How ya' doin'?
Humans do not understand and relate well beyond the number ten. Stalin phrased it like this, "kill one person it is murder, kill a million and it is a statistic." Our empathy and our understanding are limited by our genetic inability to think in scale. But think in scale we must...there are after all seven billion people on this Earth and counting.
I bring this topic up because today I saw the following graphic on my Facebook feed:
This graphic is representative of our collective inability to process emotionally and intellectually beyond the number ten. The fact is that violence among humans is at a historical low. I highly recommend that everyone read Steven Pinker's book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature."
Pinker's book represents a failure of sorts for me in our modern information age. The reality of statistics is not being disseminated to the masses so as to correct the sensationalism in the media that is promoted to generate dollars. Why doesn't everyone know that violence is at an all time historical low? As someone who understands scale I consider myself as one of those who are failing the masses. Irreni World Scale is in part my way of educating the public.
Here's a question: even if everyone were informed that violence was at a historical low then would it matter? Would the graphic above still be every bit as popular even if everyone had read Steven Pinker's book?
In some respects we know the answer to that question in the form of our collective experience with lottery tickets.. Most people buying lottery tickets have been informed that the lottery is just a tax on people who cannot do math. In other words the lottery is a case where even people are informed of the math then they are still buying lottery tickets. We the people know the statistics but we the people still can't help ourselves. Why?
Why? Because people are buying more than just a chance to win money. People are exercising hope. Hope in many ways is analogous to visualizing success for athletes. A very real improvement in success for athletes can be realized by athletes visualizing success of an event right before the event. Hope allows us to see a path forward, even if false, where if we didn't then we might despair and give up. Hope is our nature. Real improvement in success for athletes can be realized by visualizing success of an event right before the event. The prior belief that one can succeed is vital to the actions of one succeeding.
In some sense the act of buying a lottery ticket is analogous to prayer. When people are praying together they are hoping together. Perhaps this hope gives them strength where they wouldn't otherwise go on. People who pray certainly believe this is the case.
Science has no evidence showing buying lottery tickets and prayer works directly. The lottery ticket case is just pure math and some social studies. People who win the lottery often end up even more unhappy. Lots of studies on prayer have been done. The latest I read indicated that prayer has no effect on medical outcomes. They authors did note that there was a slight negative effect of prayer when the person of ill health was aware of the prayers for them. When the subject of other peoples prayer's health declines then the subject feels stress because they feel they are letting down the people praying for them. This stress is detrimental to their health.
Still, we cannot put a price on so many things that make up the human experience. Hope is like love; one of those priceless things that make life worth living. Even false hope.
So those of us in the scale business, the business of bringing all humans up to speed on scale, have a dilemma to face. Do we sponsor in anyway false hope like a lottery or prayer given hope is such an important part of human nature?
Irreni World Scale's approach to improving the politics of scale is first and foremost an approach of culture. This is followed immediately by the science of social experiments. The Sexy Principle of Human Quality is one of the twenty big fancy pants ideas that Irreni puts forth.
Sexy Principle of Human Quality.The entire expanse of folk living are obligated to communicate models of living quality. We cannot deliver expectations of quality of life unless we know what these expectations are. We should all be movie makers promoting our own expectations. We should all be role players in role playing games to try out expectations and experiment what it is like to be in someone elses shoes.
The motivation for this principle is simple: our genetics do not allow humans to relate to numbers beyond ten. However, we do relate to culture: music, the arts and so on. The politics of scale then is about getting to know each other as much as possible by sharing cultures.
The question here is should those of us who understand scale condone and even promote false modes of hope in culture like prayer and buying lottery tickets? Or should we limit cultural experience to only that which is scientifically proven?
Yes and no. Religion has been in all cultures studied by us. Religion is a part of our human nature. Religion doesn't scale because religion is fundamentally about us vs. them, insider versus outsider. After all if everyone already belongs to a religious group then why do you need a religion? Religion must go in general but all aspects of it? False hope? Should be keep lottery tickets?
Sam Harris, a prominent outspoken atheist, missed an opportunity to address this question in an interview with Denis Prager. In the interview a caller asked a question of Sam, "Even if what you say is true about religion, I have a very real relationship with Jesus. What should I do with that relationship?"
What Sam should have said is this: "Keep it. Just understand that this relationship is only real for you and act accordingly in the outside world." In other words, if someone needs an imaginary friend to get through life, keep it but with the understanding that to others it is imaginary. This will facilitate the decision making process for us humans collectively.
We the people don't do scale because our experience and our genetics never required this of us. Now we need to scale to a planet geography and seven-billion population. Our flaw in human nature of our inability to scale needs to be compensated for in other ways. Irreni World Scale does this primarily via the Sexy Principle of Human Quality. We share cultural wants and desires. We then come to an understanding of the limits, boundaries and possibilities. Part of this cultural experience may include false hope such as buying lottery tickets or praying. Collectively we should find this is acceptable under two conditions: everyone understands from the get-go that false hopes are just that, false hopes, placebos, and second the false hope does not divide us into insiders vs. outsiders like religion.
Demand Irreni World Scale!
Empathy for all!
Moral relativity: think it, breath it!
Prove it or lose it!
Conversations equal consensus!
Welcome to the 21st century!
Scale your empathy, scale the world!
Find your tribe!
Be sexy people!
The future is coming!
Innovate at a rapid pace!
Slow speed ahead!
Well come! and well met!