The Future of Governance Part 1 | Jordan Hall and John Vervaeke | Voices with Vervaeke | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "The Future of Governance Part 1 | Jordan Hall and John Vervaeke | Voices with Vervaeke".

1970-01-01T04:55:11.000Z

Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Governance Discussion Introduction

Introduction of the governance discussion (00:19)

And we're going to have a series of discussions about a very important topic. And of course, I'm talking about Jordan Hall. So Jordan, it's so great to be with you here again. And I want you to take some time. And everybody should know we sort of talked about this before off camera. We've got some ideas about a basic architecture. And Jordan's going to propose that, run through it, and then we'll enter into a more of a dialogical format. So Jordan, please take it away. Thank you. I'm just putting this on. Do not disturb. OK, so the topic here, I think last time we talked about it, we pinned the name the neo-neo- cortex, or a new form or a new approach to the problem of governance. And when we talked last time, what I noticed was that I've been running into this particular territory from a variety of distinct subgroups, subdomains. Both different areas of kind of intellectual endeavor, but also completely different communities, in some sense, don't need to consider themselves to have any real relationship with each other. And yet, this problem of proper governance in a particularly new fashion ends up being a bit of a Venn diagram where they're beginning to converge. And I think increasingly self-aware. So let me just list a couple of what these domains look like. And you'll notice that many of them will look at the problem differently. So for example, the OG, the original point that brought us here was actually your own thing, the various projects that you're now bringing into the world and the conversations I was having with Ryan, correct? Yes. About the particular problem of governance is being central to-- Ryan Barton. Ryan Barton, right. How do we give rise to a new form of collaboration around the question of, for example, bringing embodied wisdom more fully into the world? And how do we do this in a fashion where many of the things that we know just consistently plague any kind of new institution don't happen? We'd like to avoid that. We'd like to preemptively design something where capture, malincentive, or become centralized in a single individual don't occur. And so-- but other places. In the technical world, the space known as DAOs, which a piece of the emerging crypto blockchain universe, are now very deeply focused on this question of what does proper governance look like?


The Evolution And Impact Of Governance Systems

Emergence of DAOs (02:50)

Now they may think of it as DAO governance, but my point is it's actually looking at a new form of governance. So I'll get into some detail in that in a moment. And another individual named, Balaji Shrinivasan, has, I think, pretty well put a stake in a round around-- I think he's calling network states, which he specifically positions as being a next step beyond the nation state. And in particularly, call for a new form of governance. And then we'll shift.


Increasing political polarization (03:37)

So if we're looking at, say, ordinary politics, we can look at some of the problems that are in the space of the increase in polarization that seems to be happening across the Western world. And in many ways, locked in to the actual design, the underlying architecture of how we run government produces, invariably, polarization has a very hard time dealing with polarization. And so a new form of governance is being called for a looked at in those worlds as well. And I mean, actually, practically. We can also look at the problem of geopolitics and what looks like the shift of the world and from a single hegemonic, monom superpower into an increasingly multipolar world, which we don't really know how to do that, particularly in the context of things like escalating technological capability, where we can't solve interstate conflicts with escalating kinetic military conflict. And in the context of a entirely new form of war called unrestricted warfare, which I'll just flag for those who understand that. And my cutting edge of investigation of both the multipolar geopolitics and the notion of unrestricted warfare is also looking at what are new forms of governance that can respond to this category of problem. And then shifting again, in the age of Elon, questions around platforms, social media, in his case, in particularly Twitter, we can think about Facebook and Instagram, where we recognize that the governance principles, like free speech, aren't robust enough to respond. For example, just a simple notion that because Twitter is a private company, the kind of the juridical principles of freedom of speech in the United States have a hard time grasping it.


Planetary scale governance (05:10)

And yet, clearly, it has a very profound role to play in how the thing called free speech plays out in our polity. Yes. And in fact, Elon has particularly called or pointed towards the direction of Twitter as a foundation for a new form of collective intelligence. And so if we can think about how the neo-neo cortex and notions like distributed cognition are related, you can see how there's a a gropion in that in the direction of a new form of governance. I got two more. The groups of individuals that have been looking at how do we tackle the problem of planetary scale governance? And this includes that whole category of things that we've talked about, hyper-objects, where the nation stayed on steroids, the international structure, like the IMF and the UN, which was the best the mid-century could pull off, clearly aren't able to deal with planetary scale governance problems. We again are finding ourselves having to think about what might a new appropriate form of governance look like. And the last one I'll throw into the mix is the AI alignment problem, which might feel weird. But I don't mean this necessarily from the point of view of how do we build a department of AI alignment as a kind of a regulatory institution. I actually mean, what might we ever, under any circumstances, put in place that could actually do that job? And I'll get to some detail about how that plays out in a moment. So that's an example of the diversity of different domains and the different kinds of groups, many of whom don't believe they're in the same space. But I personally am spending time with this question of what is a novel form of proper governance, both in terms of its potential and in some sense in terms of its necessity, bring up. So this is an instance of what Arlen calls problem finding. And one way of understanding that one interpretation I've given that is you have a bunch of problems that seem disparate. And then you find a core central problem. And children seem to demonstrate this when they go through developmental stages. You find a core central problem that if you solve that core central problem, all these other problems will be significantly either solved or reformulated in a powerful and insightful manner. I've tried to do something like that with my work on relevance realization, the found problem underneath all these other, what seemed like disparate problems in categorization, et cetera. So it sounds to me like you're proposing that kind of thing, that here's a bunch of things that seem disparate. But they intersect at this core problem. And if this course problem gets addressed, it will systematically and systematically feed out to the other problems and bring about a very comprehensive change. Yes, yes, I think that's exactly right. And what it would look like from the inside for some of these particular domains would be a different way of looking at the whole problem that they're looking at, which would resolve a Gordian knot, for example. Yes, yes, yes. And facilitate coordination between the groups too. Exactly, exactly, quite to the point, which in many cases might avoid some catastrophes that happen when they're unconsciously coordinating. For example, AI and unrestricted warfare. And this is a message where they're implicitly coordinating in a negative way, and we'd actually like to invert that relationship. And so to the point there, something that I think also comes up in this kind of conversation is that, for me at least, this investigation is not a kind of a question of a progressive effort to just make a better kind of governance. And it's certainly not even vaguely utopian, in some sense, as close to the exact inverse. This is more of a question of necessity and timing. My sense of things is this is just we happen to be here. We're in a moment where there are profound changes that are afoot, and that if existing global institutions and existing forms of governance could in fact provide adequate governance to allow us to navigate these problems, then we should just do that. But it's only in fact because they don't, that we're going to have to take this sort of step.


Two conceptual frameworks (09:57)

So that's the dose of practicality that I think is important if you're going to step into this space. So what I'd like to do is I'd like to drop two big conceptual frameworks that I personally have talked about in the past. But it's been a while. And I think it's worth kind of articulating them in a little bit of detail, both to help frame the nature of the transition to the shift and also to begin creating the-- funny, I think of it as the phase space, or the vector diagram of what the proper solution looks like. So the first one is the philosophical or the theoretical framework of media studies, and particularly McLuhan.


Impact of literacy on governance (10:48)

So here, one way of looking at things is to say that we're currently living in a world that is in many ways a result of literacy, of writing, that we are living in the era of literacy. And if we can think about the kinds of shifts that have occurred, and both in terms of kind and rate and comprehensivity, it helps us get, I think, both a sense of how we got to where we are and also what it will look like by necessity as we're going to where we're going. So the first point would be something like, if we wind the clock back to the medieval world, and we drop ourselves into 1440 in the Gutenberg press, and then we identify changes that occurred.


The Gutenberg press and its effects (11:27)

And I'm going to say, at the level of governance-- and this might bring up some questions about what I mean by that term-- but things like the Protestant Revolution and things like the Thirty Years' War. And there was a fundamental shift of the infrastructure of governance in the eruption of Protestantism, which I, in this case, will propose was at least meaningfully attached to the rise of literacy or the written book. This is a good name on that. Which then itself presaged, but also combined with the implications of literacy in the more political domain. And this gave rise to the Thirty Years' War. But other domains, like the emergence of the Royal Society, which could only happen when people were literate and people who could write were sharing written works with each other and could be engaging in the peer to peer collaborative discovery of the nature of reality in a very different fashion. And I would point even more pointedly to the emergence of the shift of the Constitution and the fact that we now live in a world that is profoundly constitutional from the-- throughout the 19th century. And of course, as a result of two major world wars, most of the world is now living in a form of government that is founded in a written document, a constitution.


Constitutions and their influence (12:52)

Which is a unconsciously, I think, in many ways, simply a consequence of thinking that that's the proper way to do things. One aspect of which, by the way, is the Napoleonic Code. And I was looking at some conversations recently coming out of Africa where they were talking about the fact that the efforts of the Napoleonic Code, which does say governance by proposition, don't work very well. And that the countries that found themselves subject to that form of governance if not fared as well as those who were able to operate using the common law, which I would say is governance by participatory relationship. And which, by the way, connected with their indigenous governance methodologies, a point we'll get back. And then finally, just to make sure the space of the scope of what we're talking about is rolled in, the notion of corporations and things like the British East India Company, which in many ways, both were built on top of and massively innovated the technologies of bureaucracy, which, of course, is the training people to be literate, and then taking those literate people to run a global empire on the basis of what is effectively handwritten letters and accounting systems. And so this is a story that talks about the notion of governance in its very shape and scope and how it rolled out over about 500 years. And then the point is to say, we're now well into the era of the digital.


Digital era's impact on governance (14:26)

And the digital is different fundamentally and has profound implications for that same set of scopes. And I will expand, and by the way, to include down deep into the basis of how we produce the notion of individuals. So it's a psychological question, as well as an institutional question. And one inquiry that we'll be running into, when we ask this question of what is the new form of governance? What is the neo-neuro cortex? What is the new set of literacies? And the new forms of generative grammar, as well as what are the new forms of institution and the new forms of structures? And we'll be guided by thinking about, what are the implications of the essence of the shift of digital and how that might help us better understand what are the likely kind of laminar flows or the downhill directionality? Digital is going to be driving us in a certain direction, which may simply be by the way the release of some of the consequences of writing or literacy, that'll help us understand better. So I'll return to that when we get past the next big conceptual chunk. Does all that track so well so far?


Consequences of the shift to literacy (15:38)

- Yeah, I just wanted to ask what else is included. I mean, I get the argument, and of course the illiteracy argument starts in the axial revolution and then you get the introduction of punctuation and then you get the Carolingian script and it ramps up and it ramps up. And then as you say, you get the Protestant Reformation and you get the possibility of the scientific revolution. And then of course the 30 years war. And then attendant to that, and to me this is part of the emergence of the idea of the self constituting state, the social contracting state that contracts itself into existence through written contract. That's what a constitution basically is. Is dependent on one of the major consequences of the 30 year olds war, which is the acceleration of secularism, the acceleration of the separation of church and state, they're making a religion private in a way that cuts us off from all of our previous history in a really profound way. So that a lot of the other ways in which authority, which I take to be the fundamental capacity for governance is determined. So there were many other ways in which authority was determined and then they get reduced, I would say, via secularism to the notion of the social contract as typified as you said. So the authorities accrue to written text, that's why you have to sign your name. So the written text and the sacred becomes to be associated with the sacred, the scriptures, the writings, right? And more and more and more in the Protestant Revolution, Sweller scriptura, right? And so you get that and the social contract and that's the only basis for any authority. There's no other basis for authority. Whereas there used to be things reasonably like tradition, religion, kinship systems, all kinds of things that limited the political economic enterprises that human beings engage in. All of those are basically removed. Well, I'm not saying they're removed completely, but they're denuded, they're diminished, they're demarcated off. Does that track is also part of what you're talking about? - Absolutely, in fact, perfectly. Yeah, in fact, let me just move into the next piece 'cause there's so many different directions. Let me hold this, but there's something about, so I'm now gonna take a skew or a bleed look that cuts through the frame and in many ways producing some really interesting synergies. So this has to do with that whole framework of complexity and the complicated. - Great, yes. - I'm tempted to sort of immediately riff, but I'll try to stay a little bit more rigorous for a moment. So, as you know, this is a distinction. In my experience, I learned it from Dave Snowden, although I spent enough time at the Santa Fe Institute to drink of the well of complexity directly, but the notion that complicated was definitely from him, for me. And the distinction I think is very profound, I would say in a particular way, it looks like a little bit of the classic map territory distinction, where the territory, the complex, is fundamental. It is just sort of what's there, it's reality. And then the complicated is a thing that humans can do. We can create a model. And we can control or we can foreground certain aspects of the complex by virtue of creating certain technologies and I'll get into an example of what I mean about that in a moment. And then we can endeavor to do things like optimize for or optimize against, exclude aspects of that system. And so agriculture is a classic example.


Control systems in agriculture (19:55)

You say, well, I want a whole lot of wheat and I'm going to be able to create a control system by virtue of certain technologies like a plow and irrigation and pesticides and just the practice of understanding that wheat seeds produce wheat plants. And therefore have a much larger yield of wheat in a certain territory of land than would happen in a fashion that is how nature would do it. So that's the kind of the ticket. And what's interesting here in this distinction is that in some sense neither Kuhn nor Tainter use this particular framework. And yet if you use this framework, you could say that they're both, they both looked at this problem in completely different ways, right? Kuhn was looking at scientific paradigms both in terms of how they manifested in the psychology of scientists and in how they manifested in the institutions of science. But nonetheless, he was investigating or diagnosing how complicated systems, paradigms, played out in both in terms of how they developed, how they responded to the problematic that the map is never fully the territory and as the territory changes or as the needs of the map change, if you're stuck with trying to make the map work, you end up with a clujin problem. And the challenge of actually what happens when psychology's lose the fact that they're actually using maps and then mistake it for the territory. And then the flip side is that Tainter was looking at it from the point of view of anthropology, trying to discover why it was the civilizations collapsed.


Kuhn and Tainter's approaches to complex systems (21:21)

He called them complex societies. I would say that he was properly discussing the collapse of complicated societies and frankly looked at a lot of the same kinds of dynamics. And so that tells us something that we are sitting in yet another complicated society that has a marriage to a particular set of paradigms and both Mautainer analysis and a Kuhnian analysis, all the signs point to we're reaching the end of that. And the inquiry we're in now is what would it look like to try to consciously develop something which is no longer simply unconsciously instantiating another form of complicated governance system, another kind of complicated society on top of it, which we may find ourselves doing in willy-nilly, but it'd be wise if we could be more careful about it. But is there a way of actually creating a principled return? I'm gonna use the word return specifically to the complex. And so I'll give you an example. And I think you even may have just pointed to it which makes it collaborative.


Limits of complicated society (22:25)

For a long time, certainly for the past couple hundred years, we've been living with a false dichotomy between the state and the market as kind of fundamental grounds of ways that societies can govern choices. And so we can either be turned the dial way up and be a highly authoritarian, totalitarian, bureaucratic governance system where there's an effort or an intent to govern choices to a very fine grain level by virtue of complicated bureaucracies to be very straightforward.


Exploring The Complexity Of Governance Systems

State and market dichotomy (22:47)

And I would propose, by the way, at this moment of theoretical level that if I take the notion of the virtual or the notion of the capacity at all, or the basic human capacity to do this thing, to create an abstraction, to create a model, to produce something in the realm of the virtual and then a map. And then use that to feed back on, to engage in niche construction on nature. And so I'm proposing that that's a thing that we can do and then of course that we do do, that it splits in some sense down the middle in a very interesting way. And one side of that split is the state, right? The realm of design, the realm of the model, the realm of cybernetic command and control systems and to the degree to which we're investing that with authority and responsibility, we find ourselves in all the various kind of failure conditions that have been explored by those who critique the state as a form. For example, it's limited capacity and it's limited bandwidth and therefore it's, you know, calculation problems as an example. Now here's the interesting piece for me. I would say that exact same move, that move of abstraction also gives rise to the other side of the equation, which right now I'm just going to characterize as the market, what I mean is, and I think this is, I'm just throwing this out there, but I think it will prove a very interesting proposition, which is if I take our indigenous capacities, our ordinary human capacities to engage in governance unconsciously, the things that we just did for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years, but certainly hundreds of thousands of years, in adaptive response to our natural environment. And then what we do is we inject the consequence of complicatedness, which is to say, we inject the consequence of technology, whether this is physical technology or psycho technologies, cultural technologies into the mix. What we get is a random walk of our overwhelmed indigenous governance capacities, trying to navigate a landscape of accelerating innovation. Does that make sense? - Yes, it does. - Yes. - All right. And so this is the other problem. This is sometimes been talked about as the mollock problem, but I would say that quite fundamentally, it has to do with the fact, the premise, that our existing baseline indigenous governance capacities, which actually do a very fine job of navigating, call it free paleolithic environmental niches, find themselves struggling precisely because their output, the technological consequences of those capacities, change the context that they're endeavoring to govern in a fashion that overwhelms those governance capacities. And this is the problematic of the market, okay? Now the meta problem is that we've found ourselves back into the corner of forgetting that these are two versions of the same basic thing.


Rediscovering complex systems (26:21)

They both are versions of the complicated. And that the effort to govern the failures of the market by means of the state or to govern the failures of the state by the liberations of the market are not gonna work, meaning that that actually is the limited error. It's the false dichotomy that the modernity has found itself stuck in the service in the past 150 or 200 years or so. And the proposition I would make is that it is in fact by virtue of the rediscovery of the third term, which we've talked about as just the commons or the return of the commons, return to the complex, but now at a higher tone, with a clear cut mandate to be able to resolve this problem of, in fact, specifically, anthropocomplexity, resolve the problem of the fact that humans capacity to feedback in our environment itself is so significant that we have to actually apply that specifically to the problem of governance so that our governance capacity is now equal to our other technical capacities to change the natural environment. Do that make any sense? - Yeah, but I'm gonna ask some clarification questions. So I'm trying to get at, kind of get at the, I guess, the crucial difference between complexity and complicated. Because it seems to me that any proposal for resolving the mismatch or the misalignment between those two, which seems to be shared by both the proposal of the state running things or the market running things depends on getting very clear on that distinction. Does that follow so far? - Yeah, that sounds right. - Okay, so now I'm hearing a couple of things that might be candidates, but I'm not, I'm not foisting any of these on you, I wanna hear, right? One candidate might be, it might just be the simplistic one, and I don't think you're saying this. You know, you can be saying something very trivial when you say the map isn't the territory, you can be saying something trivial like, "Well, a representation is never identical "to the thing it's represented." And that's like, yeah, that's what makes it a representation 'cause if it was identical, it would be an instance, not a representation. And so you're not making, I think, a logically trivial point like that. You're trying to say something, no, though. When I'm talking about, what I hear you saying is, when I'm talking about complicated, is there can be many variables and there can be many degrees of freedom, but there is no fundamental uncertainty. There may be risk, but risk is calculable, and it does not possess genuine uncertainty. This is a lot of the work I'm doing on rationality now. In fact, one of the ways the complex is equivocated into the complicated is by redefining uncertainty as risk, which is precisely not what uncertainty is. So you can have complicated, and what you do is you do risk management. Whereas the complex says there is actual uncertainty which are entities, process events, not captured by your variable, and you're caught in a biased variance problem when you try to track them. If you open up to too much sensitivity, you get overfitting, and if you reduce your sensitivity, you get bias, and there's no final solution to that, which means the uncertainties will always be generative. They'll always be creating emergent things that slam into your complicated system. Is that a way of capturing it well?


Complicated vs. complex systems in governance (30:06)

- Yes, that is a very good way of capturing it. I'm laughing because I was preparing myself to try to respond to your question and as you kept going, I was like, "I think you've pretty much nailed it." So yes, very much so. Beautifully put, thank you. - Right, and that means a fundamental shift in from monological management into dialogical evolution. This is something you and I've talked about. What we do is no, we've got this thing, this monosystem, and it manages, and we are like that. We are just monological reasoners, right? And we manage and then it's that monological management. And then it's like, no, if complexity is not identical and can never be identified with other complicated, whatever we have over here has to be constantly in a dialogical relationship with that and constantly evolving in that relationship. As opposed to trying to monologically manage reality, it's in a dialogical responsiveness evolution with reality. - Does that also part of what's following from this? - Right, yes, very much so. If you think about this in the context of something like AI, it provides a nice kind of perspective to think about that. The notion that a no kind of finite state machine is ever actually going to be able to fully exhaust the generative possibility of emergent reality. - Yeah, the way I would put this is the complicated tries to pre-specify relevance and it can't. Relevance is always within relevance realization, which is constantly evolving.


Limitations of contracts, laws, and rules (31:53)

And I think the problem with contracts and text and laws and rules is they overestimate our capacity for pre-specifying relevance. If I would-- - Exactly. - Okay. - Exactly. And this gets us, so for example, the distinction between common law and civic, civil code or Napoleonic code is precisely that, right? Napoleonic code in the classic hubris of the French Revolution, right? 'Cause they, as you said that notion of a break, like they quite self-consciously said, we're making a complete break with all tradition. - Yeah, yeah. - I would say just made the error. They simply, you know, maybe didn't fully understand that they were making a category error, but they made the category error of thinking that they could fully prescribe a comprehensive code of law and write it down. And then all your early job is to sort of look up on the lookup table. Oh, this is an example of that. And here's the result, right? And, you know, the point is that's actually not a valid approach. - I wanna emphasize that what happens is these things like constitutions function because of implicit constraints of embeddedness that have not come into the explicit prescription. For example, and Madison was very clear about this, the American constitution depended on the size of the country and the speed at which communication could work in order to be effectively counter, the constitution to effectively counteract mob, right? And so the size of the country and the slowness of communication were actually presupposed in the functioning of the constitution. And those preconditions have now completely dissolved. And yet, right, that doesn't mean the constitution has been in any important way updated to take that loss of the preconditions, which are important enabling constraints into account. - Right, and to kind of push that, for example, a difference between literacy, writing and digital is the speed of computation. - Yes. - That notion of speed, like in the movement from 1776 to say 1976, cars and airplanes and telephones radically increased the speed of communication, but infinitesimally compared to what happened post-computation. - Yes, yes. - So that's sort of, there's a difference that makes a difference that makes a difference that's landing now. And the split or the drift between the fittedness of the enumeration of power, the enumeration institution that was valid in 1776 is increasingly no longer valid because of this kind of a difference. - So I just wanna take one historical lesson. And I think your date 1776 is really wonderful because I see Vietnam, the war in Vietnam, as the sort of realization is a quite the right word, but the coming into the foreground of the fact that the country could be reached in an almost simultaneous manner through television. And therefore the political system almost breaks under, and then you have the attempt of the government to then do various ways of controlling and centralizing the press. And then that gets blown apart again by the internet and cable and all that stuff. - Right. - I'm just trying to give some concrete instances so people can track the kind of thing we're talking about here. - Yep, yeah, it's useful, I would say, and maybe worth doing an explication of these two different frameworks, the notion of the implications of the media form on the possibility landscape of human choice. And therefore the construct of psychology and instrument or institution necessary to enable that choice to be flowing in a coherent fashion, i.e. governance. And then the second category, this nation, this distinction between the complicated and the complex, but let me move from moment into something like some practical, some practical proposition. So given these frameworks, what are some things that we might think about that are likely going to be part of the Neo-Neo Cortex? For example, what are the new literacies? What are the new, what might be the minimum viable capacities embodied in humans, individual humans in any form of new model of governance? Let me just put a little bullet point on one, which is to say we're going to have to figure out the proper role of technology. I think it's relatively obvious at this point that simply allowing technology to be an unconscious producer of novelty.


The role of technology in governance (36:47)

Government effectively, entirely by market and state, poorly in both cases, is no longer adequate. We actually really have to think that one of the primary questions that the Neo-Neo Cortex needs to address is the proper role of technology. And I'd like to point out a few interesting qualities here that I'm not sure are sort of properly considered, or fully considered in most discourse. One of the consequences of the era of literacy was one of the negative consequences of the era of literacy was that it had this consequence of converting humans into mediocre machines. And most of the infrastructure of education, frankly, has been precisely to do that, to embed in humans the sort of algorithmic capacity to run the complicated bureaucracies that they allow governance to occur. And the sort of the easiest, best example of that, it was the notion of the computer, which, or sorry, the calculator, the calculator, which is, you know, was originally a human job, particular people. - So was the word computer? The word computer was also originally applied to human beings. - Human beings, there we go. So individual human beings were trained to be unreasonably or more than usual, good at rapid and high fidelity calculation. And we used them to do that. And that enabled a whole big increase in bureaucratic capacity. But it has the enormous dehumanizing characteristic of vastly up-regulating certain capacities out of all proportion to a whole human. And of course, completely ignoring all the rest of them. So if your job was to be a calculator, you go to work and you would sort of flex a particular muscle to hypertrophy. And the institution that you were part of really didn't care at all about the rest of you. In fact, to the best of its ability tried not to. - The Kafka S nightmare. - Yes, yeah, to the point. And so I would say this is actually a consequence, first and foremost of complicatedness, but in particular, one of the results of the institutional structures of the era of literacy. Now what happened of course, is that the calculator properly, or the technical calculator emerged, which liberated humans from that particular role. And I mean that both earnestly, meaning it freed people from the odium of being poor machines. But it also needed ironically, meaning it caused them to no longer have that job. And we'll get to that point in a moment. But the era that we're entering into, particularly the AI era, but also the robotics here and others, portends a tremendously larger liberation, humans from the odium of being mediocre machines. And I mean this being accountants and being lawyers. In fact, in many cases, we doctors, including enough to all the other kinds of things that people do.


Technology's role in future governance (40:02)

And this begs an interesting question, which is one, how do we avoid the inverse of that? Which to say, how do we avoid the catastrophe of everybody being unemployed? And then two, at the limit, what does that mean? Like what role do human beings play in a world where so many things that human beings used to do, are now being held vastly more effectively by machines. And so the role of technology, those are some of the most fundamental questions. And any new form of governance needs to address particularly those two questions. Well, we'll just say three. The three primary questions, which is how do we navigate the problem that our existing institutional structure is premised around people only being able to meet their physical material needs by virtue of doing certain kinds of work that are going to become obsolete relatively soon and relatively too rapidly to try to do this retraining thing effectively. So that's one, I've called that the coming great economic transition.


The Future Of Governance And Sovereignty

The coming great economic transition (41:13)

Two, how do we do so in a fashion in which it no-bools the human spirit? Something like a, we're all on the door, the UBI, let's call it the UBI nightmare, the negative form of that, where everybody is sort of wandering around in the soul destroying swamp that destroys people when they win the lottery is a fail condition in a catastrophic way. And so we have to figure out that as well. Like how do we simultaneously migrate people to where they are properly liberated from the odium of being poor machines but actually liberated into a proper human role in moral. And what does that look like? What is that? I would say by the way that it's making effective choices, that that's our most fundamental thing. And that to become virtuous is directly related to that, but we'll get to that in a moment. Okay, so let me then, I've got two more bullet points that I think are useful to put into the-- - Can I just ask a question about those first two because I think there's a-- I mean, of course, so there's been analogs to this. They're not the same, so that's why I'm using the word analog, right? So you get the displacement of the farmer in the Roman Republic and in the empire by the slave and then you get the drift into the city and you get the permanently unemployed, living on the dole of the government, right? And then what you have is you have the problem of the mob, which is I think is very analogous to what you're proposing.


Displacement of farmers analogy (42:35)

And then the solution, of course, was the bread and circuses solution and then the pageantry of the God king in order to distract people. And my concern is that it's not just a problem of prescience you're pointing to, but there's also a problem of competition that all of these other factors of entertainment, bread and circuses and God kings is also already being adopted as a prevalent and pervasive strategy for dealing with what you're pointing to. So it's not just that there's something coming of which we are not prepared. It seems to me it's already occurring and noxious elements that will thwart any real solution already have significant power and influence. So I'm just trying to amplify what you're saying. - Yeah, the way that you speak does not allow the kind of aesthetics of firebrand to be forced upon you, but that was a very firebrand-y thing you just said. Which I agree profoundly. So I'll put it in a slightly different way. I think, and by the way, if I'm putting it in a way that is not harmonious with what you just said, you can obviously put the blame for that on me. The poor experts, and I'm gonna make a distinction between expertise and competence, the poor experts who have been given, in some sense taken, authority and responsibility for governance, the technocracy. When faced with the contemporary version of the Roman problematic that you just described, seem to have no other recourse than to implement a contemporary version of the same tools implemented. So perhaps instead of lions and gladiators, we're currently using Netflix and are exploring how we might use VR on the metaverse, but it's the same thing.


Focus on competence in governance (44:37)

- Yes. - And so, and the point I would make when I say the poor experts is that they never had a chance that the notion of expertise is one of the things that is, I would say, part of the notion of complicatedness. - Yes. - And isn't the right kind of thing. - Yeah, expertise is a domain-specific term, not a domain-general term. - Yep, and interestingly enough, is the kind of thing that machines will be very much better at. - Yes, already, in many ways. - In many ways and increasingly. And this other category or other thing that I was simply called competence is what will replace it. And by the way, yes, and I also define competence as awareness, sensitivity to the whole context that is under investigation. So as an example of what this new governance model looks like, it is composed of holes that are deeply contextually governed. And so instead of-- - WHOLE, by the way, by the way, I'm sorry. - WHOLE, yes. - Yes, yes. - Rather than a disciplinary structure that endeavors to analytically break worlds into discrete domains, which then one can produce expertise in and then endeavor to govern in a complicated fashion. Using some form of bureaucratic institution. And the new form of governance, which by the way is the same as the old form of governance, but now hopefully more robust. We actually are aware of the fact that context matters, that all parts are parts of holes and deeply subtle, and oftentimes very difficult to notice fashions. And that the new competence involves a capacity to be in relationship with the sort of the intrinsic of a well integrated hole, let's say for example, a river system, which fully implicates all of the other things, both in terms of nested holes, like the river system is part of both a water system and a air system, for example. And a biological system, the presence of beavers, significantly changes the notion of how rivers work. And the new competence I am defining as a new sort of literacy or a new capacity in governance is both awareness, what I just, the fact that I just pointed out. It is a hole and also the fact that all holes implicate a variety of other kinds of holes in highly subtle context sensitive ways. Which is radically different from the kind of thing A, that expertise could ever do. And therefore B, that even extremely sophisticated AI systems could ever do. - I fundamentally agree. In fact, it's always amazing to me how much our projects resonantly converge. I mean, the whole project, one of the main thrusts of the platonic dialogues with Socrates is to get people to make this move, to move them off authority or intuition to expertise. And then say, but nevertheless, expertise is not wisdom. And you do this sort of double move. And you're trying to get people, like you've got, trying to get them post expertise in the understanding of what wisdom is. And then of course you have in that, the platonic tonus, the stereoscopic commitment to, we are always finite, we're always in the finitary predicament, but we are always oriented towards transcendence. We are oriented towards the whole, right? Synoptic integration. And if we lose either one of these, we fall into tyranny or servitude and we have to hold the two together. And that that is a domain general thing. And it's not something for which there can be an expertise. And ultimately we can only properly love it. We can never possess it. Because we think we possess it, that we've converted it back into expertise, et cetera, et cetera. All of this is so, I mean, and that's of course what I'm trying to tease out. And turn into practice with the after Socrates project is exactly exactly that, what you're calling competence. To me, that is the ancient platonic call to the love of wisdom. - Well, let's double click on that. So what I'd like to do is I'd also now like to, officially they claim to the meaning of the term sovereignty. I feel that it has been, I'm a squatter. It's been left under occupied. And by force majeure, I'm claiming it. - Okay. - Let me define what I mean by it. - Please. - So, and I'm gonna kind of walk around a little bit 'cause I feel like I wanna poke a few things. One of the things I've noticed about the American constitutional frame that I believe is a fundamental flaw is that it largely defines itself by virtue of a negative space in relationship to the monarchy with which he was struggling. So the nation of liberty represents the degree to which an aristocracy has right to limit the power of monarchism. Of monarchy. This conception of liberty, therefore, intrinsically implies a tyranny that is a resistance against.


Incoherent nature of traditional sovereignty (50:41)

- Yeah, it's a freedom from the Berlin talks about. - Exactly. And unfortunately, therefore, as you're various institutions that are endeavoring to propose your whole liberty degrade as institutions are want to do, interestingly enough, the tyranny that was held at the shadow, but nonetheless held in the story will raise its ugly face. That's one way of this, I'm putting that out there because the notion of sovereignty that we have received is equivalent, meaning it is largely described as a negative freedom. And I would say that both the concept of the sovereign state and in a meaningful sense, the sovereign individual, and I'll describe what I mean by that in a moment, are in fact nonsense. A state cannot be sovereign per se, and that is because the conception of sovereignty that is endeavored to be used is not coherent. And that the sovereign individual, which is understood as the next step of the breaking down of the kindness of sovereign to the describe when we talk about the state as sovereign. So we say we take the concept of sovereignty that we're using when we think of the sovereign state and we simply replace the word state with the word individual. So we say sovereign in that sense, this is also incoherent. Okay, so what do I think is a coherent meaning for the concept of sovereignty? What I mean is this?


Sovereignty as capacity to make effective choices (52:22)

- You mean incoherent because it's largely negative to be negatively defined and it doesn't have any internal coherency holding it together? Is that what you mean? - Okay, is that what I mean? Okay, good. - It exists only by virtue of describing something that it is in resistance against. - Like the way in the Cold War, freedom became freedom from communism. And then when communism sort of ends, the notion of freedom becomes sort of unmoored and people realize that it's incoherent. It has many different equivocal meanings floating around. Something like that just by an analogy? - By a very nice analogy. - Okay. - So from the inverse, from the center out, and this is something I talked about, it's an amount like five years ago, but I haven't brought it up recently. The notion of sovereignty means the capacity to make effective choices in a given context. We can explicate what I mean by effective choice, but for the moment I'll just leave that. But the point there is twofold. And by the way, the notion of sovereignty, therefore resonates very strongly with the broader notion of virtue, which is to say that a being that has sovereignty is a being that also has a deep embodiment of a diverse number of virtues, in particular in relationship to a given context. And so one cannot be sovereign in essence unless you're speaking about perhaps the notion of God as you discussed with Bishop Maximus, which I will not get into this moment. But finite beings are sovereign in the context of an actual context. And that could be as trivial as sovereign in the context of making wood burn into a fire, or as fundamental as sovereign in the context of say parenting, or in the context of stewarding a community in relationship with multi-generations and the nature that they live in and on. But the point is very simple.


Metaphor For Navigating Complexity

Surfing as a metaphor for navigating complexity (54:06)

And it connects very nicely with the notion of competence, meaning I have a set of capacities, which include appropriate perception and sensitivities, heuristics and tools, which can operate at the appropriate rate to perceive the relevant aspects, I'm talking about robust relevance, realization and actuation, to perceive the relevant aspects of the context that I find myself in. And then I have the capacities to select appropriate choices that, and then to actuate them elegantly, meaning using the constraints of energy and the actual constraints of the environment that I'm in. - Highness costs, opportunity costs, all that kind of stuff, yes. - All that kind of stuff. To further my capacity to make choices in the next moment that I find myself in. So the metaphor that I often use is surfing, meaning if I am sovereign in the context of surfing, what that means is that I have a surfboard and I know how to surf. And in this particular wave, I have the physical acumen to be able to paddle into it and drop into it. And then a moment to moment, I can make the micro movements of my body in relationship with the unfolding reality of the complexity of the wave, which of course is itself a deeply complex relationship with the energy of the wave, the winds and the subsurface topography of the ocean. So as to continue to find myself and that unique location of wave, such that my board is still locked into the pocket and I continue to surf. And I can expand that out. So when I say. - But yeah, I want to stop there because I want to probe on this because I want to make sure, well, I'll propose something of what I think I might be hearing. So it sounds to me like the sovereign, I'll just, I'm going to use the word individual in a very generic sense, the sovereign individual because I don't necessarily mean a human person. The sovereign individual is a species of a cognitive agent. So everything behaves, but agents are different from behaviors and that agents can determine the consequences of their behavior and alter the behavior in order to bring about desired consequences. And they have desired consequences 'cause they are autonomous, autopoietic entities, they're self-making entities. And so a paramecium is properly, very properly an agent. Now, I'm wondering if you would extend the notion of sovereignty to a paramecium. And if not, just let me finish. If not, then when I'm hearing when you invoke things like virtue, 'cause I don't know we could talk about the virtue of a paramecium. I think we're moving into the idea, almost an Aristotidian idea, and that's meant to be a compliment, right? That a sovereign is an agent that has reflectively appropriated its agency in order to further enhance its agency by to some degree, explicating and reflecting upon the machinery of its agency and recursively intervening in its agency in order to enhance its agentic capacity, not just to achieve this goal or that goal, but to enhance its overall capacity to achieve goals per se. Does that work as a proposal? - Yes, this works very nice. And now in my own sort of clergy vocabulary, right? The distinction between lowercase s and capital s. - Right. - And so I would say that a paramecium is lowercase s sovereign, that the human journey and its relationship with the theological journey is the capital s. And here I'm very much inspired by the conversations that you have with Jonathan Paggio in relationship with things like symbolism. - Yes, yes. - And that it's a vector, right? And when cannot ever achieve in this world, capital s sovereignty as a finished state, as you said, but rather it is a relationship with life and relationship with self that has a directionality to it, a very very very precise directionality. But it is unfolding in continuity and that's part of the nature of the journey that we're on as humans. So we find ourselves in a very interesting point. I would say that there's a lowercase sovereignty that goes down to the limits of agency. So I'm not going to be opining around the kind of the place where Stuart Kauffman spent so much time. - Yeah. - Autocatalytic chemistry sovereign, maybe, but there's a limit where paramecium and most specifically in my example, something like say heart cell is lowercase s. And what we find is that in particular, these lower level holes or elements achieve a level of sovereignty in relationship with other elements around things that are properly well integrated holes. What I mean is, for example, an organ, like a heart or a liver, is a gathering together of lower scale lowercase s sovereigns in a fashion that delivers a higher scale lowercase s sovereignty over a more complex domain. - Yeah, this is John Stuart's idea about, although there's no teleology in evolution, there's a gradient shift towards what he calls increasing edification in which you get previously autonomous things form a hole that is able, it is not that gives results that are not just the sum of the parts. And therefore you get this evolutionary advantage and you get these building up. And he's proposing that we need, I don't know if you've seen any of the conversations I've had with him, but he's proposing that we need to really ramp up the identification of distributed cognition into something that we can really clearly see as having a designated role in governance to use your language. - Yes, yes. In fact, I recently did a conversation with a young man in, I think he's German, very young man, but he has rolled out a proposal that I would say is precisely this kind of thing, like an identification of distributing cognition with a lot of very nice thoughts. So a lot of the embodiment, a lot of the actual, he calls it incarnation, which I like, of this new form of governance, I think is largely about that. So let me give you a concrete example in a different view. Something that you and I have been doing a lot of in this notion of D.L.O.G.O.S. So we have two distinct elements to it. And actually, I'll add a third, which is always gonna be there. One is we have the notion of something like lower case sovereignty between two communicating agents in relationship with the capacity to engage in creating a communications channel. All right. And let me just kind of step back a bit. So the problem we're dealing with is that the problem of, of distributed cognition, the problem of communication between two humans, let's make it simple at that point. In the past, say for the past 250 years, has been governed by something like a paradigmatic structures where we have things like well-defined terms and we have things like shared disciplinary knowledge. And what happens is that we sort of have a dictionary of well-defined terms. You can feel like the resonance of complicatedness here and the game is actually pretty simple. Either I understand the term or I have to learn the term. That's why I joined a discipline. I become a doctor and I learned what some esoteric medical term happens to mean. Once I have achieved a level of expertise in that particular language, I can then communicate with other members of that community. - Yes. - Now, that's how we have solved this problem in paired-ematic space. And the problem of digital is that we now have something like eight billion distinct humans all operating in a vast space of developing novel relationships with novel, increasingly novel realities and all paired-agmatic dictionaries now kind of fail. Meaning the interaction I have with somebody on Twitter, the ability for us to diagnose whether or not we're actually part of a preexisting institutional structure and are actually using the same code book to define certain terms, things are happening too rapidly. And by the way, the meaning of terms is changing too rapidly. For that paired-mag model to work. So we need to be cruel. - I'm guilty of this mistake as well. So can you-- - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah, that's a good problem. - But we actually need a new fundamental protocol, which assumes that we don't know what we're talking about, that assumes more or less that we actually don't have a shared vocabulary. - That's so sacratic through and through. It really is. - Yeah. - It is. Okay, so think about the sacratic, the implication, right? There's really three elements. One element is we need to have something like a protocol. Like, how do we actually do this? And by the way, musically we're protocol both because it's something that indigenous communities have used for a long time in terms of how to distinct groups who don't know each other, go through the process of actually coming into relationship with each other, which is exactly what we're talking about. - It's the upper paleolithic. It's the original upper paleolithic problem, right? - Yeah, exactly. - And of course, symbolism and shamanism were plausibly part of the solution to that original version of the problem. I just wanna throw that into the mix, keep going. - I have a very, very poor historical theory that I operate with and exactly how that works, but I won't throw that out there now because it's super non-regorous, but you know, I like it. But in any event, we need a protocol. And the other side of protocol that in the technical world, we use of course is technical protocol, like the internet protocol, like IP. And if we think about that, I don't know if you're old enough to remember, remember the old dialect modem and the way that it worked. - Yeah, yeah. - Now if you think about it, every single sound that it made actually was a physical instantiation of a certain stage of the protocol that actually builds up the process of moving from, are we able to communicate at all? Are we both the kinds of things that have the potential to communicate? Up through as soon as the things that they called handshakes of saying, "Okay, well, great. "You're the kind of thing that communicates neat. "Let me make a proposal of how we might communicate." Oh, you agree, cool. Now we're gonna use that to bootstrap the next level, until eventually I can transmit AOL over a 56K connection on top of twisted copper tele-popwires, which is a pretty profound thing. We're talking about the same kind of thing. Every time two individual humans connect via social media, we're actually implicitly engaging in that kind of action poorly. So the new form of governance is going to have to actually do that properly. And we'll have a process whereby we can actually identify where are we in some kind of well-defined stack relationality and then have a process, a protocol, for establishing a communications channel through which we can then engage in building a context of relationality. Okay? - So let me make sure I'm hearing you right. So one of the central tasks of the new government, new governance, not new government, that was a slip. New governance is to replace poor protocol with proper protocol. - Yes. - Okay. - Yes. And in a second, I'm gonna bring back one of the primary components of proper protocol, but for right now, I'm gonna say, the second kind of capacity is competence in implementing that protocol. So to be soft-minded in relationship with communication. And you've actually put tremendous amount of effort into that sort of thing in the context of things like, what does a human being have to have as sort of basic human capabilities to engage in D.A. Logis? - Right, yeah. - A simple example is one that I've taken from my friend, Benita Roy, she taught me, was the notion of mapping error, or the one that you call that off of often, which has to do with disambiguation or noticing when there is, what's the word that you use to describe it? What a meaning is not clear. - Like a quivicle? - Quivicle, exactly. You know, a new literacy is to have a psychological awareness of the fact that terms can be a quivicle and that quite often if you are communicating with somebody and they're used to the term doesn't make any sense to you, you are likely dealing with an equivocation or perhaps even distinct linguistic histories where they're using that word to mean something completely differently 'cause it is embodied in a very different lineage context. And having for example, an emotional response of curiosity and the ability to activate a disambiguation protocol as opposed to an emotional response of wanting to punch them in the face or cancel them, for example, right? In the current environment because we're operating using very broken indigenous, human tribal, familial capacities to engage in this random walkthrough innovation space, we find ourselves in the unspeakable, be novel context and endeavoring to communicate with human beings that we've never met or are currently interacting with in embodied fashion via principally just small amounts of text. And therefore oftentimes make mistakes like we get really angry when they say something that doesn't sound right to us. Okay. - And you get the reverse error that people try to communicate the wrong kind of thing in a medium. They try to communicate a philosophical argument on Twitter which is a disaster. - Which is a disaster, exactly. By the way, it goes all the way down. Like my wife and I have been very nerdy, have many times had the conversation of, to me, darling, that particular question that you're asking is not appropriately asked while you're driving in the car using text. - Yeah, yeah. - We should wait until we have an interpersonal face-to-face to have that conversation because that's the appropriate communications context to have that particular kind of relationality. So I'm gonna loop back to the notion of what a proper protocol ultimately unfolds into. A proper protocol creates the appropriate communications context to then begin the embodiment of the proper relational context that has the right sort of richness and sensitivity and nuance to instantiate a wholeness that we can build then a relational competence that can hold whatever it is we're actually going to be dealing with. - I see what you mean now. I mean, the workshops where we take people through meditation, contemplation, the circling practices into the philosophical fellowship and then into, we do all of that to build up that protocol, right? And then we, the people are introduced to dialectic and to deal logos. - Exactly. And let me tell you, my study of this tells me that just getting that part right will resolve 80% of the problems we're currently dealing with. It is profound what happens if we just get the combination of a proper protocol which has this very specific element of understanding that communication context that develops proper relationality and humans who are sovereign in the context of those two pieces. And we get that element together multiplied by the fact that we actually do have 8 billion agentic minds that are just sort of radically being underutilized. Lots of good stuff happens and lots of bad stuff goes away. Okay, so that's one example what this new Neo-Neo Cortex looks like. Let me give you a different example and then I think we may have actually been kind of running out of time which is nice. It feels like we've done some really good stuff. - Well, I think we've laid the foundations for the series very well. - Yeah, yeah. So, yeah. So I mean, lay this other one down. 'Cause I feel like it's potent and I noticed that it confused actually Schmachtenberg when I talked with him about a year and a half ago, it didn't land then and I'm not sure if it ever really did. So if we think about an old fashioned notion of a government and we'll all just use the American way of doing it, we ended up dividing it into three distinct domains. The executive, the legislative and the juridical. Here's my proposition. My proposition is that the move into the digital has as a primary element a radical releasing of energies, let's say, that have been unduly bound into this location of being a false machine. In other words, the civic code. We made a mistake of binding too much into algorithms and binding too much into humans running bureaucracies and things like that. And then the move into the digital liberates that tremendously. We talked about that a moment ago in terms of liberating human energy that we no longer have to be calculators. But I mean the same thing in the context of these higher order abstractions of governance. And specifically what I mean is the notion of the function of the legislative of which by the way, the regulatory is a subsidiary. It's radically displaced in the new form of governance that the era of literacy was the crowning of the legislative and that's no longer either needed or necessary or proper. That the era of the digital involves a radically reduction, radical reduction of the legislative function and a restoration of the juridical function, which by the way, completely changes the location of the executive function, but I don't know if we have time to get there. And what I discovered when I was thinking about this is a really beautiful notion of revival. And I think you may have actually, but then the one who put it in my head or maybe Bishop Maximus, 'cause I'm thinking about Exodus and I think of Moses. And I'm thinking about topology. So in the story of Moses, who played a very interesting role, Moses played the role of governance in the context of the Jews traveling across the desert as the direct interface to God. But he played the role of judge, right? Not the role of king. And- - There were many judges, there's a whole book of the Bible judges. - I'm gonna get that. - Yeah, that transition is the key. That tells me that to the story of the Torah, say the Old Testament, that the notion of judge is more fundamental. It is the proper location of where the heart of governance is, meaning it's how you steward the commons and think about how commons law works. - Oh, I see what you're wrong with this very interesting. - Gerritical, right? - Commons. - Commons law. Gerritical, what does that mean? Well, that means is wisdom, we use wisdom to resolve disputes, right? As opposed to endeavoring to codify choice, create constraints in bureaucracies to govern choice. We rather recognize that sovereign human beings, and I mean this both in both senses of the term now, are making choices locally at the lowest level on the ground with the highest degree of perception of what's really happening, and the highest degree of the ability to ultimately express their values into world by themselves, like in small self-organizing groups. And that the biggest challenge, the most fundamental challenge of governance, beyond by the way communication, which we just covered, is resolving conflict, right? Where these groups of individuals and groups of individuals find themselves noticing that their sovereignty is not adequate to the scope of the wholeness that they are in relationship with, and therefore we need to have individuals who are notably wise and are arranged in such a way, remember when Moses was a council to make a subsidiary a principle and grant Gerritical authority to a constellation of judges besides himself, they was done fractically, fractally, right, at different levels of scale. All the way down, I believe 10, which is really neat, I think about that granular. But the two rules were that the individuals were wise and they were not corruptible, and they were not likely to be bought off, meaning that their interests were aligned with both the individuals that they were interacting with personally and with the larger whole, and they had a competence, they had a sovereignty that was adequate to the responsibility that they were holding. Well, that's that. And so there's two moves here. One move is the removal of the legislative as the center or the more fundamental notion of governance, which is the same thing as the removal of the bureaucratic or the algorithmic. And the second is the restoration of a subsidiary or a fractal, wisdom-based commons law that is principally around developing highly context aware. Remember the notion of the legislature has to do with the abstraction of trying to create general rules that are as relevant to particular contexts as they could be. - Precisely. - Precisely, yes, I get it. - Can be context aware. - Yeah, yeah. - Whereas a fine-grained common law is precisely context aware, right? It is a conflict between two real situated humans in a real actual environment that has real actual consequences for all the other people in the nature with which they're in relationship. And a proper judge has proper responsibility for addressing the whole thing. It may be that X is the right thing to do instead of Y and that's the judge's job. And then we wanna do is we wanna build the right kind of meta-context such that the judges aren't corrupt, that the judges are, that they're wise. And by wise, I actually mean both that they actually have real sovereignty and relationship to the context they have responsibility for. But also that they're actually embedded meaning that they're legitimate in the Habermasian sense. Does that make sense? - Yeah, so far it does. So I mean, two questions emerge. One is, why did the Israel, I mean, I'm gonna use the mythological language. I'm asking a general question, but why did the Israelites want to replace the judges with kings? Because that seems to be a question that needs to be answered. And I think there's a related question, which is how do we deal with the Promethean spirit, which regards tradition as something to be overcome because we emphasize the progress into the new? And how do we keep that distinct from the openness to emergence? That for me is a pressing problem right now. Right? Right? You wanna be beholding to the tradition, but you don't wanna fall into being a traditionalist. You wanna be somebody who is opened to emergence without pronouncing death committed to the flames of the tradition. And then thirdly, you have Plato's problem. Who's gonna guard the guardians? The philosopher kings are very much Plato's attempt to give something like the judges. And of course it did happen. We had Marcus Aurelius. But the thing that's interesting there is it took non-constitutional constraints, a bunch of gay emperors that adopted their errors, bunch of errors from which they then chose the most competent, really in your sense, in order for it to work. And of course, Plato didn't have a solution to that problem and he kept wrestling with it. And many people in fact argue that the Republic is, and I agree with this, is a profound critique of any utopic proposals. So that would be the three questions. And maybe those can be the questions we could pursue next time. - Yeah, can I just address a little bit of the first? - Yep. - Just kind of put a hook. And then I think it's exactly right for us to do the rest next time because it feels to me like that, say, what I'd like to do is invoke an open or proper space of D.L.O.G.S. on that question. - Yes, totally. - And he goes without saying that's quite a potent question. All right, so the first, I will put this out here. And I think it pretty good hooks. And the question, the original question, the first question was, why did the Israelites go from judges to kings? Here's why, I think. I will say it with some assertiveness. The executive function, which is fundamentally the king. And remember, for example, in medieval Europe, the king played both the role of judge, like juridical functions grounded in the king. And the judges who traveled around and implemented common law were direct reports to the king and also played the military function. Here's the thing. The executive function, which is to say enforcement of the law in a well constituted community is an intrinsic of the juridical function. Let me make that explicit. So let's say we have a group of 10 people and they all know each other, like they're all in real relationship. And they've all identified a given individual as wise, which is to say that individual has high legitimacy. They all trust this person as wise and well intention with regard to both each individual and to the larger group as a whole. Okay. So a properly created community when a conflict emerges between members of that community and eventually become something that is subject to juridical evaluation, the wise elder will opine on it, will speak with wisdom and clarity. And if done well, if they actually have done a proper job, that it's self enforcing, meaning that the one person, for example, or perhaps the two people in conflict who may or may not be super awesome, happy with the results of the judgment, have eight other people in the community that they're in very deep complex relationship with who are all sort of looking at them and saying, "Look, this is how we do it here." And wisdom has spoken. And honestly, it sounds pretty fucking wise. So I don't know what problem you've got with it, but get in line. That's self enforcing because the community actually has proper scale, meaning there's not too many people involved and it has proper verticality, that the wisdom is like legitimate. Okay. Now, we have two problems that emerge. One is when you're dealing with war, when you're actually dealing with problems where many of your disputes don't have a shared sense of wisdom. And when I have a dispute with a neighboring tribe, let's say the Philistines, and I don't have any shared elder, where we can resolve those disputes in the fashion I just described, we resolve disputes using war. And war is king, not judge. And what happened to the ancient Israelites is that the day they left the desert and they entered the land of Bill Khanhani, they immediately entered into war. And therefore left the realm of judge, quadruge, and entered the realm of King Khwa King. And we have been living in that world ever since, both historically in some sense and also within the mythological sense. And so one of the reasons why our current governance system is so jacked is this in fact designed to constantly be fighting war, and therefore the elevation of the executive. The other side of it is when you are entered into a place that has a muscular legislature and no longer is grounded in a commons, then there aren't any truly integrated holes that have both horizontality and vertical. When I have a judge in the American political system, evaluate the laws that are written by a legislature, I have no particular sense that any of those guys are either A, non-corrupt or B, Y's or C, have my interest in mine at all. It is imposed upon me as if it's at war. And so therefore, I then again have to be in have a relationship of King. The only way to enforce the laws in a society where everyone is fundamentally separated from proper real relationality is the implementation of the King style, the executive at the top. And when we have moved into this new form of governance, this neo-neo-cortex, remember I mentioned planetary scale as one of the problematics that we're dealing with, all humans will be in fact in a relationship of context, a relationship of a fully integrated proper hole with verticality and horizontality, which means that we are no longer in a position of intrinsically at war, but rather in a space where the juridical can and therefore and should play the proper role as the base of governance, which is very nice. It also applies that the default state of everybody being in a relationship of sort of default war, meaning social relationships, relationships that are not real, not rich, will also no longer be the case. And so conflict can in fact be mitigated by a properly constructed, juridical constellation. So I'll put that as a provisional answer to the first question and propose that it also creates a tremendous amount of hooks into the nature of how we might respond to the second question. - Well, I'm gonna give you an initial thing about the second question then, because you did an initial for the first. - Right. - Which is, Moses isn't just a judge, he's also a prophet and all of the judges were also prophets, in fact the terms are used. And then after the institution of the king, the prophet becomes distinct. And then of course the idea is Christ brings back, reintegrates the priest, the king and the prophet. But here's the thing about the emergence issue, right? I think we shouldn't judge people, sorry, people should not ascend to the role, or if that's even the right verb, but whatever, ascend to the role of judge just because of their retrospective capacity to deal with appropriating and applying the tradition, they should also have a prophetic capacity to disclose what is pertinent and perennial in a way that shakes people up to what is emerging. - Oh, oh man, that is so sweet, yes. That is beautiful, good Lord. It's feel like a limited in manuscript in words. So, thank you. - Yeah, so let's play with those two ideas. And when we come back and pick this up. And as always, I'm going to give my guest, which is you, the opportunity for last word. Doesn't that be summative or cumulative? It could just be inspirational, aspirational or provocative. It could be enigmatic, but what parting word do you wanna leave? - Let's call it an invocation. We entered into this stage of our relationship, our dialogue, with a sense of timeliness, meaning that it appears that we are now at a time where it's proper, necessary and possible for this new form of governance to finally begin the process of happening. And so the invocation is that perhaps this conversation will begin that in earnest and that perhaps we're kicking off something deeply new in the human story. - I hope so too. Thank you so much, my dear friend. Well.


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