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« Sapient Governance Depends on Sapient Brains Possessed by the Governed! | Main | Winter Solstice - Are We Turning A Corner? »

December 08, 2011


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George - "The governments that are currently in place are failing miserably..."

The existing platform doesn't have enough flexibility or tactile control over it's constituent parts.

The platform the culture created to govern itself isn't working any more.

Our system of "hierarchical management" is now failing because the culture also created the internet in a, "...movement toward greater hierarchical management of [the culture's] behavior in order to produce greater complexity in that behavior to address the greater complexity evolving (co-evolving) in the environment of [the culture]."

Fortunately, the internet, the world's neocortex, has begun to auto-organize in direct response to the archicortex's failures.

Given Mobus' Law of Complexity, I think humanity has reached the "point" where the system needs rapid and massive restructuring to survive.

To satisfy the demands of the emerging neocortex, the existing system of hierarchical control will need to be restructured.

It is being demanded...

Unfortunately, this awakening is taking place as the planet is facing innumerable looming crises. Evolution works in mysterious ways.

Mobus' Law of Complexity

As complexity emerges in a system (to respond to complexity in the larger embedding system) a point is reached wherein the system must restructure to enhance a hierarchical control network in order to improve coordination and avoid the diminishing costs of increasing complexity.


"Unfortunately, this awakening is taking place as the planet is facing innumerable looming crises. Evolution works in mysterious ways."

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Robin Datta

There is no need to jump the sharks, they are swimming with them: and the sharks have them in their jaws. 

K Street Documentary: The Best Government Money Can Buy?


democracy is not sustainable form of government and therefore there is no way to "elect" homo eusapient people to restructurre governement

the momentum of overpopulating homo sapiens simply cannot bew stopped even if we tried but nobody even is trying because the complexity is outside of the range that can be handled by homo sapient

the nature and course of human evolution is clear:
civilization of homo sapiens craches; population begins a downwward spiral that will continue until the homo eusapients come forward , connect, understand that democracy is not the kind of government that can work and work out how they will take over government and human condition to establish the sustainable government with whatever left of the planetary resorces (biodiversity, quality of air, availability of clean water, climate unpredictability, etc.)

all we can do at the moment is work on the mechanisms that will allow homo eusapient to rrecognize each other, connect and form a viable community under democracy but completely different from it

knowledge is power

the better we organize the knowledge, the bettter we prepare to pass it to homo eusapient, thehigher will be the chances of quick cristallization of homo eusapient out of homo sapient on the background of civilizational collapse

evolution works and never stops


I was going to say something similar to what Selfgovus said:

    "The existing platform doesn't have enough flexibility or tactile control over it's constituent parts."

Over the last few years, the notion has been developing that our one-dimensional "price signal" system does not provide enough information for flexible, tactile and intelligent control over our free markets and thus they are not intelligently controlled.

We need something different. A more complex signalling system.

Exactly how that will come together, I don't know. But I'm glad to see that others here are seeing the same kind of problem with the "platform" we now use.

George Mobus


"Mobus' law"!! I'll have to send that to Joe Tainter! He could then show how essentially every civilization has failed to follow my law!



Thanks for the link.


all we can do at the moment is work on the mechanisms that will allow homo eusapient to rrecognize each other, connect and form a viable community...

Yes, this is more in line with what I was thinking.


I have long felt the problem with markets based on money as we think of it today is precisely this price signal issue. I have proposed, on several occasions, that if money were based on an energy unit of measure (like a gold standard but based on real value) then prices could better reflect a base cost plus what someone was trying to claim as their value-added (e.g. from skills and knowledge). I think you can find it under an early blog called What is money, really?. A companion piece called , What is value? expands the ideas there.

With this type of valuation approach it becomes much easier for a coordination level control system to keep markets honest and operative. At least that is the theory. The only time we know that it worked was way back when farmers bartered, trading their work efforts for someone else's work efforts which, by the nature of a less complex society, were transparent to all. It was just inconvenient so money was invented to facilitate trades. Worked beautifully until humans forgot what money originally represented!


Amjad Syed

Why do we consider that human should be sapient?

George Mobus


In my thesis humans are already sapient. You can read my thesis in a set of working papers at: Question Everything: Series Index. There are links there to the various papers on the subject.

The problem is that humans are not sapient enough to wisely manage their affairs in balance with the Ecos.


step back


My premise is that the jumping the shark moment has come because most in the OECD countries do not understand what is money (really) or what a job, job, job is. They just parrot the same noises they hear from equally, less than fully clued "professionals".

Yes, you are correct that money replaced the face-to-face barter system. Back then; when two people made a trade, they knew exactly who was making what set of promises in exchange for something else. They knew how to calculate the risk that promissor will deliver on his promise.

Today, with money, we don't know. We don't know who made the promise or what the promise is or how it will be fulfilled. We kid ourselves into believing that a magic, Invisible Hand will deliver, will make good on the vague set of promises.

When "the Hand" stops producing the promised thunder claps, we panic and we jump the shark. What else can we do at this late stage in the show?

The Fonz would be right proud of us. We are acting so cool in the face of crisis.

(p.s. For some strange reason the system listed my last comment as "D". It was really me.)

Free EMR

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
[Moderator edit: removed commercial URL]


George, i imagine you've seen this, but if not, when you have two and a quarter hours to watch a video this would be a good one to "waste your time" on:

Happy holidays to you and all your readers/commenters.

rc helicopter reviews

Impressive blog! -Arron

Aboc Zed


thanks for the holiday wishes

same to you

that movie you posted is indeed waste of time (without quotes)

woo of highest quality mixed with talking scientists and pseudoscientists

my recommendation to readers and to george not to watch that movie unless they want to practice their bs detector

George Mobus

Step Back,

I agree. We have collectively jumped many sharks, each one a bit bigger than the last, in our attempt to get our ratings back up. But it has always had the exact opposite effect!

Money as a symbol for work could work (e.g. an energy value based monetary unit) but, alas, it would require everyone interpreting its meaning properly. Given the sapience of the current population that is not likely to be possible. Maybe next time there is something like a market-enabled civilization with more understanding citizens. If there is a next time!


If you are still reading you will notice that your commercial URL has been removed. My policy on this site is no commercial advertising. So .com urls and user names that imply a commercial interest are often treated as spam. If you meant what you said about participating in this blog, fine.


I had seen it. My wife wanted to see it and I wanted to stay married! The movie contained several factual errors that made me a little less than sympathetic to the overall message. But then I do tend to question everything!

Arron (helicopters),

Thank you for the comment. Your URL escaped edit since it is .org. I hope you will have more to contribute in the future because this simple comment looks a lot like spam. Gave you the benefit of the doubt this time.

Aboc Zed,

Actually practicing your BS detector is something to be done all the time! It is like a muscle, use it or it atrophies.


c woof

Perhaps I'm late for the train, but didn't many many indigenous societies handle sustainability to the satisfaction of ever continuing? Isn't it just our current western-based society, which has removed itself from the consequences of action from nothing to consumption which is at fault? eg- By thinking we can burn coal without cost is arrogant and myopic, but understanding that there are consequences is not beyond mankind, just beyond certain societal pressures which are limited in scope.

George Mobus

c woof,

Welcome to QE.

Craig Dilworth ("Too Smart for Our Own Good") has done an excellent job of laying out the situation for humans from the late Pleistocene establishment of our current form. He looks at both the hunter-gatherer societies of today, their customs with respect to social practices to provide internal checks on population (e.g. infanticide), and the fossil record of human expansion (out of Africa) and the major extinctions of megafauna shortly after humans arrived (e.g. in the Americas). The picture is that humans need a long time, on the order of 20k years or so, living as hunter-gatherers to come into dynamic equilibrium with their environment. They respond to both internal and external checks just like other animals, but the amount of time needed to find the balance is relatively long after pioneering a particular ecosystem, and requires some time to adjust after first killing off the low hanging fruit, i.e. the megafauna species.

So, yes. It appears humans are able, at least subconsciously, to find social/cultural practices that put them in balance with the resource production/waste disposal rates of their particular environments. But it takes a while.

Meanwhile, after the development of agriculture and technologies removed the normal external checks, the biological balance finding mechanisms were overridden. Modern industrial man is chasing some kind of balance but has been caught in a vicious cycle of trying to solve problems with more technology. This path only leads to accelerating consumption of resources and pollution. It has also led to unrealistic expectations by the populace. That last part is probably the crux of our problem. We seek happiness from more stuff, but can never find balance that way.

I think there is a possibility of humans eventually finding a balance with the rest of the Ecos, even using some forms of appropriate technologies, but it will require a very different mental competency than our current species has. For an explanation of this, I'm afraid I have to point you to some other writings on this site. See, in particular, the category (left-hand column) Sapience.


c woof

Thank you for your informative and timely reply. It brings together some of what I already knew into a much clearer picture.
I was having a problem reconciling the societies which I knew had "learned the necessary lessons" with the plucking of the low-hanging fruit, as you call it. Obviously, everywhere mankind has first shown up, large megafauna have paid the price, presumably because they are not only easy targets, but direct competition. Also it seems everywhere there has been empire, forests have paid the price.

ON another note, I have been working (lightly) on a solution which I would like feedback from someone who knows more than I to the energy storage problem, now dominated by talk of lithium batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, etc. It is a simple concept of using a gravity well based on elevators, with wind and solar being the power source-i.e, raise a weight while the sun shines, wind blows, lower it when they don't. Build such units in every new dwelling/building, retrofit existing ones. It could be disguised like an elevator, or not, like a chimney. Simple concept. I've no guarantee that even if the entire planet suddenly thought it was a great idea and embraced it tomorrow and began cranking out workable units that it would save our bacon, but to me it looks attractive. The technology exists, merely needs to be put together in a package.
I also thought the concept (gravity battery) would be a worthy project for an engineering class to solve.

George Mobus

Hi C Woof.

That does sound interesting. Elevators are relatively efficient because of their counterweighting mechanism. However, they still expend energy lifting whatever weight is added to their cars and proportional to that weight.

I assume you mean to lift the water to run back down through a turbine to run a generator (as opposed to drinking and flushing water). The lifting will have to use energy and the key question is, how much of that can be recouped from the gravitational potential when the water falls back down. I'm guessing it will be the same efficiency as the so-called pumped hydro storage systems now in use. So you might check those out to see what their percent recovery is. I understand it is considered a better solution than batteries, but it can only be used where there are reservoir holding areas (e.g. mountains). Maybe the idea of individual buildings adds something useful there.


c woof

Yes, the concept is the same as using water as the storage unit (my first thought), but using plain old weights, not water. Water versions have been in use for awhile in certain places where water storage is possible, but that is a limiting factor. The energy needed would come from solar panels and wind turbines when the sun shines and the wind blows. Jay Leno put both systems in his exotic car garage, with mixed results. The solar panels are still in use, it's unclear what the story is on the turbine. But his garage doesn't need overnight power, so no storage was conceived (AFAIK).
As I am not expressly a civil engineer, the energy loss involved is not my forte, so I don't yet have a clear idea of how small is too small to be of use, but I was thinking perhaps individual housing, as, as I said, elevators and chimneys are readily accepted by everyone now, so even retrofits would be ok. But how much storage is possible? How efficient can the turbines become? How much weight for how much energy for how much time? Etc.
The spark came from taking my mother to a heart specialist whose office was in a small 2-story building on the second floor. From the outside, it was not evident that there was an elevator built into the building whatsoever, and, well, it got me thinking and spread from there.
I'm one of those noobs who thought long ago that everyone should have their own personal wind turbine and solar panel setup and solar water heating, etc. The advantage of taking a class thru university extension 35 years ago on "ecological homes" also contained a disadvantage-- thinking that that was the wave of the future, Trombe walls, subsurface homes, etc. Little did I know that was the only time I would be privileged to see such homes over the last 35 years and that the construction industry is made up of those you talked about last blog where progress is measured in tenths of an inch, not in new ideas.

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