Monday, July 3, 2017

Zhergishly upgrading core values and transforming society

(ZHERG: Ideas for a transition)


Valuing everyone, as a guiding principle, is central among the ideas we're assimilating with this framework. This principle can help us steer ourselves toward making more kind, loving, positive, benevolent choices. This is an ethic conducive to avid participation in the shared adventure of life.

Somewhat more concrete, but also extremely important, is the assimilation of the existence of consciousness-expanding wonder drugs. Experiences mediated by these substances frequently count among the most profound, significant, life-changing, eye-opening experiences of people's lives. (Less monumentally memorable but still profoundly beneficial effects can come from smaller doses.) For this open secret to be a secret no longer -- for our society to be structured at all levels in ways conducive to creating supportive conditions for these experiences -- is a big deal.


If we agree to base our intentions and efforts on a principle of valuing existence and everyone in it, then we can profitably discontinue participation in systems fundamentally structured around interpersonal competition for resources.

These competitive systems that can be profitably discontinued are intertwined with many vital systems that we'll be keen to continue. We want to avoid throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Let's get a bit more precise and specify two major types of systems that we anticipate discontinuing.

The first of these two is what we can call political hierarchy, whereby people are rigidly ranked with respect to each other. Instead of practicing political hierarchy, we will defer to each other as appropriate in each situation. Leading and following of various sorts will occur routinely, as collaboratively arranged phenomena. No one will be considered to have any kind of blanket control or authority over anyone else. We affirm that we're capable of interacting with each other in voluntary, civilized ways. If someone isn't meeting these expectations, we'll address the situation collaboratively and transparently, working together to restore them to health and harmony. If someone poses a serious danger, we can detain them humanely to keep them from harming anyone.

The other major type of system we can discontinue is what we can call conditional transactions. This means I won't try to obtain things directly in return for the good deeds I do. I'll constantly consider the impact of my actions on everyone affected, and others will likewise be considering the impact of their actions on me. We will help each other because we value each other. All work will be done on a volunteer basis. We'll document people's work and consumption, to whatever extent is feasible and valuable for record-keeping, but we won't charge anyone for anything. The people working at a given location will collaboratively determine the shared parameters of the operations.

Our task is to continue any authentically valuable activities, whether they've been intertwined with competitive economic systems, with governmental systems, or with any other systems. We'll continue our valuable activities, the ones that clearly serve and affirm and enhance life, while discontinuing political hierarchy and conditional transactions. We'll keep food growing and water flowing, we'll keep sanitation functioning, well keep caring for each other. We'll keep valuing and nurturing friends, family, skies and wilderness, arts and culture, research and development, etc. With our new paradigm, we'll be able to be more effective than ever in serving these enduring values.

The concept of a boss can disappear from our organizational structures. We can use terms like admins, hubs, and points of contact, for parties who are relatively centrally involved in organizing a given process. We can organize the activities of people and groups in complex ways, without anyone or any group occupying a greater or lesser rank relative to others, in terms of general power or authority. Some information flow patterns that had been taking place under the auspices of chains of command will be valuable to continue, but these flows will now be reimagined simply as chains of communication or information, conserving the valuable functions being served by these information flows while folding them into the new nonhierarchical organizational patterning. People who were bosses in the status quo ante will, in many instances, have special knowledge that remains valuable, and they will continue to give guidance. But there will be no formal, rigid hierarchies, and so no more competing or contending for positions of authority, no more energy put into currying favor with authority figures, etc.

All forms of money can disappear from our organizational structures. Money has been so prevalent, and our economies have become so highly financialized, that this single step will free up vast resources. Most of us have spent significant portions of our lives dealing with money in various ways. Many of us deal with it full time, in financial or political institutions, insurance, accounting, fundraising, etc. Many are occupied with activities that generate income but don't otherwise serve anyone's authentic values. The discontinuation of these many money-related tasks will be among the most direct consequences of our transition. The vast time and energy that this frees up can be devoted to multitudes of valuable, life-serving activities.


The change will be a major one, but we've been building toward this for a long time. Years and years of growth and development have brought us to this milestone. We've been preparing our minds. And our communications technologies stand ready to expedite conversation and consensus around a historic, global transformation.

There are many promising avenues of research and development, in communications technologies and in many other areas. There are utopian (but realistic) technological possibilities, scenarios in which abundance is ubiquitous and we've automated almost all of the difficult work at which people have toiled for so long. We face the prospect of vastly greater happiness and well-being for everyone, a world where we spend our time freely exploring, relating, learning, and enjoying. But if we're going to fulfill utopian hopes, certain major procedural adjustments appear as wise choices. Utopian eventualities are eminently conceivable, but their manifestation is hardly guaranteed. Turning these scenarios into reality depends on our creating favorable psycho-social conditions for them. We're facing serious challenges and suboptimal realities that can be addressed by shifting our civilizational paradigm. There's concern as to the safety of developing some more advanced (and therefore potentially more dangerous) technologies, in the context of such psycho-social conditions as prevail currently. The anticipation of new psycho-social conditions, new civilizational paradigms, has been high. These psycho-social processes, these human systems, have emerged as the most relevant media, the most pertinent technologies, for us to upgrade at this moment in history. This will prepare the way for further technological advances to unfold safely and robustly.

Even if a fairly brief formulation, like a small app or algorithm, might play a key role in enabling revolutionary technological advances, we'll want to upgrade our human systems forthwith, for the reasons just mentioned (upgrading human systems will create more favorable conditions for creating new technological formulations, and there are safety concerns with revolutionarily new technologies in the context of our current psycho-social systems). And we don't know right now whether a single, brief, algorithmic formulation will play a revolutionary role or not. So let's not delay in formulating unity and utopia -- coming to an agreeable understanding among ourselves -- which will put us into better positions to pursue revolutionary software, among many other projects.

We can proceed with optimizing our civilizational trajectories without waiting for any major technological breakthroughs. Vast transformations of our consciousness and our organizational patterns are possible in the context of technological capacities that already exist. Implementing this major paradigm shift will entail creating many new systems, and making many changes in how we use our technologies, but launching the new paradigm doesn't require any revolutionarily new technologies beyond what we have today. This shift is a process that unfolds in our hearts and minds, in our actions, and in our interactions mediated by body language, speech, writing, and other media.

Let's carry out this paradigm shift in fairly short order so as to optimize our experience on this planet and eventually reach a future of leisure and abundance. Disease, environmental collapse, and other at-least-partially preventable problems have been harming and killing people in significant numbers, and there are serious prospects for some of these problems to get drastically worse very quickly. The imperative is clear to optimize the systems by which we operate, in order to improve living conditions, alleviate the threat of monumental catastrophes, maximize our chances of building utopias, etc.