Polyocracy is often associated with liberal or progressive ideals; however in practice, the movement associates itself with General Systems analysis. For instance, the model is based upon the cybernetics in biological systems. The nested hierarchy of cells, tissues, organs, systems and organisms is used to explain the principles. The generalized analogy produces a general systems approach.
My analysis will be of a particular article that is a good general characterization of Polyocracy. I intend to show that even though the framework is ontological, there is still political influence in the inference. I will be pointing out where assumptions are made that are not indicative of the relevant scientific disciplines.
This is an article that is characteristic of Polyocracy. It’s a beautiful, unified model addressing some of our most concerning issues.
Polyocracy’s White Paper:
The technical aspects of this paper are interesting. It involves many technologies that are in development. This of course increases the probability of such technologies taking root In our systems. It also illustrates the motive for humans to adapt with such technologies; the evolutionary predisposition to ensure the safety of our offspring, and thus our species. It however then goes on to elevate consciousness and awareness. This is a political tool and not an ontological tool. There is a very good reason for this.
In the first several paragraphs, it criticizes the current path and the unfavorable financial influence. This has been scientifically studied; not only in the field of Economics (John Nash), but also in the field of Political Science (Robert Axelrod). After being demonstrated to exist in the behavior of all life, including microbes, it’s now noted study in Behavioral Science.
The quote “Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian”, is somewhat pertinent. The economic behaviors of humans have tended to be characterized in a similar way to the economics of cells. The Tit for Tat strategy has been shown to drive all other strategies into extinction. Because this is a simple rule that tends to produce favorable outcomes, under favorable conditions, this is an efficiency in the system. Not only is consciousness specifically being demonstrated to be irrelevant, it also is not being demonstrated to have functional value. This is one of the more difficult struggles in cognitive science and consciousness studies. It appears to be that consciousness at the level of higher mammals is novel in it’s emergence, in this stage of the evolution of the biosphere.
Humans are less than 10% conscious in our behavior and much less rational. The motive for the fundamental change that would be needed to implement the technologies suggested for solution, is the evolutionary predispositions toward self-preservation. This is likely to only occur when it is clear to the vast majority that anthropogenic influence is being demonstrated. That means, like in almost all other instances, serious consequences produce fundamental change. This is what the scientific data suggests.
In his book “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”, Adam Smith points out in many instances the unfavorable outcomes that result from pathological competition between nation states. Part of the agreement in Initial Public Offerings is a systemic incentive toward perpetual growth. This is in the agreement between the corporation and it’s investors. When stock value is rising, the security is a good investment. When it is stagnant or declining, it’s a poor investment. The stockholders are free to trade the stocks at any time, indefinitely. This promotes the growth of corporations, thus the overall economy and the aggregation of wealth. These are all probably, heavily influenced by competition between nation states.
The aggregation of wealth tends to occur when economies approach growth maximum. Since there is a finite need for goods and services at any given time; and since currency based financial structures that employ derivatives outgrow the underlying economic framework, wealth and markets aggregate into the hands of a minority. This is a well documented and understood phenomena known as the “Crisis Cycle”. With the advent of modern technologies that aid in economic growth, the exponential advancement of technologies has been accompanied with exponential increase in frequency of crises.
Given that Nationalism is associated with the crises produced by aggregation, the mountain which fundamental change climbs is progressively becoming more steep. To illustrate the many aspects of current socioeconomic struggle that inhibit the change required and exacerbate the problem, a reference to the seminal Princeton Paper should suffice.
Though the effects that this article examines are somewhat temporary, they are reoccurring. This is increasingly more concerning considering that the crises that initiate such outcomes are coming more infrequently; due to enabling technologies. These types of issues arise in all nation states when financial crises come about. Crises become a hindrance to global economic cooperation; as Adam Smith detailed.
The main problem appears to be with the notion of “externality”. Economics is taught as a financial and political discipline. This is where the contexts tend to revolve. Where finance actively ignores environmental interaction, issues are allowed to manifest. This is what we are witnessing now.
This article is as much an explanation of my own interpretation of Polyocracy; as I try to address global economics as well, as it is a criticism of the white paper. My own thinking on the problems are rooted in David Bohm’s “Wholeness and the Implicate Order”. Again, I find it to be a beautiful model; however I have no confidence in spreading awareness as an approach for implementation. I also have no confidence in financial solutions; due to the issues that I described. I do however see a favorable influence that is more than worth doing. This reminds me of the work of the Economic Space Agency (ECSA); that is immediate action, that may indeed lighten the suffering as we transition to a Type 1 society. Most importantly, this unified type of thinking is probably required for the stewardship role that is likely needed to survive as such a numerous medium sized animal. The Bohmian approach appears to be the best one going.
Economic strife has far reaching implications that are not only financial, but also psychological and interpersonal. Markets experiencing disruptions in capital flow can also experience disruptions in cooperative behavior and the trajectories in which products and services take. This doesn’t just happen to businesses that produce widgets either. It also has a disturbing effect on the humanities as artists require a living wage as well. The Internet and the novel markets that emerged as a result of it’s advent have been destructively disruptive to the entertainment industry; which has rigidly defended it’s legacy models, rather than adapting. Heavy metal has felt the brunt of this. The uncertainty and the unhealthy level of competition has even effected the music itself via it’s influence on the people who write and perform it. Many musicians have taken on the responsibilities of duties that were once generally outsourced in the interest of cutting costs. An organized network of similar strategies might be a viable way for musicians to move forward.
While Internet 2.0 was under development, there was a specific point of contention that is now particularly interesting in hindsight. There was an extremely passionate debate over to approaches. Either the Internet would promote privacy with the liberated, “copy / paste” type mode of file transfer; or there would be a protocol that promoted “provenance” in file transfer. The former is the Internet of today. The latter might have been a tag of sorts that would point back to the origin of the file. Since Internet 2.0 was being developed with commerce (.com) in mind, the value of a protocol that ensures credit for what one uploads was of course a strong point.
Though there were a lot of heated discussions and sleepless nights over the decision, the privacy friendly Internet that was intended didn’t come to fruition. This doesn’t however mean that the wrong choice was made. The provenance protocol may have been just as easily stifled as privacy has been. The copy / paste model of file transfer originated in personal computers and local area networks. The protocol may have been gotten around by reproduction on local (home / private) machines.
Many of the serious issues that we have faced with the Internet were just completely unforeseen. I doubt that any degree of foresight would have been feasible in the late 80s. We’re still struggling with it. The emergence of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding technologies has generated new microeconomics networks that include models for barter, gift economics, direct donations and more recently crypto-currency and ICOs. It appears that it has only just begun to get complex and complicated. Lack of will to invest the time and effort to try to understand this obvious restructuring of the economic system has been a mistake that the entertainment industry has paid dearly for. Continuance of the defense of legacy models is a dangerous gamble.
The new digital formats and the machines and networks that produce and distribute them have created a system state that some have been referring to as “the race to the bottom”. It has cut costs in production to the point that it’s achievable at home. It’s also allowing self-publishing and even digital payment methods for e-commerce. This has had favorable and unfavorable effects on the entertainment industry. Though piracy has been a concerning problem, it may be more concerning that the market is reluctant to adjust.
There have been some not so significant strategies that have produced favorable results. For instance, when lyric videos became popular, some publishers took the initiative to produce them. This redirected attention back to them with a higher quality product. The traffic of course is potential ad revenue as well.
Less favorable results have come from the lack of will to invest in distribution methods that potential patrons have been gravitating toward. Having a well promoted presence on YouTube hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of many publishers two year plans. It seems likely that it’s due to YouTube being a competitor to existing partners (*coughs* cable companies). The fact that cable companies are also the major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) has created a serious conflict of interest. This may not seem that relevant to music now; but remember that music videos used to be on cable TV. The lessons that were learned from that experience have translated to more destructive strategies in recent years.
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is access control technologies for restricting access of proprietary products and copyrighted materials. Though there was illegal usage and redistribution of copyrighted works, DRM was infinitely more likely to punish the innocent than to prevent piracy. It’s easy to get around, it has failed over and over again; and it still exists… because those who are making the decision, don’t understand the problem. Many have pointed out (and rightly so) that the existence of an illegal copy is not equivalent to the loss of a sale. There are a lot of instances where shares result in new sales by newly gained patrons. It’s just a new complication that needs to be thought through and tested; rather than impulsively sullying the entire distribution method. This is likely to become more of a problem logistically as NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems become more popular. Having a local machine, with a lot of storage space for video and audio files, that can streamed directly to a television through HDMI, may become much more popular as data caps on Internet connections becomes more of a problem. DRM becomes more of a problem here; as pirated copies, DRM free copies, or copies that people have gotten around the DRM themselves would be populating NAS systems. This would of course be accompanied with less consumption on the Internet; which results in less hits on sites, and less chance for ad revenue.
The most interesting aspect of the changes in the economy in the past two decades is probably that it has become significantly decentralized. It has become not only more diverse but also more complex and complicated. A more centralized economy is more convenient due to having less choices to make with respect to outlet and service resources, but a more diverse market produces a more “Smithian” type of competition. It’s become increasingly more important to research new outlets an funding resources; not only because they are rapidly emerging, but also because they are rapidly turning over. The way that business management is done right now could become significantly irrelevant within the next ten years. Business models are quickly becoming agile, dynamic WIPs.
Social media has effected the music industry in a few interesting ways. Independent music can be produced, promoted and published entirely independently. It’s probably not the best solution for a touring band; but some aspects of it might be useful. There are a number of musicians that have used such resources to take on some of the responsibilities that used to be outsourced. This is an interesting development because it has enhanced the skill sets of musicians in general. This isn’t just a valuable quality for cutting costs internally within a singular band either. Now that there are so many resources for handling a wide variety of economic interactions, more cooperative organizations have become possible.
A model similar to a COOP may be possible with musicians selling or bartering their particular skill sets within an organization of musicians. This is similar to a COOP as it’s an organization and a network that is owned by musicians. Musicians could work together and trade internally and externally; with an interest to cooperatively secure projects and thus the flow of capital into the organization. Logistically it’s somewhat complex; however there are networks that handle bartering and ICOs that provide “smart contracts”. This allows individuals to negotiate directly with each other in much the same way that bands can now negotiate directly with their fans, through crowdfunding. Costs can even be cut with respect to legal fees. The interesting thing about ICOs is that the value of the coin base increases with added adoption. An ICO can be a security, an investment and a negotiating platform all in one package. It’s complex, but it’s interesting.
It might be best to take the “build it and they will come” approach. Since communities are complex and diverse in many aspects, it may be best to allow a high degree of self-organization. Beginning with some founding space for minds to meet, maybe a social media platform, organization can begin based upon the needs of the organization and amend as it grows. Bands are no stranger to organization with other bands. This is demonstrated in collaborations, touring and festivals. This is likely an issue with signed bands; so it’s probably more likely to be an approach for free agents. Thanks however to this economic emergence, free agents are numerous.
As the organization grows, the interests and aptitudes are likely to grow with it. The control of the outcome would of course be in the hands of those putting the rubber to the road. This isn’t however just a suggestion. There appears to be various environmental stimuli nudging musicians toward more independence, whether it be the trends toward self-management or increased loss of creative control.
As it stands, rather than investing in new models, and finding novel new ways to partner with creators, many promoters and publishers are avoiding the risk and watching their own market share decline as the market itself diversifies. It would not only be interesting, but also nice if there were some middle ground between signed and independent talent.
The uncertainty doesn’t appear to be tapering off. Much to the contrary, modern tech seems to be creating even more interesting complexity. It may be that organization in the form of distributed intelligence is the most viable approach for the sustenance of the humanities. The market does appear to be restructuring significantly. Who do you want to rebuild it?
In the interest of transparency, this situation affects me personally. I’m not only an old geeky artist. I’m also an old metal head. I also have a long history of dislike of the whimsy of finance; that goes way back to my youth. I probably wouldn’t have written this without my own personal interest in it.
I’d very much like to see a more liberated environment for the creative process, that doesn’t keep the sympathetic nervous systems of artists active, due to being extremely concerned over how their next project will be funded. I’d like to see more free thought about the past, present and future; rather than the present self involvement that has coerced itself significantly into the diskography. I guess it’s just a sign of the times though. Many of the first, old, blues, lost love songs were a double entendre of the relationship between the artist and the plantation that they were working for. We are all fortunate that they had the good fortune of being able to make a few bucks belting them into a tin can.
This economic uncertainty may seem a bit bleak to us with our nose in it; but it’s difficult not to see that the standard of living is still on the rise. It has gotten better; and it will probably continue to. It’s probably going to require a lot of adjustment in the instances of punctuated equilibrium though.
The official write up is done and a license has been chosen. This write up is less suggesting and more spelled out. From now on a road map will be created and satiated before version updates.
A free PDF can be downloaded here:
Oligarchy has a clear and prevalent effect upon the “self esteem” of small endeavors in general. The lack of feeling in “control” of ones environment is one that brings out many unfavorable, impulsive behaviors. The lack of empathy that is perceived in governance that is merely trying to float an unstable economy at growth maximum is a social norm that has direct influence upon not only the working environment in small businesses, but also the general population. The notion of “self esteem” is a bit truncated because of it’s attention to the individual. The environmental factors add a more scientific view of what is actually occurring when comparing outcomes with basic human needs
The human impulse toward negative utility tends to create blame of a singular aspect or individual resulting in the systematic removal of said aspect or individual at blame. This occurrence is one of chaotic circumstance that leads to more individuals being pushed into poverty and even worse circumstances. This is what the more detailed view of a social system that is failing dramatically looks like. This is loss of established complexity on the individual level.
The main cause of this issue seems to go much deeper than just lack of the average individual having equal political influence though. The previous argument only addresses the immediate perceptual aspects of the behaviors. The lack of security and an accepted, authentic self is much more concerning; and something that modern society promotes in human culture.
The 1950s were an interesting time in recent history. The economy of that time boasted ample room for growth; so small endeavors could function unmolested. There was however many other aspects that are characterized as pathological. The cold war between the US and Russia was a constant point of contention that stripped away any illusion of security that financial security might promote. The McCarthyism that plagued the 50s was also accompanied with institutionally supported bigotry towards many “races”, creeds, religions and sexual orientations. The financial security of the time still didn’t result in a willingness to share the abundance. The extreme lack of security that such Orwellian tactics which existed in the 50s imposed upon the population an impedance to a personal growth that could have resulted in a US that could compete with Northern Europe in today’s political climate. This however is far from the case.
The issue goes even deeper than world politics though. Keep in mind security does not really exist. It doesn’t come from within either. It comes from empathetic human behaviors. It comes from caring about consequences not only to oneself but also to others. It comes from caring about environmental impact and general conservation of life and liberty. It comes from the confidence that we can make it together. Allow me to explain.
No matter how advanced we become, it is likely that we will continue to struggle with extinction risk factors. This is likely the way that nature functions. No matter how adept we become, we will likely never have control of our environment. It”s probably just an incoherent notion from the start. The whole notion of “self esteem” is so truncated that it’s not really all that useful. It appears to alienate a social animal rather than promote favorable interpersonal interactions. It’s a bit of a Neo-Darwinian concept as it focuses on specific needs of the individual while working against others. It in turn paves the way for justification of many pathological behaviors as post hoc justification is in essence a pretty fair description of human cognition.
The ability to actually see ones self and ones environment appears to be a basic human need. To understand ones own needs and know how to satiate them should be an unconditional basic human right. It’s not control of ones environment that makes a human whole. It’s the connection to ones environment that allows a human to give their lives meaning. It’s the need to be a part of the grand scheme that makes a person whole; and that is unlikely where the knowledge of such things are mired in strategic nonsense and false senses of security.
We are denying ourselves the needed security of feeling confident that we will make it together. Our intelligence is just as much a security liability as it is a security essential when we are incoherent; because we have the ignorance to do harm with it.
I however refuse to end this rant on a negative note. → When ← the economy crashes, there is likely to be a renewed sense of unity in the necessity. That is a mirror of the big picture. That is probably the way that it works. This is our hope. We are capable of finding a way to scale naturalistic social systems; and the worse that things get, the harder we are likely to try. Though there are many failures in the history of the biosphere, we can do this. We are predisposed to do so.
It may be beyond current human understanding to produce a coherent socioeconomic system. There may however be a methodology that would maximize coherence in a naturalized model. Treating a socioeconomic system that coordinates with overarching natural systems as an experiment, with a scientific methodology may produce such an effect. The goal of this open project is to explore the feasibility of such a system; as it may be required for the purpose of extinction and existential risk management.
A naturalized socioeconomic system would be one that exhibits the normative properties generally found in self-organizing systems. Being normative, it would of course cooperate with the bulk of self-organizing systems. It might also cooperate with novel systems; to varying degrees. This would suggest dynamics and self-organization in it as well. In order to maximize the probability of such outcomes, a scientific methodology might be the most viable model for functions.
The scientific method boasts a wide variety of strategies for producing maximally empirical data and coherent understanding. Employing this method to socioeconomics, as it is employed to economics in science might produce a socioeconomic system that is adaptive and resistant to extinction risk. Considering the influence that such a system might have on the general ecology, it may also produce resistance to existential risk.
A naturalized socioeconomic system would be distinguishable from current socioeconomic models mainly by its unified structuring. Current models are based solely on usage of currency to distribute resources. This is tempered with political influence in an attempt to see that resources are distributed fairly. Though this has a long history of cyclic failure, it has resulted in advancement and some degree of self-correction with respect to the severity of the unfavorable outcomes associated with the coercive aspects of currency systems. Pathological exploitation however is still a large part of socioeconomics. This appears to be a product of truncated models.
A naturalized approach itself differs from financial / political models in the main goals. Rather than attempting to coerce desired behaviors through bruit force social influence, a naturalized model would be one that nurtures existing natural behaviors to produce favorable outcomes. The former is probably a product of the ancient political structuring of Coercion; and the latter is probably a product of the primordial structuring of natural Normalization. Normalization is however coercive itself; when considering it from a unified lens. The payoff of normative behaviors is lack of extinction risk. The difference between the current model and a naturalized model might be that coercion is being maximally minimized; as we would be reducing systemic coercion as much as humanly possible, rather than employing it for discrete, minority influence.
It would stand to reason that the principles of a unified hypothesis base self interest on general viabilities that coordinate with each other to fortify each other’s effect; in a distributed manner. The longevity of any system appears to be rooted in how effectively it coordinates with a critical mass of pre-existing normalized systems. Therefor, the priorities should be Risk Management, Synergy and Distribution respectively. This view is based upon the works of Adam Smith and David Bohm’s “Implicate Order”.
As previously stated, Normalization is coercive; as it is the natural alternative to extinction risk. This has been shown to be a basis for normative behavior. This includes the behaviors of self-organizing systems including human behavior. It is unlikely that humans would have the ability to mitigate this in the foreseeable future; thus it should probably be included in the approach as a basis. Though positive utility associated with human interests would be part of the model as well, it would likely be tied naturally to the rewards and consequences of interaction with the overarching systems. The possible rewards are more likely to be put at risk without risk management. This suggests that risk management should be prioritized.
One of the more unified views of physical existence is the reduction of interactions into Entropy, Normalization, Novelty and Extinction. This is of course based upon probabilities of possible types of outcomes from types of interactions. Risk Management in a naturalized socioeconomic system might be best descried with these principles; for the time being. Since Entropy is the most common type of interaction in self-organizing systems and Extinction is the most common outcome, the risks are apparently generally high. In self-organizing systems normative behaviors are observed to mitigate risk of extinction. Novel behaviors though not so likely to mitigate extinction risk are generally non destructive to normative function. Novelty can also provide dynamics that might also result in the amendment of Normalization; that can result in the adaptability of Normalization as well. That being said, the difference between Entropy and Extinction is the sum of Normalization and Novelty. This appears to describe a natural, risk management function.
The synergistic principle of Open Naturalized Socioeconomics is Polyocracy. It is characterized by socioeconomic establishments that coordinate with each other as having equal importance. It is intended to mitigate the disenfranchisement that leads to fragmentation and dysfunction. The history of such dysfunction is the observation that supports the notion of the general necessity of the systemic components.
Polyocracy in more detail is based upon coordination of instrumentalistic and proceduralistic methods with a choice of judiciary and diplomatic support. This is to promote the coherence of law, security, public policy and economics. Understanding the importance of synergy in the system requires the understanding that each component has influence on the stability of the system. For instance Instrumentalism is the epistecratic, top down influence; and Proceduralism is the bottom up, practical application. The coordination of these two is more likely to produce stable economics. This is based upon General Systems Theoretical models. Instrumnentalism would be characterized as an Archetype; and Proceduralism would be characterized as the Particular. This would in essence be an Epistocracy providing services for the general public’s projects.
The model is based on a common tuple. The Particular is represented by T (time), U (Input), Y (output) and Q (state). This states that an input to the system would over time produce an output that would result in the system being in a particular state. The Archetype is represented by Ω Omega (admissible input), δ delta (transition) and λ lambda (observed output). This states that an admissible input (input that is likely to produce the desired output) would initiate a transition in the state of the system; resulting in an observed output, to compare to the desired output. This might allow citizens to develop models that coordinate with overarching systems and increasing the probability of producing the outcome they themselves desire. This is intended to unify the populous with the state; on the General Systems principle of coordinating subsystems with overarching systems.
Epistocracy is predicated on the notion that those who better understand the issues are better to employ toward their solution. This is obviously the case; however in complex social systems, distributed intelligence is probably required to do so. This suggests that sharing between the Epistocracy and entrepreneurs might be a more effective model for addressing the complexity. This also enhances security as it inhibits the emergence of singular points of failure. This might also maximize efficiency of human resource management and also maximize the emergence of novel systems. That being the case, an increase in the rate of advancement might be expected.
A scientific approach toward Socioeconomics currently appears to be the most likely approach to be most effective. The scientific method may produce more success than any other model to date. This may be because failures are more often used as useful data; and the failed projects aren’t often revisited in multitude. The scientific method has demonstrated that Economics is indeed a measurable endeavor; and there is a wealth of data to apply toward it. More recently there has been more cross disciplinary study to promote the unified theory that is probably required for scientific, socioeconomic modeling. Cross Disciplinary Inferential Statistical Analysis may be the proper vehicle for a naturalized, socioeconomic paradigm. General Systems Theory seems the likely candidate for a basis.
The lack of precedent for a naturalized, socioeconomic system in human history presents an interesting issue. This produces economic modeling without real world test cases to reference; thus the suggestion to treat the system dynamics as an experiment itself. The Archetype is a proverbial claim of sorts; and the Particular is a test of the claim. Where the Archetype is supported by the results in the Particular, the Archetype is unchanged. Where the Archetype is not supported it is amended with the empirical data produced by the Particular. This would of course however, require a number of independent test cases. With complex, social systems, there is also likely to often be a third option. Individual instances are unlikely to have been conducted under similar initial conditions. This is obviously something that would have to be taken into account. This might be a new path for research.
Complex social systems are the epitome of chaotic systems. Treating them as an experiment probably requires accounting for a large number of variables; when considering individual test cases. Associating the initial conditions with the outcomes may be the only way to address test cases that are not conducted under similar conditions. The current rise in data sharing and analysis may be a path toward the viability of such a model.
Tim Berners Lee has been suggesting that the “next web” be centered on data sharing. He has been supporting the idea that data in general is more useful than is commonly appreciated. A naturalized socioeconomic system might for instance use such data to account for relevant variables. A decentralized network that allows the Archetype to share data with the Particular for both the purposes of empirical data collection and practical problem solving might be a viable model for an efficient, effective, unified socioeconomic system.
An example of such a decentralized network may be something similar to Ethereum. A number of securely synced, full nodes securing copies of a main database, with relatively large scale human resources maintaining and analyzing the data, might be an adequate foundation for an Archetype. A larger number of staffed, light clients, with public, user access might be an effective interface for the Particular. Entrepreneurs would be able to share data and search solutions with such a network. This might be a viable model for a prospective .eco fork of the “next web”.
Throughout history, the only type of instance that has been shown to initiate fundamental socioeconomic change has been critical failure. Loss of confidence in the system promotes a general search for alternatives. For instance, the many failures in the British Empire to prepare for the industrial age may have been the main catalyst for the advent of Capitalism. Feudalism just wasn’t adequately compatible with industry. Adam Smith’s approach was to analyze the system and attempt to create solutions for not only an adequately functional, industrial socioeconomic system, but also a more favorable one. This was a more daunting task for Smith as he didn’t have the behavioral and societal understanding that we have today. He also didn’t have the understanding required to employ statistical, mechanical models for issue solution as the basis is the evolution of systems; as he died decades before the birth of Charles Darwin. These facts are reflected in his brilliant but lacking analyses.
There are a great many failures accruing in our transition from an industrial to a technological society. Many of them are due not only to an inability to secure products and services from pernicious outside and inside forces, but also an accelerating path to aggregating ends. Ray Kurzweil is known partially for his Accelerating Advancement hypothesis. He suggests that technological advancement accelerates in exponents over time. This appears to be true. This also appears to have an interesting side effect. Emergent technologies have been aiding in the aggregation of wealth and markets. For instance, automation of the stock markets, the advent of the Startup and on line shopping have been significant influences on growth rates; but have not been generally convenient for small business. Wealth and markets are now easily aggregated and markets are now quickly saturated. A list of the financial crises throughout history shows how the rate at which crises come about has accelerated. Plotted out it would obviously be a significantly, increasingly steep curve.
The Crisis Cycle:
The Crisis Cycle is a term that represents the consistent consequence of aggregation of wealth and markets. During the growth phase, state economies are relatively stable. At growth maximum, instability accrues until the economy rapidly declines. What follows of course is recovery. This is where acceptance of more fundamental change is more likely. This is historically where more fundamental change has happened. It’s the lack of confidence in the model that produces change in complex social systems. This tends to only occur when the consequences are so severe that the populous generally agrees upon the lack of inequity in the model.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste” ~Rahm Emanuel
Socioeconomic systems are self-organizing systems. Attempts at even correction in unstable systems are unlikely to produce results because of the nature of human thought. There is a difference between normal and normative for this reason. Humans being a product of both their immediate and general environment produces cognitive dissonance when the immediate environment is significantly a product of human hubris. That which has become socially normal has become confused with that which is generally normative. This results in a destructive layer of complexity that is resistant to the normative appeal that tends to produce self-correction. This is probably the reason that self-correction tends to occur following severe consequences.
In the event that socioeconomic instability reduces public confidence in the current model, contingencies would have a high probability of being seriously considered. Using methodologies that are likely to produce feasible solutions for review during crises appears to be the most effective strategy for effecting fundamental change. Rather than leveraging time and resources toward public awareness, while taking said time and resources away from producing effective contingencies, focusing on research and development of contingencies is more likely to produce prospective solutions that would have the desired result. It might be best to concentrate on the quality of work as opposed to selling the idea to the public; which has become second nature in this capitalistic society. Being prepared for crises with solutions to fundamental issues is probably the best strategy for any archetype.
Much of the political discourse of late concerning the Civil War is grossly oversimplified. This includes the notion of the war being centered on the south’s will to preserve slavery. This is a purely political opinion and not so much a scientific one. It’s another account in the massive, historical pool of accounts of political support of existing industry. It’s also an account in just as large a historical pool of accounts of disenfranchisement of the majority.
“Money is Power”:
The Limited Liability Act of 1855, The Joint Stock Companies Act (1856) and Companies Act (1862) had President Lincoln more concerned than about the Civil War itself.
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” ~Abraham Lincoln
The distribution of slave owning plantations was small as well. The concerns that saturated markets entail were the concern of the average farmer during this time. The corruption that existed in Washington also existed in the southern states. Those large economic entities (large plantations as well as corporations) are the ones that have the most impact on economies. Loss of them equates to significant loss in the economy itself. This is in essence the leverage that large industries and financial institutions employ when interacting with governance. The plantations in the south had similar economic leverage to influence legislation in the southern states; thus influencing congress, that corporations had to leverage influence over legislation in central governance. President Lincoln’s (R(when it meant something)) concerns revolved around the threat to the republic. To President Lincoln the war was not about slavery; it was about the loss of governmental power.
Politics in the southern states was vastly influenced by the plantations that produced cash crops. The writs of secession were thus porked with anti-abolition entitlements. Less than one third of the southern soldiers had family income from slave ownership. For the rest, their perspective of the war was one of fighting against an invasion. They were disenfranchised and in essence along for the ride. They were being invaded through no fault of their own and were concerned about the safety of their homes. There is however more to it. This was a time when the country was being industrialized. The advent of the barn engine and subsequently the tractor was likely to end slavery regardless of the outcome of the war. Over a period of decades, it became increasingly difficult to sustain a family on a family farm. This is because of the commodification of farming and expenses like shipping via the railroads. The railroads for instance, were charging high prices due to no competition. This was part of the corporate influence on the economy. Many of the family farmers were coerced to look toward employment due to the automation of farming. by then reconstruction was under way and working tractors existed. This change would likely have had an effect on the motive for southern soldiers to fight in the war. This would of course be more of a subconscious, impulsive behavior. The rejection of the change that was being imposed upon them was likely a strong motivator.
“It Was About Slavery”:
The notion of what anything is about is entirely subjective. It is not a scientific notion. It can however be criticized scientifically. It appears that, to the vast majority, the war was not about slavery at all. Most of the people who were wielding influence were aware that slavery was nearing obsolescence through automating technologies. This is uncomfortable for most to realize; due to the will to be masters of ones own path. The abolition movement would likely have not even existed if there were no replacement for slavery. It “coincided” with the advent of the barn engine; and slavery was made illegal coinciding the advent of the tractor. Civilized humans tend to take credit for what emerges and until then, take advantage of each other. History is full of precedent that attests to that fact.
The Civil War was an interesting though trying time in our history. Even today it influences politics with various truncated opinions that divide the populous against itself. This is concerning on many levels. In order for one to vote their conscience, there is a requirement that one be educated on the subject matter. This is not something that the Industrial Revolution has promoted in the American culture. Political discourse has since become brandishing truncated factoids that are taken out of context in order to prolong the division. President Lincoln’s worst fear has come to be.
Revolt does not come from a population that is oppressed alone. It comes from one that is also uneducated. The struggle between political and economic influence tends to produce both. There is a great deal of precedent in our history that attests to that fact as well.
The world view that has been in development since the dawn of civilization has produced a wide variety of favorable attributes. This is however on the creation of unfavorable ones as well. When such a large influence as collective consciousness is wielded as a control measure by a minority, the outcome is most likely going to be large scale disenfranchisement. This has been empirically demonstrated in written history and in common practice. The most disconcerting aspect of this fact is probably the billions of lives that this has influenced in an unfavorable way; though the current extinction and existential risk obviously warrants much concern as well.
Control Based “Work Ethics”:
The current view of work is generally one of sacrifice for the common good. Though it’s often the case in practice, it’s also a product of the view itself. The manner in which society is developing is highly dependent upon the views of the society itself. There is a “group think” type of hive mind that is guiding social structuring. Such a view of reality ensures the acceptance of the solutions that are produced.
Humans tend to think in a top down type of manner. Axioms provide a conceptual model for the development of solutions to problems. If the conceptual model is incoherent, the solutions are more likely to produce unfavorable effects. When leaders spread unsupported dogma in the place of awareness of maximally accurate approximations of the initial conditions, for the purpose of personal gain, the outcome is more of a control measure than an attempt at socioeconomic solutions.
A false dichotomy of leaders and followers is also part of the current world view. Though there is natural predisposition to invest in the strengths of leaders, natural systems diversify, in mass, in a distributed manner. Allowing small numbers of leaders to aggressively guide society is probably hindering novelty to a significant degree. This probably means that much more advancement might have been possible if distributed intelligence had been employed in the initial model of civilization. Rather, top down influence produced exploitation of the vast majority of the population; which is as prevalent today as it has been for thousands of years. The severity of it has however decreased significantly.
It would appear that contribution to society was generally, originally a very purposeful and meaningful experience that was generally passion provoking and fulfilling. It was likely more appreciated as an important part of social interaction. It was also probably more enjoyable than most of the experiences that people have with employment.
The Separation of Education and Entertainment:
In all mammals accepting civilized human societies, education is developed through play. Animals play to learn useful life skills. Humans however have separated entertainment from education for the reason of acclimation to the work ethic. Entertainment thus became a reward for contributing to society.
It would stand to reason that a fun, game like, educational experience is what humans have evolutionary predispositions toward. This being the case, an educational system that is framed in that manner is likely to be the most successful model; as humans are likely to be intrinsically suited to it. Rather, educational models are too often taken for granted or under appreciated; due to incoherent socioeconomic views. For instance, many have asked “why invest in the education of someone that is doing unskilled labor?”. This truncates the issue to the “means of production” when education is originally for the purpose of learning life skills in general.
Thinking of education as a lengthy endeavor of hard labor is probably ensuring that a large number of young people fail at it. It’s probably supposed to be fun. The dividends from making it fun again would probably be enormous.
The Prevalence of Punishment and Lack of Positive Reinforcement:
The general world view, when it comes to criminal behavior is that people have a choice; and the wrong choices should be punished. There is more positive reinforcement now then in previous centuries; but punishment is more often than not the first and only action taken. This is a complex and complicated issue when considering the sovereignty of the mind; but erring in the first action tends to be most common.
The manner in which drug addiction is addressed is a pretty good indicator of where we might make some progress. For instance, it’s difficult to have an aggressive intervention because of concerns of infringing upon the rights of the individual. It’s also more likely that the individual would require some serious form of consequence before the denial of the seriousness of the situation became evident to them. With the ethical considerations, that is probably where the first action should take place. When the first action is punishment alone, the success of the action isn’t being maximized; it’s not even really being promoted. what’s usually happening is that those who have been victimized by the actions of the addict are being avenged. Often it’s also the addict being punished for possessing an illegal substance. This in essence doesn’t really promote the correction of the behaviors of the addict. For that, positive reinforcement would probably be a more effective strategy. If part of the terms of release were to get help for the offending condition, the success of the action would probably increase dramatically. Without it, the chance that the addict would continue to victimize others is not being mitigated. The system should take responsibility for this; and it generally doesn’t.
In recent times, there has been significant maturity in local law enforcement. City police are employing psychological tools for recognizing not only deception but also red flags for mental illness and disorder. The local courts are also more sensitive to such things. This however worsens up the ladder. The states are being pressured not only from the local governance but also from federal governance. The difference in the world view is evident as well. There is of course the fact that federal cases are often severe and highly publicized cases to consider as well. This is probably feedback from an incoherent, general world view. This will not change the fact that the current approach is much less likely to be successful than one including the added positive utility of positive reinforcement. The costs of dealing with repeat offenders is probably more than the costs of mitigating repeat offenses.
It doesn’t seem likely that the life of an addict, in the darkest hours is a good life. The well being of the individual should be a concern as well as the protection of those that the individual might harm.
Polarity and Blame:
The two party political model often prevents favorable change. This is because of the tendency to choose a side and stand by it keeps the populous polarized and incapable of effecting change. The issues cannot be effectively addressed if there is a 50 / 50 ish split on the solution. The lack of change is often blamed on the opposing party; and allowed to be unsolved. There is also the issues that arise from more personal values that probably shouldn’t even be political issues at all. This distraction from favorable change is constant and pernicious in it’s ability to pit half against the other half; again with no solution.
The view that one might gain from the work of Stephen Pinker is one of a world that is getting better over time. This is probably because it’s derived from the developments from civilized society alone. The mistakes that were made early on are influencing society even today. When considering extinction and existential risk factors, the assessment may be going in the other direction. Though Graham Hancock has made some large mistakes concerning the myth of Atlantis, he has a poignant view of the level of self awareness of recent humans. His suggestion that humans are a “species with amnesia” appears to be true on many levels. Though I don’t think that we have entirely forgotten who we are, our failed attempts to re-invent ourselves has all but severed our deep connection with nature and left us in critical danger. This doesn’t however mean that this condition is necessarily fatal. We can’t entirely forget who we really are. Our base instincts are probably much more influential when the dangers become generally obvious. The purpose of this article however is to illustrate the notion that life is supposed to be better than it is; and better understanding of ourselves and our deep connection to nature is probably the solution.
Endeavoring to model a social system that serves the purposes of all of it’s components in a synergistic and thus symbiotic manner should be the focus of any one that wishes to produce a successful, thriving society. Though an initial model isn’t likely to be representative of all of the subtleties of the finished product through practical application, the basic principles of the model are likely to have a great deal of influence on it. The model is a framework that enforces the approach; which guides what solutions are sought along the way. Though it’s the individual solutions, which aren’t necessarily intuitive, that will be enabling practical application, the top down influence of the initial model will likely be influencing the synergistic function; as the initial model is considered when choosing discrete solutions. The focus of this article is to present an example of an initial model for such a synergistic social system.
Polyocracy is a principle predicated on the ubiquitous sharing of the responsibility for the function of the social system. This requires the understanding that each establishment is essential in the success of it. This suggests that there is common interest in synergy; that is likely to produce sustainable success. Disenfranchisement of any of the essential components would thus likely have an unfavorable overall result; that would eventually result, and has historically resulted in the general failure of the system. Polyocracy is in essence the mutual respect for the vitality of each and every societal structure.
Polyocracy on a global scale serves to promote diplomacy with other forms of governance. Historically, nationalization has produced a host of unfavorable results; that have been expressed in short term financial patchwork that eventually resulted in financial crisis and social unrest. Since the eventuality is similar with either of the approaches, diplomacy is the logical solution.
Education may be the most important aspect of social contribution. Whether it be hard scientific application or spiritual guidance, knowledge of the practice and of how it would either be a general service or generally non-destructive is essential in polyocratic policy. A balance between personal liberty and social responsibility can only be achieved if the understanding that everyone is necessary is promoted through curriculum. Historically there have been numbers of social movements that have divided societies; based upon a wide variety of beliefs, that have been detrimental to the overall function. These include political parties, religious backgrounds, class systems, exploitation, gender rolls etc. Education is likely the most valuable tool for sorting the issues that a developing society has to face. This might suggest that education be fully promoted and open access at all levels. This would maximize the potential for an educated populous.
A secure society entails a large number of contexts that would require a large number of solutions to produce. Much of it can not be predicted in foresight, however our current hindsight can be a useful tool in modeling an initial foundation.
Global security is an extremely complex subject that may best be approached first through a combination of judicial and diplomatic practices. An attempt at diplomacy is probably the most reasonable course of initial action. Adjudication should also be a part of this process for the purpose of promoting fairness. Systems are thus in place in the event that fails. Defense would of course be part of the security structure.
Domestic security is also very complex; though a little more manageable with respect to the legalities. This is because the laws enforced by the Judiciary are always applicable or a candidate for change. These outcomes are made possible by diplomatic and / or judicial interaction. The interface for the Judiciary would of course be the courts and police forces. The interface for the Diplomats would be the public representatives.
Legal representation might best be served with a combination of practical application of adjudication and epistecratic application of Instrumentalism. The ability to enforce laws that serve society has a great deal of dependence on the coherence of the laws themselves. An epistecratic approach to law making might minimize instance of lack of representation of important or even critical, systemic issues. The interface for Instrumenatlism would of course be academia.
Public policy would be best determined through interaction between the public and public representatives. It might be served by diplomacy and proceduralism. It would stand to reason that the most favorable outcome for the general populous is probably the outcome that functions the most favorably in practice. The details of course would be hashed out with diplomacy.
Economic influence has been a point of contention both globally and domestically, for all civilizations, throughout known history. The most effective way to approach global economics may be to produce a domestic economy that has unprecedented success. A combination of Instrumentalism and Proceduralism may produce much more favorable results in practice; as a combination of epistecratic modeling and real world, proceduralistic testing have historically resulted in general advancement.
Maximally efficient and effective function of all of the components of a social system are likely to produce a thriving society. Historically, thriving societies have enjoyed more evenly distributed wealth and have tended to promote civil rights. Where there is less concern over stability, there tends to be much more cooperation. It also seems likely that the reverse is true. Added cooperation is probably likely to result in stability. Previous models don’t account for this. The Old World view is based upon an expectation of competitiveness that evaporates when society is growing rapidly; and returns at growth maximum. Cooperation is expected when the system is functioning relatively well; therefor a model that promotes function rather than one that promotes competition is in order for the general good.
Disorder has many definitions. Even scientific disciplines have varied definitions of it. For instance, the clinical disciplines characterize it by ones diminished ability to function. This seems a little truncated from a systems perspective. This is because it doesn’t seem to coordinate with sociological questioning of the social order; much less the dogma that must exist in even our most unified models.
The issue appears to be lack of congruency between the hierarchical models that we construct for understanding of natural systems. To implement a more unified understanding of systems seems to require central dogmas that scale well with a general systems model. Even as such Entropy, which produces much more disorder than it ever will order, is by far the natural norm. Disorder is in essence the rule; and order is the exception.
The impulse toward order appears to be rooted in self-preservation. This makes the view a candidate for clinical justification; as the interest of the patient is prioritized. This doesn’t however produce the most viable model for understanding.
My efforts toward Naturalized Socioeconomics are encountering these types of semantical obstacles with almost all of the scientific disciplines. Even with Physical Science, there are instances where Entropy in the system stands to reason but can’t be demonstrated empirically due to complexity. Does this situation warrant dismissal of the logic that appears to be self-evident? Are we to assume that natural systems are not generally compatible because we have no accepted model for unification? Is our description of Entropy truncated in thermodynamic representations? Is a new general systems axiom required to solve this issue? It would appear that a Bohmian perspective would require congruence between the disciplines; in order to provide a model that would allow the rigor favored in general systems analysis.
Hierarchical Reasoning (and the lack there of):
The human brain can only parse about a dozen pieces of information at a time. This is probably a cognitive constraint of human neurology that produced the reductive aspects of music. Songs tend to be broken down into pieces like intro, verse, chorus, ontro, and outro. Octaves are of course composed of eight notes; though many wavelengths of sound lie in between each note. These wavelengths could probably be accessed and utilized; however many of the instruments are designed to only play the traditional notes and chords. This isn’t a bad metaphor for the way that humans think. We do the best that we can with the instrument that we have. On that same “note” however, our neurological resources can only reconcile a small degree of complexity. Hierarchies appear to be our cognitive solution to this issue. We search for more generalized, ordered patterns in order to analyze more complex systems.
We humans also do this with quantum systems. Measurement of particles tends to change the sate of the particle. This is because we have no way of observing elementary particulates without directly interacting with them. Since interaction influences the particles state, there is no technology for passive observation to date. This means we must find (and have found) methods for approximating the state of a particle without measuring it directly. The method that we employ influences our perspective and thus our models. We now see Quantum Mechanics as probabilistic because we use probability to infer within it. This however doesn’t mean that particles behave probabilistically. Once again, we’re doing the best that we can with the instruments that we have.
Unification may be the most difficult problem we have to solve. Considering that we are naturally tooled to be hunter gatherers in the wilds of this planet; dealing with issues that we can see, feel, hear, smell and taste, complex and quantum systems provide a wide variety of challenges to our observational skill sets. Our tendency toward dogmatic thinking often has us taking our perspectives or our cognitive models as an approximation of reality. This may be one of the more difficult trials in the quest for unification; as we will probably require a new model designed for that specific purpose. The organizing aspects of nature are self-evident and probably a sufficient rout toward a unifying model; however the pervasiveness of Entropy and Extinction suggest that we may also have a biased account of base rates of what is important in the formation of complex, self-organizing, systems. This could also hinder the understanding of our own creative processes. We humans also have a tendency to invest in false dichotomies; even when they appear to be compatible through general observations.
Entropy is often thought of as the natural variation in systems. It’s also thought of as primarily disordered. It’s most commonly attributed to thermodynamic change. The dispersal of heat in the universe has measurable influences on the state of the universe and many systems. This evidence is favorable to the logical aspects of the human mind. It may be in many instances to consider the disorder in a system as entropic, in bad form based upon the ability to have direct evidence or at least some methodology for measurement. This is of course a fair argument, however our constant and consistent uncertainty needs to be considered as well. Where systems become complex to the degree that human cognition, even with the aid of computational systems cannot make direct physical connections between processes that have been demonstrated to produce entropy in a more empirical manner, and disorder in their complex aspects, we appear to hit a wall with respect to unifying theory.
At this point, questioning our current state may be able to produce favorable results. Is Thermodynamics the most likely promoter of Entropy? Is Thermodynamics likely the only promoter of Entropy? Is Thermodynamics the simplest explanation of Entropy in all of the scientific disciplines? Can complex systemic functions be characterized as entropic, when correlated with other self organizational, theoretical principles?
Normalization has many definitions, however there is a general meaning of a preference toward a minimal level of compatibility within a system. There is not a concerning amount of semantical issues with this term, however a more unified context of Normalization would likely be enough of a variable to create some confusion. The possible issues with this term appear to be contextual.
Novelty can be characterized by that which is not normal, yet is relatively non-destructive. In a general systems sense, Novelty would have low Extinction risk associated with it as well. There may be more ways to characterize it that could prevent confusion, that could become evident in practice.
Extinction is often characterized by the process by which in-sustainability of that which cannot become normalized eventually becomes non-existent. It’s the most likely scenario for the mass of disorder that is produced by Entropy. The explanation for this appears to be that Entropy is primarily arbitrary with little to no organizing properties. Entropy has the appearance of being probabilistic; however that may be more of a perception than an objective observation. The fact that, that assertion comes from contrast with the properties of Normalization insists that perception plays a significant role. Human motivation for Normalization, due to evolutionary predispositions toward selfpreservation are probably resulting in some degree of cognitive bias.
Cross Disciplinary, Inferential, Statistical, Analysis:
The many scientific disciplines have been producing wide varieties of favorable results across the board, for a few hundred years now. Methodologies have been being refined throughout; with added promise and increase in competitive advantage. Unfortunately the various disciplines do not speak in the same tongue. One of the more concerning developments in recent times is the lack of homeostatic function in our systems. This has resulted in growing concerns for not only human extinction risk but also the existential risk of all life on the biosphere. Not all of the blame for this can be pawned off on political prowess however. If political systems were accepting of the data, would science have the answers that they required; or would decades or even centuries of uncoordinated patchwork be the result?
For the purpose of coherent, homeostatic systems, the answer is probably cross disciplinary, inferential, statistical analysis. It would stand to reason that such an endeavor would result in Normalization of systems; thus mitigating unfavorable human influence of extinction and existential risk. In order to produce such an effect, it appears that a General Systems Theory that correlates with each and every scientific discipline for the purpose of coordinating them is in order; to minimize these risks.
Get used to the idea. It’s pretty much “do or die” at this point.
All technologies become obsolete over time. In current times, the longevity of technologies is increasingly short. Internet 1.0 was implemented in the 1980s and was essentially commandeered by the .coms in the early 90s. It was probably the most lucrative platform in the history of mankind. It saved in many of the costs associated with overhead and created direct connections between producers and consumers. It brought educational resources that include higher education to the masses; at little to no cost. It connected peoples from opposing ends of the globe into virtual friendships. It sparked mass political involvement. It created new decentralized markets, with novel new ways of contributing to society. But this is only a few of the favorable outcomes that we have enjoyed over the past few decades. I haven’t yet gotten into the unfavorable outcomes that have resulted from what could easily be characterized as the 8th wonder of the world.
In The Beginning:
Internet 2.0 began with a great deal of planning. All of the systems had to be re-invisioned in order to make it a suitable platform for world wide commerce. In the development process many mistakes were made that really could only have been detected in hindsight. This is because of the self-organizing nature of social systems. Predicting how a system is going to propagate over decades is extremely difficult due to social constructs, emerging technologies, scientific advances, cultural memes etc. Predicting such things are entirely improbable and bare significant weight on the outcomes over decades. One of the more heated debates among the developers of Internet 2.0 was the issue of “Privacy vs Provenance”. This was a decision between the “copy / paste” nature of content sharing (which is essentially gratis), and a form of sharing that includes a tag of sorts that points back to the original source. This allows the original creator to receive credit for their work. This would of course have had advantages and disadvantages that many would feel strongly about… hence the heated debate. Jaron Lanier suggested that the wrong choice was made; even though he favored privacy in the beginning. In hindsight, it seems that a provenance protocol may have solved a number of issues; however I doubt that it would have been near enough to save the second implementation of the Internet.
Tim Berners Lee suggested that the Internet had to be a singular public space for it to function at all. He was probably right considering the initial conditions; but this too has created a large number of issues. This is because, it produced a centralized Internet. Central hubs are obviously convenient and effective; however they are also a singular point of failure when considering the stability of a system. The issues began with interest groups jockeying for the bulk of control of the infrastructure. The competitive advantages of this are painfully obvious today to the savvy or geeky; but I will explain. The Internet is most commonly thought of as the copper wire that carries the data over the distance. This is also what is most commonly thought of as the infrastructure for the Internet. This isn’t however the only interpretation. Many large businesses like to consider themselves and their servers or their connections to those servers as infrastructure. From this perspective, these businesses feel that they have control of infrastructure. It’s not an entirely ridiculous notion though. Though not required in principle, they were required in practice for the function of the Internet; as of late. This was however due to the implementation of middlemen. This is what modern ISPs are. You see Internet 1.0 allowed surfers to dial up servers and brows their content without an ISP. The .coms created infrastructure by man in the middle business strategies. This was implemented with the old dial-up modems; and the payoff was the lack of expense of long distance and international rates for direct dial. The price difference was enormous.
Now the servers that serve the bulk of Internet traffic are owned by companies like Google, Wal Mart and Amazon. These companies have a lot of control (by possession) of a significant amount of Internet traffic. This has become a commodity… the control of traffic, that is. This is one of the most concerning issues with the Internet today; and the main focus of Net Neutrality. Though most are concerned about the slowing of Internet speeds or expensive tiers with higher data caps, the real concern should be over egalitarian attention. There is much twisted correlation between attention and advertising in the new business models. This is probably the notion that is used to justify the business models associated with social media. The value of personal data is extremely high; though most don’t get near the return on it with usage of social media. This is implemented with license agreements that almost no one reads or even cares about. It also makes nefarious businesses extremely wealthy. It’s one of the most unethical business models I’ve ever seen. In most cases, it flirts with theft by deception. The fact that License Agreements are legally binding under these conditions is just ridiculous. From a systems perspective it’s a total failure… not to mention common decency.
The false dichotomy of Private Sector vs Public Sector has it’s dagger in the neck of Internet 2.0 as well. Both sectors are enjoying unprecedented prosperity at the expense of the “consumer”. Both are working together to constantly patch a cobbled, mature technology while the taxpayer pays for everything. This is where the infrastructure semantic is most harmful. The US government has been paying subsidies to ISPs since 1996 for the purpose of infrastructure upgrades. If ISPs see themselves as the functional infrastructure, then they have done just that… right? Meanwhile telecom is traveling from cable from the late 70s to 100 year old copper wire; when there is much much faster fiber optic cable that could be rolled out. This complete (probably deliberate) misunderstanding is unacceptable. In the US the most common way around government regulations is conflict of interest. Ex administrators or even ex CEOs of prominent companies are appointed to positions with regulatory agencies. This is the case now with the FCC. The current director of the FCC is a former lawyer for Verizon. His position on Net Neutrality is thus no surprise.
There is one public space that has no dedicated law enforcement agency… it’s the Internet. This isn’t just an issue for parents either. This is a global issue. The fact that nation states have such a difficult time with correlating political agendas with their populous and their neighbors is a huge issue for regulating public behavior. This is another issue where silly semantics plays a large roll. There is lack of agreement on whether it is even a space, much less a public one. This is because it is a virtual space. The private sector wants to be the infrastructure; however they do not want to police the space that they have created. The government is so tied up in global politics that they are essentially ineffective. This is more concerning when realizing that different nation states have different laws. The only solution that may exist is a lot of hard work in buttoning up international law. This would of course require unprecedented global diplomacy. Culture has risen to the challenge to a certain degree; however there is an unacceptable amount of failure on a daily basis. This conversation about privacy in a public space is so oxymoronic it’s just ridiculous. Though one is at home in their chair, or in their car, there should be no expectation of privacy in the public forums. This is something that needs to be hashed out; and it won’t be because of the advantages that the confusion boasts. People are making incoherent trades; and keeping the system misunderstood and unstable. A reread of the previous paragraphs will show the relevance of this argument.
The Internet as we know it cannot stand. From a systems perspective the Internet 2.0 is a system that is being driven into extinction. The problems with it are mounting to the point that it isn’t likely to be able to function at all in the next decade or so. I might not even give it ten years from today. With a ridiculous caveat of absolutely no change in it’s condition, I wouldn’t give it five years. Of course change is going to happen; but probably not enough to save it. It’s just becoming fundamentally obsolete. The degree of acceptance that the powers that be are demonstrating is alarmingly low. This is because big business runs the developed world; and business doesn’t tend to look toward even the near future. Business tends to consider maybe 2 – 5 years at most. The number of business professionals that are considering what they will be doing in the 2020s is probably a miniscule minority.
The good news is what the Internet really is. It’s the wires. The Internet is already diversifying. The .net .org .edu and .gov are indicative of natural variation. It’s completely reasonable and probably expected that new connections will emerge in the coming years. Mesh networks and home servers are likely to be at least tried in the coming years as well as they will be financially permissible. Competition for new solutions will become more probable as the current state becomes less financially permissible. Natural systems (including social and technological systems) self-organize; and the principles that govern such organization should be expected to apply with the global communication technologies that are coming. I don’t like to make hard predictions; but I think that the 2020s are going to be an interesting time for global communications. The death of Internet 2.0 is likely to result in the birth of something really interesting.