Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Biggest Lie of The Humanity

“Ants are social insects that live in highly structured colonies. Different members of the colony belong to different castes that share general characteristics.”
The quote above comes from https://www.orkin.com/ants/hierarchy/ and describes a very well-known fact that an ant society has a structure, or a social hierarchy. In order to function properly, an ant society has different ants for different functions or actions.
The study of an ant colony provides two important lessons: (1) the social purpose of an ant is reflected in its biological structure and behavior, and (2) the biological structure and behavior of an ant is defined by its social purpose. In other words, ants which perform different jobs also have visible differences in their bodies and their actions. I don’t know if all ants are born identical and later become different due to their place in the social hierarchy, or they already are born different according to their social purpose. I also don’t know if there is a research on this matter. But I do know that in an ant society there is a strong correlation between a social function and a physical form of an ant (and an ant society is just one of many known societies with this correlation).
However, the most important take from the study of ants is that all types of ants are equally important for the survival of the whole colony. It is no brainer to understand that an ant colony simply would not survive if all ants were solders, or all ants were queens, etc. The differentiation of social functions is a necessary and inevitable element/fixture of an ant colony.
The differentiation of social functions is a necessary and inevitable element/fixture of any social structure. No society can survive without having a social hierarchy – neither in the animal world, nor in the human world. The world where everyone would be Albert Einstein, or Steve Jobs would simply not survive.
In a social structure/system all its elements are equally important for its existence and effective functioning.
Which is again no brainer for everyone who knows that in a biological structure – a.k.a. a biological system, a body, an organism – all organs (a liver, a heart, a brain, bones) are equally important for the proper efficient biological functioning of the structure (a system, a body, or an organism).
I know that the last sentence represents some exaggeration, because, a man could not live without a heart, but could live without one arm. However, the fine refinement of the importance of different organs based on their biological functions is not crucial for the purpose of this article. Yes, the fine refinement of the importance of different organs is possible, but in general we all know that having two working hands is better than having just one. In general, we all also know that replacing all individual organs with a stomach, or with a brain, or with a heart would simple destroy the body. Even when just one cell starts converting all other cells into itself (think of agent Smith in “The Matrix Revolutions”) – we call it “a cancer” and try to stop this process, because otherwise the whole organism would die. Plus, the statement does not say “important for living/surviving”, the statement says “important for proper efficient functioning”. It is also obvious that an organism where all organs exist and healthy functions better, more efficient than an organism where some of the organs are dead, or ill, or missing.
One important point is that our brain plays a special role in our living. From a biological point of view, as long as our brain can govern the functioning of our organs, our biological survival is secured.
However, if our well-functioning brain has a very weakly functioning mind, our biological existence will not be much different from a biological existence of any other animal (there is a reason that elephants or lions are faster and stronger than humans, but people rule the nature – that reason is human mind). From the social point of view, without a well-functioning mind we would not be very useful for a human society. In a human society, the governing elements/organs (a mind, a government) play a special role, because they are responsible for the progress of the society via development of optimal strategies, and making the best decisions. When a biological/social governing device (a mind, a government) starts failing, the system (a body, a society) starts deteriorating. For example, nowadays we all are observing the degradation of ruling elites.
When one ruling elite degrades, eventually it is replaced by a new elite; but when a brain degrades there is no way (so far) to replace the failing parts.
Now the time has come to reveal the biggest lie of the humanity.
“Everyone can become the President.”
This lie has many different forms, like “Everyone can become a millionaire”, or “You can be anyone you want to”.
A generic common sense tells us that for every human in the world there are physiological limits which simply cannot be overcome. The most obvious example is various sport practices, where the first line of selection is based mostly on physicality. So, yes, “you can be anyone you want to – but within certain limits”.
Often people say that the meaning of statement “Everyone can become the President” is that – in theory – every (healthy enough) born American could become the President – if certain events would have happened, if he or she would be lucky enough to be at the right time at the right place, and if he or she would be smart enough to use all the opportunities presenting themselves.
It is like fishing out one black ball from a big black box with hundreds of white balls. If you take a ball without looking, the one you have in your palm may be the black one. Any ball you touch may be the black one! But the one you finally got out of the box is, most probably, white. This picture is used as an illustration that our life is the game of chances, where we all have the same chances, but the circumstances may favor just some of us.
This picture, however, is wrong and misleading.
In order to function properly, the nature allows only certain number of cells to become a heart, and only a certain number of cells to become a brain.
In order to function properly, the nature allows only certain number of ants to become solders, and only a certain number of ants to become a queen.
In order to function properly, the nature of a human society allows only certain number of humans to become presidents, and only a certain number of humans to become scientists.
There are natural limits on how many people could become Newtons, or Einsteins, or Feynmans, or Hitlers, or Roosevelts, or Obamas, or Trumps. Those limits come from the one and only mission of any living system – the survival of the system. And no social system composed of only Newtons/Einsteins/Feynmans could survive (at the minimum, someone has to bring some food). Hence – the limits.
The survival of a (complex) biological or a social system requires the diversification of functions, hence the diversification of the organs or species which will realize/complete/fulfil/accomplish those functions.
BTW: even a mechanical, electrical, or any other physical system cannot function properly – “like a clock” – without having all the parts working in concert. In a way, it ensures the survival of the system because otherwise it goes to a dumpster (or a museum).
In the end, we don’t have the same chances in life; on one hand, our chances are limited by our genes (we cannot choose our parents), time and place of birth (we cannot choose where and when we are born), the culture we grow up in (we cannot choose people who surround us during first years of our growth); and on the other hand, our chances are limited by the structure of a society which places limits on the number of people required for fulfilling specific social functions.
So, when a child is asking a parent: “Can I become the President?”, the truthful answer is “I don’t know, maybe, you will never know if you will not try, but there is no way to assess or predict if when growing up, you will have the abilities and skills required for becoming the President (but don’t get discouraged, though, the bar is rather low).”
BTW: A “self-made millionaire” is a very misleading term, because self-made millionaires do not exist. There are millionaires who did not inherit the fortune. But if we trace the roots of their fortune, all “self-made” millionaires got rich only due to the existence of millions of people spending tiny sums of money.
Here we run into the first problem. Let’s accept the fact that not everyone can become the President, or a millionaire, or a rocket scientist, or a rock star, or a racecar driver, or a chef, or a good teacher, etc.; that there are natural, objective, independent of humans, limits placed on the number of people who could enter a certain professional practice. How do we know what would be the best professional fit for someone, for anyone, for us, for me, for you?
The answer is – we don’t know; no one knows, and there is no way to know for sure, with 100 % guarantee.
But there is a sign we can use for ourselves as a guide for our professional (or in general – our life) path, performance, fate, state, functioning, living.
If you never have had the feeling of happiness related to your work – your job is wrong for you.
In general, the frequency and the intensity of the feeling of happiness we experience in life is the most important indicator for “do we live our life the way we were born for?”
Of course, now we would need to have a long discussion about happiness, including its fake versions, but this discussion is outside of the scope of this article.
Instead, we will briefly discuss another problem, which is how to measure the value of an individual.
Throughout the human history there has been, and still is only one true measure of how much does an individual have the value for a society.
We all make decisions. But our decisions influence different number of people. The more people are influenced by decisions of an individual, the more power that individual has, the more valuable that individual is for the society – in the eyes of the majority of that society.
The last nine words of the previous sentence is the most important part of the sentence.
An individual, any individual, only has power because other members of the society accept his/her power based on – well, mostly, traditions, i.e. peoples’ views on what is right and wrong to do, and who can judge what is right or wrong. When traditions change, the path to the power also changes (from “the god on earth” a pharaoh, to “the measure of success” a dollar).
If we all believe that the value of an individual is measured by the amount of dollars the individual has, the richest people automatically become the most valuable people of our world.
If we all believe that the power of an individual is measured by the amount of dollars the individual has, the richest people automatically become the most powerful people of our world.
Mass beliefs (a.k.a. traditions, ideologies, religions) represent the most important and the strongest social power because they form the set of rules governing the social behavior of all individuals. Essentially, beliefs are social rules/laws.
That is why in every society every governing elite holds a tight control over the process of the development and propagation of the beliefs for the masses. For themselves, though, the representatives of an elite usually reserve a different set of beliefs/rules/laws, with more flexibility and less restrictions – of course, if an elite makes rules for everyone, why don’t make the rules favorable for themselves (“stack the deck”; “Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi”).
It is just a historic fact that all known belief systems (traditions, ideologies, religions) are elitistsEvery single known ideology or a religion favors one type of individuals over all other types. For example, a racism favors a specific race over all other races; the Marxism favors proletariat; Christianity favors people believing in Christ, etc. Every elitism automatically assumes some discrimination. Soft forms of an elitist belief system tolerate individuals who do not belong to it, but do not treat them as equal. Extreme forms of an elitist belief system do not tolerate individuals who do not belong to it, proclaim those individuals to be socially degraded, or even to be eliminated (e.g. Nazism).
Every ideology, including all religions, has two major functions: (1) providing moral guidance (what is right and what is wrong); and (2) being an instrument of an elite for holding on a political power.
When someone tells us that without a religion there is no morality, there are only two options: (1) that person believes that all humans are inherently bad and selfish and only fear of future punishment can stop them from doing bad things, and only the promise of future reward can motivate them for doing good things; or (2) that person tries to manipulate us into a submission to his/her own rules.
The competition between different ideologies or religions is essentially no different from the competition between different tribes, or sports fans.
When a dominant ideology changes, it leads to the corresponded social changes, including the laws governing a society.
For example, if we accept that in a social structure/system all its elements are equally important for its existence and effective functioning, we have to change the way we evaluate the importance of the individuals in a society. Specifically, from ranking people based on their wealth, or profession, or color, or any other possible parameter, we have to establish the principle of a social equivalency:
In a human society, all people are equally important for its existence and effective functioning.
Every rule has an exception which only strengthen the rule. In this case, it seems hard to accept criminals to be equally important as all other people. But we need to keep in mind two factors. First, what is considered to be criminal and what is not is the part of the beliefs and evolves with the evolution of the beliefs (what was criminal before may become normal now, e.g. Cannabis). Second, the social path and the behavior of every individual is mostly beyond of the control of the individual. Our actions are limited by our genes (we cannot choose our parents), time and place of birth (we cannot choose where and when we are born), the culture we grow up in (we cannot choose people who surround us during first years of our growth); and then our actions are limited by the structure of a society which places limits on the number of people required for fulfilling specific social functions. Hence, for the most of us, our “achievements” are not actually our achievements, because the most of the time we just did what the circumstances allowed us to do. And our faults are not actually ours, because the most of the time we just did what the circumstances pushed us to do. Simply saying, becoming who we are is not really our achievement or our fault, because for the most of us, the majority of our actions were outside of our control, and in the largest part our actions simply represent a natural reaction to the circumstances of our life.
Of course, this approach does not excuse a criminal action of one individual against another one. But since everyone, even a criminal, has a chance to change his or her social trajectory, every criminal should be given that chance. That leads to the necessity to ban the capital punishment.
If all people are equally important for the existence and for the effective functioning of a society, all people should be given equally decent life conditions. The question “who and why deserves or not a decent life” is just a wrong question, because everyone deserves a decent life (what is “a decent life” – that is defined by the majority of the society).
This principle includes even people who seemingly do not provide any positive social or economic input.
There are many parameters which can be used to describe a person. For all those parameters, there is always a wide range of measurable values. For example, a height. Or an ability to self-manage. For each parameter, the graph representing the frequency of each value is given by the Bell curve. It is inevitable that some individuals for some parameters will have values which largely deviate from the average (the “normal”). For example, there have always been and always will be people who cannot effectively manage themselves. It is not their fault. They were born that way. And a society should not punish people for the way they are born. Those people often get marginalized, leave the normal social circles, live on streets.
The quality (humanity) of a society is measured by how the society manages people who cannot manage themselves.
The quality (humanity) of a society is measured by how the society cares about people who cannot care about themselves.
People who can care about themselves may be seen as providing different positive inputs to a society. However, almost nothing is only positive or only negative – a gun, a poison, a cellphone, may be used for or against benefits of people. But more importantly, even if some individual did something truly amazing and beneficial for a society, his or her path to that event was mostly defined by uncontrollable circumstances (e.g. parents, a place of birth). Hence, that amazing thing is not really an accomplishment of that individual, but mostly the result of many uncontrollable factors in his or her life (why is the vast majority of the richest people are white males? due to the genetic and social superiority of white males? or because historically and statistically white males have had better starting conditions in life? or else?).
For a society, what people do should not be important or valuable, because it mostly does not depend on the people who do that.
For a society, what should be important and valuable, is how good are people at doing what they do.
And the latter heavily depends on choosing the right professional path, the one which makes an individual feel happy about what he or she does.
Since no one can predict what profession will make an individual happy, everyone needs to have as many opportunities to learn and to try different professions as one wants. From the day someone is born, a society needs to create for the newborn decent life conditions, including decent general and professional education with no cost for an individual. In the end, the society will only benefit from allowing all its members to live without being pushed by the need for a survival.
At this point, most so called “conservatives” would ask (with a smirk) why would someone even wanted to work if in order to have a good living one does not even have to work at all, if a society would provide a decent life to everyone no matter what an individual does?
This question is based on the strong belief that the most of people are lazy and the only motive for people to do something is fear of starvation (or pain), and hence they need a strong shepherd to guide them (naturally, people who already have a power).
This belief is primitive and wrong.
The Biggest Truth of The Humanity (BTH) is that the most of people have an internal momentum to be useful for a society, which is built-in into the human genetic code.
If that momentum would not exist, the human society would not demonstrate any historic/social/economic progress and would disintegrate a long time ago. Remember, the mission of a society is its own survival. To fulfill that mission a society has only one choice – becoming stronger and stronger (hence – the progress). And that requires many effective and driven individuals. That is the only way for a society to survive.
Inability to realize that momentum to be useful for a society is felt as “unhappiness”, and pushes people to search for their social purpose.
The acceptance of BTH is a guiding social-economic-political principle, that should lead to the corresponded changes in the dominant ideology, which should not be elitist (someone should develop a non-elitist ideology/philosophy/religion).

Appendix I
The science fiction literature offers, as “thought experiments”, the descriptions of a society where every individual is assessed/measured (via some technology) and professionally placed accordingly to the results of the assessment. On the surface, this approach may seem efficient (economically beneficial). However, aside the fact that this approach is inhumane, this approach is simply impossible. No matter how smart and knowledgeable humans can become (or think of themselves), the nature (including the nature of their society) is always much more complicated than people can comprehend. Every new knowledge about a society changes those people who have that knowledge, hence changes the society. Hence, the new knowledge will not be applied to the society studied by the individuals, but to the new society, which may not follow the knowledge established when studied the previous society (a human society is essentially “quantum”! - a measurement done on a system changes the system). That is why a technocratic approach to managing a society will never be effective, and can only lead to the dictatorship. Only a society which provides to all its members as many free opportunities as possible will self-manage itself in the most efficient, effective, progressive way.
Not everyone can become the President, the nature of a society places limits on the number of people/species/units/bodies/organisms who could fulfil this particular function.  However, there is no way to predict who could or who couldn’t become the President, a rocket scientist, a rock star, a racecar driver, a chef, a good teacher. That is why everyone needs to have as many opportunities as possible to become anyone one wants.

Appendix II
In the classical/Newtonian physics the mechanical evolution (motion) of an object is completely defined by its initial conditions (location and velocity). If we know the initial conditions and the laws (!) governing the motion we can predict the exact location of any object at any time. That is not a case in the quantum world. Even if we knew (which is physically impossible) the initial conditions of a particle/object/system we still could not predict its exact future state. “Social particles”, a.k.a. humans mostly behave like classical objects, i.e. their initial conditions (parents, time and place of birth, traditions of the culture) almost completely define their future life. However, in principle, when an individual learns the laws governing the behavior of each and everyone (a.k.a. a society), that individual has an opportunity to alter his/her own path from the pre-defined one (whether he/she wants to use this opportunity is entirely up to him/her).
A physical object cannot self-act, self-propel, self-move, there is no self-action in a physical world. But humans have the ability to act on themselves - at least in principle. That makes humans the one and only anti-entropy force in the whole universe, a.k.a. the force of a progress (in the contradiction to the force of a decay/distraction governing the physical world).
There are many differences between the classical and the quantum worlds. When a classical particle encounters a barrier, it must bounce back off it, it can only be reflected by the barrier, it simply cannot pass through it. But when a quantum particle encounters a barrier there is a chance (an actual mathematical probability) to find that particle outside of the barrier. This phenomenon has a name “tunneling’.
When I teach PY106, I always use this fact for an analogy between the physical world and a social world. I always tell my students, when you hit a wall, when you encounter a barrier (your parents, a friend, your boss, your teacher) ask yourself one question: “What kind of a particle I am? Am I a classical particle that can only bounced back off a barrier? Or, am I a quantum particle which can tunnel through?”

Thank you for visiting,
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
Education Advancement Professionals

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