Posts Tagged ‘cooperation’

About Autarky

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

The amount of local cooperative energy-companies in the Netherlands (in 2012) is increasing. It all has to do with the decrease of the price of solar-sells but there is more at stake.

Local energy-companies are part of a movement aimed at Autarky. Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient.

The word Autarky comes from Greek αὐτάρκεια (autárkeia), itself from αὐτός (autós) = self and ἀρκέω (arkéo) which in its passive form means be satisfied, content or “Out of my own Power“.

Fractal Human Distribution Network

Fractal Human Energy Distribution Network

The need to become self-sufficient has certainly to do with the current economic-, ecological- and energy crisis. People are afraid that the supply of vital energy and food will suddenly stop or become priceless. This is not the only reason.

Some people think we are wasting our money, food and energy by producing nondurable throw-away goods in which the packaging is sometimes more important than the content. They want to create durable products and services. This is not the only reason.

Some people don’t trust the suppliers of their food and energy, their politicians and/or the caretakers of their savings, the banks, anymore. They believe that their food is intentionally manipulated, their savings are wasted, their country is sold out to the rich and their environment is polluted for just one simple reason, Greed, the opposite of “Being Satisfied”.

The people of the autarkic movement want to recreate the necessary functions (bank, energy, food, work, healthcare, government) themselves in a cooperative way in their own living context.

Atmospheric Energy Diagram

Atmospheric Energy Diagram

The local cooperatives  are now joining on a higher (mostly country) level and are  in need of a shared (real-time)infrastructure. The current infrastructure does not support flows that move between many participants (so called peer-to-peer-networks).

The current system is a Hierarchic Top Down System containing Huge Highways that are connected to Big Production-facilities. This makes it impossible to consolidate, share and distribute resources peer-to-peer on a local level.

The Electric Highway

The Top Down System has created Global Markets where the local production is sold  to the highest bidder.

The Global Markets are the playing field for advanced speculators that make a lot of money. After the deal is made the local production is transported to a far away destination. That is the reason why the Top Down Systems are integrated in world-wide Logistic Systems.

If we want to coordinate all the local initiatives we need advanced systems that Up- and download, control, predict, connect, share, balance and distribute vital local resources on the short and long term.

The Panarchy Cycle of an Ecology

The Panarchy Cycle of an Ecology

Examples of these systems can be found in “crowd funding“, “virtual power plants”  and “treasury management” (balancing many small amounts of Money at the short and long term).

In Nature we find comparable (Fractal) Distribution-Systems in the Lungs, the Arteries, Riverdelta, the Weather Cycle and Ecologies.

All of these fysical Flow Systems, that map 1 Resource-> on Many Resources or Many Resources->on 1 Resource,  are based on the third Law of Thermodynamics called Constructal Law.

Virtual Power Plant

Virtual Power Plant

In the philosophy of the Stoics and Cynics of Ancient Greece the perfect human was not only arete (“all-around excellent”) but also independent of every need. Arete was associated with a full life as a citizen of a city.

Later Spinoza (“On Human Freedom“), Rousseau and David Thoureau (Walden) have developed their own autarkic philosophy.

Autarky was the ideal of a complete man who needed no one and no organization. This ideal can also be found in Zen Buddhism, Taoist practise, Early Christians (Nazarites), the Catholic Order of the Franciscans and the Protestant Quakers.

In reality it is almost impossible to be completely self-sufficient as a lonely human being. We need others when we are young, sick and old and we need others because we are specialized (“Talented”). Autarky is a possible aim for a small community.

Resource Balancing in Nature (Lungs, RiverDelta)

Resource Balancing in Nature (Lungs, RiverDelta)

The religious, cultural and political movements at the left and the right aimed at living the “good life” (“Living Slow“) are converging in  the movement of the Cultural Creatives. The Cultural Creatives are the new Elite that is moving to the AND-state (Left AND Right).

They don’t believe in the old Competitive Ideologies (Socialist, Capitalist, Religious, Liberal, Nationalist, Conservative, Globalist, etc..) but want  to focus on the Shared Collaborative Values between all Humans. We all need Love, Food and Shelter.

The Stoic Zeno shows the Doors to Truth and False

The Stoic Zeno shows the Doors to Truth and False

Autarky has always been a major political aim of countries. Autarky is about the possibility to control your own future and to become independent of other powers that could use your dependency to tell you what to do to get what you desperately want.

At this moment the shortage of fossil fuels, especially oil and gaz, is used to influence the policy of other countries and is the cause of local conflicts in the Middle East.

China is buying all kinds of vital materials to make sure their economy will not become dependent on others. If they will succeed and nobody doubts about that, they will become the economic controlling power of the world.

Reaching a state of local autarky, being satisfied with what your environment provides you, has become the aim of the wordwide sustainability movement.

Total autarky is possible when you want to live as a stoic or a survivalist. Most people accept a more simple living, move off-the-grid and build autonomous buildings that make use of  renewable energy.

Allotment Garden

Allotment Garden

Others start to farm in their own backyard, join an allotment garden or move back-to-the-land and practice sustainable agriculture.  To handle their surpluses and shortages independent  local markets are created that make use of  alternative currencies.

A strive for (regional) Autarky pushes the need to innovate to a higher level because not all regions contain the right materials, knowledge or experience to realize everything everybody needs. To become fully Autarkic the Production and Consumption Systems in the Region have to be based on simple concepts and parts that are available everywhere. Simple concepts are concepts that are easely copied.

The only way to combine Simple and Complex concepts is to use the Concept of Self-Reference (Fractals). The only way to make use of parts that are available everywhere is to make use of the Simple Building Blocks of Nature. A good example is the use of algea in food processing.

The concept of Autonomy not only plays an important role on the many levels of human (personal, organization, country) and animal society (Competitive vs Collaborative (Ants)). It is also a major subject in the research of (Second-OrderCybernetics (Control Theory).

Self Reproducing Systems

Self Reproducing Fractal Systems

Second Order Cybernetics is concerned with the Control of the System of Systems (the Meta-System). Hierarchy is not the solution to this problem because it leads to the logical problem of Infinite Regress (“Turtles on turtles on … all the way down”).

The Meta-System is controlling, reproducing and balancing itself by a Fractal Feedback-Cycle that moves Backwards (Consumption) and Forwards (Production).

The concept of Self-Reproduction is called Autopoiesis or Autocatalysis. The Design Philosophy of Cradle to Cradle is a good example of Autopoiesis.

A System is an Autarky if all its Levels are capable of Self-Reproduction.

If a human wants to become self-sufficient he has to accept and develop his own talent and find complementary people so he is able to create a Self-Reproducing Unit.

The smallest Self-Reproducing Unit in Human Society is the Family living in one House. This House has to produce more than enough Energy and the Garden has to produce more than enough food to support the Family.

Garden City (Culemborg, the Netherlands)

Garden City (Culemborg, the Netherlands)

If we cluster all these Self-Reproducing Families/Houses & Gardens in a small City the chances are high that the combined talents of the families will be able to supply every profession needed if the people of the city want to Live a Simple Life.

It is also possible that the surplusses and shortages of the families can be compensated by creating a Market on the level of the small City or one level higher, the Region.

An Autarkic Movement becomes an Aggressive Competitive Nationalistic Movement when the Citizens of the Country feel that their Country is plundered by outsiders and their Leaders promise to get it all back by expanding the Space to Live (“Lebensraum“) to facilitate everything that is needed.

This happened when Germany was preparing for War after the enormous reparation payments of 132 billion gold marks to the Winners of World War I.

The Autarkic Movement could also become a Peaceful Cooperative Social Movement like the Movement of Gandhi in India when the people accept the Good Life they already live and want to share the surpluses with others who are in a worse state.

LINKS

Dutch Report about Local Energy Companies (in Dutch)

About the house that produces his own energy (Passive House)

The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency

About Close-Loops Systems

About Smart Grids

About Fractal Distribution Systems

Jerry Rifkin: About the Distributed Economy

The John Seymour School for Self Sufficiency

About Entrainment

About the EU Policy of Smart Specialization of Regions

About Darwin and Collaboration 

About Artificial Life

About Smart Technology

About the Thermodynamics of Living Systems

About Worldviews (How to find Complementary People)

A City is an Organism

About the Viable Systems Model of Stafford Beer

About Garden City

Gandhi’s view on Capitalism

The Autarkic Dreams of Germany

 

About the Good, the Bad and the Nothing

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Sometimes You want do the Good Thing and the result is a Bad Thing.

Sometimes You start an Activity with a Good Intention but the Activity runs completely Out of Hand because You were unable to Predict all the effects.

Sometimes an Activity starts with a Good Intention and Ends with a Good Result but much later You discover that you have started a Chain of Activities and the Result of the Chain is Bad.

Good and Bad are Context Dependent.

Look at this little Story:

A Chinese farmer awoke one morning to find a horse grazing in one of his fields. Since nobody came to claim the horse, the farmer used it to plow his uncultivated land. “What a good this horse is for you,” said his neighbor. “We’ll see,” said the farmer. Soon after, the farmer’s 18-year-old son was riding the horse when it shied at a snake. The youth fell off and broke his leg. “What an evil this is for you,” said his neighbor. “We’ll see,” said the farmer. Soon after, the warlord’s agents combed the village, conscripting young men for his army. Because of his broken leg, the farmer’s son was not taken. “What a good this is for you,” said his neighbor. “We’ll see,” said the farmer.

The Devil in the TAROT

The Tarot Card the Devil: The Devil, the God Pan, is the Force of Desire. On the Card we can see that Humans are able to Lift the Chains of Desire.

About the Golden Rule of Ethics

The big problem is that we attach a Value to the Intentions or the Consequences of an Activity and this Value has just two Names named: “Good” or “Bad“.

When the E-Valuation is “Good” we Feel Good. When the E-Valuation is “Bad” we feel Anger, Sadness, Guilty, Depressed or Worse. The Names of the Evaluation trigger the Emotions Deeply.

Most of the time we feel Guilty without any need to feel Guilty because we are not in Control of Everything that Happens.

The Ego, our Identity, is not able to stand the Lack of Control it has on the Outside World.

Humans need the “Illusion of Control” to sustain their Identity. Deep within they don’t want to believe that Other Human Beings or the Forces of Nature (“the Acts of God“) are also Active Agents.

The Science that is trying to define the Good and the Bad is called Ethics.

Ethics is the Philosophical Study of  “the Moral Value of Human Conduct and of the Rules and Principles that ought to govern it” or “the principles concerning the distinction between Right and Wrong or Good and Bad Behavior’

The most important Rule of Ethics is the so called Golden Rule : ” We should do to others what we would want others to do to us” or “do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you“.

The Golden Rule of Empathy and Forgiving is the most important Ethical Rule in many Cultures all around the World.

The Golden Rule uses the Principle of Self-Reference. Something is Applied on Itself.

When we apply the Principle of Self-Reference to the Bad, we move into the Domain of Lady Justice.

Lady Justice

Lady Justice: An Eye for an Eye (Revenge)

About Justice and Revenge

When Bad People don’t want to use the Good Golden Rule some cultures use the Rule “An Eye for an Eye” (Revenge) to do Justice to the Bad Ones. When you do Bad to a Person, the Bad Behavior is Applied to Yourself. “Eye for an eye” is used to make Bad People Aware of the Good Golden Rule.

The interesting point is that the combination of the Golden Rule and the “Eye for an Eye“-Rule  (called Tit-for-Tat) is the best way to solve the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma, a Chain of Conflicts.

Strangely enough The Good (now called Cooperation)  is Accomplished when you just Imitate the Behavior of the Others.

There is One (fatal) Exception to the Strategy of Tit-for-Tat. If you want to operate On Your Own and You think You don’t need the Others to Survive the best Way to Operate is to Betray Every Body. Bad Behavior provides you with a Huge Economic Win but also with a  Huge Social Loss.

When you Betray the others, You have To Protect Yourself for the Revenge of the Others.

To Compensate your Social Loss You have to Buy the Others (Lawyers, Mercanaries, ) or (worse) you have to Force the Others with Violence to Cooperate with You.  In the first Case you lose a lot of Money and in the last case the Amount of Revenge increases exponentially.

To Survive you always have to Balance the Social (“the Other“) and the Economic (“the Ego“). The “easy way’ is to do the Good and the “difficult way“ is to do the Bad.

Cooperation is a highly Effective and Efficient Method to accomplish the Good for Your Self and the Others because Good Behavior attracts Good Behavior and Bad Behavior attracts  Bad Behavior.

Seven Virtues

The Seven Virtues

About the Seven Virtues.

To do Good or to do Justice you have to Apply the Same to the Same because The Same Attracts the Same.

The Same not only Attracts the Same. The Same Repels the Not-the-Same.

The Same Law:  ”Look-A-Likes Like Each Other and Repel the Organisms that are not looking alike” (called Genetic Similarity Theory) also explains Evolution. This rule was detected by Charles Darwin when he wanted to explain the huge amount of Cooperation in Nature.

When you Apply the Same to the Same (Self-Reference) it generates a Fractal Structure in which the Same Structure Repeats Itself on Every Level (“As Above, So Below“).

It Looks Like there is a Universal Moral Law that explains  Behavior on Every Level of the Universe.

Some Scientists believe the Moral Laws are Eternal Truths. This believe has a long History that goes back to Ancient Rome (Cicero), Ancient Greece (Plato, Socrate) and Ancient Egypt (Ma’at).

During the Renaissance (“Rebirth“) the Moral Principles of Rome, Greece, and Egypt were reborn and transformed into Moral Systems based on the Four (Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude) or the Seven Virtues (The Four Virtues & Faith, Hope and Love).

When you understand and apply the Universal Moral Laws you use the Virtue of Prudence (Wisdom, Knowledge).  To Apply the Golden Lesson you need to have Courage and a Strong Will, the Virtue of Fortitude. When you keep the three Virtues (Wisdom, Justice and Will) in the right Balance you are practising the virtue of Temperance.

They last three virtues are derived out of the First Letter to the Corinthians written by Paul:

“If I speak in the tonguesof men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”.

Balance of Ma'at

The Golden Rule of Ma'at (Forgiving and Empathy)

About the Temperance of Ma’at

Ma’at (later  named Sophia ) was one of the (3×3) Nine Egyptian Neteru . She represented the Virtues of Truth, Balance, Justice, and Order. Just like Lady Justice she uses a Scale.

The dead person’s Heart was placed on the scale, balanced by the Feather of Ma’at. If the Heart weighed the same as the Feather of Ma’at, the deceased was allowed to go on to the Eternal Afterlife and gained Immortality (Heaven).

If the deceased had been found not to have followed the concept of Ma’at during his life (if he had lied or cheated or killed or revenged) his heart was devoured by a demon and he died the final death and was Reincarnated (Hell).

The Human,  the Talking Baboon,  had to start all over again to Learn and Apply the most important Golden Lesson of the Universe.

The way of Ma’at was to Act out of the Center of Conscioussness, the Heart. Acting out of the Heart is called the Virtue of Love.

Ma’at was also the God of Balance, Rythm and the Cycles. The Good and the not-Good moved the Cycles of the Universe.

The Good and the not-Good came out of the Same Source, the Void, the Sekhem, the Source of Infinite Potential and Love.

The Tree Faces of Shiva

The Tree Faces of Shiva (Creator, Destructor and Brahman (Void, Love, Infinite Potential))

About the Trinity of the Mind

In the Eastern (Gnostic, Egyptian, Indian, African, Mystic) Believe System the Good and the Bad are both created by the Demiurg (or the Logos, “In the beginning was the Word and Word was God“) one of the Creations of the Void. The Void exists outside our Level of Existence. The Void is a Mystery.

The Good and the not-Good, the Bad, are Complementary Opponents. Their Union is the Whole. They Share the Void, the Empty Set. The Empty Set contains Everything that is Impossible.

The Good and the Bad Move the Cycles of the Universe. They represent the E-Motions (Expansion (Desire, Creation) and Contraction (Control, Destruction)) of the Void.

The Good and the Bad Cooperate by Competing to bring the Lonely Souls back to the Void.

The Good, the Creator, and the Bad, the Destructor, are Two Faces of the Same Entity, the Spiritual Trinity, who came out of the Nothing.

The connection with the Void can be found in the Middle (the Golden Mean) of the Body, the Heart, the Link between the Triangel of the Material World (the Body) and the Triangel of the Spiritual World (The Mind).

The Heart, the connection with the Void,  is the Seat of Consciousness. It is also the Seat of the Emotions (Soul).

When the Heart Weights like a Feather, the Upper (Mind) and the Lower Trinity (the Body) connected by the Emotions are in Balance.

The Bad and the Good are Attractors. When the Attraction becomes too High you get Addicted to the Bad or the Good. A huge Expansion is compensated by a huge Contraction to Balance the Cycle. When you want to avoid the Pain of Contraction you have to Balance your Life.

The Two Triangels with the Heart in the Middle are the Same As the Seven Chakra’s (2×3+1) and the Seven Virtues of the Renaissance.

The Seven Chakra’s together with the Spiritual Trinity are Similar to the Tree of Life, The Egyptian Pesedjet/Neteru and the Jewish Sephirot (3×3+1).

The Seven Chakra's

The Seven Chakra's

About the Trinity of the Body

When Body and Mind are in Balance, the Ideas of the Spiritual Trinity are received by the Trinity of the Mind and are Implemented by the Trinity of the Material Body in the Material World (Earth).

When the Mind is not connected to the Body and the Spirit, the Ideas become Abstractions (only Words) or the Impulses of the Desire of the Body Takes over Control.

When the Mind is not connected to the Spirit Innovation stops and Old Ideas (the Seeds) Repeat Themselves All the Time. The Human becomes a Machine Caught in the Wheel of the Good and the Bad.

The One, the Spiritual Trinity, who is The Void, the Good (the Creator) and the Bad (the Destructor), uses the Strategy of Tit-for-Tat, the Trickster.

The Trinity Imitates the Behavior of the Humans or We the Humans Copy their Behavior (“We are made in the Image of God“)!

The One wants to make the Humans Aware of the Fact that the only way to Survive the Infinite Chain of Conflicts (Dilemma’s, Contradictions), which is Life, is to Cooperate (Live out of the Heart) with the Infinite Potential, the God of Love.

Implosion

The Big Implosion

About Destruction

The Golden Rule of Ethics tries to avoid the Negative Emotions, the Emotions of Loss. It wants to Create a situation were Everybody is Happy.

The Golden Rule of Ethics helps a lot to Evaluate our Intentions and the Consequences of our Intentions but the effect of our Collective Actions on the Bigger Structures is almost Unpredictable.

It would help a lot if we could Expand our View from the Emotional Human Other to “all the Other Life-Forms” that are in Existence.

In this case we have to Understand the Effects of our Behavior on the Negative Emotions of the Bacteria, the Plants, the Animals, Earth and even the Universe.

It is not clear if our Emphatic System is able to Imagine the Inner World of the other Life Forms.

If the Act of Destruction is felt the same by all these Organisms it will be simply impossible to Live.

We have to Destroy Others to stay Alive.

The Universe Destroys to Stay Alive.

The Destruction of the Old is needed to Create the New.

At this moment we are confronted with a World-Wide Crisis on many Levels of Existence. The Collective Behavior of the Human Race is Destroying our Environment.

The Collective Desire to Create and Expand has reached the Limits of the System we Live in.

It is almost impossible to Control this Expansion. The Control Systems have also reached their Limits.

The Two Complementary Forces, The Good and the Bad, Expansion and Contraction, Desire and Control,  have both reached their Outer Limits.

If they both reach the Limits the Expanding Balloon of our Outer Universe will Explode in Itself (Implode) and move through the Void to another State. There is Simply no Space Left to Expand.

If this happens the Expansion of the Outer World will be Transformed into an Expansion of the Inner World.

The Big Bang, the Big Explosion, the Sublime Act of Creation, will Repeat itself and the Big Implosion will Create a New Universe.

The Flow of Time

The Flow of Time

About Not-Acting

Wu Wei (Not Acting, Acting without Effort) is an important concept of Taoism.

When you want to apply this concept you have to Know Everything There is to Know about the Cycles and the Forces of Nature. Wu Wei is only possible when you have aquired the Knowledge and the Wisdom of Ma’at/Sophia.

Most of the Time the Power of the Cycle is so Strong that it is impossible for Us to influence the Flow of Time.

Sometimes on a Rare Moment on a Special Place the Cycles can be Influenced.

Only at that Special Magic Moment the Human is able to do the Good or the Bad.

At all the other Moments History Takes its Course. The Good and Bad Forces, the Acts of God, Act without our Consent on the Higher Levels of Our Universe. It is a Waste of Time and Energy to Oppose these Forces.

Most of the Time we are Pushed by the Forces of Nature. We Act without Effort.

In Ancients Times the Forces were called Gods, Angels or Devils. At this moment we Name these Forces with Different Names (Gravity, the Strong and Weak Force and the Electro-Magnetic Force) but the Effect of the Forces on our Field of Existence stays the Same.

At a Magic Moment Everything, even the Impossible, is Possible. At such a moment we are ”in Tune with“  the Empty Set, the Void, the Sekhem, the Tao, the Field, the Love, the Mystery, the Unspoken.

The Emotions of Loss are created when we Lose Something.

If you Own Nothing You have Nothing to Lose.

If you Expect Nothing, Every Thing will Happen.

When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other
.

Therefore the Master
can act without doing anything
and teach without saying a word.
Things come her way and she does not stop them;
things leave and she lets them go.
She has without possessing,
and acts without any expectations.
When her work is done, she takes no credit.
That is why it will last forever
.

(Tao Te Ching,  Chapter II)

LINKS

About Game Theory and Ethics

About Cybernetics and Ethics

About Social Balance Theory

About Addiction

How to Resolve a Conflict

About the Seven Virtues

About the Illusion of Control and other Human Biases

About Morality and Ethics

About Ethical Dilemma’s

About Tit-for-Tat

About Tit-for-Tat and World Politics

About Genetic Similarity Theory

About the Renaissance

About Ma’at and the Measure of the Heart

About the Nine Egyptian Concepts (the Neteru)

About Plato and the New Harmony

About Socrate and the Golden Rule

About the Demiurg

About the Mystic Experience

About the Heart

About the Void

About the Sekhem

About the Trinity

About the Trickster

About Darwin’s Superorganism

Saturday, May 8th, 2010
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Many people believe that the theory of Evolution is based on the concept of competition. They believe that every gene, every cell, and every organism is designed to promote its own evolutionary success at the expense of others.

The big problem with this concept is that it does not explain the enormous amount of cooperation that is visible in Nature.

Atoms cooperate in Molecules. Molecules cooperate in Genes. Genes cooperate in Chromosomes. Chromosomes cooperate in eukaryoticcells. Cells cooperate in Multicellular Organisms. Multi Cellular Organisms cooperate in Humans. Humans cooperate in Families and Tribes and Families and Tribes cooperate in Organizations and Nations.

The question of how natural selectioncan lead to cooperative behavior or reciprocal altruism has fascinated evolutionarybiologists for several decades.

When Charles Darwin was writing his famous book the Descent of Man (1871) he was already highly puzzled by the social structures of the ants. Their cooperative behavior was “one special difficulty, which at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my theory”.

To solve his problem Darwin proposed that in the case of ant societies natural selection applies not to the individual, but to the family or group. The ants were part of a “Super-Organism”, that consists of genetically similar individuals.

Although many individuals showed altruistic behavior in the group the “genetic code” was replicated because the individuals in the group were all “look alikes”. The Ants were “the Same” (Similar) and therefore every Ant that survived promoted the Genes of the Community.

To explain his theory Darwin wrote ‘sympathy is directed solely towards members of the same community, and therefore towards known, and more or less loved members, but not all the individuals of the same species’.

Darwin’s Theory of Group Selection was  later transformed into the theories of Genetic Kin Selection, Group Selection and the Genetic Similarity Theory. There is dramatic evidence that plants, animals and humans detect and act on genetic similarity.

For humans, both Spouses and best Friends are most similar on attributes with higher heritability.  People join clubs and societies that contain similar people and adopt ideologies that work in their genetic selfinterest. Genetic similarity also explains voting behaviour.

The Human Detection Center of Genetic Similarity is situated  in  the amygdala a part of the Limbic Brain System that is involved in Fear and Arousal.  The Amygdala activates the Sympathetic Nervous System responsible for the fight/flight-response of the Body. It prepares the body to get into action.

The recognition of another person depends on a long series of fast electrophysiological and slow biochemical reactions to the stimuli particular to that person or situation. These stimuli include seeing the other person’s face, hearing his voice, feeling his touch, and smelling his personal odors.

The reaction patterns of Humans to a fearfull situation are different. Some people, the Hawks, re-act very fast. They Fight and Compete. Some people, the Doves, re-act very slow. They Freeze, Flight or  Cooperate.

To find the appropriate reaction-pattern every one of our senses works hard to identify “the other” or “the others“. The detection of “dangerous others” has to happen very fast. This is the task of the electrophysiological pathways.

A fast detection is unreliable therefore a second “slow” cognitive pathway is started. In the cortex the frightening stimulus is analyzed in detail, using stored information from many parts of the brain, and a message is sent back down to the amygdala.

To detect stimuli that are really dangerous the amygdala uses a memory. This memory contains learned and inherited, imprinted, situations. The imprinted situations are highly related to the detection of genetic similarity.

If an animal or a human is frequently attacked the memory contains many Painfull Situations and the amygdala reacts more specific to a situation. The older a person gets the more difficult it becomes to erase this memory.

If people or animals are unable to make a distinction between their Own Whole and the Whole of the Others it will result in a Blurring of the Identity. The Whole of the Observer Merges or Overlaps with the Whole of the Observed. If this happens people act in a “friendly“, Emphatic,  mode and experience others as more “the same” than others do.

A Cooperative Strategy is highly related to the possibility of the Cognitive Part of the Human Detection-System to Move into the Other and Imagine what will Happen. The Hawks lack the ability to Imagine.

The most interesting concept that came out of Darwins Group Selection Theory is the Idea of the Super-Organism.

This Super Organism shows itself in many ways. Examples are the Family, the Tribe, Society and the Earth.

There is a similarity between the roles played by different organizations in Society and the functions of organs, systems and circuits in the body.

Industrial plants extract energy and building blocks from raw materials, just like the digestive system. Roads, railways and waterways transport these products from one part of the system to another one, just like the arteries and veins. Garbage dumps and sewage systems collect waste products, just like the colon and the bladder. The army and police protect the society against invaders and rogue elements, just like the immune system.

If we take the concept of the Super Organism a little bit further we could imagine the Super-Super-Super-Organism that contains all the other Organisms.  In some way every Organism is Genetically Similar (“the Same“) to this Organism.

If this is true and the Theory of Group Selection is Right every Organism is an enfolding of the “Architecture of the Whole“, the Tree of Life,  and a Majority of the Organisms (the Doves) will have an Altruistic Tendency to this Super-Organism.

The Doves Love, want to Unite With,  the Whole and the Hawks dislike the Whole because they want to be a Whole themselves.

Some Scientists call the Super Organism, Gaia,  Mother Earth, but there is no reason why we should not include the Bigger Structures in the Universe until we have reached the Boundary.

On every Level the Same Pattern appears.

On every level the Whole is splitted into Individual Parts. The parts  live a Life of their own (Agency). When we Move UP the Parts are United (Communion)  into a Bigger Structure.

When we look DOWN we interpret the proces of Splitting as a Competition. When we look UP we see a different pattern we Name “Cooperation“.

If we look at the history of the splitting process it looks like the wholes were splitted without any reason. It just happened. If we believe this Evolution is based on pure chance. Life is just a coincedence.

When we analyze the process of Evolution a Pattern emerges. This pattern is Cyclic, Leveled and Self-Referential. The process is almost invisible because with every Name we Utter we carve out a portion of the world and create a Boundary.

Every Time we Divide the World with Words the World becomes more complicated. Every New Concept that is not created without a View on the Pattern of the Whole generates a higher level of Confusion and increases the Complexity of Something that is really very Simple.

We create distinctions between Animals and Humans, Humans and Plants because the Hawkish Genes Want Us to Believe We Are Something Special.

Because of their Special Status the Hawks treat their fellow organisms in a very brutal way. They Exploit (Desire) them because of their Need to Control their Environment. They want to Control their Environment  because they are Afraid to lose Control. They are Afraid that their Identity (Their Ego, Their Agency, Their Whole) will disappear when they Commune with the Whole.

The Effect of the Behavior of the Hawks is the Destruction of the Environment that they Fear so Much. They are destroying their own Mother Earth who is certainly one of the Super Organisms that gave birth to the many wholes that are just there to Enjoy her Care.

The big problem we have is Naming. What we don’t see or don’t want to see is that every Split is a Split in two Opposite Complementary Parts (Yin/not-Yin= Yang, Male/not-Male = Female, Cooperate/not-Cooperate = Compete) that Share  the Void, the Empty Set, the State the Universe was in before it was created.

On every level the Nothing, the State of Infinite Potential and Love,  is still there but it is hidden because we started to use Words, to describe what meant to be an Experience.

This brings us to the final conclusion.

The big problem that is treatening Mother Earth is Hawkish Behavior. In the long term this kind of behavior is not helping the Human Gene at all. It not only destroys  the Human Gene. It destroys  the complete group of genetic “Look-a-Likes” of the Human Gene.

Darwin was Right.

Altruistic Behavior, Cooperation,  is the Only Way for the (Human) Genes to Survive.

Let us Help the Hawks to Erase their Fearfull Memories.

LINKS

About Genetic Similarity Theory and the Cyclic Universe

About Ethics and Genetic Similarity Theory

Edward O. Wilson: A video about the Super Organism

About the role of the Amygdala

A discussion about Morality and the Superorganism

A Mathematical Model that Explains the Evolution of Cooperation

Why Non-Cooperative Humans (Hawks) always Win and Cooperative Humans (Doves) always Lose

An Article in American Scientist about the Superorganism

How Multicellar Organisms cooperate in Humans

How the Void is able to cure Addiction

The Social Effects of Genetic Similarity

Genetic Similarity in Mate Choice and Friendship in Twins

Wittgenstein about Families and Language

An Article in Wired About the Super Organism

About the Super Organism and Systems Theory

About the problem of Naming and Dividing

About the Void

How to Resolve an Infinite Chain of Conflicts

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Humans attach much greater weight to future losses than to future gains, especially when the former are certain and immediate and the latter are uncertain. Humans take unwise risks to avoid certain and immediate losses.

They don’t want to take risks to pursue gains or will unwisely turn down proposed changes or concessions that offer a mix of gains and losses, even when the promised gains are objectively greater than the losses.

To calculate a loss a Human chooses a personal reference point which is usually the individual’s status quo.

Human beings reject or devalue whatever is freely available to them. They strive for whatever is denied them. They want to fight because when you win a fight you don’t lose a fight. Humans get exited when they have removed an Obstacle.

Without an obstacle Life is Boring. To remove an Obstacle Humans create Imaginary Obstacles. They need a Challenge.

They don’t believe their adversary offers a compromise because when he offers a compromise he is losing. Somewhere behind the compromise is a hidden tactic. The adversary will attack out of the blue and will suddenly win. On the other hand when the compromise is sincere the enemy is getting weaker and it is possible to increase the demands in the negocation.

The total effect is that future compromises and package deals decrease in attractiveness once they are offered especially when they are put there by one’s adversary rather than by a third party (Reactive Devaluation).

The Effect of Future Losses on Human Decision Making is researched in Prospect Theory.

The basic Stategy of Humans is to avoid the Emotions of Loss (Anger, Frustration, Grief, Fear, Sadness, Yearning, Pity, and Sorrow). This is not strange because the Emotions of Loss have a negative impact on the body. They influence the Immune System and are the cause of many ilnesses.

When two parties imagine a joined future where both of them lose they will never cooperate. In terms of the prisoners dilemma this is called a lose/lose-situation.

When two parties have seen a win/win situation and the realization changes into a lose they are in conflict. They have to envision a new win/win or break the cooperation.

Sometimes it is impossible to break a cooperation because both parties share vital resources or don’t know how to divide the assets of the former cooperation. In this case they are in a the win/lose-mode of the (Iterated) Prisonners Dilemma, constantly switching between losing and winning.

When a party wants to move from a lose to a win he has to apply the tactic of Tit-for-Tat. When you apply Tit-for-Tat you simply copy the behaviour of the other. When one of the parties sustains his unwillingness to cooperate both of them are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

When two parties were united it is very difficult to recreate independent disconnected units. Many of the joined activities where performed without negotiation and were never formalized. When two parties cooperate they are acting as one Mind and one Soul.

Moving out of a Cooperative Relationship needs a Cooperative Relationship. When this relationship is broken two parties are needed who enter into a Cooperative Relationship to resolve the Cooperative Relationship on the lower level. When this Cooperative Relationship fails another level has to be created. If all the levels fail they are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

If a Conflict of Interest arises the first action is to avoid the conflict or to speed up the conflict. In the last case the Primary Emotions (Desire, The Emotion of Loss) are bothering them. To avoid a Conflict we have to Articulate our Emotions at the Right Moment in a Respectful Way. We have to Communicate.

Most Conflicts in Nature are violent. Humans have found a way to abstract from Violence. We have created Imaginary Violence. We Fight our Case in Court. We don’t fight our Case in the Court Yard. We have replaced the material Sword of Iron by the Imaginary Silver Sword of Words.

If both parties are unable to define the conflict in a coherent model the conflict will not resolve. They need help to do this. If the advisors of the two parties are unable to do this the conflict has to move to a higher level of abstraction. When the conflict is resolved on this level somebody has to translate the consistent model to the lower level. When this is not possible the conflict starts again. They are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

When an Abstract Model is always Moving Up and Down, the Model is not in Harmony. Harmoniouss Models are applicable on Every Level of Abstraction. Models that are The Same on Every Level are Self-Referencial. When a Conflict is Modelled as a Conflict it will never be solved.

The solution to this problem is to Extend the Context of the Conflict until a Balance has been found. Both Parties have to Widen their Perspective. They have to step out of the Status Quo and Imagine a Bright Future. A Future where the Darkness of the Night has been replaced by the Light of the Day. They have to wake up out of their joint Nightmare and Face Reality.

A Conflict is resolved when all the parties that are involved are Satisfied. They are satisfied when they experience a Balancing of their Emotions. A Victim is satisfied when his Emotion of Revenge is resolved. The Killer is Killed or put into prison for many years. The Emotion of the Killer is balanced by the Emotion of his Victim(s).

To Balance Emotions we have to Objectify Emotions. When we are buying a Car we have to pay Money. The Car is an Objectified Emotion (The feeling of the Freedom to Move) and Money is an Objectified Emotion (The feeling of Freedom to do what we want to Do). The Potential of Money is balanced by the Potential to Move. When we buy we are balancing Potentials.

Humans use Mental Accounting to define what their Potential is. They divide their Potential in many “Isolated” boxes and are unable to combine the boxes. A savings account is meant to save money and not to spend money. If Humans put their Potentials in “closed” Boxes they are Poor although they are Rich.

When they feel Poor they will experience every potential solution of a conflict as a loss. When a Human accepts that the Future is not the Past he will realize that there are many possibilities he has never seen. When a Human accepts that his Potential is his Creativity he is able to negociate with an Open Mind.

Many people believe the Juridical System is the most objective system in our Society. Sadly enough this is not true. The Law is highly confusing. Judges don’t have the background to understand what has really happened. Lawyers are telling their own biased story and most of the cases are very complex. The System is a System of Last Resort. It is used when many future and current losses are accumulating.

The Judicial System is meant to resolve Infinite Chains of Conflict without Applying Violence. This is accomplished by Balancing Emotions by Objectifying Emotions by Articulating the Emotions in Words by Combining the Words into a Model by comparing the Model with an Abstract Juridical Model by Solving the Conflict Applying this Model by Translating the Model to a lower Level by Explaining the Model to the Parties hoping they will Agree so the Emotions are Balanced so both Parties are Satisfied.

If this is not happening the whole process starts all over again until somebody (a Judge, Somebody who Speaks Law) utters a Solomon’s Verdict.

I hope You see why it is much better to settle a Conflict on a Lower Level.

LINKS

Papers about Conflict Resolution

About Prospect Theory

About Prospect Theory and the Financial Market

How to Create Cooperative Networks by Playing Complementary Roles

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

People have to cooperate to survive. Children need their parents to nurture and teach them. Parents need the help of their children when they are old. The basic principle behind cooperation is long-term reciprocity. People give something voluntary and sometimes for free to others or help the other trusting they get something of the same value back in the future.

To survive people have to have a long-term perspective. They have to sustain their environment and the supporting infrastructures to make sure that there are enough people and tools to help them when they are old.

The need to survive created the basic level concept of cooperation (the tribe). The tribe transformed into higher and more complex levels of cooperation (town, guild, state, corporation) when human society evolved.

To coordinate the complex structures the mental concept of the many leveled hierarchy was formed. This concept fails when the environment of the organizational structure becomes turbulent.

Hierarchies adapt too slowly to their environment. At this moment, hierarchies are falling apart in cooperating self-sustaining specialized network. The networks are gaining control over many activities that are now taking place at the level of the big corporation and the state.

A specialized network produces activities and products that are consumed by other specialized networks. To realize the output people have to play complementary roles.

When we can distinguish six basic roles:

  • Craftsmen (Senses, Patterns)

A craftsman has acquired experience by practicing. Craftsmen do not like too much change. Change requires new practicing and keeps him from producing.  A craftsman loves to make what he sees. He learns by copying. Examples are carpenters, painters, musicians, technicians and programmers. The craftsmen are the producers in the network. In many cases, programmable machines can replace their activities. Craftsmen use specialized tools. If their processes are standardized a process-model can be used to coordinated their activities.

  • Entrepreneur (Senses, Emotions)

An entrepreneur feels what preferences people have. Examples are retailers and brokers. Entrepreneurs sell the products the network is producing and buy products the network needs. They also are the people that negotiate contracts and make connections to other specialized networks. Entrepreneurs use technologies like relationship-management-tools and procurement-systems.

  • Politicians (Emotions, Patterns)

A politician structures collective emotions by creating consensus. He feels the opinions of the collective, has the gift to influence opinions, and gets people into collaborative action.   A politician looks after the social cohesion in the network. He uses opinion polls and media.

  • Creators (Imagination, Patterns)

A creator visualizes the whole of a structure. A creator can balance variety (his imagination) and predictability (the patterns). Examples are composers, architects and designers. A creator designs the machines and the products the network is producing.

  • Motivator (Emotions, Imagination)

A motivator visualizes what makes people move forward. Motivators develop concepts.  Many of them operate in the media (actors, writers, poets and movie-directors). Motivators cannot live without variety. Other examples are coaches and psychiatrist. A motivator looks after the long-term perspective of the network by creating and implementing a shared vision.

  • Inventors (Senses, Imagination)

An inventor makes sense of his imagination. Inventors generate ideas and create prototypes (R&D). They use brainstorming tools and analyze trends.

The roles are not evenly distributed in the network. The majority of the people play the role of the producer, the craftsman.

In the current situation, the basic roles are concentrated in specialized corporations (e.g. media, retail, production-plants) or   staff-department of big corporations. Many high talented people are already leaving the big corporations and take part of specialized networks. The amount of one-person-companies is increasing.

People can cooperate with persons that share with them one of their basic cognitive components. An entrepreneur can convince a craftsman what products people he has to sell. They are both practical people (the senses). A creator (e.g. an architect) can show a craftsman what to make. They share a focus on structure (patterns).

When complementary roles are working in a cooperative environment, they join their forces in an open dialogue. This dialogue has many stages ranging from brainstorming (inventors take the lead) to realizing material structures (craftsman work together with creators).

Politicians, entrepreneurs and motivators can only perform if they are able to observe and express emotions (visual expressions, gestures). To ensure a successful cooperation they have to meet. New technologies like video-conferencing make it possible to cooperate anytime, any-place and anywhere. 

To collaborate people have to communicate face to face. In a competition patents (legal actions) and secrecy (rules and walls) shield ideas to prevent the competitor to take the lead.  In cooperation, ideas are shared to sustain the network.

The most used model in communication is the sender/receiver-model.  People send and receive content (e.g. email, documents, pictures, plans, designs) Specialized networks need advanced content-management systems to support this model of communication.

The sender/receiver-model supposes that the brain converts ideas directly into words and that another person can easily draw out the meaning of the ideas from the words. It assumes little effort to understand or interpret what is being conveyed.

The sender/receiver-model only works if there is a high level of common conceptual understanding (a shared model) between all the people involved in the communication process.

In reality, this is mostly not the case especially when experts (inventors, craftsman and creators) are communicating with laymen (entrepreneurs, motivators and politicians).

The dialogue between an expert and a layman is often a monologue. The expert confuses the layman with all his knowledge and the layman is not capable of asking the right questions. In the end, the layman stops asking questions and accepts the situation. 

The sender/receiver-model reduces a specialized network to a production-process. The model lowers the social cohesion (politicians), reduces the external cooperation (entrepreneurs) and removes the long-term perspective of the network (motivators).

People have to invest time to understand (ask unsophisticated questions) and explain their ideas (inventions) in many ways. It also takes time to generate trust. Ideas of others have to be tried out (in the imagination or in the real world) to understand them.

People have to have the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes. Sometimes they generate personal inventions that can be given back to the others to create reciprocity.

Eventually ideas create new personal patterns that can be shown and praised by others.  Collaboration does not take place instantly but evolves in a cycle where the pleasure of finding things out is the motivator.

When people are pessimistic and afraid the other becomes the enemy. They shield themselves from the outside world by creating fixed boundaries (walls).

To make sure that they get something in return they use a threat (e.g. physical force, the legal system). Before they start, they have to spend time to prevent a possible conflict (making contracts, detailed specifications). When people trust each other, they cannot wait to start.

The fear of losing something (possessions, status, existence) changes a collaborative relationship into a battle.

In a competition, the focus is on winning and selfishness. Fear has a negative impact on the senses (tunnel view), the emotions (stress) and the imagination (creativity block).

In a competition, priority is given to stay in front and to prohibited possible actions of the enemies. To win one has to predict and control by defining strict rules and make sure that people obey the rules. Internal and external competition finally kills a cooperative relationship.

To prevent the move from cooperation to competition people have to sustain a free and open communicate-process.