Outcompeting the Attention Economy / Towards Human Potential and a Viable Civilization

Hey all,
this week I’ve published some essays around the lines of

  • the transition to a viable civilization (meta-stable, post existential risk, what some call GameB) can be understood in terms of advancing human sovereignty (in Schmachtenberger’s sense)
  • a phase shift in sovereignty is required within 5-10 years
  • social media as our primary conditioning environment is one of our best bets for bringing that about
  • we can’t ask nicely for FB to become more humane
  • it’s possible to outcompete the attention economy
  • augmented sovereignty is the ultimate value proposition

They’ve been well-received (got my first reddit gold) and connect to what I think we all are working on in one way or the other. Find them here:

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Godspeed.
Welf

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Hi Welf, thank you for the wonderful ideas on Medium. You’re so informed and thoughtful! I’ve ready all three and have crafted an inspired-by post.


What if we had private and secure local future technology to monitor or kindness, our mood and our attitude? To tell us, you’re not sleeping, you’re insane, you’re a selfish bastard and so on. To tell us, stop showing off to other people (offline). To tell us, you need to get out of this environment because it’s maddening, causing you to feel mentally insecure. And then what would be the reward? The reward would be happiness and mental sanity. Imagine that, who wouldn’t want that?


Perhaps a solution lies in changing society. I think you were musing in that direction as well. A solution may lie in brining life into balance.

In our society we expect (force really) kids and adults to slave away in school and work, and compete against one another, literally driving us to be mad and the source of our insecurities. Seems many people are basically sleep-deprived and addicted zombies, living hand to mouth in a system that rewards harmful locomotion rather than an interesting, contemplative, varied and balanced life. If society expected us to be healthy, and frowned upon competition, overwork and showing off we’d be better off.

Society should demand of us, have at least half of our days free from work or school, and should expect that we work on average 25 hours per week (if we like) and also not to over-consume. Society needs to value people who are balanced over those who strive for giving the appearance of being better than others.


With regards to social media, well they are a bit like dense cities, they are both maddening, unnatural, a waste of energy, distracting, unhealthy, tiring and create envy and mental insecurity. There is no good social media just like there is no good dense city. There is only the escape from social media, and only the escape from the squalor of dense cities and back to nature and more human ways of communication and living.

Maybe the key is to not be impersonal. The media is impersonal, cities are impersonal, travel and consumption are impersonal in that we’re treated like cattle and our own interests aren’t taken into consideration. That’s because money is involved, or in the case of social media status is a proxy for money for insecure people. On the other hand it’s easy to be personal, just talk to someone, call them, have a video chat, send a message.

We can’t just demonetise these things, or take away these status-seeking outlets for insecure people because insecure people are drawn to posting on social media in the same way they are drawn to torturous weekend holidays. People don’t enjoy doing either, but they do them anyway to fill their insecure mental voids, to show off to other people, thereby increasing their perceived statuses.

The solution must lie in:

  1. fixing people’s own insecurities
  2. teaching people to view status-seeking activity as a sign of low status, turning the situation upside-down

So there is a deficiency in they way people view status. We are impressed by the wrong things. However turning the situation upside down is hard. First class really is better than second or third, and it should be. But we need to judge, is this person really healthy and doing things in a balanced way, or are they trying to show off? It’s hard to discriminate.


For some reason I want to talk about the home. We’re likely spend more on this than on anything else. But is the home really to show off, or is it mainly for one’s self? I would argue it’s mostly for self, there are much easier and cheaper ways to show off. And usually showing off means leaving the home. The home is the individual.

In order to “consciously co-create and interbecome into greater wholes” I say then, we can also start to rethink the individual, the home. It’s radical, and not for everyone. But for some people right now it could be an improvement.

The home has always been sacred, a walled-off private space. This is for security. we can also say this about all our possessions, such as any vehicles, computers, clothes, that’s where we get defensive. That’s where we say no way I’m sharing my things with random strangers and maybe I don’t even want to share with my own family members. Also if I share for free, I ecnourage free-loading, thereby demotivating others to be responsible for themselves.

But the issues I mentioned, many of them can be overcome. What if people can become part of trusted communities that balance responsibility and all contribute as they can? Well who didn’t clean the kitchen or pay their share this time and so on? Having an app or other people in the community judge each others’ characters and contributions seems cold and open to corruption, favouritism and discrimination. These are the difficulties of “co-create and interbecome into greater wholes”. Nevertheless I feel by creating fair and balanced interpersonal systems and agreements we can create these kinds of communities, whether hyperlocal or global, whether with people we know or with strangers, whether in small or large groups.


Yes we can balance our own interests with public ones. We can choose a job which helps humanity. Or be nice to others. Be humble etc. Often times this just works! But at other times, it means giving up something in order to be able to do good. So working in the public interest is often mutually beneficial for the self. Conversely they are often opposites, where working in the public interest comes directly out of our own pockets, our own time and energy is spent doing good, even to the point where the do-gooders may become poorer financially and endanger themselves.


We’ve discussed some organizational models here in the forum that try to strike balance personal and public needs, such benefit corporations and nonprofits. We need to de-monetise our communities as much as possible, because the current situation where everything is potentially for sale is just not right.

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