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2. An Information World

The system enters the language of science in the past century. A partial examination of the concept is given in the prior book of this series. To summarize briefly, systems thought does not concern a thing observed in nature or a thing ingrained in the universe like a hobgoblin, but a thing born from knowledge itself. Systems thought pertains to questions that plagued both science and the study of human society, and began in earnest with the study of life and conceits about such an entity. It is living entities that comprise our society and living entities which are in our world the only entities which truly "know" anything. I distinguish knowledge from information or symbols pertaining to information by describing knowledge not as a simple thing in the universe, but a process which results from very particular actions in matter. Those actions are not particular to living creatures or the laws governing life, but in our experience, the only naturally occuring knowledge arose in living creatures. This knowledge was first apparent to ourselves, and we could see from the outset that animal life behaved in ways like us that suggested a cruder process of knowledge was at work. Nothing about the natural world suggested humans were essentially different in consciousness from each other or from any animal, in that the consciousness was comprised of something so different that the definition of knowledge or a mind was set at some arbitrary level of complexity. Whether we morally valued knowledge was not relevant to our assessment that animals must think in some way to act in a way that adapts to their situation. Humans familiar with the hunt, being hunted, and their relations with each other, could discern that meaning without any grand theory. Philosophy develops in human society to heighten the break between humanity and the animal world, and has continued to develop in that direction up to now. The same break exists in the human race, and this has been the key distinction that separated humans into relations of dominance and submission, and distinguished humanity from animals. Systems thought first appears as an elaboration of knowledge in the past century, and develops into a wide-spanning idea that sought to subsume all that exists and all that is done into a singular framework. This is very helpful for explaining behaviors of many things, but also makes possible the command and control of all of those things. A danger exists in that systems can describe command and control, but the meaningful comparison of systems is not a given. In many ways, the systems paradigm encouraged a splitting of the mind into specializations, while the tools to integrate all disciplines were a distinct science and specialization. This could be good, in that wildly disparate knowledge could be integrated, and bad in that the direction of science since the rise of general systems thought has meant the opposite. Humans today are educated in a way that segregates functions from their meaning, reifying abstractions as they must be while abstracting away meaningful information and the true substance of systems. If we are aware of these pratfalls, which are encountered ad nauseum in the past century from all of the failures of science, both from the failed who are denied meaningful science at all and in the institutions where the wisest men and women are cloistered fools whose lives are wasted on nonsense, we can in the future spare ourselves much of the stupidity that plagues our society when systems are described. This book is not an investigation into systems thought as a discipline of study, and the prior book was only an introduction to many difficulties of the systems approach. A full treatment of systems is best left to writers whose grounding in philosophy is strong and who somehow retained enough sense to speak of these things in plain language. This concept of systems was sensed in the science of the Enlightenment, and was a concept explored a century earlier. Its origins are seen in writing with philosophy around the world starting in what we call the classical era today, and those writers are aware of past traditions which likely were written somewhere, but have been lost to any record institutions consider credible history.

In principle, humans are always capable of thinking of systems, even if they do not use the verbiage or conceits today's systems thought entails. Not all that exists is systematized or can be easily systematized, for there are senses we possess in knowledge that resist reification or symbolic abstraction in an easy way. Emotions and senses of the world do not present to us unmistakable symbols, and in science, systems exist in models which purport to describe a world that existed before our knowledge and outside of our knowledge. Our knowledge and view of systems has no bearing on the actual world where anything happens, aside from the acts we can perform in the real world that are contingent on this knowledge faculty. Since the sum total of the reach of human knowledge is paltry compared to the size of the whole universe or even the planet Earth, knowledge on its own tells us very little. What we do know, if we are not fanatics with insane conceits about the might of scientific elites, is that knowledge has a long way to go to even allow humans to say they know much about truth or the world. It has long been a human obsession to arrest the whole world in knowledge, and describe it as information that can be processed and managed. Free trade and the practices of capitalism, and finance generally, are premised on the command of people. This can be the command of labor and industrial force to affect the world, or the command of loyalty of the officers, armies, bureaucrats, technicians, and various functions that do not produce anything but comprise the functions of states and institutions. The governing power that envisions itself as the master of systems neither fights nor produces, and while they claim to represent the spiritual leadership of the human race, the intellectuals produce less than nothing and cannot even claim to be effective parasites. Far from it, the stupidity of men and women who claim themselves to be the leading geniuses has been at the heart of nearly every disaster humanity faced, as the zeal for war and moral crusades were never too great a motivator for grunts and officers in the institutions. The people who have essentially done the most to ensure humanity's damnation are those who claim, ad nauseum, that they alone will deliver mankind to the light and save us from ourselves. This song and dance has gone on for a long time, and enough suffering has induced the subordinated classes to accept this rule by fear. The officers and functionaries, for whom this construct has in reality been little more than a paycheck and some petty station to play at lordship, would likely choose to let the whole thing rot if it weren't for the wealth this arrangement delivered to them. The officers and so on receive a much greater share of the wealth of nations than the productive classes, who are given little, and the truly subordinated classes who are left with nothing but a kick to the teeth. In the main, a small sliver of managers at the apex hoard this wealth, and do so by claiming that their managerial genius entitled them to it. Because these managers control the bank and all financial instruments specifically to exclude those outside of the institution, and know that their alliance works best by sharing influence and collusion, the lower classes can only play on the terms of those who control the purse strings. By no means is this limited to finance or any particular race or interest in human society. The political elite may use any leverage it can monopolize to induce others to work for it. In practice, the true power of an elite is far from total, as the subordinated classes, and even the slaves, hold some wealth and clutch it for dear life. As a rule, a shared interest of political elites seeks to co-opt enough of this wealth of the subordinated classes, with the eventual goal of siphoning it into their hands and obligating the holders of that wealth to the ruling interest. Since an elite is not fixed in place, the goal in the minds of those who obsess over politics is for all to join the elite, or envy the elite, and it is entirely possible for political elites to cycle between the classes. In theory a political elite could be the majority of the population. The true lever of any political elite is not some material claim in nature or brute force or anything else, but knowledge of key conditions that allow a political elite to govern others and govern each other. A study of this is not our current subject. We will moving forward consider our analysis of human society and the mechanisms that divide the agents, their labors, and the things that enter social circulation, as things that occur in any society. The political settlement of the society is not our concern in the present book, and we will assume that whatever the social arrangement is, struggle between classes, interests, or battles to enter the elite are simply a reality, and the settlement of society is for the moment a political matter and not an economic category. We will proceed as if the society in question is the best of all worlds, and if any struggle for position in society is acknowledged, it will just be another variable in the system with some definite input and output. That struggle will exist in principle because of what humans are and what life is, but the struggle is for reasons that will be apparent not so all-consuming or relevant to what humans actually do.

In this struggle for social position, property, and claims to some piece of the world, the struggle is always carried out in the abstract and in the minds of people, or some other agent which is presumed to contest these things. The struggle is not something of any meaning to the world itself, and nature has no interest whatsoever in the conceits humans hold about their struggle for position. If that is true, then the command of this situation, and the virtue of social agents, is in actuality the command of information. In this view of the world, all that exists is information, rather than the raw substance of the world, or any higher product of knowledge. The struggle in of itself is meaningless, and any symbols pertaining to the struggle may as well be arbitrary. Information, or the resolution of uncertainty, forms the basis for political economic thought. The command of labor, or any other thing, is not a primordial will that just happens to exist as a force of nature, nor is the outcome of this command guaranteed because a theory asserts that it must be so. To command anything in the world implies operating with information pertaining to it. A claim to money does not intrinsically mean anything at all, no matter what material conditions are affected by it and what effect those conditions have on the meaning of money itself. Money is at heart a useful contrivance, and it takes many forms throughout history, the variety of which are not our concern for the moment. A claim to a slave is not enforced simply because the master wishes it or claims some infantile right of conquest. No slavery in history has ever been passively enforced, and no state has ever been a passive entity at all. All of these things involve the exchange of information and storage of information for retrieval by someone, regardless of their social rank. This is true both of the master's management and the slave who must manipulate information to perform any labor, even if that labor is a menial task the slave barely acknowledges. Even if the slave didn't perform labor as such, any value the master wishes from the slave pertains to some information about it. For example, the slave might be harvested for organs or something in the body, or the slave may be displayed as a trophy. Nowhere in economic activity is it possible to avoid information as the true substance of value. That information may pertain to some meaning which is not easily reduced to information in a ledger. For example, the relations of production are never as simple as an assigned role and legal documents stating the terms, and they are not reducible to matter in motion as if they were physical systems pushed by mechanical forces of a button activating some Rube Goldberg machine. Those who manage finance never fetishize money or have any illusions about the nature of it. Every investor, banker, or worker negotiating for their wage or dispensing it for their daily affairs, considers information to be necessary for the deployment of money, or any tool or asset they might hold. The beggar is no less aware that the role entails some information about where to beg, how to beg, what pleases people, who to avoid, and so on. Social relations may be complicated things, but they are always informational at the least, and no social relation is ever a thing taken for granted. The truth of the relation is never a thing reducible to information or any token suggesting the command of a thing, but all management of someone's affairs - for economy is rooted in the Greek term for "management of the house" - is informational at heart. To a commander of anyone or anything, the deeper meaning or anything else in the relationship is irrelevant. All that is relevant is information, presented in some system that is sensical to the manager. The worker's own information is not relevant to the command of labor, and if possible, managers like to keep workers blind to information pertaining to command. It is a great taboo in human society for the command of labor to be questioned in any serious way, and managers as a rule give the absolute minimum of information necessary to any worker in their employ. This was at first assumed and picked up by some political sense, and then research into operations and scientific management suggested that absolute control of information would make rebellion against managers a theoretical impossibility, and would allow managers to extract as much suffering out of their workers as they desired. In the end, the value of labor is not the productive qualities of it, but the suffering itself and whatever information is necessary to induce that suffering, so that workers are made to do something they don't actually want to do. Few gain any satisfaction from being managed, and managers would prefer their task to be as effortless as possible if the management is for their own profit. In institutions, where managers are subordinates, the incentive is entirely opposite. Pure managers, whose income and position entirely derives from bossing others around, seek to make management as cumbersome as possible, and carve out for themselves every drop of suffering they can, while minimizing anything productive in the arrangement on either end. Both the worker and the superior are made to suffer, which is a bad time for everyone. It seems simple to solve this calculation, until the political settlements which we will not discuss here are considered. Even if we did not have this problem though, human intellects are limited and operate in haphazard fashion, and we cannot undo our many mistakes.

Whatever task may be imagined as a thing to be managed or commanded, it is reduced to information and abstracted in a model. This management itself is not a task taking place outside of nature, but is only ever done by entities which are themselves part of the world, and are themselves systems that can be construed as information. The manager can view itself as a thing to be managed, and the problems of self-reference and regress can be resolved sufficiently for the manager to evaluate itself and command the faculties that allow it to manage. Never is the managerial process itself a given or something sacrosanct, as if management occurred in a black box and was esconced from the terror of managerialism. This applies to the highest managers, and it is entirely possible within an organization for managers of equal rank to keep each other honest. The same intercine conflict is played out in the lower classes, down to the lowest classes who are induced to snitch on each other. Even the lowest human in society manages something and does so by viewing their situation as something informational. Never is the management a thing tied directly to the world in soem way that dictates how the management must proceed. This is to say, humans are not tied to "material conditions" in a way that inherently compels them to do anything, in the sense that a button may be pressed and, through some magic, the manager can command another person. If such a command of another person is to be realized, it can only proceed through processes that must be arrested as information. Nor is it the case that a condition like starvation is mandated by nature, or produces the same response in all management. Starvation in society is never simply individual problems isolated from each other, for there are multiple parties interested in starvation and the management of natural resources. Very often, famines in history were caused not by irresponsible peasants but by war and deliberate abuses of social superiors, and after the fact the behavior of social superiors would be naturalized, as if they could do nothing else. This is an outrageous lie given any information or assessment of the genuine situation, but it is always told because the peasants who starved are now dead, and those who survive are reminded that another cull will claim them if they do not abide this situation.

It may be the case in a closed ecosystem that there is only so much food grown, given conditions that were known and planned beforehand, and in any event, more food will not materialize immediately. For the purposes of eating today, the inhabitants of that environment only have what is available in the storehouse. This example is contrived to suggest that there is no other way and no alternative, but it will happen in some way. The conditions of society which enclose land and corral the people can be interpreted as ecological barriers, which will be revisited in a later chapter. Even in this case, the behavior of these inhabitants in society is not fixed for all of them. How humans manage no-win scenarios or the scarce supply of food has no natural answer, nor is any answer self-evident. There is a question of who manages the stockpile, or if the stockpile is a commons distributed in some way deemed fair. The situation will be resolved in some way where inhabitants die, but if the resolution involves violent struggle for life, the killer is not the lack of food, but other humans. For one, it is human society and those who establish law that by all reasonable analysis erected barriers trapping humans into this ecosystem that created the deprivation. If food is abundant elsewhere and enclosure ensured that the "wrong people" would not receive food, then guilt would be assigned for those who created and enforced the enclosure. The same process would play out within the ecosystem, in accord with whatever political settlement exists among the agents. This would apply no less if the agents were animals, for animals act on their own power and in accord with some volition that is for their kind deliberate. Animals generally have a will to live and a will to struggle with each other if they must. This is by no means a guarantee. It is entirely possible that starvation is accepted peacefully, out of a sense that being induced to kill each other at the behest of some sadistic manager or influencer is absolutely fucking retarded and a waste of what remains of our life. Even when death is assured, the behavior of agents is never mandated by some ethical calculus that a grasper or philosopher would dictate. Some will fight, some will walk away, some will resolve part of the problem by eliminating themselves of their own volition, figuring they have seen enough and that whatever happens, they don't need to see this and probably guess that life will end one way or another. Some, of course, will survive, and be very conscious of what should survive. This survival is not merely of their agency or person, but of anything they hoped to preserve in this world. Survival in of itself is not inherently meaningful or valuable. To the world, our life and death is utterly meaningless, and to most of society, one death is just a piece of information recorded and displayed in the obituary section, if even that much happens. It might evoke some memory in us, but we do not handle death or the events of life in some universally prescribed manner. This can be borne out in the information we observe, and so it is itself something of interest to management, if the manager wished to predict the behavior of all agents in this starvation scenario. A manager may wish to mitigate bad things, or better yet not face the situation of starvation by managing the farm better. An imperious manager who for whatever reason gets their jollies from suffering might decide he wishes to make sure the resolution to starvation is gory ritual sacrifice to Moloch or whatever foul deity he believes in. Better yet for such a manager is to create the conditions of famine, and exonerate himself by finding scapegoats or chiding the peasants for not working hard enough. If the peasants worked harder and somehow induced the land to produce more food, the manager would confiscate it on some spurious pretext and claim that the workers actually produced less, just to make it clear that work will not set them free. So, a system in isolation is never what it seems, given knowledge of the agents which are not by nature tied into any system. Humans and any other animal are, absent any compelling reason to believe otherwise, autonomous and not forced into this no-win scenario. The limitations in an environment would be defined instead by the mobility of agents, or vagaries enter the system which must be accounted for. We can use statistical analysis to help us handle vague information, but this should not be done willy-nilly and always has to consider the genuine definition of the problem modeled. But, even when this scenario is engineered, the outcome is only guaranteed to produce death. The minimal death may be assessed given knowledge of human nutrition requirements and time elapsed, but with clever management to maximize the torture of the inhabitants, the death rate can be increased, and very often the death is not caused by starvation but a willful desire to bring inhabitants to kill each other. Given absolute command over the ecology, the manager could by diktat exterminate all unsightly humans from his lands, and this might please his superior or some ruling idea he holds. The contrary that the manager has sympathy for the ruled is not demonstrated by any historical ruling idea, and the philosophies of rule have always shown utter contempt for the depoliticized subject, even when that is clearly counterproductive and pointless. We may speak of the position of the ruled who have seen this for centuries and ask if they would do the same thing or worse. In all cases, the proper placement for ethical obligation is with those who manage, and those higher up the chain who are fully aware of the situation and cannot claim ignorance. If workers manage themselves to some extent, then they would have some obligation, but they cannot be obligated for the actions of managers creating death cult scenarios, and to insist that they should be responsible[1] is ridiculous to the most basic sense.

These questions always figure into information when we speak of management. The agents to be managed or who must themselves manage, and all objects in the environment, are treated for this purpose as entities which communicate information, rather than what they "actually are". The particulars about knowledge as a process and the capacities of entities which know, and any tools they might possess, are all interesting, but they are reduced to information in management. This includes the manager's own faculties. What the manager wants and his personality is only relevant so far as it affects informational results and outcomes. This is absurd if we think about what is actually happening in life, but to manage anything, this is what we have to do. In other words, the question of management as a natural science will always chase its own tail. It is designed to fail from conception. Nature has no need of management, and does not manage itself in accord with any knowledge or general plan. All of the information that may appear ordered in nature is not managed but emergent, and in nature, the simplest emergence of patterns tends to be the correct one. The natural world came long before us, and we ourselves are more complex informationally than we are led to believe by managerial conceits. For ease of management, the faculties of agents are reduced dramatically. If we are to create a proper model, we would be careful of what is abstracted, and remain aware of what is lost in the transition, given sufficient meaningful knowledge about the agents in question. I will not investigate too deeply the biological capacities of humans or the variety of them, or probe into deep questions of neurology or psychology, but these topics will arise occasionally and make practical sense for us. As with any other event in nature, usually the simplest answer is the correct one, but because we are the confluence of events going back a very long time when considering the meaning of society and its history, simple answers emerge in an already complex environment. New humans are born into a world that is alien to them and whatever inborn natural instincts the human might have had in the animal kingdom, and so appeals to nature are crass given what technology and knowledge have done to us. Our own command of knowledge and technology individually is not so great, no matter what institutions we form or what conceits we hold today. For all the might institutions wish to impress, there are billions of humans and most of them are not stupid. They are cognizant that they live in a society with large bureaucracies and long-standing traditions, or that such societies claim the world even if they manage to retain a simpler way of life. The baseline abilities of humans are not so different that we can truly speak of two or more different races with an essentially incompatible view of knowledge. For someone to be a functional human in any society and considered valid, they possess a baseline such that most things humans do can be done by anyone with any reasonable training or integration, where the expectations of what to do are communicated and there is a desire of all parties to cooperate in labor.[2]

If we are to speak of information, we speak of it being communicated. Communication, like knowledge itself, is only real and meaningful for our purposes if it something in the world, and not taken for granted. The most basic mathematical model for communication studies in modern times was conceived by engineers working on electrical communication. This model consists of five components:

An information source, which produces a message
A transmitter, which operates on the message to produce a signal suitable for transmission over the channel
A channel, which is the medium through which the signal transmits
A receiver, which inverts the operation of the transmitter to reconstruct the message
A destination, which receives the message

In a physically existing communication, all of these things exist materially. The first and last, which generate and comprehend the message, are the result of processes which must resolve in some physically existing construct. The transmitter is a construct which is capable of generating a signal from what is fed into it by the information source, and the receiver deconstructs the signal into some intelligible message. The channel is whatever the signal propagates through (even if that something is "nothing", a pure vacuum, the reality is that the signal must travel through that vacuum). The particulars of the transmitter, receiver, and channel are for now not terribly relevant. We must start then with the source and destination, which concern information processing. We start with the conception of a "black box", which we consider an "intelligence" of some sort, as source, and another as the destination. We do not know, exactly, what these physical processes do to generate the signal and transmit it, or receive it and then derive meaning from the message. We can, though, surmise that some mechanistic process is happening inside the black box.

We can imagine every object as a thing capable of all steps in the communication process. These need not be conscious objects necessarily; we can attribute the apparent characteristics of objects to some message that is generated in the same "black box" which formulates and interprets messages, and we can speak of sensible properties of an object as transmitters and receivers; for example, the object "rock" may have certain behaviors we attribute to the thing-in-itself when we say "the rock was pushed" or "the rock shattered", and the message transmitted is the image of the rock, sounds it makes, its tactile features, the force it exerts on other objects. All of these messages travel through some medium, and can be interrupted. It is awkward to think of a rock "communicating", but in our information world example, this would be how we understand the rock interacting with its environs. Then there are people, animals, clouds, etc. which are treated similarly.

Because thought itself emerges out of the processes within reality, all the objects which can process information - the "black box" that formulates and interprets messages - involve some actual process executing in the real. Thought in actuality is some physical process carried out, and one way to envision rational thought is logic that is realized in physical devices, or something that could be reduced to logical propositions about what entity is "thinking". If a thought were not rooted in something substantive, it would be removed from anything consequential and could not exist in the world proper. Disrupt the physical processes which constitute thought, and the thought does not manifest in the real at all. We should dispense with a common fiction today that human thought and consciousness is the product of pure rationality and processing power, as if an arbitrary complexity had been reached to create Man, differentiated from animals. Still, it is an abiding characteristic of logical thought that the material pre-requisites for performing a logical thought operation are far more than simply asserting "there is an atom of matter which lights up 1 for yes and 0 for no". The construction of logic gates in a computer is a fascinating topic. So too are the sensory organs for feeling, seeing, and so on not "direct feeds" to information, unfettered by any intermediary. There is a process by which patterns of light are received by the eye, and yet another for how images are assembled by the brain to recognize patterns. The complexity of this task is still not yet fully known by neurology, to the point where the human brain's thinking operations can be made into a schematic to reproduce flawlessly, but we know such a process would have to occur for us to be able to discern coherent images from the raw input; and we do instinctively learn to modify how we are seeing based on what information we are trying to focus on, or what information captures our attention.

In our language, there is no other way in which intelligible cause and effect can be explained than by describing it algorithmically. In language, we have so many tokens to refer to concepts and our understanding allows us to place those tokens in their proper context. How we may define those concepts may vary, but they can always be broken down into steps, and we can inquire about the components of an object, or the traits or behaviors we ascribe to the object. There are obvious problems if our algorithms are naively constructed, though. For example we may imagine a Pong ball moving in space, which will reflect off of any surface it touches. When we consider the movement of the ball in a computer program, which is tasked with determining when a collision is detected, the process of the computer "dictating reality" is at odds with our own understanding of real things. In the computer game, the ball is moved by the CPU, and the CPU acts as a hobgoblin which is directing the simulation objects. The computer does not actually contain "space" as a concept that works like our physical space, but instead the position of the ball and the surfaces in the simulation are stored as information, and the RAM memory of the computer is arranged as so many bits. It is up to the program to assemble from the memory in RAM or ROM something which the user will see on their monitor, or some output that the human user will observe as a ball that appears to move continuously. We assume in our understanding of real physics that motion is continuous when we ask the question "when does the ball impact with the surface". For the computer though, the computer is only capable of executing instructions one after another. Even if we assumed every "object" - an arrangement of memory we arbitrarily defined so that the user will perceive an "object" - had its own processor and could communicate between them, we would reduce all the interactions to some algorithmic sequence of events. There is a problem if we take a naive approach to collision detection. The computer can only process instructions and wait for interrupts from devices attached to the computer. A typical loop for a program will perform whatever algorithm the program is running today, then wait to receive an interrupt for vertical blank from the monitor (1/60th of a second roughly), then loop back to start after executing instructions during the vblank period. So, the computer program only updates "reality" every 1/60th of a second, or less often if the instructions of the computer require longer than the vblank cycle to complete. We want to simulate continuous movement, so a naive approach may be to calculate when in this cycle the ball hits a surface, calculate the time during the cycle when that ball hit, and re-calculate its trajectory from the point of impact with the new direction of the ball, for the remainder of its movement for that cycle. This has an infinite loop problem if the program encounters two walls where the ball moves infinitesimal distances between each impact, for example two walls parallel to each other and separated by the distance of a ball. We would, in tracing the ball's path, continue to bounce off a surface endlessly, and the program will freeze in an attempt to calculate this one ball's trajectory. There are a number of proper mathematical solutions to this, but for these solutions to work, the computer is not really "knowing" what it is doing; instead, the human programmer provides to the computer an algorithm that would resolve the infinite loop using calculus. There are easier, cheaper solutions, but all of these solutions break the simulation of continuous movement we are trying to accomplish in the program. This is a variant of one of Zeno's paradoxes, in which the ancient Greek philosopher deals with the problem of an infinitesimal and declares that movement is contradictory - or, that simulating movement in mathematics is impossible, and thus movement itself is impossible. The philosophical problem of movement itself is defeated by the simple truth that the problems all presuppose that movement is something that can happen regardless of our need for problem-solving. The meaning though is that there is a divorce between how we can calculate movement in a model, and the actual movement of things at a micro level. Our CPU can only read instructions from a tape, and this is the only way we can intelligibly model the problem so our computer can solve it, and thus display what the user expects - a ball on the screen that bounces exactly when and how it is supposed to.

Important to asking a question about this "information world" then is how we construct the problem, and how we as problem-solvers can resolve things which seem paradoxical. We are necessarily creating an approximation of reality in these simulations, because the reality of objects is that they don't have any existence as forms, but are things we recognize from sense experience. Philosophical wordplay can be helpful in criticizing a model, but it does not allow us to escape the truth that we only have the concepts of logic as we know it to intelligibly express the problem the model wants to solve.

We can for a moment imagine the whole universe as a game, which we will call LifeQuest, which we can use as a simulation of economic behavior in the natural world. In LifeQuest, we envision five types of objects:

- The space itself, a 3-D space of immense size. The space object's members are a list of pointers (addresses in our hypothetical computer's memory) to the other types of objects. Its methods adjudicate when signals reach a target, and pass the signal to the object upon receipt. Objects in the game environment may generate new signals, which are returned to the Space object in an array, so that the Space object can add the new signals to the game environment. We separate the body of an object from the signal it sends.

- Signals, which carry physical or "real" communication between each other. These signals take the form of a bounding 3-dimensional shape, of whatever form is appropriate for the type of action. The signals are the only thing which can trigger a hit detection, and carry a message to other objects. The members are the hitbox, the speed and form of its propagation (does it move in a line, does it expand from the center, etc.) and a pointer to a bitstream representing the signal's data.

Derived from Signal is:
- "Body" objects, representing physically existing objects. Bodies are themselves derived from signals, representing their very existence, but are further developed to describe any complex object rather than the raw bitstream. Because we have a very, very advanced physics engine in our game, it is capable of procedurally generating from a seed - the "genetic material" of the object - the default form of the body, its composition in materials and its structure. This simulated body is complex enough to be compelling for a game, wowing all the young players with the nice graphics. The Body object is the only object which can send and receive signals, which our excellent physics engine can act upon. The Body object, by default, only deals with the signals of physical force, representing the existence of the body and its imposition of force on the world, and its receptiveness to force. The Body contains methods to translate its response to a force acting on it into a velocity, which is processed every game cycle by the simulation to move the object in space.

There are two derived classes from "Body":
- "Animated" objects, representing living objects that are not player characters. These are typically animals, or similar such living creatures with a centralized nervous system. In addition to the normal traits of "Body", NPCs have "Brain" as a characteristic, which animates the body in response to stimuli. This response would be like the AI opponents in most games; limited, occasionally interesting and tricky. The role of the NPCs is to present danger to the other type of object, to compel them to take action. While the NPC behaviors are very predictable, there is enough variety and the AI can adapt to new situations to an extent.
- "Player Character" objects, representing the players of the game. These are analagous to humans. Derived from Animated Objects, they have another characteristic: "Player Interface", representing sentient decision making and rationality on the human level (or the level of whatever user is playing the simulation). PCs still have to relate to the Brain characteristic, as executive functioning is only a part of the Brain, but they are better able to train the brain.

The signals will process in "quasi-realtime", where the undisturbed behavior of objects persists until a signal collides. This process is streamlined sufficiently by the Space object's methods so that the computer is not bogged down in recalculating a very large number of objects every time a collision occurs. For now, though, just know that in principle, the world is composed of signals which interact with each other, and some of those signals are bodies which are capable of transmitting and receiving, acting on signals it receives. Some of those bodies are capable of composing and interpreting information to decide behavior, which would be AI-controlled objects and objects which receive the player's input.

The objective of the game is simple: live, thrive, and unlock all of the achievements you wanted, see new experiences. If you fail, you die and are kicked off the computer forever, and you don't get to see the game with the awesome graphics and physics engine.

Oh, and if you don't want to play - too bad. You have to play - 24/7/365, for every year of your life. Additionally, you are connected to a force-feedback device which makes losing the game very, very painful before you are kicked off the computer forever, and into the abyss. Fortunately, though, you get to play with billions of other users, so you won't be lacking for company, for better or worse. Also - you are playing this game without any guide or foreknowledge that you are playing a game, so you won't know what the hell is going on.

Sound like fun? I thought not. But we're playing anyway.

This example is very obtuse, and not at all how we would design a computer game. It is, however, something we do inherently in building scientific cosmologies of the universe, in an attempt to understand all the causes and effects in the world, and we have no other way of doing this that can create an intelligible model at a large scale. Dialectical thinking is a fun sport, but it is in the end little more than a mystical working to attempt some change in the world, and makes up for our own inability to deconstruct the whole of reality into components. We can, though, build quite elaborate models which successfully break matter into elements and molecules, and we have to be able to do this to explain physical and chemical interactions at a basic level. For our game, the problem may be solved by simulating meticulously every feature and contour of the body; and in practice, actual computer programs will devote considerable memory to constructing and storing every pixel in a 2D game, or every polygon in a 3D environment, because it would be necessary to do this to display objects when push comes to shove. We may have creative means to compress this information and only decompress it when we need to, since memory is not so unlimited. We see already a problem in any computer program - computational and resource limitations. Reality is vast and does not have nor need a central CPU, but our CPU here is the god of the universe and so this one little thing has to process all that happens, one instruction at a time. So, programmers often have to choose between something which saves memory, or something which saves processing cycles, in constructing their programs. Reality does not need to engage in any sort of information economism - reality will do whatever it does, and our science is only there to read from real events rather than suggest by force what science wills reality to do.

An investigation into the "player characters" and "non player characters" - i.e. life itself - is in order, and we can see how we would model our real-world understanding of biology in our simulation. It is here where we can properly assess value as a concept and then as a managerial task, and therefore ground a view of society in things we can see in action.

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[1] I have written on this verbiage of "responsibility" before and will summarize that the very word "responsibility" is clever wordplay to place guilt on the reactive agent, rather than the manager who is presumed to be active and sacrosanct. Even by the very nature of the word, managers are never "responsible", because they are expected by their position to not be reactive but proactive. The holders of states and institutions are always proactive. If they are ever reactive, they are not going to survive in a hostile world, not against the ruled and certainly not against each other. States and institutions may with-hold their action and must manage their resources to intervene, but in all cases the state prefers to establish its initiative. Any situation where state offers must react to hostility is a situation states and institutions seek to prevent at all costs. When the ruling idea invokes constant transgression as an attack against the standing of the ruled, this is even more obvious. Creating the impression of fear is one way to cow the ruled into accepting further transgressions, and once the ruled are docile enough, the transgressions shift from violence to subtle insinuations to grind down the will of morale of the ruled. A state that is overtly passive and disinterested is weak to malevolent actors. The seeming weakness of institutions in the United States is deliberate when those institutions are no longer wanted by the rulers behind the curtain, and new institutions are already taking their place. The intent here is to portray public government as ineffective, insane, and above all retarded, while unwritten law and eugenic institutions are holy and never questionable.

[2] Adam Smith's example of the pin factory is an ingenious device for explaining this concept of cooperative labor. The description of it can be found in the opening chapters of Wealth of Nations, and I highly recommend readers consult it to comprehend the origins of this concept of management by information and intelligence. To really comprehend this arrangement we call capitalism, there is no work I would consider more obligatory to read. It is by no means a holy bible or the final word, but to this day its meaning is misunderstood and bowdlerized. On my website, I have maintained a small archive of useful economic texts, so if it is accessible, it would be great to check it out if you haven't.

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