MD Fallacies of Intellectual Control

Date: Sat May 26 2001 - 15:23:43 BST

To Marty, Dean and the MOQ
>From Rog

Since the intellectual level is of a higher moral value, the social (the
economic model) should be controlled by the intellectual (the ruling
governmental body), right?.....The MOQ seems to call for the higher static
pattern to rule the lower. Since this doesn't seem to be occurring with a
high degree of success, then it is our responsibility, on the
intellectual/governing level, to rectify it.

I agree with Dean that government and/or leadership is about as social as
social gets. Of course, there is an intellectual element to
leading/governing as well. I would argue that it has been learning and
evolving for thousands of years.

One of the most recent discoveries of the intellect is that the world is much
more chaotic than intellectuals once thought. Extremely complex systems,
such as whirlpools, water flows, living things and societies are not
intellectually deterministic. On the other hand, these patterns can be
modeled and particular value attractors can be found that "govern" how the
complex system tend to react.

Complex systems reveal there has been an inherent intellectual fallacy in our
belief that centralized control is always best. Complex network systems work
best through partially decentralized, partially parallel patterns of
interaction. An essential component in complex systems is to experiment with
simple value attractors within the underlying components. Test different
value attractors and keep those that lead to consistent positive results.
Add components together in different ways via different types of attractors.
Again retest, keeping successes and replacing failures with better ideas.

Living things are built in just such a fashion, with a central governing
nervous system or mind adding executive control over a greatly self
regulating interconnected set of biological patterns. Insect colonies work
the same way (with virtually NO central command), and societies do too. (If
you doubt this, please read Non Zero by Robert Wright, or Out of Control by
Kevin Kelly )

For those of you unfamiliar with complexity and chaos theories, I am probably
just spouting a bunch of nonsense, and some may think that it violates some
principle of the MOQ. I suggest that both camps consider studying these
theories themselves before they pass judgement. Complexity is all about
patterns and values and how to understand and influence complex systems such
as life and society.

I guess I am rambling, but my point is that current intellectual theories of
society would lead us to see that society has been evolving and learning and,
in general, improving since culture itself evolved. The current apex, or
most successful social systems seem to use a combo of free enterprise with a
degree of centralized and decentralized control, along with a representative
democracy of intricate checks and balances.

Even our best societies though have yet to figure out how to avoid destroying
elements of the environment and overconsuming repleneshable resources and
depleting non-repleneshable resources. But I see us as learning...slowly at
times, often at the pace of generations. Will we learn fast enough? You get
to decide.

I will say that the first step to improving society further though is to
intellectually recognize the many decentralized elements to society. Pirsig
was totally naive in his proclamation that socialism was inherently
intellectually superior to free enterprise. To his defense, it was
conventionally viewed this way back when Lila was being written, and though
intellectuals are now starting to see the folly of their ways, it is probably
a few decades off from being widely understood outside of those that have
broken through into this new science that applies to so many new fields.

But then again, I could be wrong


PS -- Karl Popper -- decades before the advent of complexity/chaos science --
was one of the first intellectuals to see the evolutionary benefits of
'tinkering' as opposed to the folly of grand, centrally designed and
controlled social experimentation.

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