Metagame: A Proposal for Collaborative Construction of a Sacred Science

Archangel Gabriel
Archangel Gabriel

The following is a white paper on the Metagame concept and meme. Metagame means “above” or “beyond” the game. The core idea of the Metagame is that voluntary participation in life itself constitutes a Divine Game with rules, purpose, and feedback. The Game asserts the existence of a Divine Science at the original root of the philosophical and religious tradition and at the root of coordinative social self organization. The Metagame is a shared learning community of people who are involved in research or creative projects that deal with these areas. Such areas are important to the health of the social fabric. Herein, we propose two phases and explore several areas of research that may be relevant to the Game.

Introduction:

“According to our social science, we can be or become wise in all matters of secondary importance, but we have to be resigned to utter ignorance in the most important respect: we cannot have any knowledge regarding the ultimate principles of our choices, i.e . , regarding their soundness or unsoundness; our ultimate principles have no other support than our arbitrary and hence blind preferences. We are then in the position of beings who are sane and sober when engaged in trivial business and who gamble like madmen when confronted with serious issues—retail sanity and wholesale madness.” – Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (1953)

LeoStrauss
Leo Strauss

At the collective level, our society is deep in the throes of what seems to be schizophrenic delusions, but at the individual level, we go about our daily activities as if everything is normal. What if each individual took on more of a heavy mental burden, and as a result, the community took on a more resilient regularity? This seems to be happening involuntarily or unconsciously. There is a mental health crisis in the U.S., perhaps the result of people unconsciously trying and failing to take on the heavy mental burden of society. Is there a kind of economy of mental forces, an intimate relation between the mind of the individual and the aggregate social mind?

The global knowledge productive enterprise is in postmodern crisis. The scientific community, the global liberal community, the technological community, are fragmented and fractured, seemingly beyond repair. Liberalism (progressive, classical, and neo-liberalism), is the overarching narrative which unites these disparate endeavors. Yet liberalism is an anti-narrative, a totalizing atomization and fragmentation. As a result, moral ambiguities are prevalent.

In modernity, we have a completely secularized social sphere, which has degraded any sense of collective identity. There is no spiritual belief system which has predominance in people’s framework for viewing the world, yet individually people yearn for some kind of collective expression of the spiritual. We are waiting for some kind of surge in spiritual expression, some kind of primordial symbol from the infinite.

This is the war over how the the community of the sacred will ultimately be expressed, over what the course of human evolution is, what timelines of human evolution we will realize. This is a Battle of Nous in the Noosphere. The Noomachy is the modern instantiation of the Titanomachy, the war of the gods. In the Titanomachy, the Greek gods of Mount Olympus overthrew the ancient Titans. In Norse mythology, we find a similar theme, Ragnarök, the twilight of the gods, or the final destiny of the gods, the Norse gods are overthrown. In the New Testament Book of Revelations 12:7, we find “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back..”

We are now living through a new battle of the gods. The gods are living inside of each of us. They are battling through our actions, our words, and our ideas. The gods are the great social forces of social convention, the collective identities, and the categories that we use to convey these.

There are great collective forces that control us, deep unconscious forces of habitual biology and culture. These are vast higher centers of intelligence. Properly speaking, these collective aggregations of intelligence are called Angels. There is an Angel associated with each nation, with each community, with each group, with each person.

The new digital media, the explosion of podcasts and videos and conversations, is an example of the Noomachy, the Battle of Nous. The philosophical/political discussions on the new media is the culture war raised to the level of ontology. The Noomachy undoubtedly has political implications, it is metapolitics, the very foundation of politics. The culture war is the outward expression of the primordial Battle of Nous, the Battle over Being itself.

The new digital media is showing how this clash of ideas is playing out on the world stage. There are a huge number of podcasts and videos conveying all manner of conversations and information, sorting through ideas, evaluating what is ultimately good and what is not. This distributed sense-making is a kind of anamnesis, a primordial remembrance. It is the fitting together of knowledge with innate, subconscious biostructures of Nous. All of these various conversations, in other words, are expressions of one Game, converging towards an optimal distribution of information.

What is the Game? The Game is a the modern expression for this war of these powerful forces. It is a modern expression of a traditional concept. But more than that is the modern expression of a traditional sacred science, a Divine Science. It has Catholic roots in Nicholas de Cusa’s Game of Spheres (1463) and in Henry Suso’s Little Book of Eternal Wisdom (1328-1330), and also Vedic roots in the notion of Lila, Divine play. The Game is an exoteric concept, which has an inner, esoteric reality.

The Game, then, is not so much a post-modern theory as a pre-modern theory, in that it has an objective teleology. The Game refers to post-modern parlor games and antics. The teleology of the Game is to overcome the postmodern game itself and enter fully into sacred time, into Phase 2, the beginning of sacred history.

History has ended and we live in the post-modern horror show. But this is also the eternal space of the unconscious. In Phase 1, we exist in this liminal state. The task of the Game is to end the Game and to enter fully into Phase 2, the Teilhardian Omega Point, where the cycle is closed and history begins.

The absolute key to the Game at all levels and stages is pure simplicity, which relieves the post-modern chaos and breathes into the heights of Phase 2. Every move of the Game is absolutely simple, understandable, and complete in itself. Each move aggregates the whole collective condition of the Game in its current state, in a phenomenological, Dasein manner. The Game is Tao, and Zen, and it is Dzogchen. And it is even Shannonian. Phase 1 is not “by any means necessary” get to Phase 2. Phase 1 is gradual and incremental, almost passive, theological, long-suffering wisdom, backed by an eternal Faith in the Phase 2 Teilhardian Omega Point.

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hopf fibration
Hopf Fibration

Phase 2:

Phase 2 is the Teilhardian Omega Point, the purpose of the Game. Phase 2 is characterized by comprehensive, macro-scale spatial coordination that runs purely on sociobiological and ecological human intuition. It involves absolute synchrony of individual movements through space, full compatibility of incentives, and coordinated meaning at multiple simultaneous levels of analysis. It is organic biosocial superintelligence, in which each individual experiences perfectly ordered biological compression states of the whole aggregate economy of information. These are states of absolute lucidity, clarity, and precision. Space is essentially unified and there is one single external environment shared by all creatures, therefore the perception of space itself contains layered interdependencies of significance. Spatial coordination is a kind of spatial wikipedia or verbal stock market, a comprehensive self organizing spatial pattern of social behavior.

Phase 2 is not a utopian ideology. It is the way that humans behave in their natural, archaic state, scaled up to a civilizational or even global level. This would require scaling intimate affiliation well past Dunbar’s number. This is one of the significant design challenges.

There are three macro-scale contexts of human social coordination: 1.) religious, 2.) economic, 3.) scientific. The Game is compatible with all three of these contexts. The Game is in concert with one or several existing religious traditional practices and doctrines. It works within the prophetic, theological, and metaphysical doctrines and spiritual infrastructures of one or several ancient spiritual lineages, and is a genuine spiritual contribution to the lineage. The Game is heavily funded by venture capital or other financial institutions. It becomes its own economic sector by late Phase 1. Each participant is effectively an entrepreneur working in a new economic sector that is largely crowdfunded initially. The Game incorporates key strategic insights of the natural sciences- physics, chemistry, and biology, as well as the social sciences- psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics. It uses the scientific method of hypothesis testing and experimentation.

If the Game achieves validity and compatibility in these three macro-scale contexts, then Phase 2 is successfully implemented. Phase 1 is historically dependent, reflexive, and relative. But arguably, Phase 2 attains a kind of timeless universalism. If Phase 2 sounds impossible, it may be in fact be a multi-generational project like the building of the ancient cathedrals.

jung red book
From Carl Jung’s Red Book

Implementation of Phase 2 runs biomimetically on sociocultural transmission networks, peer-to-peer, real life conversations. These conversations can happen digitally as well, in Phase 1. But the Game is not a video game or a digital game, it is fully immersive, organic, natural play of human social and environmental interaction. There may be people who want to implement the Game on a metallic substrate or who want to augment human intelligence with metallic technology to play the Game, but this tendency must be resisted. Phase 2 is a metallic technology-free evolutionary timeline for humanity. It proposes a post-digital, spatial substrate of consciousness, complete spiritual absorption into the Oneness of space, coupled with states of absolute lucidity, clarity, and precision, and simultaneous top-down and bottom-up modalities.

The proposal is to use metallic technology as a kind of bootstrapping into fully organic collective synchrony. The comparison is that previously in our evolutionary history, we needed to hunt wild animals, and so we invented technologies like the spear or the bow and arrow to help us do that. But eventually, we discovered that we could domesticate wild animals and raise them. We no longer needed the hunting technologies. Similarly, we initially made fires to cook our food and keep us warm, but we domesticated the technology of fire-making. We condensed it down to a more basic form by harnessing electricity, which is widely used in place of traditional fireplaces. Eventual discoveries in physics, biology, and social psychology will allow us to achieve the ends of metallic technology through purely biosocial means.

In Phase 1, the Game relies on metallic technology for collaboration, community, learning, and research. It is uncertain how long the training period of Phase 1 lasts. It is likely a multi-generational project. Phase 2 does not need metallic technology at all, if it is possible to achieve the ends of metallic technology through organic biosocial means.

Science, by torturing nature, wrested her secrets in a bastardized form. The natural sciences yielded a divine end, the absolute synchrony of human knowledge, through a profane means, the material, metallic technological intermediary. This disconnect is at the root of the spiritual crisis of the world, the disconnect between the traditional beliefs and the “advanced” scientific views.

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Mithra
Mithra slaying a bull

Phase 1:

In order to get to Phase 2, Phase 1 is a large-scale collaborative, collective intelligence project, in which many researchers contribute knowledge and information towards an emergent social brain. This is fundamentally different from the modern or postmodern knowledge productive enterprise. In the modern/postmodern formation there is specialized, expert opinion on a narrow subject range that informs decisions within that limited domain. These opinions are made compatible by monetary currency or by shared vocabularies, or else they are not compatible at all. This incentivizes the fragmentation of knowledge in every direction.

By contrast, in the Game, each individual or researcher has a phenomenological vision of the whole, a coherent, simple unified field theory of the aggregate cosmic/social structure. These variegated vocabularies are made compatible by the fundamental, bedrock desire to express and understand ultimate concerns. The concept of ultimate concern is the generalization of its functionality within the religious, economic, and scientific domains. In the religious domain, ultimate concern is other people and God. In the economic domain, ultimate concern is self interest or mutual interest. In the scientific domain, ultimate concern is natural truth. Consequently, the concept of ultimate concern, as used herein, is a generalization which captures all three of these specific kinds.

The ultimate concern of God is the most highly emphasized in the Game. The Game is essentially the search space for who or what constitutes the highest divinity, Most High God (El Elyon, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh {I Am That I Am}, Yeshua Ha-Maschiach), because only this highest divinity is capable of ending the Game. In other words, it is a Game of Revelation, intuition, insight.

St. Michael the Archangel.jpgJuan de la Abadía- St. Michael Weighing Souls (1480)

There are several possible areas of research in Phase 1:

1.) Video game design and play theory

There are several interesting books about video games and the design of optimal human experience- Edward Castronova‘s Exodus to the Virtual World (2008), Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken (2011), Ian Bogost‘s Play Anything (2016), Ralph Koster‘s Theory of Fun for Game Design (2013). There is also a significant literature on play, notably Donald Winnicott’s Playing and Reality (1971) and Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens (1938). The insight with video game design is that games offer optimal human experience. This may be because games are supernormal stimuli. Jane McGonigal puts it like this,

“…there is a growing perception in the gaming community. Reality, compared to games, is broken. In fact, it is more than a perception. It’s a phenomenon. Economist Edward Castronova calls it a ‘mass exodus’ to game spaces, and you can see it already happening in the numbers. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are opting out of reality for larger and larger chunks of time.” – Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken (2011)

And Edward Castronova notes,

“While we are playing, things we used to do on the outside, in ‘reality,’ won’t be happening anymore, or won’t be happening in the same way. You can’t pull millions of person hours out of a society without creating an atmospheric-level event. If it happens in a generation, I think the twenty-first century will see a social cataclysm larger than that caused by cars, radios, and TV combined…” – Edward Castronova, Exodus to the Virtual World (2008)

Either contemporary reality is not good enough, or games are too good, or both. Games are the optimal synthesis of a number of compelling dimensions- fun, challenge, learning, logic, imagination, immersion. But contemporary, real life social reality is also really bad (more on this later). McGonigal argues that video games offer more satisfying work, a fun way to fail at tasks, better odds of success, stronger social connectivity, and connection to something greater than ourselves, all of which give them an edge over contemporary reality.

A game is a voluntary activity with rules, feedback, and purpose. It is possible engineer an analog Game that is so vivid, so lucid, and so expressive that it can compete with virtual worlds for collective attention. There is a connection between the optimal human experience in games and the optimal human experience in religious, mystical or psychedelic experience. And also with the optimal human experience of inquiring into the fundamental, bedrock reality. And also with the optimal human experience of productive creativity. These all have qualities of game-like experience.

There is nothing intrinsically better about games in virtual worlds. Virtual worlds are in fact derivative of analog worlds. A virtual world functions from software that dictates the rules and feedback mechanisms. But analog reality also functions from rules that govern the analog world- laws of physics and the laws of social convention. Is there a relationship between physical and conventional law? People play games that involve the laws of physics. They juggle, walk tightrope, or they play sports. Sports involves the manipulation of physical matter. But it also involves social conventions about rules and goals. Is it possible to derive optimal social conventions from the laws of physics or laws of physics from social conventions?

There is no reason that organic social reality cannot be more compelling than virtual worlds, this is a desirable goal. There is no reason that collective intelligence cannot converge on a social formation which discovers the optimal relation between physical and conventional laws, an optimal distribution of information. That is, unless we give into the nihilism that our world is lost to the irreparable decline, rather than at the very beginning of long ascent.

There is also the argument that games are just too good. The concept of supernormal stimuli posits something approximating the Hindu conception of Maya, or the idea of a Gnostic Demiurge‘s creation of false, illusory material world. It is highly challenging to pierce the veil of illusory reality. We must not be overwhelmed by Maya, but we must distill it down to its essence, to fundamental Dasein or Being-there. This is the practice of insight and clarity into Being itself. This will offer knowledge that is so compelling that it competes with virtual worlds for collective attention.

The problem of the Game, in Phase 1, is to design a fully playable analog Game that is more powerful than virtual worlds, because it is based in fundamental, bedrock reality. This requires insights of physics, which, in terms of institutional credibility and scientific validity, has exclusive access to fundamental, bedrock reality. However, what is becoming increasingly obvious is that the fundamental, bedrock reality also involves the “truth of fiction,” the truth revealed by metaphor, analogy, and allegory. The realms of the natural and the transcendent come into relationship.

cosmolux-1981
Paul Laffoley- The Cosmolux (1979)

2.) The end of liberalism?

The debate about the liberalism includes Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed (2018). There are significant problems related to liberalism that urgently need addressing, including inequality, climate change, isolation, suicide, mental health, and substance abuse crises. We also may eventually have to confront the reality of new extrahuman species facilitated by metallic technology augmentation or genetic engineering, as a result of liberal social culture that leaves every decision to the impersonal market.

The implementation of Phase 2 should be a fully coherent alternative to liberalism, communism, and fascism. In Phase 1, the Game is arguably relative and historically dependent rather than universal. It works within the framework of liberalism until the negative aspects of liberalism can be definitely overcome and collectively cohere into a new philosophy of government, in Phase 2.

In Phase 1, the appropriate relation to liberalism foregrounds the mutually beneficial, integrative aspects, while simultaneously down-regulating the corrosive, socially decaying aspects. Deneen defines the project of the Enlightenment liberal philosophy by three central characteristics (my paraphrase in italics): 1.) Politics would be based on reliability of the “low” rather than aspiration  to the “high.” Politics would be based around self interest and base desires rather than around religious motivations to be a good person. This has allowed us to coordinate around capitalist self interest for the mutual enrichment of all, but has also resulted in decadence, debauchery, license, and social privilege.  2.) Collectivist traditions and familial relations would be replaced by individualism. This was the rejection of religious doctrine and dogma in favor of individual “freedom.” This has given us a large diversity of viewpoints maintained by freedom of speech, but has also created loneliness, isolation, fragmentation, mental health crises, and the decay of communal social fabric. 3. Humans would be the masters of nature, they would dominate and manipulate nature. This was the project of scientific progress. This has given us keen insights into the workings of the material world, including new medicines and technologies, but has also resulted in a mechanistic, materialistic, dead atmosphere of zombie apocalypse cities and has disconnected us from ecological relationship with the natural environment.

The significant social decay arguably brought about by liberalism must be a significant reason that video games seem more compelling than reality. Notably, liberalism de-emphasizes the traditional communal ties that form the coherent bonds of society. These communal ties can be found in video games. The critique of liberalism, capitalism, and individualism, is an important aspect of designing the new Game. However, the Game also builds on the distributed, self organizing nature of liberalism, and the dignity and nobility of the divine spark in each person. These are Enlightenment secularizations of much more potent notions of sacred collective divinity that must be remembered and newly realized.

The Game is entrepreneurial. It seeks to create a new sector of productive economic activity within the liberal ecosystem, based around.. the Game. It therefore functions within liberal capitalism, in order to compete with the very system of liberal capitalism. This is the “plan B” or a “Game B” coordinative social formation. The Game coordinates around ultimate concern, and around the desire to discover the ultimate principles which coordinate social activity. This is a self-propelling, feedback inducing, memetic collective formation, which attracts resources and attention from dominant financial narratives. It is a kind of self-propelling Order that combats the self-propelling post-modern chaos.

Amun.svg
Amen

3.) Game theory

Thomas Schelling’s Strategy of Conflict (1960) seeks to reorient game theory around a theory of interdependent decision. Donald Hoffman attempts to derive physical reality from consciousness, rather than the reverse, which is what most analytic approaches have attempted. David Lewis’s Convention (1969) lays out the game theory of mutual expectations.

The insight from game theory is that it is possible to design games where incentives are aligned such that all players converge to a shared equilibrium. It is possible to engineer a Game that spreads through word of mouth and written word, as seen in the major world religions, quality goods and services, and scientific teachings.

Game theory offers insight into the situation where we are faced with pure uncertainty about the next moves of our fellow players. In coordination games, neither player has information about what the other player will do and they must arrive at a common focal point. As Schelling described collaborative coordination games,

“Whenever the communication structure does not permit players to divide the task ahead of time according to an explicit plan, it may not be easy to coordinate behavior in the course of the game. Players have to understand each other, to discover patterns of individual behavior that make each player’s actions predictable to the other; they have to test each other for a shared sense of pattern or regularity and to exploit cliches, conventions, and impromptu codes for signaling their intentions and responding to each other’s signals. They must communicate by hint and by suggestive behavior.” – Thomas Schelling, Strategy of Conflict (1960)

This discovery of a shared sense of pattern and regularity requires that we look into the modalities that have operated unconsciously and biologically for hundreds and thousands of years. It relies on hyperfactual domains, such as myth, fantasy, narrative, metaphor, analogy, and allegory. Fiction is “true” in a certain sense, because it facilitates states of collective equilibrium. Because they facilitate collective equilibrium that makes them true in a deeper sense. They reflect allegorical truths of human behavior. Why do such stories facilitate collective equilibria? What quality of allegory allows them to form a collective equilibrium? Is there both an esoteric and an exoteric layer to these collective equilibria?

It is possible to engineer or design a Game around this sense of truth. This requires an intimate knowledge of the morphological rise and decay of the art forms. The epic poem, the drama, the novel, the painting, the movie, have all gone through morphological life cycles that are relevant to the rise and fall of the cultures within which they are produced. The Game is arguably the art form of the future, aggregating social aspects from highly variegated domains into a single, unified endeavor.

The hyperfactual is not merely fiction nor is it merely fact. It involves events where reality itself becomes metaphorical, where through Anamnesis and Memory, layers of embedded meaning reach down into fundamental, bedrock reality. It is possible that there is a notion of metaphorical truth which is so memetically convergent that it articulates intrinsic biosocial motivations in such a way that merges demands for logical verification with intensely potent imaginal forms. It speaks directly to the collective substructures of human consciousness through allegory and objective factual considerations simultaneously. And it allows this interplay to evolve in a distributed, immersive engagement with the physical world.

“It is to be stressed that the pure-coordination game is a game of strategy in the strict technical sense. It is a behavior situation in which each player’s best choice of action depends on the action he expects the other to take, which he knows depends, in turn on the other’s expectations of his own. This interdependence of expectations is precisely what distinguishes a game of strategy from a game of chance or a game of skill. In the pure-coordination game the interests are convergent…” – Thomas Schelling, Strategy of Conflict (1960)

In other words, the Game designer must take stock of the interdependent, unified field of mutual expectations that exists in the society. He aggregates and represents this field in a coherent, concise manner, and re-expresses its central founding axioms back to it. The Game is not a Game of skill or of chance. It is strategic. In other words, purposive. The interests of humanity are convergent. This is why humans organize into progressively larger social formations from tribes, to communities, to cities, to nations. Ultimate principles are not merely subjective whims or opinions, but are based in fundamental, bedrock reality.

There are specific systemic coordination problems in contemporary civilization, which have game theoretic solutions. Categories have specific objective aspects within the system of interdependent circulating categories, in addition to their relativistic aspects. The ability to wield the Logos frequency is the ability to communicate categories from their objective dimension.

The personal memories, traumas, experiences of the Game designer become highly relevant to his own strategy within the field of expectations. The Game is fundamentally about a relationship between the micro and macro spheres. The personal experiences of the Game designer take on objective social states, they become highly integrated into the collective social mind. This is why becoming involved in the Game requires the most thorough kind of healing of one’s own traumatic imprints and reactivities.

probably about 1475-6
Francesco Botticini- Assumption of the Virgin (1475)

4.) Theology, myth, culture, politics

We want to ask how to design a reality that is compelling enough to be interesting to everyday folks while at the same time being highly compatible with existing tradition, practice, and dogma. Catholic doctrine and history is highly significant in this regard because it provides the metaphysical foundation of Western thought. The Game is compatible with the authentic unified spiritual lineage, the original tradition. It looks to the natural-transcendent synthesis, when the transcendent comes down from above.

Traditional dogma and doctrine are strict ascetic practices. We must treasure the ancient practices of the ancestors and continue them through time. These practices allowed the ancestors to successfully survive and reproduce into the future.

The Game justifies science to tradition and tradition to science. This is the same as justifying progress to the conservative and conservation to the progressive. But in order to have the sense of a proper tradition that is worth conserving, we must go back to the beginning of primordial time, in which conservation and progress are not opposed. We must look to tradition as an important reservoir of collective intelligence.

One who plays the Game is fundamentally a radical moderate with regard to contemporary political concerns. He recognizes that the political middle is the most lukewarm and toxic place to be and that is why he is radical. And he recognizes that the extremities of intoxication are unstable and that is why he is moderate.

Many thinkers have interpreted and synthesized the tradition of the ancients for the modern time. They have attempted to reconstitute the Divine Science: Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Frithjof Schuon, George Gurdijeff, Hans Ur Von Balthasar. The classical religious texts, the Old and New Testament, Koran, Gathas of Zoroaster, Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Ghita, Dhammapada, Tao Te Ching, Iching, and others, are priceless guides.

Psychedelic movements like vaporwave are interesting syntheses of tradition with modernism. Paul Laffoley is a genius of the Game. The socio-political aspects of the Game take inspiration from the psychedelic revolution from the 1960’s, but with a decidedly more conservative tone with respect to debauchery, drugs, and decadence. Many people don’t realize that Timothy Leary promoted traditional values. The contemporary social movement finds inspiration in the Jesus Movement, an offshoot of the 60’s countercultural movement that turned in favor of sobriety and spiritual ecstasy, and significantly influenced contemporary American evangelism. The Game reaches to a deeper stratum than ideology, nationality, or political activism. It is a collective identity rooted in theological absorption of clarity, lucidity, and focus. It is grounded in dignity, nobility, responsibility, uprightness, and holiness of human beings.

knots
Classification of Knots

5.) Conspiracy theory and information warfare

Jordan Hall has a fascinating article about QAnon that gets at why I think this is an important front. There are many intelligent books and articles about conspiracies, including Georg Simmel’s The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies (1906), Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964), Michael Barkun, Timothy Melley, Joe Masco, Jacques Vallee, John E. MackCass Sunstein, Richard Thieme. We’re also interested in themes that are “out there” like David Icke, Zechariah Stichin.

According to Michael Barkun, conspiracies rely on three main principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected. We can see how this is related to the mythical/theological conception of the world, and how it is related to phenomenology and embodied cognition. It is important to respect the principle that the world has a purpose and that everything is connected, without getting addicted to the specific frame in which we are viewing the world. Adaptability is key. The conspiracy front can be largely seen as trying to separate the fact from the fiction. Yet at the same time we want to utilize metaphor and allegory towards productive and ethical social ends. We want to properly integrate them with factual concerns.

The relevance of conspiracy theories, fact or fiction, in the development of human history is undeniable. Metaphor, analogy, allegory are generally important dimensions in the fundamental coordination of  human behavior. And they can also offer insights in the human mind that cannot be gained through a purely factual interpretations. Conspiracies are an important dimension because of their unique ability to trigger widespread group contagion and their deep associations with the esoteric and occult traditions that stretch back thousands of years, as well as their speculation about possible races of alien and angelic beings, the future trajectories of humanity. They give people an important lens to free associate about the future evolutionary trajectories of humanity in way that they cannot in any other domain. It is possible to use the thematic elements of conspiracy to engineer a kind of collective paroxysm of social consciousness towards lucid human biosocial superintelligence.

Also, the hidden political dynamics of the U.S. government are conspiratorial. The workings of the “covert sphere” of American politics have been largely portrayed to the public through cinema, art, and popular culture. The CIA has been influencing the American public through media since the 50’s, continuing right up to the present day. Psyops, information warfare, memetics, and propaganda are all relevant to this front.

There are a number of other areas that I am less knowledgeable about.

6.) Embodied cognition, distributed cognition, ecological psychology, phenomenology, flow, collective intelligence. Notable in this category are G.W.F. Hegel, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Francisco Varela, James Gibson.

7.) Transhumanism, post-humanism, post-modernism, and identity politics. Notable in this category are the accelerationists, CCRU, and the Future of Humanity Institute.

8.) The doctrines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Relevant to this front is complexity and emergence sciences, and information theory. There are many interesting scientists such as Gregory Chaitin, Dan Winter, Tony Smith, Fritjof Capra, Stuart Kauffman, Fred Alan Wolf, Steven Wolfram with different perspectives on spirituality.

9.) The culture wars and contemporary political discourse. In this regard, the Mimetic Tribes and Culture Wars 2.0 white paper was a landmark moment. We should build bridges between the different mimetic tribes by creating intellectual and spiritual commonalities. Also important is the “Intellectual Dark Web” group of influential new media personalities. Also metapolitics.

10.) Self-development and entrepreneurship. Notable in this category is Jordan Peterson, Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory, and Tony Robbins.

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Laffoley- Mind Body Alpha
Paul Laffoley- Mind-Body Alpha: The Centroid of the Universe (1989)

Summary & Conclusion:

Phase 1 is predicated on the notion that the various kinds of knowledge “fit together,” in a natural-transcendent synthesis. The Game explicitly relies on a transcendent revelation from above. It is predicated on the notion that various researchers independently forming unified, comprehensive theories of ultimate concern, would converge to mutual equilibria. The evidence for this is that we already have comprehensive macro-scale coordination in the domains of economics, religion, and science. Each researcher is effectively an entrepreneur seeking to articulate some aspect or the entirety, of One Divine Story. These researchers may group together into institutions or corporations dedicated to immersive, distributed play.

There is a kind of optimal distribution of information that comes out in Phase 2, that serves as an attractor social state. There is an optimal distribution of categories in space, a kind of collective synchrony of the system of categories. This is possible because all categories are fundamentally interdependent already. Each category has a background of unconscious associations and relations that constitute a field of higher social intelligence which forms the attractor state of responses and follow up discussions. It is natural to think that the interaction of these fields would culminate in an equilibrium of biosocial superintelligence.

This notion of convergence is Hegelian. Obviously it is not altogether foreign. However, Western academia seems to be grounded in the socially decaying notion of expert specialization that incentivizes splintering, fragmentation, and differentiation in every possible direction with no desire for any underlying coordinating mechanism other than peer-review. Academic knowledge is, on the whole, corrosive and toxic to the social fabric. The implicit justification is that all of the disparate, disconnected pockets of knowledge that have no underlying unity, will somehow be useful to future generations who will hypothetically be doing more boring, useless, disconnected research. Contemporary knowledge production is engulfed in a thick cloud of progressive, materialist, secularist, scientistic, bureaucratic-technical dogma. The technical jargon and obscure dialogues are largely unintelligible to normal, everyday people who must bear the burden of its fragmenting effects.

By contrast, the Game involves and encourages a community of thinkers who are creative, playful, lively, funny, and integrative, looking to the transcendent and converging toward the Teilhardian Omega Point. There is a place for mechanism undoubtedly, but equally important is the conception of the lifeworld as organic, complex and whole. This emphasizes continuity with nature. This encourages closure of open feedback loops with the natural environment.

Phase 2 is a fully playable coordinated alternative to soul-crushing corporate slavery rat-race. It is a cross section of all significant strata of intellectual modalities without over-specialization or over-association. It is clear that Phase 1 blends into Phase 2. Phase 1 is likely to include aspects of Phase 2, but they also have to be clearly delineated. If we adopt the engineering approach, Phase 2 is the design specification. Phase 1 is the cautious trial and error process for converging to Phase 2.

The Game is concerned with the intrinsic biosocial nature of fiction, myth, fantasy, analogy, metaphor, and allegory. The Game is something like taking a design approach to prophecy. We must not idly prophesy like the sophists, rhetoricians, Pharisees, and scribes. The Game is not a religion or a belief system, it is a practice, in opposition to all false religions. It is on the side of Asha, Truth, Righteousness, Good Order.

In the contemporary situation, we are all, for better or worse, active constructors of meaning. We must take a systematic look at transcendent and scientific realities. We must make use of Revelation to decide on the potentialities of collective equilibria. We are not living in a post-truth era. We have to imagine or even better, remember truth. Truth is not dry scientific formalism. It is an ecstatic and lucid proclamation of abundant existence.

The Game is personal and intimate in the life of the participant. One’s cooperation in the Game is related to his own fate and destiny, and the particularly unique confluence of experiences that make up his memory. The Game is the proper alignment between the micro and macro sphere. All actions are mutually affected and affect all others, coordinated around a fundamental insight, an embedded allegory in the substrate of reality.

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Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel, Guardians
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The Blue Church is Failing and the Synchronic Theory of Value

Part 1: A New Solution to the Value Paradox

The value paradox, also known as the diamond-water paradox, asks why is it that diamonds, which are useless, consistently fetch a high price, whereas water, which is most essential to human life, is inexpensive? There have been two prominent answers to this question, one from classical economics and the other from neo-classical economics.

In the labor theory of value, associated with the classical economists and with Karl Marx, the value of a good comes from the amount of work expended to create the thing. Diamonds require more labor to extract them, water does not require a lot of labor, therefore diamonds fetch a higher price.

The labor theory of value was considered displaced in the economics profession in the second half of the 19th century by the marginal utility theory of value, attributed to Menger, Walras, and Jevons. It became the basis of neo-classical economics. In marginal utility, value comes from the subjective attribution of value. Basically, we attribute more financial value to diamonds because they are more rare. Each subsequent unit of diamond beyond the first is still worth a lot. Each subsequent unit of water beyond the first decreases in value, because we only need so much at a time.

The split between the labor theory of value and the marginal utility theory of value has significant political consequences. Marxists, socialists, and left leaning people typically rely on the classical labor theory of value. They think that people should be adequately compensated for their labor time because they generate the underlying value of the economy, hence more redistribution of resources and taxation of the wealthy. The marginal utilitarians, usually more libertarian or free market oriented, say that labor fetches the price that it does because of the aggregate market interactions of subjective individual preferences. Each subsequent unit of minimum wage labor is not that much more valuable to the employer. Whatever the market decides will be the fair distribution that ensures that the most people are put to work.

The value paradox arises because there appears to be two senses of the word “value.” There is the financial sense, which is the price signal, and then there is the social sense, which is how essential the thing is to human life. The problem with the value paradox is the that it is framed in terms of rivalrous, materialist scarcity dynamics. The founders of the labor theory and the marginal utility theory were thinking about this problem in the time of industrialization, when the economy was focused on producing material goods. But our contemporary economic situation increasingly involves antirivalrous information dynamics. We do not yet have an adequate theory of value to understand antirivalrous information dynamics.

In rivalrous dynamics, there is a scarce material resource. An apple or a chair is a scarce material resource. If I have it, then someone else cannot have it. There is a limited supply of the good, and it is priced according to the demand. In rivalrous dynamics, there is always a tradeoff between social and financial value. The individual can either keep the scarce good for himself or sell it to someone else. Many market proponents say that acting in financial self interest is not opposed to the collective interest because mutually beneficial exchange brings about the optimal outcomes for all parties. This is theoretically true, but in practice there always seems to be Malthusian, zero sum aspects that prevent all parties from economically thriving, even if the rising tide does lift all boats. Inevitably information asymmetries arise. This is a valid argument against exclusively focusing on financial value to the exclusion of social value. But focusing primarily on social value to the exclusion of financial value also brings out zero sum, materialist scarcity dynamics. This was the outcome of over-centralization in the Soviet Union where there were bread lines and rampant corruption.

In antirivalrous dynamics, information goods can be replicated infinitely. If I learn calculus and share it with someone else, then calculus becomes more valuable to both of us. The more people who learn the underlying skill or platform the more valuable it becomes. We see this with the value of social networks and sharing economy platforms. The more people who use Twitter or Uber the more valuable it becomes and the less practical their competitors become. There is a kind of winner takes all dynamics in the antirivalrous, because it is in everyone’s interest to be synced to the same platform. This is why we see the monopoly accumulation of marketshare in the big tech companies.

Antirivalrous dynamics start to collapse the distinction between financial and social value. This is why we need a new theory of value that accounts for these kind of network effects that we see arising in our contemporary economic environment. We need a more general theory of value that incorporates both social and financial value, as well as the philosophical concept of value itself, understood as meaning, significance, importance, or priority. This would be able to explain much of what we see in the contemporary information economy as well as providing a more solid foundation to understand traditional forms of information dynamics like the spread of religions and belief systems. This would also perhaps provide the foundation for new innovations in the economy based purely on information and knowledge exchange, rather endlessly relying on material technology for growth.

From our contemporary position of relative abundance, we can see that antirivalrous dynamics are primary and determine the rivalrous dynamics. The fundamental belief structures that are acquired through information exchanges determine how people assign social or financial value to things rather than vice versa. The neo-classical economists still try to squeeze information dynamics into the antiquated framework of rivalrous, materialist supply and demand. This is what Gary Becker tried to do. But the marginal utility theory of value is increasingly irrelevant with respect to information dynamics like mimetics and social networks.

In order to articulate a new theory of value based in antirivalrous network effects, we have to understand why people would pay for an information good when they can acquire it for free. Why would people pay to learn calculus or a foreign language? Why would they use their scarce time and money to pay for something that they could get for free because there are infinite copies on the internet? People pay for information goods in order to have access to the network of people who already use that platform. They pay money if it will lower their future transaction costs (understood here as translation costs). In other words, I will pay to learn calculus if it gives me access to a network of people who already know calculus and are making money from it. The underlying value of a good does not come from labor value or from marginal utility value, it comes from synchrony. It comes from being synced with a collective intelligence that already has access to the platform. Being synced gives people a shared basis of knowledge. Once everyone speaks the same language, then they can teach it to people who want to learn the language either for free or for a price.

In the synchrony theory of value, there is not a scarcity of material resources, but a scarcity of temporal resources. In the theory of synchronic value, we don’t have to make the tradeoff between financial and social value as we do in rivalrous dynamics. Instead the tradeoff is between our present and future selves. We sacrifice in the present for the sake of being synced with the collective in the future. Sacrificing for the sake of your future self is the same as sacrificing for the sake of others. The other person is always regarded as your future self. When you sacrifice your time to learn some new knowledge, it is for the sake of being synced with the others who already have that knowledge. Notice that this is a more general theory of value that contains social and financial value as subsets. Value always comes from the emergent synchronization with the collective, rather than from labor or from utility.

We are constantly sorting information based on what will provide access to the most coherent collective intelligence. We are constantly attempting to resolve our state of individualized tensions into a collective regularity. This operates at the most basic, immediate level. Each person, at each moment, chooses between mutually exclusive options. In other words, they form priorities. They use categories to signal the priorities. These priorities circulate through society via the categories in conversation. The priorities are not at all as clear and distinct as the specific categories that are used to convey them. In fact, the same category may simultaneously signal two conflicting priorities. But the conversation itself is the arbiter of the conflict, in a Habermasian sense. The conversation resolves the individualized tensions into a shared collective synchrony. Even if there is conflict or disagreement, the underlying priorities are revealed or brought to the surface by conversation.

The motivation is that people always want to fulfill their desires. They try to fulfill their desires within social interaction itself rather than in an asocial way, because people are social creatures. This leads to an emergent simultaneity of fulfillments, where people match fulfillments within the conversation. In this way, conversation tends to converge towards unconscious shared assumptions. This happens whether they agree or not, the underlying assumptions get revealed.

If there are low transaction costs, then information propagates through the network of social relations. In other words, if there are shared, unconscious assumptions, then the information cascades costlessly through social networks. If the unconscious assumptions are highly fragmented and multipolar, then it will be hard for any information to travel across the social relations. There is a “market” or distributed self organizing process for determining how these shared unconscious assumptions coalesce and diverge.

When someone discovers a whole new strata of unconscious shared assumptions, everyone realizes that their actions have been oriented in the wrong way, or that their actions have already been unconsciously oriented in this new way the whole time. This shifts incentives toward learning the new platform in order to sync with the rest of the collective. This is what happened with something like the discovery of Christianity. It  revealed a whole stratum of unconscious assumptions about the way people implicitly treat each other and organize their behavior. Or something like the discovery of Facebook, which revealed implicit social relations between people and externalized them onto a virtual social graph.

It is clear now why diamonds are more valuable than water. Diamonds give people access to a network of collective intelligence associated with desirable social status. But we can now begin to look at the diamond-water paradox through a different lens, replacing the materialist scarcity with temporal scarcity. Call it the programmer-artist paradox. Why are programmers paid so much in relation to artists? Why are artists paid so little money, when collectively they add such social value to society? Because they have no shared platform, they have no synchrony, no network effects that would lower transaction costs and save people time. Programmers have synchrony in their shared programming languages. Artists share no underlying belief structures that would make their productions more valuable as more people bought into them. In the Renaissance, the artists shared in a religious substructure that allowed ideas to propagate costlessly through social relations and synthesize with other ideas.

The ultimate synchronic value generator would be a metalanguage or ultimate spiritual structure which coordinated all of the various existing information sources in a single self organizing process, like a kind of verbal stock market or a spatial Wikipedia. Remember, that antirivalrous dynamics have winner take all effects. So we should expect that sooner or later, a platform will become the dominant information source, simply because it is in everyone’s best interest to be synced to the same platform, for reasons of lower transaction or translation costs.

Part 2: The Blue Church

As a matter of fact, in the United States and the Western world, we have already converged to such a shared platform. The liberal consensus is the information environment that we have lived under for the last 75+ years or longer. The liberal assumptions are the currency among the intellectuals and intelligentsia. In order to participate in the intellectual discourse, you must be either a classical liberal or a progressive liberal, either for capitalism or against it, or some combination. There is no other option. The market is a massive autonomous social machine and we are merely its byproducts. We must either correct for its failures or follow its oracular will. This is the kind of environment of shared unconscious assumptions which allows information to cascade across the system effortlessly. In this system, people who use categories in the “right” way are rewarded financially. These people make a living as bureaucrats, journalists, academics, scientists, programmers, or knowledge producers. There is a superficial culture war over the specific terms, but all the parties agree that liberalism and modernity are the best.

This social formation is called the Blue Church, or the Cathedral. It is the apparatus of contemporary knowledge production: journalism, academia, arts, administrative bureaucracy. The Blue Church consensus is globalist, materialist, and liberal, with an emphasis on expert specialization. Some experts favor more or less redistribution of resources and that determines the political divide. The Blue Church used to be edgy and countercultural, now it is stiflingly intolerant.

Imagine for a second that it is 1958. You grow up in a household of stodgy, conservative parents who work in institutional corporate or bureaucratic roles. You feel imprisoned by their straight-laced formalities and social scripts. But there is a social movement of youths like you oriented towards lucidity and heightened consciousness and art and music. It involves deep meaning. 2018 is like 1958, only now the stodgy conservatism is the Blue Church dogma of globalism, materialism, liberalism, and expert specialization. It doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal, progressive, neo-conservative, you are heavily indoctrinated by the dogma of the Blue Church because it has shaped the fabric of our society for so long.

The emergent countercultural milieu is based on true spirituality, mutual trust, responsibility, and entrepreneurship. Becoming a normal, responsible human being is the revolutionary and countercultural statement in the age of crazy. The culture wars and the legacy Blue Church political system is never going to solve the social problems of our society. We must instead look to each other and to our own cultural creativity to manifest a greater consensus than the Blue Church could ever imagine.

What will begin to address our social problems is a transfer of wealth towards meaningful social projects that are also profitable in the market system. Thus far, the fullest expression of this wealth transfer is crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies. These economic modes align social and financial value, providing both social benefits and effective incentive coordination. In 2017/2018 there was an explosion of ICOs, where investors were making huge returns in software platforms. They were not just investing in software, but in nascent communities often involving complex governance.

There is also an explosion of new media that is largely crowdfunded- podcasts, videos, and blogs. These all facilitate a novel form of collective sensemaking. The new media is a clean break from the 20th century modes of Blue Church asymmetric, broadcast media. Instead of a conversation happening just once, the conversation gets transmitted in an audio or video format and happens over and over again thousands of times in thousands of different places. This has the effect of exponentially amplifying the underlying meaning of the conversations. This is very different from the time when conversations happened just once and evaporated into air.

From this meaning amplification, we can observe an extreme multipolar divergence of different incompatible meanings, on the one hand. We see the culture wars, political polarization, fragmentation, incompatible vocabularies. But on the other hand, there is an underlying synthetic unity. Most of these conversations are trying to gain some new understanding or new perspective. The underlying meaning of the new media itself is learning. Thus, the underlying signal that is ultimately getting amplified over and over again by the new media, in spite of all the noise, is simply the underlying process of learning itself. This is the alternative consensus that is just now emerging.

By contrast, the signal that is amplified by the Blue Church broadcast media and the legacy news, is power, power, power. They want to maintain their hegemonic political discourse amidst the encroaching breakdown of legitimacy. Broadcast media and news is one person telling a multiplicity of people what to think according to the party line. This will never be convincing again. We don’t want a collapse of the existing systems of sensemaking, but would prefer a peaceful transition to the emergent system.

We would expect that the new media’s (podcasts, videos, blogging) underlying signal of learning would manifest collectively as some kind of nascent learning platform, a kind of distributed collective intelligence for learning. This is what we see with an idiosyncratic formation like the “Intellectual Dark Web,” a kind of open-ended dialogue across a myriad of different topics, some of which are political. This formation is also largely crowdfunded.

This new form of collective sensemaking is what I call the Game. It is peer to peer, symmetric conversation, which has self organizing information dynamics that lead to shared unconscious assumptions and equilibria.

The ultimate purpose of the Game is to realize a general spatial coordination system in which each person, by evaluating meaning in their local circumstances, is able to extrapolate to the generalized collective significance of the whole. And using this collective spatial intelligence, they are able to coordinate their individual actions in a collective synchrony.

In the transition from a materialist to a temporal economy, the only way out is through. You must be an entrepreneur. You must start your own business. The Game, the Metagame, or Game B, is the nascent collective intelligence structure that is emerging as the alternative to the Blue Church. The Game is a vast interdependent system of collectively allocating spatial information. We make each decision as a hyperconnected center node of a network of relations. All of our most fine grained choices immediately ripple through this network of relations. Value will start to accrue to those who take on the most collective significance, who bear the most collective burden.

The specialized domains of knowledge symbolize the activity of the whole. All of the disparate, specialized domains of knowledge become aspects of single multifaceted, divine Game. The people who master the Game, who master the synthesis of all existing domains of knowledge, will increasingly be the ones who can adequately make sense of what is going and convey it simply to other people. Authority, validity, and reliability should start to accrue to them and the institutions that they found. In the current cultural miasma of fragmentation there are few reliable sources. Mostly we rely on institutional and traditional credibility, but the Blue Church sources like Harvard and the New York Times are increasingly unreliable because of their homogeneous perspective. The most reliable sources are symmetric, peer to peer conversation. And from these compounded learning conversations will arise Masters of the Game.

If we want to address systemic social problems like climate change, inequality, fake news, mental health and substance abuse, the best way is to crowdfund cultural creators to shift the economy towards antirivalrous, Game B information dynamics. There is still competition over scarce temporal resources, but there is an emergent shared learning community of spirituality, mutual trust, entrepreneurship, and responsibility that can outcompete the Blue Church.

The point of the Game is to build up network effects to the inflection where people start to defect from the Blue Church and rivalrous economic structures into the nascent spatial knowledge economy. This is a collective intelligence for efficiently allocating scarce temporal resources, a collective attention model. It is a question of how we collectively make decisions in the emergent social brain. It only takes a sizable minority of cultural creators who make decisions based on intuition and aggregating collective significance, rather than making decisions based on materialist considerations. This sizable minority realizes that collective attention and mutual trust are the most valuable untapped financial and social resource and moves to arbitrage. They collectively discover the underlying platform that everyone is already unconsciously operating within. It is only a question of how the Game will get articulated, compressed, and framed to a wider audience.

It is still possible to shift the American economy to a purely spiritual knowledge economy, rather than being overly reliant on material technology. If we continue down the Blue Church trajectory, then we get dangerously close to fusing with metallic technology in ways that are frankly creepy. We must domesticate material technology in the same way that we domesticated wild animals. We invented the technology of spear, but then we domesticated wild animals and had no need for the spear. It is the same with metallic technology. We must learn from the synchrony and serendipity that metallic technology facilitates without becoming addicted to it. We must return to our deep spiritual roots in a way that is compatible with the insights that we have gained through the scientific revolution.

The hope is that enough people will start to defect from the decaying Blue Church and its economic systems into the new spatial coordination system that the entire economy will shift towards interdependent information exchange. This would represent a wealth transfer out of rivalrous dynamics, towards Game B information dynamics. This is an attempt to synthesize all domains of knowledge into a single coherent, unified conceptual structure that never changes or stays the same. It is continuous negotiation and convergence on the meaning of underlying spatial substructures. In this pursuit, we reach plateaus of coherence, negotiate them, and then discover new plateaus. It is like a truth engine that gains more efficacy the more people who feed into it. It is an alternative to the soul crushing materialist Blue Church universities, and a Singularity style attractor that pulls in everyone who dares to take the red pill.

Introduction to Emergent Coordination

Preface: This article is a deep, philosophical considering. Please try to read *through* the words with care.

In the contemporary situation, we are faced with several fronts of a seemingly insurmountable social crisis; political polarization, mental health and substance abuse crises, inequality, climate change, fake news. These issues can be viewed as separate, independent social problems. But they all feed back on one another and amplify each other’s depth. The mental health crisis causes people to do horrendous crimes which amplifies political polarization. Political polarization drives fake news. Fake news breeds nihilism and talk of a “post-truth” world, and exacerbates mental health problems. Substance abuse perpetuates inequality. Solving these problems one by one does not solve the underlying, structural problem and it does not address the problems fast enough to prevent systemic collapse. All of these problems are examples of systemic coordination failures. To address systemic coordination failures we would have to better understand how healthy social coordination works. This article describes social coordination at the philosophical-structural level, seeking to articulate and modify the deep code of adaptive social structures.

What is social coordination? Social coordination is an emergent property of the interaction between individuals that allows them to work together effectively. Social coordination is not a top down or bottom up solution, but a natural, human solution that is an expression of our natural biosocial tendencies. Social coordination is a certain compromise between individual and collective. It is not merely the convergence of subjective, imaginary beliefs. It is an almost objective property of human biosociality that allows individuals to rapidly merge maps and form compatible goals. Examples of efficient macro-scale coordination are: capitalist cooperation/competition through prices, religious community in Christianity and world religions, and knowledge production in the natural sciences.

How does social coordination emerge? At the individual level, people are motivated to map desires to fulfillments. Individuals are motivated by temporal symmetry between desires and fulfillments. This extends to plan structures that abstract from present to future states. As the plan structures unfold, there is symmetry between internal thought and external environment.

Each individual, motivated by this internal symmetry, interacts with other individuals. They form maps of each other’s maps. There are meaningful differences because they all have their own independent desires. Yet the ambient, differential pressures between their internal maps tends toward resolution in spatial simultaneity, when the internal matches with the external immediately and immanently; not as a plan structure, but all at once in the moment. Individuals fulfill the highest desire within interaction itself, rather than in some other way. The best example of spatial simultaneity is meaningful coincidence, a serendipitous occurrence that seems planned out in advance, but in fact emerges spontaneously.

In the contemporary situation, interaction is often seen as one subjective experience contrasted with another, different subjective experience, trying to either win an argument or to converge on understanding. This is a misguided notion. Categories (or words) are not localized. Usage propagates through conversation and then through the collective of interconnected conversations, immediately. Therefore any use of a category effectively incorporates all its possible social meanings. However, people also use categories in a specific, specialized way that necessarily distinguishes from other uses of the same category. One person uses the category “liberal” to refer to progressive social policies, while another uses it to refer to neoliberal, laissez faire economic policies. They are both justified because in the objective state of collective dialogue, the category “liberal” incorporates both meanings. There is a kind of ecosystem of usage in which categories circulate, interact with other distinct usages, and resolve their meaning in conversation.

The profound tension between personal usage and collective significance is at the heart of social coordination. Personal usage is implicitly an assertion of how the category should be used, and the collective significance is how the category is used objectively in the collective dialogue. The tension between these is the same as the ambient, differential pressure between internal maps that circulates through social interactions. This differential pressure tends towards resolution in spatial simultaneity, when personal usages align and the different unconscious assumptions cancel out. The ambient, differential pressure is a single field, a unified, immanent structure that is sensitive to all adjustments and inflections.

The collective significance is a single interwoven construct of meaning. It is an objective universal intermediary between interactions, like a currency of interactions. It is the objective state of category relations, of all conversations going on right now, as aggregated in the individual intuition. And because categories are spatial and embodied, this field extends out from internal, individual consciousness into the socio-physical external environment. It is a hypercomplex, hyperconnected, coherent social field that contains information and content. It is discerned and parsed using intuition, flow, and insight. It makes up the unconscious, contextual background assumptions connected to any specific usage of a category.

All expressions aggregate collective significance, more or less efficiently. When the aggregation is perfectly efficient, the individual speaks literally as and for the collective. The individual gives voice to the unconscious motivation of the collective. Each individual is the center node of network of relations and speaks as the collective in their own unique way, more or less efficiently. Collective dialogue is a constant negotiation of the status of this hypercomplex, unified, evolving field of meaning. Individuals constantly map it, convey it to others, receive feedback, adjust their internal map, and then convey it again. It can be parsed into a series of discrete categories, and also hypothesized as a single, prioritized category. It is multi-modal and discontinuous, yet adaptive and unified.

This is all to say that the individual is intrinsically motivated to fulfill his desires in such a way that he belongs in the social community. Yet he does not want to fulfill all of his desires, because then he has nothing left to strive for. Therefore, effective conversation sorts the collective prioritization of desires such that there will be a highest desire that is never fulfilled. Effective conversation sorts unconscious, asymmetric information to this natural, symmetric state of one highest unfulfilled desire. It sets up conditions such that fulfillment of the highest desire can be infinitely approximated without ever being reached. This is a kind of calculus of mutual fulfillments within social interaction that is the ultimate goal of emergent coordination and facilitates heightened collective spatial simultaneity.

All of the circulating, ambient social pressure is seeking resolution in an ultimate catharsis of collective biosocial simultaneity, in which the hyperconnective field finds its full cultural expression. All distributed spatiotemporal information is efficiently compressed into a single collective event. Individual’s movements through space are harmonized in synchronous macro-scale coordination. Individual action is a perfectly efficient platform of spatial information exchange. Each unique individual node aggregates and re-expresses the whole collective significance in a completely unique way, in perfectly harmonized emotional purgation. This is what capitalist, religious, and scientific coordination, as a grand synthesis, all tend toward.

However, this ultimate resolution is only a hypothetical model or construct, not a utopian ideal. It is useful only as an abstract tool for comparison, like a number or abstract shape. It is the highest desire which is never fulfilled, but continuously approximated, negotiated, and dialectically transformed.

The meaning, significance, importance, value of a conversation is an emergent property. One might say that it is the only thing that is truly objective. This property is the tendency towards temporal symmetry and spatial simultaneity. All conversations tend toward this end and sort information according to this criterion, consciously or unconsciously. When we have conversations and create cultural expressions, we sort information to its natural, symmetric state and thereby heighten the distributed collective simultaneity and meaningful coincidence of events. Conversation is organized around and oriented towards these deep, unconscious attractors of meaning. It is in the simple joy of being together in creative expression that we self organize in the most natural, meaningful way.

Foundations of Ecological Renaissance

This essay is a follow up to A General System of Category Exchange.

Preface: This article is a deep, philosophical considering. It uses some private language and neologisms. Please try to read *through* the words in good faith.

The global financial system has the appearance of an interdependent ecology. Price changes in one area propagate out to affect all interlinked economic actors. But this financial ecology is not yet adequately integrated into the ecology of the natural environment. There are problems of asymmetric information and externalities. Capitalist coordination is actually embedded within a more general human coordination structure that naturally corrects for these problems. I will attempt to describe this more general structure:

The human being is motivated to fulfill his desires. His fulfills his desires effectively when his internal map accurately reflects the external environment. The individual is relatively simple, whereas his environment is complex and changing, so he uses simplified heuristics to process complexity and novelty.

Heuristics lead to prioritization. Some things are more important than others. Prioritization leads to a single highest priority. This highest priority is so immediate and practical that it is an unconscious reflex. All of the separate prioritizations mutually adjust to one another as if oriented around a single criterion. This is the sense of self.

The individual signals prioritization with categories. Categories are spatial and embodied- they trigger adaptive, physiological reflexes. Categories delimit a field of possible future actions. They constrain possible meanings, and therefore reveal what is most important or valuable about the spatial context.

The individual has personal associations between categories, based on his unique experiences. But there is also an overall, objective state of category relations, evolving moment to moment. This is the state of all usage relations happening right now and that have happened up to now. This is the collective significance of categories, as opposed to personal usage. The individual has an intuition of the collective significance from the social environment.

Collective significance has an overwhelming influence on personal usage, whereas personal usage does not affect collective significance that much. Personal usage is an aggregation of collective significance into simple expressions. An efficient aggregation of collective significance gives voice to the unconscious motivations of the group. In the contemporary situation, the individual increasingly speaks for the group.

Personal usage is highly interdependent. Its effects propagate through the interdependent category relations immediately. Collective significance is an objective intermediary between different personal usages. It is like a currency of interactions. The individual cognizes at both the personal and collective levels simultaneously. The collective level is often more subconscious or unconscious. No one has full access to it because it is too complex, but everyone knows that an objective state of category relations exists. It can be intuited or approximated from the social environment, particularly in states of heightened subtlety and nuance.

All dialogue is an attempt to discover its own collective significance. Individuals converse in order to better understand the social situation they are embedded within, which is the precondition to fulfillment of any other desires. Dialogue is not purposeless, it has cognitive attractors. When the dialogue converges to an attractor, the separate personal usages come into alignment and there is a social coherence. Unconscious information is sorted to its natural, symmetric state, and there are shared, unconscious axioms.

Because of the selfish motivation to map desires to fulfillments, there is a tendency towards symmetry between internal thought and external environment. Therefore, the interactions between different individual mappings leads to an emergent collective simultaneity. This is a simultaneity of the highest meaning, value, priority and importance, which self organizes spatial category relations. Unconscious social information naturally tends toward the shared, symmetric state because of the interaction between each individual’s selfish motivations.

All social activity is unconsciously correlated. But the correlations are not that tight yet, because meaningful simultaneity is not the dominant coordination strategy. And it may never become the dominant coordination strategy. But the Game is effective at sorting unconscious social information to its natural symmetric state. This is its social function, which heightens the collective simultaneity of meaning. And once a certain threshold of the population shares certain unconscious cultural axioms, then there are more efficient collective mapping relationships. The Game, a.k.a. Game B, or the Metagame, can emerge as a transitional coordination structure on top of capitalist coordination, which will shift the internal capital resources towards regenerative, omni-considerate, omni-win states and organizations.

Collective significance is the more general system that the price system is embedded within. The system of interdependent spatial category relations determines how people will allocate scarce resources and not vice versa. Techno-capital wants to realize its own generalized ecological interdependence. Resources have already begun to shift towards symmetric information platforms like social media, solar power, cryptocurrency. With every new expression of the cultural situation, the increasing density of interconnections between nodes in the network, there are increasingly higher plateaus of shared unconscious axioms, even as on the surface it seems that things are getting more and more fragmented. Once there is a certain threshold of shared unconscious cultural axioms, then there will be a foundation to catalyze a global intellectual, ecological, and artistic renaissance.

A General System of Category Exchange

There is a nascent intellectual renaissance happening on the internet. Underneath the vapidity of the culture wars, the new forms of media- the podcasting format, video interviews, livestreams, crowdfunding, are fomenting a catalytic exchange of ideas that is rapidly hurtling towards cultural renewal, and maybe cultural collapse as well.

In the contemporary situation, we are faced with two seemingly opposed tendencies. On the one hand there is a kind of underground, emergent collective psychedelia self-organizing on the internet. People feel this but they don’t quite know how to articulate it yet. Every philosopher, artist, and cultural creator is empowered to share their vision, and these visions are rapidly catalyzing to greater and greater social forms. On the other hand, there is a legacy, institutional, liberal-techno-capitalist machinery. The market keeps incentivizing technology and biopharma even though people want genuinely creative answers to the systemic coordination problems. And liberal republican institutions keep slogging through situations of increasingly inept, incompatible vocabularies. These tendencies seem at odds with each other.

The cultural creators on the internet are doing the valuable, empowering social activity, yet they are not rewarded commensurately in the market. It seems to me that cultural creators are radically underpriced in the current economy. The reason is the fragmentation of collective sense-making between journalists, artists, philosophers, scientists. Not that these shouldn’t be separate, specialized roles, but they are more interrelated and interwoven than previously thought, and the cultural creators who are able to embody a kind of synthesis between many specialized roles will outperform.

Everyone who is coming to terms with their own and the collective awakening of consciousness, wants to see a healthy social dynamic emerge from the toxic political atmosphere and the decaying legitimacy of the legacy institutions. What prevents such a coordinated movement of activity seems to be an attachment to legacy institutions. It is in no one’s benefit for there to be a general collapse of the system. And at the same time, we don’t yet see an adequate replacement structure which would feel safe enough to jump to if we abandon the old forms of coordination. And so we are at a place where the emergent collective psychedelia of the internet must discover a way to seed growth within the legacy institutions. They seem fundamentally opposed to one another, the kind of contrarian creatives and the legacy power brokers. Yet they must somehow get along.

At least among a strong minority of internet creators, the political dialogue is moving from the superficial ideological level to the embodied, structural-philosophic level. That means that people are not just cheaply signaling their affiliations. They are aligning their motivations in an attempt to affect and change collective intelligence. What is emerging is a new social brain and distributed formation of collective intelligence.

The metabolism of the contemporary techno-capitalist social brain is the system of prices. Prices determine the distribution of resources in society. But this price metabolism is a specific subset of a more generalized, interconnected value coordination. We primarily exchange value through categories. Monetary exchange is downstream from category exchange. We first exchange categories through dialogue and conversation, and then through the results of these, we determine how we will allocate our scarce monetary resources. This applies on Wall St. as much as it does for the average person.

What is attempting to emerge is a platform for efficient, interconnected category exchange that will allocate resources more sustainably and efficiently. There is an inefficiency in the global financial market because a lot of people are deeply concerned about systemic, global coordination problems, but no one seems to have a market solution that systematically addresses all of these problems at once. We keep going about it with specialized, piecemeal band-aid solutions that have no enduring value. The market dynamics inevitably will move to incentivize enduring, sustainable sources of value. The culture wars attempt to deal with systemic problems through tawk and tawk and more tawk. But these problems will eventually get addressed by a market mechanism. The best solution will address systemic coordination problems all at once, meaning it will be a unified conceptual framework for social consciousness that will also be profitable in the legacy system. This suggests to me that radical cultural creators, people who design systems of embodied category exchange, are deeply underpriced in the current market.

Distributed language games are fundamentally different from post-modern meandering IYI (intellectual yet idiot) discussions, because they have an embodied teleology. They tend towards cognitive attractors that sort categories towards their natural, symmetric state, allowing people to access the information they most need in that moment. The materialist, physicalist, secular paradigm has a huge blindspot biasing it against self organizing dynamics of information and synchronous, harmonized, meaningful simultaneity of experience. This suggests that in the long run, organizations that are able to play the Game of embodied, self organizing social information, should be able to capture sizable market share from technology and eventually from government. These will become aspects of a more general kind of value exchange.

This new platform is not a social media platform, or a piece of technological infrastructure. It is the intangible, spiritual infrastructure of an interdependent society. It is a shared, unconscious, axiomatic structure deep within the collective psyche. It is well understood how changes in prices in one part of the economy can radiate outward and affect other parts. Yet this structural interdependence is embedded inside of the structural interdependence of category exchange. The moment to moment dialogue is a vast evolving network of interlinked category relations. There is an individual significance of category relations- my personal associations between categories. And there is a collective significance of category relations- the collective intelligence, distributed sense-making apparatus. The collective has an asymmetric effect on the individual. Collective significance has a large effect on how individuals use categories, whereas individuals have a small effect on collective significance of categories.We learn to speak by using categories in the way that other people use them. It is only by coming into a kind of individual sovereignty that we can start to assert our own individual usage as a kind of pushback against collective significance, asserting our own unique view.

The contemporary situation is defined by the shrinking distinction between the individual and collective levels of significance. Individuals speak more and more for the group. We are modern individuals who constantly think about how the group sees us. We are rapidly converging towards a kind of unified panopticonsciousness. We constantly reflect on our place within the group dynamics. The group is a cognitive avatar that we are always negotiating with, it is an aspect of our self. Whenever we negotiate relations between categories, we are negotiating individual and collective significance simultaneously. The changes in category relations rapidly propagate through the whole system and affect the collective significance at every moment. Working out our own personal associations and relations between categories leads to broader social resolution, it clarifies and coheres the collective significance.

The collective significance does evolve over time, categories are subject to slippage and the usage of categories is what is more fundamentally being debated in the culture wars. This is important because categories are not just abstract, disconnected entities, they are embodied. They relate to fundamental, adaptive, physical reflexes and responses. This is why individuals who are sovereign and can deeply structure relations between categories at the level of collective significance are radically undervalued in our society. They have the key to solving fake news, peer review, etc., a whole host of systemic coordination problems, all at once, through a kind of unified conceptual framework. The platform for category exchange will determine the integrity and the timbre of the negotiations which take place within that platform. This platform is convergent set of unspoken, widely shared axiomatic structures, also referred to as the Game, or the Metagame.

We are attempting to converge on a kind of unified collective motivation in which categories can be efficiently exchanged and thereby efficiently self organize socio-physical constraints on behavior such that individual motivations are mutually harmonized in synchronous omni-win, mutual gain dynamics. Relations between embodied categories affect how we move through space. They are a kind of socio-physical constraint on our behavior, and thus they also influence what we consider important, meaningful, worthwhile. If you wonder about whether categories are embodied, just consider the tradeoffs and the importance of prioritizing under conditions of information overload, and you realize that categories impose strict socio-physical constraints. The way that we associate categories affects our decision calculus, what we feel, how we relate to each other. The rearrangement of category relations can heal traumas, correct negative behavioral patterns, fix relationships.

There are a variety of common sense vocabularies to deal with the contemporary situation. The efficient exchange, transposition, and rearrangement of category relations within those vocabularies is the way that all parties can mutually benefit from each other’s insights to coordinate at a deeper structural level.

There is a selfish motivation in category exchange, which is the motivation for collective coherence. The environment is more manageable if the relation between internal and external reality are more tightly coupled. If internal thoughts are reflected in external reality faster, then we get what we want faster. We are selfishly motivated to achieve symbiosis with the natural ecology of the planet. This is why capital resources will inevitably shift towards embodied category exchange and away from tech, finance, and government. Tech, finance, and government will all become specialized aspects of embodied category exchange.

Social interactions have a selfish teleology, they are always tending towards a kind of broader social resolution. There are particular cognitive attractors that we converge on to bring about this social resolution. The social resolution is about resolving the asymmetry between the collective and the individual. The individual is always motivated to become the voice of the collective. He is always motivated to resolve the social tensions into social coherence, so that he can get what he wants faster. But this individual selfishness ultimately allows everyone to get what they want faster, by being more immersed in a synchronous, harmonized social form.

This is why the market will eventually shift towards embodied category exchange and distributed language games. There is currently an irrational bias towards secular, materialist, physicalist ways of relating to the world that do not incorporate a kind of responsive, emergent, embodied physicality. They do not allow for a dynamics of embodiment.

Faced with the contemporary situation of toxic, fragile political institutions, the emergent collective psychedelia of the internet is tending towards an anti fragile, enduring compatibility, rewarding creators who are insightful through crowdfunding. Ideas cooperate and compete to endure as stable forms. Only the most enduring ideas are the foundation for a stable society. There is a growing social momentum to externalize a lot of the psychedelic social wisdom that is being generated on the internet into coherent social forms.

You never hear the criticism that the culture wars are superficial. The divides seem to be so deeply rooted in different philosophical ways of seeing the world, to the point that they seem like alternate realities. But the culture wars are shallow! They are based on a naive kind of Enlightenment subject-object dichotomy and dualism. They are based in a dogmatic materialism, a kind of secular Gnosticism, in which subjects are competing with the hostile external world in a zero sum game. It is exactly the same evolutionary game we’ve been playing since we were hunter gatherers. Only the external world is no longer as hostile, there is no longer a zero sum game. The culture wars are based on the spiritually naive belief that there is an external enemy. Any spiritually inclined individual knows that the true enemy is within and any external expression of that tendency must be dealt with internally first.

The current systemic crises cannot be addressed at the level of the culture wars. The systemic social problems must be addressed at the level of their root causes, and that is why the cultural dialogue is deepening. We subvert the culture wars by moving to the interlinked structural level, the level of embodied category exchange.

The categories that we debate fundamentally affect our shared socio-physical constraints, the social conventions which organize our collective behavior and motivation. Every conversation and expression vitally affects feedback responses of the physical environment and the interplay of fundamental themes that is shaping the wider narrative. What is emerging from the chaos is the relation between one’s physical capacity to move through space in certain ways and the individual-collective significance of category relations. There is a new social brain that is being scaffolded on top of the techno-capitalist infrastructure. This is a transitional structure that moves towards omni-win, mutual gain dynamics.

Collective coherence can seem like an unattainable goal in the current situation. There is an unprecedented number of different perspectives competing for attention, and there is the momentum of decaying legacy machinery with its legacy platform, the culture wars. All of this can make the contemporary situation seem like nihilism or relativism is the best adaptive strategy. But there is a grand harmony seething beneath the surface, the field of lucid, synchronous, harmonized complexity and simultaneity. This is not a technological innovation, it is the resurgence of a primal atavism, embedded in the logic of insight.

 

The follow up to this article is Foundations of Ecological Renaissance.

Part 2: Distributed Play Through Extended Cognition

Part 1 of this article is “Facilitating a Wealth Transfer Towards the Violet Congregation.” This part can be understood without reading Part 1.

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What is the purpose of social games? The physician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott argued that the ability to play was the definition of good mental health.

Winnicott held that in infancy, we are unable to distinguish between “me” and “not me.” We are deeply connected physically and psychologically to our mother. As soon as we feel any sense of discomfort, we are immediately comforted and fed by our mother’s breast. But gradually, as we get older, our needs are not immediately met. We begin to feel a sense of separation from our mother. We begin to develop a sense of “me” and “not me.”

The primordial sense of comfort and belonging to the mother is transferred into a “transitional object,” a blanket or a toy that makes us feel comfortable, but helps us get used to the distinction between me and not me. Interest in the transitional object is later generalized into childhood games. And then later in life, into cultural domains like religion or mathematics.

The key is that, for Winnicott, play is about the primordial distinction between me and not me. The phenomena that I experience often seem foreign and unfamiliar. Yet in play, I should consider whether these unfamiliar things are not really an aspect of my own character, a part of my psyche that I haven’t dealt with yet, and whether those things would still bother me if I properly integrated them.

I would venture to say that in the contemporary situation, we are moving towards an immersive reality where “internal” thoughts are more immediately reflected in the “external” environment. In contemporary techno-capitalism, money and technology match desires with satisfactions almost immediately. But this techno-capitalist infrastructure is only a special case of more general, high bandwidth value exchange which takes place in social games. Social games are the way that we exchange value, in the sense of importance and meaningfulness, rather than in the capitalist sense. These social games serve as the corrective to the harmful, asymmetric aspects of techno-capitalist exchange.

The maximally meaningful interest that is exchanged in social games is a universally shared, unconscious structure. We are all unfailingly pulled toward flow states in which we are immersed in the environment. The flows can be attained in groups and teams, which involves synchronous, coordinated activity. Group flow can manifest as dangerous mimetic contagion and madness of mobs, or as collective intelligence and wisdom of crowds.

How could we achieve healthy group flow at scale? This is a hard problem that has been addressed by things like religions, nation-states, corporations. I think under techno-capitalism, the main barrier to healthy group flow is mental health. It is hard to learn how to play. It is hard to take responsibility for the environment as though it is an extension of my own psyche. And it is extremely dangerous. It requires care, caution, and guidance.

In order to play this new kind of Game, we would have to understand embodiment dynamics, the process by which the external environment reflects our internal thought and vice versa.

Embodiment starts in the imagination of the individual. An idea gets shared, and it thereby becomes a physical constraint on someone else’s action process. It affects how they think and what they say and do. It is then is reflected back to the individual directly or indirectly, through environmental responses. The individual can either embody the responses, accept that the environment is providing him with reliable feedback, or he can deny the reliability of the feedback. The feedback response may be haphazard and delayed if the system is inefficient. The individual embodies the feedback responses, he takes them as an aspect of the original expression. The more that the idea circulates, the more it takes on a evolving physicality that affects people’s established ways of behaving. The idea becomes a “thing.” Embodiment dynamics is a self organizing negotiation of social constraints. The social constraints are interconnected, any kind of interaction with the environment affects the whole chain of interlinked social constraints.

If an individual trusts that the environment is providing reliable and valid feedback signals, then he can trust his plans and intentions extending into the future. He can then generalize that trust to other people. They can coordinate behavior, they can play. If on the other hand, he can’t trust that his environment is giving him reliable feedback signals, then he can’t coordinate with his own future self, and he can’t generalize full trust to other people. He will externalize and repress some element of his own personal adaptive growth.

The sources of social reliability, validity, and credibility that coordinate our social experience start in direct, embodied experience.  The current crises of legitimacy as reflected in fake news and faltering institutions, are a result of a breakdown in the asymmetric model of broadcast-style information exchange. Social coordination originates in the capacity to embody symmetric feedback responses from the physical environment. If two individuals can converge on a trusted feedback response, then they can coordinate behavior, they can play. The legacy institutions which served as the most trusted sources of information are no longer capable of conveying embodied information. Myths, archetypes, narratives seem to more closely convey the structure of experience.

The distributed play model is a more basic, immediate model of cause and effect than materialism or physicalism. It is rooted in an emergent, responsive physicality, rather than a dead, mechanical, externalized physicality. We have to trust that the environment is providing reliable signals, no matter how haphazard or delayed the responses. Dialogue and conversation are fundamentally a negotiation of physical constraints, which are interlinked through embodiment processes. The attractor equilibria of social convention influence how we discuss issues and ideas. Our thoughts are constantly adapting to these equilibria and gradually altering them through the interactions. We must converge on a fundamental level of embodied mutual trust in order to bring about healthier, coordinated social forms. A further path of inquiry will try to determine how we get past the steep adoption curve. This is what myths and religions are good at, they provide embodied narratives in a simple, understandable format.

Social conventions are traded, negotiated, and dialectically transposed in social games. These conventions compete for the stability and endurance, they compete to endure as social forms. The ones that have the most enduring capacity to coordinate and mutually organize human relations in the simplest way, will eventually win out because they make more practical evolutionary sense. They become the foundational axioms of coordinated group flows, which become traditions, institutions, and organizations.

The more people embody the environment, the greater the network effects and reinforcement of the equilibrium around harmonized, synchronous unions of activity. Many people cannot accept that the environment provides reliable feedback signals. Many prefer a zero sum battle with the external environment. There are systemic barriers to adopting the distributed play model, but this model is itself designed to overcome systemic barriers since it deals with self-organizing dynamics of social constraint. It has never been more clear that denying embodiment is against one’s own self-interest. The mutually beneficial strategy for everyone is to converge on embodiment.

The purpose of social games is to negotiate and trade common sense vocabularies in which we belong, in a deep psychological and spiritual sense. The environment becomes a womb, a stable reinforcing shelter for the imagination, an intricately evolving, maximally interesting place. This social form is the generalization and completion of capitalism, the corrective to its socially malignant aspects.

Part 1: Facilitating a Wealth Transfer to the Violet Congregation

I have become aware and have been following the development of several internet and 21st century subcultures that seem to have a lot of overlapping and convergent themes. To name a few of these subcultures: meta-modernism, integral consciousness, neoreaction (NrX), accelerationismtranshumanism, vaporwave, psychedelics, the Intellectual Dark Web, and crypto. I cannot speak to whether some of these subcultures have controversial elements. What I know is that all of them are deeply concerned with philosophy, politics, culture, art, and improving the world. They all seem to have similar tactics, organizing through the internet and using memes and distributed collective intelligence. They all share a deep concern that we are at a critical historical moment.

For this purpose, it doesn’t matter whether you’re more aligned with the Blue Church or the Red Religion. Rather, the overlapping patterns signify the emergence of a Violet Congregation, people who are subverting the culture wars by moving to the structural level. I am writing this article to advocate the idea that these subcultures should mutually reinforce each other and build up network effects, and ultimately facilitate a wealth transfer into fundamentally new modalities of coordinated activity. In other words, use capitalism as a means, not an end, towards human-centered forms of coordinated activity.

Capitalism is a specific subset of more generalized, spontaneous order value coordination. If this more potent sense of value can emerge and take on socially objective form, then it will facilitate a rapid, auto-catalytic exchange of ideas. What I am advocating is the re-emergence of 60’s style collective psychedelia but instead of being organized around drugs and immediate gratification, it would be organized around personal growth, responsibility, mutual trust, and entrepreneurship. Capitalism can be a tool to get to this more potent sense of value, which involves importance, meaning and community.

These are things that the market wants, but hasn’t formed an adequate vehicle for yet. There is a massive inefficiency in the global financial market, in that people want to solve and are willing to pay money for, solutions to deep structural problems like climate change, inequality, fake news, etc. But these are mostly coordination problems, and our default mode of coordination is monetary exchange. So at the end of the day, we fall back on monetary exchange and reinforce the social problems. We have to move up a level to a more potent sense of interconnected value and coordinate around that, without rejecting the underlying infrastructure of monetary coordination. By processing and working through localized signals, we can propagate healthy, restorative information through the whole network.

Last year (2017), we saw a huge wealth transfer out of tech and finance towards crypto, indicating that internet-based subcultures can have the power to fundamentally affect the larger economy. Importantly, crypto didn’t take over the entire existing Wall St. financial infrastructure. I think that crypto didn’t have the adequate decentralized social infrastructure to support it. It didn’t have the appropriate level of self-organizing collective intelligence to correspond to the technical coding structures its creators envisioned. (Plus the technical aspects needed work, too.)

So what would be an adequate decentralized social infrastructure? My sense is that it has to do with a construct that I have simply called “the Game,” or the “Metagame.” This construct basically signifies that we are all involved in complex social games, perhaps signaling games or status games, or friendship and familial bonding, but that through these social games we are attempting to achieve a certain social form, a certain kind of broader social resolution. This social form is perhaps virtual or potential, but it has practical meaning and consequence. It is objective because it is an optimal solution to a real game theoretic coordination problem.

This solution has to do with a discovering a common sense vocabulary that will allow interested parties to rapidly merge and negotiate maps; to aggregate the abundant intelligence resources of various individual perspectives into a mutually correcting social brain. Currently, the intelligence about how to set up the conditions for such a Game is distributed throughout the social continuum. There is an objective Game, but no single person has access to it or knows what it will look like when it fully emerges.

The vocabulary around the Game is a distributed language game (DLG), rather than a software-based application. It is a social game that runs on peer-to-peer interactions. It runs on the basic social constraints and conventions that probabilistically influence the path of our interactions. What I am advocating is to attempt to set up conditions for a wealth transfer from tech, finance, and crypto towards distributed language game structures, which will feed back on crypto governance structures, which reinforce the DLGs, etc.

The prototypical distributed language game is an attempt to synthesize many different domains of knowledge into a unified conceptual framework, without over-specializing or over-associating categories. The DLG is an attempt to convey a sense of value that is more urgent than money, in a way that would allow us to coordinate our activity entirely around that value. People who are working on this need to be supported monetarily so that they can spend more time on this activity, and the system can start to bootstrap itself out of techno-nihilism. The wealth transfer to DLGs would allow for a new kind of unified, creative economy.

The most impactful of these distributed language games are hyper-narratives that adequately synthesize personal experience with the objective world. There are numerous examples of people who have designed effective social games that brought about incredibly widespread collective benefits. People who are motivated by true value will begin to find analogous concepts in each others’ work, and converge on an ultimate conceptual framework, which would hypothetically never change or stay the same.

There are numerous people working towards this kind of solution right now. I won’t speak for them, but some of the people who seem to be at least moving in this direction include: Jordan Hall, who runs Deep Code, Michael Haupt, who runs the ambitious Society 4 project, the Holochain project, which has innovated a field called Xenogaming, Daniel Thorson, who hosts the Emerge podcast and has created the Pragmatic Soulcrafting framework, Justin Murphy, a political science professor who synthesizes many different emerging subcultures and philosophical ideas, and many others who I am not aware of yet. It is not far-fetched to see these trends as moving towards something like a cultural convergence, especially as a healthy, measured response to the toxic political climates in the U.S. and many other countries.

This stifling political climate is largely a result of the culture wars surrounding the effects of post-modernism. It became fashionable in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century to “reject metanarratives,” and embrace a kind of relativism. I think that one of the main reasons for this was the extremely rapid population explosion that occurred over the last 200 years. Between 1960 and 1999 alone, the population of the world literally doubled, from 3 billion to 6 billion. And before that, between 1800 and 1960, it tripled from 1 billion to 3 billion. Of course there was a sense that no one had the real answers, the perspectives were multiplying so quickly. And they still are multiplying. But that doesn’t mean that there is no true answer to our social problems.

It is now increasingly apparent that we live in one world, we are one interdependent humanity. We know from complexity science and emergence that no one person holds the whole answer. But there is indeed an answer to our social problems. Many people have talked about a phenomenon called the Singularity. This phenomenon is hard to describe, but it usually involves human somehow merging with technology. I don’t think the optimal solution necessarily involves merging human biology with metallic technology, but the Singularity remains a potent mythical construct. It think it is instead possible that we will unlock our deepest human potential solely through the coordinated primary motivation of true value.