5 The Bottom Range

Written by David Simmons on . Posted in 4: Reforming societies

Reforming Societies
Chapter Five: The Bottom Range

 

We are faced with a very difficult puzzle. It is not going to be easy to solve, but it does have a solution. The puzzle is to get from where we are now in the game play options (the middle of the bottom line) to any of the options in the survivable range.

We have a time constraint: the current game play rules lead to high levels of destruction. We have to move toward survivability in such a way that we get to survivable options before the destructive aspects of our current game play options destroy some critical aspect of our playing field and end the game prematurely.

Our goal, at this point, is not to ‘win’ the game. We will have to leave that to future generations. Our goal is only to prevent an ‘early stage loss’ of the game, so that future generations will come to exist and have the opportunity to continue our progress.

 

Early stage loss:

We are newly evolved beings. Our ability to intentionally access our frontal lobes—the ability to think consciously—is only about 3.2 million years old. This is an extremely short time in evolutionary terms. It would be a shame to lose the game at this early stage: We just got here. The game just started.

 

We don’t know what will happen in the distant future. Perhaps there are other obstacles that will come up, perhaps options that are not under the control of humans and that we may not be able to change. But the realities of our societies—the realities of game play—are under our control. If we fail now, at this early stage, we can only blame ourselves.

 

Strategies

 

If you want to change a game that is in progress and that people are currently playing, you have to use tact and finesse to make the changes palatable to people who are playing the game. You can’t simply start screaming and telling everyone that you don’t like the rules and want everyone to accept new ones. You have to find a way to make the changes in the game palatable to the current players.

We saw one example of this in the case of blackjack and corporate casinos. People who understood mathematics realized this was not a true game of chance and that they could therefore beat it. The casinos were trying to make changes so that this didn’t happen, without alienating their customers, the patrons who loved this game and wouldn’t come to casinos without it.

How did they do this?

To get people to accept, they created ‘perks’ or ‘comps’ that they could provide to players to keep them interested in the game, even though each change made the game a little harder for the players to win. At first, in early stages of the game changing, casinos paid 2:1 for natural blackjacks (only casinos that had changed the rules did this) and gave free drinks, cigarettes, rooms, food, and just about anything they wanted to players who the casinos valued. After people showed they would continue to play under these conditions, the perks were rolled back: the premium in natural blackjack was reduced to 1.5 to 1 and many casinos have eliminated it entirely. Although they technically still provide free drinks, they have cut the service times so much that often players are better off to leave the table and buy their own drinks rather than wait for the ‘free’ drinks to arrive.

The casinos wanted changes.

They didn’t use violence or force to get people to accept the changes. They essentially made business decisions: the best way to get people to accept the game changes was to set up a very low-key system to bribe them to accept the changed games. When people accepted, the game changes simply stopped playing according to the old rules.

If we want to change the game of existence that was in progress when we were born, it is easy to get impatient. The stakes are very high: our very existence depends on this. It is easy to turn to morals to try to rationalize rapid action, violence, or attempts to confiscate wealth or harm the people who are getting wealthy at the expense of the world and other people.

But we can learn something from the corporate casinos.

They examined their options. They weren’t trying make a moral point. They weren’t trying to show the people who had figured out how to beat them and win at a game that is supposed to always favor the house. The game play was already in progress. They didn’t want it to stop. They didn’t want to alienate the players, who were their customers and patrons. They examined the different ways that they could meet all of their goals at the same time. They then figured out the method that they thought had the highest likelihood of working and used that method.

 

How This Applies To The Big Game

 

We will see that one way to change the game of human existence would be for concerned members of the human race to form a humanitarian corporation to buy the full rights to properties when they come available, sell only the specific rights the human race wants ownable for these properties, and hold the rest of the rights in a trust (on behalf of the human race) with provisions that no person or group—even the government of a nation or the entire human race acting collectively—may ever own these rights or have any authority or rights to sell them.

This is possible.

 

Governments of nations sell unlimited rights to buyers (usually governments of subdivisions of nations or corporations that are totally or entirely owned by the governments, but sometimes to either humanitarian or for-profit corporations not affiliated with the nation or government). The practical realities of societies built on sovereignty require that the governments that make these deals act in good faith and protect the rights of the buyers with the same vigor they use to protect other owners. If they did not do this, they would not be able to conduct such transactions again: people will see that the governments are not acting in good faith and not deal with them.

Good faith means that they have to protect the rights of people buy the rights they sell and want to prevent harm to the land with the same vigor as they protect the rights of owners who intend to harm or destroy the land. We have seen that governments often use their armies to arrest people who are trying to stop destruction of parts of the world that the destroyers have purchased. (For example, they often arrest large numbers of people when these people try to interfere in the construction of nuclear plants.) They have to do this or people would not accept that they really have the rights to do things the government tells them they have the rights to do on the land (build and operate nuclear power plants, for example) if they didn’t do this, and the governments would lose the ability to get people to buy properties they are trying to sell.

If the buyers want to buy land to protect it, the governments have the same obligation to protect their rights to do this as it has to protect the rights of destroyers. The rules of the game apply to all players. We can take advantage of the rules that we know must be enforced to make changes that make the world better, if we want to do this.

 

Each such purchase, splitting, and resale of property rights will change the rules of the game by a tiny, tiny amount. It will move the human race upward in the chart of possible game options by a very tiny amount. If we do this, and keep doing it long enough, we will eventually get to survivable game play options.

This kind of approach requires several concessions that many people who don’t like the way the game is played now may think are wrong, that they may not want to make, or that they may even think are immoral to make.

Let’s consider the objections first, and then see if we may be able to overcome them:

1: People believe that paying people to give up rights that no one should ever have is immoral:

 

Many people believe that it is not really true that the governments, corporations, and other entities that claim to own rights to destroy the world (rape it of its resources and contaminate it with waste) really do own these rights. They believe that it is immoral for these claimed owners to even try to hold on to their claimed rights; these people should recognize this immorality and give up these rights voluntarily. They believe that the claimed owners who do not give up rights to do things that harm the world voluntarily ‘should’ be ordered to give them up, and the orders should be enforced by some authority. In other words, they think it is only moral to use force, not to use bribery or anything that looks remotely like bribery, for the human race to gain control of rights to the world that should never have been considered to be ownable in the first place.

If we buy these rights, we are essentially rewarding people for beliefs that the objectors claim are immoral.

People who pose this objection don’t even want to consider whether or not this approach to solving the problems will work. They think it is immoral to try. In fact, they think it is immoral to even consider trying. Moral people do not reward people for immoral beliefs or behavior based on these beliefs.

We can compare this to the morality of giving away extra bonuses to people who are doing something many people regard as cheating at a game (many people consider counting cards to be cheating; the game is only fair if the cards are either random or played as if they are random; in other words, not counted) rewards like 2:1 premiums on natural blackjacks or free drinks, cigarettes, and other perks in addition to their winnings.

Isn’t this immoral?

Perhaps. I can’t find any objective grounds to answer this question. It seems to be a question that we can’t answer objectively and scientifically.

But the people trying to change the game were hired for their practical skills, not their ability to make moral judgments. The directors who represented the corporate shareholders wanted a problem fixed. They hired people to find solutions. Once they had solutions, they evaluated them based on the long-term needs of their shareholders. They determined that their shareholders’ needs would be best met by implementing the system that had been designed.

Is it moral? This doesn’t seem to be the issue they focused on. In fact, it doesn’t even seem to be an issue they even considered. They cared whether or not it would work. Their analysits calculated the likelihood it would work and made proposals. They thought these methods would work and tried them.

How does this apply to the morality of different methods of changing the game?

The subtitle of this book is ‘A Practical Guide to Changing the Realities of Existence for Humans on Earth.’ It focuses on whether or not different approaches are practical, not whether or not they are moral. From a practical perspective, only one thing matters: will it work.

The question practical analysts must ask, therefore, when analyzing various different approaches to changing the game, is not whether they are just, fair, whether they reward immoral people, or whether they satisfies various different people’s beliefs about what is right and what is wrong, but whether they will work. If they will work, they are practical; if not, they are not practical.

As we will see, the approach discussed above has an extremely high probability of working to change the rules within the desired time frame without significantly altering the realities of the game and without significant resistance from game players. (People who own properties don’t object to being offered money for their properties.) It is practical.

Is it immoral? Perhaps. Perhaps, after we have evaluated this option, worked out its details, and calculated that it can prevent an early stage loss in the game, people will decide that it can succeed, but they will do a moral analysis and decide that the moral costs are simply too high, they will reject it, and it will never be tried. The appropriate time to do a moral analysis of the option will be after we understand the costs and benefits of using it, not before. Perhaps it will eventually be rejected for moral reasons. However, we should not decide not to even consider it or work out its details simply because, once it has been worked out, many people may consider it immoral. First, we must determine if it is practical. If it is not practical, it doesn’t matter whether it is moral. If it is, we can then decide if we are willing to pay the moral costs needed to accomplish the goal.

2: A Long, Slow, Road

 

Another problem with the approach discussed above (creating an humanitarian corporation to buy property rights from governments, corporations and other owners, turning over the rights we want to be unownable to a trust, and selling the rest of the rights) is that it is slow. It will take time—perhaps more than one generation—before we can even see measurable results, and it will take several generations before we will actually arrive at sustainability and survivability.

Unless you are very young, you may never see the results for yourself.

Obviously, if these methods could be shown to be practical, violence, revolution, or passing laws that would alter the behaviors of governments, corporations, and other owners, would be faster. If speed is important, then we would want to use the fastest practical methods.

But, again, we are faced with practical difficulties. People have tried to change the realities of human existence through revolution and violence over and over. It has not worked. (Watch the news. People are trying it now. Most of us don’t pay any attention to the attempts, because we know they aren’t going to change anything.)

The people who make the rules of the game have adapted to the threat of revolution and violence. They have built systems that make violence extremely unlikely to have any impact on the way the game is played. (In fact, the best game players know there will be violence and have positioned themselves to take advantage of it: they score points—in the form of more of the game chits called ‘money’—when violence takes place.) Even if small advances are occasionally appear to be made, we know from history that the nature of the game doesn’t change after revolutions or other violent events: the game play continues as always, merely with different key players. As a practical matter, revolution and violence have been shown through a very long history to be ineffective at changing the way the game is played. This is a reason to reject it long before we consider its morality. Why waste time trying to do something that we know from history is not going to work.

What about changes in the laws?

We have seen many, many attempts to change the way the game is played with laws. Again, practical realities have precluded any significant changes. The best players (the ones with the most game score chits and control over things that produce flows of game chits) can use their chits to influence the people who enforce the laws. If they don’t want to comply, they can make sure they don’t have to. (They can do this ‘legally’ through lobbying and political action, or, in places where such manipulations are not legal, by simply having people trying to enforce the laws assassinated.) When looking for practical solutions to problems, we are wise to learn from history: if a certain approach has been tried millions or even billions of times in the past, and has failed every single time, we are not being very practical to believe it will succeed the next time around.

Yes, the approach described above is slow. It will take a lot of time to buy property rights to enough of the world to make a difference and resell only the rights we want to be private. But sometimes people trying to make changes have to make concessions. Would we rather try a plan that has a mathematical certainty of working under the most likely scenario, but requires making time concessions, or a plan that we know from history will fail with virtually certainty, but doesn’t require making concessions?

 

3

 

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

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