People are already performing the best that they can in their near signaling-landscape. This leads to the function of total human behavior existing in a local optimum of stasis.
Why don’t people establish rejuvenation clinics that follow an engineering approach to the diseases of old age? Because the policy designers, the doctors, the researchers, and all the victims of aging at large are already doing the least that they can get away with while convincingly showing that they care.
We should be on guard for this tendency of the mind – to get away with “caring” by crying, by complaining, by emitting angry noises, and especially by working. All of these acts are directed to an audience. But in order to actually tilt the equilibrium, you have to tilt the competitive spirit itself, not individuals in an audience.
Individuals in audiences aren’t sufficiently inspired by words to actually change their behavior.
Stasis is Caesar. Cassius is intelligent, cunning, wants to impose his will on reality for some unknown reason. So he recruits Brutus, the conscientious, the dutiful, the preserver of order. Together, they betray the blood of the unwitting emperor, renewing the world.
The mistake is to think of the plebeians as the audience to which Cassius should direct himself. Normal people are just normal people. They don’t really care if they are under Caesar or if some noble scheming “frees” them from him.
Most of the time, we are the plebeian. That’s why it’s important to be embedded in the right kind of competitive system.
I write this as I sit on a car, delivering Amazon packages for a second day, before quitting. I had a certain curiosity – the hunch that it was impossible to understand how an engine works without understanding fuel. It is impossible to even begin to understand “why capitalism?” until you get a random entry level job for a full day. To be next to a person who isn’t bothered by the prospect of doing the same boring thing every day.
I asked him if he wasn’t bored by the same repetitive behavior. He smiled and said, “No.” Plus he claimed there was a huge perk afforded by the job, “that he learned to go places” …referring to the same circuitous delivery route. –One doesn’t feel contempt or compassion so much as nothing at all in their presence. They don’t have energy, ambition, presence, light, darkness. They just don’t mind. Don’t exist.
It’s not that they see the ocean of possibility and then choose one path over another; I don’t think they realize how easy it is to just become someone else. How many more profitable options exist in this world. The vastness of human experience is not a Schelling point in their mental prisons. …If only I could tell Mary about red, and have her believe me, really believe.
Live Update: Seeing that there are way too many packages left and that my life is way too valuable, I need to get out of here. He is now taking me back to the warehouse because I told him to. He is not supposed to do that on the company car.
He called the manager and gave me the phone. The manager wasn’t man enough to tell me, “No.” He remained silent for long seconds with every one of my remarks.
The manager asked if I could get an Uber. I finished by saying, “No, I already told you. He’ll be driving me back. Okay?!”
The world is a playplace when you’ve got nothing to lose. I can be as disagreeable as I want and get away with it. Forgive me.