This is my fifth effort at creating a book which incorporates what I think are some useful insights. These insights cover a wide range of fields starting with physical dimensions passing through spirituality and ending up with economics and evolution. Bottom line is that I can envisage an evolutionary sequence that results with a kind of Heaven on Earth, where wealth and peace coexist and where all people have access to their spiritual nature.
In order to achieve this, profound corrections will have to be made to our present culture. Naturally I have a lot of opinions on what needs to be corrected, and in this book I will detail some of them.
This book presents a decidedly idiosyncratic world view. I tend to have an iconoclastic view on almost every modern issue. However, I take pride in integrating all of them into an intellectually consistent and optimistic structure.
I have spent about 70 years trying to figure things out. Finally, I have an integrated satisfactory explanation for most of the puzzles that I have encountered. The biggest question has always been spirituality. For most of my life I denied its existence in spite of a lot of evidence to the contrary. The history and techniques of science have always been fascinating. What is the value of music, which I love so dearly?
There are two realms/domains/worlds both included in the 27 dimensions of the (one) universe.
The spiritual domain is the source of the material domain.
The spiritual creators have intentions for the development of life in the material domain. My reading of this intention is that we humans all have continuous satori. This world-view provides a context for decision-making in the areas of evolution and economics, which is why it is important for us to have a clear understanding of those subjects.
Each of us has access to the spiritual, especially as an infant.
The material and the spiritual domains have different (perpendicular) timelines (dimensions of time.)
Various evolutionary streams take place in the material timeline.
Cultural evolution is analogous to biological evolution.
Most cultural evolution occurs in cultural streams
At this stage in our biological evolution, our environment is mostly cultural; hence there is little biological evolution.
Culture enables the generation of prosperity.
Evolution works with three principles: the transmission of essential information from one generation to the next, variation of the descendants and, in an environment of scarcity, the survival of the most suitable variations. The ability to perish is essential.
For the purposes of this discussion, the most salient principle is the environment of scarcity. In our present culture, there is not enough scarcity to determine relative fitness. All genetic and cultural variations are preserved equally without regard for appropriateness.
In other words prosperity halts evolutionary change.
Reproductive channels of culture and biology become filled with DNA trash. Without evolutionary maintenance, culture deteriorates and productivity declines.
The ensuing economic contraction wipes out some of that DNA trash, just as in the great depression 80 years ago.
The cycle of increasing productivity and evolution stopping prosperity repeats itself until the culture has corrected itself.
The cultural ideotypes which cause economic decline include erroneous economics analysis and models of reality.
In the ideal civilization that is many generations in our future, children will be raised in a fashion that retains spiritual awareness. Wealth and prosperity will not be viewed as a disease. Government will not be a cancer on civilization.
In the ideal civilization that is many generations in our future, children will be raised in a fashion that retains spiritual awareness. Wealth and prosperity will not be viewed as a disease. Government will not be a cancer on civilization.
Life and death will not be viewed as tragedy, but instead, the passages through the doors of the material and spiritual domains. Our bodies will be seen as the vehicles they are – to enable the spirits to work, to sense and to create.
We live in a universe of many more dimensions than we can see, I think 27. These dimensions are all perpendicular to each other, and we inhabit all of them, that is, they all go through us.
Some of these dimensions house the domain of the spiritual, to which we are all attached, however dimly.
There will come a time when all of us have access to the spiritual domain in our daily lives. It will be like continuous Satori, or Enlightenment. We will not need our physical senses to perceive the reality and vastness of the universe, including the spiritual domain.
Our culture will evolve so that our productivity will provide us with leisure and freedom to practice continuous meditation, unattached to our physical imperatives and living in universal peace.
In getting to this future, we will learn, all of us will learn, the nature of economics and cultural evolution. We will necessarily learn how to control cultural evolution so that our economic prodeuctivity will release us from the daily grind.
Our environment is controlled by culture, and such economic productivity requires a very great culture.
Therefore, the themes of this book are dimensions, spirituality. cultural evolution and economic behavior.
There have been many cycles of boom and bust. I have a new explanation for the bust. It is cultural evolutionary rot. Prosperity blocks the natural cleansing of evolution and reproductive channels become clogged with inferior information transmission. As the culture becomes contaminated with erroneous ideas, instability sets in and prosperity is destroyed.
The cycle begins with poverty. The requirements for survival are scarce and people perish from starvation, disease or exposure to the elements. This could happen, for example, after an ice age or an economic contraction. It is an ideal evolutionary scenario. Only the most fit survive and reproduce. This is true also of culture. Wrong-headed ideas have led to people dying, and those ideas have consequently been abandoned by those surviving.
People are very much in touch with reality.
The next step is economic growth, almost certainly according to the Adam Smith model. People learn to cooperate, trade and complement each other's skills. Work becomes more productive, and prosperity is generated. Culture thrives and begins to insulate people from objective reality. Governments are formed and people become 'altruistic,' meaning that they are happy to give other people's wealth to support those who would otherwise be unable to survive. This egalitarianism extends to culture where all ideas are deemed equally worthy. Since the non-fit are not allowed to perish, the reproductive channels of both genes and cultural information become filled with reproductive trash. This is not an ideal evolutionary scenario.
People have lost touch with reality.
As altruism and egalitarianism take hold, work becomes less productive, and prosperity is reduced. Because of the fragility of the productive system, the decline is usually catastrophic. Bubbles burst; markets crash; revolutions arise; terrorism abounds. After a while there are fewer people and less culture and more contact with reality. The cycle begins anew.
In order to break the cycle, the emerging culture must recognize the nature of the cycle. The true principles of evolution and economics have to have been recognized and preserved.
That is the purpose of this book.
The principles of biological evolution are quite simple and easily observed in nature.
The first principle is the transmission of genetic information from one generation to the next.
The second principle is that there is the possibility of variation in genetic information, such that the next generation is not necessarily identical to the previous generation.
The third principle is that, in an environment of scarcity, only the more fit variations survive. This is known as the survival of the fittest. This survival or non-survival must take place prior to the time of reproduction or gestation.
Reproduction occurs in what is called the phenotype, which is an expression of the genotype, and is otherwise known as the physical body.
Evolution has no purpose and does not imply or entail improvement. It is about survival of the next generation.
Although corresponding statements can be made about cultural evolution, that is a field not so simple and not so easily observed. Moreover, its terminology is undeveloped and obscure.
The first principle is the transmission of memetic information from one generation to the next. Meme is a term coined by Richard Dawkins and refers to a unit of cultural information. A meme can be a word or a concept or a melody.
The second principle is that such memetic information can vary either by accident or deliberately.
The third principle is that only the more fit variations survive. For example, there is competition among scientific theories. At first there was the model of the Earth as the center of the Universe; then there was the Sun, and now is the Big Bang Theory.
One difference between the two vehicles of evolution is that in cultural evolution there is no sex. Another difference is that the time of a generation in cultural evolution is very short corresponding to the time it takes for one mind to communicate to another.
In biological evolution, genes are combined into the genotype; in cultural evolution, memes are combined into cultural streams. Examples of cultural streams are music and language.Within language there are countless more cultural streams: biology, economics, carpentry, dentistry, religion etc.
In our language there is no word which is the analog of phenotype. I am coining the word ideotype. This could be described as a framework of ideas. A person's worldview (Weltanschauung) combines all of his ideotypes.
When a person is communicating to another, he selects memes (units of cultural transmission) from an ideotype (framework of ideas) and transmits them in the context of a cultural stream. The person receiving the information takes into account the cultural stream and adds the memes to his own ideotypes. if the received memes do not easily fit into one of the receivers ideotypes, the meme may not be understood and may not be accepted into the receiver's culture. This would be an example of cultural non-survival. Such a meme could be a word in a foreign language, for example Weltanschauung
There are a lot of observations to be made about cultural evolution. For example culture aids survival and productivity. When culture includes such a high value for human life that it-prevents the death of the non-fit, biological evolution is slowed.
meme = transmitted information
generation = communication time from one brain to the next
cultural stream = genotype
ideotype = phenotype, structure of ideas (worldview consists of ideotypes)
Language, vocabulary and concepts (or other groups of related symbols) can combine into a cultural stream. A cultural stream is a very large unit which is transmitted more or less as a whole throughout a particular population of minds. Although cultural streams are likely to be internally logically consistent, they are not necessarily consistent with each other. It is a Utopian idea that all of mankind could be joined into only one cultural stream, eliminating conflict and warfare. It would be like combining all people into one race and one sex -- peaceful, perhaps, but not interesting, or even useful.
Cultural variety can be introduced into the various streams by our Guardian Angels. To some extent the angels can even influence the psychological environment where the new symbols may survive more easily.
Cultural Streams are like genes in a gene pool. They are not under much pressure for survival, and they grow and diminish as their usefulness to the underlying population of minds benefits from them.
Light travels in the three dimensions of space. Our eyes are sensitive to light and so our experience tells us that there are three dimensions.
From observation and thought experiments, Einstein , and others,
were able to determine that time is a dimension. Their mathematical treatment
also shows that time is perpendicular to the three dimensions of space.
As I learned the mathematics of loudspeaker performance, I came to realize that the mathematical treatment of electricity and magnetism implied that they each required another dimensions perpendicular to all the others.
Once I realized that the simple science with which I was familiar required at least six dimensions, I began to speculate on how many more there might be. My first idea was that considerations of symmetry in the universe implied nine dimensions. Eventually, through a spiritual vision, I came to believe that there are twenty-seven.
For me, the born skeptic, the exiting implication of multiple dimensions is the possible of a spiritual domain within those extra dimensions.
Most people find it difficult to visualize extra dimensions. So do I. The easiest way is to consider only two dimensions at a time.
It is difficult for the mind to grasp dimensions that the senses do not perceive. A good exercise is to consider fewer dimensions than can be perceived.
“Flatland” is a nineteenth century satirical novel showing how narrow minds are unable to accept dimensions they cannot see, from the point of view of a two dimensional man.
A domain of zero dimensions is a point. A domain of one dimensions is a line. In this domain it does not matter whether the line is straight; such a concept would be meaningless. There are only a series of points, one next to the other. An interesting question is, “Where does the line end?”
A domain of two dimensions opens up many possibilities. The simplest to comprehend is two dimensional space, a geometric plane, which has the characteristic of area. In two dimensions, lines can have the characteristics of straightness or perpendicularity, among others. In two dimensions, a line can end. Two dimensional representations are not limited to the dimensions of space. Many graphs involve the dimension time.
Three dimensions opens up the possibility of the world we normally perceive. An interesting question is introduced in “Flatland,” “What does a sphere look like?” It would be a circle or, perhaps, a point if it was just touching the flat surface.
In school, I was fascinated by Euclid’s “Geometry.” The concept of perpendicularity in particular has stuck with me for six decades. The way I remember the definition is as the locus of all points equidistant from two points. The method of constructing a perpendicular with respect to two point using a compass and a straightedge is to draw intersecting circles of equal diameter from each point, then to draw a straight line between the two intersecting arcs. If you were to draw other pairs of circles with different diameters, all pairs would have intersecting arcs on the same straight line.
This understanding of perpendicularity is the key to the relationship between dimensions. All dimensions are perpendicular to each other in Euclid’s sense.
Suppose that instead of drawing circles, one was drawing spheres. The two spheres would intersect in a two dimensional circle which would define (be included in) a plane perpendicular to the line between the two points at the centers of the spheres.
Time is a dimension. It is perpendicular to all other dimensions.
For example, consider an LP rotating on a turntable with the phonograph needle riding in the groove. The LP is in a two dimensional plane of space. Imagine that the dimension time is perpendicular going straight down through the hole in the center of the LP. In this model, as the LP rotates in two dimensions, the phonograph needle advances in the time dimensions moving down in a continuous spiral.
If one were to picture this in only two dimensions, one of space and one of time, the motion of the stylus would show up as a sine wave, moving up and down as the LP rotates and left to right as time passes.
Dimensions can be associated with vectors. A vector refers to the direction of motion or force in a dimension. Vectors from different dimensions are combined with the ideas of perpendicularity and the Pythagorean Theorem.
In electrical engineering, the vector associated with electricity turns out to be the square root of minus one. Because of the peculiarities of the language associated with numbers, This is called an imaginary number. It is not imaginary, it is just as real as so-called real numbers. The force of electricity is quite real.
A similar vector exists for magnetic force, also turning out as the square root of minus one, however since every number has two square roots, a plus and a minus, the magnetic vector is the other square root and perpendicular to the electrical vector.
These considerations led me to the intuition of many more dimensions than can be perceived. At this point, there are at least six, three of space, one of time and one each for magnetism and electricity.
An electron exists and moves in these six dimensions. Any understanding of an electron has to consider all six dimensions.
At its most basic, an electron vibrates in a kind of circle, alternating between magnetic and electric energy. Like the phonograph needle, it is also moving in time, creating the trail of a sine wave. While smoothly alternating in so-designated imaginary space it is also moving through so-designated physical space. However, although its motion in imaginary space is smooth and continuous its existence in physical space is not. Hence the so-called quantum leap and Planck’s Constant. Because it is not always in physical space, it cannot be continuously observed. At may seem to jump from point to point in physical space, but that is only an illusion because of our limited perception.
(In this essay, I have replaced the term "labor" with the term "work" because the economics literature has made a botch of the term "labor", limiting it to physical labor and implying that all such physical labor is equally valuable.)
I am concerned about the language being used by media and politicians about economics. I find it to be misleading, at best, and dangerous to our overall prosperity.
This essay is an attempt to put the issues of economics into comprehensible and accurate language. It is an attempt for clarification for those who are in favor of prosperity.
There is conflict in our culture and in the world between those who favor prosperity and those who oppose it. Many human interests are in conflict with the generation of wealth.
Some are religious, some are egalitarian, some are theft and some are altruistic. (To illustrate the latter, it is obvious that the possession of wealth tends to diminish nobility of character.)
Groups that fall in these categories are most young people, many already wealthy people, government bureaucrats, the media and academia. Economists are often hired by those who have an agenda other than that of creating wealth. Since most readers of economics are in favor of generating wealth, those economists have learned to write obscurely while pretending to favor prosperity. The study of economics would be simple if it were merely focused on how people generate wealth. The language for discussing economics has been largely taken over by those who oppose it. Conversations in the subject of economics will be useful only when those conversing are aware of whether they are in favor of generating wealth.
The key concept missing from contemporaneous discussion is the role of work in creating value and hence, prosperity and wealth.
In short: Prosperity and wealth are generated by work. ONLY!
Reprise: this is a terse background against which economic activity takes place:
· a man works to produce the goods necessary for his survival.
· he uses division of work and tools to increase productivity.
· when he has a comparative advantage in work productivity, he trades with other people, at mutually agreed prices; this leads to increased prosperity and leisure time.
· when he produces more goods than he needs to consume for his survival, he has generated wealth.
· money is an invention which facilitates trade and (unfortunately?) taxation.
· credit allows a worker to borrow his future work to increase productivity in the present.
· general human productivity increases until government regulates and taxes, interfering with the freedom of work and trade.
· eventually so much wealth is created for which people are evolutionarily unfit to handle and they invent psychological objections to it and tend toward the seemingly benevolent, albeit unproductive tenets of altruism.
· This tendency results in so-called bubbles and the boom and bust business cycle.
The foregoing I believe to be self-evident, although not obvious.
Here is my biggest objection to contemporary language. Economics
has become unmoored from the fact that all production is based on work. In a
prosperous society, such as ours, the focus veers towards compassion and away
from what makes us prosperous in the first place. The economics profession has
become focused on the actions of government and mostly incomplete or irrelevant
Adam Smith recognized that work is fundamental, and that truth was widely recognized to be true through the time of Karl Marx.
Marx embraced this observation and corrupted it by implying that all labor is equal and that all people are equally entitled to its fruits. Marx (and others) attempted to apply an absolute value to the labor in a good. Merely by observation, it is obvious that labor has no absolute or fixed value. Yet, work does have value. Why is that the value of work differs from one person to another or from one place to another? Ultimately, it is based on what someone else is willing to pay for it, but, aside from its market value, the value of work is determined by the productivity of the worker.
Von Mises, in his great tome about Money, ignored both Adam Smith and Marx, instead focusing on the subjectivity of the valuation of trade. (That is, the history of work in a good does not determine its value.)
The error in the study of economics has been the attempt to quantify (or moralize) the value of work. This cannot be done because all exchanges are voluntary agreements that ignore the history of the work that went into the goods being exchanged. When I sell a loudspeaker, no one cares how much work I put into it. The question is how good does it sound for its price. However, on the other hand, without my work there would be no speaker at all for me to sell. The price of my work is determined after the fact, that is, when I sell it. The magnitude of my work's value is determined by my skill, training and experience.
The following is inference or observation.
The Role of Government
There is nothing that government can do to create develop or stimulate production or prosperity -- except, get out of the way. What government can do is to provide an environment in which people can work, produce goods and exchange them. The most important elements of this environment are personal freedom (to work and trade) and the unconditional right of private property. The U.S. constitution was designed to provide this kind of environment. Perhaps the best example of this was the British management of Hong Kong in the middle of the twentieth century, when unbeknownst to most of the world, including Hong Kong itself (and in the complete absence of democracy), prosperity increased at more than ten percent per year.
When government spends money no value is created (there is no work on the government side of the transaction). Instead, overall wealth is diminished, as through inflation. The value of money spent by government is obtained from the work of people working outside of government. That value is obtained either through confiscation or inflation. When people in government think that stimulus is needed, it is because people in the private sector are not working and trading. The reason they are not working and trading is government regulations and barriers, such as taxes and fees. The only way the government can act as a stimulus is to remover the obstacles to working and trading. Some may think (compassionately) that government is necessary to save us when misfortune befalls. But the government has no source of goods other than productive workers from whom they must seize the goods they bestow on the unfortunate. This is possible only in a prosperous society, and the more the government bestows productive workers goods on the unproductive unfortunate, the less prosperous the society becomes.
I have no argument with charity. Even, I have no argument with government welfare, so long as it is understood by those who recommend it where it comes from and by what right. All too often, in the emotion of compassion, the facts of the matter are obscured or ignored.
Given "The Work Theory of Value," the questions revolve around, how much value?
First, it is important to remember that there is no fixed or absolute value to work. Its value is determined only in the marketplace, that is, when someone or ones have agreed to purchase it or compensate for it.
Second, it is useful to remember that people work primarily for the purpose of survival.
Third, once survival has been obtained, some of the fruits of one's work may go toward increasing wealth. Once again, the magnitude of that wealth depends entirely upon the marketplace. To some extent, whatever wealth is created may persist in time and add to the general wealth of whatever society includes the marketplace where it is traded.
Fourth, it is necessary to address that the value of work varies greatly between persons and societies.
A number of factors influence the value of work:
In a society where people are free to work and to trade the fruit of their work, prosperity ensues. As wealth is generated, the society and its culture grow. By wealth, I mean the product of ones work that lasts in time and has value to other members of the society. By culture, I mean information that passes from the mind of one person to another's. By cultural stream, I mean a grouping of cultural information that is associated with a particular group of people, for example, Buddhists, dentists or astrophysicists. Almost everything important to our lives exists in culture:
In a prosperous society, among the most highly compensated workers are those who work only with culture, for example lawyers, bankers and investors.
I imagine that there are twenty-seven dimensions to the universe. These are divided into three parts. One part is our physical world where matter and energy interact and science describes the nature of things; the second part is for things spiritual; I don’t have any idea bout the third part. There is a boundary between the first two parts of the universe; it is like the surface of a soap bubble. Consciousness can look or pass through the surface of the bubble into the other domain.
We are conceived in both domains: the physical and the spiritual. Until birth we are blissfully unaware of the real physical domain. At birth, we become more intensely aware of the physical domain. However, we are not yet distracted from our awareness of the spiritual domain.
As infants, during approximately our first two years of life, we become exposed to language and culture. As we learn language, we begin to establish our identity and a sense of self in the physical domain. During the same period of time, we are learning to associate various physical sensations with the physical self. These developments are serious distractions from our sense of being in the spiritual domain.
With mastery of language and the beginnings of manipulating our physical environment, our physical identity becomes firmly established and our distraction from the spiritual domain is nearly complete.
Now we are adults, and we have mostly forgotten our prenatal bliss. However, many of us still yearn for a return to that innocent bliss, and recognizing (perhaps unconsciously) that it is our culture that has separated us from our roots in the spiritual domain, and we strive in various ways to undo the harmful effects of our culture, many of us in the form of socialism, others of us in the form of revolution and anarchy, some even in the pursuit of nihilism.