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« Sapient Governance III -- Strategic Level | Main | A political interlude »

August 21, 2008


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Larry Shultz

Steven Pinker at Harvard wrote The Blank Slate. In it he postulates that humans are geneticaly driven to both competition and cooperation. He posits a mechanism to explain Adam Smiths seemingly juxtaposed ideas.
I like to note that regulations can be cheaper than the system wide costs of private entities pursuing private goals. The economy can grow (to a point) via dematerialism ie spiritual pursuits like arts and music. Our economic accounting system does not have an ability to subtract costs,ie bads from goods. It is additive. An economy can grow and human happiness decline at the same time, never mind the effect on ecosytem functioning which econmists consider to be an externality.

I have also pondered the effects of sociopaths upon economic systems. Sociopathy also has a genetic basis and can be increased 4x by the social enviroment. We have to design our cultural and economic systems to minimize sociopathy to enact sapience...

George Mobus

Hi Larry.

In the not-too-distant future I plan to explore the balance between competition and cooperation in terms of the steady-state economy proposed by Costanza, et al and suggested in the hierarchical control model.


Wayne Hamilton

I concur, and the brief paste of a guest editorial I wrote recently suggests to me that your analysis is 'constitutional'.

I suggest that we in the US all re-read the Constitution of the United States of America. That document was written to form a union that changed us from ‘pawns’ ruled by a ‘king’ to a representative form of government. The Preamble states:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”. Is it time to revisit the definitions of “general welfare” and “posterity” and discuss them?

George Mobus

Hi Wayne.

Well I certainly agree that a lot of taken-for-granted concepts need to be revisited.

The US's founding fathers did a lot to move the evolution of governance toward a model more in accord with hierarchical control systems than had been done to that date. But things have changed considerably since then. Many of the assumptions they worked with, and rightly so at the time, have taken on new meaning in a full world model.

I think the notion of a modern constitutional convention is a great idea but I would call it for the world as a whole, not just this country.


Wayne Hamilton

George: Good point re. a global constitutional convention.

My first choice would be to pose such a measure as a question to be voted on by each 'adult' on earth; a global, non-governmental referendum.
A private organization would advertise the question worldwide, and people would have a month to vote it up or down. That might carry some weight with governments.

Then results would have to be turned into action at the UN level. Sometimes difficult meetings must be held behind locked doors to force a decision. It could be a bit like the Greek women did to end their wars. What was the leader called? Oh yes, Lysistrata.

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