Saturday, August 18, 2007

An Ideal Society

If a society is a collection of individuals that have common characteristics and needs, then its institutions will ultimately have to support (or at least not reduce) the survivability of its members. In my conception of an ideal world, the “society” that claims the most allegiance is the human species, and our institutions act like components of a massive parallel processing computer whose goal is to maximize the longevity and happiness for every member of the population, where the size of the population can not decrease.

Parallel processing computers typically have a central processor that farms out parts of a problem to numerous parallel processors and then combines and distributes the results. At least superficially, governments tend to resemble the central processor, with individuals and groups acting as parallel processors. In an evolutionary system (for instance, a capitalist economy) there is no “central processor” and no common problem to solve; each processor is competing to get the most resources, and the last with the most wins.

I should be clear that I am absolutely not advocating the creation of a worldwide society with a planned economy and hive-like slavery imposed on the population. History shows that the goals of my ideal world can not be met in such a society. What I am advocating is a system where everyone is working on part of the problem (meeting the goal), with an institution providing accurate and useful feedback to people as to the impact they are having on the overall problem.

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