, the other internal.  External power manifests itself in the form of the distribution of bodies – one is powerful to the degree to which one can influence the world to distribute bodies in the way that one desires.  This might be economic power (I can fly to Chicago whenever I want, something that is simply out of the reach of a peasant in mexico); political power (I can cause an entire army of men to organize and deploy with a single word); military power (and they, in turn, can cause whole nations to obey my command). Int

On the Production of Meaning

On the Production of Meaning

I. The Production Of Meaning What is meaningful?  The meaningful is that which impresses itself upon you.  It commands your attention.  It carves itself deep into your memory.  It evokes a physical (which is also, obviously, a neuro-physical) reaction.  The sensation of "the meaningful". As a gesture, take it all the way back too the big bang.  We know that everything that "is" now exists as the most durable remains of what "was" 13 billion years go.  Good.  Now skip forward to life.  3 billion years of meaningful interactions, inscribed into the memory storage unit of DNA.  Good.  Now lets focus on what is meaningful to the form of life th

Imagine a Dancer

Imagine a Dancer

First Imagine a dancer.  She is immersed in structures.  The floor she is standing on was manufactured using a variety of processes and designed based on some evolved architectural practice. Every movement that she makes is an act of equilibrium between her skeleto-muscular system (a nested set of structures) and the gravitational pull of the earth (an ancient but none-the-less emergent structure). The air flowing around her is the result of various meteorological and possibly technological practices, each of which have a long and infinitely detailed structure.  The waft of scents that fill the room are the conflux of these same structures w

The Hacker Ethos

The Hacker Ethos

What is a hacker?  I had the enormous benefit of coming of age precisely in parallel with the discovery and maturity of the concept: hacker.  The original hacker was into technology, no doubt. He (or she) was clearly an inheritor of the old "nerd" of chemistry sets and insect collections, but was of a different breed entirely.  Meaner, more autonomous, more of an enthusiastic outsider.  Che Guevera meets Carl Sagan?  Sid Vicious meets Thomas Edison? The hacker started with code.  Making code dance.  More of an alchemist or magician than an engineer.  The object wasn't to "make something" but to "make something happen".  To make the code do s
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