After over four decades of work, I think I found it, a strategy that will allow humans to survive into the future. In Genetics For A New Human Ecology, I think I solved the genetic part of how we could avoid the great genetic danger we face and how we could survive and adapt. In a way, it was far simpler than I expected. The solution to the problem of survival strategy also turns out to be simpler than I expected. There is basically one big do and one big don't. That probably sounds far simpler than it was to get to it. My main study was biology. That seems sort of synonymous with survival. I had to cover most of the other sciences as well. Then there was philosophy and morality I had to cover. I studied most of human history, belief, habit and even speculation to get there. I've examined Tribal, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Western societies that followed. I looked at Eastern, Indian, African and Native American cultures. I looked at Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Deism, Atheism and quite a few other beliefs. I looked at examples of and speculations about societies organized by Merchants, Priests, Scientists, Warriors and Kings. I read speculations about societies that were all female, all male, all warriors (Klingon and Kzin), all logical (Vulcans), psychically linked or adapted to life in space. I found considerations about societies of all clones or that reproduced by fission. I read discussions of societies of genetic super humans. There are so many stories, because so many thinkers have all tried to solve the same question - how should humans survive. I was more interested in how could they survive as I saw so much danger, but it turns out that for the foreseeable future how they can survive, a strategic and biological problem, and how they should, a philosophical and moral problem, are the same problem. It's not like these answers I am suggesting aren't known, but the logical proofs we have of them are weak. Without strong knowledge, our beliefs and convictions cannot be strong. We need them to be or we will never make progress as we must and we will go backwards to just being animals. We need our beliefs to align strongly with our moral instincts, because that is where our strengths and choices come from. This book is to explain how we can we can survive and why. It is a moral statement, meant to give moral understanding and the moral strength that that understanding can create. It explains the one strategy we must use to become more than animals and we must use it if we want to survive. This book is also to explain a great moral danger that applies to ourselves and what we create, including our machines and institutions. Knowledge of it is needed, because already that danger is part of us, has caused great damage and will lead to far greater danger if we don't recognize it. In a way it is like the description in my discussion of genetics. There is great danger because of changes we have made to natural selection and the mutation rate. The other side of that though is if we husband out genes to avoid that great danger, it will us allow us to adapt to the future genetically as we need to, but also it will give us unimaginable genetic wealth. If we avoid one dangerous moral strategy from our past and use another, we will be able to make a great future for humanity. Now let's see how clear and convincing I can be supporting my conclusions.
"Beginnings are such Delicate Times". (Videos for if that is your medium of choice.)
Here I am again, at the beginning of a book. So how do I catch the reader's attention? The content of the book is amazing, the skill of the writer perhaps less so. Should I dazzle them promises of amazing insight that they know they have long sought? Should I warn them of their deepest fears? Maybe I should appeal to hopes for humanity that they never thought could actually be realized. All these things are in this book. Change is occurring at a dizzying pace. Humanity is in great danger, our moral instincts tell us that. Change is so great, we have no idea what to do or believe. The past offers so little guidance and there seems no way to make sense of the deluge of possibilities. We are told of so many amazing potentials that we can't guess what the future might look like, which to choose, what to do to get there. Read what I have to say here and see if it makes sense to you. I asked the same questions you are asking. I saw most of this long ago and have worked for decades to make sense of it. I looked for paths forward and how to make good decisions about how to deal with the changes. I see dangers that are close as well as potentials as great as human aspiration. This book, from start to finish, is about how humans can understand and get past the massive changes going on. It is about how we can create a world that we like and feels comfortable, where we can raise families and develop into far far more than we are. This is really not about some far future vision, it is about reaching another calm place where we can stop and think about that far future. First though we have to solve some problems from our past and a few that we are already running into. I hope this answers important questions you have asked and questions you have not gotten to.
From first to last, this book is about human survival. It is written basically in the form of an ecological analysis, because ecology is the tool of science that is made for describing a species, where it lives and what it needs to survive. It is a great tool for organizing lots of data and that might be the biggest problem, lots of data to make sense of. That data includes history, psychology, sciences, technology, philosophy, genetics, lore, speculation, rumor and all the many topics it takes to describe humans, including the most slippery topic of all, morality. I will start this the exact same way I started my other book because the problem is the same. That book though was about the Genetic problem and this is about the Strategic problem. That was Genetics For A New Human Ecology.
This discussion is about human survival strategy in the context that humans are between two ecologies. The so called hunter gatherer tribal ecology we left that has been replaced by the farms and cities of civilization and whatever ecology will follow that. This book focuses on the strategic parts of how we can adapt to that new ecology, rather than the genetic parts which came before.
It is true that all the changes in the various elements of ecology between tribal to civilization represents a larger change in ecology than any specie has ever tried to make, but if you look at it in terms of a specie using conscious planning to replace the controls of nature, that by itself is completely unprecedented and the results are to be seen.
As I will describe in great length elsewhere, this book is very hard to write, It is complicated and interconnected the way biology is. The form on the web will probably be different than the final form for a book. This is written in a conversational form, because that is the only way I have felt I have had any success communicating in writing. If I tell this to people, they get it easily. Written form is another thing. This web site is just one more step in the process of getting this to being a single linear book. This is a work in progress... Oh yes, it is just one of four books so far, that are all related in that nasty complicated way that biology seems to work. All are meant to describe how humans can create a new ecology to survive in and develop.
There are many parts to human survival strategy, but of all of the parts, one has a very ancient, strong genetic foundation. Because of that, all discussion of strategy must fall within that or it just will be too foreign to our way of thinking to be used. These are our moral instincts and basically, morality is just another name for human survival strategy. It is hard for a person to do anything that goes against their moral instincts or their learned moral strategies. For that matter, it can be hard to do much that a person is even morally suspect of. This is the bottom line. Any discussion of strategies that are going to conflict with our moral instincts are non-starters. At the same time, an understanding of our moral nature helps describe a lot about humans and what we want to achieve. It's hard to put morality into words though, both because it came from long before words or even humans for that matter and it was created by the trial and error of evolution rather than the simpler logic and reason that humans are more comfortable with. A major goal of this book is to give an explicit understanding of morality, because it is an understanding of ourselves and what we need both to survive and to be comfortable.
Think of it this way. What if you could solve all the physical problems you know 0f? What if you could use advanced automation to provide all the energy, food, water and other resources humanity could use, including 3D printed buildings in any form we needed or could think of? You would start seeing other problems that you hadn't noticed or realized. Those are the problems this book is supposed to be about and most of them are moral problems
Would you like to know the future of humanity? How about a very good future? Would you like to know how humanity could have a good future? Are you a curious person that would like to better understand humanity and yourself? Well, this can tell you that. It is a story told in the context of a rapidly and dangerously changing world and is meant to be about how we can create a good future for humanity and deal with those dangers. Part of it is an advanced understanding of humanity because that will be needed to create that future. I'll try to create this to communicate on a few levels. Some of it will be shorter and more direct. Some will be deep and subtle. I assure you, I can tell you a story you have never heard before.
One day, far in the future, this will become the book Strategy For A New Human Ecology, hopefully, maybe... These are the chapters written in a linear fashion that will make a book instead of having the more free form of the web available. Wish me luck... Actually, I think I have most of what I need. The caveat being - some assembly may be required.
From little understandings can come big understandings.
2. About This Book - Basically why the subject is so complicated.
3. Resources - The most basic foundation of ecology.
4. Beauty - How a Moral Decision is implemented.
5. Knowing - The ways we understand.
6. Disease - The Unknown. Disease has always ruled.
7. Genetic Replacement - How it has been may be changing. This shows something about the new moral strategy.
8. Human Nature and Variation - How it has been may be changing. This shows something about the new moral strategy.
9. Genetic Adaptation - Half of how we must adapt.
10. Status and Genes - A very powerful director of behavior.
11. Genetic Consequences and Strategies - They will be greater than most would imagine.
12. Wealth - Definitely a placeholder.
13. Government and Economics - Something of a placeholder, but a very long one if so.
14. Morality - In Progress... where this all goes...
15. Visions - What were you thinking!
17. Strategies 1 - How strategy looks to an Ecologist.
18. Strategies 2 - How Strategy has worked out in humans.
19. Strategies 3 - Two Different Ecologies.
20. Strategies 4 - Men - The Pressure of Competition.
21. Strategies 5 - Morality - There Can Be Only Two!
22. Marriage 1 - A Foundation of Morality.
23. For The Ladies - A Little Understanding.
If you have ever written a book, you probably know that sometimes... you just start over.
More or less, that is what I am doing here. The previous work was getting a bit long and
as always when you do something like this, I developed a new understanding and need to orient
more around it. You write a book of information like this from the middle out as your
understanding expands in the writing. Extending the end is easy enough, but the further
along you are the more space and adjustment you need to make for the new understandings
in the beginning. That's harder and can take a restart.
Currently (11/16/19) this is being restarted for two reasons. The original reason was that I have come to realize how much human strategy breaks down into Darwinian strategy and Human strategy. Darwinian strategy, like Natural Selection, will not support a civilization.
The second reason is that while reviewing human knowledge I started looking at Classical Philosophy, particularly from the West. I guess I had been taught that it was something of a dead subject, replaced by science. In terms of human survival strategies and techniques as well as the development of human and civilization, I couldn't believe the wealth to be found. Philosophy is very very alive, very currently relevant and answers many important questions that science probably never will.
From little understandings can come big understandings.
One More Time...
0. Why Strategy Is A Problem
3. Philosophy Review
3. Philosophy - What I was looking for
3. Philosophical Authority
3. Philosophy - What I found
3. Philosophy - Machine morality
5. Human Instincts - Powerful and Subtle
4. Self-Awareness - to be human.
What follows, is the processed material from which the book must be forged. I didn't waste time, but it is wasting me.
Here are some short topics that were written early and may or may not remain in the final form ... as if there was ever really a final form. They are all part of creating an understanding and so should be worth glancing at.
Morality - because that is the key, but just what is morality and why is it important?
Genetics - well, obviously that will be important, but how and why?
Dangers - what are the dangers humanity faces and just how dangerous are they?
Potentials - just what is this good future I'm talking about?
Why is this view worth looking into instead of so many others?
Lets clear the Air A Little.