Where you stand on the matter doesn’t matter, Pt. 2

abortionA Copiosis enthusiast asked the following question on the Copiosis Social Page on Facebook.  It offers an opportunity for us to better understand our innovation, so I’ve pasted my response here, with significant modifications and expansion for clarity, and broken into parts for quick consumption.  This is part two.  You can read part one here.

Question:  How does Copiosis deal with differences in individual belief systems?  How are divergent beliefs incorporated when determining positive and negative net benefit?  For example, a doctor (producer) provides a woman (consumer) with an abortion procedure.  There would be vastly different opinions of whether or not this service was a positive or negative net benefit.  How would such situations be resolved?

I previously showed how the net-benefit formula and its variables are science- or fact-based.  I allowed that some of these inputs can be informed by personal perspectives, but influencing the variables’ values from a personal perspective is difficult.

I contrasted Copiosis as a freedom-based society with our current society, which offers a modicum of freedom while providing ample opportunity for some to radicalize our personal opinions, thereby creating wonderful income streams for themselves and others.

Let’s get back to the topic of abortion.


Back to abortion

Let’s say a person wants to get an abortion, and another wants to offer such a service.  The person wanting to offer the service is trained as a doctor and can competently deliver the procedure.  A third party doesn’t want that to happen.  Since we’d all be free to do what we want, it really isn’t any business of the third party whether the first person gets an abortion or not.

However, if the third party feels strongly about other people expressing their freedoms in this area (i.e., getting an abortion), there are some options for expressing this freedom and maybe earning net-benefit reward, too:

  1. The third party can join the payer organization and participate in a way that expresses her ideology.  This person may, for example, act as an on-the-ground payer official ensuring those who (in a peaceful and productive way) counsel women on alternatives to abortion get their activity into the system.  But if you look at the variables feeding the NBR formula, it seems relatively straightforward to expect the amount of NBR to be pretty small.  It’s hard to prove that opposing abortion produces more net benefit than providing the procedure.  I could be wrong here.
  2. The third party can organize a group to provide education, awareness, and outreach.  This person could perhaps start a co-op whose mission it is to educate people about their perspective on the issue, and there are many such organizations today.  Since necessities are provided to all at no cost and salaries don’t exist in Copiosis, making such an organization happen is easy.  There may even be people who own and create necessities who will support this co-op and provide said necessities, and there may be others who won’t for the opposite reason.  How long will people cooperate to conduct such activities when the NBR associated with such activities is likely to be so low?  Those same individuals, no matter their personal perspective on the matter, could earn far more NBR doing so many other things that it seems to me the incentive to continue contributing their time and energy to such a cause would pale in comparison to things that could earn NBR and enflame their passions.
  3. The third party can expect to be selected for a Citizen Jury.  These periodic opportunities offer the best chance for a person to have input on how the system works.  On the juries, moral issues are debated and decided, and those decisions stick for a prescribed period.  After that period, the decisions are reviewed in light of new information gathered in the period.  Juries are randomized, so, given the size of the US, it’s not likely that this person would get on a jury frequently.  He or she might get on a regional or local jury more often, but there will be others on the same jury, and it’s unlikely he or she will sway others if they disagree.  Second, note that these juries, much like grand juries, rule based on science presented by experts.  Experts may or may not include religious scholars, and it is unclear at this time how society will regard religion.  That said, even if they are included as experts, other experts will also provide factual and science-based information for jury members to chew on as they deliberate.
  4. The third party can join with other people of like minds and create an enclave.  The Net-Benefit algorithm and the Copiosis system can simultaneously operate locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, so it is possible for this person and others of like mind to create a community where such procedures are not provided.  This seems to be the best option for a person who passionately opposes others’ points of view.  By creating an enclave, the person doesn’t have to be aware of or affected by the expression of views that run counter to their own.
  5. Another laudable way for a third party to express his or her ideology is by demonstrating the attractiveness of their ideology by living it as a testimony for others to see, thereby attracting others to that ideology.  Walking an ideological path as a means of attracting others has proven successful for all religious founders as well as their apostles and followers.  Since necessities are provided to all at no cost, this could be an easy way to live one’s ideology, leaving ample time to earn NBR by pursuing one’s passions.
  6. The third party can encourage necessity providers not to support those who provide or consume such services.  Any success in this approach, however, instantly creates a market for others who do not agree with the approach to create opportunities to circumvent such attempts.  In other words, this approach could easily backfire.
  7. Finally, this person can demonstrate against, oppose, protest, and “fight” those consuming and providing such services.  But thinking about the inputs and variables making up the net benefit calculation, what do you think the net benefit of such actions would be?

From a different perspective: let’s accept that it is against God’s will for a person to have an abortion, which, I believe is the main reason why people argue against such procedures.  If I am right, isn’t God going to hold the persons providing the procedure and consuming the procedure accountable?  Does God need intermediaries to mete out her will?

In the end, we all will have to face whatever we believe awaits us after our passing.  If a person is driven to getting others here on Earth to believe  as he or she does, she or he is free to do so in Copiosis.  Unfortunately, the benefit to society, individuals, and the environment will likely be so small that not much NBR will be earned through those acts.  Better to find a more rewarding path.  Allow others to live their lives.  Live your own with your ideals.  Pursue your happiness in the way you see.  You are free.

I think what will happen over time is that people’s belief systems will refocus on the person holding those beliefs.  In Copiosis there will be no politics where such beliefs can gain power and control other people’s beliefs, let alone their actions.  That leaves people who try to force others to believe as they do with many options and little result.

Organized opposition doesn’t work

Its not working

Mirrors are amazing because they evoke powerful emotions that trigger unconscious behaviors.  Watch someone looking at a mirror and you’ll see what I mean.

What we most miss about mirrors is their mysterious benevolence.  They sit there quietly reminding us of our greatness.

In my last post I wrote about the end of the Charismatic-leader era.  I argued that we are no longer going to see charismatic leaders rising to the fore, leading us to some promised land of Dream Fulfillment.  If we can’t rely on a powerful figure, a larger-than-life personality, to save us from ourselves, what or who will fill the void?

After all, we crave solutions to the perceived problems in the world.  For as long as I remember, humanity has looked outside itself for someone to come up with the solutions.  We’re too busy working, taking care of our families, watching tv or playing Xbox to bother with coming up with our own solutions, or so that’s the way it’s been.

Times are changing, though.  Charismatic leadership has given way to the mob.  I use “mob” with the fondest intentions.  People have for some time relied on strength in numbers as a tactic for effecting change.  Charismatic leaders set the stage for this approach.  History is chock-full of examples where these towering figures fanned the flames of hundreds, thousands, or millions of people sufficiently to mobilize a march, oppose a government or unjust law, or create a brand new country on the promise of greater freedom from oppression.

Individuals in modern times are using technology to take this strategy—organized opposition—to the next level.  Recent demonstrations in countries around the world are benefitting from social media to move millions of people.

Such events used to create grand results.  Not so much these days.  Tiananmen Square, the Arab Spring, and Tea Party and Occupy Demonstrations are all variations on a theme:  Organize by the millions and rally around a common cause, and the establishment will listen.

Uh . . . no.

Despite the millions of marchers, frequent bloodshed, courage, defiance, persistence, and distributed, leaderless organization, organized opposition really hasn’t had much effect on the three-headed-problem—debt-based economics, representative government systems, and corporate control.

Instead, the establishment has become exceedingly efficient at neutralizing such events.  The weakest aspect of this approach—its visibility—is its strength.  Organized opposition is too overt, too easy to infiltrate and destroy from the inside.  So effective has the establishment  become at destroying their effectiveness that it doesn’t even try to respond to demonstrations.  Ignoring them is easier because they do little other than make headlines.

If the age of the larger-than-life leader is behind us, and organized resistance no longer foots the bill, how can we make change in this new era where the establishment’s momentum is unopposable?

Well, that’s where you come in, Dear Reader.


Photo credit: 29.9.14 Hong Kong protest cellphone vigil” by Citobun – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Where you stand on the matter doesn’t matter

abortionA Copiosis enthusiast asked the following question on the Copiosis Social Page on Facebook.  It offers opportunity to better understand the innovation.  So I’ve pasted my response here, with slight modifications for clarity, and broken into parts for quick consumption.

Question: How does Copiosis deal with differences in individual ideological/belief systems?  How are divergent beliefs incorporated when determining Positive and Negative Net-Benefit?  For example, a doctor (producer) provides a woman (consumer) with an abortion procedure.  There would be vastly different opinions of whether or not this service was a Positive or Negative Net-Benefit. How would such situations be resolved?

(For background on what Net Benefit is, see this short video on the Copiosis YouTube Channel)

The case of an abortion procedure illuminates many aspects of Copiosis.  It also allows us to explore and contrast our society today against a future Copiosis-based society.  Let’s take a look at these.

Of course, how Copiosis will look in the future is dependent on those who become part of what we are doing.  As more people get involved, they bring with them new insights and ideas that shape the future of Copiosis.  What follows is how I believe Copiosis resolves the abortion fight given our current understanding of how Copiosis works.


Background assumptions

I’ll start laying out the issue arguments as I understand them, so you can understand my assumptions.

Those who believe the procedure should be available essentially believe it is a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body.  This procedure not only is a life-saving procedure, it also allows a woman to act in her best interest. This position presumes a woman knows better than anyone else the best decision for her and her body.  People who believe abortion procedures should be available support beliefs of the opposition. They say, “It is okay for someone to believe abortion is wrong.  Those people are free to practice their beliefs free of interference, so long as that practice doesn’t impinge on the free will of another.

Those who believe the procedure should be unavailable or restricted by law feel strongly that the unborn human’s life is what is at stake.  These people believe abortion is murder.  This belief often originates predominantly from religious belief.  Even so, people who believe this way have made scientific arguments to support their beliefs.  These people may support those who wish to receive this procedure, but only in limited circumstances and only after being educated on alternatives to the procedure.

Let’s take a look now at how this contentious issue is resolved in a Copiosis society.


The Net Benefit Calculation

Inputs into the Net Benefit formula (V6)
Inputs into the Net Benefit formula (V6). Click to enlarge

In Copiosis net benefit reward (NBR) is earned when a person acts in a way that makes another person or the planet better off.  The negative results of a given human action are subtracted from the positive results of that action resulting in the “net benefit”.  If the net benefit is greater than zero, the actor receives a quantity of NBR.  How much is determined by the Net Benefit Formula.  This formula requires eight inputs we believe account for all the factors needed to reward an individual.  These inputs are represented by variables in the formula.  You can examine the variables in the table to the right.

As you can see, the variables themselves don’t include personal value/moral judgments that are based on religious belief for the most part.  However, some of them can, should and will be influenced by such judgements/beliefs.  We have a process by which such influence is included.  I touch on that process below and write about it in more detail in an upcoming post.

Examining the table, you can see most of these inputs are based on rational analysis of the act, resources used, and results among other elements.  While allowance is made for differences in individual Ideological/belief systems, they can not significantly sway the calculation.


Copiosis fundamentally

Copiosis is a system based on human freedom.  That means people are free to do whatever they want, but they have to live with the consequences of exercising that freedom.

In today’s society, morals, values, ideologies, and beliefs can become radicalized through politics.  Radicalization of these personal perspectives through politics creates interesting dynamics.  Politics almost always attracts money, or rather, money always follows politics.  What’s more, most everyone in society must earn a living—generate a money stream—to meet their debts, obligations, and needs.  Politics and money create wonderful ways to earn a living for many people, not just politicians.  Radicalization of personal perspectives turns such perspectives into ideological terrorism when combined with money and politics.  Just as with the specter of physical terrorism, it is easy to fan the flames of one’s ire and urgency when one’s ideologies are perceived to be under threat.  In many ways, it’s no different than when people’s emotions (fear, helplessness, vengeance) are stirred with the specter of ISIS, the Black Panthers, or any other politically motivated topic du jour.  When such passions and emotions are aroused, it is a relatively simple matter to convert those passions and emotions into income streams.

In Copiosis such profit motives, including the harnessing of people’s emotions through the radicalization of their personal perspectives, doesn’t exist.  What is the net benefit of polarizing a population along personal ideological lines?

In the next post, we’ll get back to the case of abortion and how could be resolved in Copiosis.

Is it the end of the charismatic era?

Charismatic LeaderMirrors are amazing things.  We take their symbolic awesomeness for granted.  Every day, we stand before our mirrors and miss the greatness they’re showing us.

In some cultures, mirrors are spiritual icons.  They feature prominently in legends of all kinds.  In Japan, for example, the mirror holds a prominent place in many household shrines.  A mirror was one of three sacred objects given to Japan’s first emperor by the Sun Goddess Amaterasu’s grandson.  Mirrors in ancient Japan represented truth because they reflected only what stood before them.  They were a source of much mystique and reverence (being uncommon items) in that time.  Today in Japan they symbolize wisdom.

When you look in your mirror, what does it tell you?  Does it remind you of your flaws, things about you that must be covered up before you greet the day?  Or does it remind you that you are the only one in your life who can make your day, your week, your month, your year, your life an amazing experience?  Is your mirror encounter positive or negative?

Mirrors can inspire you to be your best, or they can evoke interpretations you hold about yourself that trigger shame.  I wonder how many take the latter interpretation over the former.  Perhaps that’s why so many people look to others to solve problems they see in the world.  They are too connected with their smallness and minimize (or even ignore) their greatness, that reality of who they are that can change the world.

Maybe that’s been the bane of our existence—feeling small and insignificant, we look outside ourselves, expecting others to come up with the answers.


Cult of Personality

Charismatic leaders have always taken advantage of this.  They’re smart, funny, outgoing, and seem to know something we don’t.  Their personalities are attractive and draw us in.

Many charismatic leaders have served humanity well.  Others, not so much.  These days, however, the charismatic leader—that larger-than-life figure who rallies millions around a cause—is hard to find.  The Gandhis, Kings, Kennedys . . . these people are fewer and farther between.  We have our Thích Nhất Hạnhs and the Lhamo Dondrubs.  We have our Damons and DiCaprio’s.  But these people aren’t making the kind of earth-shattering changes we all know humanity needs.


We may be keen to the shenanigans that sometimes accompany charisma.  Perhaps society moves too fast, or ideas charismatic leaders bring these days are too fleeting.  Maybe some charismatic leaders are too focused on making a crap-ton of money with the latest app, tech innovation, or social hack to focus on the opportunities that could really make a difference.

Even leaders with no real charisma, but whose leadership is founded on more enduring principles—courage, bold action in the face of certain self-destruction or failure—don’t last long in the public’s consciouness.  The Edward Snowdens, Chelsea Mannings, and Gary Webbs come to mind.  Their work leaves an enduring mark, but in most cases the world hasn’t changed in the way we plan to change it here at Copiosis.

Public consciousness in the age of 140 characters may also be too fickle to hold even these leaders in long-term esteem.  We’re on to the next thing before they can captivate our attention.  The establishment doesn’t tolerate them as it once did either.  They’re easy targets.  They are often crushed so completely and often early in their careers our memories of them fade quick.  The nail that pokes up, gets the hammer.  Establishment retaliation can be swift and severe.  Can you say character assassination?  These people’s personal and professional lives rarely recover.  Is it any wonder we see fewer leaders of this kind?

Maybe the era of larger-than-life charismatic leadership is over.  If the era of the mega-leader is done, what or who fills the void?

I think I know the answer.  You will, too, after reading the next post.


“MLK and Malcolm X USNWR cropped” by Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report Magazine