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Positivism


By Robert Thomas Drury

1/16/2020

What Exists

We have a universe of matter and energy that combine under certain conditions to create life, starting with organic molecules, and gradually increasing in order and complexity. Driven by the life force, and working against chaos, life seeks to perpetuate itself, with minimum effort. Life has proceeded by relying first on an inefficient strategy of random mutation, then by evolving more efficient strategies of instinct and habit in animals to reduce effort, and more recently by evolving consciousness in humans for the potential to further reduce effort in perpetuating itself. Setbacks occur, but consistently positive reactions by conscious beings minimize these, and help advance nature's magnificent achievements on our planet.

What We Value

We focus on what is real and clear to reach an easy consensus on those natural phenomena most relevant to life's perpetuating itself: the universe, the earth ecosystem, our human community, and the human body, mind, spirit. The more we investigate these natural phenomena, the more amazing they appear to us in their scope and intricacy. The universe is the whole of our physical reality. The earth ecosystem is a special place in the universe, being our home, and a beautiful paradise of thriving life. Beyond the profound, intrinsic value of all life, humanity demonstrates a special potential for consciousness, communication, cooperation and sharing. Our communities are the crucially supportive infrastructure for these activities. Our bodies are profound in their own right, and our minds are nature's pinnacle achievement, with which we construct models of prediction, and perceive and create patterns, in feedback with our senses, to increase our thriving, that is, to perpetuate life with minimum effort. Finally, the human spirit we identify as a special manifestation of the life force itself, motivating us to serve life and allowing us to enjoy the outcomes.

We group these natural phenomena most relevant to perpetuating life, together with strategies to meet our needs with least work/cost/harm, to become our top consensus priorities. We form strong mental associations between our top priorities to tie them together, greatly easing our formulation of least work/cost/harm strategies. For example, strategies to meet our needs for food/shelter are guided by grouping together earth's ecosystems and our food/shelter with a similar high-level priority. Equally important in this process is our strongly asssociating low priorities together, for example competition, violence and trade secrets are strongly associated, for us to more quickly/easily avoid any one of them. Associating similar level priorities with each other in our minds greatly simplifies choices toward minimizing work/cost/harm. In contrast, mixed associations of low and high priorities create mental/emotional confusion, compromise, and mis-guided strategies, increasing work/cost/harm. Natural law regarding symbols/language makes it extremely productive for us to regard as 'positive' our high priorities, and to regard as 'negative' our low priorities. The coherence of this structure of mental associations enables our subconscious minds to powerfully/effectively participate in decisions and activities of self-determination, to meet our needs with minimum work/cost/harm.

What We Need

Humanity's needs include physiological needs such as food and shelter and safety, social needs such as safety and belonging, and higher needs such as esteem and actualization. Humanity's needs are best met in a sustained, stable state of maximum universal wellbeing, that is, when we meet all of our universal human needs with the highest levels of both equality and autonomy, via cooperation/sharing, realizing our true potential for thriving and happiness. We reach our true potential only with conscious, systematic and progressive application of our knowledge of natural law and human nature, cultivating our natural aspirations to serve life, carefully identifying our needs, and meeting them with strategies of least work/cost/harm. We personally identify our needs through cultivating awareness of our inner truth, and we identify strategies of least work/cost/harm through diligent observation and information sharing. We achieve maximum universal wellbeing when we deploy strategies that deliver maximum positivity when applied by all. With universal participation, we ensure the greatest number of people are aware of our inner truths, and so are able to best help ourselves, and each other, to further gain/cultivate such awareness, to maximize accuracy in collectively evaluating strategies of least work/cost/harm, toward maximizing universal wellbeing.

Those Things Most Positive

Our worldviews include simplified linkages of cause/effect that we collect to guide our choices. With these linkages we construct formulas for processing inputs to make our choices by assigning weights to contributing causes/effects based on their relative impacts. This suggests that our forming ethical/rational worldviews is crucial to guiding our choices to maximize universal wellbeing.

We construct these cause/effect linkages largely through our associations/groupings of things in our minds. We find in our nature a capacity to associate/group together in our minds things that we see grouped together elsewhere, without having ethical/rational reasons to group these together. The difference between groupings with and without ethical/rational reasons are substantial, in their impact on our worldviews, and in turn on our choices, actions, and outcomes. This suggests that to collectively maximize ethicality/rationality in our worldviews, we strongly associate/group together in our minds those things most positive, i.e. causing least work/cost/harm, and then strongly associate/group together in our minds all things more negative, i.e. causing more than least work/cost/harm, and then avoid any cross-associations between these groups. For example, we strongly associcate the universe with the earth as key elements in our physical reality because we depend on both.

The result is, when we think of one thing in the group of most positive, we tend to think of everything in that group, and not things in the more negative group. Providing support for one thing most positive tends to provide support for everything most positive, and denying support for one thing more negative tends to deny support for everything more negative. As another example, consider a strong association between communication and community, so that when community comes to mind, communcation also comes to mind, producing a unique, added opportunity to benefit from increased communication. Ready for another? Consider both having a mind and the opportunity to benefit from it. Two positives, when associated/connected, remind us of something vitally important. We find that, due to our nature, the positivity of multiple positive outcomes feeds or reinforces itself, in a virtuous circle of cause/effect, while the negativity of multiple negative outcomes feeds or reinforces itself, in a vicious circle of cause/effect. In either case, momentum builds and stabilizes outcomes after a threshold is reached.

The clarity, coherence, and integrity of our prioritizing the group of things most positive propagate to all our thoughts, choices, actions, and outcomes. When estimating probabilities of the linkages of cause/effect in forming our worldviews, this clarity, coherence and integrity illuminates in our minds that those things most positive are likely causes of outcomes that are most positive. This maximizes our chances to benefit from those things most positive over the course of our lives and the evolution of our societies. Therefore our ethical, rational choice is strong/exclusive grouping together and associating among in our minds, attention to, and support for, those things most positive.

We have found through many centuries of observance that creating mixed bags, by associating in our minds various things in the most positive group with various things in the more negative group, presents endless dilemmas, contradictions, confusions and compromises that ultimately displace optimism/enthusiasm/hope with pessimism/apathy/despair causing our living far below our potential. Along with the mixed bag is the spectre of fragmentation when relevant connections/associations between things in the most positive group are left disconnected, creating competing priorities and wasting resources, causing us to fall deeper into negativity. Likewise, fragmentation can create distracting/destructive competition to prioritize different things in the negative group while totally neglecting things in the positive group, causing us to fall deeper into negativity. For example, US liberalism sends hoards of people out to put out endless brush fires (e.g. campaign for safe cosmetics) when the efficient thing is to inject common sense into the basis for all actions to prevent all brush fires before they can start.

What Is Positivism

Positivism is the observance that we reach our true potential by focusing our attention on the positive, and that the more positivity we gain in our attention, conceptions, emotions, and actions, the easier it is to maintain gains, and to recognize and gain more positivity. This multiplication is recognized from observing our subconscious minds in the processes of forming habits, associations, inductions, hypotheses and conclusions. This multiplication we may describe as a virtuous circle of feedback where two or more causes multiply to render a greater effect than the sum of those occurring separately. Many such causes multiply together in complex ways beyond our conscious capacity so we induce a probability of net positive effects to enjoy from choosing more positive causes. It logically follows that in all aspects of our lives, at all times, in all places, consistently practicing strategies of maximizing positivity and minimizing negativity leads most reliably, consistently, and efficiently to our reaching our true potential.

What Are The Obstacles

Let us label anarchia the system in which all people apply natural law to meet all universal needs with least work/cost/harm, and let us label authoritaria the system that falls short of this prescription. Authoritaria may manifest when any element of anarchia is missing, that is, if 'all people' is missing, if 'apply' is inadequate, if 'natural law' is ill-defined, if 'to meet all' is left unachieved, if 'universal needs' are neglected/misidentified, or if 'least work/cost/harm' remains unachieved.

Consciously constructed obstacles, i.e. authoritarian hierarchy, are the only obstacles to humanity choosing zero work/cost/harm, that is our natural choice. Beyond what is most relevant to serving life, we also prioritize things most helpful to serving life, including ideas, strategies, processes and systems that deliver highest value, which means delivering benefits with least work/cost/harm. Maybe planned obsolescence is not so consciously planned but rather is an outcome that is easily imagined as planned but instead perhaps only its opposite (planned longevity) has been neglected, so for example in the case of velcro or other plastic products, planned longevity was simply never considered thus we have a predictable outcome of short lifespan. Until commitment becomes impractical, rather than until death do us part. Commitment is an authoritarian construct, a set if things used to create an illusion of completness of a shared world model that is anything but complete. Let's fit in the way feedback/momentum work, virtuous/vicious circles, and the momentum thresholds of stability. how do you make sure you do well for yourself in a system that creates so much damage/pain to people? simple: avoid occupations directly causing damage/pain, and pursue occupations that raise awareness of the damage/pain. never mind the large number of small and indirect ways you participate in causing damage/pain when you engage in the market system, et al, or the fact that the awareness raised leaves people without a systemaic way to reduce the damage/pain We see conventions all around us in society, so we know conventions can proliferate, but we don't see too much common sense in those convensions. But we also know that without obstacles placed to impede us, we can have common sense conventions in society, so let's seek to recognize/identify and remove those obstacles. Common sense changes from an abstract simplification to a complex and beautiful ecosystem as we repalce the training of job-security jargon of technical work with the training of clear communication with direct, simple language.