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,

it's less expensive to produce. This is known as the economy of scale. In a cynics view, Economy of scale is why humans bother with each other at all. Well, that and sex that is. Problem is we don't need very many of any one thing so in isolation, we never get very good at making any one thing. But... if we could just trust that other people will give us something in exchange for what we build and not just take it, we might make more than we need, and profit. This is known as specialization, and investment. OK you're done. You know the fundamentals of economics. Economy of scale, and investment. Told you it wouldn't be bad. But even with the two most core concepts you already find a hard thing to understand. Why the hell would anyone trust the people around them? They won't invest or specialize if they don't. And if they don't invest, the economy scale never happens. Economists like to write books on this, but it's actually really simple. Trust. To the point of being a fool. Psychopaths act like most other animals, always looking for the easy path. The quick solution. But we stick our necks out for each other, to a fault. The community is as important if not MORE important than ourselves. We can't help it. Empathic humans are irrational. It's our genetics. Bad for a person, but great for the planet. The geek shall inherit the earth... we hope. Sounds like a utopia, doesn't it? A wise teacher of mine once told me that defining utopia is simple. Peaceful anarchy. Take what you want, give what you want. Star Trek is defining utopia. I mean sure they have a chain of command, rules, schedules. But what do think the enterprise is? A cabin in the woods? It's a warship. They are the military. (Yes I know they are explorers too) They need to be completely organized to succeed in defense and attack. So we're not just seeing a utopia, but the most rigid structure it has to offer. It's crazy right? A typical desk job seems more acrimonious. Military surely means yelling at each other and pushing each other to the brink. The bridge, and the rest of the Enterprise seem to flow. More like a philosophy mixer with occasional phaser practice. How trusted friends act together. So lets say I'm correct. That psychopaths own the lions share of destructive human behavior. That their self directed logic is the main spanner in economic investment. That humans would really be vastly more productive if they no longer had so much waste. That this would unite humanity, mainly comprised of cooperating, trusting humans, and the additional (non linear I might add) economy of scale would take us to the stars. What do we do? How do we get there? Probably we need to talk more about what we can't and won't do first. We're all geeks,so lets talk science. There is good reason to think the basis for psychopathy is genetic. Psychopaths often display, even spell out their condition as young children. Even when raised in affluent, reasonable, loving, nurturing, environments, they can display depraved indifference, a lack of emotion, and euphoria in cruelty. The lack of an empathic expression or metadata is likely both ubiquitous and recessive. Two empathic parents can have a psychopathic child even after many generations without one. Likewise two psychopathic parents can have an empathic child. This is important because no purge will be effective. Even if every psychopath were eliminated from the face of the planet, more would be born. They are part of us. Does the idea of a purge turn your stomach? Mine too. It's normal, for us. So not only will it not work, but it's just not in us. Genocide is, by definition, an unconscionable act. We have a conscience. This is not who we are. Not to mention you probably have a family member, who you love, who is a psychopath. You know who they are. The real problem comes when a psychopath gains control over another human being. That power enables their selfish deceptions. It is the chief force undermining our trust. It is blocking our ability to use the full resources of the economy of scale, of earth, for the benefit of humanity. They use promises, and money, and government, and broadcasts to redirect our goods and services, and especially our time. We need those resources. We all know how humanity were discovered by the Vulcans. We invented a warp drive, and they were allowed to bring us into the fold. A warp drive may still be our real world defining moment. The moment

when we join a larger universe of interstellar intelligence and travel. I propose the key technology came long before that. It is now thirty years in our past. Only now are we fully grasping what it will allow us to do. I mentioned it before. The MRI. The device that will allow humanity to travel among the stars. By helping us to disallow those who would waste our resources to derail our progress. The key to the stars is ending waste. The key to that, is screening. The mind races. Remember I am addressing you from the deck of the Enterprise. I and all the people around you are trying, to the best of our ability, to help humanity. We of good conscience will not use this data to persecute them. It's self defining. That's not who we are. That's who they are. I would not be surprised in hindsight, to discover that it has never been us behind the horrors of history. It has always been them. I suggest that Earth, in our Star Trek future, still contained some meaningful percentage of psychopaths. Sure as humans had reproductive rights, they had jobs, and residences, and other rights too. But never in the military. Never in a civic role as a politician. Never as a CEO, or an auditor, or even a supervisor. They contributed and cared for themselves but were self or otherwise employed in only technical roles. A farmer. A repairman. A salesman. No direct reports allowed. And no singular authority over data. Fellow humans, we can have that future. It is no longer mysterious and distant, but clearly obtainable. We will show them the compassion that defines humanity, without a destructive and dehumanizing purge. Traveling with light is not far off, but first we, all of us, must understand ourselves. In the nuclear age we have no other choice. If this seems plausible to you, please pass this along. If you prefer a transcript and supporting ideas are avaible. I will try to answer questions and comments. Thank you for your time. You may be interested in my blog, The Civilization Gene My other theories on the human mind.

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