10 to15 years ago, after having been personally rattled by several of the below problems, I began dissecting the major hurdles and issues of our world:
- Why poverty exists?
- Why a self actualized human is so uncommon?
- Why corruption exists?
- Why do people release bad science?
- What motivates crime?
- Why do laws exist that are so provably damaging to society?
- Why do drug companies push bad medicine?
- Why are we still wasting massive quantities of material and energy?
- Why are we still polluting our environment in the face of well known and understood research? We know that we have 50 to 100 years at best before our world changes so drastically that most of us won’t survive, yet we continue.
- Why are we more concerned with the bottom line than with the customers?
- Why do the workers do all the work, but they only get a fraction of a percentage of the profit made from that work?
Now – before I move on, I would like to highlight that the above mentioned issues are those issues that most of us are aware of. As I investigated more and more into these issues, I discovered a pretty large collection of mostly unnoticed cultural issues.
- Radical negative shift in productivity at work vs. when working on a hobby.
- This eventually came to show that people excel when doing what they love. Individuals who are working at a job that they do because either they have to or because it is what makes the most money have a consistently much lower rate of productivity and quality.
- 4 & 5 hour work days are vastly more productive with a much higher level of quality than 8 hour work days. There are variations of this including 3 & 4 day weeks, etc. It has been shown that working past the initial 4-5 hour limit has an increased incident rate of costly mistakes. Such mistakes are often so costly that it effectively negates the amount of quality and productivity produced in the previous 3 to 4 hours of work.
- Efficient theories of motivation (specifically The Self-Determination Theory of Motivation) is widely ignored or slow to be adopted in schools, work, and home. Most people have never even heard of them.
- There is a huge array of time tested, stable, and peer-reviewed research that is just not making it to actualization. Productivity, efficiency, creativity, health, happiness, quality of life – etc. There seems to be a bottleneck somewhere that is keeping effective knowledge from being known, understood, and implemented by the public at large.
As I began to analyze these issues, I found that they all have similar roots; or the are at least heavily related.
In my analysis: greed, the acquisition of wealth, and the fear of losing the stability of regular income plays a significant role in the majority of our world’s largest problems.
In that Money appears to be a common theme, I took a deeper look at just what exactly money is and why so many of these issues seem to be related to it.
Most economists agree that the primary functions of money are:
- To provide storage of value.
- To provide a medium of exchange.
- To act as a unit of account.
That only answers what it provides, not what it is. Money is obviously a symbol. It’s an arbitrary static element onto which we project some value based on the current state of trade and politics. Further, we project rules and properties onto this ethereal device. But what exactly does it represent? What is it supposed to represent? Why is it so easy to abuse?
Let’s tackle the “what” of the matter first. Money is a manifestation, devised by primitive human intelligence and inserted into the natural flow of the elements of reality in an attempt to bypass certain natural undesirable processes and restrictions. Such processes and restrictions include: rot, decomposition, a climate of constantly shifting supply and demand, etc.
But what is it that money is actually hijacking?
When you pull back the curtains, the universe runs the show with four main currencies; Nature’s fundamental mediums of exchange. These are:
All of Nature’s “economies” can be reduced to the fundamental eb and flo of energy, space, matter, and time. Money is an ancient and primitive attempt to control the flow of the currencies of reality; to twist and bend it to better suite our needs.
The following series of arguments are an attempt to validate the following points:
- The three economic arguments for money can be handled with more efficiency and competency than any currently present economic system.
- That a gentle nudging (based on system analyses) of the natural flow and exchange of space, time, energy, and matter can prove to be orders of magnitudes more efficient and effective than either monetary hijacking or the untouched natural flow.
- The quarter million year old technology of money is overdue for an upgrade.
*Note: These stories are short allegories and thought experiments meant to accentuate certain aspects of economic realities. I’ve attempted to make the analogies as close to the reality as possible, but I do understand that’s not always possible. That being the case, there may be some attributes I’ve not considered.
Consider a small tribe living at the foot of a waterfall. The water falls into a pool and makes its way down and passes by the village. Initially, the villagers dug small ditches to reroute some of the flow through gardens and into small dipping pools and bathing pools. As the village stands, there is no money because the village is simply plugged into the natural flow of resource distribution and exchange. One day, one of the village elders rounds up a small crew of workers and constructs a dam at top of the waterfall accompanied by several water reservoirs.
When the villagers complained, the village elder explained this new system:
When they need water, they simply visit the closest reservoir and exchange any combination of a system of coins for the water. There are 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, and 25 gallon coins. In order to obtain these coins, they must first borrow the coins from the water bank under a system of credit. They can exchange coins for favors and work with other villagers.
Before long, there were water banks throughout the village. Transactions begin taking place for every favor and hour of work performed for others. Within a short period of time, 20% of all of the villagers either worked at a bank or engaged is a profession that was directly related to money in some fashion. Theft of water quickly became a problem. Counterfeit coins began to circulate. Inflation reared its head and an unfortunate 1 to 2 percent of the villagers found themselves unable to afford amenities and small comforts.
Here we see that the simple injection of currency into a people immediately put a bottleneck between the villagers and the natural resources.
A second problem that arose was the radical shift of resources necessary just to sustain the system of money. A 20% loss in productivity due to manning banks and accounting firms.
So why does it seem to “work”?
The answer is simple; our planet is rife with energy. Life harnesses this energy and packs it into super explosive and efficient chemical bonds. A two-hour hunt can yield weeks of food and materials. Even if a small rabbit was caught, that’s nearly a 1200% ROI. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll only consider the energy producing food for this next example. A 300 lb. deer would produce (at about 60% edible material) 180 lbs of food. At a fairly decent meal weighing around 600 grams, the yield is about 136 meals. That’s nearly a 14,000% ROI assuming the hunter expended the energy from an entire meal to catch the deer. In reality, we’re looking at a much larger return. The reality is, the true return would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 84,000%.
So far, it seems that money appears to be a vast drain and a waste of resources. So why have we continued to use it? Well, it’s a medium of storage; which, previous to several energy preservation technologies, was a huge issue. Modern tech, however, enables us to freeze, preserve, and store just about everything and anything we want with unbelievable efficiency.
That leaves a unit of account and a medium of exchange left.
Unit of account can be reduced to the unit of measure for any one particular system. This breaks down to simply measuring the exchanges taking place within a natural system.
Medium of exchange is far more skillfully executed by thermodynamics than any form of interference. You can’t cut into a power line and pretend that you’re going to be able to interfere in some way that’s going to benefit the delivery of power. No matter what you do, you’re interference is going to impede the flow of electricity in some manner. The only exceptions would be the injection of energy into the system or to reduce the natural impedance of the power cables. Keep these two concepts in mind.
A small sea vessel carrying 100 people shipwrecked on an unknown island with no chance of rescue. With survival at the forefront of everything these survivors do, tasks were quickly agreed upon and handled. For the most part, when a task was decided to be a necessity, volunteers were first asked for. When nobody wanted to accept the task, those without tasks agreed to handle it for the good of the whole. Occasionally somebody would fall to the wayside and avoid having to do anything – but this was not common. When it did happen, the individual was asked what they would be willing to do to help. In this manner, most of the people were doing something they wanted to do, and those with a bit more stamina and character handled the tasks that were necessary but not as popular. Eventually a working community settled into place. Everybody worked together as a unified system. The farmers farmed. The hunters hunted. The builders built. The doctors cared for the ill.
The Island illustrates the fact that small, manageable communities do fine without money. We’ve seen this throughout history. Tribes of humans often functioning much like a single super-organism. The question is: at what point in a society’s evolution from heavily intra-tribalistic to mostly inter-tribalistic does money become a requirement. What are the the specific tipping points that cultivate the necessity for monetary exchange?
The City of Automata
In the near future, the world has become ripe with automation. So much so that artificial intelligence has become the driving force behind everything. AI algorithms navigate production, transportation, health, education, etc. The entirety of human life is run by machines; and the entirety of the production workforce are all handled with carefully designed machines. These machines self-replicate at speeds beyond human capability, solve problems on levels vastly superior to anything humans could ever dream of, and care for humans as humans could never do. Obviously in such a culture, the concept of work and money and currency would be ridiculous to even consider.
This is to illustrate the unavoidable future in which money will again be removed.
So it seems, from whence we came – again we shall return. To pose the inherent question at this point: what is it about our journey from a tribal state to a super-automated state requires money in the middle; and how can we lay the stepping stones to put us on the fast track from here to there?
The concept of ideophysical dynamism is an attribute of intelligence that I felt I had to actualize by giving it a name. In naming it an laying out its properties, I was able to make sense of specific concepts which are key to the inherent abuse-ability of money. On the surface this is something we are all well aware of. So much so that it might escape some people as to why I felt the need to name and analyze it. Ideophysical dynamism is the strength of the relationship between an idea and its physical implementation.
For example: to most of us it’s quite obvious that a Calvin & Hobbs-esque cardboard time-machine will not work. Sure it has a flux capacitor drawn on the inside and “Time Machine” scribbled in permanent marker across the front; but it lacks the necessary mechanisms (whatever those are) to be a viable time machine. Thus, it has a very low ideophysical coupling. The idea is not inline with the laws of the physical universe.
You can’t throw a magick symbol on a broomstick and expect it to fly. You can’t draw a doggy on a scrap of paper and expect it to bark. For most of us this shouldn’t be a surprise since we’ve acquainted ourselves with a fair amount of laws of the physical world. Of course, this is why a mechanical engineer can sit down and create an engine that will actually function as expected with minimal trial and error. The engineer’s idea has a very high ideophysical coupling with its physical manifestation.
Now, there are systems that live along various points of the scale. For instance, games. These rules and ideas have some basis in reality; but a lot of them are ideas that the players have all agree to abide by. Because some of the rules are merely agreed upon with zero ideophysical coupling, there is no physical consequence for breaking the rules if you don’t get caught. The rules of the road are similar; but they have a somewhat higher ideophysical coupling because we’ve designed a physical system to work in coordination with the agreed upon rules. Can you run a red light and get away with it? Absolutely, but is there the chance that in doing so, the broken agreement might cause an accident? Absolutely.
So where does money fall on this scale? Well, unfortunately money has a disturbingly low ideophysical coupling. This means that there are virtually zero physical consequences when it comes to breaking the rules. Sure, if you get caught breaking the rules you might have an issue; but even a vast amount of those rules of law themselves have a near zero ideophysical coupling.
So we find ourselves in a world where we’ve hijacked nature’s most brilliantly evolved solution for material and energy interplay with a system that is inherently one of the easiest technologies to abuse and cheat. This is the system upon which we’ve built everything, including our survival.
Money is not the root of all evil. The abuse of money is.
Is it possible to plug back into the flow of nature’s currencies without losing the benefits of capitalism? I believe it is, and this is my plan:
MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS:
Though Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been somewhat debunked to some degree and restructured in light of more current research; the basic truths depicted by MHN stand. That is: we are incapable of performing to our peak capacity if our basic needs are not met. Our best and truest selves lay dormant in a sea of unmet needs. Our entire culture nurtures bad ideas and bad decisions. Though one might feel inclined to be a teacher, they forego their “inner calling” and desire for something they feel will provide a more stable financial foundation for their life. They find themselves unfulfilled as a banker or software developer (as an example).
SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY OF MOTIVATION:
Most theories of motivation agree on most points. However, for me personally, Self-Determination seems to sum it all up in a much nicer bundle than the others. Aside from theories of motivation, most research agrees that money is an extremely poor motivator. So if money (our current key to survival and “fulfillment”) falls short to motivate, what is it that does motivate us? Self-Determination breaks motivation down into three main necessary requirements for proper motivation.
- Having a working knowledge of whatever one is engaging in.
- Having a sense of social connection with one’s coworkers.
- Having a sense of autonomy over what one is engaged in.
It would seem that designing a platform around these three concepts (but also leaving it open to fairly rapid restructuring in light of future discoveries) instead of a system where money is the end goal would open the door to higher quality in production.
I encourage you to review the accompanying outlines and essays titled; “Money Ain’t Green” and “Non-Currency Based Economies, Theory & Argument”. After which the reader should have a fairly strong grasp of the arguments for the AI STEM Drive.