THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: June 4, 2000 10:16 PM Sunday;
DKR team reviews world problems, remedies, government philosophy.
2...Categorize to Organize Information Part of Intelligence, Creativity
3...Human Mind Evolved from Fortuitous Environmental Changes
4...Garden of Eden Hinders Investing Time to Grow Garden of Knowledge
5...Garden of Knowledge Requires Investing Sunshine Profits
6...Managers Forage on Information Like Hunter/Gathers in Garden of Eden
7...Civilization Requires Investing Intellectual Capital
8...Government Balances Forces to Avoid Hegemony
9...Separation Church and State Model for Separation Business and State
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Energy Problem Solved by Market Forces
Human Memory, Brain, Organic
0907 - ..
0908 - Summary/Objective
090901 - Follow up ref SDS 13 0000, ref SDS 12 0000.
090903 - Interesting discussion on motivations of participants in the DKR
090904 - project that shows willingness to bridge free market views with
090905 - command and control government solutions. Perspective on Garden of
090906 - Eden leads into anthropological analysis of civilization, and
090907 - evolution of human mental biology for curiosity, creativity and how
090908 - knowledge that results, necessarily disrupts a bucolic Garden of Eden
090909 - mentality. Developed correlation between foraging life-style in a
090910 - Garden of Eden with the current challenge to rise above foraging on
090911 - endless pastures of information. ref SDS 0 5893 Paul Fernhout offers
090912 - analysis of costs that are not recognized by markets, and which
090913 - therefore require attention by government. ref SDS 0 1075
090919 - ..
0912 - Progress
091301 - ..
091302 - Categorize to Organize Information Part of Intelligence, Creativity
091304 - Received ref DRT 1 0001 from John Werneken, evidently responding to a
091305 - letter from Eric, or perhaps a response to a letter to Eric, who
091306 - started an inquiry about personal motivations for participating in the
091307 - DKR project.
091309 - John does not expressly state the letter he is reviewing.
091311 - John comments that the drive to categorize, explain, and predict is a
091312 - survival trait, and that people tend to come up with explanations even
091313 - in the absence of evidence. He cites Creation myths as an example of
091314 - human curiosity and tendency to formulate theories about how the world
091315 - works, and notes that mythological gods resemble human beings with
091316 - more strengths and powers. ref DRT 1 7544
091317 - ..
091318 - Identifying categories reflects curiosity to understand
091319 - structure that segments in order to increase reliability to predict of
091320 - cause and effect, which is a form of creativity.
091322 - Campbell's work reviewed on 900303 supports John's analysis about the
091323 - role of categorization. ref SDS 1 5555
091325 - John's comments also relate to curiosity that is explained as a
091326 - survival trait in the record reviewing mythology on 991204,
091327 - ref SDS 6 9077 Creativity, that reflects in part Tom Landauer's
091328 - theory of induction, reviewed on 960321, ref SDS 4 5873, to explain
091329 - human reasoning in growing new knowledge, actually expanding the value
091330 - of information encountered, reviewed initially from Jeremy Campbell's
091331 - book on 900303. ref SDS 1 4456
091332 - ..
091333 - Campbell also explains the mental process of formulating stories
091334 - to provide theories that have predictive power. ref SDS 1 9876
091335 - ..
091336 - Steven Pinker in his book, "How the Mind Works," explains the
091337 - ability of the human mind to expand minimal information by imputing
091338 - meaning based on prior experience, using Landauer's induction process,
091339 - is a benefit by quickly providing a look ahead at danger and
091340 - opportunity, i.e., this is a feature not a bug. ref SDS 5 3196
091344 - ..
091345 - Human Mind Evolved from Fortuitous Environmental Changes
091347 - John offers an anthropological theory of genetic development, similar
091348 - to Steven Pinker's work, in his book, How the Mind Works, ref SDS 5
091349 - 9382, reviewed on 981015....
091351 - One theory holds that the last major genetic endowment acquired by
091352 - human beings was that of fully expressive language, both in the
091353 - sense of inter-personal communication and in the sense of
091354 - thoughtful analysis. The indirect evidence for this includes the
091355 - facts that four things occurred in a very short time frame,
091356 - especially considering that proto-humans had been around for a
091357 - time an order of magnitude longer with none of these things
091358 - happening: (1) The material culture began to change rapidly,
091359 - adding the means for living in and subduing most of the world's
091360 - environments; (2) artistic culture began to flourish; (3)
091361 - genetically modern human beings came to inhabit all the world's
091362 - continents; and (4) the number of human beings increased by at
091363 - least two orders of magnitude, perhaps to 2,000,000. ref DRT 1
091364 - 1827
Garden of Eden Foraging Hunter/Gather Impedes Knowledge Tools
Foraging Management Practice
Fun Time Not Enough to Try SDS Too Busy Making Money
Garden Eden Too Much Fun Money Masks Need to Improve or Try SDS
Sunshine Profits Shield Management from Mistakes
Garden of Knowledge, Needs Tending
Garden of Knowledge Blocked Garden of Eden
Grazing Information Overload Email Meetings Garden Eden No Time Worry
Information Executives Need, Provided by Email, 000505
201201 - ..
201202 - Garden of Eden Hinders Investing Time to Grow Garden of Knowledge
201203 - Garden of Knowledge Requires Investing Sunshine Profits
201204 - Managers Forage on Information Like Hunter/Gathers in Garden of Eden
201206 - John relates the life of early hunter/gatherers, who foraged on a
201207 - bountiful land, and which may have led to the garden of Eden ideas in
201208 - the bible. ref DRT 1 1935
201210 - [On 000608 sent John a note commending his letter, but did not
201211 - enter in the record.
201213 - [On 000624 used farming, garden of Eden analogy for proposal on
201214 - seminar submitted to IBM. ref SDS 14 1848
201216 - "Knowledge" is awareness of future consequences, i.e., cause and
201217 - effect, which inherently disrupts a peaceful garden of Eden with worry
201218 - that seeks to expand knowledge in order to ward off threats, and
201219 - discover opportunity to improve the garden in order to secure the
201220 - future, i.e., risk management.
201221 - ..
201222 - Cows and zebras still graze from a bountiful environment, and so
201223 - have little need for knowledge.
201225 - Today, the only human example of the old foraging ways are people who
201226 - get a lot of email, attend a lot of meetings and talk on the phone.
201228 - On 000505 Eric Armstrong proposed technology to enable grazing on
201229 - email, contending it brings all the information that needs attention.
201230 - ref SDS 7 3000
201232 - [On 000720 Professor Joseph Ransdell warns that Socrates and Plato
201233 - worried in an earlier era that writing was equally misapplied as
201234 - an alternative to critical thinking, before a way discovered for
201235 - writing to actually improve critical thinking. ref SDS 15 1457
201236 - ..
201237 - They forage day and night on a bountiful supply of information,
201238 - and are so preoccupied consuming on information overload, that there
201239 - is not enough time to notice surrounding context, nor to create the
201240 - connections that comprise knowledge of cause and effect. In this
201241 - modern garden of Eden, it is very difficult to get executives,
201242 - engineers, accountants, doctors, mechanics, scientists, politicians,
201243 - reporters, nor anyone else to grasp the powerful insight of farming,
201244 - that proved deferred rewards from investing information creates
201245 - intellectual capital that grow new knowledge and ideas, as related in
201246 - the record on 950426. ref SDS 2 4404 and on 950428. ref SDS 3 8564
201247 - ..
201248 - This requires awareness of the difference between "information,"
201249 - as a natural, plentiful resource, like grass on the plains of Africa,
201250 - and "knowledge" which comes from noticing what causes the grass to
201251 - grow, and how to grow more of it when needed. An endless flow of
201252 - information, as with a bountiful plain of grass, leaves no time and no
201253 - apparent need to notice cause and effect.
201255 - Garden of knowledge requires effort to create connections, grow and
201256 - nurture understanding by maintaining alignment of new information,
201257 - which takes time, is hard work, but rewarding.
201259 - Building knowledge tools is therefore difficult, because the horizon
201260 - of awareness does not extend beyond the need to expand email, cell
201261 - phones, and television that sustain foraging on information, rather
201262 - than converting information into knowledge by investing intellectual
201263 - capital.
201264 - ..
201265 - Doug Engelbart and others raise the alert that sunshine profits
201266 - should be invested to build the next generation of capability needed
201267 - to sustain progress, but people in a Garden of Eden have difficulty
201268 - paying attention because information overload overwhelms limited span
201269 - of attention.
Markets V. Fair Allocation
Moral Problems Too Vast Lack Focus
Environmental Problems Too Vast Lack Focus
World Problems Too Vast Lack Focus
World Problems DKR Solutions
World Problems Balance Free Markets Long Term Environmental Cycles of
Church and State Separated
291201 - ..
291202 - Civilization Requires Investing Intellectual Capital
291204 - John argues in favor of "civilization...
291206 - I don't understand the apparent hostility to civilization that seems
291207 - implicit in any idealization of any early Eden. It is only through
291208 - civilization that the vast majority of us are enabled to survive. It
291209 - us civilization that makes possible the higher arts and sciences,
291210 - including the DKR project as well as the livelihoods of all of the
291211 - individuals who participate in it. ref DRT 1 3654
291213 - It is civilization and its wealth and freedom which makes possible the
291214 - holding of different views on such matters as our origins or what way
291215 - of life is desirable, with little fear of violent retaliation from
291216 - those whose views differ. This is a very new thing under the sun, and
291217 - I believe it is an achievement we should hold as precious. ref DRT 1
291218 - 7134
291219 - ..
291220 - Strong point, not a lot of diversity of opinion among cows
291221 - and zebras in their Garden of Eden.
291224 - ..
291225 - Government Balances Forces to Avoid Hegemony
291227 - Government exists primarily to protect us from each other; secondarily
291228 - to provide rules or frameworks enabling us to pursue our different
291229 - goals with some measure of autonomy and with some predictability for
291230 - at least the limits of the actions of others; and thirdly to undertake
291231 - some tasks of common benefit. ref DRT 1 5400
291233 - Government is capable of attempting to direct the life-goals and
291234 - life-pursuits of individuals. When used in this way, government of
291235 - necessity limits freedom and progress and exposes the people so
291236 - governed to a demonstrable practical disadvantage as compared to
291237 - peoples with better and more limited governments. I would think that
291238 - if the twentieth century has taught us anything at all, it would be
291239 - that government is the wrong vehicle for our higher aspirations.
291240 - ref DRT 1 2915
291241 - ..
291242 - This is so for two reasons, moral and practical. There is no
291243 - moral difference between the overwhelming majority legislating for you
291244 - what you should do, and me as an individual enslaving you to my will.
291245 - Violence and the threat of violence are required to these ends. The
291246 - ends never justify the means; the ends ARE the means. ref DRT 1 5775
291248 - The practical reason is simply that individuals do not have perfect
291249 - knowledge. This is more obvious, more certain, and its implications
291250 - are more profound in the case of one individual's imperfect knowledge
291251 - of the needs and wants of another. The Free Market uses the actual
291252 - knowledge that all the individuals have of their own needs and wants
291253 - to make its decisions on what goods and services to produce. This
291254 - collected knowledge will inherently be superior to any collective
291255 - decision-making by planners and authorities. ref DRT 1 1190
291256 - ..
291257 - There is a simple solution to the problem that some things are
291258 - without ownership and hence tend to be treated poorly by the markets -
291259 - such as species diversity, clean air, or unspoiled vistas. Give them
291260 - owners. Then they will be given value in the market place and will be
291261 - conserved, as all valued properties are. ref DRT 1 0960
291262 - ..
291263 - Paul Fernhout submits comment
291265 - However, a big issue here is external costs. ref DRT 3 0001
291267 - If I own "clean air" and I sell the right to pollute, and other
291268 - people have a greater chance of getting lung cancer, I am passing
291269 - on an external cost to the community. It is unlikely under today's
291270 - law that I could be successfully sued for this because it is
291271 - difficult to prove damages. So it is profitable for me as the "air
291272 - owner" to kill people (statistically). ref DRT 3 3942
291274 - Another issue is perceived value of cash vs. a non-cash resource,
291275 - which is often highly idiosyncratic to the owner and immediate
291276 - needs. ref DRT 3 0279
291277 - ..
291278 - Lets say developers want to pave the Amazon to build a large
291279 - parking lot. I own 100% of the worlds biodiversity rights. They
291280 - approach me, and say we'll give you $200,000 for the right to pave
291281 - the Amazon. Imagine I have a whiny child who want to go to
291282 - Princeton. I need the cash right now! Seems like a good deal. Who
291283 - is hurt? Me? No! Maybe just future generations who never get
291284 - various medicines or can enjoy nature. But, it is a profitable
291285 - exchange in the light of the priorities of the resource owner.
291286 - Granted, maybe The Nature Conservancy...
291288 - http://www.tnc.org/
291290 - ...might have offered me more money in the future, but I needed
291291 - the cash now. Plus, the remaining world's biodiversity is even
291292 - more valuable since there is less of it, so my remaining asset may
291293 - actually increase in value. ref DRT 3 2223
291294 - ..
291295 - Think this is a silly example? It's pretty much what is
291296 - happening right now as the remaining old growth forests in the USA
291297 - are being cut down to give antiquated timber mills a few more
291298 - years of profit before those mills are obsolete. You might argue
291299 - timber companies might make more money out of using the remaining
291300 - forest for recreation or harvesting new DNA, but they don't see
291301 - that as their business, and they have an existing physical plant
291302 - and cultural system based on cutting down forests. (By the way,
291303 - the replacement monoculture "tree farms" with nicely spaced rows
291304 - bear little resemblance in biodiversity to the original forest.),
291305 - ref DRT 3 0348
291307 - Another real example is the destruction of the "state" owned
291308 - environment in the old USSR by various factories. The government
291309 - owned both the environment and the factories -- it just decided to
291310 - sacrifice one for the other. ref DRT 3 1260
291311 - ..
291312 - I don't see how replacing the state with an individual or
291313 - corporation will make things better. Even within a corporation,
291314 - perceptions may differ as to the value of a non-cash asset. For
291315 - example, the Newton was way ahead of it's time, but Apple decide
291316 - to kill it because it wasn't profitable to keep it up. ref DRT 3
291317 - 0420 Or for example, in the 1970's sci-fi movie "Silent
291318 - Running"...
291320 - http://starriders.net/sfmovies/silent.htm
291322 - the Earth's remaining biodiversity is stored in habitat domes in
291323 - "Pan Am" space freighters, and the decision is made to blow up the
291324 - domes and return the freighters to commercial service (probably
291325 - because that would be more profitable in the short term). Everyone
291326 - goes along with this except one ecologist who resists.
291327 - ..
291328 - What does preserving bio-diversity mean?
291330 - There is constant evolutionary change occurring. Every time
291331 - we take a step or a breath, or scratch ourselves, we impact
291332 - biodiversity. Some emerging species is extinguished and
291333 - another is begun. Some survive and evolve, and others do not.
291335 - If we cut down a forest we have a different environment that
291336 - previously existed. Other things are growing elsewhere.
291338 - If an earthquake, volcano or hurricane changes the
291339 - environment, people seem to feel the resulting biodiversity is
291340 - good, but if someone cuts down a tree and converts it into a
291341 - home, a chair or a cane, before the tree is burned down, that
291342 - change meets with disapproval.
291343 - ..
291344 - I think preserving biodiversity for example takes social
291345 - consensus, and when necessary, enforcing laws related to the
291346 - public well being and "the seventh generation". Every fight to
291347 - preserve biodiversity has been difficult. Creating the National
291348 - Parks system in the 1930s and preserving places like Yellowstone
291349 - was a huge political fight. ref DRT 3 1066
291352 - Business is nothing but the desires of all individuals, expressed
291353 - autonomously and honestly in their purchasing decisions. Government in
291354 - contrast reflects the decisions of a smaller group. In Government
291355 - decisions are not made autonomously by individuals, they are made
291356 - collectively by groups. And government decisions are fundamentally
291357 - dishonest, in three ways. First, the leaders are actually acting
291358 - mostly out of perceived self-interest (how could it be otherwise?) yet
291359 - cloak their decisions in expressions of intended benefit for others.
291360 - ref DRT 1 2303
291361 - ..
291362 - Second, the decisions about the intended benefits to others are
291363 - being made, not by the beneficiaries, but by the leaders, who must
291364 - know less about the true desires and true impacts involved than the
291365 - intended beneficiaries do. ref DRT 1 4224
291367 - Third, in voting one gives of something which has to him no cost - he
291368 - can vote for as many benefits for himself as he likes. There is no
291369 - feedback mechanism to prevent the voting in of some mandatory utopia,
291370 - with all its well-known consequences. The opposite is true of
291371 - decisions to buy: one knows limits to one's purchasing power, and
291372 - hence must decide amongst alternatives. There is thus a feedback
291373 - mechanism to select more beneficial alternatives over time.
291374 - ref DRT 1 6399
291376 - That is what the profit motive is all about: selecting the more
291377 - beneficial alternative. I fail to grasp the problem here. ref DRT 1
291378 - 1480
291381 - ..
291382 - Separation Church and State Model for Separation Business and State
291384 - Received ref DRT 2 0001 from Paul Fernhout who supports a letter from
291385 - Eric Armstrong who notices that the express instruction in the
291386 - Constitution to separate church and state does not also exist for
291387 - business and state.
291389 - Eric goes on to comment that a weak link in civilization, the one
291390 - problem that prevents all the *other* problems from being solved, is
291391 - the lack of separation between business and state. ref DRT 2 0001
291393 - He feels the condominium between, i.e., lack of separate between
291394 - business and state prevents a Garden of Eden from being realized.
291395 - ref DRT 2 1904
291396 - ..
291397 - Paul concurs. ref DRT 2 5355
291399 - Garden of Eden is discussed above. ref SDS 0 5893
291401 - The commerce clause in the constitution gives the government power to
291402 - regulate inter-state commerce. This has been expanded over the years
291403 - to the point that some feel it is excessive, rather than too weak, as
291404 - Eric suggests. The U.S. Supreme has recently pulled back some of this
291405 - expansion in its rulings.
291407 - Eric does not give examples to illustrate the threat of condominium he
291408 - sees is going unanswered and the harm it is causing.
291410 - People who buy influence to obtain arbitrary favorable decisions by
291411 - the government, are sent to jail; maybe not often enough, but enough
291412 - to give others pause.
291413 - ..
291414 - Whistle blower laws now provide increased protections to
291415 - encourage disclosure.
291417 - Eric and Paul should submit their proposals for greater control and
291418 - stronger remedies, and discuss the costs increased regulation and
291419 - benefits.