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.