Quia Sum, Cogito (Final Chapter)

this is approximately a 18 minutes read.

History is not a “Flat Circle”

Where We Are Today

It all seems so similar. 

Once again we are starting to see disagreements and skirmishes between the major world players to the detriment of those with less technological leverage. We are starting to see the beginning of community protests that were so prevalent under capitalistic governance. Excessive products are becoming so integrated into society that utilities can no longer be part of the public domain – starting to reform the division between the “haves” and “have nots”. The careful equilibrium for the environment is becoming unstable again.

When this begins, there is a desire to look to the past and reminisce about how there were better times in our youth. The world was less complex and made more sense. We look for the cause of why things are different now. We look for who to blame for the destruction of our innocence. The most dedicated of us will find what we are looking for (even if the result isn’t sound).

I understand some of you are more invested in local considerations rather than the keeping track of the wider influences around the world, so for those needing a bit more here is some clarity:

Geopolitical Skirmishes on the Rise

The Southern African Alliance is in the unique position of being the last source of freshwater without nuclear capabilities. Much of the past 50 years has been spent demonizing them utilizing imperialist philosophies of the past to paint them as selfishly hoarding their resources (water from 3 of the last 9 remaining aquifers: Upper Kalahari-Cuvelai-Upper Zambezi Basin, Lower Kalahari-Stampriet Basin, and Karoo Basin) while the rest of the world suffered. Of course this is a hard claim when they were just protecting their own agency and survival (I am a Tendian and I won’t apologize for that so “quia sum, cogito”). Needless to say, this has attracted some unwanted attention from global players as of late.

The East Asian Union (aka 东亚联盟 or Dōng yǎ liánméng – simplified to DYL) has claimed that the economic treaties made to historic China are still in effect. While these have historically been leveraged to provide much needed relief to other nations (including and more specifically the South African Alliance) during the climate wars, the treaties are taking on an exploitative nature since water is becoming scarce. On the other hand, this will restrict the supply that is being allotted to the rest of the world and Australia (the self appointed “world police” since the US military disbanded) has taken issue with this power play.

Of course this is all cloaked behind allegations of totalitarianism, moral righteousness, and historical blame; but in the end it is really that simple: people need water.

Social Instability

In the New Colonies, the Biotech that has become so normalized in our day to day lives are becoming even more integrated with “excess” (proprietary virtual reality, nanolinks, etc) which are not allowed to be distributed so the state cannot force them to be classified as a “utility”. This may seem innocent enough since the idea that profit from excess cannot be harmful, yet this will fundamentally ensure that people who don’t want the biological burden of outdated tech to hold them back will have to engage in the capitalism of Old. In short, coercion will become normalized again. At least that’s the fear, and it seems both rationally founded and inevitable. The Watchdogs of Capitalism have issued a warning that this may bring us back into a dependency market that Capitalistic Governance was fundamentally built upon:

“While we understand the delicacy of this partnership and the benefits it will provide, it must not be understated that whether by pooled funds or consumer cost, the precedent that excess will become necessary will always create a competitive society. When livelihood and finding social value cannot be given to all without hindrance, society is driven to exploitation and – if history is any indication – a caste system will reform. This MUST be avoided either through revoking the proprietary status while integrated in necessary products or by denying the partnership altogether (even though that will fundamentally lead to an increased burden for all). Communities MUST stick together to reject any possibility of division via manufacturing resource limitations.”

Ecologic Instability

The latest asteroid that has been pulled into orbit against the advice of the SCC has seen their warnings come to fruition: the gravitational pull is affecting the ocean currents. Ocean communities (which many local communities have reached a tight equilibrium with) are changing “too fast”. The “Theory of Reasonable Stress between Human Population Growth and Ecological Change” that has guided so much of our lives for the past 5 decades predicts that 40% of the population in coastal regions will need to relocate in the next 7 years. What this means for secondary and tertiary effects have yet to be fully realized. Of course we are becoming codependent again as we were in the 2040s before the climate wars, so the potential of dominoing catastrophes is once again a threat. 

These are all a bit bleak outlooks. As is always the case with “doomerism” – understanding the threat is of no use if we already believe that they have happened. We already know where giving-up leads.

Historical repetition

Take a journey with me to the early 2020s. Social upheaval was making waves due to the weaponization and dependency on identity as seen with the Hong Kong, BLM, and LGBTQ+ protests inspired by Bernie Sanders and George Floyd. Economic division was so bad that it made capitalistic governance appear as a reasonable alternative. The effects of the climate crisis were beginning to be seen with wildfires, disease, and corporate wars. Representative democracy was the global norm.

Of course all of these amplified and distracted from each of the others.

This is all academic since no one is still alive that witnessed that time and we tend to speak of it as if it was a story. It is shameful to empathize with their bigotry and ignorance since it directly led to the near extinction of the human race not two decades later, but they thought their individualistic ideology was “truth”. They had 400 years of philosophers justifying it.

As an example, they probably saw the capitalistic “choice” of employment as vastly more different and free from the wage slavery after the industrial revolution.  After all, they had minimum wages, weekends, and vacations (sometimes). Of course I’m saying this with a degree of facetiousness since they were just lying to themselves.

The point is, I’m sure at the time it seemed like the world was in chaos, but to accept that chaos isn’t practical. They would have either denied the importance of what was going on (which would make sense why they took so long to act) or they saw them each as partitioned phenomena – disconnected from anything else. Looking back with the perspective of creating a narrative, this seems absurd to separate them all, but – again – “because I am, I think”: could they be expected to think differently? Could we do so now?  Are we doing the same?

“history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes”

This anecdote (almost universally attributed to Mark Twain) is a common idea – we see the same things happening time and again, governments repeat, events are not learned from, we keep repeating the same story.

Time is a Flat Circle

The same problems do tend to pop up repeatedly. There is always a group complaining about how society isn’t perfect. How nature is trying to kill us while simultaneously saying it needs protection. Technology is good and bad. The pendulum swings then it swings back.

It is endless.

If you look at the original formulas for social mathematics we see why this is:

Using the basic premises for person P:

  • Survival set for P 

SP = { s | P has used s to avoid death }

  • Tribal set for P 

TP = { Q | SP U SQ  = SP + SQ }

  • Civility set for P

CP = { s | s ∈ +TP }

  • Radicality set for P against civility C

RP(C) = { r | ~r ∉ Q where (Q ∈ TP) ∈ SP and ~r ∈ C }

We can verify that the direct fallout of this is that (to use general notation):

  • Social Equilibrium: SE ≈ | R(C) | ^ 2 + | C | ^ 2

In layman terms – there is a constant social equilibrium that keeps the following scenario in check: society will stagnate, which causes the excluded groups to rebel, and then tribes rearrange causing society to find a new stagnation. This constant flux will create a cycle.

So there it is! Proof! Time is a flat circle!

30 years ago today: What happened

While we like to look at them as “the bad guy” today, I’ve always been raised to see the CapDems as tragic victims of human legacy.

In the 2110s, there were a series of terrorist attacks on SCC centers worldwide.  These lasted years.  Some hubs (especially those in the Middle East and Asia) being more devastating than most.  Ironically, it was in one of the least destructive attacks that most change happened and caused a shift in global politics.

There was an incident at district NW91 in the NeoColonies in which the attackers, Tark Walden, had a change of heart and took on the role of the “good samaritan” saving at least 27 people. On top of that, Tark became a turncoat; selling out the group that orchestrated the event. This was the first time there was hard proof that the attacks could be directly linked – with proper evidence – to the CapDem party.

Unfortunately for Tark, no other attacker had been apprehended (either because they escaped or sacrificed themselves). So Tark became the face of the enemy which – in its shame – Tark accepted. Additionally – to create a foil to Tark, one of the few victims (Yashim Slokov) was praised as a martyr for the SCC. Yashim is still regarded today as the hero of the SCC and is synonymous with social stability and bringing authoritarianism to heal.

In response to Tark’s confession and Yashim’s dedication, the CapDem party – which was already hemorrhaging support – started to lose control of the more SCC favored communities. While it has since been shown in some of the higher ranking official’s journals that they expected this, what they didn’t expect was that the community cohesion that had been built would withstand any and all attempts to take back control from the “intolerant Anarchists” (a narrative they had been attempting to instill for 3 decades).

The CapDems – not able to directly stop the decentralized terrorist networks that they had created – suffered a loss with every additional attack. The only reason they are still mentioned today is because of the management role they had regarding community utilities. But we know that all other governance is now more in line with feudal collectivity. This was the direct result of the SCC taking the role of avatar when issuing demands on behalf of the local communities. In the time of the General Protests, the CapDems monopoly on the social/economic infrastructures collapsed when people lost trust in their authority.

Very soon after the SCC resurrected the idea of the UN implementing the Global Collective rebranding themselves as such (GC on the international level, SC [Sectional Collective] at continental level, and SCC [Sectional Commune Collective] at the regional level). CapDems – in an attempt to remain relevant – abandoned any and all desire to acquire governance and purged any members that suggested it. They now act as an advisory committee to SCC and continue to manage the utilities and to restrict excess, rebranding themselves Resource Management.

Society has finally reached the utopia we have desired since the dawn of man.

This is what we desire to believe. It is an appeal to “the end of history”. It is wrong.

30 years ago today: What happened to me

I was a young lad in the early 2110s and grew up with a family that was convinced of the CapDem narrative. For decades they had constructed an illusion in which they were coming back. This was mostly the result of strong echo chambers and manufactured support via neo-iconography (known more colloquially as “phoclusion”).

To go into more detail on what this meant: the “normal aesthetic” was claimed to be an indication of support that many bought into. This emboldened an age-old narrative that the (((elites))) – a conspiratorial dog whistle for bigotry – are forcing the innocent to unwillingly be complacent to a crafted social expectation so (((they))) can have power. This “silent majority” were actually the victims and their “normal aesthetic” was actually a silent beg for someone to step up and save them from the (((real villains))).

While this is a recurring theme within society, there is always a small group that it appeals to. Most of this is because of perception bias: we see ourselves as the protagonist of our own story and we are each moments away from our own personal hero’s journey.  The more respectful a culture becomes, the more this desire is left unfulfilled. Even those that are fully aware of their history end up supporting what they believe is the lesser of two evils.

I was lucky to have a community that actively taught against this narrative even though my close family didn’t. From Tark Walden’s evaluation, he did not benefit from the same diversity of ideas. He grew up praising the traditions prior to the climate wars (believing that it was the age of our superiors which the CapDems want to return to). As with many with this upbringing, he was indoctrinated into the belief that society was broken and promoting representative governance would bring it back. The CapDem institutions fed this worldview, amplifying his hero complex.

Tark wasn’t evil. He wasn’t good. He was just the product of his life and this is justified by his rhetoric. Further, almost all historians believe that it was a faulty signal that caused the explosion to go off early, so he witnessed the destruction and pain he caused. Without witnessing the suffering of normal people, it is more than likely this “black and white” worldview would never have been dismantled.

The SCC on the other hand was not the governmental body that we know today. It hadn’t actually tried to legislate people at all prior to 2120. Its main focus was expanding the Consensus (a joint synthesis of everyone’s worldview primarily driven by inclusion of societies most vulnerable). This of course was a direct threat to any authoritative body (which is likely why it is no longer officially referenced).

The CapDems were objectively fascistic and destructive, but its existence has been greatly reduced (as it often is with “evils” throughout history). It wasn’t actively trying to harm (people as many people are taught), but trying to preserve a failing ideology. This ideology – the fact that the many should be dictated by the few – has since been incorporated into the SCC, which is one of the reasons that it has to retroactively describe its own history.

The reason we discuss this as we do – and this is the point of this whole article – is not that governance is bad, but because it’s necessary. Society depends on a single claim to epistemology to ensure that conflicts can be resolved. The problem is the more broad governance gets the more assimilation is needed. Due to the chaos of reality (which includes humanity) the broader governance becomes, the more authoritarian it needs to be. The SCC HAD to rebrand because – even though it was less harmful than the CapDems – it now relies on the exact philosophy the CapDems were critiqued for 30 years ago.

And that leads the conversation to the late great Yashim Slokov. I cannot express how much I praised them. It was a guiding force for our entire community; a philosopher, an anarchist, and void of judgment. I don’t remember a single claim that came from Yashim that incorporated a moral prejudice. He was the Consensus incarnate.

Which is why his portrayal by the SCC is so fitting. Just like their own past narrative that shifted to a prescription of objectivity, they shifted Yashim’s image to parallel that shift. And now the Yashim I knew; the embodiment of wisdom, acceptance, and respect; the only person that would reach out to a terrorist and plead for help while others were suffering; the person that sacrificed themselves to protect me; they are being erased from history because THAT person is a threat to the “collective good”.

Historically, the SCC is the best government the world has ever seen. More people have security and freedom now than at any point since the polls have been collected. But I fear what will happen as conflicts continue to increase.

Why Time is Actually a Helix

I referenced the Mark Twain quote earlier. Personally I think it’s flawed. I like the comment made by Max Beerbohm much more:

“History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.”

Which… of course they do. Reality is chaotic and we look for patterns in it. Same way we look for faces in the clouds. Humans are driven by our own perception bias. The patterns aren’t there naturally, but the result of our desire to see them and inertia reinforces it. We persist with a narrative even if it’s wrong.

Point and case, we knew 150 years ago that there is no evidence that Mark Twain said the quote, but we keep repeating it because it sounds nice coming from him.

It is far past time that we start respecting history as distinct from our current issues. We can learn from our past mistakes, but to believe that we can use it to predict the chaos of the future will create a self fulfilling prophecy. The future needs to be respected as unique.

We know that appealing to tradition as self defending hurts those that traditionally were not considered. We need to apply that to our understanding of the future with respect to our knowledge of the past. Just because something happened before doesn’t mean we should expect it to happen again. We don’t need to make it happen just because we are comfortable with the suffering it causes.

When we advanced the theory of mathematical sociology, it changed our perception of society. This was one of the driving themes in J. L. Tendis’s magnum opus “Narratives”. Showing how minor changes in the equations perpetuated a shift within the entirety of society. A single letter shifted the support of Capitalistic Governance to the complete undermining of it. One single variable changing the world.

It would be putting the cart before the horse to say that the misunderstanding was excusable. Within the original theory’s own conclusion, it is the responsibility of each individual to see the flaw of their own ideology and to change it. Only the conclusions found by updating the equations can show why it took so long for the update to take hold. What collective wants to challenge social inertia over a “t”? As said by the late Joyce Traberent:

The most convincing counter to the objectivity of logical truth is that we use logic to find fault in others, but even the best logicians won’t apply it to themselves.

So lets show again what happens (this rendition will account for time):

Using the basic premises for person P at time t:

  • Survival set for Pt 

SPt = { s | Pt has used s to avoid death }

  • Tribal set for Pt 

TPt = { Qt | SPt U SQt  = SPt + SQt }

  • Civility set for Pt

CPt = { s | s ∈ +TPt }

  • Radicality set for P against civility C

RPt(C) = { r | ~r ∉ Qt where (Qt ∈ TPt) ∈ SPt and ~r ∈ Ct }

We can verify that the direct fallout of this is that (to use general notation):

  • Social Equilibrium: SE ≈  (1/t) * (| Rt(C) | 2 + | Ct | 2)
  • Social Equilibrium: SEt ≈ | +R(C) | 2 + | +C | 2

(For completeness it needs to be mentioned that this has continued to advance accounting for perception, but this is sufficient for this conversation).

This may look the same to most… a circle, but that is only if you take into account ALL of the social problems at once. What this actually shows is that we have a helix: as one problem gets fixed, the focus on other problems (which was previously impossible to consider due to their “degeneracy”) can now take center focus. Time isn’t about a constant cycle of conflict, but a synthesis of inclusion.

Of course we cannot see this in real time. While it must be fought and reflected on in times of comfort, we are dictated by our own perception bias. I’ve likely got many things in this article wrong. My memories and education aren’t perfect, but we do the best we can. Only by denying our own truth in the spotlight of alternatives can we ensure we hurt the least people.

Until next time, signing off – Sam

Every action, every decision, every choice is a vote to make reality what you want it to be.  Please help promote each other.

– My Heterotopia [personal blog] – Sam LaGrass – (posted) June 27, 2142 (removed July 3, 2142)