Philosophy

Becoming a 4th-Dimensional Species

We think we live in the 3rd dimension because we can control and manipulate things within it. We’re quite familiar with the universe expressed as units of length, width, and depth because it’s what our biological sensory organs evolved to perceive.

We are less familiar with the 2nd dimension – the universe expressed as units of length and width only. In fact, it may require some explaining to see how the 2D universe coexists with the 3D one we’re familiar with.

An example of a 2D form is the shadow. The shadow is simply the absence of light on a surface. Its form is a function of the 3D object that obstructs the light source. The statement that the shadow is the absence of light implies the presence of light. Just as the presence of 3D object implies that there is such a thing as “nothingness”. Therefore without shadows, our visual perception of the 3D space would be impossible since it is dependent on differentiating light and shadow.

Thus the 2D universe co-exists with the 3D, giving it form and qualities that make it observable.

Similarly, the 1D universe can be thought of as merely the length of the shadow. The 1D shadow-length grows and shrinks as the shadow repositions itself, keeping the 3D object between itself and the light source.

When we think of time as the 4th dimension, it’s easy to conclude that like the shadow, we are trapped in our dimension and our form is entirely defined by the projection of some other form in a higher dimension. That is, our 3D selves are momentary snapshots of our 4D selves which extend infinitely forwards and backwards through time.

Are we trapped in the 3rd dimension?

There’s no doubt that we are absolutely constrained by time. We cannot yet bend and manipulate time the same way we can exert control over the 3D space. However, we are the only biological species that measures time.

We have an awareness of time. In fact, our brains have dedicated regions to reason about time and make predictions about the near future. Many animals have automatic reflex responses to stimuli that work to invoke a response to an anticipated event. We make plans for the weekend. Young adults make career plans about their lives. Economists make predictions about the state of the market in 5-10 years. Recently, algorithms and AI can predict what you’re going to watch next on YouTube better than you can.

I think in the next decade we will create new models and systems that predict our behavior to such precession that it will be akin to predicting the future.

Biological evolution may have taken humanity as far as it can. If we are to continue to evolve as a species, it may be by non-biological means. Gene-editing and designer babies might take us the rest of the way but the evolution that takes our species into the 4th dimension will be technological.

Philosophy

“Universal __________” is immoral

I think we need to recognize that what makes something “good” is completely subjective. When you argue that public goods are good for society, you are essentially saying that people don’t know what is good for themselves, and that others should decide that for them.

This is immoral. I don’t decide what is good for you, you do.

If something is good for you, you will pay for it. If you don’t want to pay for it, then it is not good for you.

Philosophy

Things bought with tax money cost more

There is no free lunch.

You pay for everything one way or another, whether through taxes or from your wallet.

You are wrong when you think that taxes are “a small price” for the benefit they add to society. The price is no smaller than you would pay in a free market, in fact it’s probably much larger given how inefficient government is at providing these services.

On that note, toll roads exist, as do private libraries and they are often better than the public ones. Roads could also be financed through advertising — allowing a non-toll option.

National defense is less about protecting Americans and more about fighting “terrorism” by using their enormous budget to spy on Americans and blow up civilians in “shithole” countries.

I will concede that a minimal amount of taxation could be justified for basic defense, but that is only needed because the government has a monopoly on violence. It would take another essay to explain myself here, and right now, we’re just talking about taxes.

Taxation encourages lazy thinking in building models for funding public goods. Roads, for example, already have lots of advertising but that money goes to the people who own the billboard, a more creative model would give that money to the one who built the road. Then roads could be profitable and potentially funded by bonds.

Philosophy

Pay for public goods without taxes

I understand that public goods are a necessity that benefit lots of people, but I disagree that they cannot be paid for without forcing money from the working man’s bank account. Money spent for a library that he may never enter.

Government bonds are one alternative. A bond is a loan that a capitalist voluntarily gives the government with some expectation of a future return. A government might use the loan to build a sewage treatment plant which has operating expenses as well as revenue collected from utility bills. In the long term, the treatment plant can make a profit which the government uses to repay the bond, plus interest.

This is an example of the beauty of free-market cooperation. There are no victims.

If bonds cannot pay for a public good, then that good must be unprofitable.

How can you justify theft to pay for an unprofitable venture? This is akin to saying, “well, my company is unprofitable, guess my employees will have to work for free”.

Philosophy · Reflection

Government is temporary

We are living through a major extinction event. Not just of pandas and rainforests, but of social tools and structures.

The book was invented over 500 years ago and it’s on the way out. Factory jobs were invented in the industrial revolution about 300 years ago, (before then, there were no jobs, just slaves, and military) now they’re going away too. Replaced by knowledge-work and artistic careers.

There is nothing wrong with books, or jobs. They’re just getting replaced by things that are better. I believe that government is soon due to evolve as a response.