Were you born yesterday? Here is everything you need to know: (I)
A clear introduction to Humanity for the children of tomorrow
Welcome, I will be your guide for successful integration into Humanity. Our first plan will cover time. Time is our perception of the global phenomenon of increasing entropy. We humans generally split time in three parts:
- past — a quick skim on what happened
- present — a detailed grasp on the current situation
- future — intuition based guesswork about what will occur next
First, as we continue, mind the biggest error that our mind is inclined towards in regard to time: causality. We are at an evolutionary stage where it is clear that synchronicity trumps causality. That means the future is just the tip of a thread going deep into the past, only shallowly guided by the present. That means you are unable to cause an effect, but only able to increase a probability of an effect. Synchronicity occurs when enough influence is being created that the scales decisively bend in favor of an outcome.
All right now, the past. The past is very, very long. Actually, the past is so big, that we had to invent a lot of things just to understand how it could be so big. Everything that all humans who ever lived ever created, is a hair thin dot at the tip of a fourteen billion year long past.
Far away, there is the past when we humans either did not exist, or we existed but we didn’t keep track of stuff at all. Many people work hard to uncover what we were bound to forget.
Yet recently we started to jot down what happens. This is what we call history. A great deal of people is doing a great effort to keep it real, as it happened, but, at the same time, another great deal of people work to make history as we wished it happened. We rewrite history to explain the present.
The present. The problem with it is that there is no such thing as the present, it is only your illusion of simultaneity that creates it. This illusion is good, probably the single innately good illusion your mind creates for you. The present is a good illusion because, in fact, it slows up time for us, allowing for forecasting and predicting short term events. That is what our survival has been so far, predicting short term events.
To understand the illusion of the present you will require a few concepts.
Politics. Politics is everything people do. Politics is the highest form of management: the management of life. Never be fooled by anyone belittling politics for they are trying to fool you. A single human in a forest will survive by being political about their existence inside a forest that doesn’t care about the human. That human will seek to empower themselves to survive an indifferent and often hostile, sometimes welcoming, environment. This empowerment of survival is what we call politics.
Reality. Reality is the one thing which we don’t agree upon. We all agree on many things, but not on what is real and what is not. Reality is the big pile of meaning lumped together into one concept. Because it is all the meaning mixed indiscriminately it makes no sense. Reality is something that will be constantly puzzling. Reality is the big lie, the lie that pretends to be the thing which we all must face, but instead being nothing else than our own creation. The reality is not an illusion though, it has substance:
Nature. Nature is our nemesis. Nature is what kills us. Some argue that nature is what feeds us, but the fact of the matter is we feed into nature because we outsmart it. In general, except for small slices of it, nature is very hostile to humans. In case you have flashes of beach paradises, exuberant vegetation and the abundance of fruit and berries, remember your last spider bite or mosquito stint. Nature is not hostile because it wants to harm us, it is hostile because it is a giant who doesn’t care about us, while we are conditioned to feel important. We want to control nature and in doing so we make it our mortal enemy.
Society. Society is a synonym for convention. There are big societies and small societies, depending on the number and importance of the items people agree on. A society always has an identity made up. Literally, made up. The identity is the sum of all the convention’s parts. Therefore, the size of a society is not given by the number of members, but it is a direct result of the concepts that make its identity.
The things a society agrees on are either internalized or enforced. Everything you see around you is simply a way humans along the tiny hair thin past they existed for have agreed on. It is one of many ways, that is why it is very useful to know which of the agreements have been enforced by force or by rewriting history.
Education. Education moves forward in time the conventions of a society. Our current education system is so busy with detailing each and every convention, so busy to not miss out on details, that children eventually grow up emotionally disconnected from the world. The goal of education is to inhibit change. Never forget that you too will be an educator at some point in your life, and right now you already educate everyone around you on what, and how, they must do preserve your status quo. Education should be a life long process for humans. It was. Today, because our society handles entertainment so good, we require less education.
Entertainment. Entertainment has been around since the dawn of mankind. Entertainment helps the current members of a society internalize the convention, it sugars every bitter truth of the social conventions and helps the average member to swallow the blue pill. The blue pill is the one filled with the expectations others have from you. The entire “mainstream” is a near perfect description of average mental models.
Entertainment includes culture and art. Those who argue for the separation of the three are deluding themselves in an attempt at personal grandeur. All humanity ever created as a form of self expression is, was and will be entertainment because it was all a form of communicating either what is expected at participation time or what is required for participation in the web like labyrinth of social conventions. Entertainment makes everything relative and everything which is relative will not be threatening. We are hard wired to fear the absolute.
Technology. Technology is the product of the human intellect. Like the brain regions that handle superior thought processes, technology has a smaller footprint in humanity, compared to its importance. Technology is what allows humans to fight nature, our nemesis. But technology is inhibited by society. Just like in the brain your logical operations are disabled by a varied group of situations, from panic to sexual stimulation, in the same way humanity’s technological progress is disabled by all kinds of conventions that activate from time to time: religion, war or tradition being the most handy ones to mention.
We all die and live as if we don’t. That is not bad, it enables progress. Yet, we fool ourselves into caring for things that don’t matter and that affects the future.
The future …
The future is bleak. The future has always been bleak for humanity. We are alone in a huge cold universe. We only have each other but we dislike this so much that we hate each other. Out mutual dislike is natural and the root cause is that we’re predictable and hence boring. We know in advance when another human’s actions or ideas will hurt us, and we let them for the thrill of it. We know in advance what other humans like and want, but we don’t do that for the thrill of it. We then choose about five to ten people on whom we lavish our entire efforts of love and compassion, for some we even produce pleasure, and we feel entitled for a reward. We take the reward as the pain of those not in that group, because we crave the novelty it brings.
Intelligence is our blessing and our curse. Because of it the future is uncertain. However we don’t see it as uncertain, we see it as set in stone. We believe with stubbornness that we know for certain what the future will bring, unaware of our role in making that future. It is a natural byproduct of the fact that our entire brains are prediction making machines relying on positive feedback: we must be right. So, we have some accuracy in predicting the future and acknowledging our failure to predict correctly is painful. This is key to understand humanity: when people are proven wrong they feel defeat, not enlightenment.
In order to contain our perpetual disappointment about the future we cling to: paradigms, concepts and moral truths. They are our constants in the formulas we use to cope with uncertainty. Paradigms, concepts and moral truths hide the true nature of things. Here are some examples:
- the paradigm of religion which is an experience,
- the moral truth of feminism which is a philosophy,
- the paradigm of capitalism which is a system,
- the moral truth of democracy which is a social experiment,
- the concept of sex which is an attribute,
- the concept of sexuality which is an adjective,
- the paradigm of freedom which is a property,
- the concept of truth which is an idea,
- the concept of possession which is an agreement,
- the paradigm of power which is an action,
- the paradigm of existence which is an activity.
Knowing the true nature of things helps one in the basic action of prediction: asking the right questions. Such as how to exercise power, how to practice existence, which sex, what kind of sexuality, how to decline truth, how much freedom, does capitalism work, is religion beneficial, what can we apply from feminism, what results out of democracy, who supports possession?
The proper questions open the mind towards arguments, towards solutions, towards innovation, axioms, progress, acceptance, change and, in the end, evolution.
If you indulge in a a topsy-turvy of meanings and interpretation, you’ll look for, and even worse, you’ll also find, the right answers to the wrong questions.
The best way to predict your future is to create it, said Lincoln.
It appears we’re doing just that, except we don’t own up to it.