Want a seriously odd discussion to kick-off your thinking for the week?
Well, try this one on…Life Scoring.
Whether you are a believer or atheist, makes no difference: Humans have consciousness and it’s from this that the concept of a Game with a Point arises.
There are multiple ways to think of human existence, but the most intriguing model I’ve been looking at lately is the notion that we’re all something like “game-pieces” in a great Cosmic Video Game.
Of course, it shows up as religions and such for some, while others have a more direct experience of their “game-piece” relationship with All.
Are we as “game-pieces” empowered with ‘free Will?’ Whew…long discussion there, but not this morning’s track. We’ll stick to ‘scoring.’
The matter came up again last night in one of my occasional “working dreams” – most likely since I have been pondering whether a Peoplenomics report on what life would be like if each of us could live by statistically optimized choices, would be of interest.
It might be…or not. It does have the possibility of stepping on a lot of people’s religious toes, so for now, it’s not happening. Instead, Peoplenomics will continue down the economic, practical living, straight and narrow path into the future.
But here – in the Coping Section, what I call The Game deserves a short discussion.
In this morning’s dream, I was working for an advertising agency (weird because I have never worked for one before).
At this agency, located in a nice high-rise office building in dream land, there was a lot of wasted office space. In a discussion with the principals, I argued (and apparently convincingly) that the ad agency office space could be reduced by one-third if they would just rearrange their office office furniture slightly.
At the suggestions, the Office was rearranged and I was given a big project consisting of writing a client paper on Life Scoring. There was a lot of background, a big closing section called Methodology, and then a strong close.
“You need to give some concrete examples, not just the formula,” came the instructions. I remember going to lunch while starting work on this project and opening a Law Book from where I could borrow examples to insert into the body of my report.
It was a longish paper, running 40-ages, or so.
The guts of the paper was that everyone chooses to live to a set of Rules in Life. Depending on your religion that may be this set, or that. But each of us is free to adopt whatever Rule Set we want from those commonly available in life.
We also get to set a precedence list. Does the Constitution Rule set fall under Commandments, if those are the Rule Sets chosen? The Pledge of Allegiance says (from 1892, or so) that the US is “…, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Thus, the notion that federal law is subservient or “under” God. Your interpretation may vary.
From the point of Rule Adoption, we each embrace our Rule Sets around puberty and from there judging whether we are “happy” or “successful” in Life seems to greatly depend on how well we live each day, scoring ourselves based on our adopted “rules.”
By the time the end of life rolls around, if this “Everyone is a Game-Piece” concept holds water, then any life-review (widely reported in Near Death Experiences; often attributed to either religious-based beings or the effective of dying-brain DMT) may simply be a “congruence check.”
In other words, given your rule-set, how well did you comply with its tenets?
And that is just some of the background. But it all comes down to a most intriguing Monday’ish question:
If each of us could make absolutely “best possible choices” throughout Life, would our present circumstances be vastly different than they are on this Monday morning – or any other one, for that matter?
People instinctively know the answer is “Yes!” We all make decisions and choices that are slightly off the ‘ideal’ mark.
This penchant for imperfection is a troublesome topic:
Take the Constitution, for example: It’s a Rule Set that speaks plainly enough, yet as any legal historian will tell you, there are times when the Law gets it terribly wrong – and the Citizens United decision is only one such botched decision. Corporations aren’t human, but it’s an important bridge to something really ugly in the future: Machine’s Rights!
If corporations (legal fictions can have rights, then so can an artificial intelligence! Holy crap! AND if a machine can outthink a thousand humans, should it have a thousand votes or one?
There are plenty of others example of rule-weakness setting us on a path to destruction, particularly in commercial and tax decisions, which is how tax avoiders/evaders justify their decisions; “Those aren’t my Rules.”
On a more philosophical note, since I was raised Danish Lutheran but have a deeply-ingrained “Trust but Verify” gene, I look at how various religious dogma could be repackaged today in order to make it more obvious what our true problems of congruence with Rules stem from.
Since they are part of the Ritual Decalogue, which is close enough to the Rules of the Game for me, some common-sense linguistic updating is in order.
The first Commandment [of 10 or 11] says (approximately): “I am the lord thy God, thou shall have no other gods before me.”
This would be simpler (from the game-piece congruence) as “This is the Game…keep it the only game.”
The second says (again, approximately) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.”
Obviously, this could be distilled down to “Don’t try making up another Game.”
Of course we’re doing exactly that in robotics and AI research… So right about here we come down to an interesting and fundamental question that no one in a high-tech society seems to be in any rush to answer:
Is the development of artificial intelligence (a path which we’re whacking out of the intellectual underbrush every day in SillyCon Valley) not making up another game and attempting to build something in our own image?
Oh-oh… I won’t bore you with further details, but on Monday morning when so many of us get back on the Shared Board level and begin play for the week, have we missed some huge red flags about the direction of society and are we not “ruining The Garden” once again?
There’s a case made in the www.thechronicleproject.org work that the guardians of the original Garden of Eden may have been laser-toting robotics with a minds of their own…and this leads where?
Digital substitution for Analog tools may be fine, but once we launch into the “intelligence replacement” business, there’s a case to be made, methinks, that we cross a dreadful ‘graven image’ threshold. We do so at great (Rule-breaking) peril.
Perhaps it’s why religions and law must be periodically re-invented every X-hundred years via new prophets and revolutions: To get everyone back on the same page and to reconnect large populations with The Game such that Play may be continued in an orderly and sustainable manner.
Ain’t that right, Siri?
OK, more coffee and on to look through headlines for signs and portents of the Game.
Write when you break-even…