Sunday, August 22, 2010

Explication of modus operandi and its constituents

I've decided to hold off on part IV for now, because I have no idea whether anyone is ever going to read this blog, and I don't want to get carried away. I am definitely interested in finding avenues of promotion, but not yet; I have several other projects in the works, and would prefer to synchronize their promotion when the time comes.

So, for now, I've come up with two lists to keep this thing going -- a list of cultural preconceptions that absolutely have to be overcome if we're ever to actually repair reality, and a list of things that I associate with my modus operandi.

The Eighteen Major Myths of Modern Western Society

1. Sexual acts are to be committed between two individuals at a time. In the rare instances where this is not the case, lovers will share their significant others sexually, but will remain in a two-person relationship, which they view as vital to their happiness as humans.

2. Securing a job is of the utmost importance. Without money, people cannot buy food or routinely pay for a shelter, so they starve to death.

3. The economy needs to be as strong as it can be, and if it falters, we should do the best we can to keep it afloat.

4. All men [and women] are created equal, and possess specific innate abilities universally. Anyone can achieve any physically possible goal with the right amount of dedication and patience; further, all human beings are granted inalienable rights at birth by some absolute principle, e.g. the right to freedom of religion.

5. Increasing the average lifespan of a given population correspondingly increases the quality of living for that population; quantity of life and quality of life are one and the same.

6. Individuality and independence are important -- the former for realizing potential diversity in the society, and the latter to escape the grasp of one's progenitors, as their property will not be inherited upon their deaths.

7. There is no higher goal than becoming 'someone' in life. Through an individual's finite accomplishments and achievements, he or she may assume a concrete, isolated identity with which to better the world.

8. A major contributor to high quality of life is a good education. Through institutions, we can both augment our knowledge base and acquire the skills necessary to contribute to the well-being of society. These skills are to be applied at a job for an arbitrary period of time, until it is decided by other humans that it's okay to stop and retire.

9. We know what's best for ourselves, and are free to pursue it until death, uninterrupted. Anyone who claims to know how to make us happier than we currently are has some ulterior motive, such as personal material gain, so he or she can't be trusted; further, if the claim is made in earnest, its source is still unjustified, because he or she hasn't experienced life through our eyes.

10. When not at work -- legitimizing our existences through finite contributions -- the best way to spend our time on Earth is by indulging in the various privileges earned by our service. These include but are far from limited to: buying mass produced material goods (electronic goods in particular), listening to music, watching television, and socializing at parties and clubs.

11. Music is a part of our identity; further, its core functions are 1) to satisfy us emotionally in times of hardship, and 2) to enliven celebrations and parties. Music must be rhythmically oriented in some fashion in order to be officially called music (though certainly not melodically), and should ideally culminate in our clapping, singing, dancing, tapping our foot, or otherwise synchronizing our bodies to the rhythms.

12. While saving the environment is crucial for our own survival, we shouldn't put too much effort into it if it impedes our daily modes of living. Examples of requisite modes of living in modernity include commuting from a suburb or city to a place of work, or using electricity to heat a home. If this is not believed, then it is believed that it is possible to save the environment by driving fuel-efficient vehicles or taking shorter showers.

13. For order to be maintained within a society, laws are necessary. If our inalienable rights are to be protected from villains, we have to allow those at the top of our societal hierarchy to imprison or otherwise punish said villains. It's okay to revoke the otherwise inalienable rights of a villain -- such as the right to life, or the right to the pursuit of happiness -- should his or her atrocities be taboo enough.

14. After family, friends*, and possibly God, pleasure should be valued. Nothing is better than sexual orgasm, being high or otherwise intoxicated, or eating a delicious meal.

15. Humans either were created by the Christian God relatively recently in the forms of Adam and Eve -- who instigated the fall of man by way of a forbidden fruit -- or evolved over thousands of years on the African savannah to become masters of their environment. This latter view can be extended to include the idea that humans eventually gave up the brutish, unorganized existence of living in caves for the luxuries of civilization -- a choice which benefited all who made it.

Before, starvation was prevalent, and anyone could have been eaten by lions or tigers at a moment's notice -- or perhaps killed by a venomous snake. After civilization's emergence, people were finally able to free themselves from the pursuit of basic needs and consequently specialize at illustrious occupations, affording the whole society both diversity and luxury. Note also that those who subscribe to the latter view do so with arrogance and pride, believing that 'nature' and man are at odds with one another, while those who subscribe to the former view look upon themselves with scorn for being inherently 'sinful.' Neither conception of man is accurate.

16. Language, clothing, and shelter distinguish man from the other living things on Earth. It is paramount that we wear clothes everywhere we go; it is impossible to survive without some kind of house to encase our material goods; and humans have always used complex symbolic language.

17. It's important for nations to exist to the end of preventing a world superpower from taking over. Humans should use their capacity for symbolic thought to first conceive of personal property. Beyond this, that capacity should be augmented for the purpose of erecting national territorial boundaries; in the case of both creations, an individual has the imperative to be proud. This is in contrast to what a very small percentage of animals do, which is to fortify themselves as members of local populations by allowing their instincts to impose artificial boundaries between themselves and rivals of their gender, or to impose similarly artificial boundaries between the group as a whole and a rival group (who must be physically present to even be acknowledged). Note here that many self-proclaimed nationalists (National Socialists in particular) reject the Enlightenment altogether, but that their realization that humans do not possess inherent metaphysical worth is rendered impotent as soon as cognitive dissonance prevents them from observing the same condition in nations.

18. We must have children.

* - like family, but introduced to the social group after birth; tied by hobbies or interests rather than property, finances, and genes; and less likely to stick around for an individual's lifetime.

My modus operandi

I'm against the use of mind-altering substances where there is no controlled mechanism of action or interface -- including alcohol and marijuana.

I'm against having children in the context of the current situation of all sentient life on Earth.

I'm for euthanasia.

I'm for the sterilization of most or all sentient organisms.

I'm for eugenics.

I'm against all closed systems of thought, be they religions or something else.

I'm against any government or state whose rulers are individual human beings or groups of human beings.

I'm against representative governments.

I'm against the monetary system.

I'm against legacy wealth.

I'm against all forms of ownership -- of goods, property, ideas, or even oneself.

I'm against arguments in favor of something based on its popularity.

I'm against imperialism.

I'm against capitalism in all of its forms.

I'm against any so-called "rights," especially if they are considered inalienable.

I'm against paper proclamations, or "laws."

I'm against any kind of absolute statement of fact, so long as the entity making the statement has a finite scope of reality.

I'm against morality, which is pure superstition -- whether in its absolute, relative, or "utilitarian" forms.

I'm against anarchism, or the lack of a state.

I'm against the construction of defined, and thus closed-off, belief systems of any kind; as we learn, our systems should be updated.

I'm against nationalism in all of its forms.

I'm against belief or certainty of any kind, so long as our scope of reality remains finite; it's more practical to simply behave as though we believe something for the purposes of prototyping or otherwise testing it within its respective environment.

I'm against any kind of absolute generalization, whether of the inductive or deductive varieties.

I'm for the development and implementation of virtual, augmented, and simulated realities.

I support, at least in part, both the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement, though I think that they could benefit from a lot of refinement.

I'm under the impression that the gods of the Old Testament -- YHWH, El Shaddaih, Elohim, etc. -- were predominantly volcano and water gods in their earliest incarnations, and that all Semitic religions, the vast majority of which are now extinct, stem from the same source.

I'm not against promiscuous sex when it's controlled and handled responsibly.

I'd be against sexual intercourse for an ideal society, as it promotes preferential thinking and possible social conflict.

I'd be against sexual and romantic relationships for an ideal society for the same reasons.

I'm against absolute monogamy for its emphasis on exclusivity and favoritism.

I'm against competitive sports.

I'm against all non-productive forms of competition, especially when there is a social risk involved.

I'm against donating to charities, and the concept of charities in general.

I'm against the inclusion of general education studies, with the possible exception of English, in educational programs aimed at developing a skill or skill set.

I'm against deadlines, arbitrary appointment times, mandatory attendance, or any kind of societal coercion that does not directly eliminate a problem from society.

I'm in favor of the implementation of confinement and rehabilitation centers, though they'd need to be stringently maintained based on a coherent and effective value system.

I'm against the modern prison system, as well as retributive and punitive punishments.

I'm for the separation of children from their immediate families for the purpose of placing them into youth centers, where programming and conditioning would be controlled; also, it would eliminate the parent bias, and decrease preferential treatment of humans.

I think that, instead of there being individual humans on planet Earth, there are hundreds of identical copies of propensities, biological drives, inclinations, mental faculties, and senses within each human organism that compete with one another; in essence, there is no substantive difference between the pains and pleasures of one sentient organism and another, despite the application of divergent evolution over hundreds of millions of years.

I don't think that pain and pleasure are opposites or of equal value, nor do I think that they evolved simultaneously.

I think the lack of space trash in our galactic neighborhood and over forty years of deafening radio silence indicates that other intelligent lifeforms are probably hundreds of millions of light-years away at the least, if they exist at all.

I think that we should pause and think more often about the uniqueness of our linguistic capabilities in the context of billions of years of evolution, and what this says about the likelihood of finding other intelligent lifeforms in the universe.

I also think that we should pause and think more often about the observation that all life on Earth has descended from a common genetic blueprint; there is no evidence that, even in the earliest days of life on Earth, other attempts at life ever competed with our blueprint.

I ultimately think that the most profound aspect of our existence on this planet is that we haven't been able to recreate life in a laboratory in over fifty years, and still have no idea how it emerged here in the first place.

I think that Ray Kurzweil's transhumanist philosophy is unrealistic and simplistic in its neglect of most of the technological variables involved in exponential growth.

I'm for meritocratic practices, certifications, and mild specialization of labor.

I'm against nepotism, oligarchies, plutocracies, etc.

I think that the elimination of negatives from the universe far supersedes the creation of positives.

I'm against the perpetuation of sentient life without a valid justification, and find the mass neglect of our current circumstance to be grossly irresponsible.

I don't think that global warming is a very big deal.

I think that peak oil will prove completely inconsequential and irrelevant to our lives.

I'm in favor of the logical, unimpeded, and pragmatic competition between memes for the purpose of improving governance, socialization, and, ultimately, reality as a whole; this means that meme agents cannot hold onto or zealously defend memes or cultural preconceptions while attempting to make points, and that neither ideas nor any other finite aspect of a person should ever constitute his or her identity.

I'm for the unification of language on Earth, and am consequently against linguistic redundancy of any kind.

I think that criminal sentences, the pricing of goods and services, age requirements, and many other number-based aspects of our lives have no basis in physical laws, and are therefore impractical.

I'm against the quantization, compartmentalization, or categorization of reality where it is perceived as anything other than practical and convenient.

I'm against caste systems and all forms of social hierarchy.

I don't think that quantity of life and quality of life are equivalent.

I'm against implicit privacy.

I'm for the introduction of logic curricula into elementary schools.

I'm for the Internet equivalent of a non-profit, government-run, PUBLIC library.

I'm for Google alternatives, and think that Internet indexing has been hijacked by spammers and cheaters.

I'm against technological, medical, and economic advances when the ends of those means are harmful to the majority of the human species, the meme pool, or sentient life as a whole; in other words, should curing both cancer and aging promote the indefinite expansion of human civilization into space without consideration for the consequences, for example, said cures will ultimately do more harm than good.

I think that it's sad that humans still determine whether other humans are worth spending time with based on sexual attractiveness and other arbitrary preferences.

I think that no statement can currently be considered to be an indisputable fact, including this one; truth and knowledge are incomprehensible to humans, though neither is relevant to any truly pragmatic effort at the moment.

I am pro-collaboration in most instances, especially if competition is the alternative. This blog, for example, would be much better if it were run like Wikipedia -- a goal that I hope to accomplish someday.

I'm probably going to add more as they come to me. If anyone ever reads this blog, hopefully these lists will elucidate what it's all really about.


  1. Forgive me for sounding stupid, but how do you endorse amorality while claiming that minimizing negative sensation is the most important goal right now, in addition to your various statements about how society _should_ work? Do you merely claim these "oughts" as subjective preferences?

  2. Sorry, I missed your point about relabeling "ethical" choices as logical choices. But I would point out that many people would not share the goal of minimizing suffering simply because they have a different personality, not because they are less rational (i.e. sociopaths). Really, what logical imperative is there to minimize sentient suffering?

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading your blog and find much food for thought.

  3. I'm simply of the view that no component of reality is causally disconnected from the others, or quarantined in some autonomous, separate reality of its own. The universe appears predicated on cause-and-effect relationships dictated by laws, which we can examine mathematically to determine how the various constituents of an arbitrarily "closed" section of reality affect the outcome or product of their work. Therefore, the idea that some things external to ourselves should be enforced and advocated universally while others are "subjective" makes no sense to me.

    Given this premise, I see no difference between "Suffering is bad" and "Circles are round" -- they appear to be purely self-contained, "analytic" statements without need of additional clarification from a predicate. If someone disagrees, fine, but I do find it curious that more people don't make statements such as "How can you ultimately justify your assertion that the Holocaust was bad? I thought it was awesome. Prove me wrong."

    And you've been forgiven for sounding stupid.

    Just kidding. Please don't feel obliged to preface queries with statements like that. You may very well be right in opposing what I've proposed, which is why it's important that people talk with one another as openly as possible about everything.

    What do you think of the rest of the list?

  4. Oh, and if you ever wanted to comment in the past, sorry for the way the blog's comment system used to be set up. Good to hear from you, now that that change has taken place.

  5. I would point out that being causally interconnected is not necessarily the same as having compatible interests, as any evolutionary game theorist would tell you.

    As to your promotion of cooperation over competition when possible, there is always the risk of "cheaters" or defectors popping up to exploit the vacuum created by a law-abiding majority. A big challenge for creating a new society will be fostering social cohesion without the vulnerability that goes with trust. Our minds would almost have to become transparent to each other to prevent duplicity.

  6. My referencing of the nature of cause-and-effect relationships was simply to demonstrate that, from my perspective, it appears as though all phenomena must be judged by the same set of empirical/logical standards, whether they pertain to chemistry, math, or tactile sensation. The manner in which sound waves interact with your hearing apparatuses can be empirically understood, as far as we can tell, so there is an "objective," for lack of a better word, way to verify any "subjective" statement that you make regarding the sounds that you allegedly hear. No phenomenon in the universe appears exempt from this, no matter how subjective the experience itself actually is; suffering, therefore, must be judged by these same standards.

    Christians and atheists do not have compatible interests, either, but that does not make Christianity a practical belief system. The interests of mass murderers are not compatible with mine, but that doesn't make mass murder practical.

    Re: Cooperation and competition: There are already cheaters in the current system.

    By "...the vacuum created by a law-abiding majority," did you mean, "...the vacuum created in the absence of a law-abiding majority"? Realistically, there would be no such vacuum, as the transition would be gradual, and each step along the way would be defined by a benchmark in cultural conditioning. In other words, rather than coercion being supplanted by anarchism, it would be incrementally supplanted by logical understanding of the circumstance of sentience in the context of causal relationships, opportunity cost, etc. Until everyone is brought up properly from infancy onward (while, hopefully, the practice of having children is itself gradually phased out) to truly understand how variables interact with one another and how to make decisions which are in the best interest of all feeling mechanisms, a true lack of coercion or mandates will be rather myopic.

    Cheating is something which must be controlled for regardless of whether you're choosing to cooperate or compete. The most fundamental and non-specific statement that I'm presently able to make about this is that, for both mechanisms, it's probably better to attempt to bring about understanding of how something is a good or bad idea than to simply state that it is a good or bad idea. I agree that bringing this kind of universal understanding to fruition will be difficult. It may never occur. I do think, however, that an ideal society would promote transparency in all matters.

  7. Because it's vitally important to stuff your stupid opinions about music in a long post about the reformation of society.

  8. This post is out of date. I no longer endorse making numbered lists of such immutable definition.

    Why not mention music in a post about the reformation of society? I will argue to the contrary where a position appears to be predicated on faulty premises, regardless of its gravity. It doesn't matter whether the position is that the moon is made of cheese or that all Jews should be killed.

    Why? Because the very same cognitive impediments -- bumps in our cognitive programming picked up during our development -- that cause us to believe that the moon is made of cheese also cause us to believe that all Jews should be killed. Fix the process of stance formation, and worry about the stances secondarily.