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Mike

http://m.democracyjournal.org/689527/show/f1d46488c919000e9ce727b8159df8f4/?

Thanks to Brian for passing on the link.  Nice piece, and I haven’t read the book.  I don’t agree with all Summers suggestions.  I have an email to myself to remind me to unwind my view on where inequality emerges and how in large part it is "valued" @BS [Blank Slate]… making inroads impassable through policy and more than likely will less to ELYSIUM effects.

The question is not what anymore… but where, when and how….

If one were to research all great paradigm shifts before, during, and after; I suspect social upheaval was involved in some way… a civil war, a world war, a Great Depression, a revolution….

We are moving into a paradigm shift of great magnitude, one in which it does no good to prepare for…

—–

Mark

The interesting thing about Piketty’s book is that it obviously touched a nerve in the American public and academia. Here in continental Europe it’s this eager discussion taking place in the Anglo-American world that is being taken up by the media but not so much Piketty’s book itself. The French version published last September didn’t receive an extraordinary echo. A German translation is not expected before the end of the year.
 
Piketty, from what I have gathered from the review (I haven’t read it myself), remains within the logic of economy as a monetary construct and thus in a traditional paradigm. Thus he can be comfortably discussed within the established Left-Right policy spectrum. He remains within the prevailing social meme (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/brooks-the-piketty-phenomenon.html?_r=1).

Is unequal distribution of wealth OK?  The basic market idea is the central dogma of the societal order esp. in the US that unquestionably goes hand in hand with democracy: all wealth is the result of “hard work” and “high productivity” (whatever that means) which is the legitimizing foundation of your existential being (In his other post Mike reflects on peoples’ value and fitness and the fact that in our world they are defined by criteria of monetary success).  Piketty questions this self-understanding but not the monetary system of economy itself. 
 
Interestingly, though considered groundbreaking, he doesn’t take up two other pressing economic topics (largely side stepped by mainstream media): The limits to growth phenomena (growing populations, harder to come-by resources and compounding consumption) for one and the issue of money creation and the accumulation of debt (what does “hard work” and “productivity” mean in this context?).
 
The British analyst Dr. Tim Morgan (Tullet Prebon research) recently published an unorthodox study entitled the “Perfect storm – the energy, finance and the end of growth” http://www.tullettprebon.com/strategyinsights/.  It’s far hotter than Pikett’s thesis but goes largely ignored.
 
(Tim Morgan’s understanding of economy on one page: http://www.surplusenergyeconomics.com/)
 
It holds some of the background from which the “paradigm shift of great magnitude” could occur.
 
—–
 
Mike

I liked reading this, it flowed well for me, so take another step and reduce your piece (request please) to it’s billet points as you covered a lot of ground — which I liked — and your point was indirectly made, so can you boil it down?

What should our discussion be about?

I want to stay and play here awhile because I have stuff brewing as I knock my head against the wall here in The Philippines.

—–

Mark

Key point - culture is keyCulture is key: Culture defines the codes and values (what is important and urgent) whereby you make meaning of phenomena of life (content).  Culture is an emergent property that gets nurtured by the ruling class in a society to serve a particular order.  It allows you to see certain things and to hide others.
He who works hard and thus is productive can accumulate wealth and can call it his property, which enjoys societies’ protection.  Everybody can work hard if they are willing.  Thus comprehensive wealth is produced.  This is a core assumption of the “capitalist” system as it is understood in American Economy. Piketty questions this theory (understanding of the reality) by producing other facts.

Perception of realityThe issue at key is the open questioning of the theory – of the generally accepted perception of reality (truth).

Piketty discussionIn the case of Piketty you get a heated discussion, as not the foundations of the theory are questioned but certain of its aspects (taxing more or less).

Money and dept creationIn the case of the money and debt creation and the case of redefining economy as an energy based system, the very beliefs underpinning a theory are questioned. Here the topic is ignored. It is just pushed outside the radar.

Context within a Culture defines what is WORKThe Context within a Culture defines what is WORK: As I am writing this e-mail here, I wonder what I call this activity. Is it work? Am I being productive? I know I don’t get any money for this and it will not figure in any statistical record that adds up to some GDP. From this logic I am wasting my time, I am unproductive. The same goes for my wife that has just cooked an excellent meal. What about the girls in Camotes who give birth to babies and then spend time nurturing and feeding them. Are they not working? But then you drive through the cities and see all these people sitting in glass offices in front of screens WORKING HARD!

MARKET decides the valueWhat is a valid contribution to life and society? The orthodox answer is, that MARKET decides the value. And who defines the rules of the market? The prevailing culture based on certain beliefs and assumptions. As long as things are in an equilibrium, it works. When the fundamentals shift or collapse the order on top shift or crumble. When Fairness is questioned and the system disregards the foundations then things can start seriously rocking.

Improving life and societyThe question I have these day is where can I substantially contribute to improving life and society? Do real work – not in the sense of just doing a job or following a market (without being catapulted out of the economic circuit)?

If the wall hasn’t crumbled yet, go dip your head into the ocean.

——

Mike

Nice piece

The question I have these day is where can I substantially contribute to improving life and society? Do real work – not in the sense of just doing a job or following a market (without being catapulted out of the economic circuit)?

My answer:

Live @F-L-O-W

—–

Mike

Mark said:

"What is a valid contribution to life and society? The orthodox answer is, that MARKET decides the value. And who defines the rules of the market? The prevailing culture based on certain beliefs and assumptions. As long things are in an equilibrium, it works."

This reminds me of "overshoot" conditions…

If you look at limits to growth models (or any Systems Dynamics Models), you experience what is a condition called "overshoot" and collapse…

We are in overshoot conditions right now, and that is putting pressure on the social scaffold.  But there is a particular series of convergent events that makes this dangerous and I’m seeing this now in the Philippines.

Background:

Graves said that children raised at "FS" (green) would develop their worldviews in accordance with FS…(he also stated that it would be a short-lived system)

The reason that FS is a "short" duration system is because at the roots it is equality-driven.

What does this mean for MOST people (95-99%)… is that equality and fairness mean "same"…

It’s VERY hard to convince them that differences call for same to be "according to each his own same" not same as everyone… this nuance is what ruined Marx’s theory and execution I think… or I suggest.

The reason is the underlying EGO system that develops in accordance with low ego complexity (capability of a sort) and FS values.

FS broke onto the scene in the 60s… having roots probably as far back as the Magna Carta (which I visited the city it was signed in maybe 1245 mark?).

The concept of equality "varies" in its meaning over levels of ego complexity and therefore if you use a system primarily based on the density and frequency of equality in levels where the ego complexity denotes sameness as a literal connotation, you end up with a very serious overshoot, and a corresponding collapse situation (class war is already going).

The tool of the poor is the "vote" (supposedly).  But when the vote only reinforces the current system in the positive loop, overshoot is guaranteed, which means… COLLAPSE is guaranteed!

Since the vote won’t work because of corruption (in many legal forms) of equality, and the low ego complexity forming equal = same… you have a convergence of values occurring that will create additional overshoot soon, and trigger collapse, where revolution and a paradigm shift of great magnitude will occur, and which we can’t predict how quickly the collapse will drive the system.

Arab Spring is a small indicator (which is driven largely by lack of food, clean water, and basics)… since most of that still exists in the developed and developing world, excluding small pockets here and there, we are in overshoot, and have not reached collapse conditions yet…

However, I don’t see a slowdown, but an acceleration of overshoot (this is where understanding Pikkety’s research is important as the rate at which the overshoot is occurring is accelerating!).

This acceleration in the rate, is different than the acceleration of the conditions themselves, and this increase of an increase is where a positive loop becomes hard to stop.

That is why I say there is nothing much we can do except to let this system creatively destruct (Schumpeter) and pick up the pieces.

This could be, and probably will be ugly for most… again for most of those who are actually benefiting from this condition, there are buffers (mobility) which I expect to see accelerate soon… moving to where the problem isn’t and "happiness indexes" can plot this perhaps…

I suspect there is quite a bit of time, but if you look at another convergence, technology — it’s a double-edged sword — providing an increase in the rate of the increase to wealth for those who deploy/employ and a "raised tide" for those who benefit from the adoption, BUT…

Technology will start to create wide-spread replacement of jobs soon, everything from blue-collar to white-collar and 50% of the jobs we have today, possibly more will be wiped out by technology — wherever possible.

I reported to you more than 10 years ago, that within 5 years 50% of fees paid to workers would be benefits… its not here, and if a business can replace 50% right off the top of future obligations, instead using that money to deploy competitive advantage, they will do it, mark my words.

You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet (is my reference to the converging influence of technology)…

We are not prepared for the fallout of a billion workers who will be replaced by millions of robots, drones, and AI…

Timing is the only difficult thing as we will start to see delays in the increase brought about by everything from new laws, to regulation, to prohibition, to whatever people can vote up…

However, the overshoot, I explained before, will increase in nature and collapse will become inevitable because there are NO PLANS anywhere I can see to offset the convergence of these factors into increasing the increase…

While it might seem fatalistic (most things are at some level)… happiness will become an important part of everything we do, because the nature of accelerating complexity, can only be told by Alice…

I’m peddling faster now, but I’m just keeping up…

—–

Mark

My comments in the text–

Mark said:

"What is a valid contribution to life and society? The orthodox answer is, that MARKET decides the value. And who defines the rules of the market? The prevailing culture based on certain beliefs and assumptions. As long things are in an equilibrium, it works."

This reminds me of "overshoot" conditions…

If you look at limits to growth models (or any Systems Dynamics Models), you experience what is a condition called "overshoot" and collapse…

We are in overshoot conditions right now, and that is putting pressure on the social scaffold.  But there is a particular series of convergent events that makes this dangerous and I’m seeing this now in the Philippines.

Background:

Graves said that children raised at "FS" (green) would develop their worldviews in accordance with FS…(he also stated that it would be a short-lived system)

The reason that FS is a "short" duration system is because at the roots it is equality-driven.

What does this mean for MOST people (95-99%)… is that equality and fairness mean "same"…

It’s VERY hard to convince them that differences call for same to be "according to each his own same" not same as everyone… this nuance is what ruined Marx’s theory and execution I think… or I suggest.

The reason is the underlying EGO system that develops in accordance with low ego complexity (capability of a sort) and FS values.

FS broke onto the scene in the 60s… having roots probably as far back as the Magna Carta (which I visited the city it was signed in maybe 1245 mark?).

I dare venture another view, Mike.  I am a boomer born in 1953 and I grew up into a world that was economically booming and a world governed by people who had just lived through a great war.  The victorious powers, notably the US, created the western postwar world on the idea of prosperity, human rights, and peace, which is at the bottom of the UN system established in October 1945 (5 months after V-day). 

After having fought a war against oppression and fascism, a war that mobilized whole populations, the people suffered and fought together – across the classes.  I remember both my parents (Mother English – Father Swiss) talking about the sense of togetherness that they had experienced during their army services (in the respective armies) towards the end of the war (they were in their late teens/early twenties).  It’s a sense that also influenced the political spirit of the time – we all have the right to our fair share.

I grew up into a comfortable middle class society in an expanding economy giving me privileges my parents didn’t know.  It forged my sense of equality, my greenness.  The affluent society became my normal and even so with my children (I assume this goes for many of us in the western societies). 

Idealism became affordable.  It’s built on solid rules on a still lived morals. The downside of affluency is that you lose the sense of what your foundations are and that you must fight for rights and freedoms in order to sustain them.  They become too for granted.


I don’t know whether the living conditions in the England of 1215 was such to generate strong green meme densities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta).  I think the feudal barons just found themselves in a situation of power allowing them to grab the king by the scruff of his neck and say “NO, King, from now we are going to play according to our rules!”.  As did the Americans when they declared independence from the British Crown, or the ancient Swiss that swore alliance against the feudal lords.

One overshoot phenomena today is that today you have powers operating under the flag of democracy, fairness, rule of law that can blatantly dictate, twist and ignore the laws as they please.  Nobody can or will stop with a clear NO.  To the point when everybody questioning this power is contemptuously tagged as “LEFT”.

http://www.theglobalist.com/elizabeth-warren-when-political-labels-completely-mislead/
http://www.theglobalist.com/the-terrible-truth-about-income-inequality/

As Ralph Krugmann pointed out in a talk with Bill Moyers on Piketty: The debate is getting ugly (http://billmoyers.com/episode/what-the-1-dont-want-you-to-know-2/)


FS will die out when the living conditions will change. When the new normal will set in.

Justice and fairness implies balance – see the antique figure of Justitia (Lady Justice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Justice) – it’s an archetype.

The concept of equality "varies" in its meaning over levels of ego complexity and therefore if you use a system primarily based on the density and frequency of equality in levels where the ego complexity denotes sameness as a literal connotation, you end up with a very serious overshoot, and a corresponding collapse situation (class war is already going)…

——

The tool of the poor is the "vote" (supposedly).  But when the vote only reinforces the current system in the positive loop, overshoot is guaranteed, which means… COLLAPSE is guaranteed!

—-

The idea of ”one man = one vote” is a rational to legitimize the constitution of a state that doesn’t build on “godgiven” powers, such as the nobles justify their rule.  From this Idea comes the idea of the social contract and the rule of law – but also the wisdom of checks and balances.

But throughout the history of democracy the powerful have known how to play with the votes. The poor rarely exercise real power.  They give legitimacy.  And in a given culture with a living moral a sense of fairness is established.

Today it is becoming obvious that you can manipulate your votes as you wish (you buy TV time and papers and tell the people what to think – see e.g. Berlusconi in Italy).

The idea of “sameness =equal” is a construct I never encountered in my law studies or in my discussions on equality and fairness.  A fundamental piece in Swiss jurisdiction is the principle whereby equality means “that the same shall be judged the same but the unsame shall be judged dissimilarly”.

But whatever, the underlying moral for this attitude is fading.

——

Since the vote won’t work because of corruption (in many legal forms) of equality, and the low ego complexity forming equal = same… you have a convergence of values occurring that will create additional overshoot soon, and trigger collapse, where revolution and a paradigm shift of great magnitude will occur, and which we can’t predict how quickly the collapse will drive the system.

Arab Spring is a small indicator (which is driven largely by lack of food, clean water, and basics)… since most of that still exists in the developed and developing world, excluding small pockets here and there, we are in overshoot, and have not reached collapse conditions yet…

However, I don’t see a slowdown, but an acceleration of overshoot (this is where understanding Pikkety’s research is important as the rate at which the overshoot is occurring is accelerating!).

This acceleration in the rate, is different than the acceleration of the conditions themselves, and this increase of an increase is where a positive loop becomes hard to stop.

That is why I say there is nothing much we can do except to let this system creatively destruct (Schumpeter) and pick up the pieces.

This could be, and probably will be ugly for most… again for most of those who are actually benefiting from this condition, there are buffers (mobility) which I expect to see accelerate soon… moving to where the problem isn’t and "happiness indexes" can plot this perhaps…

I suspect there is quite a bit of time, but if you look at another convergence, technology — it’s a double-edged sword — providing an increase in the rate of the increase to wealth for those who deploy/employ and a "raised tide" for those who benefit from the adoption, BUT…

Technology will start to create wide-spread replacement of jobs soon, everything from blue-collar to white-collar and 50% of the jobs we have today, possibly more will be wiped out by technology — wherever possible.

I reported to you more than 10 years ago, that within 5 years 50% of fees paid to workers would be benefits… its not here, and if a business can replace 50% right off the top of future obligations, instead using that money to deploy competitive advantage, they will do it, mark my words.

You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet (is my reference to the converging influence of technology)…

We are not prepared for the fallout of a billion workers who will be replaced by millions of robots, drones, and AI…

Timing is the only difficult thing as we will start to see delays in the increase brought about by everything from new laws, to regulation, to prohibition, to whatever people can vote up…


Interting point.  What you are saying laws are becoming empty symbols without power, because power to move things is not in the rules

—–

Mike

One point:

FS will die out when the living conditions will change. When the new normal will set in.

FS will NOT die… just as AN, BO, CP, DQ, and ER have not died.  They live on as an attractor to serve the inbornness of those whose motives can best be served through those life conditions.  I can show you AN, and the rest, all alive and well, dim in respects to what is prevalent or emerging; but nonetheless they don’t die because they have a self-sustaining core, an autopoetic core, that is there because it attracts those with particular inbornness, and whose values are served through this values basin.

The rest was interesting, I love hearing from people who grew up somewhere else, we here are so narrow in our understanding of life, thanks for sharing some of yours!

—–

Mark

“Graves said that children raised at "FS" (green) would develop their worldviews in accordance with FS…(he also stated that it would be a short-lived system).  The reason that F-S is a "short" duration system is because at the roots it is equality-driven.” (e-mail 16/5)

“FS broke onto the scene in the 60s… having roots probably as far back as the Magna Carta”.

“As it is, F-S will tend to make everything equal… and mediocre, as it doesn’t have a solution for inequalities!” (e-mail 18/5 re genes and race)

These quotes taken from your e-mails as well as your pertinent point in the e-mail below made me ponder on the following:

In his paper “Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap”, published in 1974, Clare Graves starts off with the following statement “A new psychological theory holds that human beings exist at different ‘levels of existence’.  At any given level, an individual exhibits the behavior and values characteristics of people at that level; a person who is centralized at a lower level cannot even understand people who are at a higher level.”  He develops this beautiful theory describing the characteristics of the existential levels starting with A-N going up to H-U, the theory on which Spiral Dynamics is built (the letter codes are collapsed into the colors beige to turquoise). E-S or Green Graves calls “Personalistic Existence”, the sixth subsistence level.

Graves explains the letter coding as follows:

The first letter stands for the “neurological system” in the brain upon which the psychological system is based.  The letters go from A to H starting at the beginning of the alphabet. e.g. F is the sixth letter (the neurological systems F is not described anywhere, as little as the 7 other ones in the row).

The second letter stands for the set of existential problems. The letters start with the letter N (middle of the alphabet) an go up to U (the existential problems are not described as such either).

The theory set forth says that the neurological system of all persons moves with the change of existential problems.  So the existential level is defined by the neurological system moving synchronically along with the existential problem. It’s a fixed climb up the “existential ladder” (nicely illustrated in the paper), i.e. from the rungs E-S to B-O to C-P, etc., there are no other combinations such as B-S or A-U. Consequently SD then collapsed these letter pairs into colors, evaporating the “neurological system/existential problems” relationship aspect (an important relationship, I find, that, however, doesn’t get explained neither how it works).

It’s a beautiful theory.  The first time I read it I fell for it and for SD, life becomes so nicely explainable. Only later, finding it difficult to relate the theory to my experience of everyday life, I wondered where the hard data was that supported this theory.  There was a disconnect I found bothering.

It was then I discovered Mike, the “red ass”, on the SD list vigorously contending the assumptions leading up to SD (values follow existential levels and are hierarchically ordered), notably that red was supposed to be an inferior meme to “green”, a meme that seemingly nobody wants to associate with being somewhat considered a little unworldly, hippie and naive (People in the SD community like seeing themselves being “yellow”).

@FLOW builds on a different anthropological understanding: “we remain largely an emergence out of inbornness”.  The various memeplexes don’t follow a hierarchical logic up a ladder, but are values basins formed by like-minded people (inborn value profile).

However the Graves/SD terminology is still used in @Flow because it allows to group together and classify certain worldviews (the theory has emerged a useful terminology to describe a certain phenomenon).  However I find that it sounds smart but when I start looking more closely I wonder what it really means.  Also I find, the terminology is not used consistently with the theory.  So back to the quotes and my question:

“Graves said that children raised at "FS" (green) would develop their worldviews in accordance with FS…(he also stated that it would be a short-lived system).  The reason that F-S is a "short" duration system is because at the roots it is equality-driven.”

“FS broke onto the scene in the 60s… having roots probably as far back as the Magna Carta”.

What is it you are trying to say with this language?  According to Graves, people develop the neurological system F (whatever that is) when they meet the existential problems of S.  That is, speaking with Graves, in the 1960’s the western postwar kids having grown up in a prospering economy (ep S) inevitably developed the neurological system F.  Question: What significant shift in the existential problems did Graves foresee that F-S should be a short lived system?  More affluence and internet/mobile communication?  Limits to growth?  Is the fact that it is equality-driven a factor that the ep change so that the neurological systems change?

Shouldn’t the quote better read “children raised in ep S would develop their worldview through their neurological system F”? (To remain within the logic of Graves.)

What I don’t understand is when these existential levels are equipped with agentic attributes authoring developments like in “F-S will tend to make…”. What does that mean?  Does F-S as understood by Graves necessarily make things mediocre?  I don’t get it.

This is a language or logic that doesn’t fit @Flow.  You try to intertwine the concepts but somehow it doesn’t make sense: Existential levels “have a self-sustaining core, an autopoetic core that is there because it attracts those with particular inbornness, and whose values are served through this values basin.”

With the Reiss there are billions of possible combinations of the 16 values – making each individual special with his/her own typical value profile (RMP).  To my understanding then, depending on the circumstances somebody is born into, certain values can be more advantageous than others and epigenetically interacting with the environment (as you show in the 6cs – core, culture, code, conditional, context, content) this or that value combination will prove to be fitter.  It becomes an attractor.  But nothing changes in the neurological setup in the brain within the same person (?)

Last question: is Blank Slate an egalitarian theory?  Is it a green meme?  Is SD a blank slate theory (According to SD everybody has inevitably the same neurological set-up under the same existential problems – it is always A-N, or B-O, etc, never another combination for everybody)?

As you say, by saying that everybody is created equally and can be whoever and whatever they want to be “BS provides the "excuse" for the inequalities to persist in favor of those with the greatest luck in natures and nurtures lottery?”

I don’t know whether “equality” is the issue than far more the inability to look, recognize, and appreciate differences due to the fact that we like to fall for theories and scalable schemata.  It’s about dancing to the music, instead of measuring us up to standards.

—-

Mike

We need a call to unwind all this Mark…

You and I are mashing up a lot of stuff.

My grandmother used to do that and I asked what’s it made of… and she would say "leftover stuff".

They tasted good but no one but grandma could make them.

*************************************************************************
On Thursday, May 29 at 8:30 PM ET Mike will go through Mark’s questions and make the stuff to answer the questions because it took him two decades, almost, to figure it out and he’ll share what he believes as Mark walks us through what are the many steps most take in their quest for the Master Code.

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