The word "government" is often more obfuscating than enlightening.

It establishes (or regenerates) the inertia of a top-down phenomenological frame, divorced from its processes of emergence.

Let's explore what the concept of "government" means, from an emergent perspective...
We begin with the simple fact that we are not each other.

This observation warrants unpacking: we each represent an exploratory tendril of our biological species, but are physically incarnated such that our perspectives *never* fully align.

This holds even for conjoined twins.
Now, let's assume that we may measure this "experiential delta", labeling it ΔE (more later on its potential formal representation).

We may then ask how ΔE relates to:
- The "natural inertia" of an individuated being
- The unique information obtained along an individuated path
When it comes to "natural inertia" (NI), most reasonable people can agree that we at the very least share some overlapping domain of experience due to our shared evolutionary history.

To argue that...
...each person's eyes produce an entirely different subjective experience is a fun thought experiment to run when high w/ friends, but our everyday behavior belies this notion.

So let's grant that we possess shared capacities and tendencies due to our shared evolutionary paths.
But per our initial axiom, we must grant that these tendencies and capacities are forced to remain separated, as measured by ΔE.

Of course, it should be clear that this is largely a reframing of the nature / nurture tension written in terms of more fundamental axioms.
In this new grammar, we may more easily talk about what happens when the magnitude of ΔE varies locally between individuals, or at larger social scales.

But to do so we must consider the basic possibilities of inter-agent interactions, per ΔE.
In cases where NI and ΔE are low, we're likely to see a kind of "alignment" or "coherence" emerge in relation to the agents involved.

In other words, if we share a bio-platform and our life paths overlap significantly, this prunes down our possibilities for conflict.

ΔE is a fractal (scale-specific) metric. That is to say, even within ostensibly shared spaces that globally "minimize" ΔE, the local divergence can just as readily generate destabilizing frustration.

i.e.: Brothers fight, and often with more fervor than strangers.
So the problem becomes complicated by the need to stabilize interactions between NI and ΔE fractally, given no family, community, or nation will persist if its members constantly expend energy fighting, and thus insufficiently attend to the adaptive pressures induced by entropy.
Let's call our evolved intuitions in relation to this logic humanity's "peaceful attractor" (PA).

We "orbit" the PA when our ΔE remains within some threshold that satisfies the following criterion:

- NI*ΔE at a given scale captures adaptively sufficient levels of information...
- NI*ΔE does not exceed some critical threshold at which a "decoherence event" (DE) occurs.

(To fully appreciate such DEs, you must understand the relationship between Julia sets and the Mandelbrot set, as well as the concept of connectedness)
These two criterion are related, respectively, with the information-theoretic concepts of error and complexity catastrophes, as lower and upper bounds on the dynamics of our fractally nested adaptive walks.

At each scale our behavior must remain within these bounding parameters.
And that's why–at each scale–forms of collective mediation emerge to navigate the conflicts introduced by the absolute ineradicability of ΔE.

*It doesn't matter what you call these forms. They are a guaranteed emergent property of the scale-specific tensions induced by ΔE.*
And herein lies the issue with which we began. The fact that we label one scale of this fractally emergent tendency "government" blinds us to the reality that so long as we retain individuated agency mediated by NI interactions, scale-specific "governance" *will* emerge.
It will emerge because absent such mechanisms, no coherent structure at a given scale of complexity can persist. It will either fail to regenerate, or decohere via conflict over incommensurate scale-specific perceptions.

This is the blindspot of the "localism" movement.
Thus I've argued that we're nowhere close to comprehending how to navigate our present degree of emergent complexity at scale.

Without a decent metric with which to observe the scale-specific stability and adaptive capacity of multi-scale systems, we're basically flying blind.
We don't know when it's appropriate to allow for the emergence of a novel layer of global integration, or when we must dissolve institutions of presently centralized control.

So we take stances that assume the sustainability of these ideas' mutual exclusivity, however unlikely.
I do, however, believe such tools are possible.

My bet is on tools capable of tracking our "fractal momentum", which could in theory give us the ability to speak coherently about how likely we are to run afoul of the aforementioned bounding parameters and induce decoherence.
As for our ability to responsibly manage such tools without abusing the information they produce for purposes either of authoritarian over-centralization or needless fragmentation, it's an open question as to the degree we're fundamentally constrained by our species-scale NI.
And it's this question that animates the deeper philosophical debate concerning whether we are–or will ever become–capable of consciously stewarding that NI away from our "fundamental fallenness", or "original sin".

Either way, you can rest assured it will involve "government".
Errata: "In cases with NI high and ΔE low"

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More from @MattPirkowski

16 Jul 20
Do you ever wonder why it feels like the Internet has made us collectively dumber, despite the fact that it increases individual access to information?

The answer lies in the concept of a Complexity Catastrophe, and how our present Internet usage patterns create one.

A thread:
Before describing exactly what a Complexity Catastrophe (CC) is, why CCs emerge, and how they're relevant to our present Internet landscape, we must first unpack a few theoretical concepts from evolutionary biology.

First up, the Adaptive Landscape model of evolution.
The Adaptive Landscape allows us to discuss how a given combination of (typically genetic) traits perform in a given environment (fitness), relative to other combinations of said traits.

As shown below, you can think of the possible combinations as a "mountainous landscape"...
Read 37 tweets
9 Jun 20
In systems design, one must constantly grapple with the tradeoff between the burden of path-dependent constraints and the temptation to throw everything out and start anew.

What works becomes invisible and is forgotten, leading one to underestimate the risks of throwing it away.
The only successful rewrites I've seen were those that prioritized the *continuity of service quality*.

These projects have:
- Accounted for all behaviors of a present system
- Specified their replacement / improvement at high resolution
- Deployed piecemeal, not wholesale
It's analogous to, after realizing your ship has a critical flaw, building a new ship alongside the current vessel, then bridging all necessary processes to this new ship as both sail together, only then leaving the first behind.

Contrast this with...
Read 11 tweets
16 Mar 20
I'd like to explore a concept to which I've previously alluded, but haven't yet outlined in detail:

The Relativistically Adaptive Market Protocol

i.e. the RAMP.

It's an idea that incorporates lessons from complex systems and ecological adaptation into financial markets.
The fundamental goal: reduce overall volatility and attractiveness to parasitic actors, while enabling participants whose trades actually boost long term signal, and therefore healthy systemic growth.

But before we get to the protocol itself, we should unpack The Big Lie...
The Big Lie often touted by those who make a living skimming off the top of markets is that doing so provides "price discovery".

And that's true, to a point...
Read 25 tweets
10 Dec 19
What lies beyond Capitalism and Communism?

Scalable Communal Valerism.

The technologies to obviate monetary coherence are nascent, but here.

Sustainable behavior requires increasingly direct representations of cost and value, not dis-intermediated by money.

It's now possible.
Consider that the original monetary systems were higher-dimensional representations of abstract social value (think shells, quipu, etc).

These did not scale well as civilizations structurally deepened, and we thus moved toward more "liquid" forms of representation: e.g. coinage.
Why "liquid"?

Because it implies the reduction of friction.

The capacity to flow.

Ultimately, we sacrificed representative capacity for efficiency.

But what else did we sacrifice?

For one, we traded the contextual history of accumulated wealth for an impoverished accounting.
Read 21 tweets
26 Nov 19
While the ideas of "localism" get a lot right, they also demonstrate an ideological blind-spot in their unwillingness to deal honestly with well-known advantages to centralized structures, such as:

- Superlinear returns to network scale.
- Higher short-term collective agency.
Centralized structures do not emerge arbitrarily. They are not mere products of corruption, dominance, and exploitation.

They emerge because they represent a formidable and robust strategy upon a wide range of adaptive landscapes.

They also minimize in-group transaction costs.
For these reasons, amongst a host of others, it is exceedingly naive to pursue a strategy of localism without fully admitting the likely outcomes:

- Collusive opportunity amongst a sub-net triggering collapse into centrality.
- Invasion by outside force willing to act centrally.
Read 10 tweets
5 Mar 19
On Networked Censorship: A Thread

For the journalists etc. attempting to understand what’s going on behind the scenes at large social media companies wrt censorship, there are a few conceptual tools you must equip before making statements in either support or suspicion...
Recently I’ve seen debate concerning the degree to which the content of popular (and polarizing) social media users gets censored by platforms like YouTube, Twitter, etc.

Most of these approaches analyze the category of first-order signals to which the public has access...
Namely: recommendations, bans, warnings, demonitization, etc.

But this is a fool’s errand.

You will never get to the heart of what’s either happening, or not happening, by analyzing these data points.

Why not, you ask?

Well the superficial answer is plausible deniability...
Read 30 tweets

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