CIvgene can be complex and confusing, but if you’ve got an hour, I lay out the basics in a simple way. Good way to get started.
Civgene is the theory that human beings are genetically two separate behavioral sets, psychopaths and empaths (non psychopaths.) Empaths are far more populous and their behavior is largely (if not entirely) responsible for civilization as we think of it. Anyone can bear a child who is a genetic psychopath. Psychopaths breed more quickly than non psychopaths (ignoring moral consequences allow psychopaths to have more children) with a higher likelyhood of bearing a psychopath. Their proportions grow, and eventually they collapse their civilization by collapsing trust based mechanisms, through corruption and graft.
This presents a technological problem for the modern world. Economic collapse or rapid simplification was a simple enough solution in the past. Suddenly economies could no longer support the psychopaths, and they died off reducing their portion of the population, with collateral damage. Like a fever in your body fights a flu. Now there are 400+ nuclear power plants which as Fukushima demonstrated, could rapidly destroy the planet. A fever so severe it kills the host. The key is they need constant attendance by educated workers, which will be difficult to maintain when the basic supplies no longer flow.
There is new hope. There are quite a few generation III+ nuclear power plants going up next year in 2017. While these do not hit the ideal target of one month unmanned operation, they can remain unmanned without power or supplies for 72 hours, and a skeleton crew can keep them operating indefinitely. A defining feature is the plants finally use natural forces like gravity and condensation, to circulate cooling water making meltdown far less likely. This is great news.
Generation III+ may be the good enough to survive an economic collapse in conjunction with some onsite family relocation and stockpiling of basic supplies for that key skeleton crew of workers, but that work is just beginning. The hundreds of existing plants need to be shut down and replaced ASAP. We need the global economy to survive until that work is complete. Unfortunately the economy is already collapsing in uncontrolled localization and simplification. Collapse is already in progress.
I suggest citizens consider legal distribution as a solution to a limited and controlled check on destructive corruption. Both in perception and efficiency, legal distribution can provides a check valve, away from power centers, on the most flagrant and arm folding corruption. Corruption so severe it outweighs economy of scale at it’s current scope. Rather than destroy entire governments, citizens can set up a soft but functional landing for the components of government they trust the least. Creating a framework of negotiation to prevent critical economy of scale from shrinking smaller than it is while subject to the waste, while cutting the most egregious bower brokers off from frustrating and impoverishing the public. This will preserve trust and avoid another disaster caused by multiple supply lines cut to near zero by sudden credit seizure and poverty.
Today pervasive new technologies abound, and can solve real world problems like potential nuclear reactor cascade failure. Many of these technologies are slowed by those power brokers because of disruptive properties that benefit market participants, but not non-obvious taxing beneficiaries. If we get out of the way enough for the market to get a footing, it can keep local economies and their power plants in good health, long enough to upgrade them to a system that will not bring the earth to sudden radioactive ruin. The point of no return.
“The chief cause of problems is solutions.” –Eric Svareid
“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.” –Sun Tzu
Looking at the world through a caloric lens, complexity increases economic cost. To further explore this please see this talk by Dr. Joseph Tainter. Please keep the volume control handy as there are audio anomalies. It is long but well worth your time.
This is important because it deals with what collapse looks like. Rome didn’t collapse as some sort of surprise or in a vacuum. It suffered from growing and unsustainable complexity. Civgene can provide the ‘why’ for this problem. Why did complexity occur? The most obvious answer is corruption. Why does corruption continuously increase? Civgene indicates increasing proportions of psychopaths. Rent seeking correlates to a genetic pool that grows over the life of a civilization and then collapses once that civilization dies.
As corruption increases complexity, economy of scale multipliers provide diminishing returns. Further as rent seeker revenues fall, they add complexity simply for the sole purpose of seeking additional loopholes to graft from. The only mechanism for ending corruption created by adding complexity is adding yet more complexity in the form of additional laws.
If you are familiar with legal distribution you can see where this is going. There needs to be a way to reduce this complexity to spare limited resources. No historical law making process can provide this. The video lays out the need for a new kind of legal mechanism, to cope with the real problem behind complexity.
A growing pool of rent seekers grafted onto the core of the system. The law making rent seekers find marginal problems to combat in public, while their real goal is to seek new revenue from the hidden effects and loopholes of the new law. Instead we should reduce complexity by distributing laws. This should create competition for programs that have grown pointlessly bloated solving small scale locally addressable problems. Naturally reducing the jurisdiction of laws should be under a populist control, since the vast majority of the population are still good economic actors, with the desire to protect the system from the graft at the center in a selfless way. So while overall “the process of increasing complexity is inexorable”, we don’t need to make things more complex than necessary for the time.
Dr. Tainter calls political ideology a faith. He is correct! All politics are based at least in part on faith, because testing political theories on humans is impossible (without an epic immoral cost). Faiths are critical to reason and therefore civilization, but without recognition of the risks of cult that faith brings, they are simply a collar to click a leash onto.
He does equate logic to ethics saying “Everything the Roman emperors did was a logical response to circumstances.” While explicitly true this is not complete. This again proves logic is NOT a panacea. Sociopath stage psychopaths are perfectly logical, to their own needs. Markets need to be protected to provide good data to build sound logic on. Reason (the logical mind + the metamind) is available reliably only from the public, away from the center of power. The public and their subconscious risk management are needed to keep destructive needless complexity from harming those markets. Logic and subsequently reason can’t accomplish good law without good data. Unchecked, complexity and graft slowly smothers true cost.
How do we stop psychopaths in government? If we ‘kick their ass’ aka: kill them, it won’t solve the real problem and law will be subverted to societal destruction again. The problem is humans are two behavioral sets, and one of the sets seeks power strictly as an end to itself. This is true if it’s behavioral or genetic(civgene).
We need the power of popular citizen veto. The right to fork is basic human right. Why? Psychopaths will take over ANY system we make because making mistakes, even for the smartest or the wisest, is a required part of learning. That’s how the conscience works. No conscience, no concept of risk, half your decision making power is in the toilet. Those mistakes feed critical data into subconscious risk calculator. Yes a wise person will keep their error impact small, but they still must make them. To err is human, ergo, forgiveness is divine.
The problem with the Austerity/Tea Party solution is the Big Bird(PBS) problem. Not all government spending is negative or useless. Even moments before inevitable economic collapse some new laws still reflect use to the society. This solution (sometimes) can throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead we must reduce the jurisdiction of a law solving the real problem, politicians grabbing power and money for themselves and not sharing aka:unchecked federalization. Psychopaths are adult children, it’s just like taking the toy from jealous children and saying, ‘now I’m going to keep it.’ Likely you don’t want their toy, but now they’ll think REAL hard before not sharing.
This is the essence of legal distribution. The power of popular citizen veto over power politics. If the corrupt abuse their seats to rob the treasury, at least they have to share.
If a law is sane at the largest jurisdiction, it will still be sane at the next smallest (or the next). It lets people closer to a problem separate the wheat from the chaff. Yes you will loose some economy of scale at a smaller jurisdiction, but you will also loose all the corruption in the author’s secret ill intent. That is a choice the citizen of a republic has a right to weigh themselves. The power of the purse strings is gone. Watch the power hungry hem and haw and try to beat the common sense out of your brain on this. National security, they’ll cry. Tyranny of democracy they’ll scream. No. The law will be just as unsafe and unjust as it was when they controlled it directly, but now you know who they are.
Time to let the social ‘marketplace’ of the states or cities shine some sunlight on the dark favoritism of shady republic law.
It may seem at first that law is about hard power. Hard power is not without it’s merits. Namely it brings all people together under the lowest common denominator. Force. It seems that all animals that are capable of inference can comply behaviorally with Kolhbergs entire conventional stage. That law, enforced by hard power brings stability and in turn inferred morality. Yet while animals can display sympathy (relating to experience.) no animal society is considered even transitionally post conventional. The simplest conclusion is that while at a glance advanced animal society may appear to respect freedom, that reversion to opportunism and alliance is inevitable.
Animals display many favorable efficient behaviors, even sometimes in large and complex groups. But those come at a cost. Constant vigilance. Hard power must be ready to bare or golden opportunities will be exploited and the order upset. This is the rule of law without symbolic codification.
Is codification what sets human beings apart? Psychopaths can not only comprehend codification but can enjoy material success as professionals in law. Psychopaths who share social behaviors with the animal kingdom can not ascend beyond the conventional stage. To do so requires imagination, specifically empathy, which by definition they do not possess. It seems as if the the rule of law it’s self it in place to protect us from psychopaths who consistently seek power as it’s own end. Conventional law and order is a referendum on the psychopathic mind with hard power as best understood barrier.
In humans codification allows law at a distance where vigilance is at it’s weakest. Why does it not fail catastrophically like with animals? The virtue of law in any particular case is embedded in an individual’s risk assessment. As discussed at length here, the conscience is a risk assessment engine. So while law at a distance is aimed at restraining hard power obsessed psychopaths, it is more often followed by those able to assess risk the best, the empaths.
This difference in behavior is the source of corruption. It increases with societal scope as distance causes the effect of vigilance to fade but conscionable people react to their own emotional state in the same way. Even worse corruption is codified and becomes part of the rule of law. Further, the corruption increases by another factor as psychopaths breed faster than empaths and their percentages increase. The bigger the legal scope, and the higher the percentage of psychopaths, the more law works against the conscionable. Valued for protection from the very people increasingly exploiting it. Restraining only their not the psychopaths activity.
This is why the rule of law becomes the law of the jungle. It continuously falls further short of morality as it’s society grows in size and age. The civilization gene the mutation of superior risk assessment compared to mere jealousy allows people to live in relative harmony. For a while at least. Not because law is vigilant, but because intelligent beings with a conscience are.
There is no way to dress it up. The indication of self limiting psychopaths is bad, real bad. Since they breed faster than non psychopaths, they will grow in numbers until their host society can no longer support them. The corruption is to great and the civilized specializing empathic humans simply fold their arms and stop participating.
In the past this worked like a charm. The psychopaths were more easily spotted in small local societies, and cast out and shunned. After a while, numbers would dwindle and a new economy would rise up.
Before 1945 the resulting economic collapse would usually be local to a country or region. But after 1945 two things changed.
Before this realization, that economic collapse is inevitable, I supported nuclear power. But as if in some brutal, global teachable moment Fukushima happened.
Now I know that nuclear power plants will quickly melt down without constant attention to the spent rods which are almost always kept within walking distance of the active reactor. Attention must include physical maintenance of equipment, a constant supply of liquid fuel or electricity, security, and supervision. All of these things are very difficult to do without stable money and a very large economy of scale to build parts, train specialists, generate and deliver electricity, etc.
Surely economic collapse means intermittent power grids. And as we know from the Soviet Union’s collapse, some nuclear stock piles went unguarded. People who can’t protect or feed their families don’t go to work.
If we do nothing a handful of the hundreds of nuclear power plants could meltdown, the rest will likely follow. The globe will be contaminated for tens of thousands of years (not months or years like nuclear weapons.) It will certainly mean the end of civilization. If humanity is lucky and survives somehow, it will be as people having children at ten years old and dying of cancer at twenty. I don’t any 10 or 20 year olds capable of cleaning up a nuclear accident, do you? Think of the Eloi, from H.G. Wells ‘Time Machine.’
The good news is, if we approach this problem from this perspective it is solvable. Hands off fuel rod maintenance is possible to set up everywhere. And we will be rewarded with non linear economic prosperity if we do rout out corruption at it’s psychopathic source. It’s time to stop thumbing our noses at history and treat nuclear power as it really is. Needing to be resilient against meltdown in the face of long term neglect and isolation!