Monday, December 31, 2018

Let the Poor be Poor!

Andrew Atkin:

One of the nastiest things you can do to poor people--believe it or not--is not let them be poor. That is, force them to invest their resources in ways that you think is best for them, yet not what they think is best for them.

Housing is our great modern example. Auckland council outlawed the use of sleeping capsules, because in their 'superior wisdom' they decided that poor people should not be allowed to live that way. How nice. 

But there's a problem with that. People who wish to sleep in capsules are probably not rich, and if they're single and want to share a room with others, in exchange for saving say an extra $100 a week, then those capsules could have been great for them (they won't hear their roommates snoring). But again, that option was taken away by bureaucrats who decided that they know their priorities better than they do.

-A lot of it is image. Auckland council doesn't like poor people looking poor, because it makes their failure to provide affordable housing too naked. They would rather reduce the overt image of poverty, even if they make people existentially poorer for it.

Another example. I have a friend who several years back flatted with someone that she liked as a person but hated living with (to the point of tears), and she did so because she had no other choice due to costs. As a consequence she lived in poverty. Her basic need for privacy was badly undermined. She needed her own space and she couldn't have it. One [theoretical] option for her would have been freedom-camping close to work, in a nice setting in a good caravan. That would have been far better and much cheaper for her at that time. But no. That option was (and is) not allowed to be practical due to local regulations. She was not allowed to be poor so she had to be poorer - just like with my capsule example. 

When it comes to housing we have a national emergency in New Zealand. We've created true poverty and on social and material levels. We can do so much today to remove the hardest edge of the housing crises by simply relaxing regulations, so as to allow New Zealander's to build temporary alternatives that work for them personally - especially if they have little money.

A good idea amongst others is to create new camping zones that make caravan living easy and private. How? Just create designated park-up areas on the city fringe, in nice settings, coupled with electronically-locked pay-to-use showers, toilets and wash-house for people who might need it, and allow strong social controls to be established to keep "difficult" people out. 

It would also provide a lot of supply relief for housing. That would impact the entire rental market for everyone - reducing costs. When you don't have children, caravans and campervans can be surprisingly livable. And there are tens of thousands of Auckland renters with no kids.

Work with alternatives - don't suppress them. Let the poor be poor until we sort the construction cost of housing out. Surely this makes better sense?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Why I am not a Conservative

Andrew Atkin:

Go back to the age of Spartans, and look at their conservative society for their time. By today's standards it was profoundly sick. Extreme violence was celebrated and even demanded; their men would enter manhood by stealthily murdering an innocent slave; children proved their strength by withstand ritual whippings without passing out; and wives were justly claimed by forceful abduction - and on.

Sparta was a society made up of people akin to a violent criminal gang, and worse. Their culture of child abuse was horrific and the people were, as they could only be, made partially insane from ritual traumatic abuse.

Yet it worked. They survived for a long time. And with strict adherence to traditions they managed to continue on for hundreds of years. High death rates--as they were at the time--were simply balanced with high birth rates. 

Hence the systems, doctrines, and traditions of ancient Sparta were successful. So who am I to judge? Well I'm not judging, but I will see ancient Sparta for what it was. It was a classic waring society culturally evolved to deal with conditions of extreme hardship, and the relentless barbarians at the gate. They made a god out of violence and brutish masculinity ultimately because they had to. Those awful conditions dictated it.

However, that kind of survival comes at a cost. Spartans were deeply neurotic and therefore unfeeling. Their existence was humanly numb as it only can be when you're living in a severely repressed state. So they were alive but hardly living. 

When would be the right time for Spartans to challenge their traditions, and ask themselves if there's a better way to be? They should do it of course when times are peaceful - when the old codes and traditions can be seen to be out of date. And when they take this position, I would say they go from being conservative to progressive. 

The point behind my observation of Sparta is that it's not necessarily ideal to presume that traditional ways are best, and just because they "worked" and are therefore "proven". Some societies that are surviving should not be surviving - that is, in their existing form. 

Take a look at societies that have arranged marriages for example. They're often highly successful in the stable sense of the word, but on a human level they are tragic. Sure they achieve their stability, but only by violating the natural process of mate-selection. Hence, behind the winning tradition is a losing reality. An ideal society should never need those kinds of traditions that threaten to drive so many into a silent misery.

To a degree, I believe that traditional (conservative) western society--though well worth celebrating on many levels--still has a way to go. And this is why I'm as much a progressive and as a conservative. The difference between myself and a common conservative, is that I have a background in understanding how blatant child abuse, child neglect, and common mistakes that we all make with children today affect the mental make-up of our society at large; and how that ultimately affects the entire operational structure of our society over time.

Hence, I do not want to see New Zealand back to a 'good old days' that never really were. At least not on all levels. We can do much better I believe and go much further forward [my blog is filled with assertions on how things can be improved]. However, progressive change must be done with calm thinking and a respect for why our traditions were established in the first place. It's insane of course to remove an old pillar without first understanding why it's there.

So I am not a conservative. I am a cautious progressive.


-Note, progressive's should not to be confused with regressive's, the latter of which often call themselves progressives. Bluntly, the extreme-leftist ideologists of today are our modern regressive's - and they are pathetic. They don't respect tradition nor wish to understand it or build from it. They're mis-educated and under-educated, and operate more like vandals than builders. As it seems to me at least they're driven more by anger and frustration than objective insight. 

The following is a video which highlights what I believe all 'conservatives' need to appreciate. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thoughts on dramatically improving the health system

Andrew Atkin:

Probably the best thing to focus on is of course poor health prevention. 

The ultimate success of an idealised health system would be for it to no longer be needed. We can move a lot further in that direction.

This comes back to the basics. We should be making sure people can live well without undue stress, and a key part of this is making sure the cost of healthy living is not too high. Also important is focusing on good childcare, and minimising child abuse and neglect as much as we practically can (Traumatic childhood stress gets internalised and leads to health problems later. In fact early abuse may be the No.1 toxin our health system exists to accommodate, other than nasty accidents and old age).


Another focus should be early diagnosis. Obviously the sooner a condition is recognised the easier it is to deal with. Respecting that nearly all diagnosis begins with self-diagnosis (you go to the doctor because you first know something is wrong), it makes sense to work with and expand on the process...

An idea is to develop systems that facilitate better (easier) self-diagnosis. For example, if someone is worried that their mole might be cancerous, then rather than waiting to be worried about it enough to bother to see a doctor, the individual could instead quickly take a photo on their cellphone and upload it for analysis, to be seen by a specialist who reviews these things. The specialist can then make the call as to whether another professional should look further, or when.

(Note, through the online process we can greatly concentrate the productivity of otherwise very expensive health professionals, as those professionals can spend less time mucking about with communication inefficiencies, and less time doing low-level work that can then instantly be delegated to others).

Developing quick, user-friendly self-diagnosis facilities could be an important focus. With modern smartphones a well-developed app could be extremely useful for preliminary diagnosis, and save a lot of unnecessary grief.

Information and health records.

New Zealand should have everyone's health records uploaded into the cloud, accessible by any professional once given the patients authority to access it.

My recently deceased father, for example, had difficulties getting the health information that he obtained from Hastings hospital transferred over to Wellington hospital, which created silly delays and costs. We need to standardise health information into master cloud files, and I must say it's surprising that this (obvious) modernisation has not already been done.

Another advantage of having everyone's health records in a standardised format is research. We can quickly search database's to identify correlations, to help us recognise where causes of health problems are (or might be) coming from. Correlations are not causes of course, but they can certainly give us good clues.

Improving quality and reducing costs:

Is it really necessary for a specialist doctor to spend 10 years in university to diagnose and deal with your skin condition? Of course it isn't. Most of what they have studied will be redundant to that end. Yet we pay big money to these professionals, and because only those with a vast medical education are allowed to do the job - due to the licensing system.

Is there a better way? I believe so. One model is to move to a system of fully private hospitals that are directly market-accountable...

Think of this. You go to a private hospital to deal with your condition, and after your experience you make a report on the service. The government manages the surveys. You click on rankings (1 to 10) and make comments. This record then gets pooled into the statistics that allows the public to see median rankings and patient recommendations, for any given service provider. Giving the public direct and explicit transparency.

Depending on their relative rankings, different hospitals will be able to charge different rates. Hence, you've created the commercial incentive for hospitals to improve their services to maximise their bottomline. In a sector where there's so much room for innovation, this is surely good idea.

The transparent competitive market is a powerful natural regulator. The market could, in turn, largely replace government regulation. The new regime can be: "You can do whatever you want, however which way you want, but you will be commercially accountable for your results".

Hospitals can then also be responsible for training their own staff. We can abandon the licensing system which helps to make health services unnecessarily expensive. For example, if a hospital thinks they can train a young woman on skin cancer diagnosis in 6 months, and without having her go to university, then we can let them do it and let them save themselves (and the nation) a small fortune. Remember the hospitals will be careful not to fail. The last thing they will want is bad patient reports reducing what they can charge.


I think the ideal is for the government to subsidise funding, to cover the most basic costs. Fundamentally it should be an insurance system.

If you want to be served by a hospital with a higher ranking, then that will be more expensive and you will have opportunity to pay an extra premium for that access.

No hospital should be allowed to drop below a certain level in terms of ranking and be allowed to operate. There should be a minimum national standard.

Also, it should be a 'self-abuser pays' system. If you badly disregard your health and become higher-risk, then you should be expected to pay that risk-difference. These payments should be compulsory for all citizens.


I believe that the final result of these initiatives would be a smaller health sector and a healthier society. Providing increased life expectancy and increased quality of life. And we should see a health sector where everyone is properly covered.

In good time, due to the virtues of innovation and well-functioning markets, even the worst service providers of tomorrow would quickly become better than our best providers today.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Google's dithering is costing millions of lives - and counting.

Andrew Atkin:

Each year over 1 million lives are lost to human error on the roads, world over. That will quickly come down to 100,000 and less, as robotics takes over the driving.

Hence, every time we delay the deployment of driverless technology we cost lives. Each delayed year costs about a million lives, and about 5 million severe injuries.

This is why we shouldn't want to hold back driverless implementation. But we do, and actually quite drastically.

Here is the point. We can already win the critical safety advantages provided by driverless technology as the technology stands today. It's simply a matter of deploying single-seat vehicles that drive themselves to the next customer.

You can drive the car when you're in it, but it will be extremely safe regardless because the car operates with advanced anti-collision technology, inherent in a driverless-capable vehicle. 

Each driverless car would take 10 to 30 traditional cars off the road. Because they are highly economical (most cars would be 300 kg single-seaters) and convenient, the popularity and therefore deployment of these cars should be rapid.

We could have actioned the first stage of deployment 2 or even 3 years ago. But Google (or more specifically, Waymo) has chosen not to. Why?

I can only speculate. But think of this. If Google deploys an auto-send car-sharing system, the effect would be that auto companies go bankrupt overnight. Because the death of the private-auto as we know it would be written on the wall for all to see, and plainly. Who's going to buy a new car for $70,000 while knowing full well that they will struggle to sell it for even $5,000, in 2 years time? You don't have to collapse demand too much to induce a devastating glut, destroying sale prices.

This isn't a problem for countries like New Zealand that import (not make) automobiles. But for other countries it will be devastating to their trade economies, albeit in the short term. Maybe--and to stress I can only speculate here--political forces and financial interests are deliberately holding back driverless deployment because they're afraid that too much change, too soon, will hurt too many people (financially). 

This is all I can put it down to, because when it comes to driverless technology we seem to be hell-bent on playing dumb. It's just so obvious that we should be starting off with an auto-send car-sharing system using compact 'mini' cars, to catch the bulk of the demand. Again we could have done this years ago....and it's costing lives. Millions of them.

The included short video clarifies my argument:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Housing and Population control

Andrew Atkin:

Housing and Population control:

It's a bit strange how banks nowadays are happy to lend young people huge amounts of money for a home, when in times past they would not have. 

What's the difference?

I can speculate with a fair bit of confidence that it's because they know your expenses are a lot lower today. They know that if you have children at all, it will most likely be just 1 or 2 (especially if you're Caucasian) and you won't have them until you're in your 30's or later, for if you wish to afford them at all.

Hence the banks know that you can and will live to pay off that mortgage. Hence they can and will lend you a fortune.

One problem. In a housing supply-constricted market, the amount of money the banks lend out will heavily dictate what houses finally cost. Because access-to-credit inflates prices via the non-stop bidding war on land, due to the *inflexible* supply-response to financial inputs.

The result?

Housing becomes so expensive by default, that you can't have 3 or 4 children when you're young, not even if you want to. The banks and the previous property owners have effectively run away with the family-funding for themselves.

Hence the trend gets locked down into an inevitability. The banks go from predicting your childlessness to functionally creating it, as they fuel the housing market higher with their ever more "generous" lending practices.

Rural Urban Boundaries are, intentionally or not, population control policy. And powerful policy at that.

More: Operation Population Control

Monday, October 29, 2018

Private Villages_The Missing Link

Andrew Atkin:

Podcast Version: Here.

My claim is that the missing link in modern institutional society is small-scale private communities, built and designed from the ground up.

We have 4 new key technologies that can revolutionise property development as we know it.

1. Driverless technology.

2. Virtual reality simulations.

3. Group-forming apps.

4. Telecommuting.

The effective use of these technologies can lead to a different kind of private community for the common man, and not just the wealthy. Communities based on direct social discrimination, not discrimination on just the ability to pay.

Here is my model:


With Virtual Reality systems that are cheap and accessible, people can put on their headset and see what their prospective home will feel like to live in. VR technology is already being used in this way. It can even provide explicit VR "dash-cam" tours so people can get a feel for the entire development.

VR will have the effect of making new-builds much more attractive (Note, buying off the plan is cheaper as developer risks are reduced), and it can expand the market for new-builds well beyond people local to the area. It will also drive a more tasteful form of property development, as developers will quickly realise that what feels good is more important to the market than what's hypothetically trendy. Serious design mistakes and bad ideas will be corrected on paper, before they are made in practice.

Driverless technology in new-builds is immensely powerful. A beautiful home on a busy wide street never feels like the fantasy image in the brochure, because the context that the home is set in is harsh. A road exclusively supporting driverless cars by comparison is narrow and discrete, and supports silent vehicles (internal combustion engines in hybrids will automatically turn off in sensitive areas). This allows the beauty of a development to come to life in ways that are otherwise impossible in a typical street-grid.

The technology for driverless systems in new-builds is here, and can be bought as a stand-alone system today.

In a few years time driverless systems will be universal, regardless. However, the advantages of driverless systems will be strongest in new-builds, because this is where you can fully exploit their capability for creating garden developments, where plants can dominate the then near-invisible roading.

Driverless technology allows for extremely efficient foyer-to-foyer transport within a new development, which has the effect of unifying a new community in ways that would not otherwise be possible. It effectively puts basic facilities and recreation on everyone's doorstep. (You will be at the beach, cafe' or tennis court in 2 minutes. You can finish your coffee while you ride).


With a community made up of about 100 houses, and about 300 - 400 persons, it becomes easy enough for the people within a given community to self-select each other directly via video interviews and Facebook groups, etc. The groups evolving online can work with a property/community developer to form their own community with their own rules, and can select for 'their kind of people'.

For example, I myself would be happy to live in a new community with these basic conditions: No criminal record of concern, ethnically-mixed and age-balanced, live-and-let-live attitude, and people who don't need to get drunk to have a good time would be nice too.

Also, I would insist on short video interviews for every applicant, so I can get a feel for their character. I would also insist that a 70% group majority can ultimately vote a problematic resident out, leading to a forced sale within 12 months.

That would give a me a development that I could relax in. But that's me. Others can form their own communities based on whatever parameters they want. But the point is, this is the great advantage of these kinds of new-build communities. They can self-select to whatever social form people want, and people can get a feel for each other via multimedia. You can build true from-the-ground-up communities.

-I would argue that if a community is not self-selecting, it will not be a community at all. It would then only can be a formal organisation, like school or work.

Child rearing:

In an age where ever-more people are having so few children, or having children so late in life that it's questionable whether they should be having them at all, we can see that we need to reconsider how we are functioning in terms of incentivising (or disincentivising) for fertility.

My model, if built on cheap land at the city outskirts (no artificial land rationing), and with modern innovations, would provide for highly affordable housing. Housing accessible to 90% of the populace or more. This is fundamentally important for those who want to create a family.

Ideally, central governments would provide a voucher system for financing schooling and daycare, so the option of homeschooling can be open to all competent parents, and on a level economic playing field. A self-selected family-dominant community could comfortably take care of its own childcare for all levels of schooling.

Note: We now know that what affects the long-range outcome of children is child abuse and genes - not schooling as such.  There is no need to institutionalise a child's educational development. This is important to understand because so much of modern life revolves around children's education, and in ways that are costly, time consuming, and in fact totally unnecessary.

The final result is that women can comfortably have children in their late teens and twenties, not late thirties and forties, if they so choose. And they can certainly have more than just one or two children.

From a mass-social outlook this is probably the most important advantage of allowing for these kinds of modern new-build communities - built in the direct image of consumer demand. Indeed, I have often described my ideas as "fertility machines".


Internal work local to the community should be unregulated and untaxed. It would be more like a 'baby-sitting economy'. People should be free to utilise help between each other, freely and informally, as they wish. Hence it's more like a club than a profit-driven commercial economy.

People should pay for services via a special account (possibly a cellphone app) to control demand for services and be fair. But the returns from the use of facilities would be used to pay expenses towards the body-corporate, so usually there will be no 'technical' earnings for the enterprise - just expense reductions. In a sense, I propose that it functions like a private large-scale household economy.

Establishing developments like this on the outskirts of a city does not isolate people from important work opportunities from the main economy. Most people do not need to travel to a city center to work, and online working is now practical for countless jobs. Online working is a potential that is growing and will continue to grow. This is important, because it creates freedom with respect to where these developments can be located. They can then be positioned in the most geographically ideal places - anywhere in the world.


I don't see these developments being built and sold by major developers, who largely just guess as to what their markets' want and are prepared to pay for. I see groups developing online, with a website providing the basic organisation, and finally an experienced architectural organisation coordinating the design and development of the villages, and organising contractors from there.

However, a skeleton structure would need to be first proposed and formed from the architectural body, before a group of buyers is established so as to let the evolution of the details begin. (Otherwise you'll end up with a mess that takes forever to reach consensus, and get to first-base).


My belief is that private communities such as this--built from the ground-up both structurally and socially--are a great missing link in modern western society. Centralisation and nationalism has become much too intrusive in our lives, because we lack the social foundations to naturally resist it.
I believe we need to draw stronger lines between domestic society, and mass society.

The state defines too much how we live, what we do and how we can do it. We find we have to battle with the state over the details of our private lives, that really they should have nothing to do with. Like forcing your children to learn to speak a useless though politically-correct language, and telling us who our company has to be.

One of the indirect results of unwarranted government intrusion is fertility rates collapsing, well below replacement levels, which is a truly concerning failure. And largely, because we have made child-rearing so difficult from making it school-centric, and making the cost of living so high that young mothers have no choice but to work.

Modern technologies give us the tools to create new communities like never before. Housing can be remarkably affordable and life can be much more socially cohesive, and much more simplistic than the way it is now. And indeed, we can give most people a rich man's lifestyle if they want it - in countries like New Zealand at least.

Also, we can provide for people a healthy lifestyle as physical recreation that is fun (not just painful) is easily accessible, and people can have more time when they don't have to be mortgage slaves nor a non-stop taxi service for their children.

All we need to do is let this evolution happen, and I logically predict it will. Our technology will facilitate and drive lifestyle demand, and what I am suggesting is, again, only a predictable expression of actualised consumer demand in response to new opportunities.


The public policy that can threaten this evolution is as follows:

-Urban growth boundaries.

Making land grossly unaffordable, and forcing apartment living even for those who do not want it.

-Intrusive tax and regulations.

Making internal trade within a new development expensive and cumbersome, falsely disincentivising cooperation.

-Anti-discrimination laws.

Not allowing people to choose their own company in a private development.

-Excessive educational dictates.

Forcing people within a development to send their kids to external schools, rather than being able to conveniently take care of education internally.

These controls, to varying degrees, may block the proper development of private communities and suppress their innovation.

I don't want to see this happen and I will do my best to fight these threats, as time goes on.


My related videos:

Granny Magnets, highlights how to build a modern low-cost village.

Choose Your World, argues for political decentralisation.

Globalisation - A new model, describes the far-reaching impact of property development in an online world.

Solving the Auckland Housing Crises - Now, is related to Granny Magnets, and further explains how these developments can solve the problem of affordable housing. Though, in a way that might be politically feasible.

Housing Affordability - For Real, is an older video that breaks down the nonsense arguments opposing geographical urban expansion.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Open letter to Chloe Swarbrick_on Mental Illness

Andrew Atkin:

Dear Chloe Swarbrick,

In acknowledging your new portfolio on mental health issues, I wish to give you this open letter.

The focus on mental health today is all about providing patches. This is necessary but we must address causes if we do not wish to make mental health a forever-issue.

Psychiatrists have understood, and general research has long verified, that mental illness is principally the fallout of powerful internalised pain. In practical terms, mental sickness is overwhelmingly a manifestation of child abuse and this is where the conversation should begin if we can agree that the issue should be about more than protecting the tax-base.

To understand mental sickness (and the great majority of us do not) in its most simple form, just think of someone trying to get through life with three bulldog clips stuck to their fingers. The mentally ill are in pain and are struggling. Most importantly, they cannot respond to their children properly--sometimes hardly at all--and in the most severe cases they cannot even hold down a job. This is because of those 'bulldog clips', the effect of which they must forever struggle to manage. Internalised pain becomes an aggressive existential tax that makes all other (non act-out) activities very difficult.

What most people recognise as 'mental sickness' is not the internalised pain, which is its true basis. It is the broken-down defense system that makes the management of internalised pain fail, to a given degree. In turn driving toxic dependencies and heavy over-reactions. Open wounds, if you like.

Our mental health professionals deal with those open wounds by closing them up again, if they can. They do this with therapy and more commonly (and desperately) with drugs. But it's all patches. And those patches do not of course solve the deeper problem - they simply cover it.

The best that patches can do in such a traumatised world is leave us with a kind of zombie-nation, because when we cover our pain we cover everything.  A heightened state of repression will help people cope, but it will (and does) rob them of their full humanity. And alas that does not make for good parenting, so as to quickly stop the cycle of intergenerational pain.

So what is the solution? Keep going with the patches - we need them. But see them for what they are. Understand that child abuse and infantile damage is the real name of the real game. This should be our central target.

I would recommend education for the young on child rearing so they can understanding scientifically what really hurts children and what does not, to avoid the most gross of errors that we are all guilty of. We need to focus on infantile damage especially which is where the most serious internalised pain is rooted.

I believe we also need to make some tough decisions on fertility. Should we really be letting people who are patently emotionally disturbed have children, that they will almost certainly abuse and chronically neglect? Is this really the right thing to do, considering it is our whole society that has to deal with the fallout of this somewhat simple-thinking libertarianism? We need to ask tough questions here if we do not want the darkest extremes of the underclass to continue to grow.

To get an idea of the real New Zealand domestic world, which is where mass mental illness is generated, then I can suggest having some private conversations with experienced police officers. They will show you a world that we do not want to know, but need to know.

The very best and good luck,

Andrew Atkin

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Anxiety and Intelligence

Andrew Atkin:

I have written before that it seems strange that there should be any significant 
difference in Intelligence amongst humans with the same brain capacity. Owing to the fact that, evolutionarily speaking, the brain is an extremely expensive organ and it would seem a strange waste to not optimise the software running the hardware. Evolutionary pressure should have dictated that brains be virtually the same, in terms of intellectual capacity, amongst various human specimens.

However there is one variable, among others, that might suggest why we see significant differences in operational IQ between different people: Anxiety.

We know that when we are anxious that it's hard to think normally. In fact with enough anxiety we can hardly think at all. Why? Because most of our conscious attention is focused on external and immediate threat-detection, and in preparation for our anticipated response. So anxiety can and does dominate the metal budget in practice. I notice that I myself am always more intelligent--in an academic and reflective sense--when left alone in a peaceful environment. This is because my threat-detection system is nearly completely off, giving me my mind back in full. 

So what has this got to do with IQ? Some people, and probably all of us to a degree, are in a permanent state of alerted threat-detection. We can never fully relax and in turn focus like we should.  For some people the threat-detection function is locked-in epigenetically. The result is that threat-detection won't turn off, no matter where they are.

Mothers who are anxious while carrying are more likely to produce offspring that are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). To be simple, an ADHD individual has been taught within the womb to expect to be born into a dangerous world, and they have been taught this by the mother's emotional state. A baby literally reads the world it will be born into through the mothers feeling-state, and in turn genetically adjusts itself to the anticipated conditions. The womb is a profound primer for the future life.

Will this affect the child's ability to engage in immersive concentration, and in turn compromise their development and operational IQ? Of course it must. But with epigenetics, again, the difference is locked in. So you can't facilitate concentration by simply changing the environment.

Insofar as this is the case, we can see that what sometimes looks like genetic differences in intelligence may actually be environmental; meaning, the environment of the womb. Our assumptions on inherited intelligence being genetic, are based on identical twin studies of infants that have been separated at birth - not separated before birth. In turn, an anxiety-state passed on down through the generations may be falsely representing the real intellectual potential of any given select group of people.

Insofar as anxiety, and its response, compromises operational intelligence we can see that it would make sense to support mothers while they are pregnant. This is to be sure they do not expose themselves and in turn their babies to any more anxiety than need be. That would be easier said than done if the mother is inherently anxious due to her personal history, but we can do our best to make things better for the child nonetheless.


Note: I would like to add a practical note for employers: Making your staff anxious is no way to get the best out of them. You're more likely to turn high-IQ into high staff turnover, and you can only get away with that (without cost) on a mindless production-line. And this problem, where it exists, is easy to solve. Just talk to your staff about how they feel around you, their supervisors, and their co-workers. As I've argued in this article, how they feel is in fact a very important question. You want to know if you're making your staff "dumb". And speaking from personal observations, this problem happens all the time. It's amazing how many employers create the very problems they try to solve by breathing down their staffs necks, subtlety degrading them, and making them feel anxious.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Economics, Money and Life

Andrew Atkin:

You would think that money was like any other unit of value. That is, it should respond to the supply to demand function. Meaning, the more money you have the less it should be worth to you, per unit. So the difference in personal value between earning $90,000 pa and $60,000 pa should be small compared to the difference between earning $60,000 and $30,000.

In terms of material living standards that is true. Money is indeed worth less the more you have. In turn the more money you have, the more the other aspects of your life should be worth to you in relative terms. In theory, with greater wealth your focus on more spare time and better human company etc, should grow as a natural priority. Yet curiously, countless people do not think or respond like that. Often the more money they get, the more they want, and the more they give themselves to the pursuit of it.

The question is why? Psychological needs amplify a purely rational relationship to earning money. Such as the need to have what others have to avoid feeling as though you're missing out; or the need to use money to display status. But again these variables have nothing to do with the raw material value of money - they just amplify our drive to obtain it. 

Curiously, when you look at the fact that the per-unit value of money should shrink in the wealthy world, as it is ever-more abundant, social control might then become difficult. How do you pay people off to do what you want them to do, when they hardly even care for the extra money you're offering? Maybe this is why our society puts so much pressure on the young to 'be all they can be', which boils down to threatening to make them feel inadequate if they don't climb to their personal peak in the commercial world...

Are we instinctively fighting against people making otherwise materialistically rational decisions that we don't want them to make, because it's in our interest to amplify the tax-take? You can wonder. Societies always pressure people to live up to characteristics that they need and/or want. It's written in the abstract value systems.

There's another powerful variable western society has introduced, that works to make people want to work harder than it's worth. And that is anti-discrimination laws...

As money in the wealthy world becomes more of societal game, as opposed to a raw material needs game, then the most potent thing you can do to make people "wage slaves" is negatively regulate their social environment in response to their wealth. In western society today, if you don't make enough money you might be forced to live amongst the underclass, because you are not then allowed to build a new residential development that outright blocks undesirable people. In our world, you need to live in a somewhat rich neighborhood to avoid the underclass.

In short, we have made money a prerequisite for being part of a given social class. I do not believe this is an intrinsically natural phenomena. It comes from the need to specifically use money to discriminate.

However, I believe this could soon come to an interesting end (see video below). With the development of low-cost large-scale private communities, based anywhere in the world, where most people can work online, and most critically where people can form exclusive communities by choosing each other via online interviews (think, Tinder for groups) and not on the basis of money, then the heart of the modern status game could turn on its head.

The result could be that your social world is more determined by who you are, as opposed to how much money you earn. This could lead to an implosion in the need to make more money than you would otherwise want, leading to a better rationalisation of life choices, and ultimately of course a higher real standard of living.  

Indeed, it's interesting that in richer societies we see a greater gender-separation in work-life choices, as compared to poorer societies. Women in rich societies tend to choose lower-paying 'feminine' careers ahead of higher-paying male-dominated careers, because they would rather do the work that they enjoy doing when they no longer have to worry about basic survival. Again, I believe we could see a radical amplification of that basic trend--for both men and women--as people's lives become less dominated by material needs and, so importantly, as more opportunity to directly regulate their social environments without wealth becomes hopefully manifest, so they are in turn free to live a more materialistically rational life.