A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol

I’ve been on an extended holiday from blogging, but since I still seem to have something to say I’ll say just say it now.

E.M. Smith aka Chiefio, – I have to get used to this, E.M seems to have ditched his pseudonym and is now going by his initials in public – has a new post up Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix which is a musing on the classic Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday, the light hearted fairtale of a truant princess who skips out on her royal responsibilities for a day for before returning to the more serious duties as a figurehead of state.   Solutions proposed by fictitious princesses in 1953 don’t seem to be much different than what is proposed by fairy tale politicians today according to E.M.

From the screenplay [bold by The Chiefio]

AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT [speaking from the crowd] Does Your Highness believe that Federation would be a possible solution to Europe’s economic problems?

ANN. I am in favour of any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe.

E.M had this to say:

Looks like the particular fantasy that “closer cooperation” or integration or “Federation” will solve economic ills has been around since at least 1953. You’d think after 1/2 Century they would have figured out it doesn’t do that. (Heck, you’d also think they would have figured out how to avoid financial problems…)

So is it time we started talking about Angela Merkel being on a Roman Holiday?

Fulfilling my role as prophet for the group I had this to say:

The tendency towards, “… any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe,” is a faulty response to the general evolutionary pressure towards the globalization and unification of human culture and civilization.

The correct response to our problems with faulty group decision making springs from the realization that politics, at least politics as we understand it today, is a dead horse. Beat it how ever you will, electrify it, put an anode in one end and a cathode in the other, it will never run the Preakness again.

You have probably noticed it too, that nobody’s system of government is capable of producing enough good decisions quickly enough to keep up with the rapidity of change taking place in the world today – at least without engendering massive oppression. You know the situation is bad, when you are visiting your cousin at his family’s beach bonanza on Connecticut’s ‘silver coast’ and the matriarch of the family, your uncle’s brother’s widow [as liberal an old lady as is probably possible for West Hartford] proposes, in all seriousness, monarchy as an admirable political system – you just had to be there.

This is the underlying pressure that drives the faulty reasoning in our political systems today, that the solution to our problems with group decision making lies on the path towards the Sith solution – getting all of the power for ourselves [who ever we happen to be] and making sure nobody else has enough power to interfere with us doing what is right – the tyranny of good intentions – out of the belief that there is simply no other way to get anything done.

The solution to our current set of problems will not be achieved by piling additional layers of government on top of the layers that are already not working, “federalizing”, or centralizing group decision making to the point that all decisions are made by a ‘group’ of unelected, unaccountable commissars in some picturesque European ville. The solution to OUR problems comes by disempowering institutions, returning decision making to the lowest practical levels and empowering right-acting individuals.

The correct response to the problem comes from the realization that the future of humanity belongs to the empowered individual – not the empowerment of individuals at the top of ruling institutions who disempower [and impoverish] everyone else. This will happen. Humanity will become a global civilization with a single culture, the unit of culture will be the individual. It will also happen more quickly than you can imagine.

The process may begin by looking something like the complete balkanization of Europe into a bunch of bickering little ethnic enclaves and building upwards again from there.  There are strong sentiments in this direction almost everywhere you look in Europe.  Most of the people who live and work locally, who are actually tied to their local economies, are pretty damned sick of people far away calling the shots – they may still yearn after other far away people’s money though – time and the future course of history will determine which sentiment is stronger.

This process will not be easy, nor will it come cheaply, there will doubtless be a great many Sith lords to be dealt with. There will doubtless also be a great many who will propose themselves as just the right Jedi to save us. Just remember though [you heard it hear first] the Jedi were the flip side of the Sith. Remember too, the Jedi Counsel was the most moribund and ineffectual institution in that particular galaxy because the Jedi were using a fairly Sith method. There will also be a great mass of people who cannot keep up [your humble prophet probably amongst them] who will simply be herded into extinction as redundant.

You object. Yes, there is the problem of ‘human nature’, but human nature is evolving rapidly. In a hundred years you will not be able to recognize humanity. Travel back in time a hundred years yourself and you could probably couldn’t stand to hang out with most of the people you thought you might have wanted to meet, they were just so ‘retro’ back then, most of them ever so slopish.

Each one of us is born a slope-browed-retro-troglodyte, each one of us has the human potential to out grow our adolescent monkeyness and become fully human – or not. However in the future the ‘slopish’ will be treated more or less like an airline passenger of today who jumps up out of his seat and yells, “allahu akbar!”, he will be gang-piled by his fellow passengers, bound and duct taped, and ejected from the aircraft – in short nobody will put up with your slopish behavior past a certain age. Thank God.

The evolutionary trends are there to be seen for those who have the sight to see.  Courage comes from the insight that the evolutionary creode flows towards empowerment of the right-acting individual. Fear creates the turbulence in the flow.


4 thoughts on “A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol

  1. Pingback: Jamcracker Punk-Rock Piracy – the expression of free will by adult-right-acting-anarchists and neo-lifestyle-anarchist-Johnny Depp-rock’n’roll-pirates and FINALLY towards a science of authentic experience | The Coraline Meme

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  3. FWIW I’ve not “ditched” my “pseudonym” . I’ve always signed things “E.M.Smith” and used “chiefio” as the login token. Other folks chose to use “Chiefio” as a name, and I’ve just not done anything to either encourage it, nor discourage it. I did, briefly about a year or two back, try signing some things “Chiefio” (maybe a dozen?) but it just feel right. The blog is Chiefio.wordpress.com, so it felt more like I was signing as the blog than as me. But from the beginning and through even that phase, I’d identify me as -E.M.Smith (or sometimes “E.M.Smith aka ‘Chiefio'” after some folks started referring to me by that handle.)

    Now I just answer to both equally ;-)

    FWIW, I think California is a great example of how the myth of “closer ties” is broken. We’re about as “tied” to the USA as you can get and fully economically and financially integrated. We’ve just had a 3rd city declare bankruptcy and several counties along with the State proper are headed toward it. We are the “Greece of the USA” and everyone knows it. So if ‘closer integration’ was going to fix things: How come California is so messed up financially?

    • Ok, now I’ve got the story. I try to respect peoples alt. personae, on-line and off, I have many friends who have all kinds of ‘magical’ names and take them with great seriousness [its interesting to watch the life cycle of one of these guises ;] I must have started following you about that time you were signing things ‘Chiefio’ and didn’t connect it to comments on other sites signed ‘E.M.’ I’ve followed McIntyre since 2007 [during the ‘bucket adjustment’ wars] and the rest of that ‘gang’ in stages since, so I’ve probably been reading your comments for some time in different places without making the connection.

      Myself, I wear several hats, depending on what point of view I’m thinking or writing from, and teat them all with various levels of seriousness. I use a number of handles, mostly because I assume that nobody on-line really cares who I am anyway [I’m pretty much a nobody, so it really doesn’t make much difference as long as I’m consistent], I also prefer to keep at least one degree of separation between myself and the on-line mischief makers [the lazy ones anyway], AND it amuses me of course – but I’m just weird that way.

      As to your second point.

      Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in the post. I never meant to suggest that “closer integration” in the Princess Anna sense [higher levels of political institutionalization] was going to solve anything, it will almost certainly only make things worse, in my opinion. The main point I was trying to make is that the end state towards which we are heading is one of complete interpersonal connection as a global civilization. The process, from my point of view, may well lead to a shattering effect on nation states, societal institutions and culture generally above the level of the family [the family will continue to be hard pressed as well], even as Humanity wires itself more and more closely together. The process could become quite ugly at times, hard to say what will hapen or where, about the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that it will be as bad as we decide to make it.

      I’m not good with economic or political prognostication, if you believe what Nassim Taleb and Peilke the Younger have to say, neither are most economists or policy wonks, so I’m not too concerned about my lack of ‘skill’ in these areas. Too much noise in the system at this level – it’s crazy making. All I’m really sure about is that SOMETHING is going to happen and what ever it is I will have virtually ZERO say in the matter [not that I’d know what to do anyway, I really don’t].

      My area of prophetic skill is in the underlying pressures that are driving evolution on Planet 3: Consciousness [as hyper-object], Imagination [as a domain of Kosmos], The Eschaton, the Strange Attractor that sits over event horizon of evolution, ‘The Singularity’, The ‘Big Surprise at the end of History, what ever you want to call it, the force that is pulling everything forward through History. Evolution is one of the most basic patterns of Nature, which is to pull ever higher states of connectivity, consciousness, intelligence out of itself. This pattern will be fulfilled through Humanity, the end state will be something quite different and almost impossible to imagine. Humanity itself may be replaced in this process by what ever is coming down the pike towards us.

      As my buddy φ [you’ll notice his ‘Phism of the Day’ in the sidebar] is fond of saying to our more ‘new age’, neo-pagan friends when he has them backed into a corner:

      For an aeon we have been the children of the Earth. Childhood is at an end, adolescence is passing swiftly, it is time now to grow up and marry the Goddess.

      Our bride awaits.

      Something like an entirely new kind of life is evolving on this planet, Humanity is in the process of ‘hacking’ it out of Imagination. An entirely new form of biology will come along with this, it may be silicon based, it may be based on swarms of nanobots and carbon nanotubes, but biology as it has evolved so far will be replaced with a new one, one that is awake and sentient at every level of organization. The trees will talk to you, some trees will walk, if for no other reason than Peter Jackson made the movie of Tolkien’s slice through Imagination. We will become the elves of Tolkien’s mythology. Tolkien and his mythology of the Eldar race was actually an anticipation of Humanity’s future, we will ‘wake up’ nature and talk to it – because we want to – and it will talk back to us in its own voice. That’s the problem with mythology and people who write about it, in hyper-space it is very easy to get the arrow of time backwards.

      This Process is really, really, real and will be very difficult to derail, it is scripted into the process of Evolution, it IS the process of Evolution. Evolution is some kind of Novelty [in the A.N. Whitehead’s sense of the word] generating engine. It seems to be that there are two generally unrecognized laws operating in Nature, one that Evolution is constantly producing states of greater, depth, complexity and intelligence out of lower level states, and two that the process of creating these new ontological levels accelerates over time.

      Think about it everything that is really new and interesting in nature is now happening in the exo-genetic domain of Human culture. In the last 50k years [or so] humanity has ‘hacked’ out of Imagination something like [depending on how you choose to count them] eight or nine new ontological levels to add to Nature’s treasure trove: Symbolic Language, Art, Culture, Technology, Mathematics, Computation, Genetics, Artificial Intelligence – what comes after this??? – half of them in the last century. Take stock of this and you have a situation that will properly stand your hair on end. It is probably formally impossible to anticipate now what will be happening at the end of this century.

      All of the basic assumptions that we base our prognostications upon will be rewritten over and over again on an ever decreasing schedule. We are all victim to a very deep case of Normality Bias, even me on most days.

      The ‘Alien’ that you hear discussed on Coast to Coast AM, and by Whitley Strieber in endless books, blogs, and magazine articles is actually ‘US’, or our collective anticipation of our future – by a bunch of knuckle headed, monkey brains, who are not quite ready for prime time.

      There may be some kind of a bifurcation in this process, I’d give it about 50/50 odds [based on nothing more than a not even scientific wild-ass-guess], that some fraction of humanity will choose to remain bound to the ‘meat bag’ and remain here on Planet Gaia and create the New Age Eco-Edenic Paradise they are desiring while the rest of us shed the monkey forever and live in virtual worlds of our own creation as we venture forth to colonize the universe. But, that’s just a guess ;]

      Ray Kurzweil lays out a pretty steep timeline of events on the technology front, things may not go as fast as he is suggesting, but even if you halve his rate of the ingression of technological novelty, by the end of [this or] the next century, Humanity becomes unrecognizable to itself.

      Consider for a moment what it will be like around here [our local solar system] when each day everyone on Earth uploads the entirety of their daily experiences to what ever replaces our current internet, and while we sleep everyone downloads everyone else’s day. Question is, what does it mean to be Human, or be Humanity, when everyone shares everyone else’s experiences?????

      Hang around long enough and you will get to find out. This WILL happen, [and much sooner than any of us can imagine possible], if for no other than reason than I just published the idea and a bunch of people I don’t know and may never meet will set out to make it real – because they want to.

      Why not?


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