Thursday, December 9, 2010

Idearchy - continued

Ostensibly all governmental systems, no matter how open, transparent, or docile, should be named, if only to provide a proper framework for their operation and maintenance. Unfortunately, however, most new ideas get pigeonholed into predefined groups, because, in being so prone to categorization, humans tend to prefer convenient guesswork (defining a set of ideas as being the same as a previous set based on superficial similarities) to innovation (birthing an entirely new paradigm) -- even where such a practice is a derived necessity of the circumstance. When discussing a new system, emphasizing social mobility, uniformity, and resource trust connotes communism to some, for example, while emphasizing lack of representation or centralization connotes anarchism to others. Given that neither of these economic and governmental models is very well-designed, it is imperative to avoid any association with them; being explicit in outlining the tenets of a proposed future governmental system, then, is of utmost importance.

In the future, if there ever becomes a need to upgrade to a more efficient model, then it should be done, but in the meantime, it appears reasonable to tentatively conclude that rule by ideas -- idearchy -- is superior to rule by individual humans or groups. The logic behind this concept is simple: Humans are receptacles of memes just as much as they are agents; furthermore, they are prone to lapses in judgment from time to time, no matter how reasonable they may generally be. Therefore, without true memetic redundancy, a governmental system is set up to fail; in other words, should a leader ever "malfunction," without a backup leader, you've essentially ensured the annihilation of your system. Checks and balances may suffice to the end of preventing such catastrophes, but so long as they are rooted in the concept of an individual or group as representative, they, too, are inefficient. This is because:

1. They generate waste by insisting that decisions be made exclusively by "authorized" individuals or groups, regardless of the extent to which the scientific method is actually applied in situations.

2. They exalt majority rule while insinuating that reality can be reduced to subjective opinions.

The former reason to not trust representative governments demonstrates the mechanistic inefficiencies inherent in their design, as it reveals a totally unnecessary, invisible boundary in place between "the people" and "the government." Why does it matter who proposes a good idea? Do I have to be a congressman to be able to make an important decision for society? What if my idea is superior to its competitors, but no one cares, because I am not in a position of power? Such apathy is an expression of what is known as the appeal to authority fallacy -- that logical error which leads its hosts to believe that, since a person has been elected into office, for example, he or she will have superior ideas to those of the "average" person. If a populace is not informed enough to make its own decisions, then it necessarily follows that it is also not informed enough to vote those into power deemed capable of doing it for them. This realization should cause us to reject the democratic model in favor of rule by ideas, and to stress educational reform -- if we truly want to encourage objectivity and innovation.

The second reason to not trust representative governments pertains to the scientific method, and how it can be used to make informed, rational decisions in society. An idea should not be considered worthy of implementation solely because it is popular, and to think otherwise is to commit the argumentum ad populum, or argument from popularity fallacy. Put simply, one unbiased perspective is superior to a consensus among a hundred biased perspectives. Creationism, for example, might make us feel good inside, but we shouldn't submit to the constraints of that belief system simply because the majority of the world is invested in religion.

Why should action be any different? Simply disagreeing with your representatives and their corresponding voter bases is not enough if all that it terminates in is your grinning and bearing the situation; if you don't think that something makes sense, then you shouldn't do it (except in cases where prison time and other penalties prove impractical, of course).

Finally, consider that ideas inside of minds are analogous to files on hard drives. When discussing the data stored on those latter devices, how often do we deal with the devices as wholes? In other words, if I want to download a file from the Internet, I don't fly to where the host is physically located and confiscate the hard drive on which the file is stored. Why, then, should I elect a leader, when I can directly download his good ideas instead? Where biases prevent a person from making rational decisions in particular areas of policy, we would do well to attempt to override those biases; where no such biases exist, we should listen. I don't have to find all of a person's ideas to be rational in order to find some of them to be, so why aren't we dealing with individual ideas instead of with groups of ideas running on faulty cognitive hardware?

If one person has the best idea in a given scenario, then his idea will lead the way, but if his idea in a second scenario isn't that great, then the group will opt for a superior competing idea -- no leadership required.

Remember: We don't have ideas -- ideas have us.

1 comment:

  1. Remember: We don't write stupid blogs -- stupid blogs write us.