Clinations

This section is not a moral code! One thing we’ve learned from subjecting humans to countless hours in Sunday School (let alone Madrasas) is that it has little effect on their tendency to go out into the world and commit a seemly endless variety of crimes and other antisocial acts. That is, you can’t teach morality in a classroom. Nor, as the saying goes, can you legislate it. Instead, our moral codes are absorbed from our environment, particularly from trusted adults when we are children (Kohlberg 1984). And although some small percentage of the population eventually (in many cases as late as their 30s or 40s) learns to abstract morality as something that can be reasoned about (Kohlberg’s stages 5 and 6), as a general rule even writing down things like the 10 commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins and expecting people to learn and follow them is the hallmark of an amateur social engineer.

Instead, these Clinations should be taken more like engineering specifications, like a component in an electrical circuit being 10K Ohm resistor with a 5% tolerance, or an engineered beam that with deflect 1/360th of its length when X amount of force is applied to the center of it. These “components” of human behavior can be used to design a system that will allow defining Goals and identifying or creating Matchspecs that help us to achieve them. They are neither inherently “good” nor “bad”: Those are labels that are (or will be) derived later as they are used to develop a moral code, which can only happen after we decide which are compatible with Matchspecs that help us achieve our Goals, and which are holding us back.

After each mode there are a pair of numbers that represent an estimate of the utility of this component as part of any Matchspec designed to achieve the sample Goals, the first number being it’s positive value, the second its negative. Because there is as yet no field that shows us how to create Matchspecs, this list, like the list presented in the Goals section, are merely educated guesses at this point. Although the intention is that these numbers are a measure exclusively of the general compatibility between the Clinations and modern (and future) civilization, they no doubt also include some contribution from the moral code of the culture in which they were written (WEIRD, male and SDAP-dominated, etc.): It is extremely difficult to even perceive this influence from inside the culture itself, let alone apply the appropriate correction for it. The list must be refined based on careful analysis of the experimental data, in some cases augmented by public debate, surveys, and voting.

This list is sorted from most useful down to most harmful. An example: the deprecation of racism, an aspect of the tribalism Clination. A million years ago, this Clination was necessary and useful because it improved the fitness of bands of humans that had it by allowing them to out-compete neighboring bands. Even as late as the early 1800s it generally improved fitness of groups that were able to use it to justify and facilitate enslaving and exploiting humans of different races/nationalities/etc. But it was gradually deprecated as knowledge and technology developed and spread (e.g., people’s experience with free blacks as neighbors, the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (which was dependent on technologies like high literacy levels, magazine and book printing, logistics, etc.), the talking points of the abolitionists, etc.). As a result of the Clination being deprecated it became immoral (“bad”) to express racist beliefs, beliefs that were the foundation of slavery.

The second major aspect of the tribalism Clination, nationalism, is currently going through a similar process of deprecation. The knowledge that facilitates this being spread by new forms of technology (affordable air travel, the Internet (particularly via content sites such as Netflix that show what life and people are like in other countries), foreign worker visa programs, etc.). As this process continues, expressions of nationalism, particularly those that imply that citizens of foreign countries are not entitled to the same considerations as citizens of one’s own country, will start to be considered immoral or “bad”. What Matchism does is facilitate this t + 1 moral development (as described in Our Internal Moral Codes) by explicitly identifying problematic Clinations, systematically evaluating them both analytically and in consultation with The People, and then developing Matchspecs that will leverage the “good” Clinations to help suppress the “bad”. When The People are ready to “increment morality” they will vote to approve those Matchspecs.

Any of these Clinations can be accentuated or suppressed through behavioral engineering. But there are costs associated with changing any expression of a natural Clination, including direct costs to The People for education or other conditioning, and indirect costs including increasing the level of stress on each individual and compensating for any failure of the conditioning to work. Matchism is the process of engineering a balance between these two factors.

Problem solving and rationalism – 5/1

Most humans like a good puzzle and will invest a lot of time and effort in solving one for the mere enjoyment they get from the process. This instinctive behavior extends to all of science, and is the basis of philosophy, a search for “truth”. It is the driver of progress in technology, which is the process that has brought us our relatively high standard of living and promises continued gains in the future.

A certain amount of tolerance for incomplete solutions, particularly in government and economic policies must be developed, however. Too often people insist on definite solutions, and will prefer a definite but wrong solution to one that is incomplete or calls for experimentation. The “truth” in many of these arenas is unfortunately beyond our ability to determine and we must learn to be satisfied with defining the appropriate process rather than insisting on having “the answer”.

The only negatives to this mode are that it is unevenly distributed: Not everyone likes puzzles, or has the training or temperament to engage in debate. An alternative method of participation, such as the ability to designate proxies, must be provided to them instead.

Egalitarianism, sharing/helping, group cohesiveness, and altruism – 5/1

Humans, and in fact most higher mammals, have an instinctive sense of fair treatment. We also have a robust egalitarian streak. Both of these things will be highly useful when designing a new society, but that doesn’t spare us the obligation to properly design a system to fit the parameters. Welfare payments provided to able-bodied adults clearly don’t meet the standard, and in fact people are actually willing to sacrifice their own well-being to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t occur (the seminal experiments in this area being described in Fehr & Gachter 2002 and 2005, but a more complete (and interesting) cross-cultural survey of these issues can be found in Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan 2010 p9 and Figure 4. Keep in mind as you read the rest of that article that The Matchish will be “WEIRD” by their classification).

It has been theorized that our egalitarian Clinations evolved specifically to deal with threat from SDAPs. For example, in the modelling done by Gavrilets 2012, evolution of cooperative response in opposition to acts of bullies was shown to benefit all of the members of the band, and so may have been selected for by evolution. Unfortunately modern civilization in most cases has deprived us of that kind of direct application: When was the last time you and your neighbors worked together to effectively and reliably prevent a CEO or government representative from taking actions that caused you harm? A hundred thousand years ago you’d have had no trouble at all achieving that kind of result. Now you’re lucky if you can get one of these “leaders” to acknowledge your concern, let alone being able to force them to take any action to address it.

Note that egalitarianism does not mean equality of outcome: Humans are completely comfortable with fairly significant inequalities in outcome, and because that is required for the Clination of Competition to be effective, there should be limited constraints on outcomes (i.e., no need to even consider burdening the highly talented to make them “equal” to the less talented as described in various “leveling” proposals, as satirized in the story Harrison_Bergeron). But providing equality of opportunity is a key instinctive disposition and it will be a very important characteristic of Matchspecs. From providing children with their best opportunity for success to eliminating inherently unfair cultural traditions (inheritance, subjugation of women, caste systems, etc.) many changes will be required in current practices.

There are no negatives to this Clination, but it does require particularly adept engineering to utilize properly (e.g., as discussed in the Matchspecs Welfare and On Charity). One of the most commonly used aspects of this Clination is “altrusitic punishment”, where an individual will sacrifice some their own well being to ensure that free-riding and other types of “gaming the system” are sufficiently discouraged. This improves equality all around, and therefore makes society stronger and more stable. Unfortunately the most common implementation of this are prisons and the death penalty (our replacements for our Pleistocene ancestors’ options of banishment or murder). Although these were in one sense “matches” to our natures, they are not a match for our current level of technology, as discussed in the Matchspecs in Crime and Punishment.

Curiosity and appreciate of new technology – 5/2

Humans love cool new things. It’s instinctive, and something that Matchism delivers in bulk, although some marketing is going to be required to properly classify voting systems, social customs, and a new language as “technology” in people’s minds.

There are two negatives to this Clination, the first being that many people lack the foundation to appreciate the latest technology and may have only mastered previous generations of technology. The second negative is cost, both in terms of time and money: Not everyone has the resources to take advantage of the latest technology, especially in a pre-Matchist society, so allowances have to be made during the transition.

Competition – 4/2

Humans, like all animals, are naturally competitive, both with each other and with their environment. It’s what drives both evolution and the capitalist economic system. Harnessing these instincts in developing new domains (such as education, child rearing, and prisons) will greatly increase the level of progress in these domains.

The downsides of competition are well known, including much duplication of effort in mature industries and the need to provide support to the losers to help them transition (welfare, wage support, unemployment insurance, etc.)

Hope and Faith – 3/1

Although often coopted by religions, the Neurotypical tendency to be hopeful for the future and to have faith in their Clinations and their technology will be key factors in the success of Matchism. This Clination is therefore a primary antidote to suffering: If one has faith in the fundamental fairness of the system and hope for the future it reduces suffering or at least makes it easier to bear. Lack of this faith or hope leads to despair, depression, and dysfunction.

Pair bonding and the nuclear family – 3/1

Based on anthropological studies and a wide range of experiments in communal living it should be clear that monogamy (or at least serial monogamy) is the default relationship mode for humans. People live longer, happier, and more financially stable lives if they are married. That research and the massive experiment we’re currently running on single parenthood has also convincingly shown that a two-parent nuclear family is also the optimum structure for raising children.

There are no downsides to this mode: Any costs associated with it (relationship and parenting education, premarital and family counseling, tax and other financial subsidies to encourage marriage and two-parent households, etc.) are small compared with the costs to society if there were to be any decrease in these things.

Appreciation for nature – 3/1

Humans have an instinctive appreciation for nature, especially unspoiled and unoccupied land, perhaps because exploring and then moving into these lands greatly increased our chances of survival by reducing the threat from our former neighbors. Access to nature has enormous benefits for mental health and stress reduction, both of which are requirements of a just and productive civilization.

There are no downsides to this mode other than the need to reduce population to achieve it, the process of which could potentially reduce technological progress due to the reduced availability of mental resources. In the short term it might also reduce revenue available to supply the Standard Income (an inevitable reduction in any scenario because the resource-extraction Ponzi scheme our current civilization is based on is unsustainable).

Laziness – 3/2

Yes, we can take advantage of human’s natural tendencies toward slacking off! Laziness is a large part of the motivation of our love of technology: New things do things better and easier than old ones (or, at least that’s the hope and promise). If we design our new government to make things easier, people will like it and use it more.

A corollary of this Clination is our innate preference for efficiency. It’s derived from laziness because anything wasted is likely to need to be replaced in the future, requiring additional effort be expended. Whether it’s a long wait at the Department of Motor Vehicles, a bloated welfare bureaucracy that consumes as much resources as it ends up delivering to those in need, or a defense-department procurement that pays $600 for a toilet seat when a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) equivalent sells for a couple percent of that, we all instinctively hate waste, and any government that doesn’t minimize it.

Of course, there is that downside of laziness of stuff just not getting done…

MAST (mood altering self treatment) – 3/2

All humans have an innate ability to detect when they’re not feeling right and to make changes necessary to bring their mood back into equilibrium. There are a wide variety of options that they have to achieve this, from eating “comfort” foods, to playing games or chatting with others, to escaping into another word via books or movies. Some people have trained themselves to use more intensive therapies such as meditation or long-distance running. But sometimes it takes even more than that and people must resort to technological (i.e., external) tools to address the issue, whether it’s a cup of coffee to get started in the morning, or a beer to relax when you get off work. But sometimes and for some individuals it takes even more than that, which calls for an engineered system of education, professional support, and specially designed drugs to achieve mood stabilization. See more on this last option in the section drug use in the List of Credentials.

While there is some risk of abuse, this can be minimized through the use of technology to ensure that more serious problems are identified and professionally treated. It is not a downside that amateur social engineers (e.g., religious prophets) got this one wrong, though it will be a slog to convince modern day fundamentalists of this.

Gossip, conformity, shame, and privacy – 4/4

Gossip is information. Although many fear that the purpose of gossip is primarily to harm other people, its true evolutionary purpose is to provide information on other individuals. This information improves your own chances of success by enabling you to minimize relationships with selfish or otherwise problematic individuals.

It can also be used as a tool to prevent those people from engaging in harmful (immoral) behavior. It supports this in two ways. Purpose One is to provide the group with the information necessary to identify psychopaths and other incorrigible individuals who could then be banished or executed. Secondly it provided a deterrent to individuals to discourage them from lying or cheating, lest Purpose One be exercised against them. Although the first use is much restricted in modern civilization (although we can still isolate problematic individuals), the second purpose is still viable because our instinctive fear of Purpose One is still sufficient in most cases to allow Purpose Two to remain effective.

The key to gossip working, however, is that we insist on radical transparency in our public interactions: If an individual or corporation lies or cheats or commits other acts that The People have decided are immoral or otherwise unacceptable, these acts must be attributable to these individuals or corporations and they must suffer the consequences. The current craze for privacy and anonymity does far less to encourage truthful expression than to eliminate these consequences for engaging in anti-social behavior.

Why do we crave privacy? Because it increased the survival of our genes back in the EEA. How did it do this? By providing a way to “game the system” (i.e., our bandmates) by allowing us to hide things that might be of value to us (i.e, resources we then don’t have to share) or that might expose weakness that might be used to justify killing or banishing us (sexual deviancy, abuse of others, cowardice, laziness, etc.). But this means that our desire for privacy is like our own little bit of psychopathy, a drive that conflicts with the needs of the system (society) but confers benefits to individuals who can profit from it. Now that we understand that this is what is going on, we must consider privacy to be merely a luxury. We ought to afford it people to the greatest extent possible because of their instinctive preference to have it, but when a tradeoff must be made between enabling everyone to have privacy and allowing individuals to use privacy and anonymity to hide commission of harmful (immoral) acts, access to information must always take precedence.

There is of course a fine line between gossip and bullying. But, again, gossip itself is the solution to ensuring the proper balance: By exposing the behavior of the bully, the same gossip system being used by a bully to harass an individual would be used to bring social pressures to bear on the bully. A predefined set of Deprecated Clinations also provides moral direction in this area where most other moral codes have none: Bullying an individual based on perceived flaws in their appearance or mental health is not just “mean” or “antisocial”, it is explicitly “immoral” because it is an indulgence of a Deprecated Clination.

A secondary motivation for the desire for privacy is the instinctive desire to reduce the likelihood of envy (e.g., the Evil Eye superstition is a result of this instinct). An individual being envied can be subjected to acts of hostility from the rest of the community, who may try to acquire that individual’s resources directly by theft, or kill or banish them to prevent them from using those resources to acquire power. While this was a valid concern in the Pleistocene, the rule of law now prevents these things. Which means the desire for privacy can be deprecated in a Matchist civilization because it is no longer needed, and access to information is the more useful policy.

Reproduction – 2/2

Control over our reproduction is without a doubt the single most important advancement in human history. Previous advancements, including the development of agriculture and other technology and social systems merely increased the environment’s carrying capacity, delaying the inevitable resumption of hostilities toward competing populations. Birth control is the only advancement that provides a permanent solution to the problem and an escape from the Malthusian trap. It is the advancement that will allow civilization to actually become successful when judged by the standards we define for it. Reproduction is necessary for the continuation of the species, but all decisions on reproduction must be made without regard to our instinctive drive toward it.

Acquisitiveness and Possessiveness – 3/3

Derived from fear of shortage, behavior that we attribute to the emotional states of Greed, Gluttony, Jealousy, Envy, and Guarding are instinctual but no longer necessary in an era where resources are efficiently managed. While it may not be possible to suppress the underlying emotion (i.e., it’s not a sin to “covet” your neighbor’s wife), the resulting behaviors can effectively be controlled through education and other social engineering. Envy is particularly important to address because if it’s impact on public policy. Fortunately the Veil of Ignorance has been shown to be a particularly useful tool for ensuring that public policy decisions reflect our underlying Clination for egalitarianism rather than being an instantaneous assessment of our gut feelings of envy. For example Beckman, Formby, Smith, & Zheng 2002 found that approvals of unequal income distributions is near Pareto optimality if these decisions are made behind the veil of ignorance, but show large skews if made from a position of knowledge of one’s current social position.

There is some positive value to this mode, as preparing for times of scarce resources is both an individual and collective benefit.

Hiding or denying one’s own weakness or infirmity – 2/2

As a countermeasure to persecution, our instinctive need to appear normal had great survival value in an era before disease and mental illness were actually treatable. In the Pleistocene any display of weakness could have triggered banishment or execution to ensure the survival of the band. Now, this instinct is a danger not only to the individual, who may refuse treatment until their condition becomes much worse, but a danger to The People as a whole when individuals who have hidden their disability cause disruption or greatly increased costs (e.g., mass murder and/or long term medical care or incarceration). Openly sharing ones mental state and accepting honest feedback is not a part of any current culture, but must be an integral part of the next one. Part of this process will be education concerning the prevalence of mental illness: Everyone who has been depressed, fallen in love, had that religious feeling of “awe”, or experienced blind rage as a result of something that has happened to them has been mentally ill. Our current conceptions of mental illness is generally categorical (either you have it or you don’t) whereas in fact it is much more a matter of degree and of duration.

There is one minimally positive aspect of this Clination: Nobody likes a whiner.

Cognitive biases – 1/2

Humans have instinctive biases that come into play when they are forced to make decisions, especially when they involve low-probability events. For example, they reliably overestimate both the odds of winning while gambling and the odds of catastrophic events such as plane crashes. Many of these biases had significant survival value in an era of scarce resources and low information but lead to suboptimal or even bad decisions in the modern world (frequenting casinos and choosing private over public transportation, respectively, for the above examples). Most of these biases can be reduced through education, but our current education systems make little or no effort to do so.

Attachment to land – 1/2

Defending the land you grew up on, even to the death, would have a very high survival value for our ancestors. Indeed, our attachment to the land often takes on a religious quality, especially in those areas where ancestor worship is still common. Unfortunately in an era of regulated real estate transactions these instinctive behaviors are not only obsolete, but highly destructive. For example, it should be not only possible, but completely obvious that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict could be resolved in a matter of months by simply having one group develop a plan to buy the other out (in phases (perhaps by neighborhood), which would provide the sellers sufficient capital to emigrate and have a comfortable life someplace else). Not insisting on or even seriously contemplating this option makes us all complicit in a system that values Deprecated Instincts over civilized behavior.

Nevertheless Matchism offers a solution to this problem and all other land-based conflicts: By removing SDAP-led national governments from the equation and allowing all local populations to govern their own affairs, there will be no more need for border wars or property disputes. The vote of The People will govern the former and the (Globality) rule of law the latter.

Organized religious expression – 1/2

As discussed in the Pleistocene Thought Experiment, human inclinations toward religious belief may have evolved as a means of control and to facilitate aggressive behavior when fear or moral concerns would tend to leave an individual with insufficient internal motivation. Although many will argue that religion also offers a means of sublimation of these instinctive behaviors, there is no possible resolution to the issue of consistency and compartmentalization: Religious expression requires compartmentalization because all religions are not only internally inconsistent, but frequently conflict with modern concepts of morality (for example, as the founding documents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam allow slavery yet aggressively condemn any sort of homosexuality). A good example of this being the passage of Proposition 8 in California, where large numbers of religious blacks conspired to deprive another group of individuals (homosexuals) of their civil rights, all with the “blessing” and encouragement of their religious leaders. This type of immoral behavior is not specific to any particular faith: even Buddhists will become violent when organized and led by SDAPS, so all organized religious expression must be deprecated.

Although religious leaders often seek to deprecate the problematic clauses in their governing documents, in some cases even invoking irrational (and cynical) justifications like “divine revelation”, the end result is still just an example of social or even just behavioral engineering by leaders who lack the necessary qualifications to do it properly. Rather than allow these feeble attempts to revise obsolete documents to continue, it is clearly safer and more efficient for The People to derive the moral code they imprint on children from science, reason, and those instinctive preferences that have been determined to be compatible with the civilization we are creating.

Judging based on appearance – 1/2

Our survival used to be highly dependent on the quality of the individuals around us. We therefore instinctively seek out means of assessing that quality, physical appearance being highly correlated with fitness in an environment of scarce resources. But this technique is obsolete in an environment of managed resources because physical appearance is no longer an accurate means of assessing quality. The underlying instinct must therefore be deprecated because it results in prejudice, and behavior should always be governed by objective measures rather than prejudice.

Probably the best means of achieving this is via methods already in common use: Don’t use your real picture in your profile or attach it to your resume.

Conformity and deference to authority – 3/4

A system of government that relies on Neurotypical behavior from a large majority to compensate for the authoritarian behavior of the minority SDAPs must cultivate an independent spirit among its citizens. The conformity Clination evolved because independent action would be a significant risk to a tribe that depended on collective action, particularly during warfare. Now, however, diversity of opinion is an indisputable benefit in an era of managed resources and globally-collective decisionmaking because it enables more and better solutions to be evaluated and then implemented. Likewise blind allegiance to leaders too had great benefits in an era of constant warfare, but only leads to SDAP-instigated disruption a more advanced civilization.

These Clinations can still prove useful in some contexts, however, such as when The People, after adequate debate, have established a rule and need people to follow it, or have identified (e.g., through gossip) an individual or corporation that warrants collective censure.

Hero worship – 1/3

Allowing (let alone encouraging) individual “leaders” to emerge as a means of imprinting moral codes and moral behavior is relatively ineffective. Kohlberg 1984 and many others have shown that’s just not how imprinting or modeling works. Hero worship also usually requires compartmentalization because all humans have flaws, particularly when judged from the perspective of our ever-evolving moral codes. Finally hero worship is also a primary tool used by SDAPs to rally other SDAPs around causes that work against Neurotypical needs and desires. And of course only allowing hero worship of Neurotypical heroes (are there Neurotypical heroes?) won’t work because our Clination toward fairness would require that SDAP heroes be included in the canon as well.

As such all shrines (“memorials”), holidays, and popular references to public figures as models of moral or other behavior should be discouraged. Whether or not fictional superheroes are a problem remains to be seen, but the presumption should probably be that they do for boys’ feelings of inadequacy what supermodels do for girls. Maybe instead of asking kids who their heroes are we should ask them who they want to be like when they grow up, and then work on our own issues if they don’t answer “You!”.

Hatred/revenge-seeking – 1/3

An “eye for an eye” seems to be built into our genes, and murder or maiming was a standard Pleistocene method for dealing with problematic individuals. This instinct continues today even in the US, where proponents of the death penalty favor it even when it can be shown (as in Radelet & Akers 1996) that there is no deterrent or economic value to the policy (Carlsmith 2005). There are now better ways of dealing with social problems in a modern civilization, so these instinctive behaviors must be identified and suppressed now that we have technology that renders them obsolete.

Persecution of the weak or disabled – 1/3

In an environment of scarcity, allowing individuals who cannot contribute more than they require to survive puts all members of the band at risk. So we developed instinctive behaviors to identify such individuals and arrange for their demise. These instincts are not only no longer necessary, but obsolete because a person with a serious injury or weakness can frequently be rehabilitated or at least accommodated. This is a possibility our ancestors, and therefore our instincts, never had to account for.

Deceit and display (or encouraging display) of emotion to manipulate others – 1/3

The evolution of blushing, which is one of the few behaviors that we humans have little or no control over, was only necessary because we have become so adept at misrepresenting ourselves to others. Deception and manipulation are the instinctive behaviors that blushing developed to assist the group in controlling (Boehm’s 2012 Moral Origins). Unfortunately blushing is a much less effective tool in an era where electronic communication has largely replaced face to face interaction. Controlling these deprecated instincts now will require better access to information (e.g., gossip) to identify the perpetrators, forms of censure that operates properly without access to physiological responses, and increased moral education in the form of teaching people how to use these systems and how they will be used against them if they attempt to deceive or manipulate people.

Note that this deprecation does not apply to “white lies”, which are told as a form of social lubricant. Telling someone you can’t go to the movies with them because you’re busy when in fact it’s because you don’t want to go should not be considered a moral offense (though you do of course need to be careful that the gossip doesn’t come back to damage your reputation). This is just how human social interaction works and although it’s probably a good idea to minimize this type of lying, it’s too deeply ingrained, and in fact may even be necessary for individual welfare, to make suppressing it a viable goal.

Heuristic Thinking – 1/3

The evolution of the human species has provided us a wide range of built-in shortcuts to speed and simplify our decisionmaking. They are incredibly useful when avoiding death by predator and other common risks in the Pleistocene. Unfortunately most of these heuristics are subject to biases and fallacies that make them unsuitable for situations where accuracy is more important than speed, such as when formulating public policy (For a review see Hastie’s 2009 Rational Choice in an Uncertain World)

Among the most common and pernicious objections to the proposals in this Matchlist has to be the kinds of base rate and sampling errors embodied in statements of the form “I grew up in a poor (or large) family and now I’m a millionaire, so there’s no need to do anything to prevent that”. We see these kinds of errors in a wide range of public policy debates, especially when Libertarians get involved, such as “We never wore bike helmets when we were kids and we turned out OK”, “My family grew up in a house with lead-based paint/plumbing and none of us ever murdered anyone”, or “I grew up downwind of the Nevada Test Site and I never got cancer from those above-ground nuclear tests”. Although the faulty reasoning should be made clear from that sequence of examples, to spell it out, the fact that it’s you telling us these things is worse than useless to the rest of us: If you were one of the ones killed or grievously harmed you wouldn’t be here talking about it! Add to that the fact that millionaire might have become a billionaire with the extra 12 points of IQ being raised in a middle class family would have provided them. So, when debating public policy issues on The System, as a general rule, personal experience is something we need to religiously avoid sharing, and part of the training for using The System will include learning to avoid citing posts that rely on this to spare the rest of us from having to read and then ignore them.

But is this an exception to the Matchist philosophy of taking people as they come and integrating them into the system regardless of their flaws? There is an important distinction to be made here: While we can’t prevent people from relying on heuristics or indeed indulging their other harmful Clinations when voting, we can ensure that the information provided to them that they are expected to use when making their decisions is as free from these types of flaws as we collectively can make it. Training for The System can facilitate this by instructing people to recognize and then not cite posts demonstrating heuristic, biased, and other irrational behavior.

Heuristic decisionmaking does have utility when making everyday decisions (e.g., whether it’s worth the risk to take a shortcut through that dark alley), but this list of Clinations and their rankings was produced as engineering specifications for designing a system for making public policy decisions, not personal choices.

Attempting to apply one’s own moral code to others – 1/4

The evolutionary purpose of moral codes is to provide for the survival of the group. Group harmony was requirement for group survival so a strong instinctive drive to impose a common moral code on all members of the group evolved along with the facility. But this instinctive behavior is now obsolete and rather than improving the odds of survival of groups, it puts all of us at risk. Getting all bent out of shape because someone in your community chooses to drink alcohol, marry someone of the same sex, or eat dog meat must therefore be deprecated.

Note that this does not prohibit imposing laws and policies on those whose moral codes still contain obsolete provisions, particularly those that call for depriving equal rights to some segment of the population. But it’s crucial that these laws and policies be derived objectively and rationally rather than merely being a reflection of the moral codes of the majority of the population.

Fearmongering and fear-based decisionmaking – 2/5

The key to the rise of authoritarian leaders and the resulting commission of acts of aggression and violence is fear. Deliberate attempts to instill fear in a population, especially with the goal of manipulating them into action, must be met with scorn and ridicule. A good example of this is the dynamic between Fox News and “fake news” outlets such as Comedy Central and The Onion, the latter groups should be praised as an essential component in the advancement of civilization. When (hopefully short-lived) eras of resource shortage return, these sources of “reality checks” may play a critical role in the very survival of our species by working to reduce the activation level of authoritarians.

As a general rule, therefore, Matchists should probably consider avoiding “instantaneous” news sources, and especially cable or radio news and talk shows. Written news, because at least it has gone through two levels of filtering (the writer and the editor) is far more likely to include necessary information without being needlessly inflammatory, especially those with three or more levels of processing such as weekly newsmagazines or written opinion columns. The purpose of keeping up with the news is to be informed enough to support good decisionmaking. Emphasizing the emotional or entertainment aspects of it is an indulgence we should regard as being as hazardous to the health of our society as speeding or smoking or any other dangerous (albeit stimulating) activity.

The only potential upside to this mode is when there is an actual threat. A negligible probability in a global government, but potentially protective with respect to countries without any Matchist followers in them due to the lack of information available about the internal state of those countries.

Tribalism/nationalism/racism – 1/5

By far the most dangerous Clination is our inherent need to classify individuals as being either in-group or out-group, with the in-group being provided with our protection and other benefits, and the out-group being deprived of these things and perhaps even being made a target for violent aggression. Derived from an instinctive (and completely rational) fear of strangers, it has been elevated to the level of compulsion in some individuals (primarily authoritarians, of course) and to the level of religious directive in some groups, making it impossible to even examine it rationally, let alone modify it if a rational examination finds it wanting.

While this instinct had tremendous survival value in an environment of small bands competing for scarce resources, it now only ensures unnecessary and constant suffering and indeed threatens the very survival of our species. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate this instinct, it may be possible to sublimate it by changing the criteria used to make the divisions. Relying on superficial or impermanent features would be one approach. So, instead of dividing based on race or religion or native language, divide based on current location (especially useful for sports teams), interests (golfers vs. Goths), restructure as corporate competition, or maybe group by an individual’s position on a particular political issue. And as Stenner 2005 found, the discovery (or perhaps even the possibility) of extraterrestrial life would make it much easier to consider all members of our species as in-group.

Maybe think of it this way: A SDAP born in North Korea but raised in the US will still tend to rise to a position of power and authority, just as they would in their birth country. And a Neurotypical born in the US but raised in North Korea will have to deal with SDAPs making policy to keep themselves in power and exploit any handy Neurotypicals, just as they do in the US. Which means that even though their languages and cultures are completely different, if you look at their political beliefs and the roles they end up playing in society, a Neurotypical in the US has more in common with a Neurotypical in North Korea than a SDAP in their own country.

Displays of patriotism or nationalism should be met with the same shunning behavior that we have only relatively recently started to use for displays of racism (e.g., the use of racial or ethnic slurs). The same instinct underlies both classes of behaviors and so they should be treated with the same disdain. They are the tools that SDAPs use to keep themselves in power by instilling fear of the outgroup in the population they are attempting to control.

There are no compensating advantages to this mode, as the increased performance the potential competition could bring can be much more efficiently arranged under a single global government than when nations have an incentive to cheat by using governments to subsidize certain players or industries. And it’s important to make a distinction between behaviors that favor the ingroup (the Egalitarian Clination) and those that seek to harm the outgroup. While they are highly correlated in many individuals and environments, they are listed separately here because it is possible to selectively operate on them with behavioral engineering: It is possible to encourage paying special attention to the ingroup without necessarily causing prejudice against any outgroup.

Back to our chemical engineering analogy, nationalism is like methanol in your moonshine. That is, this kind of brewing mistake is common among amateur chemical engineers (moonshiners) and it makes their customers sick, or in some cases permanently blinds them. In the case of nationalism/tribalism/racism promoted by our amateur social engineer SDAPs, however, it’s usually people other than those who are poisoned who are the victims.

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