30 July 2005

Across the Gulf of Species

Can you talk to a whale? Can you communicate with a gorilla? Can you describe your deepest hopes and fears to your cat, and expect it to understand and feel sympathy? There is a gulf, a chasm, that separates us from other species. Part of the gulf comes from the different evolutionary paths our respective brains have followed. Another part of the separation comes from the different experiences in the womb and after. Different upbringings don't you know, what?

Communicating with a next level human will not be as difficult. Neither will it be as easy as communicating with your identical twin, or other sibling. Part of the problem will be that we will not be communicating as equals.

Imagine a family where one of the siblings is bright, happy, and successful. Everything he does shines and prospers. Now imagine another sibling in the family whose mood is always dark, who stumbles in his thoughts when trying to solve most problems, who is never able to finish a task, who reaches for chemical solutions to his problems. Think of the two siblings sitting down and trying to relate to each other.

These two are not equal in their ability to earn a living, to have satisfying relationships with other people, to solve daily problems and plan exciting and enjoyable leisure time. They will live in different environments, drive different cars, dwell on problems of entirely different levels. Their range of travel will be different, their scope of thought will be different, their ultimate ambitions will be different. Yet they will both end in the same place. Is it really true that "all is vanity?"

What if the happy sibling lives 500 years, while the dark, brooding, addicted sibling lives only 80 years, and produces nothing much more than his own unhappiness, spread among a few friends? What if, on the other hand, the happy one sires dozens of children, happy like himself and intelligent? What if "happy" invents solutions to shortages of energy, solutions to hazardous environmental pollutants, cures for degenerative diseases, means to travel to outer space more economically and more safely? What if "happy" is survived by dozens of children, hundreds of grandchildren, and thousands of great-grandchildren--all of whom he had a chance to meet, know, and love? Would the lives of "happy" and "unhappy" be equally vain and pointless?

At the time "unhappy" is lying down on his deathbed, with great relief, "happy" is just getting started. Happy may attend his brother's funeral, if he is on Earth at the time. Or he may send flowers if he is too far away. Regardless, "happy" will quickly move on to his plans and goals, momentarily saddened at the wasted life of brother "unhappy," but soon busy with his life. Will "happy" ponder at the vast waste of millions, or billions of "unhappies?" Probably, from time to time. Not for long. There will be too many things to be done.

Is "happy" good or bad, for humanity as it is? A few "happies" could solve many of humankind's most difficult and intransigent proglems. Between level humans might tolerate a few, like they tolerate a few mega-billionaires among them. If "happy" started producing hundreds, or thousands of progeny "happies," a clash of cultures would be inevitable. Between-levels would feel threatened, for their own sake and for the sake of their children. "Happy" must realize this.

To be a "happy," will be to cross the gulf of species. To cross the gulf, but to never stop looking back and beckoning your cousins to cross with you.

Thanks to Sam Cardon.


Bookmark and Share

29 July 2005

When will they ever learn?

What would an effective educational system look like? What sort of curriculum would it teach, and what sort of person would be in demand as a teacher?

As far as curriculum, I was pleased to come across the works of John David Garcia, formerly of the Eugene, Oregon area. Here is a link to his curriculum for young children. I think you will be impressed at the possibilities. I was visiting friends in the US Pacific Northwest when I first discovered Garcia's writings, and was fortunate to visit with him before he died. He was a powerful personality and a wonderful teacher in spite of himself. For the truly curious, here is a link to John David Garcia's books that are online.

If you take the time to look over Garcia's curriculum, you will be struck by the same thing that struck me--very few instructors, even at the college level, are qualified to teach this curriculum for young children. Thinking back on my intellectual curiosity from my earliest memories, I am convinced that the curriculum would not have been too advanced, given a suitable instructor. That is the rub. A suitable instructor.

Factual knowledge is important for providing a grounding and point of reference for further discovery. Procedural knowledge, or learning to do things, is just as important if not more so. Knowing useful facts and being able to recognize patterns is crucial for a young mind. A sense of competence, though, comes more from being able to perform skill tasks well. Especially tasks that older folks might not expect the young one to be able to perform.

Children have an infinite capacity to surprise adults, but are too rarely allowed to exercise that capacity due to the stifling dumbing down of the typical upbringing of children. Moronic incompetency is the norm among teachers and professors. What do these fools know about real life, on average? What do these tenured clowns know about the real world? Almost nothing.

Children want to learn, they crave knowledge and skills. The adult world disappoints them with its banality, its lack of real challenge or excitement.

Who are the villains here? For the culture of security-craving and risk-averseness we can blame the trial attorneys and the lawsuit cabal. For the dumbing down of what should be an amazing intellectual journey, we can blame the "multicultural" and political correctness cliques, that try to force a "sameness" on all cultures and philosophies, while demonizing western culture--the most seminal and inclusive culture of them all. By trying to eliminate western culture from modern education these morons have made education impotent. Of course, the masculine metaphors describing the potency and power of western culture only make the badly sagging feminists all the more furious and determined to obliterate the traces of western culture from schools.

Today's posting has dwelled on more of the aspects of "living among morons" that I touched on last week. Next time I will try to be more positive.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

24 July 2005

Living Among Morons

Most of us have had the experience of attempting to explain a simple concept to someone who simply cannot comprehend. We may try several different approaches to the concept, using every metaphor that we think the person should reasonably be capable of following. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail.

Most everyday functions of modern life require an IQ of around 90. Driving a car, mailing a letter, paying bills, making a bank deposit. The more specialized the function, the more intricate, the higher the level of intelligence necessary. In general, persons self-select their occupation according to intelligence level. If the selection criteria for the job focus on ability to do the job competently, intelligence levels will stratify according to the job difficulty. If the selection criteria is biased away from the ability to perform the job well, intelligence levels will not correspond as closely to job difficulty.

Nepotism is the downfall of governments and societies. We see that nepotism has become the official policy of western governments and societies. Should we expect western civilisation to go the way of third world "nations" such as Zimbabwe or Cuba? Perhaps we should. Perhaps we would, if not for the tremendous momentum of western civilisation. It may be that the rare intelligent civil servant, journalist, or university professor is truly "living among morons" in the form of his co-workers, because of nepotistic hiring practices. Yes, probably. Somehow the necessary work gets done.

Students at university are holding professors more in disdain, although not in as high disdain as might be deserved. Likewise most citizens shape their lives so as to come under the stamp of a civil servant as rarely as possible. Do it over the web, the phone, or through the mail. The legal system is avoided at all costs by most ordinary citizens.

Most of us know what it is like to be at the mercy of someone who was promoted beyond her competence level. Such Peter Principle Promotion has become the law of the land. Living not only among morons, but at the mercy of morons. With the coming of muslim terrorism, dying at the mercy of morons.

Enter the next level human. How will next level humans deal with these people? First of all, compared to a next level human, even the brightest among us are quite dim. For next levels to get anything done, they will have to work with the materials at hand. That means you and me. Next levels will live among "morons" and work alongside "morons" to accomplish their goals.

That does not mean that next levels will tolerate the nepotism that endangers the very existence of western civilisation, and its next level successor. This institutionalised nepotism will be dealt with as firmly as islamic terrorism will be dealt with. At least for the next level society, this nepotism will be eliminated.

Jobs in the civil sector, media, and university, must not be used as substitutes for welfare, for persons who are incapable of succeeding on their own. Of course if large numbers of persons choose longevity technologies along with cognitive boosting technologies, but choose to continue in the dysfunctional nepotism of between levels existence, they will be free to form their own societies. They will simply be prevented from influencing or limiting the next level society.

Unless western civilisation is destroyed by the coalition of the nepotistic with the islamic terrorists, the technologies of longevity and cognitive enhancement will be developed. It is unlikely that most of the persons able to take advantage of many of these technologies will have the sophistication of a next level human. Not at first. The few who are next levels by temperament will act as the yeast in the wort or dough, to ferment the finest beverage or the most delicious bread.

If you find yourself living among morons, consider that a challenge. It will take the best efforts of the best among us to evolve the first of the next levels. Once that is done, it will require the support of the best among us to allow enough next levels to evolve so as to create an unstoppable movement of evolutionary development. Think of the task ahead and what it demands. Throw yourself into the work.

The only cure for the moronic nepotism and imbecilic religious fanaticism that threaten us, is the intelligence and longevity along with the wisdom, of the next level human.
Bookmark and Share

17 July 2005

Making the Cut

Next level humans will be smarter and live longer than modern day humans. That will not be enough. They have to know what to do with their intelligence and their long lives. This higher degree of savvy will separate next levels from those who are merely intelligent and long-lived.

It is not those with the highest IQ's who hold the greatest wealth, the greatest power, or the most profound happiness and satisfaction in life. Eventually it probably will be. The reason for this is that until now humans have not reached the critical threshold of intelligence, where rationality and emotionality work cooperatively toward a total life success.

Greater longevity requires adjustments to the human genome, as well as ongoing modifications through nanotechnology, endocrine treatments, stem cell therapies, immune support, and improved nutritional support along with better methods of achieving peak fitness. We must not neglect the emotional component to longevity, which works through endocrine and immune pathways. Once our rational brain learns to cooperate with our emotional brain, the way is open for true happiness and satisfaction in life, true success.

Higher intelligence will also require adjustment to the human genome. Nanotechnology can aid intelligence in many ways. Maintaining good endocrine balance and good balance of neuromodulatory compounds will be vital. Stimulation of neural tissue with electrical and magnetic signals, along with other senses such as visual, auditory, touch, smell, proprioception, and balance, are other ways to achieve neural growth. Meditation, visualization, hypnosis, will all be utilized for improving mental reach.

Knowing what to do with intelligence and long life will separate the pretenders from the contenders. For most modern humans, simply achieving prosperity along with physical and emotional health, with long life and healthy relationships, are sufficient goals for a human lifetime. For next levels, those things are merely the starting point for lives of achievement.

We see how easy it is to bribe most between level humans. A sinecured university post, a secure civil service position, good job benefits and pensions. Security. Work out your time and live out your life with guaranteed income and perquisites.
Persons who prize security above everything else will never contribute to human progress, instead simply mark time until they die.

There are many examples of great human striving. In the modern world we see sports figures as the most graphic pictures of the human will to overcome. The Olympic Games are particularly full of stories of individual effort to surpass the best that humans have ever achieved. Sports figures provide excellent examples of human energy and drive.

The same type of effort goes on behind the scenes in cutting edge technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, microelectronics, information technology, neuroscience, tissue engineering, communications technology, energy research, and many other fields of science and technology. The payoffs for significant advances in these fields are tremendous, and motivate persons of higher drive and intelligence. The best of the best of these bright and driven people will extend the outer limits of human achievement.

Even in fields that are mature and even humdrum, finding better ways of doing the banal and everyday task can lead to riches and fame. Imaginative, intelligent, and driven individuals achieve prosperity through making the humdrum more efficient, every day, in opportunity societies. These persons may lack the brilliance of a top theoretical physicist, but they have the savvy and drive to do what they can with the situation in which they find themselves, and do well.

Next level humans will combine the energy of the world class athlete, with the brilliance of a top scientist or inventor, and the savvy and resourcefulness of a successful entrepreneur, to reshape the universe that humans inhabit. Brilliance, healthy long life, economic and social success, will not be enough. Next levels will always keep the big picture in mind, will always be thinking of ways to expand the sphere of human existence.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

10 July 2005

Growing Beyond the State

The Anglosphere is the set of English speaking Common Law nations. According to James C. Bennett, " To be part of the Anglosphere requires adherence to the fundamental customs and values that form the core of English-speaking cultures. These include individualism, rule of law, honoring contracts and covenants, and the elevation of freedom to the first rank of political and cultural values. " See Anglosphere Primer

The US and the UK, along with Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, form the greater part of the Anglosphere. Outliers might include South Africa, the English speaking population of India, and English speaking possessions and tributaries of the above nations.

These nations as a whole comprise the most desirable places to emigrate, for most of the world's population. They are acknowledged to have the best educational institutions, the most stable democracies, and the most advanced research centres in the world. Without the economies of the Anglosphere, the rest of the world would be in desperate deprivation. China is being pulled out of poverty by the Anglosphere, not by its own bootstraps.

Thus, naturally when we speak of the technological path toward humans gaining control of their own evolution, we expect this most advanced part of the advanced world, the Anglosphere, to display leadership in achieving this worthy goal. Yet, the Anglosphere is actively engaged in tying its own hands behind its own back, and placing blinders over its eyes, and sound mufflers over its ears. The Anglosphere is handicapping itself, making itself vulnerable to its enemies, just at the time when it is most needed to provide guidance, protection, and resources to the effort of humans to gain control of their evolution.

Does the Anglosphere have a suicide wish? Why does the Anglosphere wallow in self-defeating policies which can only hamper the effort to make humans more capable of providing long, healthy, and enjoyable lives for themselves?

The answers lie in the phenomena of labyrinths. Everything relating to modern human society can be related to the concept of a labyrinth, or maze. The best intentions might lead one to create a set of simple laws to govern a population. At first. But over time, special interests and special circumstances insert themselves into a body of law, again and again, until the convolutions and contradictions within that body of law require not one judge to interpret, but several levels of regional and provincial judicial committees, up to appeals committees and finally to the Supreme Committees of Law. Even the Supreme Committees are unable to fully comprehend the labyrinth of law, but they never admit that. Nothing must undermine the authority of the state and the state's representatives.

Consider tax law. Initially taxes might be locally based, and logically connected to some activity which is facilitated by the local government. But over time, more and more of human activity is taxed, until eventually a family's tax burden is its largest expense. More levels of government are created, all of which require operating expenses which are obtained from the population. Depending on the type of taxation involved, an individual or family must spend large amounts of time and money in order to insure that the state does not confiscate everything that makes life worthwhile, both during life and after death.

Most nations of the world are thoroughly strangled by labyrinthine bureaucracies and legal structures, often quite corrupt. Historically, the Anglosphere has largely avoided allowing its bureaucracies to choke as much human activity as almost all other developed and semi-developed nations. Recently, since the mid-20th century, that is becoming less the case.

How does this relate to the quest to become a next level human? Unfortunately, there is a direct connection between the choking out of the freedom of individual action by the state, even Anglospheric states, and the ability of humans to gain control of their own evolution. Reaching out to the next level of human existence will require all the resources at our command. Mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, socially, and politically, we will have to reach beyond ourselves to reach a place no one has reached till now.

It is increasingly clear that we will have to do this in spite of the states' exponential and labyrinthine growth, that threatens our freedom of action at every turn. Freedom is still greatest in the Anglosphere. I hope it will always be so, given the remarkable history of this tradition. But do not count on it. Aspiring next levels will need to learn to grow beyond the state.

Fortunately, just when the labyrinth of the state threatens to close all avenues of progress, new methods of organisation have been devised which will help provide us with alternative pathways of movement. The internet itself, based upon decentralised organisation of information transfer, provides a powerful metaphor for putting together a flexible system of accomplishing a goal, without a centralised overseeing entity.

While terrorists may use some of these ad hoc organising methods, it is likely that other groups with wholly productive goals will also organise along these lines. Individuals at many different research labs will carry out parallel research programs, off the books perhaps, while also doing their regular work. The results of this alternative research will be dispersed among researchers with special interest in these matters. Much of this work will be unpaid, just as computer experts often create open source software without being paid monetarily. Humans value many different types of rewards, besides money.

Regardless, just the activity of developing alternative means of organising human resources to reach goals, will be pro-evolutionary in itself. Sadly, however, a short lifespan of seventy years or so does not allow for very much evolution, and most evolution that does occur is not passed forward into the future, so it is often lost.

A longer lifespan will allow evolutionary advances to be recognised and passed on to newer generations. This longer lifespan must be presented to the state as a fait accompli. At that point, the state will have to decide if it wants to go along for the ride. Humans must grow beyond the state's power to choke off action and possibilities. That is the only way to move to the next level.


Bookmark and Share

09 July 2005


To be wise is not a state of mind but a state of action. Wisdom is acting in the best manner given all the information at hand. Some of the information may be unconscious, out of reach of verbal consciousness. Wisdom takes account of all information available.

Wisdom is contextual. In the current context, it may be wise for someone to accept the reality of death at age 75, or earlier. Even if all disease were conquered, death from trauma would occur. Accidents, warfare, terrorism, homicide. Many of these trauma deaths occur through lack of wisdom on the part of at least one of the persons involved.

Wisdom is not the same as knowing facts. A person may be the repository of a surfeit of factual information, but be a fool. Many of the most intelligent persons living between levels are complete fools. Masters of acquiring and manipulating information, they achieve high levels of monetary and social success. Still their children despise them, their spouses cheat on them, their lives are too often hollow and pointless.

The waste of natural resources is often decried, while the waste of information is generally ignored. To political partisans, information is meant to be wasted and suppressed if it does not automatically provide partisan advantage. This is clear from our news media, which after all are run by between level humans with many faults, including partisan dishonesty.

New tools of information manipulation and correlation have been developed to help with the problem of information overload in modern between level civilisation. Many of these tools are expensive, some are prototypes, with outputs only available to persons of high rank in government or commerce.

These complex software programs are not intelligent, nor are they wise. But they do fill an evolutionary gap in the human capacity to comprehend large amounts of information. They may yet facilitate wisdom in those who are so disposed.

Bill Joy warned against nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. For that, some futurists have tagged him "Kill Joy." Aspiring next levels will merely smile and get on with the difficult work of optimising information acquisition and use. We will need everything that nanotechnology, information technology, and genetic and bio-engineering can give us, if we are to learn wisdom in the larger context of the next level.


Bookmark and Share

03 July 2005

500 Year Lifespan

Next level humans will live at least 500 years, which by itself would give them a different psychological approach to life. Being responsible will become second nature.

If you know you will live for 500 years or longer, you will take a different approach to your life. You will expect to see multiple careers, and probably multiple marriages. You will have time to accumulate significant wealth and will probably live under several different political systems over time. Politicians will not be able to bullshit a next level human.

Space travel will be commonplace within the next 500 years, perhaps travel to other star systems, but certainly travel to habitable settlements on other planets and planetoids in the solar system. You will expect travel to be quite safe, and trauma support in case of accident to be prompt and expert, perhaps provided by robodoc under some circumstances.

Why would people have children if they are living 500 years? There will be no real need to live through your children if you yourself are living so long. The danger of overpopulation will be significant unless new frontiers are opened beyond the surface of earth.

If people are living 500 years or more, they will have to be completely responsible for the children they create. It is unlikely that people who are irresponsible or incompetent will ever become next level humans.

Victim thinking will not exist among next levels. This must seem threatening to individuals who make their living exploiting victim thinking among large groups of people. TS.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

02 July 2005

How Do You Make a Next Level Human?

Realistically, changing present day humans to next level humans is going to require genetic manipulation. Some genetic sequences that are active will need to be turned off, some sequences that are dormant will have to be turned on, and other sequences will probably have to be cycled on and off over certain intervals of time. Living a long time will be a fine balancing act if we do not want to initiate malignant tumors on a frequent basis.

Nanotechnology may provide us with temporary measures, in terms of keeping blood vessels clear, delivering selective toxins to tumors, cleaning out metabolic waste products that interfere with normal cell metabolism, and other cellular housekeeping chores.

Neither genetic therapy nor nanotechnology are at a stage that will allow transitioning to the next level. There will be stopgaps, such as stem cell therapies, which may be available much sooner. These therapies should allow organ transplants and crude regenerative treatments for many body tissues. Scientists will also learn much more about tissue growth factors and various low level hormones that affect health on a cellular level. Standard pharmaceuticals will become safer and better targeted to the body systems that need treatment. Nutritional science will learn better means of tissue support.

If you are over the age of forty, particularly if you smoke and are sedentary and obese, you probably won't see many of the advances listed above in time to be of help. If you are thirty or under, and take very good care of your body, the chances of excellent that you will see most or all of those advances, and will probably benefit from at least tissue growth factors and some cell therapies.

Within the next fifty years, geneticists will probably be able to design an embryo's genetics using gene segments from several different humans, choosing among them for the very best combination. Embryos will likely be grown in artificial wombs. This may happen on a lab in international waters, or in an orbiting lab outside any national jurisdiction. Or it may become commonplace in your neighborhood genetics lab.

Humans have long wished for freedom from death and disease, for more strength, more intelligence. That wish is within our sight if not our grasp. For it to become real, we have to do our jobs.

Civilisation itself is under threat from stone aged religious and ideological reactionaries. These enemies of the future cannot be allowed to prevent humanity from making that transition to the next level. Perhaps we can make it that far, but if not, our children surely can. We have to hold off the enemy long enough to allow our scientists and engineers to create the pathway to the next level. We do not want to fail.


Bookmark and Share
Newer Posts Older Posts
Al Fin Main Page
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Powered by