[extropy-chat] [extropy chat] "Hierarchical Power is out"
jef at jefallbright.net
Thu Dec 28 20:43:49 UTC 2006
Please excuse the top posting, but I just don't feel it will be an
effective use of my time to properly correct the format of the received
Outlook email for proper plain text quoting.
I confess to an overwhelmingly strong faith in determinism, from which I
derive all of my free-will.
I confess to seeing all human social interactions in terms of such
physical constructs as network theory, game theory, and evolutionary
theory, to name just a few of my biases grounded in the physical.
I'm afraid we don't share enough background in common for me to know how
to proceed effectively with this discussion. Perhaps someone else on
this list will be able to take it forward.
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Thomas
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:28 AM
Not specifically nor in any predatory or unethical fashion. If
the greater productivity failed to materialize, the four farmers would
suffer the consequences of their self determined faith in technology.
This example seems to rely on determinism.
Once again I sense a deterministic bias. I don't deny that the
pre physical can be causal. What I mean by coercion includes what can
lead to physical pressure. In my usage coercion functions in a
stochastic process where a person or group has chosen to use force in an
ethically entropic manner with an intention to dominate the will of any
other human (trans or post included) individual. Whether that "free
will" is viewed as an illusion or an impossibly difficult Markov
property, I think, may be irrelevant. I think we came here (to this
list) with a will to progress, improvement and some sense of moral
responsibility. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_chain]
I feel little attachment to this terminology. I used
this to illustrate the futility of a two level power structure,
alternating sadistic and masochistic roles.
So to the topic at hand, yes, I think that a
hierarchical system that
reorganizes at progressively higher levels of complexity
effectiveness should be seen as good--and it happens to
unavoidable as the laws of physics.
Is physics the topic at hand? I thought we were discussing the
demise of social unilateralism. There's a big difference between a
system that reorganizes by means of decapitations and mass
exterminations and a structure that enables more than it constrains.
Is there conflict? Yes. Conflict between competing
methods, with the
more successful tending to persist and the less
successful tending to
perish. To "mitigate" such conflict would cause the
system to stagnate
and become more likely to eventually succumb to some
Note that I specifically mentioned that conflict at one
level leads to
*cooperation* at a higher level.
I didn't say mitigate competence. Let's mitigate bloody
methods. Let's compete to do our best, not our worst. The persistance
of the hunter-gatherer mentality does little to insure that we'll
survive, for example, an invasion of hive mind aliens who just don't
understand our "illusion" of free will.
How about a voluntarist structure that enables the less
successful to reorganize more successfully -- rather than letting them
perish. If they couldn't beat you, they could join you. I suspect
social exclusion signals the collapse of your hierarchy. [
Now here's the part I'm guessing you really won't like:
Will such progress be seen as "good"? Generally yes,
because what works
tends to proliferate and what doesn't work tends to die
off, and success
is assessed by those remaining in a position to assess.
I don't regard deterministic justification of Machiavellian
methods as progress. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavellian]
Is there coercion? Well, as I said I prefer not to use
the word because
ultimately every gradient in power, strength,
etc., can be interpreted as leading to coercion as with
If your higher level can't mitigate violence on a lower level
and admits of no constraints on its own lust for power, then "strength,
capability and effectiveness" sound like euphemisms for an addiction to
But in the case of the farmers, I think it would be
much more realistic to see the situation in terms of a
for any who choose to play.
And the low tech farmer could open a museum, but when the
"powerful" played with guns last century -- 180 million died -- not a
very positive sum. [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/war-1900.htm]
I agree. That's enough for now.
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