Crypto Market Commentary
16 April 2020
Doc's Daily Commentary
The 15 April ReadySetLive session with Doc and Mav is listed below.
Mind Of Mav
A Post-Meaning World: The Breakdown Of The Modern Mind Pt. 3
Let’s begin with where we left off yesterday.
While there are many ways in which life today has become incredibly complex, the proliferation of digital communications technologies and the glut of information that flows through their channels at the speed of light has created a situation of constant overstimulation with insufficient time to pause and reflect on the data we are exposed to in order to form coherent perspectives.
We read a news item, opinion piece, or analysis and seconds later, innumerable other contradictory yet seemingly credible views vie for our attention. This in turn creates a situation we could call heuristic failure. Heuristics are like rules of thumb — they’re strategies we use to solve problems, to understand and navigate our lives. Heuristics form the basis of conscience.
When the world ceases to be predictable and consistent in a way that allows us to develop stable heuristics we can become overwhelmed, experiencing ourselves as adrift, without meaning and even unable to form a coherent collection of long-term memories that tells us a story of who we are and where we’re going.
We’re not very good at surviving in this state of existential exhaustion.
Humans under such duress tend to awaken some vestigial bicameralism adapted to this new context — a mental flight to safety — triggering a desperate search for meaning that can lead to everything from sectarian political or religious dogma to outright conspiracy. If an ideology can be presented as providing existential stability and meaningfulness, it becomes highly desirable, even if previously dismissed.
This is why post-truth activism is connected to a global shift towards populism and identity politics — all of these have at least some basis in the leveraging of heuristic failure and the collapse of meaning compounded by the social fragmentation wrought by late capitalism.
The deeper this split in our psychologies becomes the more likely a new form of outside agency may become dominant. This will, of course, no longer take the literal form of the hallucinated voices of gods, but submitting to the dictates of political demagogues, manufacturers of fake news, social influencers (hello!), or even just algorithms trained on our aggregated behavior to the extent that we incorporate them into the core of our cognitive functioning. Especially when, as is often the case, these voices whisper to us in the language of autonomy, freedom, reason, and critical thought.
As Julian Jaynes wrote, “The mind is still haunted with its old unconscious ways; it broods on lost authorities; and the yearning, the deep and hollowing yearning for divine volition and service is with us still.”
So, is this it? Are we doomed to repeat this cycle for eternity? Will we ever overcome these crises of meaning, trust, and truth?
I think this is the true implication of the inflection point we stand at — how will we save ourselves from ourselves?
I believe the answer, as it has always been, lies with innovation. As humans, we shape our worldview through our technology.
We were hunter-gatherers until we developed agriculture, which let us become more sedentary. Every major innovation changed human society and humans with it.
But innovation and growth are not free. Similarly, our developed consciousness did not appear without great cost.
We had to develop ourselves just as we developed our technologies.
If we were to look at our consciousness as a hierarchy, we’d begin with our memory. It enables us to learn, to avoid mistakes, and repeat successes.
Then, our consciousness needed improvisation based on our memory. This enables us to try new things based off the old lessons we have learned.
The third level of our consciousness required self-interest. It enabled us to act with preservation and to pass on our collected experiences.
These three levels form the basis of consciousness, and while it may seem arbitrary to cover these things, the importance of understanding this is highlighted by the fourth, and final, level: suffering.
The connection between suffering and consciousness isn’t something new.
Religions, for example, have long grappled with the question. “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to,” wrote Christian writer C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain. “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
2,000 years ago Buddha devoted his life to understanding this connection. A central Buddhist teaching is that, “All life is suffering.” But what is the purpose of suffering, and therefore life itself, if suffering is a constant and unavoidable?
By the laws of this universe, entropy always increases. Things break down. Things change. Nothing is truly permanent. Life is therefore suffering because it is impermanent and ever-changing.
But, suffering is also is the basis, the key, to our higher consciousness. It is the teacher, the motivator, the guide, and the voice that has whispering to us all along. For every great triumph, we’ve also had great tragedy. For every golden age, we’ve also had a dark age. As the universe pushes against us, we push back.
This is the revelation of our time: when we are at our lowest, we are open to the greatest change.
We will experience the death of one system and the birth of another.
Importantly, where I think the greatest advancement will come from in our lifetimes will come from giving all four levels of consciousness a form. We can try to build machines to replicate us. We can try to artificially replicate our consciousness. But we will fail.
Memory, improvisation, self-interest, and suffering. Consciousness is the result achieved by experiencing all those functions, not something specially written or programmed. You cannot program consciousness; it is the consciousness that will create itself.
I don’t just mean some form of AI achieving sentience.
I’m referring to the collective systemic fragility we collectively experience.
Just like our ancestors, we need our entire system to develop a bicameral mind. We must build a system that self-corrects through lessons learned by suffering. By extension, we will once again shape and change our worldview through our innovation — redefining what it means to be human.
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An Update Regarding Our Portfolio
We are pleased to share with you our Community Portfolio V3!
Add your own voice to our portfolio by clicking here.
We intend on this portfolio being balanced between the Three Pillars of the Token Economy & Interchain:
Crypto, STOs, and DeFi projects
We will also make a concerted effort to draw from community involvement and make this portfolio community driven.
Here’s our past portfolios for reference:
RSC Managed Portfolio (V2)
RSC Unmanaged Altcoin Portfolio (V2)
RSC Managed Portfolio (V1)