The crisis of meaning in contemporary society is characterized by a lack of context. Everything has been hyper-contextualized to the point that all context has evaporated and we are left floating in an acontextual ocean of information. Since the time of Hegel, it has been the dogma of the human sciences that all social phenomena are based in history. To understand an event is to understand its historical context. There are no transhistorical truths. Yet Hegel was also the first to bring this realization to its logical conclusion. If all social phenomena are historical, then the discovery of history itself has a historical context. This is why Hegel took his time to be the end of history. There is a history of histories, and therefore there is a kind of transhistorical truth. To put it another way, if all truth is relative, then that truth must itself also be relative. What is it relative in relation to? The absolute. So the discover of history was at the same time a discovery that the absolute or the transhistorical must exist, in a certain way.

But the discovery of history had the effect that it tried to wipe out all previous notions of transhistorical truth. And so what we were left with was the hyper-contextualization of all social phenomena. All social phenomena were seen as embedded in their tightly bound historical constraints. By default, scientific truths took over the throne of transhistorical truths, even though scientists themselves say that science is in continual revision and offers no transhistorical truths. And so particulars began to reign over any kind of overall, universal historical context. And so we are left without an overall story of our time.

What the scientific (and the historical) revolution gained for us in terms of understanding the world as it is, they lost for us in terms of understanding the world as it ought to be. This is precisely the opposite effect that Hegel intended. Hegel emphasized the science of dialectic, which was originally put forth by Socrates and Plato. The science of dialectic is the science of what ought to be. Yet when we look at the modern political dialogue on Twitter, for example, it looks more like all out rhetorical warfare, than a science of dialectic (though this may be going on underneath the surface). What we need is truly modern, scientific conception of dialectic, a true science of what ought to be. This will guide us back to an overall story of the world that is true and good.

Many scientifically minded individuals, such as Max Weber and David Hume, have considered “what ought to be,” to be irrational. In other words, there can be no science of what ought to be. Science has no purpose, science is value-netural, it is not concerned with “what ought to be,” only with “what is.” However, when science is not nested in any kind of deeper value-laden framework, then it has no ethical guidance. Science cannot be harnessed toward bringing society better circumstances or outcomes. There is no basis for judging nuclear warfare to be better than peacetime flourishing. This is obviously absurd, there must be a clear scientific basis for ethical claims. Jordan Peterson has claimed that a Darwinian notion of truth appeals to the survival value of a claim, basically things are true according to whether they pragmatically help us survive. Thus a belief can be metaphorically true, while it is literally false, such as the belief in religion or money.

“What ought to be” is highly complex, in fact more complex than we can conceptualize within our own experience, but that this does not necessarily mean that it is technically “irrational.” It just means that it is more complex than we currently understand, we may be able to understand it tomorrow. How can we have a science of something that we do not understand? We have an intuition about it. In other words, we can represent it in symbolic form. We can compress “what ought to be” into simpler concepts, like a low resolution image which represents the higher resolution original.

Experience is composed of one option, continuously selecting, cutting off many other possibilities. And so experience, is, in some sense, simple. Experience is the low resolution image. By contrast, “what ought to be” is composed of various potentials, various possible futures. This is the complex, high resolution original. All of these possible futures are continuously compressed into this one simple experience. Decision is the act of summing up, compressing, aggregating all of the complex possibilities of “what ought to be,” into one concise, simple experience. But obviously not all decisions are morally equal, there are better and worse decisions. The better decision or experience is the one that compresses the most heterogeneous complexity of “what ought to be” most accurately, into the most concise, most simple possible gesture.

When people compare their low resolution images of experience, they find vast differences. But when they are able to mediate those differences by this field of “what ought to be,” by this complex field of possibility, then they are able to modulate their differences into the more complex, overlapping network of possibilities, without giving up their low resolution convictions. They update their low resolution convictions, by adjusting them to fit more accurately into the higher resolution original. The higher resolution originals overlap with one another because they are more informationally complex. If we each imagine all the hypothetical possibilities of the evolution of our current experience, then those hypothetical possibilities will overlap much more than our current experience itself, which is more limited.

And so we have a concrete way of testing what is ethically better and worse, by direct empirical experience. When experience is an accurate compression of “what ought to be,” then it will be singular, it will be a fluid, uninterrupted continuity of experience. This means that the emotions and the biochemical systems are well regulated. This, in turn, means that individual behaviors meet collective social expectations. And this means that the social order is well configured. So there is a clear continuum between direct experience and the social order. Experience is a compression of the social order, it is a compression of “what ought to be.”

Our direct experience contains the entire social configuration, in compressed form. This is a tremendous responsibility and a tremendous power. The way that we navigate our personal experience, in a sense, determines the equilibria of the world. The gradients of continuity of experience are gradients of entirety. We always try to represent or symbolize the complex whole in a simple manner. We know that this representation is provisional, we use it for reality testing and updating. When we meet something that is unexpected, this interrupts the continuity, this breaks down the conception of the whole in specific ways, and this is meaningful because it indicates the specific place to adjust and adapt.

Understanding experience as a compression of the highly complex whole guides the way back to an overall historical context. By the emergent interactions between people, we each form symbolizations of the whole that begin to resonate and feed back between one another. These stories get more and more sophisticated in content, yet become simpler and simpler in format, until they converge on the one final story. This final story is the collectively synchronized whole of experience.

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Rose Window, Chartres Cathedral

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Psychedelic Capitalism

Psychedelic Capitalism is not based on free love or psychedelic drugs; instead, it is based on radical responsibility and mutual trust, the most psychedelic virtues. Today’s youth want to free themselves from the yoke of over-indulgence, laziness, and mediocrity. They want to take the burden of the world upon themselves, they want to speak for the world, to transform it into something that is livable. They want art and science to be profitable and worthwhile for everyone, as it truly is. They don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of a virtual reality, dystopian surveillance state, where the technology monopolies manipulate people with their personal data. They don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of a social justice warfare and authoritarian political correctness, where everyone judges and virtue signals with every little behavior.

Psychedelic Capitalism is based on the premise that monetary coordination is an externalized, public scorekeeping mechanism of the true human biosocial coordination. Monetary coordination is the form of the capitalist mode of production. Through using the tools of monetary coordination, humans discover the deeper form of biosocial coordination. This deeper biosocial coordination is characterized by acceptance and convergence of mutually universal principles across time and space. Through monetary coordination, everyone agrees to agree that money has value. Money is a particular kind of information about meta-agreement. It is information about how to ascribe value to a neutral, independent medium that has no inherent value in itself, solely in order to facilitate the greater fluidity of all transactions.

With Psychedelic Capitalism, there is similarly a certain kind of knowledge about meta-agreement, which makes all forms of knowledge compatible with one another. This is a synthetic, universal knowledge which unifies the separate disciplines into a single architecture. It incorporates biology, psychology, sociology, economics, religion, philosophy, into a single concise framework. This unified framework serves as an independent, neutral medium, which interprets and processes the world, and makes disparate forms of knowledge compatible. This kind of synthetic knowledge arises in a capitalist context, as a profit-seeking capitalist firm. Other competing unified frameworks arise and come into dialogue with the original unified framework. In their competition, they interact and transform one another into more coherent, complete unifications of all the disparate fields. The more unified frameworks that enter into the milieu of capitalist competition, the more these frameworks will mutually correct and improve upon one another.

Eventually they converge upon the ultimately precise and simple grand unified architecture of the world. The firms which produce these kinds of frameworks are “knowledge production” firms. They attempt to synthetically blend all aspects of knowledge into a single, coherent metanarrative, blending social science, biological science, with literature and drama. People pay for this kind of knowledge for the same reason that they pay for a good movie, for good journalism, or for good science; on the one hand, they want to be entertained, but on the other hand, they want to learn and be informed about the world and they want the world to be informed. The knowledge production firm works as a team to converge on the ultimate meaning that will coordinate people’s actions on a macro scale, comparable to capitalism or religion. They produce something that is hyperfactual, it is the supreme blend of reality and metaphor. These firms are dedicated to producing something that is so true that it is captivating and so captivating that it is true. The Psychedelic Capitalist firms literally produce “ways of organizing” society, ways of coordinating behavior that are greater than anything we have ever seen.

All of the separate fields of science and literature, because they are products of an innate human disposition, are outward projections of the human structure of cognition, all of these separate fields fit together like nesting dolls, when a certain view is taken. The contemporary natural scientific view of the world is predicated on the assumption that human subjectivity is inherently biased, limited, partial. This subjective delusion is corrected by looking at things “objectively.” Except that there is no scientist who is objective, they are all specialists in their own subfields. The subjective view of the world is limited and partial, but this is because it continuously tries to simplify the world. Experience wants to make the world concise. Experience wants to sum up the entire world into one single, final statement. It wants to declare, once and for all, that the world is just this way. And science is the rightful corrective to this mentality. Edmund Husserl’s explorations into phenomenology were precisely “a science of the pre-scientific,” a science of looking at the world in the common-sense, subjective way. Husserl’s phenomenology shows the way to the experience of the whole, where subjective and objective again become unified in the science of the whole. If taken to its logical conclusions, the phenomenological method produces a virtuous feedback cycle of knowledge continuously simplifying and improving upon itself in an intersubjective, socially distributed manner.

All of the seemingly disparate sciences are in fact projections of a single, universal substructure of human cognition, they reflect the very act of knowledge processed in the human mind. We can reduce all aspects of knowledge to singular, coherent, universal aspects that fit together like nesting dolls. Biology flows smoothly into psychology which flows smoothly into sociology and economics, if we seek to radically simplify and reduce knowledge to these fundamental analogous aspects of mental processing.

Narratives like The Matrix or Star Wars have taken on epic proportions in culture. They have gained a transcendent meaning and metaphor. But they are nowhere near being able to coordinate human behavior on a macro scale, like capitalism does. They are nowhere near competing with capitalism itself. There are narratives that do coordinate human behavior on a macro scale, religions like Christianity. The social sciences in their current stages are nowhere near anything like the organizing capacity of a Christianity. Not even Marxism is close to Christianity. A narrative has to reach so deep into the substructure of human cognition to be able to coordinate behavior on that scale for two thousand years through the same institution. The social sciences should be trying to compete and cooperate with that, they should be seeking to emulate that, to reverse engineer it, to figure out how to organize a stable society. We look to the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, these have been stabilizing forces for around two hundred years, whereas Christianity has been around for thousands! The social sciences are still too busy trying to emulate the calculating, esoteric practices of the natural sciences that they miss the real point of social science, which is to truly coordinate human behavior. Natural science, like physics and chemistry, deals with inert matter, with dead matter, atoms and molecules that are not alive. Social science is a thousandfold more complex, and yet social scientists try to fit their methods into natural scientific methods, treating people like dead atoms, which can be useful but can also be deadening. It is time that social scientists look to the coordinative, organizing power of great literature, religion and drama to synthesize knowledge. This is what Jordan Peterson has tried to do with his Maps of Meaning, to create a synthetic metanarrative, and this is why his endeavor has been so successful. Psychedelic Capitalism is the attempt to engineer a new social metanarrative through the decentralized, spontaneous order of many individuals competing and cooperating in a unified field of coordinated, synchronous human cognition.

Laffoley_Geochronmechane_HiRes_zPaul Laffoley- Geochronmechane (1990)

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William Blake- The Fall of Satan (1825)

There is a crisis of meaning in modern global culture. In the U.S., this is can be seen in the rising suicide rate and in the opioid drug epidemic, the “deaths of despair.” These problems seem to primarily affect people with low education. However, I argue that these problems actually stem from the fallacies of the elite, highly educated classes. I will describe two general mindsets of contemporary highly educated people in the U.S. These are deliberately broad and imprecise categories, they are meant as heuristics, to show a general trend, hopefully I can avoid making a straw man of these positions.

The “Silicon Valley/Wall St./Biotech” mindset: I consider here the software engineers, finance/economists, and doctors or medical professionals. With this crowd there is a technological optimism. They are just on the brink of unlocking the greatest human potentials- artificial intelligence, genome sequencing, biological engineering, pharmaceuticals, are all converging and cyclically improving each other so rapidly that every day brings huge progress and new information. From within these fields, there is mountains of evidence that they are indeed working for the greatest good of humanity (and not unimportantly, their own good) and delivering on the true promises of rational human potential. Capitalism has facilitated the largest improvement in human living standards ever seen, just over the last 100 years. But let’s take a closer look at this group’s assumptions about human nature. From the economics/finance fields, we have the assumption that man is a rational actor, basically following a utilitarian calculus, with a strict rank-ordering of preferences. From the Silicon Valley and health fields, we have the assumption that man is a set of evolving biochemical, neurological algorithms. Basically, we are biological machines with no soul and no purpose. To someone inside these fields, these assumptions are simply necessary and useful to get good results. They provide enough richness to give meaning and purpose to the lives of the people who are in these fields. But to someone outside these fields, these assumptions about human nature look absolutely bleak and nihilistic. There is nothing to work for, no narrative about what a human being could be. We are just biological automatons in a vast, complex, and meaningless machine universe.

The “Social Justice” mindset: I consider here the people who go to work for non-profits, for the government, as social workers, and in other high social impact jobs. With this crowd, there is a much more pessimistic outlook on the world. The world does not look so good, it is not heading in the right direction. Inequality is high, public mental health is poor and not really on the agenda, the environment is rapidly getting more and more polluted, animals are mistreated. What are their assumptions about human nature? Identity markers such as race, gender, sexual orientation, convey information about social power. There are broadly two classes of people, the  “oppressed” and the “oppressor” classes. There is not really any objective rational truth, all truths are relative and all societies are different, but basically equal. Tradition and engrained social conventions largely misguide people and keep them from realizing their implicit coercive or oppressing tendencies. There is a sense that we could change society if we just educate people about the ways that they unintentionally reinforce power structures. The government has a responsibility to provide people with their basic needs like education, health care, and enough money to survive. There is a push for inclusivity, diversity, and equity in the workplace. The highest ideal is total collective solidarity, total social harmony and complete tolerance. This hypothetical ideal is contrasted with the competitive, survival of the fittest jungle that characterizes modern capitalist society. To someone outside these professions, these assumptions look completely bizarre. Imagine explaining Judith Butler’s views on the human being to a Christian fundamentalist in Montana.

The emphasis on specialization and the division of labor in our advanced capitalist society, makes it so that these views can be closely held and used within their narrow domain of expertise without having to be justified to the public at large. But these highly influential views propagate through the social continuum in unexpected and unclear ways. It is not obvious that the Silicon Valley/Wall St./Biotech assumptions are actually good on any kind of broader social, cultural, or political level. Quite to the contrary, these assumptions do not seem to portray social world that is absolutely bleak, meaningless, and hostile to life. But this biochemical/technological narrative is highly influential and people absorb it from their doctors, from TV, and from the culture. Similarly, the Social Justice assumptions about the world and human nature seem bizarre and irrelevant to day-to-day life. What do race/gender/sexual orientation have to do with how I get through the day? How does these assumptions give me any sense of purpose, anything greater than myself to live for? The oppressor/oppressed narrative carries a little bit of political weight, and the apocalyptic, utopian aspects may resonate on a broadly Christian level. But overall, the elite class propagate these two views of human nature that are absolutely bleak.

It may be important here to consider Leo Strauss’s distinction between the esoteric and exoteric. The exoteric teaching is the public facing, the view that appeals to common sense, that appeals to the contemporary historical context, the view that people will accept and understand. The esoteric teaching is the secret, private understanding, reserved for the elite few who can understand the true meaning. For the uneducated Americans, the educated elite’s assumptions about the world and human nature are highly esoteric. This may be partially due to the emphasis on specialization and division of labor in capitalist society. But perhaps the highly educated should consider the exoteric, public facing consequences of their studies.

What is it that ultimately gives life meaning for most people? It is a narrative, a story about how life is. This narrative involves a beginning and an ending, the means and ends, a purpose which one is working toward. The end has to be worthwhile, and it has to be actually attainable. The elite must not only consider their own esoteric, specialized narratives that allow them to effectively achieve their ends, but they must consider the exoteric, public facing consequences of their fields. That is, good intentions often produce unintended results. People must be careful about how their good intentions propagate.

Technology and identity politics cannot fulfill the function of getting people through the day. There is a need for a new metanarrative not only for the benefit of the uneducated, but for the benefit of the coordination of specialized knowledge. The specialized sciences, especially the social sciences and the humanities have a huge coordination problem. Peer review work is very rarely cited in these fields. It is unsurprising given the status of the social, cultural, political dialogue.

The construction of a metanarrative inevitably involves some kind of convergence of traditional conventions and rational truths, some hybrid of faith and reason, because a narrative is constructed from means and ends. The ends are based in faith, the means are based in reason. A structurally precise metanarrative would accurately synthesize these two aspects in a way that is historically and contextually embedded. It would use the skills and reason of social science and biological science together with the aesthetics and faith of the spontaneous social order. The engineering skills of reason together with the self organizing complexity of markets.

The only way to end the downward spiral of despair and nihilism is to converge on a new paradigmatic metanarrative to replace the barren assumptions about human nature. This new metanarrative may be nothing more than discovering a process of convergence. We have to discover within ourselves a new Renaissance of human flourishing. We finally have the capacity within ourselves to bring together all fields of human inquiry into a single field of harmonized complexity. This inevitably involves some social engineering,  strongly tempered by decentralized, spontaneous market forces. The human sciences can start to actually build off of one another and create a virtuous feedback cycle of creativity and an upsurge in social ingenuity and prosperity.

 

 

 

There is an inefficiency in the way that we coordinate our political dialogue. The new technology gave us an optimistic faith in interconnectedness and caused us to abandon the other ways that we had already been interconnected for thousands of years.

We can trace the basic origins of today’s left right divide to a divide in liberalism, between a classical liberalism and a progressive liberalism. The belief in limited government, individual rights, and free markets- a liberty of individuals, versus a more utopian social engineering, social tolerance, and collective harmony- a liberty of the collective. The problem with both classical and progressive liberalism is that it has become license to think or do almost anything. Yuval Noah Harari diagnoses the modern sensibility as the liberal humanist contention that the highest authority in the world is the “voice in the soul,” one’s own internal feelings are the final arbiter. Similarly, Alasdair MacIntyre has framed the state of political and moral debates as characterized by “emotivism,” one’s subjective emotions are primary. In other words, modernism has evolved into a battle ground of subjective views and fights over social power.

But this fragmented social world can either play out as an anarchic, discursive nihilism or as disparate puzzle pieces gradually fitting together over time. The solution, so that it plays out as the latter rather than the former, is to recover an embodied, traditional social narrative that speaks to modern, scientific sensibility, to reconcile faith and science, in other words. The success and popularity of Jordan Peterson shows that this is possible and that there is a demand for deeper, embodied narratives. Peterson uses classical mythology as a way of articulating a substrate of human cognitive capacities. He sees myths as expressions of embodied biological processes that have been repeated for ages. These narratives are far deeper than our political narratives. Yet they speak to genuine social forms of cooperation and coordination.

To reconcile faith and science under a unified, universal system, I propose looking at religion as a system of coordination. People coordinate based on the ascription of highest value. The belief in money is the best example, we converge on this belief because it facilitates easier trade. It was a huge evolutionary step for human beings to ascribe value to something that has no inherent value simply because it facilitates smoother social coordination. I believe that we may soon make a similar move with regard to political dialogue. We are still at the stage of bartering between political opinions, we haven’t discovered the currency of political opinions, which is based in the deeper religious and philosophical substructure of human experience.

The belief in God has always been pragmatic, although it is not only that. Let us consider the belief in God to be a belief in infinity, coupled with the knowledge that one’s own experience is finite. The belief in God is then the view that from the present moment, any possibility could happen, couple with the reality that something definitely is happening. This effectively prepares one for the greatest threat and the greatest promise simultaneously. It heightens one’s awareness to a state of vividness and lucidity, preparing one to effectively deal with any situation, while at the same time preparing one to practically deal with the situation at hand. The belief in God opens one’s horizon of possible occurrences such that all individuals’ actions are fluidly compatible, and it puts enough restraints on those actions so that they don’t interfere with each other.

The religious belief has been a coordinating value throughout history, so much so that it can become biological, as evidenced by the Jewish tradition. We are waiting for a deep Renaissance and renewal of the spiritual traditions which can bridge the gap between the religious divisions and fill in where liberalism has failed. We can contribute to the construction of a universal system of religious coordination that is as great as the coordinating value of capitalism. Social coordination is essentially a logical problem, but it involves some fundamentally “irrational” foundations, just as the definition of geometric point, line, or plane is “irrational.” It is a perfected abstraction. And from this perfected abstraction as a starting foundation, one is capable of deducing every logical implication that follows from those assumptions. Similarly social coordination is based on some “irrational” convergence of viewpoints.

The Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) shows that such a convergence of viewpoints might be happening. The individuals of the IDW do not agree on anything politically, but they are all interested in searching for truth. Independently of one another, they have gathered large audiences on the internet (youtube and twitter mostly), comparable in size to the mainstream media channels. But the members of the IDW speak about political, religious, philosophical ideas and in open, long-form, involved dialogues. This is the kind of movement that is actively correcting for the inefficiency in the political dialogue, they are breaking up the dogmas and doctrines of identity politics on the right and left, bringing out some new way of coordinating that is separate from profit motives, power grabs, or click bait. It is not a religious movement, but many of the people either defend religion or have strong and interesting countervailing views on religion. I think it can be considered a philosophical movement.

Similarly, there was a music genre and aesthetic that emerged a couple of years ago on the internet called Vaporwave. This movement blended nostalgia for 80’s and 90’s imagery, ironic elevator music, new age spirituality, transhumanist-style techno-optimism, capitalist enthusiasm, all of the millenial contradictions of extreme nihilism and hope, into a widely varied subgenre of electronic music. It borrowed from many different areas, and seemed like a convergence of many disparate threads.

A genuine Renaissance in the culture would require such a convergence of various disparate threads of culture- music, philosophy, politics, movies, religion, journalism, literature, art. They would all have to kind of instinctively converge on a common theme. Just in the way that we made the evolutionary leap to consider money as this inherently valueless thing that we could nevertheless ascribe value to, in order to pragmatically facilitate trade, I think we can and probably will converge on a pragmatic narrative or theme that would do similar work for our political dialogue. I think the emergence of shared embodied narratives shows that this is possible and may be on the horizon.

Macintosh Plus- Floral Shoppe

Artwork for Macintosh Plus- Floral Shoppe (2011)

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Paul Laffoley- The Cosmolux (1981)

One reason that there is such high inequality in advanced capitalist societies is that there is an inequality of knowledge and information. It is not just a matter of the unequal distribution of resources, but unequal capacity to obtain resources. Certain people have access to certain kinds of knowledge which allow them obtain resources at a faster rate. There is a lot of argument over the redistribution of monetary resources through government taxation and programs, how much taxation is appropriate, etc., but there is little talk about redistribution of information or knowledge, aside from public education. What would information redistribution look like? It would make elite forms of knowledge more accessible, yet still productive to learn. There are elite fields like science, technology, and engineering, mathematics, finance, that are highly inaccessible, and there are eclectic forms of elite knowledge such as in politics, art, music, cinema that are accessible only to highly select few. There is not really a way to make these elite fields of knowledge simpler or more accessible. It seems that the very value of elite knowledge is that it is is hard to obtain, reserved only for the few who can master special skills and situations.

Since there are only specific types of elite knowledge, there is no way to summarize these forms of elite knowledge and then redistribute it to people who do not have it. This is why we are forced to redistribute monetary resources, which are universal and homogeneous. Money is what makes all the specialized forms of elite knowledge compatible. But doesn’t the fact that specialized forms of elite knowledge are compatible, indicate that there is a simpler form of knowledge which unifies all of the forms of elite knowledge? Isn’t money just a form of information? It is a form of information that everyone agrees upon and which everyone is willing to trade for specialized skills. Everyone has converged upon this story to make their specialized forms of work compatible. So perhaps it is possible to discover a story that summarizes or makes compatible all forms of elite, specialized knowledge, so that the capacity to access resources is more equal.

In order to effectively redistribute information, all specialized forms of elite knowledge would have to be synthesized and distilled into a single, concise story that was comparable to the influence of money. This story would have to be able to adapt to complex new situations, while remaining essentially the same. What are the properties of such a narrative?

Specialized knowledge, or highly skilled knowledge, is immersive. It is essentially characterized by states of “flow,” or “self-actualization.” The individual involved in highly skilled activity becomes immersed in a lucid state of total involvement. The environment seems to become an extension of the body, there is little separation between the individual and his surroundings, they become subsumed in one masterful activity. There is highly coordinated motor skills that are habitual or procedural, learned from many repetitions of the same activity, such that the skills are imprinted in the nervous system. This state is also highly social, integrating the mutually corrective voice of others, or of teachers, into the continuity of action. For example, the mutual regulation in a musical group, or the coordinated team work of basketball players. There is a kind of synthesis of information from the environment into a fluid continuity of experience that integrates and adapts to all novel information according to a specific pattern.

So we see that already within specialized knowledge itself, there is a kind of compatibility or coordination involved. The specialized, elite skills are made compatible by a kind of psychological immersive lucidity. This is the beginning of a characterization of a universal metanarrative about how activity is coordinated on a larger scale, comparable to the economy. The construction of such a narrative is itself a collective endeavor. The involvement in a specialized skill is already a kind of synthesis of knowledge from the environment into a simpler, more concise story. This continual simplification and precision is a social process. The process of simplifying and mutually correcting one another’s actions will eventually converge on a networked social cycle of ever simpler and more precisely metaphorical narratives that explain every relation between the individual and social worlds. This convergence of narratives will serve as a metanarrative that redistributes knowledge and information so that people have a more equal capacity or opportunity to gain access to resources.

The human being, the individual, is the instantiation of a whole context of experiences. His experience takes the form of a narrative, which sums a variety of information into a simple sequence, moving from “what is” to “what ought to be.” He takes the network of various memories and experiences and sums them up into a simple narrative that projects itself into the future. He must do this to act in the world, he must pull together the variety of different information and project or plan out a series of actions into the future. This individual self is a construct, it is an aggregation of information from the contextual environment. The “individual self,” the conscience, the intuition, is an algorithmic compression which synthesizes all of the variety of information into a single stream that projects itself into the unknown.

There is a ground or a foundation of this information processing, which is adaptation. The individual seeks to make himself more like the environment and seeks to make the environment more like himself, he seeks to adapt, in other words. His most primal instinct is a “bringing-closer” to himself of the phenomena that present themselves in experience. This “bringing-closer” is selection between mutually exclusive options. It is a bringing-closer of certain parts of space, bringing-closer certain phenomena along certain limits or contexts of selection. This is the most primordial instinct, the instincts toward reproduction and toward consumption are derived from this more primordial bringing-closer, they are both manifestations of it. The narrative structure of experience averages between the most immediate, short-term needs and satisfactions of what ought to be, and the longest-term, most speculative needs and satisfaction of what ought to be. It modulates between the two as necessary, it modulates between considering very close spaces and considering very far away spaces.

Now, there is social interaction between individuals. The individual’s experience is narrative continuity, a continuous algorithmic projection into future. This is how he acts in the world, by taking certain things as given (whole). Now, when two of these individual projections interact, they are both altered because they have summed to different results of what ought to be, perhaps at different spacetime resolutions. Yet both of them take their own reality to be the whole, even if they recognize their own view as approximate or hypothetical. However, the foundation or the basis of their experience is in adaptation, in this primordial bringing-closer. Even as they adapt, as they bring-closer, they implicitly recognize that there is a plurality of different possible selections between mutually exclusive alternatives. When he selects between mutually exclusive options, the individual implicitly recognizes that there is a multiplicity of possible choices that he does not choose, but he chooses a definite selection anyway because he must act in the world. So in the decision to act in the world, there is this implicit realm of possibilia, counterfactuals, things that could be otherwise. The implicit recognition of this realm of homogeneous unrealized possibilities is also a part of adaptation.

And so when two individuals interact, they both implicitly recognize this homogeneous realm of possibilia. This is the outer context of all of definite selections or choices. This homogeneous realm is called the field of immanence. It is a kind of immediacy which implies all other possible choices as context. And this is how the individual’s negotiate and arrive at approximate mutual understandings, by continually adjusting their narrative structure to this field of immanence, based on what the other person says. The field of immanence is a mediating structure between the two narrative structures. By considering other possibilities that he could have made, the individual is able to adjust his own narrative structure to that of someone else. And he is able to hold his ground on positions where he is sure that he made the right choices. This field of immanence facilitates the adjustment of each narrative so that they converge on the same time span and spatial hypothesis.

And so, over time, individuals want to gain simpler and more concise narratives of experience. They continue to make their summations of experience more simple and yet, at the same time, more precise and accurate. They try to compress all of experience into the most concise, simplest possible narrative. And then in interaction, they mutually adjust each other’s narratives so that they are simpler and more precise. And eventually the narratives of experience will enter into a network effect and vicious feedback cycle, where the narratives get highly concise and highly accurate, rapidly improving and mutually correcting one another’s imprecisions, so that they eventually converge on an ultimate narrative. This ultimate narrative will be capable of coordinating human behavior on a universal scale, because it will be based in human biology, but will also account for all of the social realities and possible game theoretic equilibria, and it will be able to adaptively regulate and update itself based on new information while still retaining the objective narrative structure of reality.

The existence of religion and of capitalism proves that there are general equilibria of human cooperation. These equilibria are not merely imagined, intersubjective constructions, but they are objective, independent realities. This means that there exists equilibria of coordination that we have not yet discovered but which nevertheless exist already. Before Christianity existed, Socrates stated, “It is better to suffer injustice than do it.” This was an unpopular sentiment at the time, but it was correct. This principle was later proven by Christianity to allow for a more harmonious organization and flourishing of human life. There are objective general equilibria of human organization that exist independently of current human organization which are sufficient for better, more consonant human cooperation and meta-agreement. With religion, people cooperate and coordinate around a text, around rituals, and around moral behavior. With capitalism, people cooperate and coordinate around the exchange of money. So the question becomes, what is the next general equilibrium that will be greater than capitalism or Christianity? Many would guess that it would have something to do with science, technology or perhaps with Marxism/socialism. These seem to be high level memes that our society wants to organize around. We have a utopian urge coupled with a demand for direct empirical verification. Yet science/technology and Marxism/socialism have not proven to be adequate on a large enough social scale. If anything, they have had disastrous social consequences. In order to avoid these consequences and build a truly harmonious social order, we must look closely at the properties of a general coordination equilibrium. A general equilibrium speaks to people’s deepest, most embodied inclinations and tendencies. It is a manifestation of people’s most natural, yet highest social tendencies, it brings out people’s most lucid and brightest imagination, and expresses it as a concise story which people can immediately appreciate and act upon. With capitalism, this is the inclination toward self interest that benefits others through mutual exchange, pursuing my own self interest also helps someone else. With Christianity, it is the same thing in reverse, pursuing the good of the other leads to my own salvation. With both of these there is a symmetry between the self and other, between inner and outer. This symmetry is the foundation of a general equilibrium. Each individual naturally tends to view his own experience as symmetric to his environment. What this means practically is that the individual continually sums up the information from his environment and his network of associates into a concise story that he acts upon. He does this to make sense of things, to attribute a sequence of causes and effects. For the moment it is not important whether his concise summation story is correct or incorrect. The important thing is that he participates in this continual synthetic summation. The means that his summation is an instantiation or an image of the whole order as it exists objectively. The objective state of the relational movements, motivations, and intentions of the collective social organism are aggregated and algorithmically compressed into the experience of the individual. Yet the individual cannot see his own experience as a whole. What he experiences is partiality, limitation, and finiteness. His inclination toward symmetry of experience will allow him to see that in this very limitation must be a micro-instantiation of the whole that is deeply obscured. Experience just seems deeply symbolic, it seems to be meaningful, significant, and important for deeply cosmic/structural reasons. Furthermore, there is evidence that our direct experience is all that we, as individuals, will ever know. Therefore experience is, in some sense, an unbroken whole. Experience itself seems to tell us that it is a whole. And yet we have this deep limitation, partiality, and finiteness. Our experience is like a low resolution image of an original that is the true, objective experience, the way things really are. So now it matters whether his summation is correct, because each individual is limited and partial in their view of the objective whole. Yet each individual’s experience fits with others that he encounters like pieces of a puzzle. In other words, each individual’s experience naturally corrects those blind spots and partialities in his neighbor’s view of the whole. And so the general equilibrium which organizes and coordinates social interactions is one of mutual correction and regulation. Each individual is trying to achieve his own private ends, which basically means he is trying to see things as objectively as possible. He continually sums up the environment into a story, which is a more or less accurate view of the objective whole. And this story is corrected by other individuals acting in the environment who are trying to do the same thing, and so by each individual acting toward their own ends, a greater social order prevails, one that is more complex than could be cognized by any of the individual actors. The principle of the next general equilibrium is symmetry. People continuously sum up their environment, take it all in with one view. And with each individual doing this, the stories about the whole get increasingly more concise and more accurate. And eventually, the stories get so concise and so accurate that they start to feed back in network effects with one another, they start to interlock and feed off one another in efficacious ways. The stories start to rapidly converge on a single narrative. This single narrative is the general equilibrium that coordinates human action.

The common sense, everyday approach to the world is to take things in with a single view. The human being is the rational animal because he compresses or aggregates large amounts of information across many domains, synthesizing the various aspects of experience into a single conceptualization. The intuition or the conscience is an information aggregator, it takes information about goals and intentions from multiple time spans and different domains of action and brings them together into a single immediate judgement about the current situation. There is a question whether the distribution of information that comes into the field of view is efficient, meaning whether it is or can be meaningfully unified into a single continuous theme or whether it is fragmented into discursive, disparate, meaningless pieces without relation to one another. The distribution of knowledge is efficient when it is meaningful for the individual and for the collective which he is a part of. This means that the continuity of phenomena in the field of experience is fluid and meaningful on a collectively interrelated level. The individual’s emotions are regulated within a range of functionality, this is interdependent with relations between individuals. The regulation of emotions depends on the relationships of mutual expectations. This continuity of experience in the individual is reflective of the aggregate experiences of many individuals, those who he comes into contact with, directly or indirectly. The fluid continuity of experience of the individual is a kind of instantiation or compression of the network of his associates. In other words, the fragmentation or disregulation of emotions in the individual reflects some broader, more general break in the fluidity of the mutual expectations between individuals. For a society to be well regulated would mean that it had an efficient distribution of knowledge, which would mean that information was distributed meaningfully, such that individuals encounter a continuity of meaningful phenomena in their interrelations and in the natural environment. For this to be possible there has to be a sufficiently deeply integrated level of mutual expectations, such that “I expect you to expect me to…” and so on, on a sufficiently deep and embodied level such that each individual’s movements through space toward their inclinations and tendencies interact with one another, not just in a superficial way, but in a way where previously disparate, unrelated events and meanings take on new significance by virtue of the complex structure of the interrelations. The structure of these interrelations cannot be fully grasped by any single individual in the network. If mutual expectations were sufficiently embodied then each individual would share certain tendencies or inclinations not toward a specific, tangible goal but toward an implicit updating of specific tangible goals depending on the states of direct or indirect mutual interactions. The main problem is how to formulate such a sufficiently deep equilibrium that it would be the automatic solution to a/the game that everyone is already involved in. And furthermore whether this game is actually unified by any real criterion, or there are just a plurality of games with different inclinations that cannot be unified under any single equilibrium. Assuming that there is a single game, it is possible that certain kinds of narrative metaphor could be a solution. Metaphor relates the procedural, habitual, instinctual, automated aspects of behavior to the reflective, intellectual aspects of behavior. Some formulation of metaphorical narrative is possibly deep enough and aggregative of enough collective experience that it could serve as the implicit equilibrium of everyone’s actions, such that they can both understand and want to understand more, being both static and dynamic at the same time. Or it is possible that there is narrative metaphor which could construct the conditions of possibility for such a convergence of tendencies. Any sufficiently adequate equilibrium solution for the social game would have to be simple enough that it could be framed concisely but also be able to reflexively grow in complexity. There is good evidence for the idea that there is a single social game that everyone is already involved in. The first piece of evidence is advanced capitalism, where everyone in the contemporary world seems to have converged on a solution of working to earn money and using that money to exchange for other goods and services. This seems to indicate that there is some objective factor of mutual human expectation which relates all people to one another. Another piece of evidence is the existence of religion, which was the convergent solution for many throughout history and has mimetically propagated largely by virtue of its utility in solving complex social-ethical problems. The fact that religions also claim to be the ultimate solution also suggests that there is an objective convergence of human tendencies in larger game theoretical formation.

There are two main social equilibria, economic and religious. The economic equilibrium is coordination around exchange, division of labor, and specialization, which is made compatible by money. It is transactional and therefore facilitates the dominance of the strong. The religious equilibrium is coordination around morality, ritual, and sacred text, which is made compatible by a view of the whole. It is immersive and therefore facilitates the dominance of the whole of society. These two equilibria must be distinguished because they represent two distinct incentives or tendencies of the human being in his social nature. These incentives are largely opposed, but not always. The concept of “knowledge production,” which refers to production of art, drama, literature, movies, journalism, philosophy, all tend towards taking a view of the whole, but they must survive and thrive in an ecosystem of specialization and transactional exchanges. In most respects knowledge production is incompatible with economic coordination because it is not focused on narrow specialization or transactional exchanges for economic dominance. However, knowledge production is also not fully compatible with religious coordination because contemporary knowledge production no longer has a consensus view of the whole, such as we find in the classic religious traditions and texts. So knowledge production is oriented toward the ends of religious coordination but it must use the means of economic coordination. This is an uncomfortable compromise. Economic coordination was originally oriented towards industrial and manufacturing types of production. It was mostly focused on material production, on the production and distribution of material goods. The economy has since evolved so that it is no longer simply oriented around the production of material goods, knowledge production plays an increasingly important part of the modern economy. There are no longer just a few engineers and many conveyor belt workers. Increasingly everyone is asked to be an engineer or knowledge worker of some kind, as most of the rote jobs are automated. Knowledge production is more closely oriented and aligned with religious coordination because it is oriented toward taking a view of the whole. Yet knowledge production is still coordinated around transactional exchanges and specialized interactions. This is problematic because knowledge production is forced into the framework of economic coordination, and consequently the stock of cultural knowledge is fragmented and confused, when it should be coherent and unified giving meaning and purpose to the whole society. We have many incompatible views of the whole, the conflict between these poses a civilizational risk. Knowledge naturally tends towards a view of the whole, not a narrow, specialized compartmentalization of the faculties. Knowledge naturally wants to say “this is what reality is, this is the whole of reality.” The modern scientific consensus is all about fighting our biases and realizing that our intuitions are often wrong. But in the common sense, the mind approaches reality by summing it up, by taking a view of the whole, by taking a stand. Perhaps this should not be so much avoided, perhaps we focus too much on telling ourselves that our intuitions are wrong. Perhaps if we went more and more in depth inside of our partialities and biases we could more accurately see how they were wrong instead of by constantly fighting them and trying to find some objective, scientific view. Knowledge naturally wants to take a view of the whole, and it is often mistaken in this endeavor because the whole is complex. But that doesn’t mean that we ought to constantly fight against the natural tendency of the mind. Rather, we ought to go with that tendency all the way and reveal our biases for what they are, partial and incomplete. But this is a harder position to take when there is no longer any valid religious coordination. There is no longer a social equilibrium around the view of the whole. Increasingly, economic coordination is taken as the whole story, but this story reinforces the fragmentation. In other words, knowledge production is naturally oriented towards taking a view of the whole all at once, but there is no longer a social equilibrium for what is meant by the whole of reality. We do not have a metanarrative that is valid for both the intelligent and the unintelligent, the wealthy and the poor. All of our cultural narratives are fragmented because we have to specialize to make a living. It would take a religious revelation to properly orient our knowledge production toward sustaining the whole of society at once. It would take a religious revelation to overcome the inequality of economic coordination without toppling it, to be able to coordinate our actions independently of money. However, in the absence of such a religious revelation, we must begin building a consensus, begin building a social equilibrium that will orient our knowledge production toward its natural ends, towards coordination around the whole. So what does this look like tangibly? We need to engineer a metanarrative, a view of the whole of reality which is correct both religiously and the scientifically. Such a narrative must be a synthesis of all important and relevant human knowledge into a single compelling literal metaphor which captures the imagination of the world so deeply that it forms a religious equilibrium. Only divine revelation can make such a thing possible, yet we do not have this divine revelation, so we must undertake the building of such a religious equilibrium as a distributed social process, not orienting ourselves around the final equilibrium but around the process of arriving at the equilibrium. And then we can hope that divine revelation intercedes along the way in order to give us the end goal. In other words, we must make a devotion to coordinate around discovering the new religious equilibrium, and then hope that the actual religious equilibrium reveals itself over time. This process involves a synthesis of every domain of human knowledge into a literal metaphor that is ultimately so compelling that it allows all knowledge production to be oriented toward a single, scientifically and religiously correct view of the whole, that is funded entirely by donation and patronage and not by coercion or economic transactions. The model for knowledge production is the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, traditional rites and services are coordinated entirely without any transactional exchanges, entirely by donation and patronage. People coordinate their actions entirely around morality, ritual, and traditional texts and around a concern for the good of the whole. Contemporary knowledge production should be seeking to coordinate around a single unified view of the whole, independently of economic coordination, it should be an economic sector which operates on donations and patronage. It should be seeking to coordinate entirely around the religiously and scientifically correct view of the whole.