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Final Frontier - transcript of video discussing transition into type one civilization.

Final Frontier - transcript of video discussing transition into type one civilization.

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Published by M.A.Newhall
Do you love star trek? I think that star trek has already defined what is necessary to become a unified species and travel to the stars. It has to do with the unconcionable behavior we see in our daily life, but not in the series.
Do you love star trek? I think that star trek has already defined what is necessary to become a unified species and travel to the stars. It has to do with the unconcionable behavior we see in our daily life, but not in the series.

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Published by: M.A.Newhall on Apr 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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TITLE: The Final Fronteier My name is Matthew Newhall and I am a computer specialist and science fiction autor. I'd like to discuss some novel theories in psycology and economics, I've included links with more detail below. This talk was origially created for the Icon Science Fiction Convention in New York. Unfortunately this convention was canceled for 2013. Rather than abaondon it I'm sharing it with you. Please pass this video along. This is licenced under a creative commons non commercial, attribution licence, so feel free to share, add graphics, music, etc. Star Trek, a model type one civilization. How do we get there? Gene Roddenberry was a genius. I'm not sure if he realized how important his vision of humanity was. Anyone who has watched more than a few episodes of any of the many variants of the series 'Star Trek' will recognize this vision. He depicted humanity as he saw it could be. He depicted humanity in a type one civilization. What is a type one civilization? It is, simply, how humanity acted in the various 'Star Trek' shows. Many, many people had studied every detail of that universe. Trying to decode exactly how we got from this, to that. They mays succeed in creating miniature societies that seem just like starfleet. But as they grow, they eventually, fail. I used to dismiss Star Trek as fantasy. I belived that mankind will never work together enough to act like that. In a way, such dismissal is quite logical. Sure a single person from our time would likely adapt to such a society if tossed through a time portal, but changing our entire society at once is another matter. A popular idiom is a person is logical, but people are not. It turns out this is the opposite of the truth. Did you catch that? I just said that a person is illogical, and people are logical. How could we, the concerned, the civic minded, the geeks in the room be so wrong about the people around us? Duh! We are illogical! I have proposed that deep inside most of us, before the dawn civilization, a mutation came about. A human  being was born with... an imagination. One like we think with today. And then at some inopportune time, that  person used their pretend world, their goofy wasteful inner space to think about how some other pre-historic  person felt. They began to form a conscience. Much like we have now. Any guesses to how it went? This conscience thing? I'd say it was disaster. Every time they stuck their neck out to help another person it nearly got cut off. In other words, it was just like high school. But the imagination persisted, and they remained illogical and irrational. They couldn't help it. So they spent most of their short cave life with a 'kick me' sign on their back. The hairy grunting locker room deathmatch soldered on. So did our hopeless losers. In a moment of weakness they even had sex. The generations passed, and the ranks of our stealthy Napoleon Dynamite prototypes grew. They learned to find each other and trade favors and goods. They even played a primitive form of 'cave' flux on pieces of tree  bark. One day, they grew tired of doing the grunters smelly cave laundry. So, they made a stand. One cave nerd stuck his neck out for another cave nerd. They stood up for each other!... And the hairy grunters chased them into the woods. Bad idea. Not very rational. Silly cave nerds. But then it got interesting. Turns out being smart, specifically having an imagination, meant you build awesome gadgets and had lots of time to screw around, which usually meant building more gadgets. Since you could imagine how other people felt you could trust them. Which was good, because it was hard work
not to trust each other. Of course the hairy grunters where still lurking in the woods so the big nerds went into security, and built more technologies to suit their own needs, early forms of math and chemistry. Cities and civilizations where born. Born from an illogical, irrational trust. The original breed of homo sapiens, the hairy grunters, were not that important anymore. Then history happened. And now we are here. What does this have to do with Star Trek? Everything. What happened to your starfleet club? Why did it fall apart? Egos? Schedules? Life's necessities? I'm not just talking about your club. I'm talking about everything from a computer club on up to Google or the United States of America. The trust, it starts to fray. But why? Why else, it is betrayed. Those irrational humans are only trusting to a point. Some people do deeply selfish things. Corruption sets in. Eventually self preservation takes over. A personal logic kicks in. Kicking and screaming in protest, people eventually give up on their society and the people around them. Money and property are a promise. You spent a year building a gadget and your society agrees not to steal it. You invest your resources into making something better. You loan your self out. It's a big risk. An irrational, illogical one. But that gadget you invented can crank out three times the widgets. Cheap widgets are a boon to society. So it's logical for 'people' to promise to protect your property, but illogical to risk investing since you have no control over other 'people.' You see the idiom is the opposite from the truth. We take huge risks all the time. The risks are very high. But you take the risk anyway. Why? You can't help it. There's that silly imagination again. Stepping in and showing you a better world... like Star Trek. So if everyone is irrational where does that risk come from? We all trust each other, more or less. Look carefully at the federation humans in star trek. The humans in the federation are all trying to do the right thing. They all share that common irrational trust that we share. It's not all peaceful progress, but rather a very exciting universe. All kinds of conflict. Some of it is random. A meteor shower. An accident. A death. An error. Sometimes it's sabotage, theft and depraved indifference. But it's almost never a human acting selfishly, acting logically only to them-self. It's an alien, or an evil life force. The humans are always cooperating, or at least trying to. Their trust seems to be unbreakable. Some people, are not like us. Some people, a small group, are just like the popular idiom says. They are logical to their own needs. They are selfish. They could care less about society. They are psychopaths. Gene Roddenberry depicted a global society without psychopaths. Psychopaths are only recently defined to us, with the good information only comming in the past 30 years or so. They are simply defined as people with no empathy. Their distribution mimics genetic disease. A ressesive gene to be specific. Therefore I believe they are that original breed of human, before us. Why  before us? Because they are a subset of humans as we know them. The humans we know are both selfish and giving. We cooperate AND we compete. They only compete. Recently, with the advent of the MRI, we can positively identify them. When presented with emotionally charged words. We react and they don't. Reading the words, 'rape', and 'kill' and 'drugs', make our brains light up like Christmas trees. This is why I have come to think they do not share the same breadth of imagination we do. In my opinion imagination is the source of empathy. They will never walk a mile in our shoes in their minds because simply, they can't.
A simplistic way to imagine yourself as them is to remove your conscience. Imagine Captain's Kirk or Piccard or their crews navigating the complexities of the societies at the edge of the known universe without any sense of compassion or ethics. Not only would both crews been killed many times over, but the entire known universe would have been at war. I'm sure your imagination is racing by now. Most of you anyway. Can I be trusted? For the rest of this talk I ask you to open your mind and pretend I am addressing you on the enterprise. Pick you're own favorite. You would trust me then wouldn't you? Of course. You would trust every single human being around you, to do the right thing, to the best of their ability. Liberating isn't it. Worth a thought experiment, I'd say.  Now if I were mysterious space cloud, alien, or the occasional purebreed Vulcan saboteur, you could almost  be sure I was going to try an blow up the ship and possibly earth. But not a native human. This seems  painfully unrealistic doesn't it seem? People betray each other all the time on our earth. We bend over  backward to avoid the liar, the thief, the cheater. Where are they in Star Trek? Sure some do lie, cheat and steal, but when they get caught they always turn out to be well intentioned, or at least doing the best they can for the people around them. It seems almost naive. But it's not, it's brilliant. Mr Spock entertains us by dancing around the fundamental problem. Logic. Logic vs emotion. He struggles  between his uncontrollable joy, compassion, anger and other emotions and approaching problems with his conscious logical mind. This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, a commentary on the empathic human condition. I use the word empath here not to indicate telepathy like Diana Troy, although I can't rule that out,  but a human who has emotional metadata and recalls it, every time, as part of their memory. In other words a conscience. A human who is not a psychopath. Logic, as Mr Rodenbury occasionally hints, is not a panacea. How did the Vulcans decide to dedicate themselves to logic? After a brutal emotionally charged war that nearly destroyed their planet and species. It's hard to believe that Vulcan logic was suddenly grafted on their brains like some computer upgrade. No it was always there. But, absent external direction, the logical mind serves it's self. Not the common good. Not to deviate too far, but Issiac Asamov backs up this idea with his laws of robitics. Without an irrational concience like ours a robot is reduced to pure, selfish logic. You may say, hey wait a minute. Listening to me, you may have observed that we humans don't have some great external morality either. Sure we have societal expectations don't we? But nothing uniform. Nothing overwhelming. And this is curious. Why do we have compassion? Eventually our parents stop watching over us. The prospect of being caught lying, cheating or stealing goes down as we mature. It's not like we don't have freedom of will. Come to think of it, isn't that what Vulcans have done to themselves? Removed all higher decision making from their people? But we still have a choice. Cheating is easy. Fooling people is easy. Almost too easy. Are humans schlubs? Fools? Naive? We are fools, and we should embrace it. Our trust of each other can have terrible personal consequences. Identity theft. Date Rape. Ponzi schemes. Rickrolling. But for society, it's almost unimaginable. Economics, the study of economy (better known as trading work) is dreadfully boring. And have you noticed? There is no money in Star Trek. How can that be? How can there be an economy without a way to store work, better known as money? It's visionary. If you trust everyone, you don't need it. Simply ask someone what they have done, and they will tell you. When your data about work is reliable, you can quantify cost on the fly. I'm not talking about communism. That's top down. Enforced by governments and gullags and guns. I'm talking about a fundamental understanding  between nearly every human on the planet. Maybe I need to back up a bit here. You may not have wrapped your head around the fundamentals of our economics now. Don't worry, it's actually pretty simple. When a person or people make more than one of something they often get better at it. Being better at it means less effort, materials and time. In other words,

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transcipt of recent you tube video on becoming like star trek
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