Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How To Talk To People And Why It's Not Worth It

Most people think talking about a subject is about teaching and learning or (for the relativists) pushing one's point of view.

Some people grow cynical and think talking about a subject is about acquiring status and gaining reputation or even just looking good. These people think they are clever and know something other people don't.

Well, I am not so limited (and even if I were, I'm contrarian enough to abuse anyone stupid enough to care about my reputation) so I operate on many more levels and have been since at least 2000.

The game - arguing with facts and logic to prove a point. I include here in the game the entire meta-hierarchy of authority and epistemology.

The meta-game - proving a point so as to shape one's reputation.

The meta-meta-game - shaping one's reputation in order to reshape discourse.

The meta-meta-meta game - reshaping discourse in order to effect a quantitative change in society.

Nowadays that's where I stop because it's just for fun. In order to play the game seriously, for keeps, there has to be another meta-level to it.

The meta-meta-meta-meta game - effecting quantitative changes so as to reshape the permanent direction of society.

But really, thinking there's anything you can say in a discussion forum, or any other medium, to reshape the direction of society is quite conceited. Of course, it says something about me that it took me years to learn that lesson.

This lesson I'm now teaching falls under the category of "effecting a quantitative change in society". I hope to open a few minds but I don't expect it. I hope some of you learn 'this is what I could be doing' and 'there are no limits to my power if I think hard enough on it'.

A million people protesting out in the streets will have ... absolutely no effect. But a single person using their mind to find the fulcrum points of society, can use the leverage to lift it up in its entirety.

A bit of sage advice: those fulcrum points are pretty high up the meta-level hierarchy. It takes many years to identify them. I know exactly where they are. There are 5 easy ones that can be actioned by a single motivated individual, they are:
  1. anarchistic catalog
  2. anarchistic media
  3. anarchistic OS
  4. cooperative software foundation with interaction designers
  5. medical expert system
  6. negative interest currency and community land trusts
  7. sortition - this one isn't as meta as it gets
  8. mini UAVs - for drug smuggling
  9. small portable nuclear power plants - because coal kills trains
  10. automated construction - contour crafting and 3d printing
  11. bioreactors - in vivo meat
  12. stem cells and organ crafting
  13. synthetic biology
  14. mechanosynthesis
  15. inverted skyscrapers

I think it's telling that every single last one of the fulcrums with the power to change society is a complex system. The low hanging fruit has all been taken - if you find another, it's probably poisoned.

Note that I didn't include object-oriented architectural design software because it's already been made and is out there. And AI, space travel, and direct reduction of steel are linear - their rewards are linear to their costs.

I am for obvious reasons being deliberately obscure on the first 3. I don't like it but I'm hoarding that knowledge for now. The main reason why is that if I explained the idea then my enemies (the landed aristocrats and other anti-human anti-progress assholes) would find a way to thwart it by following Worse Is Better. I'll explain the secondary reason why in my next series on Innovation. 

No comments: