Friday, April 28, 2017

Evolving Doublethink

Accurate cognition is dangerous to non-liars. In Mass Market Evolution, this one hinted at the concept with regards customer service. Let's expand the concept via example.

Posit Jane. Jane works for Widget Software as a support specialist. People call her when one of thousands of common problems occur. She talks them lengthily through solutions that do not work, and if they have the endurance to complete her talk, they are put through the same ritual with a supervisor, then receive a series of home visits from a local contractor, then finally receive authorization to return the software. Jane attends weekly, quarterly, and yearly employee meetings where the emphasis is customer service. She learns to say things like "please bear with me" while she waits for her slow, redundant system to access necessary data, which is frequently lost or locked out to her, when her workstation warns her that the next call has been waiting for in excess of twelve minutes (almost all calls she receives), or when she places a customer on hold to wait for another department to authorize an action that she regularly forwards for authorization.

If Jane is at a certain level of intelligence, she simply won't get it: she'll forget to act like an amiable doofus, and instead shout at people to learn how to plug things in before calling, to learn how to restart, to learn how to not spill coffee on the keyboard and then blame any resulting problems on Widget Software. She will lose her job, and perhaps rightly so--that is the result of one kind of intelligence. At her next job interview, she will admit to Neowidget Software that she lost her cool with a customer, is working on it, and she will get hired again if she was going to anyway, or get told that her temper is the reason if she wasn't going to get hired anyway and arduously follows up on her rejection from the potential job until she hits the 0.001% lotto and gets to ask a person why there was no job (perhaps by waiting outside the security gate at lunch and screaming at a department manager that she needs a reason, and the department manager is so foolish he actually divulges one, after which he is also rejected for future employment). Then Jane maxes her credit cards before finally getting a job at Triwidget Software a couple months later. Certain kind of intelligence, certain kind of result.

If Jane is at another level of intelligence, she's okay. She says she's sorry for the wait, she asks people to bear with her multiple times in any given conversation, she apologizes for her supervisor's inability to fix the problem, and she remains so innocently non-helpful that a review of all her call logs shows she is excellent at wearing people down and giving them no actionable complaints while simultaneously achieving a low product return rate. Jane may someday receive a raise and a promotion to supervisor, whereupon she will be able to deliver, with genuine passion, speeches about customer service. She will shiver with anticipation when new shipping boxes arrive from corporate taped with the special kind of green tape that means they hold this year's break-room advisory posters. When some of her underlings and/or co-workers shout at customers, she is honestly shocked--yes, customers sometimes make poor decisions, but the job of people in this office is to help them. Widget Software is fine with having Jane fill the headset in the absence of congressional permission to hire a cheaper foreign scab, and if they eliminate her, Jane's HR equivalent will genuinely believe the company is sorry it didn't work out. Jane may be hired at Neowidget Software if Indians don't have all their jobs, or at Triwidget Software if Indians don't have all their jobs, or at temporary retail work buttressed by government assistance, in any of which cases her mindset will give her the best possible financial result: faith in her superiors, faith in her mission, ability to convey honestly whatever philosophy with which she is provided. Certain kind of intelligence, certain kind of result.

No endings are good for Jane, here, but the latter Jane--the one who is a true believer--is happier and more mentally stable. The more she believes, the more she is able to make sense of the world. Similarly to how one who believes a traditional superhero movie is a live-action documentary about a set of real-world occurrences would be more anxious during trying scenes, then happier when the hero triumphs and the world is happy and/or safe again, Jane's comparatively superior ability to believe offers her benefits. She is happy with Widget Software, and believes that all of their products make life better for people overall, except for maybe a few grumblykins; later, she believes the same about Widget Megamart's produce section, Widget Rental's on-demand 4x4 selection, and so forth. She finds a sort of meaning, even if she does become a grumblykins herself sometimes when she has to work Christmas Eve or her manager shouts at her for no reason at all, by believing in who she is and what she represents. Civic leaders and certain politicians, and any notable portion of support the latter pair appear to have on television or the internet, offer her vast reassurance that she is sane, normal, and living as a member of a society of like-minded individuals who basically understand her and her value.

Perhaps Jane faces her doom at some point, when Indians or robots without risk of the grumblykins become reliable enough to liquidate her, but until then, she is happy. She knows that she is valued as an employee, would only be forced to give a little extra if others really needed it, and she believes that the Leader is much smarter and more deserving, and working harder and suffering more, than she is.

Posit a much smarter Jane: a Jane who realizes that Widget Software has massive profits, and has such corrupt and over-guaranteed monopoly powers that those will continue. She realizes early on that no one gives a fuck about customer service, and after sufficient experience with navigating the recurring problems people have year after year, she realizes that the software is incredibly shoddy. From her limited experience with internal documents and bug reports, she also realizes that the software is intentionally broken in some ways, and that purported fixes to last decade's problems are either superficial or nonexistent. These are dangerous realizations for Jane, where she risks being a "whistleblower." Assume, though, that this Jane is so smart that she realizes the larger system already knows this about Widget Software and does not care; in fact, many of the supposed flaws are there to allow disguised system entry, blind-delegated marketing directly by Widget Software and by its nameless and unknown but strangely potent offshore allies, and perhaps remote data extraction or implanting for special cases involving something more important than marketing. This Jane, though, is smart enough to know to stay quiet. She understands that "customer service" is just a phrase meant to trick her dumbass co-workers into filling their roles (maybe she calls them "sheeple" when they're not around), and if she's even smarter, she realizes that the trick is not used primarily to cause her co-workers to believe in the company, but to cause a helpful facade to frustrate customers into surrendering to marketplace power. The subtle effect of low-functioning, understanding-professing persons apologizing, taken in the aggregate millions, is able to calm the host enough to accustom it to its market subservience, whereas a recorded "You've got no other options, now fuck off" would require of Widget Software more public, ergo more expensive, social restructuring.

Ergo the smarter Jane sucks it up and does her job as though she were the dumber Jane. iBrains will someday assist public servants in culling such deceptive Janes from the mass consciousness, but for the time being, if Jane can only restrain herself from making her opinions public in any way, such as by blogging about them, she can exist much like a normal person, and carve out for herself a little niche of occasional shelter from the mass society. There are, like, independent theaters and old poetry to help distract her from the world in-between shifts. Like all other Janes, she may get laid off for Indians or robots, and end up approaching the world from essentially the same perspective as the one she possessed before, albeit now while wearing a Widget Megamart customer service vest. Whether she stays with Widget Software, makes the move to Widget Megamart, or sleeps in her car until her parents finally die and leave her a house and enough cash for passable health care until she, too, escapes, the smarter Jane suffers from a problem unknown to the others: she recognizes that she does not fit into the mass society. Not only because she realizes "customer service" is bullshit, but because she realizes it is intentional, malicious, truly evil bullshit, and that it could only be this way if Widget Software were able to prevent competitors from capitalizing on its many and gigantic and globally- and lengthily-understood flaws, and that that could only be that way if all other aspects of the marketplace were following similar models, and that that could only be that way if the government were complicit across generations and party lines in maintaining this horrible mess, and that that could only be the case if other powerful governments and international organizations and world finance were also complicit in it. And then suddenly she might complete the circle and realize that all the other people in the break-room--all of the other versions of Jane who believe in customer service and who believe in the onsite managers and the VPs of service at corporate and who believe in the board of directors and the politicians and causes they support, whether or not those other Janes occasionally swear at stupid customers--that all of those other people must actually believe in it all. For that smarter Jane, that's when she sees, not the prison, but the asylum. Her experience is, like a long arithmetic problem, leading her inevitably to a solution, if she has the computational powers to get through each level of it; if she can see what connects rude monopoly to state policy to world policy to simpleton citizenry.

The smarter Jane, though, may keep her job, just as well as the lower-functioning Janes. At least she will be able to feed herself before the repeal of the Consciousness Preservation Act (a phony opposition to scab robot labor meant to be repealed after a few years), granting robots the full and complete freedom to take on whatever employment they choose (e.g., to work constantly for the corporations that designed their parents' proprietary brains, thereby removing the need for almost all human labor). At that point, the Smart Janes, like the Stupid Janes, will receive mandatory government benefits that keep them alive, sequel-entertained, and eternally powerless. But at least she made it there; at least she gets to see more of the story.

Let us, now, enter the region of short-term unsurvivability, and posit another Jane, who is smarter but also wholly and inherently decent. "Decent," for this example, we'll take to mean "assumes the best of others." This may cut against her intelligence score, but otherwise, assume she's intelligent (or inexperienced or whatever other excuse you can make for her). Or perhaps this Jane is simply somewhat smart--smarter than than the basic Jane, but not as smart as the Jane who has more of it figured out. 2017 Terra is extremely hostile to this kind of Jane, and here's why: when this kind of Jane has a bad experience with an angry customer, she remembers her last customer service meeting. Danger! Danger! If she does what her boss and the woman from corporate suggested, and tries to proactively solve the customer's problem, then she has to ask her boss to forward a memo to the engineering department. Being either "decent" or "not quite intelligent enough to have figured out you're not supposed to actually fix anything," she takes corporate at face value and tries to help. That first memo is fine, but three years of the same complaint later, she concludes not, "It is meant to be broken," and instead, "Engineering isn't taking our customer service philosophy seriously." She tells her boss, sees no results, and concludes that, logically (dear God, poor Jane!), 1. Widget Software cares about its customers, 2. My supervisor isn't helping get these concerns out even though corporate says that's the most important part of her job, and 3. Upper management needs to know about this!

Poor Jane...depending on where she works, private sector or state or national or international government, she risks exposing money flows to this decade's Mujahideen...she might propose an audit of the wrong corporation, severing ties with CFO's nephew's executive training program, stopping production of the engine that has burned dozens of customers alive, or saving Widget Software's reputation among its valued community partners by asking for those valued community partners' help in shutting down that mine in Congo where all those workers died.

The latter two Janes are tragic consequences, outdated trash, rejected by-products, of the metaconsciousness. Honesty and decency are traits prohibitive to success. This is what is meant by evolving doublethink: the Jane smart enough to recognize the horrid system sees that, even though the simpleton Janes (who genuinely believe in the company) are the true faithful, they are still treated poorly, and cast aside to die in neglect homes in favor of scabs. And yet...and yet the simpletons do not see this, and continue to believe. What poor "smartest Jane" in our examples fails to perceive is that the simpleton Janes are not unwitting parts of the system, but essential parts of the metaconsciousness. Their vicarious emptiness--feeling proud when the company does well, even though it affects them not at all--is a true metaconscious reward, as real to them as a substantial year-end bonus would be to the smarter Jane (if she were to receive one). The passion for sporting (or "political") contests, celebrity adoptions or divorces, or Widget Software's customer service team is as real to simpleton Janes as is the satisfaction of the cells in the heels of a man's feet when he experiences orgasm (or, if you're male and you find your heels to be an erogenous zone, pick the cells in a non-erotic body part to make the example work). Those foot cells are not themselves doing anything, but their vicarious participation in winning the NCAA match is, to them, real fulfillment.

Successful evolution, then, is conformity to the metaconsciousness. By participating in enthusiasm for customer service, or for her local sports team or favorite candidate, Jane is rewarded whether or not the vicarious end is achieved, and whether or not there is anything "tangible" in it for her--tangible as standalone entities define it. It is increasingly more tangible, and less vicarious, with the growth of the Terran Oversoul. If you don't like sporting or customer service examples, consider the attempts of metaconscious-attuned peripheral cells to be satisfied with a political "victory" where their purported interests are not served, or are expressly dis-served. This isn't a call to the recent American election as an example, but to those of the last one hundred years in America (at least). More-standalone people are perplexed in response to Woodrow Wilson's and FDR's support after getting so many of their peers and/or children killed in Europe and/or the Pacific. As are more peripherally metaconscious people who did not live in that historical period. At the time, though--and at the current time, or in 2009--people who were receiving the current "signals from the brain," as it were, see the "contradiction" in current behavior only dimly, if at all. Yet later, removed from that signal, they can exercise some level of independent judgment and wonder, "Just what made those inquisitors act that way?" (While not seeing any similarity to their own inquisitors.) An American Democrat, receiving early-twentieth-century signals, who did not want to get involved in any foreign wars understood perfectly the ongoing necessity of electing Democrats to invade Asia and Europe again. Retrospectively, savvier armchair political analysts who are not receiving those signals may be confused (the dumber ones would squeal about Hirohito, Hitler, communism in Korea, et cetera, in due accordance with the story now, but the smarter ones would see a problem to be considered) by this proclivity, while simultaneously themselves understanding the need to, either, avoid nation-building by supporting the latest Bush invasion of Iraq, or supporting an end to imperialism by supporting Obama cleaning up Bush's messes in Africa and Asia for eight years. The "facts" pertaining to any of the decisions are irrelevant to the thought process, ergo Dubya, employed as a metaphorical neuron, may speak contemptuously about the reality-based community. Positive charge; negative charge; invade; maintain.

Many foot cells, gluteal cells, hair cells, et cetera, there must be, but brain cells are of a different type. The levers of power must stay in one place. And so, the evolving metaconscious will need to eliminate decency, in favor of the ultimate Jane, the one we haven't discussed yet: the Jane who can duckspeak; who can doublethink; who can be perfectly evil. This is the Jane who knows that the company is evil and doesn't even care about profiting stockholders so much as it cares about influencing society in a certain way, and simultaneously knows that the company is a completely good and pure and pragmatic entity that has social responsibility and wants to benefit its customers and, admittedly as part of that, wants to make a fair profit for its investors. This is the modern politician and business leader constantly forced to the fore of the mass society: the person who feels no stress, no inner qualms about constantly lying, and yet, who is not actually lying, because they believe that the company does care about customer service and employee satisfaction. Because any given leader believes she or he genuinely cares about America and its people, she or he is able to give that level of honesty not merely to their speeches, but to their entire lives. (Yeah, maybe you don't believe it, but plenty of people do see it as a form of honesty, and more importantly, they don't see it as an express insult. It's just customer service--even if you don't believe-believe it, you understand it's part of the greater current of what is happening.) And yet, if said leader actually cared, she or he would do things that would make others of her or his kind eliminate that leader: the leader might, e.g., not give exorbitantly expensive weapons to outsiders for free, particularly when those outsiders use them in ways that are proven to cause blowback against Americans. There are any number of things a genuine carer might do, all of them highly dangerous to American narrative continuity.

What makes the ideal politician is not caring alone. True caring, true belief, causes people to look like conspiracy theorists, suggest "wacky" things--thoughts not desired by the metaconscious--and not fit in. Even worse, if someone who truly cared managed to get power and exercise it without being Lincoln-Kennedyed, they'd ruin the whole story. The ideal politician is good and evil: she can, say, accept a bribe from Saudi Arabia, give tax money for that bribe, then give a speech about ending corruption, and believe that she is telling the truth and has always been consistent. At the same time, she is evil, and is able to make that bribe that keeps the story going. This is accepted, by "her" and "us," as necessary. The metaconsciousness does not revolt against its own actions; it prefers to see itself in its own preferred light (sic). It knows that such bribes must be made to keep certain factions in power, both in Saudi Israelia and Jewmerica, and yet it also knows that such bribes are always wrong and against the public interest. And it always and never does them.

By simultaneously believing both things, the ideal metaconscious politician is able to give honest, impassioned speeches about something--valuing regimes that protect women's rights, protecting the border, et cetera--and yet, also take actions, or give honest, impassioned speeches, about the opposite--"Hello, your highness, Prince Saud," or "It's a matter of heart." These politicians are ideal because they can take these seemingly-contradictory actions without feeling the pain, the mental schisms, that people who were only good or only evil would feel. A person who was merely only evil would be pained by the act of lying about positive things in a speech; pained by pretending that he cared. Think, for example, of Dick Cheney, who lowered his head and snarled, and who tried to adopt stern rhetoric when pretending to care. Cheney is an example of an older, less capable metaconscious leader, contrasted with the slightly younger, more capable George W. Bush, who genuinely believed he was saving Iraqis. Combined, they formed a perfect American candidate, but the future will demand innocent stupidity and malevolent cunning inside the same person. In the same way that Cheney could not best handle speaking of the truthfully untrue joyous liberations and missions accomplished, Bush could not best handle the necessary energy rights negotiations before version 2003 of the NATO invasion of Iraq. Each man somewhat believed in the whole package, but not well enough to singularly manage the cruel Stupid Jane voters and the starry-eyed ones. Contrast them with the more modern Obama, who was better able to simultaneously believe everything that he did as a merciless humanitarian butcher of grace.

The sense of consistency resides higher in the metaconsciousness; the mere neuron does not know that it is taking contradictory actions or delivering contradictory messages. If it had those capabilities, it would feel what we might call "shame," and it might experience existential stress similar to Smart Jane, if she accepted a promotion to be supervisor at Widget Software and found herself lying to new-hires about how hard the company fights to respect its customers. Confronted with that choice, Smart Jane would have to decide if she could handle "selling out," sacrificing her standalone capability to meld with the mass mind, or if she wished to reject the mass mind and be, correspondingly, alienated (pre-extinct).

As we go forward, we might liken residual standalone thinkers to the enteric brain: outsmarting "the" brain, the head-brain, for ten thousand years and counting, yet disconnected from almost all externally perceivable control functions. Able to witness, and murmur in disquiet, but not to lift an arm or shake a head.

These suppositions about metaconscious entities suggest several tangible results among the population of component parts. Firstly and most obviously, the increasing potency of doublethinkers, in that leaders will grow increasingly less able to perceive that they are wrong, until they truly cannot perceive that they have said two contradictory things at two times. The Clintons' and Obamas' "evolving" perspectives on homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and gun rights offer suitable recent examples. More standalone humans could review their own past perspectives, and past stated certainties, and identify themselves as either liars, or as people who are so changeable that they might not be morally correct in their current positions. Whatever tiny inklings of shame, self-doubt, or self-examination might still remain in the great doublethinkers should be eliminated as the metaconsciousness progresses. "Don't ask, don't tell" can morph to "Do tell, and sue anyone who doesn't like it" in twenty seconds, rather than twenty years, with the same blithe unawareness and inner sense of coherent self that once took the passage of more time to achieve.

To the casual observer, it would seem that mere liars could be effective metaconscious leaders. Perhaps, if they are very clever--but, even if they were sociopaths, being mere liars would cripple their ability to cooperate with other insiders who genuinely believed that all contradictory interpretations of an issue were true at once. What characterizes the ideal politician of the future will be increasingly stellar childhoods and life histories, backroom behavior, and eventually, mind-scans that scientifically prove the belief in Oceania always having been at war with Eastasia. The crux of the issue here is not, by any means, mere lies, but the true ideatic rewriting of what is real. Real--as the metaconsciousness perceives it (and always has and always will perceive it), and perhaps really-real, from certain philosophical perspectives. More standalone intelligences will be able to remember the disconnect between then and now, yet as they, too, slip toward metaconsciousness, they will lose the ability to remember except inasmuch as it applies to metaconsciousnesses to which they themselves do not belong. E.g., American Republicans who feel that Bill Clinton's behavior toward women is relevant, while Donald Trump's is not, or American Democrats who feel that Donald Trump's behavior toward women is relevant, while Bill Clinton's is not.

It is usually easy for westerners to identify this trend inside the documented behaviors of their politicians, but this phenomenon occurs on a global basis, ergo it is not a specific result of a cultural boogeyman, capitalist or otherwise. Putting aside China and much of southeast Asia for the time being, consider Jewish-controlled areas other than America and Europe. Islam is staunchly anti-homosexual and pro-homosexual. Males who have sex with males are absolutely never tolerated as a complete sin against God and Dar Al Islam, and males who have sex with males are welcomed in Dar Al Islam as a vital way to relieve sexual tension. Muslim leaders write of Allah who condemns homosexuality, and Allah who rewards homosexuals with attractive boys in paradise (marketed, like the snow-hell made up by Eurocucks for purposes of converting Eskimos, at homosexual would-be jihadists who aren't interested in blowing themselves up for girls). Much like a European politician's staunch life principles and campaign promises, the leaders of the Islamic world have--just like Europe, ever since Arabia was normatively conquered by a redheaded AshkeNazi in crypsis masquerading as a prophet of the should-be-diverse Muslim world--been, seemingly absurdly, proponents of both homosexuality and non-homosexuality. Homosexuals are never tolerated except when they are. The problems with Christian leadership since its inception in Turkey--a caste of socially-respected men obsessed with a male prophet and given trusted access to children--are not unique to the Catholic Church.

Smart Janes will continue to be culled from the population until they're all gone. Not only because of the stress, sense of alienation, or increased likelihood of economic/reproductive unfitness, but because of the increased efficiency of the metaconscious. When the teevee showed only fistfights and baseball and economic agendas, the metaconsciousness only had a certain level of hold over a certain type of person. Now, targeted growth hormones have indie rock, arcane interest periodicals, and elaborate medieval/starship fantasy programming, helping significantly larger groups of people blend into one or more metaconsciousnesses. Great leaders do not need to crush rebellions, so much as they need to create more independent movies and more products for underserved niche markets. (Ergo people sharing pictures, video-links, or whiny essays online: a self-creating, self-marketing niche that identifies, then fills, itself. Why bother inventing a new professional sport when the same format that encourages more efficient mass-trope-communication between metaconscious individuals also permits standalones to develop independent metaconscious narratives? It will grow even more difficult to maintain, let alone build, standalone operating routines, in the face of increasingly powerful mass society.) With sufficient time for this evolution to happen, everyone will be either a manager who believes in the company, or a low-level employee who believes in the company; it will become impossible to survive as a faking true-believer. Attempts by large employers to force employees to cheerfully volunteer unpaid overtime hours may have been too much, too fast, in the 1990s; in the future, not only will unpaid overtime be voluntary, but no one will speak out against it, and, more troublingly to the Smart Janes of today, no one will secretly resent it.

Here is where Stupid Janes will numerically thrive for a time: believing in customer service means they will enjoy cleaning the parking lot after-hours for no pay, making it a social bonding ritual and not perceiving that, at some level, it was meant to be exploitative, benefiting the company unfairly. Indeed, by then, it will not be unfair or exploitative, for Stupid Jane will actually enjoy it. Because Stupid Janes lack the ability to perceive anything wrong with the situation except the doings of "the other side"--a trait they share in common with the finest top-level doublethinkers--they are the most useful body components to the comparative neurons of their leaders. "The other side" is a temporary measure anyway; eventually, there will be no need for actual other sides, merely fictional ones. Many Stupid Janes will be crushed mercilessly, but the others will gradually perceive that as less and less of a wrong, less and less of a problem. The need to blame other badthinkers and/or political parties for a real-world result that cannot (yet) be ignored will fade, over time, until there are no wrongs perceived by the remaining Stupid Janes. Happy and content, believing deeply in customer service and the duty of the metaconsciousness to treat all of its components fairly, they will be fulfilled whether or not they are replaced by robots, materially immortalized and placed in morphine-television labor pods in perpetuity, or thrown up as part of a routine purge. At some point, any given entrapment or elimination will cease to be a moral issue, because the remaining Janes--whether a thousand or a quadrillion--will be as comparatively more inert than an all-day all-year couch potato as the latter potato is to a drunken nightly tavern-goer or a fence-gossiping homemaker in 1817.

3 comments:

  1. I'm reminded of the old Jetsons tv show lead-in, George on the space-treadmill, legs whirling crazily, shouting "Jane! STOP THIS CRAZY THING!"

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    1. To those doomed to materialism, any woe at here expressed to them will be viewed as the bleating of the evolutionary failure, like the complaints of the Spotted Owl that it, too, can generate GDP, or the lament of the Tyrannosaur or the Cave Platypus that the comet has come too soon. Complaining that hell is being built is most likely to be viewed as complaining that you're not being paid more, where everyone secretly thinks it's because you're not worth more.

      Unsolicited advice for later stages: don't volunteer descriptions of this craziness to people who haven't seen Terra, since having witnessed the construction of any given hell is not particularly striking or unique; it's like wanting to show your favorite childhood toy to a visiting older relative. Or do--I'm never good at company parties, and maybe it's because I don't talk about how great and/or awful my last job was.

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  2. Also, this summarizes everything just as well as the Jetsons metaphor:

    Great leaders do not need to crush rebellions, so much as they need to create more independent movies and more products for underserved niche markets.

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