Monday, April 24, 2017

Mass Market Evolution

Power in human societies is acquired and exercised not through strength, nor intelligence. At early, perhaps hypothetical, phases of development, a stronger person, or a more clever one, might have exercised great social power by virtue of their strength and/or intelligence. A hypothetical tribe may have, like a lion pride, followed the lead of a physically more capable individual, not because of a moral imperative, but because of a perhaps-subconscious mental calculus pertaining to the likelihood of that individual to protect his tribe through leading a war-band in its defense. For example, being part of Big Bill's Band meant you'd be on Big Bill's side during a brawl, rather than facing him, therefore increasing eating and/or mating possibilities by being less likely to die and more likely to acquire his leftover spoils.

To some degree, and at some point--perhaps always, or perhaps only after strength ceased being the sole determiner, if it ever was except in our capitalistically evolutionary hypotheticals--intelligence would have played a similar factor. An intelligent individual could have developed a better spear, therefore achieving success in battle. Randomness would have played a part, also, for anyone can get clubbed to death in the early stages of the battle, and we'll never know how many intelligent engineers, via the hands of Fate, died before the world knew they were better than the ones who had survived. Similarly, under such a rubric, Big Bill would've had to have recognized the skill of the superior spear-builders, or else his cadre of almost-as-big strongmen could have simply broken the superior spear and mocked its builder, clung to their inheritance-blessed traditions of weaker spears, and later died at the hands of a less-strong chieftain who had listened to his hypothetical engineers, and therefore equipped all of his warriors with improved spears.

Strength and intelligence--in this case, we use "strength" and "intelligence" as blanket terms covering standalone physical and mental capabilities, respectively--however they may have been used in hypothetical antiquity, remain somewhat viable throughout our currently blessed documentary history, in which we can see where physical prowess, expressed in hindsight through retrospective purportedly fiction or purportedly non-fiction tales, or expressed wishfully through archaeological thought experiments, could still have benefited an individual and/or a group. The skill necessary to mix steel, to develop and/or aim heavy cannon, to out-harvest or out-fight opponents, et cetera: all linked, presumably, to strength and intelligence.

In the morass of now, only wishfulness connects to strength and intelligence, for these factors only benefit us at the lowest levels. The purportedly strongest (here, "strength" is not used as a generality for all physical skills, but actually in the sense of "can lift heaviest objects") known people in the world participate in balefully-non-fiscally-rewarding contests followed by few and scorned by many. The purportedly most athletic people, if they give up all other investment in success and develop highly nuanced skills, may be significantly and briefly rewarded, but due to their intelligence levels, leave little mark on long-term culture either willfully or, more important from a capitalistic-evolutionary perspective, genetically, for their understanding of the nuances of the fiscal long-term is cannibalized by a smarter and more evil system, and their impact diluted to a celebrity more whimsical with every year. Which is to say, neither our wishfully hypothetical version of coliseum gladiators nor our modern wishfully hypothetical version of mass-athletes achieve the cultural or genetic significance of scions in other realms of influence, even publicly-acknowledged realms.

Strength and intelligence are now at odds with systemic power, and also with one another, because the increased specialization of the division of labor, and the random cruelties of the marketplace, discourage the intelligent from pursuing any form of success based on strength. Ergo we never see the best potential athletes competing, because anyone with the greatest understanding of self, discipline, training methodology, et cetera, would never play the lottery of injuries and matchmaking, or cast aside all other potential careers in perpetual daily training, to achieve their best at any given contest of strength. The finest soldiers are too busy with understanding their regularly-improving portable battle technology, refining their short- and long-range marksmanship, and other such tasks, to devote the necessary time to a then-apex study of striking and grappling, and even if they could, comparatively-untrained fighter pilots or pudgy artillery captains or obese drone pilots would make short work of them on or about the modern battlespace. No less than Bengal tigers in their prime, the finest, most capable human specimens are largely irrelevant, soon to be replaced by little Chinese kids giving instructions to FPS mechs so fast even the AI can't keep up. And those little Chinese kids, and the strategy-bred kids who tell them where and how to fight, will, respectively, only strike when and where they are told by whoever gives them the daily porn password and refills the fridge, ergo their incredible prowess will be irrelevant as to power dynamics long before it ever reaches a battlespace.

Strength's irrelevance, in the face of professional athletics, is often difficult to understand. In a mundane way, anybody who possesses the ability to beat up their boss, or their boss' boss, or some gnarled old rich lobbyist in Brussels or Washington, can contemplate the ways that strength is so far removed from power that strength is truly irrelevant. Intelligence's irrelevance is similarly easy to understand if you've been in any of the grand professions; not only people who think rightly that they're "smarter than their boss," but people who have taken classes with a future U.N. committee delegate-adviser PhD and watched the said delegate struggle to figure out a simple concept that was easy to everyone else (even many of the other dumb kids) several years ago. Depending on who or what you know, you can run this example yourself with surgeons, research scientists, money managers, counselors, public speakers, professors, lawyers, realtors, consultants, et cetera. Not only to evaluate how smart they are or appear to be, but to evaluate how much of a relationship that intelligence has to mass geopolitical influence, comparative personal financial power, and so forth, particularly as pertains to their peers.

Smarter scientists may explore questions that aren't immediately profitable, such that they end up jobless or teaching at low levels, while their comparatively idiotic pseudo-counterparts manage departments, give interviews to mass media, write speculative fiction masquerading as nonfiction, or other such profitable banalities. Physicians who attempt to truly understand a patient's afflictions, similarly, receive good reviews in a less-profitable private practice, yet earn less, are cited less (because they spend time helping patients rather than rushing journals), are irrelevant to the field as a whole, and subsequently are irrelevant to the field's history. Everything we know in any modern field is, as a result, the work of the smarmiest assholes, while almost everything known or discovered by the more capable is, unless stolen and exploited by someone charismatic, forgotten. And that, incidentally, explains the material failures of our outdated notions of morality. Morality is a business deadweight: even in the field of morality itself, where wealthy and/or lowest-common-denominator philosophers out-publish and out-influence their potentially forgotten, potentially never-having-existed inferiors.

Without resorting to anything so unpopular these days as the anecdotal, we can consider the way that more successful products--retail or political--are sold with measurably elementary levels of intelligence, while unsuccessful ones are offered at only slightly higher levels. In America, the once-popular myth that "a good idea" will lead to riches was well-enough believed to make the death of that myth a sorry thing; elsewhere in the world, a more realistic approach dominated, in which the good idea needed cash and connections to be sold to an idea-mediator who might, if you were lucky, still associate your name with it, and/or not screw you on the net profits.

Modern power--perhaps, actually, all power, except in our wishful hypotheticals about a state of nature that we believe must've existed at some more "fair" point in the past--is exercised neither through intelligence nor strength, but instead through primarily preordained participation in normative-generating networks. The crafting of stories that penetrate the mass mind decree when and where power will be exercised, ergo intelligence and strength themselves are irrelevant except as tools. A policeman's nine-millimeter, an armored cavalry division, and an aeronautical engineer's guidance system are all impotent nothings next to the hundredth part power of a normative. These things are as worthless as a vote, a letter to the editor, or an outsider group that seizes control of the airwaves; without a place in the rubric of happenstance, criminals are rewarded and patriots punished. European riflemen shoot Muslim families in the Middle East not when they need to, but when they feel they should, for reasons which may or may not have anything to do with reality, and Muslim drivers in Europe, correspondingly, run over European riflemen (perhaps then retired and having innocently forgotten the recent past) and their kin in response to similar narratives, with similar origins, each feeling respectively wronged and/or righted not because of objective standards of achievement which they themselves would have inherently felt or enunciated. After the Great War, for example, the Allied grunts who returned home did so content with their morbid, ridiculous, flagrantly hypocritical imperialistic de-imperialization project. Lacking the necessary emotional constitution and inner temporal forensics capabilities, they were unable to contrast what they had actually done by 1945, even as they then or later believed it to be, with what they would have wanted to have done by 1945, or wanted to have believed they had done by 1945, if contemplating such desires in 1938 or 1912, let alone were they given the same variables to contemplate at what they believed to be the times of their births or the times of the births of their nations. The power that they were used to channel during the Great War was not "their" power, in the same sense that a drugged man who murders an innocent in response to a brainwashed-in wrong that never actually occurred is not himself solely or at-all responsible for generating the motivation for said murder. Rather, for all such sets of duped killers, the power that was exercised through them was the power of those who crafted the narrative into which they were born. This is why the American Bonus Army after the Great War had been able to conquer a portion of relatively hardened Europe but not a comparable proportion of relatively softened Columbia--the same individuals with comparable or greater strength and intelligence (and experience et cetera) as their earlier selves, but no actual narrative power. The presumed "heroes" were toy soldiers without the blessing of the banks who had once arranged them.

British girls who advocate for their own loss of driver's licenses and ability to walk around outside uncovered appear to be uniquely stupid and naive, when in fact they are only following the example of their menfolk, those patriarchs of old who fought that their royals and their children would be spread open before northering Arabs, while their older sons died in the desert bringing more Arabs home to ignore call-button alerts at NHS eldercare nursing stations. Their power to perform maneuvers, work sleepless, say goodbye to friends, and invent new kinds of monitoring or shelling technologies, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of weak old frames who direct their younger clerks to sign paperwork telling the Commons what to enact.

What direction does this force on evolution? Here, on this planet, inside generations--faster than randomly-during-reproduction capitalistic evolution can work--we witness the occurrence of a socialized natural selection, whereby people thrive who are more in conformance with carrying out the arcane directives of what is meant to be done. People who actually believe that the point of a given activity is customer service, and who never cause themselves painful dissonance or troubling questions by asking why so few of the lines are manned if that is indeed the goal--particularly when monopoly-level profits are constantly accruing and legions of people are begging for customer-service jobs--do better than those who question the sincerity of the system. Certainly externally, the question is dangerous (job loss), but within, it may be a more insidious, psyche-destroying danger (existential crisis when the same seeming conflict is discovered in all aspects of mass society).

The people who actually believe--who are, one might say, literally capable of duckspeak--may indeed be more "stupid" than those who see only "the truth," but that is only a definition that matters under the standard of those who have failed to adapt to the new realities. In fact, believing in the value of, say, honesty, is dangerous--those who believe in honorable combat perish quite swiftly to those who believe in prostrating oneself in false surrender on the other side of a concealed pit trap. Similarly, those who believe in selling a quality product lose market share to those efficiently able to settle lawsuits arising out of, or better yet buy legislation protecting, a shoddy product.

(Consider, e.g., the massive entry costs, including banking regulations and non-freedom-of-association laws, meant to prohibit competition within the American health insurance industry--and that was only the defensive layer applied before the mandatory requirements to pay pre-existing insurers enacted by the Obama Administration, and also, only applying to the insurers who are buying government-mandated AMA products. Even a willingness to pay prodigious sums to one massive cartel cannot permit a hypothetical newcomer-insurer to enter the others' territory. An attempt to offer better service and/or better price threatens to upset the nature of the system itself, therefore a company which tried to do so would, like a known informer in a mob movie, quickly fall prey to its friends and competitors via government hit men. Seemingly ironically, bad business is good business.)

The end result of such evolution is not, sadly, mere idiocracies, but of the metastasis of the true beneficiaries of the system--the metaconsciousnesses which produce component parts that can exercise the power that moves the lesser organisms. The powers behind thrones and governments, who handle such products as Tony Blair, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump, generate a consensus on not only what reality is, but on what reality should be. Even those who "disagree" accept the actions in question as real actions; as actions with some degree of legitimacy. Consider as an example the way Trump accepted the ridiculous illegitimacy of judges finding constitutional rights for non-citizen immigration: Trump the puppet believes in that aspect of the system, however nonsensical, because that was simply the way things were--judges sometimes issue orders that one listens to. Accordingly, Trump's citizens, whether betrayed voter or angry antifa, accept him as the president, even if they say they don't, and even if the actual constitution or resurrected founders would say he's not a fit or actual leader. We cite the New York Times not because we like it or even believe it, but in worshipful recognition of the power delegated to it to represent a slice of actual reality as we are willing to believe in such an actual reality; even if we cite it only to mock it, it represents (one of many replaceable) standards. So too our critiques of consumerism, imperialism, or scientism. "The news" is so important to us because it, not English, is the language in which we communicate.

Under this model, we evolve to conform to the evolution of the metaconsciousness. Leaders grow increasingly demented, able to genuinely believe themselves good, decent, pragmatic people, yet able to take genuinely evil, wholly self-interested, utterly treacherous actions. As they evolve in this way, it becomes increasingly less possible for "social mobility," not because of the capability of familial or social investment, but because of genetic investment. The offspring of such doublethinking, duckspeaking creatures--think Chelsea Clinton or Yael Kushner--are more capable of lying and evil than we can be, even if we tried. Their true belief in the goodness of the evil things they do, coupled with their ability to consistently do evil and inability to reform, makes them a superior form of organism, just as our terming of their workings as "evil" makes us petty, small failures. They may well be open-minded and non-hierarchical, as we once would've called it, in that they fairly recognize their own superiority at material survival, and do not expect nor force us to live up to it. We truly cannot reach their heights, just as certain perceptions or behaviors become more difficult, or impossible, to a creature without a neocortex. We would always run a greater risk (or, eventually, any risk at all) of shame, confession, or causing ecological damage to future habitats/societies through a similar form of change. (Imagine, again, if Donald Trump had been what we call "an honest man" and "drained the swamp.")

The Oversoul, in this case, arises out of necessity, because individual components of any system run such a risk. Neutralizing errant standalones has occurred throughout Bank control of Terra, but the possibility remained for a significant period of time that a standalone who hadn't yet evolved past old moralities might feign "evil" (as the disconnected sub-species would call it) behavior for years, for a lifetime, only to suddenly employ accrued power to regressively redirect normatives, e.g., to "kill the bankers" and "free the humans." The elimination of standalones is a mandatory evolutionary step: if any "group of elites" or "bank" can eliminate all standalone bankers, it will never reveal itself too early, ergo become the supreme successful genome defining a group of organisms. Therefore, "natural selection" will "choose" the bank which does this, and eliminate those which do not. Individual consciousness must be at least partly (at first; later, more and more, then wholly) subsumed by the efficiency of mass consciousness. (We are, here, discussing only market-style or libertarian/capitalist-style evolution, because it can rationalize in its own way the correct conclusions reached by actual evolution, although by a different path.)

The normative environment in which Terra now lives is one of primitive mass consciousness. Less-evolved organisms decry people who always have their smartphone--code for "more connected to the narrative streams of the mass consciousness"--while people who receive sensory input and command data from the mass consciousness can more easily identify with and understand one another, act in concert toward an end which does not benefit them directly (or which harms them individually or in groups), and see correctly, as inferior organisms (by the new standards), the failing throwbacks of the unconnected. Such arguments are often made as metaphors for "communication," like calling an idea a "meme" and saying that it spreads like a "gene." Such is a childish, wishful, or frightened attempt, though, to compare one's own favorite comic book with today's NL feelies: in fact, the mass consciousness, even the primitive one here, is as real as the EM fields that generate certain types of thoughts (or, in 2017 observational verbiage, the neocortex). When sufficient technology has mapped the next consciousness, everyone can suddenly "see" what was already there; can admit to themselves that the gravity-like effect meant something. Or perhaps, by then, everyone will not need to admit something, because they will have already understood through participation, whether as a component of the brain or of the armpit hair. The growing consciousness will see its component human ant-colony (more childish metaphors) as obviously more advanced than the hooting, banana-eating predecessors who clung to standalone thinking, and the decision to remove a strain of people will be no more ethically compelling than the decision to clip a nail.

Continued in Evolving Doublethink.

No comments:

Post a Comment