Category Archives: investment

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.

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.

The why of how devops works


Business vs disruptive technology

Why do devops pushes go wrong?  Lets talk a bit about what devops is.  Devops is an attempt to merge the strengths of open source bazaar with the order and certainties of business hierarchy.  By clinging to the nomenclature of automation (as least as old as the water mill) as a complete stand in for a social phenomenon, organizations undermine their own efforts.  Businesses set the wrong organizational objectives in motion and then react to the inevitable failures by further detuning the successful components.

Why do companies seek out devops workflow techniques?  In the positive case they want to increase profit.  They are acting as futurists.  Improving their potential before it’s required.  In the worst case they are reacting directly to one or more complexity horizons.  Their social communication has been stymied or dwarfed compared to people communicating in functional code on the other side of the horizon.  They just can’t compete.

How people work

Many people have struggled with gift culture as the origin of open source.  Gift culture permeates open source, but is not it’s source.   Gift culture naturally expresses in any society where reputation currencies are in circulation and rewards are only expressed as probabilities.  In other words, gift cultures are the lubricant of free markets.  Once a person’s foundation of their hierarchy of needs is satisfied, people  work for improvements in reputation.  Accomplishments are the coinage of gift culture’s currency.

Bazaars are the most free, and have the most moving parts, so lots of lubricant is needed.  They are highly complex organic machines.  Adding components as they grow.  Their advantage is self healing anti-fragility.  Their disadvantage is huge pools of waste.  Individuals work to improve reputation, not for profit, because reputation currency offers better long term stability.  Most bazaar market machinery enjoys little or no economy of scale.  This is where devops can help a business reenter or influence a market dominated by the bazaar.  By merging the strengths of both.

Economy of scale of what?

Economy of scale is what automation brings to the devops equation, but it is not novel without nurturing gift culture.  What does a probability driven gift culture bring to the equation?  Imagination turned systemic.  Not for short term profit but for reputation and credibility.  Becoming known as a kind of problem solver becomes insurance (a mid and long term trust structure) against ostracization and obsolescence.  A guarantee of future (perceived) utility to society.

For a devops initiative to succeed you must also nurture gift culture.  To do this you must trust some appropriate objectives to with the people closest to them.  Then analyze their output for organization wide economies of scale.  This is typically done in codes (statistical or mechanistic) bypassing complexity horizons.  This is done to harness skills of the members of the society, as they try to build their personal portfolio of accomplishment.  With the grease available to them, workers can build the machinery the business needs, without having to express their solutions beyond code.

Traditionally business reserves access to objectives for the very top, and tactics are employed at the very bottom, with various strategies employed by middle management to glue them together.  This is eventually effective but requires translating all action to human non functional language.  This translation inefficiency is why businesses can’t keep up.  Most technical fields are in a race against the complexity horizon.  With clear objectives great strategy and tactics write themselves.  Why?  Code as a communication tool is fast.

Doing dumb things faster

This brings our first failure into focus.  A focus strictly on automation.  Automation is both positive and critical as it pushes forth the code created at the bottom of the hierarchy, embracing it in a way that creates economies of scale.  It is the end but not the means.  The means is worker access to corporate objectives and some freedom to implement them.  Look no further than Google’s policy of self directed projects to see how this works.  If you don’t nurture the gift culture both with recognition for good work and self directed opportunities to fulfill company objectives, you will miss great opportunities for new economies of scale.  Continuous integration really means technician access to objectives.

Ladders and snakes

This frames the secondary risk of failure.  Businesses are traditionally hierarchical because not all actors are trustworthy.   Most, but not all, employees seek to excel by improving their reputation. If you move objectives down the tree towards the bottom of the organization, it will present strictly selfish actors(sometimes psychopaths) with golden opportunities that they will take.  This justifies a metered scaling of moving objectives down.  This is where the failure lies.  Metering serves a purpose, to limit the destructive capacity of discovery of bad actors, but it is often used as an excuse to never push objectives to those expressing code.  A guaranteed failure for devops initiatives.  Potentially fatal to the whole business if it is already competing with a successful devops deployment.

As an important note psychopaths can be valuable intelligent members of a team, but they have special needs.  Rather than discard them it may be possible to create purely technical work roles with no direct reports and and no singular authority over data.

A well oiled machine

The misunderstood role of gift culture as the end and not a side effect may cause businesses to supplement perks for access to organizational objectives to far less effect.  Fundementally people don’t want to just feel like their reputation is good.  They authentically want to improve it.  Being able to both see AND influence most if not all company objectives is critical to identifying the potential economies of scale that the bazaar is often structurally unaware of.

The key to understand the difference between devops and mere automation is the complexity horizon.  Where functioning technical solutions are by far the most efficient way to express both better strategy and objectives, and retool objectives when necessary.  Technicians need access to objectives.  Then both the game theory centric corporate objectives and individuals long term reputation objectives can combine to create the well oiled machine.

About Civgene:  Understanding the currency of gift culture and the complexity horizon would not be possible without Civgene.  Civgene is a novel scientific theory which provides a framework to view all societies.  Please consider exploring it further to grow your understanding of human behavior, particularly in groups.

The cult test


In a previous civgene, I presented a series of axioms that led to the cult test.   Most societies operate at least partly on faith.  Stating assumed truths that individuals can not plausibly test with vigor.  The cult test presents three conditions that if a fundamentalist religious or political faith infringes on outsiders freedom, it has slipped into cult.

The cult test is as follows. If any condition is met, it’s a cult.
1. Denial of exit.
2. Aggression toward outsider speech.
3. Refusal to commit to peace with outsiders.

Freedom is a core human behavior (differs from animals) because it’s how humans allow each other space to make the most of their emotional metadata, usually forming faiths.  A faith being knowing something you can’t prove.  An emotional output from the metamind (the conscience/subconscious), a passively driven risk engine connecting unlike things based on emotional similarity.  A probability engine.  Effectively rationalizing a faith can take a second or longer than lifetime.  Hence the utility for an indeterminate time to make your own decisions, better known as freedom.

Faith alone is not the goal but the means to achieve the goal of all life, autonomy.  Cult occurs when faith becomes an end not the means. Everyone’s set of faiths must inherently be different (aside from biological differences) because the metadata connected to their memories and their experiences are different.  As experiences deviate so will faiths.  Denying this process for an individual is detrimental to the common benefit of human society.

Some faiths will occur in common so expression and organization of common ideas is beneficial.  Rationalization can be rigorous so invention, specialization, and currency operate like in other economies.  But also like other economies stagnation can occur if psychopathic or animal kingdom work-a-likes are substituted for effective intelligence, and progress stagnates.  Damaging and even completely crushing autonomy.

All three conditions of the cult test are designed to protect the natural functionality of the empathic mind without interfering in opportunities of economies of scale (rapid rationalization.)  Just like all logical constructs, logical constructs about natural forming but yet unproven probabilities can have advantages for all people.  The conditions of the cult test together form to protect the fundamental human right, the right to fork.  The right of human beings to pursue their biological advantage of rapid risk assessment without human created hierarchical blockage.  Faith is what gives human beings their complete intelligence, and also is what is cited by those who try to dismember that intelligence for personal gain though hierarchy.

The key to retaining our freedom is the ability to distance yourself from destructive hierarchies while embracing constructive ones.  The cult test ensures that right by disallowing the combination of pure faith as a potentially manipulated or even completely fabricated external process, from the ability to enforce your adherence to an external faith structure.  The cult test protects the rapid rationalizer seeking community from slavery, by separating physical and mental force from faith and it’s beneficial ideas.

I present these additional axioms to permanently disconnect the relationship of force and faith.

  • Faith is subconscious realization (emotional metadata).
  • Reason is rational thought combined with faith.
  • Faith can occur without reason.
  • Force is only moral in the face of clear and present danger.
  • Determining clear danger can include faith.
  • Determining present danger must include literal observation and therefore rational thought.
  • Clear and present danger can be determined either by reason or rational thought alone.
  • Force justified by faith alone is a farce.




There is a problem with political progress today.  There is no word but fascism to describe a  change of government into a system of always putting subsidies for corporate profit ahead of freedoms, markets, or property, controlled by one person.  A trivial point, an oligarchy as the fascist is possible here too.  While the properties of fascism appear on a regular but limited basis, it’s absolute properties (absolute control) may not be present.  The transition can take place at any speed.  Freedoms can be lost for temporary profit, one freedom at a time.

Alliancism to fascism is much like socialism to communism.   In small doses both can have good short term consequences, but only for a temporary period of time.  Bringing in fractional banking in where there was none before, but cannibalizing the money supply to do it.  Growing economy of scale by ending trade disputes via hard power and eroding citizen rights to reach that goal.  Masking the tragedy of the commons with consumerism and gentrification.  Incrementally replacing debate with marketing, public relations and ultimately propaganda.   Replacing war with police action (conquest by peace).   Meant as a staged scale like socialism, alliancism is a partial implementation of fascism in a capitalist democracy (including republics) as it transitions between the optimal psychopathic cooperative (rights AND shortcuts) to rapid simplification and localization.  Ultimately, collapse.

I’m naming it after the alliance.  The closest relationship a person without a conscience (a psychopath) can have to a friendship.  Temporary and transitory in nature alliances can only exist while at each party thinks they are using the other to their ultimate advantage.  Where fascism immediately assumes all rights to it’s leader class, alliancism can erode rights one at a time.  Cashing in freedoms for temporary pricing advantages via market distortions.   This continues until the faith in currency and property are lost, and trust and investment ceases.

Open source and the complexity horizon


Open source really embodies three changes from typical hierarchical human social systems.  Gift culture, the right to fork, and perpetually increasing levels of complexity.  But these pieces are not all new, what changed to make open source happen?  What problem is it actually solving?

Gift culture is not new.  It is as old as currency.  Currency predated coinage as barter and skills and tasks.  So why did open source happen if not for gift culture?  What did change?  GPL.  A new kind of copyright license establishing the right to fork.   That’s how Linux, the trial of a hard right to fork based in law, succeeded.

The right to fork is not new.  Clearly established by the Christian reformation, and enabled by Gutenberg, the right to fork, until the 1980s was only established against ultimate authorities by war.  Civil rights in the freest countries acknowledged it and derived their rights from it, but did not explicitly establish as a basic rule of engagement and existence.  In politics threats of an ultimate fork were often sufficient to deter one.

What is new?  Complexity at modern levels is completely new.  Where is the complexity?  Not in tasks or problems to solve.  They are still simple to explain.  In communication.  In language.  What does language indicate?  Respect for stature and respect for others time.  Not always based in the currencies of accomplishment and skill, but as a product of many parallel societies.   A focus on the importance of social structure undermines ideas, there for innovation, and ultimately investment.   The social structure becomes impassible and no problems or tasks are solved.

Repairing social structure becomes a second level trap.  Meetings are held.  Seminars attended.  No, a fork is needed.   The problem needs to be solved in order to be assigned sufficient language to solve it.  The language to solve the problems have no parallel and therefore no linguistic identifiers for needed concepts.  The industry tries to solve this by pumping out new names and acronyms, but they are often the property of someone and useless for general progress.  This is a distraction.   Undeveloped ideas are slowed by the work needed to name them.  In the computerized, Internet connected world, the source code is language of progress.

The complexity horizon is reached when the task is so complex that less efficient top down problem solving can no longer function.  No amount of time spent can solve the problem from the top.  ‘Leader’ understanding doesn’t scale language fast enough.  The client can solve the problem better if administration doesn’t block him.  No right to fork means the client no longer invests.  Trust (predictability of future trends) is lost because their personal experience is impassible.  Future investment is diminished.

The perception that the ability to understand a problem and articulate it are always equal is a lie.  Therefore the complexity horizon occurs when comprehension of tasks outrun articulation of it.  False cooperation becomes apparent (bogus reciprocity) and destroys trust.  How can understanding outrun articulation?  The subconscious must participate in solving the toughest problems.  That is imagination.  Rationalization of conceptualization is being outstripped.  The metamind is doing the work but the rational mind and the mouth can’t keep up.  If a fork can be had, the solution can employ more minds at the task of articulation.  If it can’t the relationship between solver and the client grinds on failing to economize and destroying the trust needed for investment from both.

This would have been impossible to decipher without first exploring Civgene’s explanation of the metamind and it’s subconscious roles.  Based in fundamental behavioral contrasts between humanity and the animal kingdom, and the implications for economics.  Please explore those ideas at your leisure.

To help grasp this here are some practical applications of open source and roughly when their complexity horizons were reached.  Note that the open source alternatives begin to gain momentum at the complexity horizon but are not accepted as inevitable until some time later.

Linux: 1993-1995

The original, complete, experiment.  Operating systems are a software layer between varying hardware and the programs people are really trying to run.  Commercial operating systems were plagued with bugs and suffered from declining stability.  The cause was the non linear growth in variety of hardware a computer could be built with.  Communicating in code eliminated grafted societies and their cumbersome verbal language.

Bitcoin: 2008-2010

Currency looses it’s value to a client as quality of transactions become less visible.  The increasing non linear complexity of derivatives makes understanding any market impossible, ultimately damaging trade.  By solving they Byzantine generals problem the complexity of language is eliminated.  A small collaboration of solvers can write code to track and transfer currency for clients at a global scale in a transparent way.

Devops: 2013-2016

Internet applications are a way to handle reliability and scalability problems.  The non linear expansion of global cyberwarfare, and the non linear expansion of the internet of things (ultimately internet connected computers in all equipment) requires management of operating system functions at the network level or a systemic scale.  This seems to be the first multi-factor complexity horizon.  Devops holds another distinction as well.  It is a new system.  Not drawing on errors from past attempts to breach the horizon.

3d printers:  Soon, perhaps some breaches now.

An epic confluence of complicating factors defy description and add complexity for manufacturing in on demand customization, trade, natural resources, security, and in the race to the atomic scale.   3d printers are likely the first multi-factor complexity horizon with more than two vectors of complexity.  We have likely passed some of the factors already.

CRISPR changes everything


Some mental illness may no longer need to be diagnosed through social tests.    While the United States busys itself with corporate protectionist legislation like the TPP to protect the major drug companies, some of the world is experimenting with the new precise, cheap and repeatable gene editing method known as CRISPR.

In the past gene editing was hit or miss.  Practiced more like chemistry, it was more like a million misses to a marginal hit.  Identifying a gene was not enough, splicing it became a major endeavor for companies like Monsanto.   Experiments on human DNA (except perhaps if you count our GMO diet) was effectively impossible.

As of 2015, the CRISPR technique, takes a precise strand of DNA and inserts it, reliably, in a larger DNA strand, precisely where it is told to insert it.   This is the holy grail of both nano scale assembly, and made to order DNA.  The mind reels.  Designer babies are eminent.  Greatly reduced aging is possible.  DNA based nanites can built to both manufacture on the table top and enhance human attributes.

These are in the future (AFAIK), but before all that, apparently we have already begun to use it verify genetic disease.  The technology is not even a year old and Chinese scientists have already implanted a suspected autism gene in monkeys, to see if their behavior varies.  It does.

The implications are huge for all illness from athletes foot to cancer, but it’s important that the first study is on behavioral disease.  If the civilization gene is correct and psychopathy is genetic, we could be close to a completely different world.  There are no suspect genes (other than the debunked warrior gene) at the moment, but it is possible to find, were the right people to take interest.  Now, a new way to verify that first study is readily available.

Conversely should some mental illnesses become officially understood to be genetic, psychopaths should  be easier to diagnose.  Psychopaths are the highest functioning mental illness.  ASPD stage psychopaths are well known for feigning other mental illnesses to evade detection.  A narrower field of patients through genetic screening for other disease means less misdiagnosis, and more understanding of the social consequences of widespread psychopathy.  That ultimately means real targeted help for the psychopaths.



‘I was just following my superior’s orders’ – Nuremberg principle IV

Is obedience a virtue?  It certainly is treated as such by some.   Obedience may bring to mind strict parents or the rank and file of the military.   Certainly some good has come from both.  It seems to contradict the idea that the human right to fork or to walk away from and split with authority is valid at all.  With some exploration of the word and it’s uses for good, it becomes clear that humanty’s understanding of obedience must be a misnomer.

To answer this we need to look at what virtue itself is about.  A virtue is personal attribute (transitory or not) that reflects both morality and accomplishment.  In other words a person with an accomplishment behind them that deems them worthy of respect (Please see an earlier post for exploration of that word.)  Morality is of course some variation of conscionable behavior.

The very concept of obedience falls apart as a virtue.  The conscience as defined by civgene (psychopaths as our predecessors) indicates that moral thought is comprised of reason (defined), and the metamind part of reason will always be subconscious. A virtue must include both parts of reason (the hunch and rational thought.)  With enough time, your gut will contradict your orders, and unrationalized obedience becomes a vice.

I’m not saying the obedience has no place in civilization.  The lions share of humans may be empaths, but we share the world with psychopaths.  Psychopaths lash out at a world which rejects their master/slave model.  They can be treated well with the right considerations and restrictions, but they will never participate in self contained cooperation.  They simply lack the tools.

To share a particular mission with psychopaths we need to revert to their way of thinking, temporally.  The oath is the solution to this conundrum.  To the psychopath the oath has no subconscious impact, just more master/slave orders to follow, but to the emapth it is ceding one’s personal conscience to a self realized principle.  The consequences of disobedience tie directly back to that oath.    When orders conflict with oath, the commander has broken the very respect upholding the oath has earned him.  He is no longer acting in a virtuous way.

So when an empath follows orders from a parent or a commander, that right to fork is only temporally, voluntarily, ignored.  You can be obedient to an open principle, but no human owns your destiny, except you.  Your conscience owns immoral orders as if they were your own mistakes.   Abusing your conscience in any fashion slowly destroys your understanding of right and wrong.  Morally dubious orders program your subconscious with false risks, crippling your abilty to think in a complete way.  You become oblivious to danger at all levels.  Your temporary submission to achieve the goals of your mission, has made you less capable, which in turn endangers it.

An immoral parent with a gambling addiction may corral you into friends that take money management lightly, a mentor may exploit you sexually as payment for hard to come by experience, and a commander may demand you kill people who pose no violent threat to anyone.  Please consider the respect you have, and may one day be afforded by your society.  That respect reflects your virtues, including operating under oath, and refusing to operate when that oath is violated.

Specifically on children, they and parents have an unwritten oath.  Society demands it, for it’s own good.  The parent genuinely emparts their understanding of the world, and the child genuinely incorporates it into their metamind as their starting point.  A way to get by until their metamind begins adapting to their own experiences.   Forming an understanding of how to invest in themselves and their world without being taken, robbed or crushed in any number of ways.  Children are not slaves to be exploited.  The legitimate oath is by design, temporary, conditional, and only fully functional when perpetually transitional towards functional adulthood.

Psychopaths only compete and never cooperate.  They do not obey moral principles, only hierarchy.  We have some distance to travel before they can be identified and are never given authority over data or other human beings.  They may recite an oath aloud, but it’s up to you to make sure they follow it.  You do yourself, them and humanity as a whole a service when you shun disloyalty to a moral oath.  That is what an oath is for.  A bridge between two groups of humans who behave as two different sets.  Shunning externally simulates the metamind for those without one.   Immediate direct consequence is the only way to impart moral principles to those without conscience.

An oath can externally recreate the functionality of a meta-psychopath for a group of otherwise principled humans.  A conditional temporary suspension of personal reason to well thought out societal rationalizations.  Just obedience is possible if a moral oath is served with integrity.  Obedience need not be slavery, but in the absence of moral thought, it surely is.

Edit: Typo