[ExI] Groups

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Jun 23 03:49:59 UTC 2008

Brent wrote

> Lee Corbin asked:
> >       "Why are we so ineffective?"  is a very good question. Of course, it
> >       should be placed in some perspective such as "compared to what?
> >       compared to whom?".
> Compared to the tens of millions of very well organized people that support
> the LDS prophet, and the billions of well organized catholics that support the
> Pope...and so on.

That's hardly a fair comparison!  I'm sure that Keith meant for his original
question to be taken in the context of groups our size. And I submitted
the most remarkable example of all, the revolutionary groups.

Political revolution, that is. Lenin's followers were probably inferior in
number to transhumanists (though, of course, energizing people on
huge social issues where vast, vast numbers of people already sense that
the political or economic situation is in urgent need of repair  will, duh,
turn out to be relatively easy).  But I was thinking of the dedication,
fanaticism, commitment, and hard work often characteristic of the
social revolutionary.

Now for a religious example, since you mentioned the Mormons and
the Catholics, perhaps the very early followers of Joseph Smith and
Paul make for good paradigms.

So in one sense, Keith's question was unfair:

"Why are we so ineffective?" because, as I wrote "compared to what
and compared to whom?"   The obvious candidates for comparison
are those groups who're very interested in a subject , have formed
with the help of the internet, an group or "movement" to alter the world
in some way.

Sadly (for us), we probably aren't really that much different from
those other "movements".  Wo ist das Project Plan?   (Works even
if you don't know any German.)

> The greatest idea in the world is completely useless if only one
> person knows about it.  Without organization and cooperation
> you have nothing.  Traditionally, the most effective organization
> structure has been the hierarchy...
> But, is a hierarchy really the best way to organize?  There are
> so many obvious problems with a hierarchy.  Like they are
> terrible bottlenecks since there is no way the guy at the top
> can manage all issues, let alone understand the infinite subtleties
> of all issues.

Okay, so I worry that you're drifting off into abstractionland and
ideal-compare, instead of grounding your thought a bit, say, with
some historical examples.

> But, obviously, the way of the hierarchy is starting to
> wain, primarily because of our improving ability to
> communicate.

I don't see you properly qualifying what you're saying.
Are you trying to suggest that soon police forces will
forego hierarchical structure, and just "self-mobilize"?
The various groups forging ahead with the French
Revolution had no difficulty communicating, but they
weren't really effective until one group or the other
was in a position to tell the others what to do, and
within that one group a single personality was dominant.

> All transhumanists seem to faithlessly accept the
> current sorry situation where only the popes and
> prophets have any moral or religious influence on
> society, and we have no ability to organize in any
> effective way.  As if there is nothing we can do
> to make anything better.  But is this truly the case?

Who knows?  Perhaps things can eventually change.
After a decade or two of mostly lip-flapping and
spending the bulk of their time investigating philosophical
foundations, some groups may gradually take on a
different character.  (I do not mean to demean the
efforts of the activists among us, but they are few
in number, and, who knows, may not be focused
on exactly the right goals.)


> In fact I think now is the final days of the moral damage these hierarchical religions are doing to society.  Once we can know 
> concisely and quantitatively what everyone wants, then we will finally have no more need for such hierarchies.

> Imagine what could happen if we got several thousand Transhumanists to indicate concisely and quantitatively what they believe on 
> the above canonized topics.  Then imagine the herds attempting to keep up by attempting to go viral, and  by creating their own 
> camps to defend what the popes and prophets are teaching against what is so obviously true and rational.  Certainly, as the popes 
> and prophets see this ability to communicate taking away their moral power, as they watch the members in their hierarchies start 
> to diminish, they will be tempted to advise their flocks to not participate right?  But of course, this is precisely what we want. 
> Any such evil or refusal to 'play' with everyone together should have no moral influence over society.

> And the majority of sheepish people, the ones giving all the power to the  popes and prophets will obviously not be interested in 
> playing right?  They don't want to have to think about things, they just want to "follow the prophet".  This is why so many 
> sheepish  people haven't even thought about the above canonized isseus.  And this is what is killing us, morally, today.  But, in 
> todays dynamic, intelligent, and  informed world, don't you think this will tend to lead to their demise?

> If you ask me, the next big thing in the world is not going to be just technological.  It is going to finally be using these 
> communication technologies to do something powerfully social.  In fact you can see this exploding, right now, before our eyes. 
> The primary enabling technology will finally be something that enables the masses to communicate, concisely and quantitatively, 
> and in real time, precisely what it is they all want, value, and believe.

> And once you have that, and can apply such to reputations in quantitative ways, then suddenly you don't need any more hierarchical 
> police states and restricting laws.  All you have to do is set up reputation systems, where the masses can efficiently, concisely 
> and quantitatively communicate the reputation of everything, in real time, and then suddenly it becomes possible to simply ignore 
> all the spam and scam...

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