[ExI] Trivia: what links Medea, Fermi and NSA?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Sun Jul 14 17:41:25 UTC 2013

On Sat, 13 Jul 2013, Adrian Tymes wrote:

> But it's part of why republics, at least the ones that last for more 
> than one or two changes of power, appear to be more stable (and 
> therefore prosperous) than the alternatives.  Not that any existing 
> example is perfect, just that they've proven overall better.

Well, I guess there are quite a few implementations of Republic and I am 
not sure if I could like all of them. Assuming I understand the concept, a 
good thing is that as long as one sticks to one's own nose, the Republic 
sticks to its own, too. But I wonder if this rule is followed by every 
implementation. OTOH, if one digs deeper, underneath all the slogan layer 
are arteries of money. I don't know if this is good or bad, but I have the 
feeling slogans are mentioned much more often than arteries and I find it 
interesting. Is there something shameful in the basement?

BTW, Republics decay, too.

> Still, perhaps there are ways to refine the design further, to prevent 
> other modes of failure?

Yeah, great question. I don't know the answer. Heck, I don't even know if 
the problem has been correctly specified. And, you know, solving wrong
problem is a no-no, at least for me (waste of time & energy + possibly 
making a real problem even bigger).

Can the "design" be refined? Perhaps. Maybe a good start would be to say 
the design wasn't really designed, as far as I can tell. Or maybe it was 
designed in old times and nowadays, maybe it is an ongoing improvisation, 
ad hoc plumbing? Should the proposition made in old times be followed in 
modern times? Should a train be adapted for Roman bridges or should a new 
bridge be built?

I think I wouldn't mind being invigilated by folks trained in null-A. I 
cannot imagine my private data abused by them, sold or something. Or being 
wrongly accused of too much thinking - that's not me, I'm too slow for 
thinking too much :-). So, such supervision would not be invited, perhaps, 
but it would have been bearable. [0] [4]




Can some people be trained to have their priority on problem solving 
rather than ego boosting and self promotion? Myself, I don't look for 
ultimate political system as much as I look for ways to better humans 
without fraking and ruining everything around - something that 20th 
century exercised a little bit, it could have been much worse but still, 
lots of wasted potential. Think of Turing in a world without WW1 and WW2 
and the whole Cold War setup. Maybe he would have died impoverished or 
maybe he would have done something great. [1]

The world of null-A as depicted in a A.E. van Vogt's books is not perfect. 
There is crime, streets of the capital are dangerous place to be at night. 
When thugs get the highest office for themselves and disable Games 
Machine, they announce everybody can come and get whatever he wants and 
guess what, the mob quickly shows up and dismantles the Machine. And the 
Machine itself, performing exams and granting passes to null-A class, have 
been fooled. OTOH, repairing this state of things would have been much 
easier with null-As rounded up and elevated into decision making and other 
positions rather than going the opposite direction. [2]

[5] But, as you can see, I know more questions than answers :-). [3]

[0] Given that individual nowadays is as capable in destruction as USAF 
bomber wing of last WWar and that individual's psyche is so prone to 
distortion (or bad memes), I am sometimes thinking what could be done 
about this. [4]

[1] All right, not every such world would be great. I see not so much 
greatness in continuing existence of colonial powers, for example.

[2] I am not null-A even though the "map is not territory" motto helped me 
a lot and I push myself to use it whenever I remember to. Also, AEvV ave 
for General Semantics is something I have to research more. Given the year 
in which AEvV wrote first null-A book (1948), he gives quite a lot of job 
for trained General Semantists - including building of spaceships (AFAIR) 
and the Games Machine. Or maybe those are null-A trained engineers.

[3] There are and there will be initiatives to wrestle some power from its
current holders. I guess they are going to have long and painful life, 
being plagued by exactly same problems that plague current holders. 
Chances are, everybody inside those movements will consider them to be 
successes or just few steps from it.

[4] The "map is not a territory" should be, IMHO, a required reading for 
every proponent of increased invigilation. 




For me, the more or less logical outcome is that increasing inv. will lead 
to building more and more advanced models (lalala, virtual reality land) 
until, finally, they become as detailed as invigilated reality. But I 
wonder if they will be any kind of successful in their stated mission 
This includes usability, ability to get answers before events unfold. Will 
they? [5] [6]

[6] Yes we may be such model for surveilled subjects. Bye bye Singularity 
dream. [5]

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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