Continued from here.
This continues my* recounting of the development of 5th Generation Warfare and the reformation of society that I had decided was required to end historical cycles of disastrous leaderships.
In 2016, the world faced the fact that so much of human civilization had gone wrong, lives and wealth were wasted, we all experienced the results daily.
As the self-appointed architect of humanity’s next basic organization, I had a lot of bases to cover. I had to ensure the next culture included enough of the caveman heritage pleasures required by our genetics and experiences required for our full physical and mental development. More than a few of those must be missing from most people’s lives to account for a civilization this screwed up. Also, not to forget all of the required functions of civilization, things like reasons to be a scientist or doctor and the depth of economy and society behind that. Those necessitated extensive study of human behavior and engineering analysis. This was a problem of specifications, I decided. If I could get the specifications for the pieces correct, I could expect the pieces to self-assemble into an evolving civilization. For a few, example #1 being a new family structure that better fitted both sexes, I would probably need to provide the nucleus of the state change that is that self-assembly.
I was not encouraged by how easy it would be to surpass the current awful structures of governments and institutions, the simply insane contradictions they lived with and we all endured.
Just to pick a section from my notes at the time, I saw that science opportunity was being wasted because the world was organized so similarly everywhere. Yes, no question, the best brains through the best universities and graduate programs funded lavishly by the central government produces astonishing science on a regular basis. Oh yes, those large projects could not be done any other way. But, exactly what civilizational benefit can we attribute to all of that? For every breakthrough in cancer research or genomic analysis, there are billions wasted on Tokamaks, cyclotrons and global warming conferences.
The only positive I could see was an education system that produces enough ordinary scientists to do the work that powers our product development, and that extremely inefficiently because it aims at producing Nobel researchers, meaning researchers of the esoteric, rather than at people doing science for more applied research projects and discovering great science from those many springboards. That was the way the first generations of scientists and medical researchers and their sciences were produced, it worked fine, and still worked where allowed. A great deal of computer software, public databases and repositories and much of the Cold Fusion research had been performed or funded privately.
Whereas the government-funded model of science we now follow very clearly produces incorrect results consistently and does not correct them for long periods. These are the combined result of funding directed by central organizations, the publication model interacting with careers, and the structure of the organizations doing the research. Centralization cannot work, it restricts the range of ideas and kills oversight. Science is an evolutionary system. It works by continuously recombining ideas and concepts and subjecting them to critical comment by others. Progress is proportional to the rate of that evolution. Range of ideas is the number of things to be recombined every generation, minds doing active science are the active evolutionary units and papers are the phenotypes tested by peers, either rejected or incorporated into their thinking.
Surveying the state of science looking for possible paths to a future, all such must include continuous evolution of the total system and increasing complexity.
Training for scientific research is and must be apprenticeship. A person learns to be a scientist by going into a senior scientist’s laboratory and learning to do science, ground up. First you learn the experimental procedures by building apparatus and doing the professor’s experiments experiments under the supervision of an older student while reading the classics of your field and discussing them with peers and older students. You learn to write papers, standards of scholarship and efficient procedures of search. Google is such a marvel, but a human mind still has to carefully evaluate every nuance of every relevant paper, and many which are not, in order to call themselves a deep specialist. You can only do that by writing about them and becoming that deep expert. First papers, then present papers in seminars going deeply into particular topics, then a Master’s Thesis, then a Ph.D. Dissertation. The Master’s project is normally a year, fields of science and engineering a Ph.D. a further 3-5, depending on many things. In most areas of research, a post-doctorial period of 1-3 years is normal, often more than one, as grasping other areas of research and demonstrating mastery is not a trivial task.
The problem with the model isn’t that it fails to produce good students or transform them into good scientists, it is that it fails to produce good science. The model is centralized and lends itself to control by elites. It is therefore inherently flawed because such a system must, given current warped human nature, produce bad science.
That was the same conclusion I came to looking at all of the other important social institutions of a society, business and its education, education and its education, government and its education, defense, etc., including citizenry and their education. The base models of all were flawed because they had been controlled by elites, having been centralized. Centralized and disconnected from communities does not allow normal development of humans, our leaders are no longer reliably humane.
So the first thing to understand was “why the drive to centralization?” To answer that, we had to understand human nature in much more detail.
I was convinced every society had gotten the fundamentals wrong, and that was the source of the problems. This model said I needed to fix the people, and the institutions could then be changed. Without fixing the people first, we would be back in the same class of problems produced by centralization in a few generations..
Building a civilization from the ground up should be familiar to you all by now, Ecosystem and Civilization games have been best sellers for years. At the time this happened, my kid was playing ‘Banished’ one of the newest, in which your detailed control of work by people in your nascent village routinely leads them to die because you weren’t cautious enough, expanded crops ahead of the ability to care for them or harvest them, or didn’t provide enough fodder for the animals and they die in the winter and you don’t have motive power for 6 bushels per acre wheat to make it through the next winter, or didn’t quarry stone for houses, so no new families, so the settlers get too old to reproduce and die of starvation as they can’t work. Or drought makes the soil too hard in the spring, and you couldn’t plow enough land to raise enough crops, so you starve. There is always something, or a new disease, or …
Although I could never even get coyotes, rabbits and flowers in balance the few times I had played the games, I was confident : it is just another systems engineering problem. The problem of playing a game is you can’t see the equations. Show me the equations, or let me write them, I can win the game. Specification of the total system’s requirements, specifications of the components to be used, high level design, subsystems design, evaluate models of the system, iterate as many times as necessary to converge on a system that meets specifications.
Unless, the equations include non-linear feedback, that is. You can’t solve those equations, you can only play the game until you know how the equations behave, most of the time. Sadly, life was like that game, with the equations evolving along with us.
I was much encouraged by a book I was reading at the time, “The Plausibility of Life” by Kirschner and Gerhard. As did Wagner’s “Arrival of the Fittest”, they identify the source of phenotypic variability as the last major problem in the theory of evolution. Wagner said the answer was genotype networks, a fact of analog chemistry that changing a base pair doesn’t generally make that big a change in the resulting molecule, it still functions. In fact few kill the organism, and are thus a source of much of life’s variability. K&G show the operation of a mechanism that works independently of that to make organisms adapatable, a meta-level of orchestration of other genes’ ‘executions’ which in turn can control yet other genes in a cascade. So the major evolutionary steps of advance are new methods of controlling cells via signalling from the outside. They involve a signalling molecule, a sensor on the surface that could translate a unique message to the nucleus, which then turned on different genes and turned off others. Also the ability to produce that signalling molecule, under genetic control, of yet other signalling molecules. This level is the domain that Wagner’s signalling system genome networks are operating, and make up a very general biological controller of life. The gradual transform of egg and sperm into and embryo and on to adult reproducer is the high level controller at work, and is where evolution is first happening, the cells of small areas changing and growing an extra division at some stage or dying a bit faster at another.
Those are modules of cellular behavior. There are families of such signalling mechanisms, all variations on a few genes that were duplicated and then independently evolved, quite a good number of genes in total. Once they are developed, they are strongly conserved, e.g. many identical signalling molecules from bacteria and yeast through you and me, from which we conclude they are a fundamental layer that cannot be allowed to change much without major changes to the organism. And, thus, they are the units of evolution at the next higher layer, the one that forms the tissues and organs and sizes them and complexifies them. Not new genes for metabolism, new controls and layers of control arising from within the evolving system, as a result of its evolution.
Kirschner and Gerhard add another mechanism, most important : organisms are selected for adaptability in their normal life. They use hemoglobin molecule as their example, the detailed chemistry and biochemistry gives it a 50% efficiency boost when most needed, and that before any need to increase the amount of hemoglobin in the blood or the amount of blood and size of circulatory system and heart. Those are general, having reserve capacity at low cost is a general advantage. Those adapting systems then allow an organism to explore a non-optimal environment. If they can survive and reproduce, no matter how marginally, they are in a position for a mutation to select for enhancement to their stressed subsystems. Thus, adaptation at physiological and behavioral levels can foster genetic changes to support them, and so evolution can proceed less randomly, more as tho directed. Which it was, from the level of the mental system the physiology supports that decided it would be a good idea to go live over there in that more stressful environment, presumably the best of a bad set of choices. A most unexpected feedback link in evolutionary theory. But a precedent for what I was going to propose.
By analogy, I needed units of a society that perform all of those basic cellular functions and are thus capable of forming the tissues and organs and systems that make up an advanced civilization, but one that can’t be captured by any center because of that continual evolution.**
As a society, we had much the same problem as an organism has, rogue agendas in subcomponents and subsystems. Mammals had an immune system that handled problems from both external enemies (parasites and diseases) and for internal (cancer). Our society needed that level, which the other arm of this reform was providing, the Psyops Corp, Open Trials, etc. Yes, the old order needed iced and autopsied and analyzed in minute forensic detail to ensure we learned all we could from it, and any society needs an independent investigation and audit function, but this was work to get the basic units of a new society right. The ones that would support the social immune systems.
Start from the basics, what materials are we working with, what are the goals. Goals were easy, a sustainable system that produces continuous improvements in civilization as measured by the quality of all people’s lives as measured in their values and under their control, a system that would be very hard to centralize. I thought that would produce more people, but it is possible that there are genuinely too many people on the planet. Although I thought it more likely correcting a few of the very many inefficiencies in our systems would produce plenty for all.
Next, I needed a specification of the materials to be employed in implementing a new civilization from fundamental units on up. We had a good understanding of the requirements of information flow for efficient systems, in fact that was the best-working component of our current civilization, the peer-to-peer links on the ever expanding and differentiating networks and applications and tools using the network and links.
But the specification of an average human as we are now and as required for a the next stage civilization in their dimensions of everything, that would take some thought.
Who and how are we, we humans? The experts say, my general interpretation of those that make the most sense, at the moment :
We are a species with a fossil record of 3 million years and genomic data going back 50,000 years, both getting more detailed rapidly. The record is one of a species evolving rapidly, our best current analysis says we are rather inbred and many of our most human attributes are sexually selected. In later years, after my Sexbot reformation of society, one of my best students expressed the basic human nature very well in her series of lectures for Tom. One of my better creations, I thought, and such a darling. Never could understand Frankenstein, building monsters. Didn’t they have sexy women in those days?.
Sexual selection has not stopped, and indeed, is quite likely to have driven human intelligence, and especially varieties of intelligence. We can be fairly sure our minds are largely formed from inherited brain apparatus. In the last 3 million years, the variety of ape that became us got onto a virtuous cycle of higher intelligence leading to more offspring leading to more culture and faster evolution with even more sexual selection. Whether that was because the brain became sensitive to other’s cleverness or the fact that life was just more satisfying around them and people noticed that cannot be answered, but it must have occurred in some mind first. That would have sped evolution of all aspects of humans up by a multiple : evolution has favored selecting the healthy as mates. That is because disease is the great killer in the wild, of the great killers that an animal can deal with by genetics. If they look healthy and act normal, take them, they are as good as you are going to get. So evolution perks along with those selection criteria, very gradually brains win out via better technology allowing more efficient exploitation of the environment, more offspring relative to lesser brains.
But then, some mind noticed other minds noticing things, noticed other minds doing things better than before, understood that meant more food. ‘Clever’ is relative, with memory, it only takes once per individual. With observation, it only takes once per band. So suddenly the mind noticing other minds has an edge on life, more food for the children and more living children. Evolution’s rate is proportional to numbers of genes recombined each generation and numbers of different selections-intensities they are subjected to. Thus, more people in more environments interbreeding with the locals, under intense selection for relative cleverness once everyone noticed how useful that trait was and could recognize it, we evolved fast and in many dimensions.
But always for more intelligence. That is a Red Queen race, it can never end. Once sexual selection involves intelligence as a selection criteria, we are always our own worst enemies, we had produced that rather inbred species around the planet by men killing men for women. We had to get intelligence past that bit of an evolutionary bottleneck, among other things.
Nevertheless, the side-effects of the sexual selection of intelligence, the need for men and women to have social, intellectual, athletic and/or artistic accomplishments as their entry in the mating game, was the leading driver of the entire culture, responsible for all of civilization, the good and the bad. My solution for the next social basis of civilization had to continue that virtuous circle of evolution, or someone would choose not to follow my paths and would subsequently out-evolve me. Thus, positive-sum and very distributed had to be leading attributes of any possible design for civilization. This had to maximize the integration of the sum total intelligence of the entire human race, otherwise it would be sub-optimal in the development of further civilization. Please note, that is not idealism, that is engineering. You set your goals and measure progress toward them, no simple measures allowed.
I note that it was about here in this intellectual odyssey that I understood sexual selection’s power. Do you realize how much of commerce is driven by that, at base? Every bit of striving to be a big man or big woman, all the pictures of people with famous people, the certificates on the wall, the trophies and family silver in the cabinet, the music collections, the instruments played, every bit of physical or intellectual bling that anyone possesses is a result of that. We are indeed are deeply interested in the science and the technology or the characters of the novels, and yes it is a deep part of human nature, but their impact on others is important.
And also, I see phases of life. There are a ton of high schoolers, part-time, out of work and retired people who are still productive members of the community, working for the community now rather than a business or school. That cooperativeness is a way of being a standout in the community, of increasing social stature, of being a fit mate. It doesn’t stop just because you already have one and are no longer looking. (But also, men never stop looking, the oldest man on the bus is just as interested in the chick as the youngest man and oldest boy. And women go on working in family and community, personal satisfaction and social approval are indistinguishable for much of what we do, that would have been very important in more primitive times and still is.)
That need for social status is perhaps not as well directed as it might be, certainly some aspects have high social costs, but that huge driver of society, the base human nature resting on Sexual selection, must be employed, not opposed.
In psyops, the message is the op.
*Generalissimo Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis and Psyops, First Volunteer Panzer Psyops Corp. Cleverly Gently Martial In Spirit
Added later : This talk by Tanya M. Smith , an Associate Professor at Harvard, shows patterns of growth, different ages at weaning, maturation of different teeth, etc., and supports the Mosaic Theory of how humans came to be, our different characteristics inherited from different ancestors. Next to last was a big brain. Last was maturing late, a long childhood of growth before the brain was adult size, and an even longer period of learning.
Added yet later : this is an example of how many 10s of $Bs, centrally allocated, have produced very damn little except employment for many, many, many Ph.D.s in high energy physics. Although, to given them credit, CERN did produce the World Wide Web, so it hasn’t entirely been wasted.