Ming the Mechanic:
Mind Ecosystems

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Mind Ecosystems2004-01-27 16:44
11 comments
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Some words from Bala Pillai:
"Imagine a world where each of us can telepathically find and match with our complements instantly. Any moment we have a want or a have.

Call that point downstream, in the flowing river of our and our childrens' lives, "N". Work backwards, upstream, from N. What is N-1?, What is N-2? Let us say N-5= us being able to find and match our complements very quickly using the Internet and through minds that bridge the wired with the unwired. In short N-5 = Halls Without Walls, Metrics-Rich Automated Matchmaking & Human Bridges

What stands in the way of super-conductivity between minds for frictionless synchronization? What are the problems (for which there are rewards to those who solve them), that we have to address to reach N-5? Insentience? Readiness to reveal our complementaries? Knowing what it is that we really want and have? Hierarchy of values dissonance? Semantic dissonance? Cognition dissonance? Valuation (of our respective traits and talents) dissonance? Distrust? Commitment (Unconditional love) dissonance? Ethos dissonance? Interfacing our minds with the tools, protocols and processes that find, search and bridge us with our complements?

How do we swim with the current more, in finding the metrics for the answers, as we head towards N-5?

If we have put Man on the Moon, can't we make it to N-5?

Can we try Ecosystems Thinking? Can we try "reverse engineering" Nature for clues?"
His writing is dense, but very inspiring. And I often find myself thinking in similar paths.

A big reason the world isn't working better is that we're having a hard time matching needs with haves. We're bad at connecting resources up with where they would do the most good. It is hard for people to find out who they would accomplish the most by working with. Hard to find *complements*. And the problem is primarily informational. We don't really know. We don't have good information, so we go by crude and artificial constructs, like what is advertised for sale on TV, or who we run into at a party.

To imagine a world where we all had a high level of telepathy is an excellent starting point for a lot of revolutionary possibilities. Lies would no longer have any manipulative value if everybody could see right through them and know the truth without bias. You'd have to really do good things to be seen as doing something valuable. Duh. Same with hypocritical morals. You can't get away with applying different rules to others than what you live by. If you're a smuck, everybody will know it.

And then the point Bala is getting at. If you somehow could perceive directly and instantly what everybody in the world needed and wanted, and what resources were available, there'd of course be no reason to waste time and energy on all the stuff that doesn't fit and doesn't work. If you really KNEW, you'd of course do the things you most want to do, where they make the most difference, and with the people who're most suited and interested in doing it with you. No need to do useless activities in a job you don't like, for a company that produces some junk that people wouldn't really want if they knew what it was and what the alternatives were.

And you'd help others do what they want to do when it is easy for you to do so. If you happened to know your neighbor also needs a bag of sugar from the market and that he's currently busy, you can just bring it for him, instead of you both having to go. If you're done with that book you're reading, you can just toss it to a guy on the street who also want to read it, rather than taking it home and hide it in the garage.

And, yes, maybe we can work towards that kind of world, and maybe ways we can organize ourselves, technologies we might employ, and ways we might think about it can take us a great deal of the way. Even short of a global evolutionary leap that gives us all holographic telepathy and clairvoyance. And, yes, nature probably is one of our best teachers in that. After all, ecosystems quite masterfully manage to ensure that nothing really is wasted, even though it all can seem a bit chaotic. No used paperbacks and nuclear waste gets stacked up forever in nature's ecosystems. Whatever one sector needs might well be a waste product from another sector. Whatever you leave behind probably gets eaten up by something else. And telepathy probably has nothing to do with it, so we ought to easily be able learn from what trees and ants and bacteria are doing. And maybe find better ways of synchronizing our work with less friction.


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11 comments

27 Jan 2004 @ 19:01 by istvan : Intuition?
Well Ming… I would say, a typical Libra dream. A dream that also contains reality.
“To imagine a world where we all had a high level of telepathy is an excellent starting point for a lot of revolutionary possibilities. “
“And then the point Bala is getting at. If you somehow could perceive directly and instantly what everybody in the world needed and wanted, and what resources were available, …”
How many centuries humanity have waited for those, perhaps EONS for those extraordinary powers to descend from imaginary realms that would make us such superman that would recreate the Earth as Haven.
HALOGRAPHIC INTUITIONAL TELEPHATHY are quite impressive words, what are they?
I think we only have something similar and it is here and now, no need to wish for it in centuries to come.

Something happened today that may explain what I mean. Disclaimer: I am not telling this to promote my greatness nor for any approval purposes, but merely to make a point.

I was driving in rush hour at a fairly busy intersection. I heard the familiar sound if a struggling starter. My glance fell on an old brown Toyota pickup. Seeing a pair of rather desperate eyes peeking through the window I didn’t have to use much intuition , this person could use some help! Duh…After owning a number of old Toyotas, having a tow chain jumper cables and a can of starterfluid with me, I instantly knew I can get that thing going. Took me a few blocks to get out of traffic, turned around, parked in front of the car and asked the driver to open the hood. Just took a few minutes to open the carburetor cover, few squirts, rev up engine, close the hood, -Thank you- OK. We both drove off in different directions.
It only took a few minutes, but it made me feel god and I think made her happy.
Now, I don’t do this all the time and would not do it for a Mercedes Benz, but for an old Toyota, that’s another story and She was no Barbie either.
Do we do thing, because we have Those extraordinary powers you talk about, or because we are Angels, I happen to know I am not, rather think She might have been an angel and with her powers She made me do it.
The real secrets of a new civilization perhaps are rally contained in these words: “And you'd help others do what they want to do when it is easy for you to do so. If you happened to know your neighbor also needs a bag of sugar from the market and that he's currently busy, you can just bring it for him, instead of you both having to go. If you're done with that book you're reading, you can just toss it to a guy on the street who also want to read it, rather than taking it home and hide it in the garage. “

I personally guarantee it will make one much, much happier than sitting in front of monitors philosophizing about it.  



27 Jan 2004 @ 20:03 by ming : Doing it
So, you're saying, just go do it, rather than sit and philosophize about it? Well, I agree, to the degree that the opportunities for doing so are presenting themselves. And going a bit out of one's way to discover them is great too.

But I'd like the opportunities to become more visible, and that is what might take some thought and some work. Right now I don't know if my neighbor needs a bag of sugar, and if I go over and ask right now, they probably don't. And the guy standing on the street corner most likely doesn't want the book I'm just done reading, and asking people at random on the street probably won't work very well. But amongst the 1000s of people around me, even in a rather small radius, there are a lot of matches of needs and offerings, a lot of "complements", and what I'm asking for is something more transparent and accessible than just what obviously falls into somebody's lap, or comes into their line of vision.  



27 Jan 2004 @ 23:38 by Paul Hughes @24.205.195.242 : Facinating, but..
This is very facinating stuff. I have to get my hands on his work. I see one potential "problem" of a frictionless world that is envisioned here... There is no room for fortuitous mistakes to happen, positive mutations out on the edges. I can't tell you the amount of "discovery" that has happened in my life because I didn't know what I wanted. A perfect example, is I think I found the perfect place I want to make my next home by going the wrong way down a long winding road... ending up in a marvelous little town.  


28 Jan 2004 @ 01:17 by lugon @195.53.174.18 : spectrum
I'd like to move further along that spectrum. Possibly not as far as to take all provocation out of the world (as Paul Hughes suggests it would be a problem), but certainly further than we are now.

And there's fun in moving in that direction. Now, how do we do it?  



28 Jan 2004 @ 04:56 by istvan : Some words,
Lugon…Your question:” And there's fun in moving in that direction. Now, how do we do it? “ has answers, many in fact, but the answers may be more questions, the answers to those may invoke only more questions. “What stands in the way of super-conductivity between minds for frictionless synchronization? What are the problems (for which there are rewards to those who solve them), that we have to address to reach N-5? Insentience? “
Yes insistence, call it intent if you like, that at times nothing but a small adjustment of the tuning mechanism of your musical instrument to stay in harmony.
To remember and honor the moments we are in harmony I believe is called happiness, unfortunately these moments, or any periods of it’s occurrence is not within our control for more than a certain amount of time, since societies are like an orchestra where the overall performance is dependent on the right tuning of all the instruments. A User Friendly society, “Imagine a world where each of us can telepathically find and match with our complements instantly. Any moment we have a want or a have.” if you like, is a viable, doable reality at our current level of evolution, but can only be made to work in daily life if we at least concentrate .on yet sort of arbitrary ideas of what we may become if we learn to really communicate.

Real communication is more than “farts in a windstorm”, (no offense to anyone) for the goals to create New civilizations should may be more than this observation of Sheakspeare:
“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”  



28 Jan 2004 @ 07:42 by ming : Surprises
Personally I love synchronistic surprises in my life as well. Many good things happen by going the wrong way for no good reason. I don't think universal telepathy would void that, necessarily. Might raise the adventure to a higher level. There will still be edges of the unknown to explore.

But, yes, there might be productive reasons for not knowing the right way of doing everything. We're more likely to run into some new, entirely unexpected, possibilities if we once in a while do things blindly.

If I'm looking for people, I wouldn't necessarily only want the perfect match all the time. Would be boring. So I certainly wouldn't want some kind of automatic authoritative match-making machine that tells me the "correct" answer all the time. Rather I want x-ray vision so I can see farther and deeper, and I might well choose to do something "irrational" with my increased awareness of what is out there.

In nature a lot of things happen by fortuitous coincidence, and natural organization embraces that as an integral quality. Like the ants finding food by stumbling around and then signaling their success haphazardly to other ants. So maybe the two metaphors (universal telepathy and natural ecosystems) collide a bit. Although, putting them together might allow something brilliantly new to emerge.  



30 Jan 2004 @ 05:52 by Mike @141.156.239.87 : No lack of surprises
Even universal instant telepathy is only going to show us a fraction of the solution space to any issue, just as the sum total of human knowledge is but a fraction of knowledge.

The other day I read two unrelated web pages one after each other each of which referenced the 'little giddings' poem. This synchronicity was unique to me and this experience of surfing. Dunno if such was meaningful in any real extent, when (a few unrelated pages later) it came up again, I was again surprised and delighted.  



30 Jan 2004 @ 09:08 by Natalie @82.35.40.38 : Universal telepathy
At some deep level, we already have telepathy (some more finely tuned than others)even if it only works within the bounds of our immediate circle. We sense others' needs but we don't always *want* to answer them just as others may be aware of our needs but simply don't want or feel able to fulfil them.
On a universal scale, to be realistic, I don't think this would be much different.
Imagine if you could suddenly see or sense telepathically all the needs and wants of the world crying out, a mind-shattering cacophony. And then you'd need to make a choice out of all that noise: which one would you connect with? Which of all possible 'complementary' voices would you respond to?
It's like the 'noise' over the internet. The information and potential links that assail your brain are like an invasion of mosquitoes. Sometimes you just have to switch it all off and re-connect to your own inner voices.  



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