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Stuart Dobson (M)
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We all change. The future is emergent and dynamic, evolving with our minds and our society. Technology plays a fundamental part in this evolution, this evolution of complexity. So I ask, how does technology affect society? How does technology affect our minds and then society in turn? How does our economic and political system affect society and technology? What are the products of this evolution – and what are our goals?
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    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.


    George Dvorsky's article about How to Build a Dyson Sphere was absolutely fascinating and I feel the concept deserves much further exploration.

    "By enveloping the sun with a massive array of solar panels, humanity would graduate to a Type 2 Kardashev civilization capable of utilising nearly 100% of the sun's energy output. A Dyson sphere would provide us with more energy than we would ever know what to do with"

    Now, this is the kind of ridiculous, overambitious idea that that really captures my imagination. It would be a hyper structure, like the Hoover dam on steroids, where we would create unfathomable devastation, calling on the skills and labour of thousands, enduring the harshest that nature can throw at us in order to tame it - all in the name of energy. Where the Hoover dam transformed a country, this would transform our entire solar system. But it's not without cost. And that's what I want to discuss.

    In order to get the materials to build this monolith of human achievement, we're going to have to make some sacrifices. Namely, the planet Mercury.

    But what are the ethical implications of dismantling an entire planet for our own purposes?

    One might argue that it's an otherwise useless planet, a burning chunk of iron and rock with no desirable real estate or even aesthetic value. But does that make it Ok to take it apart for spares?

    What will future generations think about dismantling the planet Mercury? They will probably be a lot more conscious about the implications of such vast resource exploitation, given that they will be growing up in a world full of pollution and big empty holes where coal and precious metals used to be.

    In today's world, these kinds of concerns are rarely considered, or if they are, they are still ignored if there is money to be made or amenities are required. But the people of the future will have their say, either way. This will bring the debate into the the public arena, allowing countless others to raise topics and concerns that may never have been thought about - issues that could have untold implications on the project.

    Legalities

    Mercury of course raises another issue that may throw a spanner in the works, that of legal rights. Who owns Mercury? Does anyone? Even if someone did own it - this might not stop someone who has the facilities to get there from taking it from someone who can't.

    We could put it to a democratic vote, involving the whole world, but could you imagine the political nightmare a worldwide vote would be? Coordinating the political process across different cultures, legal systems, technology levels, ideologies, and population sizes would be a logistical task comparable to dismantling a planet.

    How Decisions are Made in the Real World

    At the end of the day whether or not something is ethical has very little bearing on whether it goes ahead. What matters is the decision making mechanism of the time.

    Right now, our decisions are based on finances. What is wrong or right is always superseded by the potential to make money, save money, or the liability to cost money. If it would be profitable to dismantle the planet Mercury, all it takes is someone with enough power to get the idea into their head and it will happen. I'm not sure that currently, there is any business or government in the world with enough money or resources to put this idea into practise yet, but that may change in the future.

    Perhaps by the time a Dyson sphere becomes feasible, society will be running on a different modus operandi. Perhaps there will be a different currency other than money, something else that holds value but is traded in a similar way. If this currency was directly related to the Dyson sphere, for example, if it was energy, then this might also drive the Dyson sphere's production and supersede any moral concerns about dismantling planets. If the currency was something else, such as art or community help, then production might not be pursued as the need for the Dyson sphere wouldn't be reconciled by the needs of the people. But the project will always remain a possibility as long as energy holds value, and it probably always will, the question would be how much.

    Practical Implications

    As well as the ethical and legal implications, we would also have to consider the practical ones, as these may also have ethical implications of their own. For example, what about the effect on the gravity of the whole solar system? If something went wrong, the Earth could end up falling into the sun or flying off into space - these are pretty serious ethical concerns! Of course there would need to be some extremely accurate calculations before we attempted to commence resource extraction of this scale.

    A Responsibility

    After all the negative ethical dilemmas brought about when deciding whether or not to dismantle Mercury, It could very well be argued that it is actually our responsibility to uplift humanity, to alleviate suffering. That it's humanity's purpose to advance our technology, our civilisation, our place in the universe. To do this, we need to use all the resources we have available to us. It would be unethical not to.

    The question would then be, what will be the return on this mother of all investments?
    Sat, Aug 11, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: ETI
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    If there was ever an indication that the current capitalist system is fundamentally flawed, it would be the severe shortage of viable jobs in a world full of problems.

    Jobs exist because a task needs to be done. But jobs are a drain on every enterprise, so they are avoided unless absolutely necessary. When they do exist, they are allocated the absolute minimum of funds for the enterprise to remain profitable. This alone makes jobs scarce but this scarcity is currently being exacerbated by increased automation and a move towards capital equipment. However, an even bigger threat to jobs is the fundamental mechanism of enterprise.

    The measure of all enterprise is in financial output. While the benefit to the individual (the customer) might be important in order for a product to be desirable in the marketplace, the overall societal benefit is usually no more than a fortunate side effect. The priority for pharmaceutical companies is to sell as many drugs as possible, not to cure as many people as possible. In this and many other cases, societal benefit is actually detrimental to the company’s financial benefit.

    The problem is that if there is no profit to be made, then the motivation for solving a problem is greatly reduced. While many endeavours are made outside of enterprise, such undertakings usually rely on the mechanism of “one way funding” – such as charity or government funding. Money and resources are poured into a black hole, while the benefits yielded are not directly related to the input. In a capitalist world, this mechanism is an abomination. In a community focussed society, it might be the only option.

    Alternatively such organisations can rely on the bastardisation that is advertising for funding. Yet this is always detrimental to the product and is almost always completely irrelevant to the ambitions of the enterprise – often even causing a conflict of interests.

    Distorted Values
    Despite this obvious distortion of values, we continue with this broken system. How can we be proud of a society where someone processing invoices can earn a living, while a musician starves? Where a footballer lives in a mansion while a nurse strips to feed her children? Where a CEO earns a fortune for dismantling a company while the low paid workers, those who actually produce something, are left out on the street? This injustice can only arise from a distorted value system – and it will always remain as long as inequality is allowed.

    The Danger of Forced Necessity
    Despite the inequality, the necessity of employment for survival causes people to be very defensive about jobs. They believe working is their god-given right and watch out anyone who might try and take their job – especially if they believe that person has less of a right to a job than them – ie; they are an immigrant.

    As unemployment rises, which it will due to technology and our reaching the limits of our resources, we can no longer continue the producer > consumer mechanism. Jobs cannot remain obligatory for survival. If nothing else – the economy itself will collapse! With no workers earning money, there will be nobody to buy the goods produced.

    Yet this is of little concern to corporations who’s only concern is short term profit, nor to the out of work father. So this makes it extremely difficult to address the problems and discuss alternatives, but we have to. We can no longer afford to allow enterprise to be the driving force of progress.

    We are signing our own death warrants by allowing our survival to be directly linked to our employment.

    The Alternative
    The bottom line is that people should not need jobs. This system where working is essential for survival causes impoverishment for those who cannot work. It also only creates jobs that are are based on profit, yet profit is not always directly associated with improving society.

    We need a different kind of system, a system with three prerequisites.


    • The basics of survival are provided for every individual – so work is not essential.

    • The purpose of enterprise is to improve society, not create profit.

    • Jobs do not impede enterprise, they empower it.




    This system would create only satisfying jobs that are beneficial for society. There would be no pointless jobs because nobody would do them.

    There is plenty of work to do to improve society. There are jobs for everyone, and they do not have to be imperative.

    You might think it sounds impossible, ridiculous even, that we should have a system of only voluntary work.

    But it is ridiculous that one can waste their life slaving in an office while millions starve.
    Sat, Oct 1, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: work, economics, Jobs
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    Matter Evolution

    Since the first particles were set in motion, every action has been part of a chain reaction.

    At first, there were the simplest of elementary particles in an empty universe. Hydrogen atoms - single electron entities, were the pinnacle of complexity.

    Eventually, a few of them collided, stuck together, and formed more complex atoms, and then molecules. Well, it was a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea. These molecules accumulated until there were so many that gravity and magnetism began to have a significant effect. As the gravity increased, the mass increased, and nuclear fusion commenced. Star systems were born.

    The planets continued a sequence of their own. Eventually molecules increased in complexity by way of chemical reactions in order to form amino acids which then combined to create proteins.

    These proteins and amino acids increased in complexity until living cells emerged from a random chemical process. I realise this step is a big debate, but it does seem to follow the natural flow of this theory.

    Life started simple - with single cell organisms converting oxygen into energy.

    Like everything before it, life increased in complexity as its requirement for survival drove it to trial different solutions to the problems it faced. Solving any problem always creates new, more complex problems. When the first animal came onto the land to find food, it had to develop solutions to deal with this new environment. So because of legs, lungs had to be developed. (Or vice versa?) Because of cars, roads and the Department of Motor Vehicles had to be developed.

    Consciousness Evolution

    After an unfathomably long time, something incredible happened. Life increased complexity so much that a brain able to comprehend its own existence was formed. This brain not only solved problems, as brains before it did, but it built upon ideas. It developed the same skills as nature itself, evolving ideas that increased the complexity of the universe. *These self acknowledging brains loosely described this phenomenon as consciousness, and these complexity-increasing ideas as technology.

    Consciousness is a feedback to nature. For the first time in history, nature is no longer the main driver of complexity, the complexity itself is driving further evolution.

    Now I'm not talking about transhumanism or notions of driving our own evolution to become more than human. I'm talking about the ability to create ideas. Ideas drive evolution. Like nature before it, the function of ideas developed by consciousness is to increase complexity. This evolves the course of the universe itself.

    Ideas are created by combining previously existing concepts to solve a problem. These ideas then create new problems that need to be solved and so new ideas always add to the ever increasing complexity.

    Evolution = increasing complexity, using ideas as the mechanism.

    Evolution began as hydrogen atoms evolving into complex molecules. It is not restricted to the evolution of plants and animals. Charles Darwin's identification of the evolution of the species was just a very small part of a much bigger picture.

    It's important to remember that this is still part of that original chain reaction. Evolution is the function of the universe itself.

    I'll say that again. Evolution is the function of the universe itself. To appreciate this, try to acknowledge that the true definition of evolution is to increase complexity. That is all that has ever happened. From the increasing complexity of atoms to the development of life, the improvement of life and then the development of consciousness, the universe is just a complexity factory. That's what it does.

    Our Purpose

    What is profound about this is realising where we fit it into it all. We've often wondered what is the reason for living, and when you look at the big picture like this, it becomes obvious.

    We are just here to continue the evolution of complexity.

    Of course this is both empowering and humbling. It turns out that human beings could be pivotal to the evolution of the universe. Looking back at how the universe has evolved we can predict that we, (or another version of consciousness that will emerge if we create our own extinction), will contribute to the emergent complexity of the universe. Our ideas will evolve the complexity and will take the universe to the next level. Yet at the same time, we realise that we are simply a result of what the universe was doing anyway. We are not the 'pinnacle' of evolution, we are just 'where it's at now'. There is much more to come, and perhaps we are just an insignificant speck in the development of something much grander.

    What if the development of consciousness is just an embryo of a super-brain and concepts such as individuality are simply mechanisms in its development? Kinda makes the humbling from Darwin and Copernicus seem like a mild slap. The ego of humanity takes yet another beating...

    But even if this is the case, there's no need to feel down. Now we know our purpose, we know what to focus on. We have meaning and direction. We are here to drive complexity, by creating ideas which are solutions to problems.

    Social Evolution

    And there is more. Since we first started integrating concepts and evolving ideas, we have been part of something even more complex than our minds: Society. The hive-mind of ants or bees is one thing, but the hive mind of an entire planet of conscious, problem solving, dextrous human beings is quite another. Society adds yet another level of complexity to the evolution of the universe.

    Society has only existed in any sort of complex form for a few thousand years, but until the birth of the internet, it was fragmented and relatively simple. Now, people have the potential to connect to any of seven billion others. Cultures merge. Belief systems collapse and form in seconds. Values shift and perceptions alter. More possibilities present themselves. When the internet exploded, our day-to-day functioning as a society hit the knee of an exponential curve in terms of complexity.

    This is not to be feared. This is the destiny of evolution, the destiny of the universe. Yes, we will create ideas to temporarily simplify many concepts. But this is just so that we can then use this simplification as a step up to further complexity. Like a fractal. For example, Google simplified searching the internet, but in doing so empowered people to solve more complex problems than ever before, due to the ease of access to new concept-combinations.

    It's no doubt that these are exciting times as the technology advances at an accellerating rate, enabling all sorts of new opportunities, problems and the ideas required to solve them. The more technology, the more ideas. The more ideas, the more complex society becomes.

    Even the power of our own brains is on the verge of improvement, adding to our ability to drive further complexity.

    So immerse yourself. Ride the wave of nature and accept our destiny - the perpetuation of complexity.
    Mon, Feb 7, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: Consciousness, Ideas, Complexity
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    The Corruption of Monetary Motivation

    Everywhere I look I see the corruption caused by monetary motivation.

    Where there is poverty or low incomes, people will do whatever they can to make a few bucks, whatever the human or social cost. And who can blame them, when their environment fosters survival-of-the-fittest self preservation? In many ways, poverty reflects how society has failed to evolve far from its animal origins.

    Where people have comfortable incomes, you will find apathy in abundance. People are so enslaved by the treadmill of ever increasing work and consumption they remain oblivious to the world outside their bubbles — a world of nature, real social interaction, better health, abundant free-time, and the possibility of a better society. Mind destroying TV and pitiful politics keep them entertained in so called comfort.

    Where there is wealth, you're almost certain to find selfish affluence, inefficiency and irresponsible waste.

    In business itself, we see corrupt practices such as planned obsolescence and artificial scarcity — behavior that has no place in a rational, civilized society.

    The ever growing gap between the super rich and the life-threatened poor only serves to further illustrate the intrepid failings of the capitalist system. The stagnation of the middle class would also be adequate confirmation, were they not all hypnotized by the latest X-Factor.

    Yet nothing really compares with the corruptions that span all spectra of wealth. The underlying motivations of everyone and every entity are such that our realities are corrupted by selfishness, inefficiency, and a disrespect for anything but money.

    Capitalism has advanced society tremendously — assisting technology (where there is monetary gain), driving progress, and improving the quality of life for most of the west. However, aside from the obvious problems (which I touched on above), over the last decade or two, capitalism has become subject to a catastrophic imbalance that undermines most of its social benefits.

    Socialists, arguing (quite justifiably) that equality is better, will never win their argument against capitalists whose very own livelihoods are being scalped by lazy good-for-nothings. Capitalism is, at its essence, a fair system, aligning wealth with effort. At least, that is the idea.

    So now we now have a stand off - a passionate war of words between Libertarians, Objectivists, Marxists, Socialists, and everything in between. Yet all these political ideologies are based around money and this primitive system of exchange that we cling to so desperately.

    All I see, are too many absolutes. The Future of Money will be complex. There are aspects of every system that have failed, there is nothing to say that any system would fail if certain adjustments were made. We should be more flexible, more open to suggestions that may go against the underlying aspects of our chosen system, but may well improve it beyond recognition.

    A New Direction

    While the political idealists fight amongst themselves, their arguments become irrelevant. All around, we are seeing the growth of systems and societal functions that show complete disregard for this outdated system of exchange based on money. How will technology and our changing society affect this monetary direction? Is it possible to alter its direction, to affect positive change? How would we go about doing this?

    Local Currencies

    Local currencies undermine the often corrupt state controlled monetary systems. They give some control back to the community and can assist in avoiding tax. However, at their essence, they are still systems of exchange and still subject to the underlying faults of this economic model.

    Sharing

    Creative commons increases sharing and improves collaboration. It undermines the monetary system because it allows creators and consumers to completely bypass money. This puts more value on creativity - anyone can download some movie making software, but making a movie is now the challenge - it is the end result that has value - even if it is given away.

    Pay-it-forward

    It might sound idealistic, but communities such as Freecycle create the environment for this philosophy to flourish.

    With the abundance that many of us now enjoy, we have little need or even desire for anything in return. Ironically it was consumption focused capitalism that led to this abundance. Now many of us are looking around and just seeing too much junk.

    Most significantly, exposure to this system changes people's expectations and attitudes. As a result there is a growing number of people who are happy to give things away without expecting anything in return. The concept of a free lunch is no longer seen as such an impossibility.

    Minimalism

    There is a growing trend of people who have taken the too-much-junk philosophy and applied it to their lives. People are realizing that there is more to life than the treadmill of consumption and refocusing their lives to be less about possessions. The growth of this attitude is profound — people are rejecting the system of Work > Buy Crap > Repeat in droves. They buy second hand, and they demand that products last. As this 'market' grows, it could have huge implications for the economy.

    The Basic-Needs Epiphany

    One implication of the growth of minimalism is the realization that it is relatively simple to survive with just the basic needs. Supplying these basic needs can mostly be done in a self sufficient way, but any other requirements are quite minimal and don't really require large infrastructure investments. The implications of this realization are that poverty is not necessary, for anyone, anywhere, ever!

    Without poverty, many of society's problems are eliminated.

    Abundance vs Falsely Perpetuated Artificial Scarcity

    There is abundance of energy that can be converted into automation, and we would see this if the monetary system wasn't such an enemy of renewable, free energy. There is abundance of human resources capable of advancing science and technology to help us, if they only didn't have to work in inefficient, waste-of-time, non value creating jobs that exist just for the purpose of making money. There is abundance of materials if we make efficiency our way of life instead of planned obsolescence and waste.

    Since computers became mainstream, we have been introduced to a form of abundance in the form of unlimited duplication. Until advanced nano-fabrication, this is only possible for digital property, but it opens our eyes to the possibility of a post-scarcity future. At the moment, computers demonstrate automated duplication of cheap data. Yet we are already seeing this brought into the physical world with advancing robotics. Material abundance is the only missing link in this chain, and you can expect there to be some progress in this area in the near future.

    Abundance reduces value, and although it does not reduce the value of everything to zero, it certainly demonstrates a new way of looking at our monetary priorities and possibilities.

    Automation

    As well as increasing our duplication potential, automation has a significant impact on labor, employment, and value. We can expect a tipping point in the very near future where we are literally forced to rethink the roles of humans in the economy. This is perhaps the most pressing issue in our transition to a new kind of economy.

    Power to the People

    What all the systems above have in common is that they are bottom-up approaches. They have evolved; grass roots efforts have been enabled by technology and these systems have emerged based around what works. There has been no government intervention, no panel of experts dictating control, and even the corporations have largely failed to have an impact on these emerging mechanisms. Any corporations that have had an effect don't generally dictate the direction of these systems, they simply profit from assisting them. The companies themselves are forced to adapt — often their business models have to embrace the new way of doing things.

    The masses are gaining significance — without needing to resort to the futility of politics and the false feeling of power provided by the vote. In the past, power has belonged to those in control of the monetary system, and those who knew how to use and abuse it. We must be wary as they will not give up their power gracefully and will do everything they can to hinder any transitions away from the current system.

    We should also have foresight. The transition and the new systems will offer us incredible opportunities — opportunities for both personal growth and massive social change. Learn about the emerging systems and understand how to take advantage of them. At the same time, recognize the dangers.

    The Future of Money will be complex. It will be empowering. It will be disruptive. It will change our lives, and will do so at an accelerating rate.

    Further Reading

    Introducing the Future of Money Project
    Thu, Oct 28, 2010  Permanent link

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    Kurzweil and his proponents seem to be unshakable in their belief that at some point, Advanced Artificial General Intelligence, Machine Sentience, or Human Built Consciousness, whatever you would like to call it, will happen. Much of this belief comes from the opinion that consciousness is an engineering problem, and that it will, at some point, regardless of its complexity, be developed.

    In this post, I don't really want to discuss whether or not consciousness can be understood, this is something for another time. What we need to be aware of is the possibility of our endeavours to create Artificial Intelligence stalling.

    Whatever happened to...Unified Field Theory?

    It seems sometimes, the more we learn about something, the more cans of worms we open, and the harder the subject becomes. Sometimes factors present themselves that we would not have expected to be relevant to our understanding.

    Despite nearly a century of research and theorizing, UFT remains an open line of research. There are other scientific theories that we have failed to completely understand, some that have gone on for so long that people are even losing faith in them, and are no longer pursuing them.

    Whatever happened to...The Space Race?

    Some problems are just so expensive that they are beyond our reach. While this is unlikely to be true forever, it could have a serious and insurmountable effect on Artificial Intelligence development. Exponentially increasing computer power and other technology should stop this being a problem for too long, but who knows what financial, computing, and human resource demands we will find ourselves facing as AI development continues.

    Whatever happened to...Nuclear Power?

    Some ideas just lose social credibility, and are then no longer pursued. If we are able to create an AI that is limited in some way and displays a level of danger that we would not be able to cope with if the limitations were removed, it's most likely that development will have to be stopped, either by government intervention or simply social pressure.

    *

    I think it's unlikely that the progress of anything can be stopped indefinitely. It requires definite failure by an infinite number of civilisations. Anyone familiar with the Fermi Paradox and the "All species are destined to wipe themselves out" theory will have a good understanding of this concept. 100% failure is just not statistically possible indefinitely when it depends on a certain action not being performed.

    However, it is certainly likely that our progress will be stumped at some point. Even with the accelerating nature of technology, this could cause an untold level of stagnation.

    We should try and stay positive of course, but it would be naive to ignore the chance that, for some time at least, we might fail.

    *

    I promise my next post will be more positive!
    Tue, Sep 14, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: AI
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    Escaping Your Mind Prison

    People are starting to realize that there are con artists and fraudsters in politics, religion, corporations and other positions of power, using unearned power to control us. This article will give you enough information to be able to spot con-artists, to know how they work, and to out-compete them.

    True freedom means individual freedom. Freedom for every individual to live how they please. This has many, far reaching implications, which we will discuss throughout this article.
    We’ll also show you many examples of how individual freedom is not a reality in today’s world, and what problems this causes.

    The self richeous elite may maintain a strangling grip on the rest of us for now, but the world is awakening to the injustice, corruption, and oppression of all forms of leadership.

    Our true freedom begins with our own personal awakening.

    Democracy is Fundamentally Flawed

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” — Benjamin Franklin

    Although it is an illusion, we currently live in a democracy. This sounds great, but think about it. Should the majority of the people really rule over you? The only reason it currently works for the most part is because the majority tends to vote rationally on most issues. This gives the illusion of freedom.

    However, what if the majority was to vote that you could be shot for not paying your taxes?
    Well, this is the exact situation in America today.

    If you refuse to pay your taxes, the feds will come after you — with guns. If you resist, they can shoot you and at least lock you up.

    You may disagree that gays should be allowed to marry but someone else might disagree that you should be allowed to breathe. The majority may vote in agreement.

    Is that fair?

    The American government banned stem cell research for some time because a religious majority believed that it is playing God to attempt that type of research. This cost the lives and health of millions of people. Why should the majority have ruling say over other people’s lives?

    Is that moral?

    True Freedom is the Only Fair System

    “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.” – Thomas Jefferson

    It is completely immoral for governments to ban anything or tell us how to act appropriately, or what to eat and not eat, or what to do with our own bodies and possessions, or whom to hire or to be polite. In doing so, they are violating our own freedoms because they are purveying force on us. We as de-facto employers of government should be telling them what to do and how to act appropriately.

    Governments currently use opinions and beliefs to decide the rules we live by. Opinions and beliefs are relative, not absolute. They do not apply to everyone, so they should not be applied to everyone. What’s more, these opinions and beliefs are often deep-rooted in bigotry and irrational religion anyway. We will discuss this more later.

    Why should I be branded a criminal for smoking pot when problems caused by the far more dangerous but legal drug alcohol are more common?

    If a mass murderer breaks in to my home and I kill him in a struggle, why am I a criminal?
    Why can’t gay people get married when it is an agreement between two people, not two people and the government?

    And who do governments think they are telling consenting adults what sexual activities they are allowed to privately engage in?! It’s absurd and immoral that governments dictate personal policies.

    Even if the rest of the world disagrees, a person’s personal business is their own business, providing it isn’t harming anyone else or violating their rights.

    Back in 1976, writers at a company called Neo-Tech Publishing drafted what they called the Constitution of the Universe – a simple yet incredibly profound document.

    Here it is in its entirety, and reprinted with permission:

    The Constitution of the Universe
    (1976)
    Preamble
    *The purpose of conscious life is to live creatively, happily, eternally.
    *The function of government is to provide the conditions that let individuals fulfill that purpose. The Constitution of the Universe guarantees those conditions by forbidding the use of initiatory force, fraud, or coercion by any person or group against any individual.
    Article 1
    No person, group of persons, or government shall initiate force, threat of force, or fraud against any individual’s self or property.
    Article 2
    Force is morally-and-legally justified only for protection from those who violate Article 1.
    Article 3
    No exceptions shall exist for Articles 1 and 2.
    Premises
    1. Values exist only relative to life.
    2. Whatever benefits a living organism is a value to that organism.
    3. Whatever harms a living organism is a disvalue to that organism.
    4. The value against which all values are measured is conscious life.
    5. Morals apply only to conscious individuals.

    * Immoral actions arise (1) from individuals who harm others through force, fraud, or coercion and (2) from individuals who usurp, degrade, or destroy values created or earned by others.
    * Moral actions arise from individuals who honestly create and competitively produce values to benefit self, others, and humanity.

    This universal constitution provides for one-hundred percent freedom and only allows for the use of force in order to protect those freedoms and rights. It doesn’t make any restrictions on anyone. It doesn’t require that we be nice to anyone or sacrifice ourselves. It does guarantee every individual complete freedom and protection of your life, liberty, property, and contracts.
    This was found at their website, http://www.neo-tech.com.  Neo-Tech’s Mark Hamilton is the founder of the new 12 Visions Political Party in the USA.

    The idea is nothing new. Pagans have a similar mantra: And it hurt none, do as ye will. Most religions had their own versions, but they did not emphasise “doing what one will” as this would not have allowed them to have any control – the main purpose of organized religion.

    Live and Let Live

    People who feel the need to control and manipulate others do not function based on reality. They have been brainwashed by the anti-civilization-system currently in control. This is a mental disease that has been in control for almost three thousand years. It’s time to heal the mental disease of mysticism.

    Live and let live. Live your life and let others live their lives.

    Choose to be considerate, respectful, and caring of other people that respect your freedoms and your life.

    Victimless Crimes

    What about drugs, or other vices such as prostitution or gambling?

    If something is harmless to others, why is it illegal? People should not be made criminals just for doing something someone else believes is wrong. Not all habits are life destroying or even harmful. Bigotry drains society – people should mind their own business.

    By being outlawed these victimless crimes feed the black-market and make criminals rich. We can pull the plug on the black market by legalizing drugs, gambling, and prostitution. Since terrorists and crime syndicates make the bulk of their money dealing in one or more of these areas, legalization would put a colossal dent in their income and even cut it off completely. Instantly remove their profit and you instantly remove that criminal element.

    The war on drugs is a prime example of how prohibition, created from greed and supported by bigotry, is causing more problems that it solves, and in fact, it doesn’t even solve the problems it sets out to solve. This war can never be won. Nothing good will ever come out of using the current strong-arm tactics or guilt and fear manipulation techniques.

    Children and adults usually do the opposite of what you command them to do. Defying authority is typical, especially with young people.

    If a government was to make the monumental decision to legalize drugs, they should publicly preface the decision with logical reasons as to why legalization is a better choice than keeping these things illegal. This is a very important point. Proper education yields better results than manipulation. Education would also minimize mixed messages and the number of first time experimenters of hard drugs. We definitely need to dramatically increase education on this.
    Prostitution is obviously dangerous to the women who participate in it, but by outlawing it, the only thing that happens is they add getting arrested to their list of dangers – how is that helpful to anyone? It doesn’t address the root cause or do anything to fix the problem so the problem will continue indefinitely.

    We need a society where people would be so engrossed in their love-of-life focus that the thought of doing drugs or wasting money in gambling or engaging in sex with prostitutes would be farthest from their minds. And yet, if someone wanted to experience drugs or any activity, they will be completely free to do so.

    If drugs were legalized for personal use, medical research, material research, and therapy, it would completely remove the profit in selling the substances and probably remove the dangerous additives.

    If governments or the private sector also had workshops and counseling available for treating addictions as diseases rather than crimes, perhaps more people would be willing to opt-out of their life destroying habits. The sad truth is that there is just too much profit and power to be had from prohibition and control.

    How Leadership is Inherently Corrupt

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
    – George Washington


    Who currently prospers from the illegal status of the prohibition and control? Governments have some stake in the black market since they gain from seizures of property and finances. Law enforcement prospers from simply being employed to counteract vice. Some bullies in law enforcement get a chance to beat down doors and hurt people. Politicians make themselves look good by advocating ego-justice and politicized laws. Criminals prosper from the economics of supply and demand and the over-inflated prices.

    In the end, taxpayers lose financially due to the overcrowded justice system and the wasted efforts of law enforcement.

    There are many medical benefits in some illegal drugs. Marijuana is a very good pain reliever, often less harmful than the things doctors give their patients, and at least as effective. It is sad that the governments keep an iron grip on controlled substances. By doing this, governments are directly furthering people’s pain and these types of controlling governments continue to fail us.

    Every day we see another law rushed through in a knee-jerk reaction to some crime in an attempt to protect us. These kind of rules are nothing more than band aid fixes to a cancerous society – fixes that do nothing more than chip away at our liberties.

    If you make up a rule that addresses a group of people in particular, you most likely incorporate people from other walks of life that are totally innocent. For example, the ban on hooded tops is an attempt to stop antisocial behavior from unruly teenagers. However, if the law is to be taken as written, (which if it isn’t followed to the letter, then frankly it’s a worthless law) then Muslim women who wear hoods and hide their faces should be forced to abide by this same law.

    That’s only fair though, right? You’re not supposed to discriminate when you’re enforcing a law.

    This is an example of what is called a non sequitur. A non sequitur is when something doesn’t logically follow from what was before. In this situation, action is being taken on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the problem. Hooded tops do not make people unruly, they are just an attribute of some of the guilty people. It is also an attribute of some innocent people who are made to suffer at the expense of this ridiculous law, while the real problem is not properly addressed.

    It is pitiful that we live in a society where these petty and prejudice ideas are enforced. The problem with these types of laws is that they hold no substance – they are not based on any constitution or basic rule of society. They exist purely outside the realms of common sense since governments have never come up with better ways of dealing with these aspects of society. When anything bad happens, the only way the government can react is to enforce more and more control without even attempting to address the root causes.

    People need to be made aware that laws targeting a minority are unconstitutional in any system and should never exist. There needs to be more accountability in government for this kind of thing. We are being taken for fools because they enact more of these idiotic laws every year.

    The bottom line is that governments are doing nothing to fix the problems of society, because they stand to gain too much from the status quo. Leaders and other external authorities live comfortable and wealthy lives at the expense of the working class. These leaders produce nothing of value or very little, and yet, they steal the value that you and I add to society with their gun enforced taxes, fines and laws.

    Our Only Choice

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

    You may be wondering how much freedom is too much? If everyone was free to do what they want, then wouldn’t that mean that people would be free to take from others or harm people? What would the world be like if we adopted these simple guidelines instead of the myriad of complex and manipulative rules that currently govern us?

    As long as we are not infringing on anyone’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then one-hundred percent freedom is totally necessary. Partial freedom is not an acceptable alternative.

    If constitutional changes are made that restrict more of our freedoms, this government might be okay in the interim but future administrations can easily use these restrictions against us to work towards establishing a dictatorship. Some governments act subversively in this dictator-manner already and their citizens don’t even realize it.

    In the US and other countries, this situation is already out of hand with the introduction of anti-terror laws that completely undermine democracy.

    There are many things the government forces us to do. There are all sorts of restrictions on many industries. One thing they force you to do personally is to pay taxes or relinquish your property under the guise of bettering society.

    Despite what you may think about having to pay taxes or surrendering your property, it is immoral since gun backed force is used to collect taxes and steal your property. If they are allowed to continue with this one small act of force, what’s to stop them from using their power to force you to do something worse, like national service or something else that strips away your freedoms? Who’s setting the limits here? They are, in their irresponsible ways.

    The path of restricting freedoms leads to only one logical conclusion – that of a totalitarian dictatorship.

    Tricks of Authority

    We Can’t Be Trusted

    Bigotry, racism, nationalism, jealousy, superstition, greed, and self-centered behavior are all learned patterns of behavior, which are strengthened or reinforced by our upbringing. These patterns of behavior are not inherited human traits or “human nature” as most people have been taught to believe. If the environment remains unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur. When we come into the world we arrive with a clean slate as far as our relationships with others are concerned. — From The Best That Money Can’t Buy, Page 89, by Jacque Fresco

    Con-artist leaders make us believe that they are important and necessary for a society to run smoothly. They try to convince us that we will hurt society or ourselves if we are allowed to be totally free. Yet propagating this control is violation of our individual rights, no matter how trivial.
    Currently we are dealing with crimes and problems after the event. Virtually no effort is put into prevention by education or other means. There is too much money and power to be made from crime and crime fighting.

    Essentially, we are products of our environment. We don’t start off bad, we become whatever our experiences and environments shape us into.

    So, in this corrupt world, discrimination and hate runs deep with some people. From dangerous bigotry to enacting laws targeting groups, discrimination truly drains the value of society. Yet, people should be free to be racist or sexist or discriminatory as much as they wish – just as long as they do not act on that discrimination and infringe on the rights of other people.

    People are free to rant and spew vile beliefs all they want, but as soon as they physically attack someone or someone’s property, then they are infringing on those other people’s individual rights.

    If anyone does follow through on these beliefs and violate someone else’s individual rights, then they can expect those people being attacked to defend their property and their safety.
    Stealing or destroying property, hurting people or using force against people, and restricting freedoms are all violations of a universal premise that everyone has the rights to their property and their very lives. People should be allowed total freedom to think what they want and to do what they want if they are not violating the rights of others.

    We Need Protection

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin

    The only protection we need is protection against the controlling elite and their ever growing power.

    At the moment, the authorities have a particularly powerful weapon in their arsenal. They use terrorism as an excuse to force us into relinquishing some of our most fundamental liberties. Some governments have even used staged events to instill fear into citizens. Hitler did it, and there is the possibility that other governments, even the US has used false-flag events in order to reduce freedoms of its citizens. Even if they didn’t play a direct part in these events, they certainly benefit from the increased security installed following every terrorist attack or threat.

    Granted, the authorities have a very tough job balancing liberty with security. However, the vast majority of people are under such gross misunderstandings about the situation that they will happily give up their freedom with very little persuasion from the government. The majority think that giving up our liberty for safety is worthwhile. This is a very dangerous situation. It proves how much some people, consciously and subconsciously, want to be led — regardless of the cause or outcome.

    It’s incredible that in fighting the supposed terrorists that threaten our liberal way of life, we are giving up our liberty to stop them.

    We’re doing the terrorist’s job for them! There has got to be a better way.

    The number of deaths due to terrorism is very low, yet far more money is put into increasing our security and defence than is put into health research, health care, road saftey, education, improving infrastructure, and dealing with the root causes of the problems.

    Patriotism

    “A true patriot must always be willing to defend his country from its government.” – Edward Abbey

    Governmental leaders and many established religious leaders deceive people into following their unrealistic causes and doctrines. One such method that is still very much prevailant is patriotism.

    Why should we hold such significance to the place where we happened to be born? We are all humans and no different to our international brothers and sisters in terms of rights. Why would God only bless America?

    However, we all grow up in very different cultures and environments. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with being proud of our own personal community’s individual culture, its beautiful landscapes, its scientists, engineers, entrepeneurs, artists and sports people nutured within our particular education system, and anything that has a genuine tie with our personal location and individual community.

    The past ideals of imperialism, spreading ideas and values, should be seen as what they are – illegal force. We can share our culture and our values with other countries, but they should not be forced upon them by any means. Not only does this kind of force breed discontent, it kills the rich diversity that makes our planet such an interesting place to live.

    Distraction

    "The bosses of our mass media, press, radio, film and television, succeed in their aim of taking our minds off disaster. Thus, the distraction they offer demands the antidote of maximum concentration on disaster." – Ernst Fischer

    Most people are too blind to see when their liberties are being taken, because their attention is focused elsewhere, on their own personal lives, the current American Idol, or the latest murder. There has been a deliberate dumbing down of the population for many decades, perpetuated by the “forth arm of the government” – the corporate mass media.

    News and so-called entertainment seems to be deliberately designed to stop us questionning the current establishment. Catered to the lowest common denominator, which is pretty damn low, typical bad TV programming is designed to require very little thought. While that might be what you intended, allowing you to “escape” into TV land, you may find that synapse connections in your brain are dying while they lay idle, having a similar effect to certain intoxicating substances.

    It might be nice to switch off the brain from time to time, but there are much better ways to do it. Ignore this dumbing down from the media, and learn to see through it.

    Religion

    “In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Most organized religions do not encourage free thought or independent thought. Followers are taught to accept the authority and word of the religious leaders. This is another type of mind-prison. Free thought encourages creativity and it encourages people to question things that might be incorrect. Questioning religious authority is typically never allowed.

    What about non-believers? Aren’t the basic tenents of any religion a form of bigotry? Indeed, some religions consider non-believers as enemies to the point that violence against infidels is encouraged. These are not the actions of a free society.

    Religion holds on to its credibility by offering morality. This is a problem, because the morality offered by religion is not based on reality. Religion controls billions of people using these concepts that have no basis in reality. It tells people how to think, and what moral guidelines to follow. Worst of all though, it undermines some of the most basic concepts of reality, and becomes the entire foundation for one’s thinking.

    By using our own mind to think in uncorrupted, rational concepts based only on reality, we come to conclusions that are shocking to the irrational, non-reality based masses. A couple of examples? What about the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, the Earth is round, and matter is made up of atoms (all things that religious people said were heresies when discovered).

    Religion and government continue to control us, sending us to war, taking away our basic liberties, hindering medical progress. It is all because we are still, after all these centuries, thinking in corrupted, irrational concepts not based on reality, and we do this because our reality based mind is corrupted by faith at an early age.

    Manipulation

    Advertisers manipulate us, politicians tell us only what we want to hear to sway our decisions and how we vote, clergy control us with guilt.

    Question the motives of everything anyone says or does. Their words and actions will usually always be driven by their motives. You can tell what people want by what they say or by their actions. They may try to hide their motives, like when people bluff in poker. You should think about whether someone has a motive to bluff.

    You might be asking: Are people really that manipulative? The thing is, many people try to manipulate you without even thinking. They are driven by their desires so they will do what it takes to get them satisfied, even if it is a subconscious effort.

    An example is when you are talking to a potential romantic partner. You’ll only say things that you hope will ultimately end up with them falling for you. That is your motive. By realizing that motive in you, the potential partner can adjust their actions accordingly. For example, they can prolong the conversation in order to get more drinks bought for themselves. Of course, this is a slightly cynical perspective but it’s just to help you understand the concept of conscious and subconscious manipulating.

    Politicians provide us with great examples of manipulation on a day to day basis. Politicians have political agendas to fulfill and they will say what they need to say in order to get the support of the public.

    Of course they don’t lie, not exactly. Blatant lying is dangerous because if they are found out it would be devastating for their political careers. But bending the truth is easy when you over-complicate. However, their main tactic is to present the information to the public in a biased or out of context way.

    For example, imagine they wanted to bring out a law that forces everyone to carry an ID card. Their hidden motive is that they can keep closer tabs on people. To get support they could play up the problem of illegal immigration, when the reality is that the amount of illegal immigration is really quite small, and not really a problem. Policing with ID cards would cause more administrative duties for the police and actually make the situation worse.

    Remember, it’s not just politicians that present information in a manner that serves their purposes. Politicians, clergy, the media, advertisers, and sales people just happen to be experts at it but you will find that most people do it on some level.

    Techniques people will use include:
    * Blowing things out of context
    * Bending the truth
    * Exaggerating
    * Withholding important facts
    * Jumping to conclusions
    * Giving biased information

    You will find it easier to recognize these techniques in people by questioning their motives. When you identify people’s motives and manipulation techniques, you will no longer be affected by them.

    Train yourself to become constantly aware of people’s motives to avoid being influenced by lies and half-truths. What sounds like it might be the truth could actually be far from it. The point is, even the person saying it might totally believe it. They themselves have fallen for the badly presented information and have convinced themselves it is true.

    Always establish the facts and realize when information is being presented in error to you. You may find that in the past you have spread lies yourself without knowing it. It is important that you are honest with yourself and realize whenever you are not dealing with the truth.

    *

    To be truly free we must individually reject all external authority. This is the most significant concept you can take away from this article. External authority corrupts and weakens your mind. You must develop self authority and integrate it into all your thoughts and actions.
    There is no need to reject our moral guidelines when doing this. In fact, it will give you the clarity to create better ones.

    Un-earned Power

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. – Thomas Jefferson

    Government should only be the custodian of our health, wealth, safety, freedoms, and rights. In this way, they are still protecting us from those who try to initiate force on us, but they are not controlling us. This avoids both anarchy and fascism.

    We pay for our governments, therefore we should have a say in how they provide for us and how they protect us, not the other way around. You are not obligated to serve anyone — neither the government nor those less fortunate than yourself. If you want to, that’s fine. It’s your choice. It should always be your choice.

    However, we live in a society where the government immorally decides what is best for people. Politicians, just like religious leaders, do not function in reality. Their authority is derived from lies, and their power is not deserved, as they have not done anything to earn it.

    What do we mean by this? You might think that Obama worked hard to get to where he is, he must deserve his authority. Now, apart from the questionable amount of authority Obama really has, the work he has done to reach this position is not relevant. He used political manipulation, just as the kings of old used violence and bullying. Neither technique creates any value – therefore they are not deserved of such power.

    Google is one company that demonstrates what true, deserved power really is. Google finds itself in a unique position of power because of its innovation and ingenuity. Its power was not obtained by irrelevant means of violence, guilt, social manipulation or political popularity. It built its power using ingenuity and innovation, by developing solutions, creating value, and genuinely improving society.

    Of course, we should be extremely wary of the power it can bestow on itself with such innovation. But it is not in their interests to do what the public doesn’t want, because it relies on the public for its power. Furthermore, our defense against this power should be further innovation, not regulation which limits society.

    Consensus vs. Reality

    “Politicians – with no problem solving training, attempt to solve problems based on ‘what the majority of people think’. This is a little like a checkout clerk performing open heart surgery under the guidance of some customers.” - Stuart Dobson

    The way that political policies are created is fundamentally flawed. The problem is that they are developed to maintain the government’s popularity. Therefore policies will only ever reflect what the majority of people think is for the best. Do you think using consensus to dictate government policies is safe? Don’t you think that using science and proven knowledge is a better way to do it?

    More and more people are finding this “Pop Idol” popularity contest freak-show completely unacceptable. Everyone should find this unacceptable.

    Do we really need politics?

    “I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” – Thomas Jefferson

    The current elite maintain control with its powers of manipulation as previously discussed. Breaking free from this system is our only chance to make things better and it is down to each and every one of us. We must awaken to our self authority to give rise to our own personal power – problem solving skills, creativity, and value creation abilities – and out-compete irrational authority.

    These are the tools we must use against this parasitical system of control. Forget your vote, you have far more power than that. Individually and cooperatively, we can (and must) out-compete the elite and eliminate them and their irrationalities from our society. Like Google and countless other forward thinking organizations and individuals, we must use innovation to create value and nullify the pitiful attempts of the self righteous elite to control us. Eventually, these criminals will have no basis to exist in the new society.

    It’s time to remove the parasites that have been feeding off our backs for too long.

    Self Authority

    “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind” – Albert Einstein

    Self authority is within all of us. We don’t need any authority to tell us how to live or how to think. To do so is to deny the greatest gift of all – the gift of conscious thought.

    You must make up your own mind and have your own opinions about the world and this information. Don’t rely on anyone else’s experience or words. Filter everything through your own objective mind matrix and make your own decisions.

    All statements in this article are integrations based on our logical, honest, cutting-through-the-lies perspective. You may disagree with what you read but don’t let that stop you from opening up your eyes to the lies and irrationalities that infect our lives.

    With your mind working in pure, reality grounded concepts, you may be able to come up with better integrations. There will always be grey areas but we are constantly evolving. You should be able to make your own decisions and come to your own conclusions.

    This isn’t to say you should ignore advice and assistance, but you should put it through your own knowledge matrix first and you shouldn’t rely on any outside source or influence.

    We also need to have universal honesty at all levels. Universal honesty is done at the widest-scope possible; not only on an individual basis, but in all areas of life, including all business and all levels of government, and most importantly at all times.

    The majority of perceived problems are made-up issues from the mystical mind. The majority of problems have no base in reality.

    Choosing to eliminate mysticism in your life in favor of objective reality will help eliminate most personal problems. Choosing to meet so-called problems head-on with unadulterated reality will help you to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles and to tackle challenges with a stronger sense of control and confidence. Instead of obstacles, view things as goals to change your current reality.

    Release yourself from the mind shackles that authority has ingrained on your consciousness since birth.

    Now is the Time

    It’s important for you and everyone to understand that currently, this world is at a point that can best be described as the nuclear threshold or the self-annihilation stage. If we do not stop ourselves and point ourselves in a productive and prosperous direction, we could destroy the majority of humanity on this planet, or even all life. If we don’t destroy ourselves through rouge countries starting nuclear wars, then terrorists could very well make the entire planet inhabitable with dirty nuclear bombs or chemical weapons.

    If given the opportunity, certain people would gladly cause our extinction. Most of them believe that some deity will sort it out in the end. But what if there is no deity or afterlife? Then we’re all screwed by a handful of fanatical con-artists or psychotics.

    Perhaps even more dangerous is the continued eroding of our basic liberties at the hands of corrupt authorities. We must make the general population aware of this corruption before it is too late and we fall completely into a new dark age of tyranny.

    Realize your personal self authority and do everything you can to awaken it in those around you. Let’s turn the tables on the invisible con-artists and parasitical elite, out-competing them with innovation and value creation. Let’s preserve our world and human existence.

    It’s up to us.


    *


    This article is a collaborative work by Stuart Dobson and Maxwell Jennings.
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    If we were to replace our bodies, one atom at a time, would we be the same person? One would think this would be the case. Every 10 years, every cell in our body will have been replaced at least once, with bone marrow taking the longest to renew. Most of the body renews every 7 years.

    Our bodies are an ecosystem not unlike any other. Take the sea – remove and replace it one atom at a time and no fish will notice. Replacing larger pieces will cause problems for its inhabitants, but it will soon renew itself. Replace a large proportion, and this will likely have huge implications for the entire ocean. As it is with humans, replacing one small section at a time would be easily accounted for and would not have any dramatic effect on the system as a whole.

    This is a dramatic realisation – for what are we if not our bodies?

    We are not single entities. We are systems, and we are made from smaller systems, which in turn are made from smaller systems. Cells take in matter from our food and convert these molecules to be part of us, replacing extinguished cells. We are not the matter that constitutes our body – we are its collection of systems.

    The brain, the place that for some reason is believed to house the “mind”, is almost certainly more than just a material structure. As yet we have failed to deconstruct it to any significant level, but we do know that its functionality relies to some extent on electrical configurations. However, the brain is not some simple electrical circuit which can be reverse engineered by simply following current paths and measuring voltages.

    Brain operations are less logical, hiding their true functionality in the encoding of patterns. It’s these patterns that are more of an accurate reflection of who we are.


    In fractals, an equation determines a configuration that is iterated. This type of pattern, known as self similarity, is an underlying mechanism of nature. Using fractal equations, we can now work out how many leaves and how much carbon dioxide a tree will create. It is the "DNA" of reality.

    We are all connected

    We should also remember that while we are made up of systems, we ourselves are composite parts of a larger system, the ecosystem of the universe. While we may not feel that we’re “connected” with the Earth or the Sun or the Andromeda Galaxy because we see no physical connection, we are connected in a scientific and logical way.

    All atoms are surrounded by orbiting electrons which by definition are negatively charged, meaning that every atom in the universe repels every other atom – in other words – you never actually touch anything. So, your body is not even connected to itself, yet it is, albeit by magnetic forces. Therefore, we are all just as connected to the entire planet – and each other, as we are our own arms.

    Through the vacuum of space, the magnetic forces continue but weakly, while gravity takes over to keep us connected to the rest of the universe. And every day we are learning more about how the universe is constructed, discovering phenomena such as dark matter that continue to reinforce our connected nature.

    As well as our scientific connection, from a logical perspective, we are also as much a part of the universe as it is of us. Our actions affect the universe around us, and we enjoy the benefits or suffer the consequences of these actions accordingly. We rely on our surroundings to survive. The only thing holding these implications away from us is time. While we may not see the implications of our actions personally, they echo into the universe, which we are part of. Karma, in essence, is real.

    Individuality

    So we could end it here on “we are all one”, but if that were the case, why do we all have minds that “feel” like they are separate? Is it an evolutionary accident or is there some divine purpose to our individual consciousnesses?

    Perhaps individuality is a deliberate outcome of evolution, a mechanism to bring about the most efficient thought system possible? There is no doubt that humans have the ability to take over from evolution now, increasing the “power” of our consciousness, our life spans, and the efficiency of our resource usage to drive our own destinies.

    Following this thought-train, we could provoke more questions than answers. Is consciousness determined by individuality? Could there be alien species that evolved without any concept of individuality? This would depend on what would be the best evolutionary advantage.

    The big question, is could this individuality be an illusion, created in our own minds? We are, after all, not one entity, but a collection of systems and a system within a larger system.

    This begs the question, is a brain the pre-requisite for consciousness, or could consciousness evolve from any collection of systems complex enough, for example, artificial software, a complex cell, or even a star? We are, after all, just different versions of the same kind of fractal patterns that make up all of nature.

    What if we are just the dreams of stars?
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