How can improved thinking
improve the human condition
-- An answer to Max

My good friend Max asks, "Why are you so sure that if people think better, they will behave better?" He means, "How do I know my proposed changes in thinking processes will allow a person to get in tune with the natural order of things?" He feels that technology has been the driving wedge between mind and spirit since Eve passed Adam the apple of knowledge. Doesn't fixing brains so they have a better technology to achieve rational behavior, like giving any last chance of salvation over to the dark side? Just thinking that it is possible that rationally could help people align themselves with the natural order of things is an oxymoron.

Well Max, I agree with you. I can not get my work (temporal inference learning pathways) to attain your objectives. At least not directly.

My objectives are far simpler. I think improved learning pathways can reverse society's worst vectors.

I want people to reverse their very worst behavior so system slack is created rather than system scarcity. I want their new behaviors to create so much slack (excess food, clothing, shelter, health care, educational opportunity per person, that each individual becomes so productive relative to his or her basic needs, that he or she can slow down and have an "opportunity" to attain a natural synergy with the many dimensions of life.

I work to create the "opportunity" to do what you think people should be doing with their lives.

Since I believe that it is the absence of this slack that has produced the deviance in life that we both hate, I dream of a system with 95% slack. This amount means that a person is so productive that it requires only 5% of his or her time to fully float his boat.

This has not happened since hunters and gathers had to work only 6 hours a week to feed everyone.

There are a couple of ways an individual can put slack into his or her system. And they range from separating oneself from the middle class possessions and living as a hermit in the national forest. The process requires giving up health care, hot water, modern communication, transportation and eventually reverting to stone age tools. In essence becoming a stone age hunter and gather. It only works for a very small number of people – not 6 billion. So this is not what I mean by putting slack in the system.

Winning the lottery is also not a meaningful way to put slack in the system. It applies to only one in a hundred million people.

Why is it so important for the slack solution to include all six billion people on earth? Because any group that does not achieve the slack condition will try and take the slack out of the nearest system with slack. And in response, a system with slack will have to spend its slack protecting its slack.

Thus my solution is to create a rational mind that appreciates, understands the meaning of the slack vectors in a society. And thus behaves to set that societal vector toward increasing slack.

In this sense I am not automatically getting people to slow down, watch the grass grow, and get themselves in sync with the natural order of things. I am creating an expanding opportunity to do that, in contrast to the past and present state of the slack vector which incrementally takes that opportunity away.


Jack Alpert (Bio)     mail to:      (homepage)      Other position papers

  (more details)