Anonymous and Occupy: the Emergence of Counter-Corporations

Builds Upon: The Dark State

There is a single most common complaint I hear about the new wave of protestors that has emerged across America and the world.

“They don’t know what they’re protesting about!”

To the consternation of many, there’s no list of universal demands or theses.
When news reporters ask “Why are you protesting?” the answers they get describe a general feeling of resentment rather than a specific list of individuals or institutions.

This leads many people who would otherwise be sympathetic with the protestors to dismiss them.

So far, many have made the mistake of confusing these protests with past movements.

This time there is no charismatic leadership organizing everything and making speeches for the history books. There is no cadre of leaders that constitutes a ‘head’ that can easily be cut off.

It is a spontaneous manifestation of the internet—a continuation of the world wide wave of dissent that broke out earlier this year in Tunisia.

There never will be specific demands, just a brooding cloud of discontent.
And this will be not a weakness, but a great strength.

A concrete agenda might merely narrow a protest’s objectives and needlessly shorten its duration. It opens the protest to more sophisticated attack and criticism from its opponents.
A token concession or empty promise has the potential send everyone home.
Most importantly, the lack of a list of grievances sends an important implicit message: the onus is no longer on the people to formulate specific objections and argue for the legitimacy of their discontent.
They are no longer on the defensive as they always have been before.

The very open-endedness of these protests allows the protesters to take the initiative.
All that matters is that they are discontent. Until someone does something that makes them not discontent or simply shoots them all, they will do whatever it is they deem suitable to address the matter.

This approach allows no room for excuses. Either something is done to make people happy or the protests continue.
Elites suddenly find themselves in the situation of the typical employee: do your job in a way we like or you’re fired.

This is not primarily a statement of principle or a polite request and this is where many people are confused.
It is an ultimatum.

Just a few years ago, there was a primordial soup brewing on some imageboards.
The topics of discussion tended to focus on anime, porn, and anime-porn, but somehow this soup began to spontaneously evolve until there was a community that could act on collective goals without formal organization or leadership. In fact, none of these people even knew each other and it did not matter. They were all Anonymous.
What started out as one nameless person inviting an entire faceless community to prank call an asshole boss developed over the next couple of years into an untraceable internet military that’s capable of taking on corporations, governments, and religions.

There is an important principle that Anonymous shares with the current protests.

A school of fish coordinates its movement to strategically reduce risk for each individual. Thus, the school can behave in ways that would be far too risky for each individual, for the benefit of all.
Until widespread, reliable, high speed internet, people did not have the ability to pull off this level of group coordination and individual people, unless truly desperate, do not often risk themselves for a better society they will not live to see.

However, this ‘school’ form of organization has reduced individual risk while increasing individual effectiveness in collective action to the point where participation is far more attractive than it once was.
Result: society’s established powers can’t ask as much or get away with as much as they used to. The balance of power is shifting towards the ruled and the rulers, understandably are reluctant to accept this.

For a few hundred years now, elites have had their own version of Anonymous that has helped them to accomplish their goals. It’s called a corporation.
Shareholders come together to in order to mitigate risk and allow them do things that would ordinarily be too risky. By acting collectively, they can do away with individual accountability.
These elites failed to understand what would happen if technology sufficiently improved the ability of the peasantry to communicate and coordinate their actions.
The result is effectively a counter-corporation.

The incarnation of these protests as of the writing of this article is known as ‘Occupy.’ These particular public actions may soon cease or they may not. It does not matter.
Authorities do not yet understand that an intelligent collective of peasants, just like a corporation of the wealthy is extremely resourceful and adaptable.
Sending some campers home from public parks accomplishes little. New forms of opposition will soon emerge taking advantage of every possible systemic weakness. The game has changed.

Why Unrest Will Continue To Grow In Industrialized Nations

Builds Upon: Legitimancers

I. Scarcity Has Caused Deterioration of Social Cooperation and Codependence

No matter how policy makers might try to manipulate affairs, there are two intractable facts that drive the current trends.

1- Automation will cause a continued decrease in the number of necessary workers. Only the most skilled workers remain necessary. Much of the work very skilled workers do is finding ways to reduce the number of workers needed.

2- A higher standard of living relative to the rest of the world entails a higher price of labor. Without strict protectionist measures, the inevitable result is less exports and fewer jobs. All systems tend towards equilibrium and the world economy is no different. Any water that falls upon the high ground of prosperous industrialized economies will tend to flow downwards.
-

In industrialized nations this can only mean that jobs will continue to become more scarce and scarcity of jobs will push wages downwards.
Already, jobs are becoming a luxury to be fought over.

Whenever I see articles about how people with college degrees can’t find jobs and are tens of thousands of dollars in debt, there’s always someone who shows up in the comments column who laughs at their misfortune and tells them off for being lazy fools who failed to get STEM degrees.
These critics miss the point: Whatever their errors in judgment, these students were willing participants in society who went deep in debt so that they could one day contribute…And in return, they now receive mockery for having fallen for an elaborate prank.
Critics of the ‘overeducated’ demonstrate a fundamental change in society’s attitude towards work.
The whole idea that society is open to anyone willing to cooperate and work hard is gone.
The new mentality more resembles that of a royal court full of scheming—a place where only the clever and well-connected survive.

If someone spends years in school only to see their field become saturated or obsolete they are showered with the derision of those who ‘made it.’
In previous times, even those down on their luck bore successful people little ill will. They were more likely to suppose that their own lack of fortune was temporary. Their social superiors likewise generally didn’t hold a lower social station against unfortunates so long as they were willing to work hard to contribute to society.

But in the present social climate, the less fortunate feel little reason to care about the interests of their social betters. If they could better themselves by taking from those higher up, why wouldn’t they?

In short, a trend of decreasing available wealth in Western nations has drastically increased competition and destroyed the overall cooperative spirit that had previously prevailed.

This widespread zero sum culture makes society fertile ground for unrest. The ‘losers’ have little reason to be content with losing. If all is lost, they have no reason not to take the ‘winners’ down with them.

Once the people have a certain sort of mentality, they’re like tinder lying about waiting to be lit.

II. Artificial Scarcity Undermines Systemic Legitimacy

History is full of scarcity and social inequity, but at present the scarcity and inequality are increasingly artificial in nature.

People cooperate with capitalism because the prices of goods and services reflect actual market demand.
But if money ceases to properly reflect supply and demand, why would people continue to cooperate?

I recently visited a site called The Venus Project. Its creator, Jacque Fresco, lays out a plan for a future society. Whatever one might think of Fresco’s overall vision and retro-futuristic building designs, he makes an insightful point concerning money systems.
Money systems, he observes are dependent upon scarcity to motivate people and for their continued existence.
When a good or service is not scarce enough, the general response of elites and property owners is to create artificial scarcity to protect their interests.

In everyday life,

-The person who can barely afford food after rent sees grocers and restaurants throwing out tons of food.
They might read stories of how farmers sometimes destroy tons of their crop so they can actually profit from their harvests.

-The person who can barely afford rent sees neighborhoods full of houses with telltale alarmed padlocks on the front gates.
People were forcibly driven out of homes that no one else wants. Now they just sit there empty.
The reason for this cruel irony: real estate “kept off the market” got the occupants kicked out for being unable to pay an artificially high price no one else in society was willing to pay.

It is exactly this sort of cognitive dissonance that destroys the credibility of a system.
If a system is impartial and enjoys legitimacy people will tolerate incredible hardship.
If there are real conditions of hardship and famine no one is going to complain. Everyone’s too busy surviving.

However, the present scarcity of jobs does not result from general famine or any real crisis.
On the contrary, scarcity now exists precisely because we are able to produce more resources more efficiently than ever.
As Fresco points out: abundance causes money systems to malfunction.

III. Conclusion

Because of:

-A social climate of zero sum competition.

-Conditions of artificial scarcity.

-The ubiquity of i-phones and the internet.

The trend of social unrest will both continue to spread and rise in intensity.
There will be intense struggles as those towards the top of the pyramid resort to increasingly desperate measures to protect their wealth by artificially maintaining the scarcity of abundant resources.
These measures will force increasing numbers of people to come face to face with homelessness and starvation in the midst of plenty.
And at some point, these people will realize that if they do nothing they will be gradually be phased out of existence just like any other product that doesn’t sell.

How the Middle Class Used To Be Affordable

The open market is vastly overrated.

In a previous era, we spent much if not most of our time in safe refuges, coves, and harbors.
We ventured into the open market as we felt it necessary, as a fisherman periodically ventures out from a placid bay into the rough and open sea.

In our own era we have never seen land. We live our lives adrift in the open market. We’ve never known safety from the merciless storms of vast aggregate demand.

So ubiquitous is our system of liquidity that we have forgotten that for most of the human experience, the open market has supplemented our livelihood. Only for a few merchants and nobles was it ever a mainstay.

We forget that any alternative exists.

And because of this we are blinded to the inherent disadvantages of our current system.

We fail to understand why it was that mere decades ago the people easily enjoyed a much higher standard of living, a now increasingly elusive “middle” class standard of living with less income.

We will easily find the answer if we understand an important principle:
Many basic human needs are satisfied much more efficiently outside the open market.

Money is an efficient means of doing business with strangers.

But doing business with strangers is very different than collaborating with those we know.

A stranger knows nothing of our reputation, has no pre-existing obligation or relationship to us, has no incentive to help us without a cash incentive. Enlisting their help is not easy.

Let’s consider the price of some very basic life needs on the open market.

A roof over one’s head = at least $700 per month if we factor in utilities or about $50 per night at a hotel. About $8400 a year for the most modest of accommodations!

Sex = $50 minimum-hundreds or even thousands of dollars a pop depending on the service provider.
Or 5-10 dollars a pop to pay cover charges to get into clubs. 5-10 dollars a pop for overpriced drinks once inside the clubs. Hundreds of dollars for fashionable clothes to wear to the club.

Basic childcare = Hundreds of dollars per month, thousands of dollars a year.

Home-cooked meals = Private chefs cost a small fortune. They are accessories of the wealthy.

When one is totally exposed to the open market one requires a bare minimum of about $20,000 just to live a subsistence lifestyle one minor accident away from strife and privation.

On the open market, all these basic necessities are incredibly expensive.
Just staying alive costs nearly as much as a high end college tuition.

And it is taken for granted in our culture that every year, we must pay our tuition in order to eat and avoid sleeping on the streets.

Our view of life is distorted.
These necessities are all services that friends, family, significant other can easily provide to one another for a fraction of the price or even for free!

It is by its very nature cost ineffective to rely on strangers for these needs!

A stranger who provides a roof or a meal is exposed to the caprices of a thousand customers. The price of their service is determined not by the courteous and upright, but by the most troublesome and dishonest among us.

Purchasing a bed to crash in for 8 hours at a motel in no small thing.

-Because we are unknowns, we are paying for the risk we represent to the owner.
-Thus we pay for any damage, wear or tear we inflict in advance regardless of whether we inflict it or not.
-The price includes the damage caused by the most disruptive and destructive customers.

Most of the money we pay isn’t for the room or the bed we sleep in!

The major expense of purchasing these services from a stranger is compensation for the inconvenience inflicted on the stranger.

If one refrains from approaching a stranger in the first place. Most of the trouble and expense vanishes.

Furthermore, a pre-existing relationship allows multiple means of remuneration for services provided without relying on liquid capital at all! It is in the interests of someone we know to help us. They know we will help them in turn!

The pre-existing relationship provides a haven from the savage free-for-all that is the open market!

How did people several decades ago enjoy lives of luxury by present standards with less liquid capital and fewer wage earners?

The typical answers in most mainstream political and economic columns:
-Strong economic growth
-Better job market
-Traditional values etc. bla bla bla.

All of these were relevant factors, but none of them was the decisive factor.

In the now nostalgic 1950s-1960s, Western society happened upon a certain balance between the personal market and the open market that worked particularly well.

All the processes that led to our present dystopian age were already in progress, but at that point:

-Services most efficiently handled by the personal market remained mostly personal.

-Meanwhile, a whole slough of services that had been stagnant at the personal level was being transferred to the open market.
As a result, the economy was rapidly becoming more efficient. New liquid capital was constantly being created and it was flowing like water.
The result was an exciting era of growth and progress.

Sadly, the result of this trend was the eventual transfer of nearly every human need to the open market whether or not it belonged there.

The result has been the social strife, economic stagnation, systemic decay, and widespread social distrust that now defines our precarious lives.

We have learned the hard way that mere subsistence in the tumultuous open market is more expensive than prosperity in the personal realm.

Could An Ancient Slave Driver Provide Better Healthcare Than Your Modern Doctor?

Builds Upon: Epigenetic Effects of Malnutrition? ,
The System Gets What It Selects For

For a savvy buyer of horses in the 19th century, looking at the teeth was like reading rings on a tree stump. Though the horse might have been treated well in preparation for market, all the seasons of scarcity and abuse before would be evident.
The outer hair and skin can be tweaked, trimmed, polished, and flattered in countless ways.
The teeth however, reveal age, diet, an entire life history.

The 19th century horse buyer probably didn’t fully understand all the exact reasons why examining the mouth was so important.
But the incentives were correctly aligned: he had a direct self interest in purchasing the best horse possible.
Let’s suppose this man who bought the horse also ran a stagecoach business in which his horses were worked every day.
It was in his interests to keep his profit margins up by taking care of his money-generating horses as best as possible.

Now let’s consider a similar type of professional whose specialty is members of his own species: a slave driver.
Let’s take an overseer from the Ancient Mediterannean, the American South… you get the idea.
Obviously if the market was saturated in the aftermath of a conquest, slaves were probably treated brutally and worked to death with little care for their livelihood.
But let’s assume we’re looking at some time period where the supply of slaves was mainly determined by the slow human rate of human reproduction and their value was high.

Now let’s pretend for a moment that we’re an overseer.

Not only does our boss have a certain amount of work he wants done, we’re in direct competition with other overseers even if we’re meeting all the quotas. If the people we’re responsible for are sick and unproductive, the master isn’t likely to listen to our excuses if someone else consistently outperforms us.

All the incentives point to finding out what works, no matter what it takes.
If there isn’t any obvious way to meet our goals, we have to find a way.

Thus for anything short of advanced surgery, I’ve often wondered:
If I became ill, might a taskmaster do a better job of restoring me to health than a modern MD?
After all, a doctor doesn’t lose their job if they fail to solve the problem. They can just chalk it up to ‘natural causes’ and move on to the next patient.

—————–

1.
I’m not suggesting that the doctor is wrong or that he’s performed any kind of
malpractice.
Rather, beyond a certain level of inconvenience and difficulty, he will let nature take its course. The incentives for him to perform well are relatively weak.

The overseer doesn’t have this option. He’s forced to find clever ways to prevent natural causes from taking an undesirable course.

2.
The overseer has an opportunity to observe and interact with his subjects across a period of time. He can get to know all the important patterns and try out different solutions.

Meanwhile, a doctor usually gets called in when possibly preventable problems have snowballed into an emergency situation. There’s little time for experimentation. The doctor is forced to rely on a set of procedures taught to him by his guild. The patient is a stranger. He often has to make decisions with very little knowledge of the patient’s personal history.

3.
A modern doctor usually just has to patch people up well enough that they can work a desk job. Short cut medications that result in drowsiness and lethargy are acceptable solutions.

The taskmaster has to get his sick people back to physical labor at 100% capacity as quickly as possible.

4.
A doctor’s job is done when his treatments have been applied.

The taskmaster has to always be looking ways to sharpen his game. Even when his charges
are in perfect health and behaving well, it still behooves him to look for ways to get an
edge over his competitors. Always room to improve.

——————-

It’s occurred to me that in the dark recesses of historical libraries there must be
elaborate texts on the health and care of slaves. If we were to dig up some of these documents, might we not find valuable knowledge?

Previously, I mentioned a curious dentist who noticed an important pattern during his worldwide travels: that crooked teeth and poorly formed skeletal structure correlated with nutrient poor modern diets and especially with a lack of vitamins A and K.

Ought we to be surprised, then if an overseer from thousands of years ago looked into the mouths of modern children with braces and retainers and recognized instantly both the nature of the problem and how it could have been prevented?
Though the overseer would not have the remotest clue what a vitamin is, perhaps self interest might have pushed him to acquire an understanding of human health and physiology in some ways beyond that of modern health professionals.

If we were to compile the knowledge of ancient taskmasters into a modern health book, hide the nature of the original sources by publishing it under a single nondescript pseudonym, give it a faddish title, furnish it with a charismatic spokesperson… might it be a bestseller? A bestseller that would crash overnight if fans ever discovered where all that useful information really came from?

Food Commodities vs. Food Products

Builds Upon: Supermarkets, the Illusion of Overchoice,
The Absolute Value of Material Goods,
Objective Cheapness

Every brand has a company behind it that has obtained some resources and made them into a ‘product.’
We tend to buy these products without asking ourselves:

-Has the company added value to the resources they started with?
-No change?
-Have they actually degraded the useful value of the initial resources?

Consider prepackaged salad greens and pre-sliced produce sold at a 300-400% markup from the base commodity even though only minimal value has been added by saving the customer a few minutes of time.
The moment a mushroom gets sliced up and wrapped in plastic, it stops being a mushroom. It becomes a ‘product.’

How far removed is a breakfast cereal from the grains it was made of? The price tag is very telling.
If we compare a pound of puffed rice to a pound of rice the difference is enormous. The cereal is likely 300-400% more expensive.
Thus, the cereal ought to return 3-4 times the value of the rice, right?

In fact, the high heat processes used to make the cereal have destroyed most of the nourishing value of the original rice!

The pre-packaged produce and the cereal are colossal ripoffs.
The price includes:

-extra packaging

-extra processing

-extra middlemen who must take their cut.

-advertising

-a longer logistics chain (food also going to be less fresh)

-consumer demand from emotional attachments to the brand and its advertising

-demand from lack of critical thinking about costs and benefits.(Effectively a market share of others’ failure to look after their best interests!)

-“convenience tax”: the penalty for buying in small individually packaged portions.

If we instead move towards the original commodity by buying a pound of rice, we cut useless corporate middlemen out of the picture, leaving only those who actually create value.
Furthermore, every additional middleman makes the system more complex. More complexity means more points of failure in which our food could be degraded or contaminated. This is a legitimate concern when these companies have little reason to care what they churn out so long as it doesn’t immediately poison consumers.

Not only do we deprive middlemen of opportunities to screw us,

-An entire factory devoted to degrading the resources it starts with is discouraged.

-A whole bloated army of parasitic advertisers, marketers, corporate lawyers misses out on a bit of its payday.

-We avoid purchasing a whole slough of intangible baggage associated with the brand name.

Only those who actually produce the food and bring it to market get our money!
Whenever we make a purchase we have an opportunity to cast a vote against the superfluous, the wasteful, the inefficient, and the incompetent!

Better still, as one approaches the original commodity, one is increasingly likely to be able to buy in bulk.
If one buys a 25 pound bag of rice of instead of a one pound bag, the price per pound is far less.
An added bonus: at popular stores with high merchandise turnover, the bulk items are often the freshest and highest quality.

Yet brands thrive because they are symbols of social belonging in industrialized cultures. One might be thought strange by one’s friends for bringing a dirt cheap 10 pound sack of in shell unsalted peanuts to a party. But it would be perfectly normal to show up with an overpriced little jar of brand name peanuts that have been cooked in cottonseed oil and coated with MSG.

Because of the critical importance of social belonging, companies with popular brands can not only charge more, they have less incentive to offer a quality product. It’s not the food people are after as much as it is the image.

As such, buying bulk food commodities is a form of arbitrage.
Not only are they higher in quality than processed brand name foods, there is less demand for them among the general populace.

Can we imagine one company marketing a sexy, exciting, cool potato for the younger generation and a steady dependable potato for baby boomers?
Advertising becomes much more difficult when it’s the same inglorious lumpy sack of russet-burbanks just sitting there.
You get what you see.
In this situation, corporations have much less room to boost their profit margins with deceptive practices and appeals to emotion. The item they’re trying to sell is nearly identical to what their competitors are bringing to market, thus their profit margins are kept to the market price just as employees’ wages are stuck to a market price.

When employers purchase our labor, they are our bosses.
When we purchase goods from our employers we are the bosses!
By failing to look after our best interests in the market place, we cede power to our employers and allow the equilibrium to shift in their favor. Can you imagine a company paying employees more than it has to simply because it’s too lazy to figure out the market price for labor?

Buying commodities first is a way of keeping the corporations on a short leash just as our corporate bosses keep us collared and leashed every minute of every working day.
In one action you oppose:
-A hollow post-industrial concept of atomized ‘individuality’.
-A shallow socialite marketplace in which chatty, flashy substance sells over form.
-Undeserved profit that actually undermines our power over our lives and actively subsidizes the cartels that run our government and decide whether or not we get to eat and keep a roof over our heads.

Perhaps, most significantly of all, by avoiding the name brand product, one secedes from a superficial, self-destructive, and hostile modern mass culture.

In an enlightened economy, I could easily imagine a business phenomenon that would push many other retailers out of the market, especially in hard times with low wages steadily losing their already meager purchasing power.
Imagine a supermarket that just had bins, barrels, and drums of commodities with no brands in sight.
No unnecessary packaging, bags, or plastic. Customers could just bring whatever containers they like from home. There could be cheap burlap sacks to sell to customers in case they don’t have anything suitable with them.

Beyond a critical mass impact on suppliers, no existing retail model could possibly compete with the low prices such a business could offer.
The only reason no such model exists is because too many customers have grown indolent in watching out for their best interests and don’t even recognize that they’re being systematically parasitized.
Even where the odd shopper might connect the dots, money cannot buy most goods in commodity form in industrialized countries. Nearly everything has been swarmed over by micropackaged brand scams that force the customer to pay more.

Is IQ ‘Intelligence?’

In standardized tests and on IQ tests we’re usually faced with problems that test our ability to quickly and accurately manipulate logic tokens, recognize patterns, and solve puzzles.

These tests are usually meant to be taken by “anyone.” In other words: nothing on the test can give the test-taker an advantage over any other.

Solution: Avoid problems with relevance to anything in the real world.

Perhaps this helps explain why “intelligent” in our society means an absentminded professor who can crunch equations with ease but is worthless at doing anything else.

Also, “anyone” means that the test can be administered to people who speak different languages or come from other cultures.

Solution: Use lots of spatial and visual oriented problems.

But what if you’re someone like me who forgets that the right hand of someone across from me is on my left?

The absentminded math professor types also tend to be good at the technical aspects of music. They seem to be strong in just this sort of spatial reasoning.

So is the test for “anyone” or is it just testing for people who fit the typical psychological profile of the people who made the test?

How well does recognizing patterns in shaded squares or deciphering gibberish languages translate into reasoning about less tangible things like concepts, ideas, and meanings?
Does testing for syntactic acrobatics predict aptitude in semantic understanding?

There is obviously some correlation between IQ and intelligence.
After all:
-Average IQ of different nations seems to correlate fairly well with the level of organization of those societies. (Abstract reasoning required for high levels of cooperation in a mass society?)
-High IQ groups such as Ashkenazi Jews, Parsees, or Brahmins highly overrepresented in science, art, music, politics, business and finance, theatre, literature, academia, prestigious professions such as medicine and law… Pretty much any activity that requires someone to think or be creative seems to have some correlation with IQ.

It would seem intelligent people are disproportionately represented amongst those with high IQ(probably why it is still used), but does high IQ actually indicate intelligence?

When I’ve heard people talk about meeting MENSA members or joining MENSA they’ve usually been unimpressed. I’ve heard tales of how the MENSA members were preoccupied with some number they had achieved but seemed to otherwise do very little to demonstrate any unusual ability to think or be creative.

Perhaps more telling is the story of the super elite high IQ associations. The members had achieved scores higher than those of the most famous scientists and they were in a position to associate more closely than most of those famous scientists ever could.

Unsurprisingly, these individuals set out some ambitious goals. Among which were:
-To challenge the power of a corrupt academia and eventually replace it.
-To attract the brightest people and develop their talents under the tutelage of their mental equals.
-To eventually have a world benevolently run by the brightest minds.

Not only did these groups fail in their objectives. Their unity devolved into the same sort of petty infighting one would expect from a group of average intelligence.
The group broke down. Some members left or were kicked out. Impotent splinter cells resulted. And as far as I know that’s pretty much how things have stayed.

So some of the highest IQ people in the world have succeeded in assembling yet the result was hardly a golden age.

Now it’s possible that IQ just indicates a certain potential. Thus maybe there’s a 1/500 chance of someone with 200 IQ of making a groundbreaking discovery.
While virtually zero chance of someone of average intelligence doing the same.
Likewise being an Ashkenazim doesn’t mean one must be accomplished in the creative or logical disciplines but it hugely increases the probability.

However, the story of High IQ clubs makes me think that IQ correlates somewhat with intelligence, but doesn’t come close to being an indicator of intelligence itself.
For instance:
The assumption that a high score on an IQ test would be enough of a commonality between the members to work together seamlessly on a project of world improvement.

Surely anyone truly intelligent would understand that humans are social animals that tend to associate based on visceral emotional responses to:
-race
-age
-gender
-economic class
-ugly or beautiful
-popularity
-commonality of experiences
-personal interests, hobbies
-nationality, culture of origin, language, dialect of language
-psychological profile
-hormonal profile
-clean or messy…

You get the idea.

The people who are better at IQ tests than anyone else were unable to reason through some very basic properties of human nature when trying to form a working organizational structure.

Such elementary shortcomings strongly suggest that IQ doesn’t mean what we think it means.
That at best it tests for ability to shuffle meaningless data around by rote.

And as it happens, most of the people who can think for themselves are better than average at shuffling around data. Because their process of reasoning inevitably involves working with data and drawing conclusions from it.

Now why would so many people with high IQs lack the ability to apply their logic skills to more than a few specific applications?

I will hearken back to a previous post; Human Husbandry.

Since the dawn of agriculture, kings, dictators, power elites have only ever shared their grain with people who are useful to them.
These power wielders have always wanted inventive people who can come up with shiny new weapons or methods of production to give them an edge over competing landlords.

Kings are comfortable with a harmless geek squad that takes orders and mindlessly delivers the goods, whether it be a catapult, a steam engine, or an i-phone. Paradoxically, the same people who can assemble such miraculous contraptions are blithely oblivious of the human suffering or social strife that might result from their creations.
Consider the shock and disbelief of some of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan project when their handiwork was unleashed on the world. Just what did they think they were doing? Did they think it was all just a game?

Meanwhile, there is the person who can apply to social structures and orthodox beliefs the same principles required to build a siege engine or electronic gadget. This person is no asset to the king but a threat to the state itself.

So is it any surprise that after generations of pyramidal civilization that the archetypal whiz kid almost seems to have certain neural pathways soldered shut? To be bright and capable but to mysteriously lack the complete and highest intelligence?

Lateral Thinking

Most types of logic problems i.e. algebra, sudoku require you to reason out what follows next from incomplete information.

Yet when I try to discuss social or philosophical issues with people who are far more talented than I am in logic disciplines I’m frequently given excuses:

-The “studies”, “research”, “experts” haven’t proven it yet. Therefore we can’t have a productive discussion about it. (If it’s already proven, why discuss it?!!)
-You’re just speculating. You have no proof.
-There’s not enough information.

I’ve tried hard to demonstrate to these brilliant people that they’re making excuses, but I’ve rarely managed to get past this stonewalling behavior.

It is very frustrating. It feels as though I’m dealing with a dog in the manger… or the dragon Smaug, just sitting idly on a hoard of treasure, never using it.
I feel that with their talents they could accomplish much more than I can.

Is their development somehow lopsided or do they simply lack the ability to think in a certain way? Shouldn’t it be obvious that problems outside of one’s immediate discipline are also logic puzzles? Shouldn’t it come naturally to play with different hypotheses until something makes sense?

The best I can figure:
-The raw ability to manipulate logic tokens.
-The ability to correlate logic tokens with meanings.

Are two different things.

Obviously one first requires some ability to work with logic. Yet one can satisfy the precondition and not have a glimmering of the ability that follows from it?

Yet it seems it’s quite possible to be a mathematical prodigy and still buy into simplistic demagoguery and political jargon. Or perhaps more common to have no real beliefs or opinions at all about matters outside a certain field.

I’ve fantasized about applying incredible logic-based skills to applications that might be considered outside “the field.”

-A schematic for a machine, electrical circuit, or logic circuit that represents the workings of a human society. (I’ve envisioned ‘orthodoxy’ as a module that can be switched around or replaced but necessary for a society to function)
-Computer programs that can help train the mind in new ways, break mental habits.
-Designing social models using calculus to figure out where the point of diminishing returns lies in the application of any given policy.
-Use of the scientific method to invent new ways of training the human mind.

Fatal Shortcomings of Enlightenment Thought

What is enlightenment thought? It’s pretty much a core set of ideas that began to catch on in 18th century Western Europe.
These are the ideas that grew alongside and helped inspire the development of the modern sciences, the industrial revolution, of human rights.
It’s the emergence of these guiding ideas that marked the decline of monarchy, traditionalism, and religion in the West.

Enlightenment ideas, once revolutionary, have become the orthodoxy– So ubiquitous and deeply entrenched that we take most of its assumptions to be self-evident.

I think the enlightenment had a lot of things right, that it was on the right track. But sadly, it never developed far beyond its origins.
Its proponents never grew beyond their rage at the excesses of the previous system and continue to destructively overcompensate to this day.

Now, in the 21st century blind adherence to this fossilized body of thought has not only become a hindrance to the development of civilizations. It has proven itself a threat to the survival of entire peoples and races.

Most of these problems can be traced all the way down to the axiomatic level:

1. The vehement denial of meaning and driving purpose.
Treating the universe as if anything that cannot be measured or categorized doesn’t exist. (Helps explain why AI research has been stuck for decades when it comes to artificial minds?)

2. Inability to confront, understand, and resolve the nihilistic implications of a meaningless universe. Refusal to separate the relevant concerns from the irrelevant in the absence of meaning.(i.e. Relativism)

3. Failure to understand that reason is but a useful tool. It can no more offer direction, meaning, values or a purpose in life to the individual or society than can a hammer or a nail.

4. Inordinate focus on precision for its own sake, phobia of infinitude. Obsessive compulsive drive to put everything in exactly its proper box. (Only to discover that there’s always another subatomic particle within particles. Or yet another gradation of gray between A and A’.)
(Follows from 3)

5.Contempt for, misunderstanding of intuition and the subconscious faculties.
(Good use of these faculties is how scientific discoveries actually get made)

6. Contempt for human perception, regarding it all as a misguided illusion there to “fool” us.
(Perhaps this helps explain why we seem to have hit a wall at the quantum level)

7. Naive over-valuation of ‘choice’ and ability to act ‘logically’ in human beings.

8. Shallow understanding of ‘rights.’ Inability to understand that unregulated ‘freedom’ for the individual can mean insanity on the civilizational level.

9. Obsession with order and regimentation at the expense of all things human. Tendency to vastly overestimate the ability of humans to order the universe around us.

10. Tendency to attach excessive importance to grinding through isolated ‘facts’ while forgetting that the ultimate goal is to recognize patterns.

Genetic and Memetic Legacies

Scientifically speaking, the purpose of life is to make babies and ensure that they have babies in turn.
This is our legacy.

But so too can our memes reproduce, recombine, and perpetuate themselves long after we’re dead.

Because our behaviors, impressions, and ideas are not easily tangible or measurable they tend to be relegated to the realm of things that are subjective and more or less unreal much like art, beauty, or meaning.

But consider a man who has fathered a family but cannot relate to his own children. He has succeeded genetically, but failed utterly to pass on his world view, his perspective, his memes to the next generation.
In a way, his flesh lives on but his mind and very soul perishes. And as many a father has found, there is something nightmarish in this.

Let’s also consider the great luminary who leaves behind no children but creates ideas that echo through the centuries.
Their spirit lives on, but their ideas are twisted by the great majority who do not have it in their nature to understand.
The greatest ideas accomplish little if there are not those of the right flesh to receive, understand, and enact them in subsequent generations.

I would suppose then, that a complete legacy is both genetic and memetic in nature?

Sexual Repression And Social Productivity

If the main instinct that spurs men to action is the drive to reproduce, then perhaps competitive societies are those that strategically repress their male populations?

Without easy access to reproduction, perhaps men become like desperate drug addicts looking for the next fix. They will invent anything, build anything, explore anywhere, risk their lives in battle, risk their life savings by starting a business all so they can be recognized by society and become one of the winners.

For the formula to work, I’m supposing the carrot has to be big enough and the stick only as long as it needs to be, to keep that carrot tantalizingly out of reach.
-The rewards must be sufficient and certain (reproduction must be guaranteed in the event of success)
-The goal cannot seem too hopeless or defection seems to be the better option. There
must be well defined routes to success and there must be willingness to accept those who succeed by trying out new routes.