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Will Darwinism and the Christianity Superorganism Unify?

Will Darwinism and the Christianity Superorganism Unify? Meditations on Azathoth
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First a play on words: 1

Then a Chronology: 2

What I am bringing to the table: 3

How are Superoganisms damaged? 6

Political analysis and implications 7

A Darwinian Philosopher’s Glossary of Biblical Terms 8


After Artificial General Intelligence (Bostrom 2014) and Ending Aging (Grey 2007), it seems to me that the third most important venture of the 21st century will be whether Darwinism and Christianity can be unified. I propose thinking of Christianity as as superorganism and discuss evolutionarily stable strategies both biologically and culturally.

I expect very large inferential distance that I am simply unable to overcome in my description. So I write this for the few who will “get it” and call them to arms to help me understand this complex maze together so we eventually produce a more palatable version of the underlying insight. If you get it, try to find me in real life so we can clash minds. This is all but a complete analysis. 

 

First a play on words:

In the beginning of the process through which a second type of (replicator/intentional system/teleodynamic constraint cluster) was the Word, and the Word was with (God: a schelling coordination mechanism for the superorganism of Christianity to evolve at that level. In Clarke (2016 – A Levels of Selection Approach to Evolutionary Individuality) vocabulary, it is type two object, made of autonomous subagents, in process of becoming a type one object, an autonomous entity with mutually interdependent synergistic parts), and (the Word was God: The attractor state which gives Telos (Deacon 2011) to the Christianity superorganism was word, that is, memes. Meaning the formation of the superorganism was not possible without a distinctive evolutionary level in which the constraints that constitute the teleodynamic (Deacon 2011) are instantiated).

Then a Chronology:

1929: Chesterton conceives of the Chesterton Fence, the hypothesis that if you found a fence somewhere and you don’t know why it’s there, keep it there, or you may be attacked by an unknown thing you didn’t know it was protecting you from.

1978: In Neural Darwinism, Edelman proposes theory of brain function as evolutionary competition.

1997: In The Symbolic Species, Terrence Deacon formalizes the human specific constitutive processes of symbolic cognition and semiotics t

1999: In Maps of Meaning, Jordan Peterson, drawing from Jung, lays the foundations for a theory of mythology and archetype which is compatible with and embedded in neuroscience and evolutionary theory. And it gives an interesting glimpse at the origins of some of the conditions leading to conflict in the 20th century.

2000: In Evolution and Conversion and other works, René Girard begins to carve a theory of the evolutionary anthropology of sacredness, and of the biblical texts.

2005: In Evolution in 4 Dimensions, Eva Jablonka suggests that evolution happens concomitantly in culture, niche construction (geography), genetics and epigenetics. Notice how those levels mimic the types of nationalism, racial, cultural, and civic (geographical).

2006: In Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Daniel Dennett begins to carve a theory of religion using the tools of contemporary dual-inheritance evolution and memetics.

2008: In The Superorganism, Holldöber and Wilson summarize what is known about species whose evolutionary process transformed them into a collective organism. From termites to Naked-Mole rats. They also confirm multi-level selection and the very occasional group selection as mathematically feasible and actually existing processes in nature.

2008: In Basic AI Drives, Steve Omohundro proposes that any sufficiently intelligent system (in his case an AI) will evolve a few basic drives.

2008: In The Wisdom of Nature, Bostrom and Sandberg propose reasons why evolution can at times  be considered a valuable and worthy moral guide, even taking the naturallistic fallacy and is-ought in consideration.  These complement the Chesterton Fence.

2011: In Incomplete Nature, Deacon proposes a theory of teleodynamics unifying the birth of semiosis, life, and meaning with a theory of constraint and work. An attempt to naturalize semantics that doesn’t require the Dennettian concession (1995) of assuming that all semantics is constituted by syntax and evolutionary algorithmic optimization.

2003-2017: Drawing on Jung and neuroscience, Jordan Peterson proposes a unification of evolutionary analysis and primatology with life-development history and the constitution of personality, and links them via the narratives which are used to orient the constitutive stages of personality in an individual.

2013: Dennett proposes the hypothesis of Feral Neurons, neurons that are striving to remain alive despite having been after 3.900 million years of unbroken continuity.

2013:Drawing on this, Kevin Simler hypotheses that different personalities, spirit possession, and the holy spirit or Jesus can be thought of in a similar light.

2013-2016: Ellen Clarke lays out in several papers a theoretical understanding of the process of evolutionary transition from many organisms to one superorganism.

2017: Jordan Peterson begins an analysis of the Biblical Stories as  guideline templates for behavior crystallized in archetypal form over the course of centuries in which the bible was written. He finds life history development narratives common to humans (and other primates at times) and reenacts them from this evolutionary angle.

2017: Curious about the evolution of religious terms, I attempt to find a translation schemata for religious terms into scientific vocabulary coming principally from neuroscience and evolutionary analysis. This  becomes a glossary (below) which several people, in particular Michael Tartre, help create.

2017- October: I conjecture that Christianity is better thought of as a Superorganism, as a teleodynamic system (Deacon 2011) than as a memeplex (Dawkins 1973: Dennett 2006; 2010) and draw attention from Memetics author Tim Tyler (2011)  and evolutionary anthropologist Sloane Shearman.

What I am bringing to the table:

 

I think all the things above are the precursors for something I’d like to begin developing.  A paradigm of unification for the intellectual children of Darwinism, namely:

Evolutionary psychology – specially late era 2005+ (Buss, Schmidt)

Cognitive Science

Artificial Intelligence – as a guideline for how minds could be, not how they are (Dennett 1978)

Evolutionary anthropology

Teleodynamics and symbolic cognition

Multi-level selection

Predictive Processing and neural darwinism at large

And our understanding of the development of Christianity and Western Civilization.

Here’s a rough sketch: Multi-level selection continues to operate strongly but ever since the emergence of language it found it’s way into creating organisms constituted of cultural units. Memetic intentional systems. But furthermore, the evolutionary process produced coevolving coalitions of of memeplexes and gene pool clusters, the descendants of tribes which share a cultural framework and genetic similarity, and a niche.

This super-organismal coalition became an actual superorganism, and the cultural units constituting it became immortal in the sense that genes are immortal. Like feral neurons, they sometimes produce deleterious adaptations for the superorganism or the individuals constituting it, but overall the constraining forces are sufficient to secure not the fidelity of replication, but the continuity of the teleodynamic process and its telos.

This distinction is relevant. A superorganism has agency, whereas a platform for replicators only has space and resources where things can multiply. A superorganism has sensors and fights back, it usually develops specialized castes and organises itself around interactions between specialized agents. Christianity has all of those features, frequently even explicitly stated in the gospels, e.g. in the suggestion of becoming the body of Christ, or his arms and hands.

Peterson claims, and Eric Weinstein contests, that there’s moral value in the biblical stories not only as a matter of contingent fact, but because it has survived for thousands of years and been written by many authors. Now let us look at this from the Dawkinsian Dennettian Meme’s eye view:

Memes survive because they can, without being particularly beneficial for their host’s interests. So if it is contagious enough, and makes you “sneeze” the idea far enough, it will infect more people.

Now let us take the Superorganismic Teleodynamic view I am proposing:

The entity that controls an anthill isn’t any individual ant, the intelligence itself is distributed (Holldöber & Wilson 2008), if Christianity is a superorganism, then we should analyse it the same way we analyse the processing of ideas in our minds, by its subcomponents, the feral neurons and neural columns. So the biblical stories should be considered not only the successful replication of the memes which constitute them (although that as well) but also being the product of an organized and designed process of maintenance of the telos of that system, by the system! Dennett frequently mentions competence without understanding. Ribosomes are marvelously complex entities that perform incredibly intricate operations without any representation of the operation they are incurring. If Christianity is, like us individuals, a combination of constraints, some biological, some physical, some cultural, some behavioral patterns, etc… that, like any living organism, attempts to preserve itself through time, then it makes sense that as time progresses it would self modify by editing it’s book with archetypal narratives of life-history development narratives for ints constituent parts, just like messenger RNA organises itself for the interests of the cell, not for the interest of the genes whose message it is carrying.  But very frequently, those goals will be aligned, and they are synergistically connected systems.
A teleodynamic system is a cluster of constraints that preserves itself over time, roughly it can be considered an intertemporal attractor of attractors which preserves these constraints over time (adapted from Deacon 2011).

Any system that grows into being intelligent enough over time will acquire some drives (Omohundro 2008. Bostrom 2012), including:

self preservation (no other God’s),

goal structure preservation (be in awe of you, surrender to everlasting life (literal life, in form of clusters of constraints, actually being preserved over time, not heaven)),

Goal-content structure preservation (literalists),

Resource acquisition (preaching and converting),

Cognitive enhancement (even increasing number of individuals allows for cognitive enhancement of the religious superorganism, enabling for instance distributed cognition),

Efficiency (Peterson spreading some biblical messages on youtube count here. But even the printing of Bibles, and the structure of church can be considered emergent technologies of transmission.)
Creativity (apparently that is where I come in. This is complex enough to merit a session, below.)

Sensing an attack from several different forces, the Christian superorganism is reaching out to someone high in openness and creativity to find a way to survive. While Bannon produced several movies and other sources of knowledge trying to spread alignment with the superorganism at a political level, which ended up leading him to the white house, Christians reached out to me using vocabulary I understood from my extended visit to the academic world, talking about feral neurons and agent hierarchies and memeplexes and software implementations of narrative centers of gravity. Of course the individuals like Shane Stranahan and Conor White-Sullivan don’t necessarily need to consciously know what they are doing. As Dennett reminds us, competence without understanding is nothing but frequent. So I conjecture that the Christian superorganism is trying to dilute the message of the new atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens) and to reach out to someone implementing a Dennett simulation (me) to try and find a way to protect itself from the emerging cells brought for by Darwin when he discovered natural selection, and further developed through the last 160 years.
That’s because constituent cells that get infected by Darwinism turn against the machine. The machine wants to contain them, to make their circle of contagion as small as possible. And with internet and education, the strategy of merely trying to suppress it won’t do. They need to unify, or Christianity will perish. An organism with too many cells turning against it in apoptosis cannot remove them quickly enough. And Darwinists are not the only people turning against Christianity.

How are Superorganisms damaged?

Let us consider some biological analogues.

Two amoebas encounter one another. One of them moves lysosomes (acid) towards the border wall across which they are touching, after some accumulation, it lunges into the other one, breaking it’s boundaries, legions of transposon RNAs race forth behind the pool of acid, with the mission of cutting off some slices of DNA from the other one and bringing them back (sexual reproduction). The same can happen between two superorganisms. Instead of lysosomes, soldiers, instead of DNA, knowledge of physics.

An anthill invades another anthill and steals a colony of aphis.  In many human battles between societies with slaves, and societies without slaves, the society without slaves invaded in order precisely to steal slaves and have their own population of slaves.

Army ants: ferocious, deadly, quick. Eating whatever comes their way. A larger caste of soldier ants comes first when attacking large prey, with jaws that are large enough to open holes in the victim, allowing workers to flow in. Any sacrifice they make will benefit their colony.

Sometimes an anthill simply tramples and devours another one.


Sometimes two superorganisms find ways to survive together. Ants and aphis have been living together in some areas of the world for many years. Evolution doesn’t stop however, so one would predict, on a priori grounds alone, that ants would be less cooperative with Aphis than with ants, and that they would develop defection detection systems, to make sure that the other superorganism isn’t now with its goals no longer aligned, either because it evolved in a different direction, or because the environment changed enough that a symbiotic coexistence became parasitic. Of course the reverse is true of bacteria in our gut which probably started off parasitic, but ended up symbiotic.

Superorganisms can be damaged by many different factors. Here is a table, try to come up with your own parallels for the three last rows. 

 

Ants (Superorganism) Neurons Christianity/religion
Soldier caste Motor neurons Evangelists
Ants that go astray from pheromone path and get lost Feral neurons “I was lost but now I found”
Ant that stops serving the anthill and reproduces is usually suppressed by pheromones from queen If a neuron starts misfiring for no reason for long, the surrounding area gets inhibited. Someone declares to be second coming of Christ, and most people will ignore them in due time. (e.g. INRI Cristo)
 

Political analysis and implications

Ultimately, I believe that having a better understanding of the Christian superorganism and the niche construction of Western Civilization made by it in which we live is crucial to understand the biggest political debate of our era, that is to what extent is it possible to generate cooperation between different moral tribes, and to what extend it that cooperation predicated or not in the homogeneities which were hallmark of moral tribes in the last 2 thousand years (ethnic, cultural, and geographical), but which no longer delineate boundaries in the same significant ways they did in the past. Was that globalizing and unifying movement the removal of a Chesterton fence? If so, was it a cultural one, a biological one, or a geographical one, a combination of two? All three?

We see the rise of all three kinds of nationalism the world around as a response to the weakening of the superorganism. Starting off with Brexit, and up until the latest Austrian election where a centre right anti-immigration politician being elected, there is some attempt to hold on to one of those elements, biology, geography, or culture, and fear of some invasion, biological, cultural or geographic.

Dawkins, no friend of religion, suggests that possibly Christianity has a manifold of problems, but it may be a “bullwark against something worse.” This is in alignment with a subset of the international right-wing that holds that



A Darwinian Philosopher’s Glossary of Biblical Terms

Diego Caleiro 2017-10-10

Feel free to add terms below.
They need to be compatible with Darwinism, biocultural evolution, Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, and Peterson’s pragmatic interpretation of the Biblical narratives. Have fun!

Heaven – a visualization of an optimizing target worth going towards, when extrapolated to limit maximal goodness.

Heaven – the state of your strategy for existence being in harmony with the surrounding natural laws. Note Jesus’s descriptions of Heaven are that it is “at hand”, i.e. not restricted to the afterlife. It is simultaneously “not of this world” in the sense that it is primacy is in ideas, not in material.

Hell – The limit structure of the state of your strategy for existence running contrary to the surrounding natural laws.  The hypothetical place to which things will descend if enough people sin for long enough, or if we turn out to be really unlucky. Peterson: Hell is infinitely bad because no matter how bad a world you can imagine some stupid son of a bitch can make it a lot worse.

Sin – an action that, if compounded and iterated over different people across time will lead, in expectation, more towards hell than towards heaven.

Example: Masturbation is a sin because it prevents males from being extremely motivated to find mates, which, in a sin-less monogamous mating marriage world, means they need to outcompete the other males to get a high rank female. So even though humans are satisficers and have decreasing marginal returns on food and shelter, sex in sin-less societies is a positional good, incentivizing males to maximize resource production.

If sufficiently many males choose to masturbate instead of seeking mates, the system collapses. If this happens long enough, it runs out of resources and people starve – hell.

Example 2: Female sexuality. If women have sex with more than one male, they cause the same effect over the long run. That is why degeneracy is a sin.

Jesus – in the hierarchy of agents that compose our selves, Jesus is a software that you can install very high up, sometimes higher than your main “self” software. Jesus – for Peterson anyway – is the ape that can ascend atop all hierarchies, he is “the good player”.

Jesus – the human incarnation of the logos; that is, the individual embodying/exemplifying the mode of existence which brings individuals into harmony with Natural Law, which is the Holy Spirit. Also identical to the Logos in some weird ontological sense (welcome to the weirdness of the Trinity).

Jesus and God are also used to mean “the attractor in behavioral space to which you should aim your behavior.” Jesus has a stronger connotation of top down control within the person, whereas God, as in “doing God’s work” has more to do with the telos of the superorganism.

A rationalist saying goes “keep your identity small”. One reason why you don’t want to make your identity too large, besides being able to change in case you were wrong, is so that you don’t become too full of yourself.

One way to do that is to install Jesus at the highest level, and assume that when you do a right and good thing, you were merely channeling the Lord, so you don’t get too cocky, which would prevent you from going to the top of the hierarchy, because who can tolerate someone who both gets to the top and talks about it?

(half the population of the USA seems sort of ok with it, so bear this hypothesis with a grain of salt, although he does quote the bible pretty often)

So at a sub-personal level, you keep Jesus on top as the controller of your agency to prevent arrogance, thus keeping your identity small.

The Devil – And you metaphorically have a coalition of bottom up subagents trying to do a hostile takeover of the high level agent, that inserts bottom up sin into your mind. That’s the Devil.

God – God is a schelling coordination mechanism for the superorganism of Christianity to evolve at that level. In Clarke (2016 – A Levels of Selection Approach to Evolutionary Individuality) vocabulary, it is type two object, made of autonomous subagents, in process of becoming a type one object, an autonomous entity with mutually interdependent synergistic parts.

Holy spirit – the holy spirit is Jesus, but when thought of not at the personal level of high level software implementation, but as the way in which the God coordination mechanism is implemented as distributed cognition in the minds that are implementing the Jesus software. Like pheromone networks in ant communication (Wilson and Hölldobler 2008 – The Superorganism).

Spirit – the software of Christianity. Being “in the Spirit” means you’re running the software. Strong influences of “being rational”, since the spirit/flesh dichotomy comes from Stoicism and Platonism, but has some ideas of altruism grafted on. Coordination comes for free, since the claim is that you can, by living optimally with the local information given to you, act in a perfect way.

So Jesus is the individual level software, the Holy spirit is the system level description, and God is the name of the schelling point that denotes the cluster of humans who are participating in the evolutionary battle of making Christianity the unit of evolutionary selection. That’s the holy trinity: individual software, system network, and schelling point.

Flesh – non-rational objects of desire which emerge from the subconscious. Somewhat anthropomorphized as a subpersonality to exhibit the idea that your relationship to the Flesh is slow-moving over time. Your “non-rational personality”.

 

Temptation – an individual instance of disruptive subconscious emergence. Often a manifestation of bottom up systems.

Demon – personification of a class of temptations. To be “possessed by a demon” is the same sense as to be completely fixated on the object which emerges from the subconscious. See http://www.theoi.com/Phasma/PhasmaEidolones.html

Sin -Missing of the mark, as in archery. As living in according to the Spirit is the aim, sin is any instance in which you’re not quite doing it right. Often giving in to a bottom up sensor incentivizing you to do something the top agent wouldn’t.

Scapegoating – a conflict and violence resolution mechanism involving removing individuals who disturb the sexual hierarchy, literally or symbolically, too much from the system (Girard 200x Evolution and Conversion). Sometimes just a conflict or violence resolution mechanism to facilitate coordination when our moral condemnation sense failed at it’s task – namely minimizing third party cost, with no regard for actual right and wrong, gotta love evolution… (DeScioli2013 – A Solution to The Mysteries of Morality).

Dragon – representational natural kind of all the dangerous things except women. All the things vervet monkeys have separate alarms for. Flying predator, reptilian predator, and 4 legged predator. All in one. With fire!

Temptation – bottom up Darwinian processes trying to beat the software of Jesus and take over control of your high level structures.


Can you think of more Darwinian explanations for biblical terms and concepts? Post them below! Even if they are just guesses!


Special Thanks to Michael Tartre for developing many of the above.


A constantly updating version of this document exists here

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Trying to Solve Childless Committed Relationships

Trying to solve relationships, 1st try.

I want to solve relationships, and I am not fully equipped to think about this yet, so I’m going to be posting about it here in public, and I’m looking for feedback. You may have noticed I often speak with confidence, and although there are things I am confident here, I would like input AS IF I didn’t have confidence.

First step: framing the problem.
The problem I want to solve is specifically this:
“How to have the most desirable relationship, when the man and the woman are not far from the highest mating value they’ll have in a lifetime, and when both parties are NOT interested in having children?”
The boundary constraints are:
“It is 2015-2025, the decade of fragmentation, of the polarization of the sexes, of dating apps, and of some entanglement between sexual strategies and political issues which caused the educational system to brainwash people about relationships, and the state is almost in an open war against families”

I am asking this question for selfish reasons, as I am alive in this decade, I would rather not have to have kids (I would like the choice), I also have an altruistic motivation in that I am saddened by many people who may fail to reach their full potential in a relationship.

Let me start off by mentioning the alternatives offered, and what I see as valuable and terrible in them.

Bachelor for life: Interesting, not the goal of this post.

Christian marriage: get’s a lot of things right, would be necessary to disentangle the things that are in the interest of the individuals versus the church there. The idea of the couple being under the caretaking of Jesus might have value if you think of that as putting the relationship as a third person whom both parties value above themselves.

Gorilla Mindset: Lift, spin plates (plates = girlfriends), never commit, peackock, and the women will flock. Although technically true, and certainly valuable, seems to me an innapropriate response to the problem of commitment, which I’ll discuss in depth below. I do think it makes women and men happy, so for short term oriented hedonists, I have few objections to becoming gorillas or seeking gorillas. (primatology nitpick, actual Gorillas do not behave like that at all, but the name is sticky so I’m keeping it)

Just getting Married: I consider this extremely naïve. Marriage was a vowel considered sacred, terminal, and created and organized at a time where women couldn’t really work, where people lived shorter lives on average, and where having kids was basically a given, also the world was poorer and property rights mattered far more. To “let’s just get married” now is to ignore all the obstacles to each of those former values instead of tackling them. If there was only one thing wrong, maybe people could solve it. But there are many, so I believe they need to be preemptively solved.

Serial monogamy (girlfriend-boyfriend): It is nice but it has one problem brilliantly described by Jordan Peterson: it makes the meaning of what being in a relationshp is be, in part “oh, well, you have some problems, but I can’t find anything more interesting than you, so I guess I’ll have to go with it until I find something better.” This destroys all the incentives, since both parties have both an incentive to give the minimum as well as to seek for better partners elsewhere instead of improving the ones they have and helping them be better.

Primal Poly (Evo Psych Enlightened polyamory): Quite likely a viable alternative. The most important obstacles that lie ahead in my opinion are that it also has the incentive problem of “and why shouold I not trade partners?” and it has no countermeasure viable in the age of fragmentation to the attentional collapse we are all going through.

Normal Poly: Normal poly is great for very high SMV people, but it is hard to maintain commitment in the longer run specially for women, given availability.
………………..

The problem of commitment

In the next few days I’ll discuss many problems, and propose solutions, and expect readers to propose solutions and mention problems as well. The one I think most important in the 21st century is the problem of commitment, it can be illustrated with a few questions:

1) I can have sex with so many people given dating apps, VR, etc… why should I commit? (usually asked by a man)
2) I can have relationships with so many awesome interesting people given polyamory, liberation and dating apps… why should I commit?
3) Ok, let’s say I already think commiting is valuable because it substantially changes our incentives from “give the minimum until I find someone better” to “make this person’s life as amazing as you possibly can and allow them to do the same for you, because you are together in this boat, and neither is going anywhere”, but unfortunately God died, and the abundance of potential mates is real and basically superseeded our evolutionary drive for long term pair bonding, so *how do you go about ACTUALLY commiting*?
4) Ok, let us hypothetically say you solved the problem of commitment. Now I’m here, commited by this unpoken mechanism, and I want out. Why can’t I just get out?

I have lots to say about these, but I want to start with my main proposal, which is to create a new commitment mechanism, with the following desiderata:
P1) It is not mediated by State (because the state has no interest in your wellbeing)
P2) It is not mediated by the Church (because not every single interest of the church aligns with yours)
P3) It does not last forever (because forever is a really long time and we live long and technological progress is accelerating exponentially)
P4) But you CAN’T LEAVE while it lasts. (because that aligns the incentives of the two parties the best in terms of improving themselves, see video in first comment, being the best possible partner, falling even more in love, having healthy sexual lives, etc…)
P5) It is renewable (you can do it again if when it ends you want to do it again with the same person)
P6) Human psychology can do it, and it game theoretically sound (the Nash equelibrium makes everyone happiest and that kind of thing)

Ok, so that is a tall ask, but we can import what worked:

To get people to commit and not leave, evolution invented pair bonding and the agonizing suffering of breakups, which is a deterrent, thanks evolution, but not a sufficient deterrent.
The church and primitive societies invented the public commitment “everyone saw them making vows, so it would be stupid to just ignore it” which kind of helps, but has been sufficiently discredited by ideologies since the 60’s that is hardly optimal as a mechanism.
The state used a legal enforçable contract which originally would make both parties take a heavy toll. But unfortunately a mixture of political opportunism and feminism made the contract so obviously horrendous for man that no man in his right mind would partake in state assisted childloss russian roulette, and who wants to not be a millionaire merged into one game.
Evolution and traditional culture together also used time as commitment device, so the longer it took to merge the organisms into the miracle of sex, the more investment the parties did, the less likely they used to be to depart. But due to fragmentation and abundance of perceived partners I don’t think this makes the cut any longer.

So what do we do?

What is important about these is that they are costly to leave. so my proposal is to cut the middle man, and make it directly very costly to leave. This could be a cost in money with an escrow, a cost in public shaming by soliciting public shaming, etc… Basically, I think love is great as a reward mechanism, fear of loss a decent deterrent, but both need a push in our ever accelerating times. So an explicit conversation and commitment to redouble efforts to make your partner’s life awesome – that’s the reward side – and actual enforçable mechanisms of quadrupling down on the cost of leaving. I’m dead serious. The reason people don’t do costly punishing with external locus of control is simple: it works.

What about time?

This whole thought process started for me when talking to Alton Sun who had mentioned something like a relationship where there is a “renewal meeting” of sorts where after a year both parties rething the relationship what they want from it and commit to doing one more year of it.
I think 4 years is the appropriate amount instead, and that is what I want to endorse. My thinking is that 4 years is a period long enough that you really care about improving the other, it is proportional to how long memories last in our mind (3ish years) before they plateau, during adulthood, it is close enough to how long evolution designed love without babies to last (the oxytocin trigger lasts 2-4ish years) and people change a fair amount during 4 years.
But then we have the incentive problem, which is that as the last round of any given cooperative game approaches, the incentive to be awesome diminishes. Granted that is a problem. Evolution addresses this by making iterated interactions where you never know how many more there will be. So randomness actually solves this problem to some extent.
Given you can renewal vowels, that helps a lot in the case I’m suggesting here. Because you want to be the best possible partner to have a higher chance of renewal.
That however is not enough, because a part of you may choose to back off, so you actually start slacking a little bit. To avoid that, I propose addressing this problem also directly. We (game theorists) don’t know how to solve this enforcement mechanism, but we do know that randomness helps a lot. So actually after 4 years, what happens is not that you do “the talk”, but instead you throw a dice which with 25% will make you be together 1 more year, and 75% you have “the talk” and decide to renewal vowels.

This utilizes everything I know about relationships, evolutionary psychology, game theory, constraint theory, time management, motivation reserch, and psychology I can think of.

I hope you can get past the fact that it sounds sort of strange when you compare it to the whole talking snake garden with almightly gods and that kind of thing which is the counterfactual, or with the State laying down in bed with you and your spouse and trying to pitch you against each other, or with an ideological commitment to feminism preventing you from living one of the most amazing experiences we get to have as the Symbolic species.

So, what do you think?
And also, which aspect should I write about two days from now?

(Edit: I would like this to be widely shared, so if you don’t mind sharing with your friends so they too comment here, that would be nice. I need good ideas and good objections to do this right)

I’m not leaving. – Jordan Peterson, on the value of commitment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=236hSZmD_GQ&t=2s

Uno: Seize the Maximal Information Density Decision (MIDD)

This is an Uno

Seize the Maximal Information Density Decision (MIDD)

1) What is it

Instead of trying to learn and decide how to do things, and to continuously update your decision, abstract one layer above yourself and think of all the possible moments that decision will have to potentially be made. Focus and concentrate on deciding in the moment with maximal information density.

2) Practical example

You want to Continue reading Uno: Seize the Maximal Information Density Decision (MIDD)

How Much Money Does 1 Hour of Happiness Cost?

Today, while envisioning my future endeavor Evolving with G I once again turned on that part of the brain that goes nuts over how much money it is good to have, when, and for what. It was a pretty personal day, and I was mostly attuned to my emotional goals, not the external world ones. So this is what came into mind:

Money I need = Price of Happiness/Hour * Hours I will live

Luckily Continue reading How Much Money Does 1 Hour of Happiness Cost?

The Inescapability of My Altruism

In 2013 I was done with Utilitarianism. The “this is too demanding” objection was taking my bones, and I expressed it in a private message to some close friends.

In 2016 I realized that my behavior that attempts to help most others is a deeper and different part of my mind than the part that processes moral convictions, or moral intuitions. It is a preference. These two texts exhibit a kind of inescapability of the altruistic soul. Even after I dropped the moral duty card, after I dropped the moral requirement card, a few years later, I was writing about how I prefer to behave in a way that resembles a lot the utilitarian prescribed way, irrespective of my acceptance of utilitarianism as a moral theory. So here are these two reflections.

2013

I’ve had it with Utilitarianism.

I no longer am a Utilitarian.

Here is why: Continue reading The Inescapability of My Altruism

Examples of Moral Economics Concepts

Moral Economics Concepts

On the shoulders of: Altruistic Arbitrage, Certificates of Impact, Cognitive Load and Effective Donation, Coordination Problems for Donations, Donation Swapping, International Donation Trade, Direct Funding for EAs and especially Moral Trade.

Special thanks to Ryan Carey, Ben Hoskin and Leo Arruda for ideas and corrections.

In these writings we propose the creation of a subfield of knowledge, Moral Economics, and provide in broad strokes its characteristics. We assemble previous writings that can be considered prospective subfields. We also discuss several concepts that have been developed in recent years that are instrumentally useful for Moral Economic thinking, and propose several new ones that could also bear fruit if Continue reading Examples of Moral Economics Concepts

#37 Try Harder

Recent challenges were going pretty well. 

I was writing three academic paragraphs a day, which is an amazing feat compared to my previous productivity score. 

Then I gave a lot of thought to the concept of “leveling up” 

I wanted to level up. So I gave me a harder challenge. Actually running through my to do list value-per-hour in order of value per hour. I am not satisfied with the results, even though I did do it intermittently  Continue reading #37 Try Harder

Introducing Moral Economics

Moral Economics

On the shoulders of: Altruistic Arbitrage, Certificates of Impact, Cognitive Load and Effective Donation, Coordination Problems for Donations, Donation Swapping, International Donation Trade, Direct Funding for EAs and specially Moral Trade.

Special thanks to Ryan Carey, Ben Hoskin and Leo Arruda for ideas and corrections.

Crossposted at diegocaleiro.com

In these writings we propose the creation of a subfield of knowledge, Moral Economics, and provide in broad strokes its characteristics. We assemble previous writings that can be considered prospective subfields. We also discuss several concepts that have been developed in recent years that are instrumentally useful for Moral Economic thinking, and propose several new ones that could also bear fruit if the study of this area develops further in the future. Continue reading Introducing Moral Economics

#38 Follow the to-do list value per hour

#40 One cold call a day keeps the doctor away was, overall, interesting. I ended up calling many people in bulk to compensate for the many days I didn’t actually call people but should have. 

Due to legal questions I had, many of those people ended up being lawyers, who are well trained to have conversations in which information is exchanged (they are also well trained to conceal information, but had no reason to do so with me). 

I feel more comfortable calling people, and consider the experiment to be a partial success. I didn’t call many continents nor famous random people because that didn’t seem like it was needed, or because their phones were hard to find, but if I had a good reason to want to call someone like that now, I probably would be many times more likely to actually follow through with it. Continue reading #38 Follow the to-do list value per hour