Thursday, December 15, 2016

planetary-surface reaction layers

A useful counterpoint to organism-centricity, and in particular to the media's xenophobic focus on "aliens" from outer space, may be the idea that life (like that on earth) is to first order a fascinating steady-state reaction-layer between a planetary surface and the high-energy photon bath provided to that surface by the nearest star. Moving of that reaction off planet e.g. to a neighboring planet, to space habitats, or even to a star system elsewhere may, in that context, be much easier said than done.

The possibilities are of course certainly worth exploring. If taking care of our own planet is a leap for us, terraforming a nearby one is a bigger leap (that we may never manage unless we recognize the challenge), and the energy requirements of travel between star systems (even though relativity helps with time-elapsed for the traveler) make it hardly cost-effective for transferring organisms like us. Transfer of molecular and/or idea codes, on the other hand, e.g. over 105 year time scales via radiation-pressure ejected nanoparticles or over 10 to 1000 year time scales by electromagnetic communication, may be another story.

Friday, December 9, 2016

AI and income

The question of survival for individuals displaced by automation comes up with increasing frequency these days. Perhaps task layer multiplicity is a concept which can clarify our thinking to these ends.

In particular, if our communities depend on correlation-buffering on all six layers that look in/out from skin, family, and culture, it makes sense that participation in one or more of these layers is a tangible contribution. In fact, a "universal-minimum income", linked explicitly to an individual's participation in such layers, might serve as a healthy complement to the current system which focuses exclusively on what you are doing only for folks who have money.

As with all such programs, development of tools to minimize draining of resources by "defectors" will likely be a long-term and imperfect process. However if implemented in a constuctive way, such a program might enlist the support of participants from a wide range of places in our economy.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

e-path to collapse

The electronic media may offer up a means by which our preferentially-ignored fallibility can cause social collapse, especially to the extent that we concentrate only on ourselves and not the processes which make us possible. The key to avoiding this may be humility, i.e. not accepting our own ideas uncritically (particularly when it comes to making irreversible decisions about others).

We are not the sole architect of our situation, but only participants therein. The main architect, "but partly-knowable" nature and the self-assembly of layered complex systems (like stars, planets, life, communities) associated therewith, communicates with us through incoming data whose concepts and categories, as well as whose content, must continually be examined for possible improvement.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

bad/good-guy disease

Pooly-used global electronic media is fueling cases of bad-guy/good-guy disease, a well established cause of societal failure, in many places by moving folks to fight one another rather than to focus on processes which are crucial to community health.

What individuals or groups do you think today have relatively bad cases of this disease?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

O-centricity II

In August 2008 we remarked on the blindness to important matters that our organism-centric perceptions, inherited from paleolithic times to focus largely on "bad guys" and "good guys" rather than on the key ideas and processes (this includes evolving technology) that are affecting our lives, as a possible Achilles heel. In that context, look at current political narratives these days.

Some candidates are obsessed with bad-guy vs. good-guy explanations. Some delusionally even define themselves as "the best guy" regardless of what the facts say. It's a trap we may want to try and avoid, even if we find the bad-guy/good-guy narrative to be seductive.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

fallible man

Humans with traits evolved for adaptation in paleolithic times find themselves today in niches designed to maintain 6 layers of complexity (looking in/out from skin, family & culture) by exploiting traits developed in support of only 4 or 5 such layers. With an increasing population on a finite planet, sustainability of such niches will be a challenge in the days to come.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

filter bubbles

How might we help folks do the following: (i) lessen the hold of their electronic-communications "filter-bubbles", (ii) care for all layers of organization that look in/out from skin, family & culture in their communities, and (iii) highlight the incompetent parasitism of people and organizations that use electronic communications to promote uninformed discrimination, runaway nepotism, and indiscriminant violence?