Open Response to Hedgeless Horseman’s Call to Arms

KUDOS to Hedgeless Horseman

Today, Hedgeless Horseman of posted an encouraging article (“hedgeless_horseman’s Revolutionary Call to Arms) with a list of things one can do to advance us all toward solving problems. While I applaud the ideas, I think I can add some clarity and adjust the way people think about it in the interests of causing meaningful change.

You should read the article, but briefly, Mr. Horseman suggests reading some very good books (most of which I’ve read) and doing some things that pressure the system in which we find ourselves disgusted. These are good things to do.

Contrary to its title, the article isn’t really a call to arms per se. He’s not asking us to actually do anything that would change the system much – only things that would increase the public acuity and put pressure on the system. The things he’s asking will make it slightly more difficult for those in power to continue their corruption quite as successfully, but it doesn’t address the fundamental structural problems in the system. For example, it doesn’t address any way to prevent corruption in governmental systems.

Mr. Horseman said we should “Hold three fallacious posters accountable on by citing their fallacy.” OK – I’ll bite.

Mr. Horseman, here is my response.

What’s Missing

This article describes ways for individuals to prepare to cause change. It is true that well educated and active individuals are better at causing meaningful change. The missing piece is consensus on what change to cause.

We agree we are at Point A.  We agree we need to get to some Point B.  It is pretty clear what Point A is: it is the Hell we now inhabit. There are plenty of analysts who have nailed most of what’s wrong at this point.  What is Point B? There is no consensus. Some of the common ideas I’ve seen advocated online are outright absurd and I fear for the future of humanity if some of these ideas are actually pursued. We currently run the very real risk of going back to the dark ages if some arrogant idiot pushes the wrong red button or drops the wrong flask of biological vermin. (Bodily fluids and pure, non-flouridated water anyone?  This is a Dr. Strangelove reference for those who didn’t get it.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I applaud Hedgeless Horseman for his article and I think everyone should do most if not all of the things he suggests. I only clarify here because the stated purpose of the article is not therein contained.  Perhaps Mr. Horseman’s article should have been called “hedgeless_horseman’s Revolutionary Call to Prepare for Change” instead.

As you may have guessed, my standpoint is this:  Before you should try to cause change, you have to have a plan that starts with what your are trying to accomplish. This is a complex problem that involves a lot more than just identifying what is wrong or how to educate yourself about it.  Most people think that if you take each category of problem and come up with your favorite solution, you’ve solved the world’s problems. This common mistake will fail because the sum total of all of these easy-sounding fixes won’t work well together for many complex reasons. For example, you can’t just lower taxes and cut the size of government. There are social consequences to it. Any system with hundreds of millions of people in it is going to need to be thought about a lot more carefully than that.

If you really understand what’s going on, you should try to specify a unified vision of the total system you are trying to create with each solution to each problem existing in a final ecosystem; all cooperating in tandem or appropriately fighting each other as may be necessary for checks and balances.  This is exactly what the founding fathers of the United States of America did by designing the United States government and writing the constitution.  They didn’t just say “do this and that thing differently,” they came up with an actual WAY TO DO IT in its entirety. This system was the United States constitutional government and it was a clear improvement on all prior governmental systems.

I have devised a new pseudo-democratic system called Sapiocracy. I’ll assume the reader is adept enough to figure out how to click links here to read more. I suggest starting here.  For other articles, rummage through the archives.  Most people first see Sapiocracy and assume it will never happen for various reasons.  This is naive. I have some good ideas about how to make it happen. Everything is impossible until it isn’t and then it is possible. The trick is figuring out how to make it happen. My ideas may not work; they may not be perfect, but at least I’m thinking about Point B in its entirety and devising ways to make it happen. I invite others to join or demonstrate why my ideas won’t work.  (Join the forum if you want to participate.)

In closing, I’d like to repeat that everyone should take Hedgeless Horseman’s advice. Educate yourself and do things that help remove yourself from oppression. BUT, that’s only the starting point – his list will not change the system because it doesn’t specify Point B.  Once you get away from the indoctrination of television (as I have been in excess of 20 years), the media, nationalistic propaganda, AND thoroughly educate yourself, then you will be ready to start thinking about what Point B should be.  At that point, such wise people need to get together and gain consensus to define Point B and finally, design a system that actually makes it happen.

It isn’t education that matters. What matters is what you do with it. Keep going until you’re doing something to make Point B happen.



4 thoughts on “Open Response to Hedgeless Horseman’s Call to Arms

  • lew says:

    You are very wrong about ‘design a system to make it happen’.
    No, that will just give rise to another elite and another cycle of separation of classes of interests, and that is how we got here. Nice to have the higher level of civilization, not so nice to have it running so badly.
    We are in an open, evolving, complex system. Designing futures is bad strategy and institutions that are designed to implement those designs inevitably go awry.

    When in an evolutionary system, evolve. There is no alternative but to get involved with your evolution. Do and think, not think and do.

    • sapioplex says:

      Based on your claim, the Constitution of the United States could not have been a better solution that what occurred before it. This is obviously false. The Constitution was designed and it did, indeed, make what it intended happen. (Unfortunately, a pre-known weakness is currently causing it to fail. See: Benjamin Franklin’s comment “…if you can keep it.”)

      I think you’re making the assumption that a system’s design needs to include who is privileged and who is not based on something incompatible with human nature. Sapiocracy has no such design – the rules of Sapiocracy appear to cooperate perfectly with human nature. Also, Sapiocracy by design has no agenda – all issues are specified by the members of the population according to their demonstrated wisdom and credibility.

      I agree that the best thing to do is get involved with our evolution. However, I think your comment about “doing and thinking rather than thinking and doing” is functionally meaningless. I think Dan Dennett would say it is “A Deepity.”

      Edit: You said “all institutions … go awry.” I propose you’ve forgotten the institution of Science. This institution has not gone awry and may well be, perhaps, the only one. Perhaps it would be good to think of Sapiocracy as a modification of the scientific method. It is easy to say “everything will go to shit” as it doesn’t require any effort.

  • lew says:

    Now the problem of ‘institutions’. Science has obviously gone wrong in ALL of its formal institutions, e.g. spending any $ on tokamaks vs cold fusion. It was horribly wrong pursuing the older tech of long DNA reads vs Craig Venter’s short-read and splice via computers.

    Can’t call the replication issues that Stanford’s Ioannidis exposed exactly ‘going awry’, although the academic side of that is a large issue, and it took more than 30 years to finally face it.

    Global warming isn’t exactly right, tho we might argue about what is wrong. As a funding process, petty clearly, hard to know whether to blame it on science.

    I need to study your ‘sapiocracy’. WIll try to do that.

    • sapioplex says:

      There’s a night-and-day difference between “the institution of Science” and “scientific institutions.” Science itself cannot be corrupted without making it “not Science.” Scientific institutions are just human organizational structures that are easily corrupted.

      All of the problems you mention with science don’t have to do with science itself – they have to do with how humans deal with organizational/decision-making structures. It is not correct to say that the problems with these organizations are “problems with science.”

      That being said, you’re correct that scientific institutions are corrupt. However, how does one fix that? Sapiocracy is the best way I’m aware of to minimize this.

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