[ExI] Curves on a graph

jameschoate at austin.rr.com jameschoate at austin.rr.com
Tue Aug 4 18:10:20 UTC 2009

This is one of my 'little red buttons' about transhumanism and and the marketing drone approach that so many take, it simply isn't based on any science.

It's clear that things can be exponential only in the short term. It is also clear that many technological advances can only go so far because they bump into a plethora of impossibility theorems. In short they ignore the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics in such a bold, and completely unchallenged way it has always boggled my mind.

To borrow from Heinz Pagels;

1. You can never get ahead
2. You can never break even
3. The first two rules -always- apply

The curve we need to be looking at is tanh() and not straight exponentials. The way to present that curve is from a population dynamic perspective as well. Along the horizontal is time going from 'beginning of mankind' at the origin and proceeding to the right (effectively to infinity. The vertical axis should really be a measure of the effectiveness of a given population to use technology. To be at the origin is simply stating that the populations are not using any tools, don't communicate in any long termed manner, and don't have a mechanism to record their individual experiences. In general there are three fundamental populations:

- an arbitrary individual
- the general population
- the ruling/decision making population once these sorts of economic/political technologies are developed

At the beginning all three are at the same point. As time progressed they began to separate in such a way that the technology available to each group became clearly distinct. The individual is usually at the bottom having control of the last technology. The general population has a higher technology but below the ruling/decision making group. As we approach the top of the curve the three groups begin to remerge. My suspicion is that this will impact the economic/political technologies first with regard to how people use and relate to the new technologies they have and now have the ability to develop on their own. "The street has it's own uses for technology".
We can actually see the very beginning of this as we see the rise of 5th generation warfare and the 'asymmetric warfare' tactics. The truth is they're not asymmetric at all with regard to availability, only with regard to population size regarding who gets to use them. Another examples is the current turmoil in the agora with regard to the agalmic, intellectual property in particular. For many centuries (but remember not that many) the party line has been that we must protect the inventions and products of certain individuals in order to give them value. This destruction of the artificial value placed on the agalmic will cause a fundamental shift in the value of human thought and production. It will reduce it to one of equity and the technology will allow artificial structures to be identified and frustrated at earlier and earlier times. The end result is that while nobody will go hungy, everybody will have to produce for themselves in the local community to obtain value. A sort of ultimate think globally, act locally effect. Value will return to actually solving your neighbors problems rather than marketing solutions to somebody elses neighbors. The plethora of ethical and philosophical views we have are only going to increase as time goes by. Because of the organic social perspective (ie village) of individuals and the clear incompatibility of some of these views ("Why can't we all just get along" is dead) leads to another observation. That people will create zaibatsu/arcologies based around particular perspectives and not resource geography. The most obvious question is why they won't destroy each other, and the answer is that because the level of available technology is equal and the potential to keep secrets for a significant time (ie sufficient to obtain tactical if not strategic advantage from game theoretic perspective) is nil. What is the likely outcome of two groups who can control their immediate resources via nanotech and communications architectures at the atomic level? The parity leads to stalemate and isolation unless the parties as a group want to commit suicide.

Another aspect, with regard to how does one predict specific characteristics and possibly even short term events, is currently almost unstudied, except for government/economic sponsored groups. One good example is Bruce Bueno De Mequita's work. This sort of analysis has been called Cliology after the Muse for history Clio.

Candidate - Fundamental Theorems of Cliology

These are candidates only, they are intended to foster focused discussion. Consider them incomplete both within individual suppositions as well as the complete set as a whole.

Cliology is the study of history. However, it is more analytical and predictive than what one normally considers history. It is distinct (at least in my mind) from other studies like Asimov's Psychohistory because it is not as cosmological in scope. There is also the distinction of 'scale of resolution'. Psychohistory postulates that it may be possible to predict future events to the point of detailing specifics about individuals who will arise as a consequence of these formative forces. Cliology approaches the situation more as statistical mechanical and stochastic in nature.

Fundamental Theorem of Cliology

Who get's to make the choices?

What are the permissible choices?

The first two are auto-catalytic

The study of what decissions were or weren't made and why, both with respect to individual as well as larger scale motivations is critical to understanding a society in a particular time scale

Understanding the ecology and environs of a society is critical to understanding social statics and dynamics

Cliometric Uncertainty Principle

It is not possible to predict with any degree of accuracy or certainty the presence or actions of future events at the level of the individual.
Because of the interplay of a multitude of forces the 'standard model' of Cliology is somewhat akin to a 'gas' model. In this case this means that we can predict 'averages' and 'trends' of potential behaviour based upon the characteristics of the individuals taken (only) in large groups.

Definition of Society

The cornerstones of any society are



A set of rules, codified or not, and expectations, expressed or not, which regulate both the individual and inter-personal activities of same

Societies may be radically different in content and yet share the same geography

The statics and dynamics of a society are governed by the physics of reality and the psychology of the individual (and it's absolute range)

The expectations of societies can be in direct opposition

Violence does not ensue from opposition but from lack of toleration of opposition

This applies to all levels of societies and seems to be psychology independent (in other words, all life seems to follow it)

As a result, stability can be looked upon as a measure of tolerance


With respect to the last item above, does this mean that societies which are most stable are the ones which tolerate the most? Can the inverse be said, that intolerant societies tend, statistically at least, to last a shorter period of time?

Fundamental Axiom of Government

Government is technology

The bounding constraints are:




Definition of 'crime'

Any act which harms a person, their property, or breaks a public trust without consent

What is a 'public trust'?

A contract entered voluntarily (at the point one questions the compliance but complies they have consented - no expectation of continued consent is implied) to provide service to the community or use a public resource

What is a 'public resource'?

A resource which is common to all and is required for basic individual survival or social operations

Fundamental Axiom of Law

The codification of social rules, commonly called 'rule of law', is an extension of the right to self-defence

A defining characteristic of any society is to whom the 'right' falls to (ie some mix of individual or group)

A fundamental defining character is whether the rights of society extend from the individual, or rather the rights of the individual stem from the population

Definition of Civil Liberty

The ability to make 'a choice' with respect to individual or classes of decisions

This is the primary defining character of any human society or relationship

Definition of Derivation

There is an observable imbalance in the definitions of civil liberty and where they come from.

A 'society' is a collection of individuals, but an individual is self-supporting.

In other words you can take 'society' away from 'people', but you can't take 'people' away from 'society'.

When one speaks of the 'good of society' one must also, as a consequence, speak of the 'good of the individual'. It follows logically that to maximize one requires maximizing the other. Society may not be considered succesful if its individuals are unsatisfied.


Can a correlation between societal longevity and the relative importance of rights derivation be drawn? What other factors are important (eg freedom to associate)?

Definition of Causal Effect

When one speaks of human societies you are faced with a multitude of potential decisions and effects. One observation is that simply because something works doesn't mean it is the best solution.

People will often impliment sub-optimal solutions, sometimes to their greater detriment, because of psychological drives.

With respect to human psychology, our societies will be governed more by how one feels it should work than any cosmological input (eg law of physics). People will tend to select choices related to how it 'should' work even when faced with strong arguments to the contrary.

Definition of Cliological Metric Spaces

Metric spaces with respect to studying societies are complicated and multi-valued. They contain a variety of metric scales (eg binary v discrete v linear) whose point of interest may itself be a metric space.

The mathematical and economic concept of 'rational' is suspect because it fails to take into account psychology and environmental factors of indirect affect.

Different agents faced with identical situations may choose different solutions. Two 'rational' agents reviewing the same data may come to radically different (even opposed) views based on issues other than strict fact.

There is no one 'right way'. Because of the relativity of right and wrong all considerations must make reference to the statistical nature of the actors.

A fundamental concept of Cliology is the statistical mechanical character of human societies. In contrast to many other sciences (eg economics) inter-actions between players is considered a given. Each actor does not act in isolation to their community.

Each agent in a model should be considered a multi-dimensional data structure. Different agents may have different internal structures and interfaces. Any interaction between one set of agent characteristics and another agents set must follow defined conversion algorithms. These algorithms are not necessarily loss-less or available (ie some agents can't talk to other agents because they don't have a communications process).

Expect behaviours to be self-similar.

Central Position of Graph Theory to Cliology

Because of the dependencies of one agent on others the concepts of graph theory are important for building a basic description of any society. It is the prime mechanism to demonstrate dependency and weighting.

It's compatible with the cellular automaton model of individual agents without considerations or dependencies upon the particular models for those agents.

The theory of 'small world networks' or '6 DoF - aka Kevin Bacon game' is critical to understanding the higher level exchanges as well as the analysis of emergent behaviours.

The Cliological Cosmological Space - The Central Spaces Axiom

The present and future has a dependency on the past. All global models must have a time axis.

There is a homogenous and isomorphic metric space we all live in, a shared cosmos. This should be the fundamental space for cliological studies. It automatically allows easy inclusion of almost all other human studies as components of a larger model.

The sorts of tools used for GIS (eg location, component, value) are of critical importance to build models of context and ecology.
It is important to always keep the seperation between psychology and ecology primary in ones mind.

This seperation in effect creates two metric spaces (ie ecological and psychological) connected through common labels (ie tags to agent data spaces).

Observation On Available Societal Information

Since the mid-1990's it has become possible to not only obtain large amounts of detailed or fine-grained information about individuals, but also to apply pattern matching, signature analysis, and traffic analysis to it. The critical factor in this was the growth of computers and networks of same. Currently the groups who have the access are government and financial institutions acting through combining organizations like FINCEN. The primary justification for this is crime enforcement (re tolerance of opposition).

There is considerable concern that such solitary access will have a negative impact on the stability of the society. In particular with regards the concepts of 'democracy', 'personal liberty' and 'privacy'.

Note: these terms and related terms need to be better defined within this framework, a future effort.

>From a cliological perspective this represents a data set of sufficient size and detail to corrolate with GIS and population statistics in a meaningful way.

---- Tom Nowell <nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk> wrote: 

> This reminds me of arguments used regarding the singularity - The existence of Moore's law is used to draw an exponential graph showing accelerating processing
> power. Another graph is used to show the pace of human technological progress (and by picking points of progress suitably, an accelerating rate of progress is shown).  > Accelerating computing power + accelerating gadget development is used to demonstrate the possibility of ever-accelerating technological change leading to a colossal > rate of change where a singularity occurs and we can only guess at what lies beyond.
> On the other hand, you could draw graphs picking different points and argue the pace of change is not so rapid (such as Max More's concept of "The Surge" if progress > is not exponential) or even follow Mike Darwin's idea of looking at graphs of medical developments (if less drugs and medical devices are being presented to the FDA,
> guardians of the most lucrative healthcare market on earth, then is biomedical progress slowing?). Like the climate change arguments of "but you're assuming CO2 is
> the important factor", it can be argued "but you're assuming raw processing power is the important factor in developing artificial general intelligence".

Now this certainly doesn't address all aspects and one important one is the psychology of the individual and the populations they participate in. One defining characteristic of human psychology has to do with transcendence. Humanity as a whole, and for the vast majority of individuals, struggle to find a description of their existence that is beyond them. This is probably the biggest ideological hurdle we as a race, and as individuals, have to face. As the available 'wiggle room' between what we see and think we see, and what we know through empirical evidence widens we'll see many belief systems go away. An important question is what will replace them? I'll assume that one defining character is the abandonment of transcendence. Are there any such examples, however crude, extant now?  Pantheism (and I don't mean Scientific Pantheism or any of the marketing droid remakes of same out there).

> 4-22-08
> The Edge: Breaking the Galilean Spell (Stuart A. Kauffman)
> This article makes some excellent points and I'm currently reviewing it for concept inclusion and rebutt.

We are part of Nature as a whole whose order we follow.

Spinoza, 1673

What is Pantheism?

Pantheism is the belief that everything is divine, that God is not seperate but totaly indentified with the Cosmos. It is a doctrine that holds God exists not as a person or personality; but is manifested in the material cosmos, including man and every other natural object. It further refutes the potential of transcendence and super-natural possibilities. It views such beliefs as a result of the psychology of the observer and not any sort of absolute representation of nature and its interactions. It is the understanding that the Cosmos has two components, Physics and Psychology.

In one sentence Pantheism can be summed up:

Pantheism is the abandonment of Transcendence

Some related Pantheism URL's:

It should be noted that inclusion in this list does not imply agreement by the author, as in most human activity there are disagreements.

Stanford Philosophy Server

What is Pantheism?

Another definition one might use is [Dictionary of Theories (ISBN 1-57859-045-0)]:

Literally 'all-god-ism'. The view that God and the universe are identical; or that there is no transcendent God outside the universe who created it, but the universe itself is divine. Among philosophers, Baruch de Spinoza (1632-77) is as prominent exponent of such a view, and it appears also in Stoicism. The term itself was coined in 1705 by Irish writer John Toland (1670-1722).

Pantheism and traditional religions and philosophies

Pantheism is a very mechanistic view of reality. It doesn't hold with ghosts in the machine or other similar forces. Pantheism is at odds with all other religions. This does not mean that there are not shared concepts, but when one looks at the total picture Pantheism is clearly distinct from all other world views. This creates problems for many as they want to see it as a different shade rather than a different color.

Besides the concept of transcendence there is the concept of peace. All religions promise peace and tranquility if the practitioner only tries hard enough, and in the right way.

There is no peace to be had, the cosmos is a fundamentaly violent place. Struggle is inherent in existance be it a rock, a rabbit, or a person. It is only the nature of the struggle that is different. A Pantheist understands that it is their anthropocentricism and the limits of their psychology that colors their interpretation of the Cosmos. To borrow an observation from Quantum Physics,

The Cosmos is observer dependent.

Fundamentally pantheism recognizes that all beliefs are faith. That concepts such as absolute truth don't exist outside of observer independant events (e.g. meteor strikes planet, kills all life). Pantheism holds that even science is itself only a religion since it is based upon a small set of beliefs which are unprovable. Science as we know it, however perfectly practiced, is colored by our psychology. It is important to recognize that this observation does not in any way decrease the utility of science in understanding the cosmos.

It is also worth mentioning specifically that science is fundamentaly different than other philosophies (other than Pantheism) because it accepts , at least in principle, it's basic axioms are open to change or nullification.

Unlike other religions, pantheism does not address the actual understability of the cosmos by any observer. It is a matter of individual psychology and faith. The actual degree of comprehension of the Cosmos by an individual or a group is open to interpretation.

The meaning of Life, or why are we here?

Pantheism does not recognize a seperation of the human experience from the remainder of the cosmos. That the universe ponders itself is fundamentaly irrelevant. Is the universe alive? Yes, so far as we define the biochemistry on this little ball of mud alive. It is a self referential, and useless, point. Is the universe intelligent, only so far as we and other lifeforms are intelligent by our definition. It is also recognized that intelligence is after all a human concept and may in fact have no validity outside of human psychology.

We decide what the meaning of life is by living it. To borrow a poem from the Chinese text The Mtsao,

You are
What you do
When it counts

To add one further observation, as individuals or as a race, we seldom have any input in to when it will count. Most individuals and groups take far more credit than they are due, they underestimate and disrespect the power of chance.

The Cosmos is autocatalytic

The Cosmos exists because if it didn't there wouldn't be one to ponder. Even if the Cosmos as we see it today came from nothing, that nothing is still something. This problem is more likely a reflection of the emotional state and needs of the observer than a valid commentary on the character of the cosmos.

Tools such as Gaian ecology or Complexity Theory are generaly well received by pantheist since, contrary to the typical western deconstructionalism, they also consider the whole system to reach understanding. One must look at both the nature of the components as well as the system in which those components exist. Emergent behavior is often not concerned with the actual mechanism of existance but rather the potential number of different states that system can take on, and how it might change from one state to another.

Pantheism and Society

Pantheist tend to be very literal and practical. Conformity is not their strong suite because they recognize that much of accepted canon is actualy just opinion, and in may cases there are better ways. They also tend to be active in their beliefs. If they don't do it, who will? There is no higher power to plead their case to.

The point to life, if it can be said to have one, is to live. Hopefully so you can ask questions like this to pass the time between birth and death. If not then it's to stay alive long enough to procreate. This is clearly an aspect of the psychology of the observer and their mental state.

The Two Ways of The One

There are two ways to Pantheism. Another striking difference between Pantheism and almost all other human viewpoints. It leaves the choice up to the individual. It further conflicts with the ideas of good and evil as held by the majority. It recognizes that such concepts are relative and not absolute.

The group way is to recognize the fundmamental equality of all things and conserve resources and tend toward cooperative behaviour.

The individual way is to recognize the fundamental equality of all things and to use them to foster individual existence.

Either are equally valid approaches, neither has a superiority over the other. In mosts situations, the individuals choices will be somewhere between these two poles. Most people find this aspect of Pantheism to be very hard to accept. People want an answer, not a choice. The choice is where one stands between the extremes of the group or the individual. It is in direct odds with human nature. Pantheist believe in the fundamental equality of all things, which stems from the belief that all things are fundamentally one, the Cosmos. Distinctions are put there by human psychology and our incomplete understanding of what is there and how it fits together. The impact of Pantheist thought on modern political and social culture is in its infancy. The abandonment of transcendence coupled with a sense of absolute equality does not bode well for the status quo.

There are no women rights or gay rights, only human rights within the context of a shared belief system. If one person may do it, then any person may do it. For any healthy workable society we must recognize the fundamental nature of the human animal. The Choice must reside with the individual in all cases. Communities, governments, and authority are emergent behaviours of individuals following a varied set of goals, attempting to work in groups. Eventually we will see that the primary lesson of the 20th century is that governments and groups can't be allowed bo break eggs. It will certainly come at a price even larger than the 100+ Million who have died over the last century for no other reason than one group can't tolerate the thoughts and beliefs of another.

Another observation that will eventually become apparent to the masses is that government and economics are nothing more than another sort of technology. They are not inherent in the human condition, simply a solution to a problem that was developed by our ancestors and their limited experiences. They are simply a solution to the problem of survival in a Cosmos ruled by supply and demand. This will lead to the realization that they can be abandoned for other solutions. An interesting acceptance of this is the concept of Fifth Generation Warfare.

The Good and The Bad, both are Ugly

Pantheism does not recognize any concept of good or bad, outside the context of the human psychology. It is this little bit of the Cosmos reflecting upon itself that provides the context. A Pantheist would not see a fundamental wrong in killing a rabbit, a human, or the entire planet. Only within the context of a society does value become to have meaning. It further observes that the question of whether it is worse to kill one or one million is fundamentaly a smoke screen. It is asked in the context of a human society and the precepts and limits that sociiety assumes and accepts.

A Pantheism may come to realize that there is another solution to the problem of which side one stands on within the context of a social problem. Sometimes the only way to win is not to play the game.

Pantheism and Ecology

Pantheism does not foster any sort of respect or motive to preserve the ecology or environment. If one examines the cosmos we find the destruction of life on grand scales to have occurred many times. There can be no fundamental support of ecological or environmental activism outside the human psychology. It is our own hubric anthropocentricism which colors our every act. If anything the remains of one act of destruction leave resources for a new act of creation.

However, it is clear that we do have a responsibility to protect our own self interests. This leads one to use resources according to one strategy or another. An individualist Pantheist would likely look at it very short term. Whereas a Pantheist more concerned with group survival would take the long, or deep time perspective. It is suspected that the deep time perspective has the least negative side effects due to the simple concept of conservationism.

Divinity and Sacred

For many people raised in traditional religious societies the concept of divine or sacred seem to be problematic. In truth they're pretty simple to understand from a Pantheists view. Divine means to be part of God. Since Pantheism's primary tenet that all is God there is no possible conflict. Unlike the traditional religious view no distinction between the thing being divine and God can occur since they are unity.

Sacred on the other hand means to set aside for or use in religious purposes. It implies a seperation between the transcendental and the mundane. Pantheism abandons transcendence and seperatism in this context, all is unity. A Pantheist does't recognize the concept of sacred as anything but confused.

One way to describe the Pantheist creedo is,

If you find a sacred cow, have a bar-b-que!

Pantheism and Toleration

Pantheist tend to be tolerant of other belief systems and their practice so long as no coercion is encountered. Since all is one, other beliefs are accepted as possible, but not necessarily practical or even workable. We also recognize that people will try to make things work instead of admitting they wont work and finding other solutions.

In cases of violence Pantheist tend toward pragmatism. Avoidance is the best strategy. The alternate is to do whatever will reduce the future occurance of this event as well as maximizing the participants, all of them if given a choice, chance of escaping from the confrontation. This of course is the group side. The individual side responce may be to nuke them until they glow, and then shoot them in the dark.

No Pantheist can be a pacifist (violence is inherent in the Cosmos), some are non-violent. The distinction being whether force is used as a means to an ends, or simply in self-defense.

The group Pantheist does not accept the belief that the ends justify the means (The Law of Unintended Consequences). Each action must justify itself. To try to say that some small evil justifies the greater good only tarnishes the concept of geater good. It reduces the concept from a principle to an expedient.

The strict individualist Pantheist on the other hand would, in principle at least, cut your throat as soon as look at you if there were a profit to be made.

Some thoughts on Intelligence

It is important to realize that the intelligence refered to is not two people but two distinct races or brain morphologies. A regular table represents the totality of rules and interactions that compose the Cosmos. Each intelligence be it man, microbe, or alien from Alpha Centauri is represented by potato chip lids (a physical representation of a Venn Diagram).:

Assume that the table top is the set of all possible laws and interactions that can describe the Cosmos. The lids represent the sets of laws that allow intelligence in some form or other.

The questions that we'll pose are:

Is the set of fundamental relations and interactions limited or infinite? Is the area of the table fixed or infinite? The author thinks they are limited. This leads to the realization that at some point know all there is to know. The question then becomes whether this is enough for us to build our own cosmos'?

Is there a necessity for any two intelligences to have at least some overlap?

If so, is this overlap a result of the laws of physics allowing only certain classes of intelligence? Are there fundamental physical rules for intelligence all must share?

Or, is it a result of the potential that if the two intellegences don't overlap it may not be possible for them to even recognize each other as intelligent.

Or, is it pure chance that an overlap occurs at all, and that intellegence can in fact be recognizable (ie symmetry breaking) irrespective of the set membership? Are there commen characteristics (ie emergent behaviors) that all intelligences share irrespective of their base set?

Also, for a given intelligence set is it a requirement for that set to include self-understanding? In other words, can it be such that the set of rules that allow intelligence prohibit self-understanding at some fundamental level?

Or, is it a pot-luck dinner in that one life form may be able to succesfully understand itself at the fundamental level (ie could at least in theory build itself) while another is forever going to miss the mark because it simply can't comprehend the relations?

Now these same sorts of questions can be extended to the study of what 'life' is. As a result we are faced with the potential of different 'sets' of life and parallel consequences.

What is the relationship between these /intelligence sets/ and the totality of member rules? Is it possible for a limited set to comprehend the entire set at least in theory?

If not, then what are the limitations of any given sets boundary?

How would one set explain to another set some aspect that the second set could not understand as a result of its set membership? This is another way to express Clarke's Law

In regard to AI, if the set of necessary rules for intelligence are in fact fixed is it possible to embody those rules in a mechanism of a non-biological nature?

These last two lead to some very hairy questions regarding the way we as humans treat animals and potentialy AI's as well as cloning.

If the set is not fixed or can be embodied in non-biological systems then do we have a 'being' that is due the same respect as ourselves?

Is it the intelligence or the set of rules that matter as far as moral and ethical issues are concerned?

An example of faith in science

The author was posed the following question,

If identical oxygen atoms (at the same temperature, velocity, etc.) are fundamentally the SAME, (meaning that they could change places and we could know no difference), then information is necessarily destroyed.

How can that be unless the atoms themselves are different? If they are the same they should have the same information and ability to store the same potential levels. Otherwise they are dis-similar and we are in contradiction to your assumptions. In fact, once swapped how would you determine the swap had even taken place unless they were different? Once the swap had taken place the only thing *proving* the swap ever took place would the experimenters faith in the swap. It would be untestable.

 -- -- -- --
Venimus, Vidimus, Dolavimus

James Choate
jameschoate at austin.rr.com
james.choate at twcable.com

Adapt, Adopt, Improvise
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