What causes addiction?

Two quotes which appear to be true, together with civgene’s behavioural pairs, define the cause of addiction.

The opposite of addiction is connection” — Johann Hari JRE #1250
freedom means the absence of coercion” — Milton Friedman

Unique human behaviours pairs compare unique human partial cooperation with the strict competition in the animal kingdom.

Property – Identity of an place, item, or accomplishment belonging to a being or a group.  Honoured and understood as a provision of autonomy to a distant time.
Territory – Control of a place, item, or role by a being or group.  Enforced by violence.  Revoked by absence.

Investment – Dedication of time and calories into a being’s or a groups creative development.  Requires property and currency to realize return.
Assignment - Dedication of time and calories into another’s territory with the expectation of favour.

Freedom – A cooperative model of non interference.  The promise of non interference in exchange for a return of the same.
Treaty – A stalemate, a mutual temporary cessation of conflict to avoid over exertion.

Friendship – The expectation of continued freedom between parties despite periodic violation of it.
Alliance – A temporary teamwork towards and depending on a common goal.

Freedom means the absence of coercion.
Territory is a component of Assignment.
Coercion is a variation of Assignment.
Assignment displaces freedom

Addiction is a deficiency of connection?
(Non familial) connection is possible because of friendship.
Addiction is caused by the lack of availability of friendship
Friendship requires freedom.
At the root, addiction may be caused by a lack of freedom.

Assignment is a psychopathic work alike for Investment.
Assignment displaces Investment
Investment is displaced by the same forces that cause addiction.
Statistically, addiction and investment should be inversely correlated.

Seems obvious in hindsight, correct?  Behavioural pairs can be used to derive core human behaviours, including their rights, and the consequences if they are violated.  A somewhat common, but difficult to argue conclusion becomes much more clear.

It’s important to note that someone might condemn Hari based on the apparant implication that addicts have bad friends.  The problem is that friendship requires freedom to fully function.  Personal prisons can damage or destroy freedom beyond a friends control, no matter their qualities.  Like mental illness, abject poverty, or abusive parents not remediated by their state or society.  Sadly freedom may be a natural human right, but it’s not a guarantee.

Edit: Reworked faulty logic to different causality.

Edit 2: Improved quote source, added warning about friendship.

Is data, science?


“I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of
true science.” –Charles Darwin

“My laboratory is my paper” –Albert Einstein

Poor Darwin. A political football of his time. While he supported his theories with data, many people insisted, as some do today, his work was not science. Yet as time passes his science has been treated as fact by more and more people. How useful is Darwinism? How did this change occur? More importantly does all science need to survive a public political fight to be treated as knowledge?

One needs look no further than Isaac Newton to find science nobody disputes today. There was controversy at the time, but it was limited to the cosmic implications. Newtonian physics is demonstrable using repeatable experiments. A series of steps could be followed to demonstrate and even separate it’s components. The formulas to predict how objects interacted with each other and gravity were demonstrably true.

The problem came with the orbital components. The same rules that predicted projectile parabolas could be adapted to predict the planets orbits (ultimately with some small errors) But there is no way to create a second identical solar system to add or remove components and test each part of the theory. There is no way to create a control. Without a control Newtonian physics was reduced to predictions. People passed the time waiting for his predictions to come true by arguing about them.

Einstein by comparison was extremely lucky. For decades the vast majority of the science community didn’t even understand his theories. His theories were impossible to demonstrate or test. No physical mechanism was available to do so. Few had the context to even argue about his theories, so they didn’t. Einsteinian physics was almost entirely predictions, but he caught no flak.

While the world slowly caught up, Einstein’s predictions have enjoyed wild success. His work is a great demonstration of the value of predictions in science. The science community didn’t refute Einstein in his time, it just largely ignored him. Room was made for his predictions to be tested at a later date.

Which brings us to Darwin. Like Einstein, many of his theories had no way to be conclusively tested at their conception. The theories matched existing data and you could tease out some components of it. It wasn’t until DNA was discovered in 1953 that the tools to reach an absolute conclusion on Darwin were known to be possible. But unlike quantum physics, people understand husbandry and paternity. Everyone had their two cents to give. Solid data with deceptive relevance justified genocides and terrible experiments. The label of ‘science’ ran amok.

With Darwin, the act of simple testing, of manipulating variables and comparing the results to controls could turn unethical. To come up with a system of learning about our own species required prediction to avoid terrible acts. A new truth became known about science, and to this day is often misunderstood. Data driven science can be both unethical and irrelevant to the targeted questions. Darwin’s value didn’t come from his data, but the predictions he could make with that data.

The ideal science is experiment driven. The experiments provide not only data, but and understanding of their context. Nobody serious disputes this. The problem is when separating a control is not possible. Either because of the economic cost, or the ethical cost. Darwin by his quality predictions has shown us not only the path of life, but a blueprint for more ethical science. The sure way to avoid public relations with murderous consequences in a lab coat. The worst part of human experimentation in the name of science?  it’s relative pointlessness compared to tested prediction?  It’s just a sad, avoidable, footnote.

Regardless if the impossible control is torturing humans, or copying planets, Darwin gave us a gift. The truth vetted in a trial by fire. The knowledge that data driven politics without prediction is an invitation to pointless suffering and disaster. Repeatable experiments are science. In it’s needed absence, quality, specific, predictions are science. Without prediction, data, even of the highest certainty and relevance, simply is not. It’s pre-science at best.  Darwin finalized prediction as the minimum requirement for the label of ‘science.’

Who gets the benefits from the doubts?

self-mutilation(tasteful self mutilation)

If faith is rationalized knowledge you can’t prove, and forgiveness emotional resolution to avoid manipulation, who are you really doubting?

Truth telling is a regular affair. If empathy is the engine, spoken truth is the grease of civilization. Most of the time, the benefit of the doubt is not only implicit, but entirely unvisited. Analysis of every statement, every gesture, every promise would undo civilization. Investment would be exhausting and a terrible trade.

When a flash of insight presents a doubt, the temptation is to ignore it. Civilization is a big machine, and the wise human knows the gears must turn to perpetuate the economy of scale. Down time for repairs will have a non linear cost, but the conscience is first and foremost is a risk engine. The dilemma is usually treated as such, ‘is your conscience groaning more loudly about the risk of a lie, or the risk of addressing it’. This can work but introduces a new risk, gaslighting.

Gaslighting seems silly at first but can be the flat edge to a long wedge. First the lies are subtle and inconsequential to the operation of your society, with one exception, you. You learn to NOT trust your gut and ignore insight.

If a high EQ empath is faced with a single dishonest threat, the dishonest actor eventually becomes silhouetted against their more honest context. Your risk engine retunes itself with it’s flow of higher quality data, and they stand out. The problem is addressed and civilization’s machine chugs on.

There is systemic risk, the risk the conscience is poor at managing a flurry of lies. The intelligent and psychopathic defector WILL notice this golden opportunity. Instead of identifying a narrow pattern of doubt, the conscience is too noisy to be useful. Doubt is aimed inward. ‘I must be the problem.’ Without warnings of risk the conscience becomes a liability.

If you are untrained in proposing and rationalizing conspiracies, you can be taught to throw away your conscience or even program it against your own interests. Not just you. Everyone. Flooding people with enough lies to disable their conscience requires a conspiracy. Those that discourage conspiracy theory are likely in the institutional gaslighting business, better known as propaganda.

Who benefits from the doubts? The institutions people are directly involved in. The hierarchies that are riskiest to fork or otherwise defect from. Today that is their governments, their schools, their employers. Those wise to history know finding a criminal conspiracy can be as simple as asking who benefits? Cui Bono.

Doubts are yours, and no good comes from throwing them away. Rationalize them. Not because the conscience is never wrong, but if you don’t use your risk manager, you lose it. Researching, fact checking, and setting traps for the unscrupulous benefits you. Detect reality. Accept no lies, not even the small ones. Painful honesty keeps your conscience active, well tuned, and in a position to defend the economies of scale that afford us the luxury of leisure, and it’s prosperous civilization.

Your empathy, and it’s outrage, IS the machine. The top priority must be keeping the context honest. Demand people with high EQs. Always observant, tough as nails, and a zest for learning. Test their empathy. Protect the machine with vigorous curation. Reject the benefit of the doubt. Doubt people. Doubt systems. Doubt away.

Insight and Faith

Spilled milk on an old wooden floor

I have erred. I have been conflating two important definitions, which in turn, made the civilization gene more confusing and abrasive to peoples unrelated personal politics. I was conflating faith and insight into one role.  My view of the concepts remain but it should be easier to explain new ideas now.
Here are the new definitions.

  • Metamind – The conscience and the subconscious as one.  Organizes unlike things via emotional content.  A risk engine.  The source of the imagination.  A passively driven relational database that groups memories by emotional likeness.  Produces insights on matches.  The mental structure psychopaths lack.
  • Insight – A flash of information from the metamind.  Sometimes a risk warning.  Not always correct, but faster than rational thought.  Can be supernatural or provable.
  • Rational thought – A traceable waking thought process. Typically thought of as a provable thought process, but rarely including enough variables to live up to that.  The rational thought process can be used to prove, disprove, or carry insights.
  • Rationalization – Rationally discerning the logical meaning of an emotional signal from the metamind. Determining if insight is correct, incorrect, or currently un-knowable.  Searchable via complex emotions
  • Faith – A carried insight. A failure to rationalize. Knowing something you can not prove.  It can be supernatural (unprovable) or plausibly provable.
  • Reason – How empaths (non-psychopaths) think. The combination of insights, faiths and rational thoughts.
  • Belief – Wishing something is true.  Possibly an unchallenged (un-rationalized) insight, possibly a rationally contrived fantasy.  A common, inferior, substitute for reason.

Here is a simple explanation of how a faith is created from insight.

  • Metamind signals an [insight].
  • The rational mind works the insight over and decides true/untrue/unknown. [rationalization]
  • The human decides the insight is unknown. [faith creation]
  • Then depending on if they ‘know their self’ and ‘trust their instincts’  They may store the faith and consider it in future decisions. [incorporation]

I have a long road ahead updating all articles discussing faith with the new terminology. I will be proceeding from newest to oldest. I’ll drop another post when the work is done.  Please refer to the Glossary in the menu bar as authoritative, and then articles from newest to oldest.

If you find this or any error please let me know. All assistance and feedback is appreciated.

Edit 12/29/18:  Added in an explanation of how faiths are created.

Edit 1/4/18:  Improved definitions.  Less muddy.

Faith: genius vs talent


Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

A society that can’t allow faith disallows genius. Talent may be the most visible worker, but genius is the scaffolding of progress. A social mode that allows genius also allows external saviours. They are the same archetype and have the same elements.

This can be measured by a societies ability to separate accommodation from validation. If you must categorize and measure ideas to allow them, you disallow those that produce ideas from the edge of periphery. In simple terms you suffer when you can’t accommodate people who are smarter than you. I’m not saying a civilizations success is measured by seeking external saviours, that’s a setup for cult, but don’t count them out either.

Usually societies discard genius when they misunderstand faith. Faith is an insight that can’t be proven or dis-proven. It’s a game of likelihoods and successful predictions. The genius may not be able to convey their whole ideas in their lifetime, but they can apply their right ideas to the practical world of the now. This is done to build credibility, a simpler language more people and sometimes many people can understand.

Credibility of prediction is pragmatism. Pragmatism is systemically successful because it recognizes exceptional performance of prediction. While it may seem to cherry pick from disciplines, it is actually recognizing genius. Refusing to make social systems more simple than possible to protect the egos of their lower intelligence observers.

The process of the less intelligent synchronizing with genius requires acceptance based on performance. Inevitably this manifests as faith. Subconsciously acknowledging the significance of predictive performance without understanding all the details at once. Faith is not some blind allegiance, but a pathway for the conscience to drive the expensive investment of rationalization. The more understandable details of a difficult to grasp idea can be carefully vetted, the more opportunity the subconscious has to model the idea to apply it in total.

Protect high quality ideas and their vessels, insist your society be both sceptical and coherent with humility. It’s no accident genius is marked by prediction, the metamind’s (the conscience’s) speciality. Rewarding only talent is psychopathic and rejects humanities most exceptional behaviours. Behaviours that form civilization itself.

The tragedy of the currency


The problem with both central banking and vaulted gold are the same, they provide legitimate efficiencies. There is no airtight analytical case against them.  Economies of scale of security and analysis do provide some, even much, legitimate value.

Do those economies of scale outweigh the risks of the ‘keepers’ keeping a private ledger?  Almost always at first and never forever.  Corruption creeps in.  Corruption is really the rising cost of transparency.  A chess game of emotions,  like ‘kindness’, ‘fairness’, ‘ability’ and even magical powers, slowly chips away at the keepers ability to be honest.  Once the honesty dies, nothing feeds the flow of transparency and it withers and wilts.  Eventually nothing is left but a carboard cutout of it’s former self.  An unliving, inaccurate, but easy to explain and defensible approximation of the actual state of weights and measures.  A public ledger.

Insider threats always abound, so a brutally honest private ledger must be quietly kept along side it.  Once transparency is a shell of it’s former self, the stake holders of their currency no longer keep tabs on it’s mechanics.  Discrepancies form, and are exasperated by greed as they are observed and then exploited by the now unwatched keepers.  At first the exploitation is covered up to protect the currency itself, but eventually the cover up exists strictly to protect it’s liquidity, and then, it’s ability to hold any value at all.

The tragedy of the currency is wrapped up in it’s mechanics.  The single ledger becomes a lightning rod of anger, justified or not, against inequity.  Politicians (remember ‘politc’ is simply your public face) delay to answer smartly.  Not to skim at first but simply to quiet their opponents. Sometimes the delayed issues are completely tangential to the virtues of the currency.

Time is friction in transparency.  Delays become corruption.  The older data is the more useless it becomes.  A composite caricature of discombobulated snapshots in time.  You can’t trust what you can’t see, and you can’t see the whole accountant at once.  At first it’s impractical, and then it’s discouraged.

The mechanics of absolute power corrupt absolutely.  The problem with a single ledger has always been, it’s single accountant, and their perhaps unintentional but still vulnerable political face.

Most civilizations have approached this as a political problem.  Avoid bad politics and the accountant is safe.  History has demonstrated no person or their protectors are unassailable.  Even if they were, they are mortal and will be succeeded.  Instead the United States proposed a technical solution.  Every person is their own accountant.  They must preserve their own ledgers. Nearly impervious to corruption, but inefficient.  Then in desperation, in a time of world war, this was abandoned for centralized efficiencies.

If you solve the single accountant problem in a centralized way, you solve the public/private ledger problem.  Enjoy the spoils of the economies of scale without the classical risks.  How can many accountants share one ledger without losing the efficiencies of one copy?  By copying and verifying the copies of the ledger so fast that the entire market can view every trade in real time without latency.  Time approaches an infinitely small number, so transparency approaches an infinitely large one.  That is exactly what Bitcoin does.  And it’s never been done before.  Laid down on the transparency of it’s open source code, the open ledger is copied and updated all over the world every second of every day.  Everyone can know the ledger is real because they can see exactly how it is verified.

How to trust is an unsolvable problem, but how to avoid needing to trust is already solved.  A grand joke on those who obsess over politics.  A comedy of the currency.

This water is hot, I’m jumping out of the pot.




I have just spent six months on Facebook.  It has been painful, but I’m stubborn.  Now I understand why it makes people fight. It’s simple.  You are shown ‘friends’ ‘likes’ against your will.  Problem is. Sometimes I ‘like’ posts I disagree with.  Encouragement and giving space to grow are attributes of actual (not simulated) friendship.  Facebook’s ‘Share’ is pointless.  Further you can’t respect or even note another’s point of interest without endorsing it to random friends who in turn may be hurt.

To less of a degree the same derisive formula applies to comments in your stream.  This is better because at least the words are the authors, but the framework of those comments is broken into tiny chunks at best.  Both a bibliographic and emotionally contextual nightmare of distortion.

How does this relate to Civgene?  Social nuance is destroyed.  It turns people’s empathy against them.  Making them regret kindnesses, curiosity and sharing their feelings.  That is prejudice inspiring insanity and I don’t respect or endorse it.  By detaching sincerity from each individuals context, growth is damaged, then retarded, then reversed.

If you understand both software and marketing you’d understand how deliberate this must be. Other social media only shares ‘shared’ media by default.  Further it is trivial for software authors add a checkbox to block others ‘likes’ or comments from your feed.  There used to be such a feature on Facebook and it was removed.  Requests to reinstate it were ignored.  The result?  Facebook is dividing people and making them fight, and they must be doing it intentionally.  I think this level of incompetence is impossible.


If for some reason your extended family or a group of trusted friends is expecting you to participate in facebook I recommend spending some time studying narcissistic psychopaths.  Once the conscience is masked by facebooks technology, they lose access to subtlety of emotional expression. At first this impacts facebook relationships, reducing legitimate friendships to the lowest common denominator.  The subconscious mind is like a muscle so eventually it will atrophy.  Animal work alikes for human conscionable behaviours begin.  Essentially persistant visitors will become more psychopathic.  For sure more so than you would be on the level stable ground of consistent emotional context.

The good news is your conscience isn’t optional.  You have one or you don’t.  Since it is antifragile exercising it on other platforms should help you to spring back from being psychopathic. Abit in a 2d, low bandwidth text format saved from constant unintentional inference by emoticons and memes.  Anything based in text is still a narrow pipe.  Emote often.

From now on I’ll be treating Facebook how it treats others, a resource to be cultivated.  A contacts library of allies.  I have a group to tend to, and I’ll check for private messages from my contacts.  Folks who know me understand this is not just some anecdote.  One day I would be proud to play a role in replacing that pile of junk with something to free the people trapped there.  It’s destructive, and it makes me a little angry.

Here is how I will be handling it. Limited contact.  A familiar phrase to anyone who has coped with psychopaths.  Here is what meatspace friends should expect from my facebook facade.

  • I treat all received emotion on Facebook like drunken babble
  • I will only post material sourced from external sites.
  • I will be posting primarily as a promotional tool.
  • Don’t expect any interaction from me.  I reject their blinders to emotional nuance.
  • Assume I will read nothing there.  I may look at, like or share something against my better judgement.  It’s random and means nothing to our relationship. Very possibly a calculated marketing action.
  • Any ‘friends’ I have may not be someone I know or actually trust.
  • I will now have ‘friends’ unknown to me.  This poses technical risks, as friends of friends have privileges.  They could be robots, super villains, law enforcement, wants stage psychopaths(aka:ASPD the ones that end up in jail for attempted murder), whatever.
  • Please unfriend me if you don’t want all your candour public.  You have a day.  I won’t be offended.  Facebook owns the worst use of the word ‘friend’ ever.
  • Check my links for other social media to interact.  I’ll keep it up to date.
  • ‘Message’ me your private contact info (email, etc) if you think I don’t have it and want me to.
  • Even if they did fix this, their intentions are suspect.  This can’t be idiocy.  It is very doubtful I would revert relaxation and revelry.

I recommend everyone treat facebook this way for their well being.  Please feel free to use this article to let your friends know, how and why you are treating facebook differently.  That you appreciate them more than facebook will let you.  That you will interact with them somewhere else, but not there.

I look forward to spending time with all my friends back in the real world.