Communication Afterburners

(If you haven’t read the Sapiocracy.PDF file, just do it. I want your feedback.)

I’ve written here about how the rules have changed. I believe the human species has entered a phase change. I’d like to dive into one aspect of this change – communication – and guide you through a thought experiment to underscore just how disruptive this communication innovation is. I think you’ll be surprised.

Please consider two factions, naturally at war with each other since slightly less than 13,000 years ago. The events at Gobekli Tepe led to a new era of human behavior – the sedentary life. (Screw Egyptologists; they’re wrong.) These events separate the hunter/gatherer times from modern times. The two factions are those wielding power in large human populations – the elite – and the rest of the population – the masses.

Imagine a chess board. On the left, we have the elite. On the right, we have the masses. The rules of the game have gradually evolved as technological advancements compounded over the millenia. In the last 200 years, the discovery of the use of fossil fuels accelerated these changes radically with the industrial revolution. About 10 years ago, the advent of the wireless smart phone gave communications to the masses in an unprecedented way.

 

How do these factions compete? The elite’s goal is to keep the masses working to enrich them without being aware of it. On the side of the masses, each individual’s goal is to improve one’s quality of life through the rules they see in their environment. The odds have historically been heavily stacked against the masses because the elites control most resources and better understand the weak parts of individual and mass human behavior. It has always been very important for the elites to keep the masses relatively uneducated, believing they are living in a world with slightly different rules than the world they are actually living in. One could say that the elites set the rules of the chessboard and the masses play along because they know no better. You can’t blame the masses for not understanding the game – the elites misrepresent the game in order to win. Their lives depend on it.

13,000 years of elites vs. masses. 10 years of handheld communication.

Thought Experiment

The thought experiment is this: With the advent of the smartphone enabled internet, how much power have the elites and the masses gained? To understand this is to get a slightly clearer understanding of what is really going on around us.

Modern signal intelligence (SIGINT) was hatched in the early 1960’s when developed countries started using satellites for high speed communications. Unlike terrestrial devices, satellites are relatively inexpensive to listen to, and they can each communicate gigabits of information per second. The elites gained amazing advantage and the masses were kept unaware. The western elites have been listening to, recording and processing the vast majority of satellite communication since the 70’s with ECHELON. Over time, the western SIGINT complex was able to OCR every FAX and process every telephone conversation into searchable text. The stated reason was national security, but the real goal of the western elites was to gain advantage over the largest business deals. It was a sneaky way to cheat. At the level of elites, there is no such thing as cheating – there is only winning – everything is cheating.

The masses gained little in comparison. Instead, they received technology that was made available to them only after the elites moved the goal-posts far in advance. The masses were almost never told what the known technologies true capabilities were or what the elites were doing with it.

Even with the the personal computer and later the internet, the masses were starting to gain more capability, but the elites weren’t worried. The elites had constructed vastly powerful systems that watched, recorded, processed, searched and analyzed all information. (Yes, this includes the ability to see right through firewalls and any platform or application software you think would be protecting your devices. Without specific, advanced countermeasures, western SIGINT sees everything everyone communicates or stores that is connected to the internet and many other types of connections. Have a nice day.)

I believe the elite made the ultimate ham-fisted miscalculation by releasing the internet and hand-held, wireless devices to the masses. Because of the characteristics of the elites’ control structures, it cannot be undone. We’ve passed through something of a one-way trap-door where there are two possibilities: We either go back to a way of life of 100 years ago (perhaps worse), or we advance to the next stage of human evolution. This is the phase change I have referred to in the past. I believe we are now advancing through this phase change.

Somewhere in the mid-2000’s – perhaps 10 years ago – The elites decided to allow smartphones into the masses. (As an aside, I believe this was intended to raise the dependence level of the majority of the world’s population and herd them toward being productive consumers. This is related to how the biggest banks – structures of the elites – acquire the wealth of the masses. People will incur debt without fully understanding it – this takes advantage of an innate survival behavior that people are not taught to understand. It is easy to charge people interest on loans, thereby taxing people for their own irresponsibility. I consider interest on loans fundamentally corrupt and a something of a “stupid tax” the banks collect.)

So for the last 10 years, the average middle-class person (including a lot of children) have had far better communications and research capabilities than intelligence analysts from 20 years ago. The human species advanced yet again.

The Boo-Boo

The important miscalculation is the resource balance between the two sides of the chess board I mentioned earlier. The elites have gained in the last 20 years as far as computing power, storage capacity and some specific technical advancements (like diamond switches, optical computing, etc.) I’d call these normal advancements. But the masses gained something 10 years ago that the elites can never have. The masses gained a new environment which extremely amplifies their ability to out-think the elites.

The elites irreversibly allowed the masses enough communications capability to change the rules of the game. The elites cannot turn this ability off because doing so would collapse the control structures necessary to retain their (very fragile) control. In other words, if the elites turn off the internet, they remove themselves from power instantly by killing their own organizations and quite possibly triggering a world-wide civil war that they would certainly lose due to sheer force of population. They now must choose between losing and losing. Perhaps the best path for everyone is for the elites to cede control, allowing the phase change to occur peacefully. Unfortunately, this is not how these people think.

I believe this change will lead to a never-before occurring human organizational structure. It is already happening. I’ll explain.

Try to answer these questions: 20 years ago – before email and smartphones – how did groups communicate and make decisions? How could they communicate? How well informed were they?

20 years ago, physical limits on human behavior prevented certain capabilities that average westernized people now enjoy. These physical limits are time synchronization, time zones, location and information persistence (storage), language barriers, all multiplying to a resulting cost. For a group of people to get together to discuss a problem, the most common way this happened had been that they all went to the same place (location) at the same time (time) and at their own cost (travel, time allocation, etc.) In order to do this, they had to plan to get together (time synchronziation.) This all led to very high costs for groups to make decisions or even for people to learn much of anything. This also severely limited how many people could participate.

PC’s and smartphones made it common for anyone, anywhere (location) to read and write stored (persistent) media directed at any group, for almost no cost, even if the target(s) are asleep (time synchronization.) The cost of group communication has gone to nearly zero. The fidelity of group decision-making has skyrocketed. And this is just the beginning of the beginning.

Online writers bloviate about how amazing and powerful it is that the masses have more access to information, but this is something of canard. The elites have access to many magnitudes more information, even at the cost of the masses! In fact, the elites have access to approximately all information and the masses are comparatively unaware. This is likely why the elites mistakenly felt confident enough to give the masses more access. The elites didn’t realize that the new capability would put the largest brain in the known universe into high gear, as if it had afterburners. That brain is their opponent in this grand chess game. “Oops.”

What Is Actually Happening

Why is this this so powerful?  Well, let’s do some napkin math.  Let’s assume that the communication capability present with modern PC’s, smartphones and the internet have a communication power of 1.0. Then, we’ll make up some factors for how much worse it was 20 years ago so we can compare. Let’s come up with some multipliers as a heuristic for the impairment of 20 years ago. I’ve just pulled some numbers out of my ass for this, but it illustrates my point.

 

In the figure above, Now is all 1.0 because our benchmark communications capability is what the masses can do now (1.0). T-20 Years is the multiplier used for each category, meaning how much communications capability existed for each category 20 years ago. (Factor) is the reciprocal of the T-20 value. At the bottom are the results of multiplying all of the factors together. 1.00 for Now, 0.000000010 for T-20, which is 96 million times weaker than now!

In other words, decision-making and learning capability has increased in the masses by a factor of 96 million! Let that sink in.

Two factors are very high: Location and Group Size. This is because these two physical limitations were probably affected the most. Typically, a group of people making decisions (or talking about problems at a pub) would involve perhaps 3 to 50 people. Now, even comment threads in online articles are read by hundreds of thousands of people. …From all over the world. This simply wasn’t possible 20 years ago and these factors should be very high.  I chose 1000 because that’s a big number.  More research could give these numbers more meaning, but it would be difficult to put a precise value on it.

These conversations the masses are having are changing how they make decisions. They are much better informed. They see better ideas. They aren’t nearly as susceptible to propaganda. There is not nearly as much group-think as there was 20 years ago because ideas circulate and the successful ideas win.

The T-20 column measures how much group communication potential was inhibited 20 years ago compared to now.

  • Time Sync.: Must communicate with people at the same time (as in a meeting or phone call.)
  • Time Delay: Must communicate when they’re available. (Time zones, work schedules.)
  • Location: Must communicate in the same geographical location (i.e.: in a pub, at a library, in a home)
  • Planning: Must make sure everyone knows when to meet.
  • Group Size: Physical limitations – how many will fit in a room.
  • Cost: All these factors drive costs up and some will not participate.
  • Language: No automatic translation available at no cost on the internet.

The total at the lower right is the impact in number of times the communication capability increased. This rough guess shows 8 magnitudes!  I could be off by a few magnitudes in either direction – would it matter?

Once again, this is an admittedly inaccurate brainstorm to demonstrate a point. You could plug whatever numbers you want into a spreadsheet and you’ll still end up with a huge total – far bigger than the impact of the masses just having more access to information. One could have debates about whether each one should be higher or lower – that’s not the point. The point is this: they are all multipliers for the cognitive ability of groups – the masses – to be able to learn and make better decisions vs. any adversary! The elites may have gained 1000x the capabilities in the last 20 years, but the masses may have gained 100,000,000x!

This analysis doesn’t even add other factors that the internet has produced, like a huge multiplier for how difficult it has become for the elite to keep their secrets. Historically it has been extremely easy to hide information because of limited communication and storage capacity, geographic limitations, etc. That has changed. The elites’ structures require many members of the masses to participate in their structures in order for them to function properly. Every one of those participants is a potential whistleblower who can (and quite possibly will) notify the rest of the masses in the future.

If you see what is going on, it is fairly clear that the elites are rapidly losing control of the game. Many of the rules are being forcibly changed outside of their control. I’m not sure the elites fully understand why their tactics aren’t working as they have in the past. The masses may already be a million times smarter in aggregate than 20 years ago and the masses don’t even realize what this means yet. Imagine what will happen when the masses start to figure this out!

What About Sapiocracy?

How does this relate to Sapiocracy? What is happening now is a weakly expressed form of the same attributes that make Sapiocracy work better than other decision systems. What is happening now isn’t secure, it isn’t strict, but the relevant attributes are accelerating naturally.

Sapiocracy explodes this phenomenon to its maximum possible expression. Sapiocracy essentially codifies the known-best decision-making protocol into law.

Add a few zeroes to that total on the right and you start to get the idea of how powerful Sapiocracy will make the human species.

Nobody knows how this is going to turn out, but I’m betting on the masses.

-sapioplex

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