Technology once had actual and real benefits. The roof, the shelf, the wheel and fire were beneficial without substantial negative side effects. For some time new technology has focused on making money and benevolent outcomes are no longer the rule. Below are two examples of the fruitlessness of commercially driven tech.
The replacement of the cash register accomplished one simple transaction: the labor of accounting was transferred from the back office to the clerk and the customer. I was in Starbucks recently, ordering a simple tea for $2.45. The clerk punched at least 12 buttons to effect the transaction. This was with the computer working (not always the case) and with an experienced clerk. While a plus for the company, with a lower paid clerk doing the work rather than a higher paid accountant, it is numbing work and a waste of the customer’s time. It works because everyone has transferred the accounting function to the point of sale, so customers have no choice in the matter and have acclimated to the negative tech.
Attorneys are largely devoted to words on paper. One would think that the advent of “word processing” would have reduced the number of hours attorneys, paralegals and secretaries devote to each document, and a substantial lowering of the cost to the client. Yet such as not occurred. A relaxed and sloppy approach to creating documents has resulted in endless revisions. The time and cost savings haven’t materialized. In addition, despite word processing being the screwdriver of technologies, where one would expect a standard method would make it a one-time learning event, typist have had to contend with a seemingly endless parade of new products (remember Workperfect?) and upgrades. Imagine the screwdriver you bought in 1988 suddenly stops works.
Other technologies look better on the surface, but that is because the negative outcomes are so hidden and complex that they cannot be easily ferreted out. Technology for financial gain plays on people’s penchant for novelty and their fear of being left out. It is a pernicious and likely fatal ploy. As in all things in duality, we activate two polarities with our every action. As long as corporations and customers ignore this, unintended consequences will dominate.
What do I mean by Skin in the Game? My Own Version
When selecting a surgeon for your next brain procedure, should you pick a surgeon who looks like a butcher or one who looks like a surgeon? The logic of skin in the game implies you need to select the one who (while credentialed) looks the least like what you would expect from a surgeon, or, rather, the Hollywood version of a surgeon.
The same logic mysteriously answers many vital questions, such as 1) the difference between rationality and rationalization, 2) that between virtue and virtue signaling, 3) the nature of honor and sacrifice, 4) Religion and signaling (why the pope is functionally atheist) 5) the justification for economic inequality that doesn’t arise from rent seeking, 6) why to never tell people your forecasts (only discuss publicly what you own in your portfolio) and, 7) even, how and from whom to buy your next car.
What is Skin in the Game? The phrase is often mistaken for one-sided incentives: the promise of a bonus will make someone work harder for you. For the central attribute is symmetry: the balancing of incentives and disincentives, people should also penalized if something for which they are responsible goes wrong and hurts others: he or she who wants a share of the benefits needs to also share some of the risks.
My argument is that there is a more essential aspect: filtering and the facilitation of evolution. Skin in the game –as a filter –is the central pillar for the organic functioning of systems, whether humans or natural. Unless consequential decisions are taken by people who pay for the consequences, the world would vulnerable to total systemic collapse. And if you wonder why there is a current riot against a certain class of self-congratulatory “experts”, skin the game will provide a clear answer: the public has viscerally detected that some “educated” but cosmetic experts have no skin in the game and will never learn from their mistakes, whether individually or, more dangerously, collectively.
Have you wondered why, on high-speed highways there are surprisingly few rogue drivers who could, with a simple manoeuver, kill scores of people? Well, they would also kill themselves and most dangerous drivers are already dead (or with suspended license). Driving is done under the skin in the game constraint, which acts as a filter. It’s a risk management tool by society, ingrained in the ecology of risk sharing in both human and biological systems. The captain who goes down with the ship will no longer have a ship. Bad pilots end up in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean; risk-blind traders become taxi drivers or surfing instructors (if they traded their own money).
Systems don’t learn because people learn individually –that’s the myth of modernity. Systems learn at the collective level by the mechanism of selection: by eliminating those elements that reduce the fitness of the whole, provided these have skin in the game. Food in New York improves from bankruptcy to bankruptcy, rather than the chefs individual learning curves –compare the food quality in mortal restaurants to that in an immortal governmental cafeteria. And in the absence of the filtering of skin in the game, the mechanisms of evolution fail: if someone else dies in your stead, the built up of asymmetric risks and misfitness will cause the system to eventually blow-up.
Yet the social science and the bureaucrato-BSers have missed and keeps missing that skin in the game is an essential filter. Why? Because, outside of hard science, scholars who do not have skin in the game fail to get that while in academia there is no difference between academia and the real world, in the real world, there is. They teach evolution in the classrooms but, because they are not doers, they don’t believe that evolution applies to them; they almost unanimously vote in favor of a large state and advocate what I’ve called “Soviet-Harvard top-down intelligent design” in social life.
As illustrated by the story of the surgeon, you can tell, from the outside, if a discipline has skills and expertise, from the presence of the pressures of skin in the game and some counterintuitive consequences. But what we call “empty suits”, of the kind you see in think tanks or large corporations –those who want to increasingly run our lives or intervene in Libya — look like actors playing the part, down to their vocabulary and the multiplicative meetings. Talk is cheap and people who talk and don’t do are easily detectable by the public because they are too good at talking.
Plumbers, bakers, engineers, and piano tuners are judged by their clients, doctors by their patients (and malpractice insurers), and small town mayors by their constituents. The works of mathematicians, physicists, and hard scientists are judged according to rigorous and unambiguous principles. These are experts, plus or minus a margin of error. Such selection pressures from skin in the game apply to perhaps 99% of the population. But it is hard to tell if macroeconomists, behavioral economists, psychologists, political “scientists” and commentators, and think-tank policymakers are experts. Bureaucrato-academics tend to be judged by other bureaucrats and academics, not by the selection pressure of reality. This judgment by peers only, not survival, can lead to the pestilence of academic citation rings. The incentive is to be published on the right topic in the right journals, with well sounding arguments, under easily some contrived empiricism, in order to beat the metrics.
Accountants, not other “peer” forecasters, nor referees using metrics should be judging forecasters.
Metrics are always always gamed: a politician can load the system with debt to “improve growth and GDP”, and let his successor deal with the delayed results.
Alas, you can detect the degradation of the aesthetics of buildings when architects are judged by other architects. So the current rebellion against bureaucrats whether in DC or Brussels simply comes from the public detection of a simple principle: the more micro the more visible one’s skills. To use the language of complexity theory, expertise is scale dependent. And, ironically, the more complex the world becomes, the more the role of macro-deciders “empty suits” with disproportionate impact should be reduced: we should decentralize (so actions are taken locally and visibly), not centralize as we have been doing.
In addition, owning one’s risk was an unescapable moral code for past four millennia, until very recent times. War mongers were required to be warriors. Fewer than a third of Roman emperors died in their bed (assuming those weren’t skillfully poisoned). Status came with increased exposure to risk: Alexander, Hannibal, Scipio, and Napoleon were not only first in battle, but derived their authority from a disproportionate exhibition of courage in previous campaigns. Courage is the only virtue that can’t be faked (or gamed like metrics). Lords and knights were individuals who traded their courage for status, as their social contract was an obligation to protect those who granted them their status. This primacy of the risk-taker, whether warrior (or, critically, merchant), prevailed almost all the time in almost every human civilization; exceptions, such as Pharaonic Egypt or Ming China, in which the bureaucrat-scholar moved to the top of the pecking order were followed by collapse.
The goal of news isn’t to keep you informed. It’s to entertain and outrage. That’s what the incentive structure underlying the modern media system is built on. If our outlets were actually reporting the events of the world as they are, 90 out of 100 days would be so mundane that you would never want to hear from them again. – Zat Rana
What happens on the earth surface through organ harvesting and transplantation is only a small sliver of activity that mirrors what is occurring in underground bases and off planet. The mad scientific experiments from the times of Atlantis that mix and match interspecies DNA, many times with monstrous results, and without considering the painful impact perpetrated upon the consciousness bodies.
When we better understand the NAA bio-spiritual harvesting agenda that spiritually abuses human beings in order to increase the torment of the people on this earth, it is obvious that these practices are not only violating laws of nature, but violating the spiritual constitution of all human beings. Now let’s look at the spiritual factors and the unseen consequences that are generated from these harmful practices that demonstrate the violation of natural laws.
Spiritual Abuse in Organ and Tissue Donation
Every human being has a unique combination of spiritual forces and physical forces that make up the entire constitution of that person, and this information is enmeshed within their cellular material, it is recorded in every part of their body. The physical tissues are imbued with the intelligence of the soul that has spiritual imprints that are unique to that individual.
If you cut out an organ and transplant that tissue into another body, the soul and spiritual imprints carried in the transplanted tissues are now enmeshed in the body of another unique individual soul. The physical and spiritual layers of the donor and the transplant recipient are now forever entwined in all of the energetic consequences of the actions that have happened behind the event, and within all people involved.
If the organ was received from an unwilling donor, or they were potentially murdered for their organs, the incredible pain and destructive elements will be carried forth in both the soul of the donor and in the physical body of the recipient. The impacts to all involved are incredibly destructive, especially when the transplants take place without any recognition of the soul and consciousness that is involved in the process. In such destructive situations, the transplanted body parts can be used as demonic homes that set up a variety of spiritual attachments, fragments, demonics, and harmful portals in the donated organ itself.
The cellular information in the transplanted tissues will attempt to communicate with the consciousness and the body of the people involved, which can create a host of spiritual problems and breakdown into more physical issues. Every organ has a counterpart organ in which it seeks balance, and in healthy functioning bodies, the parts communicate with each other. Transplanted organs do not have the same birth imprints or unique DNA messaging of the recipient, which can wreak havoc in the internal circuitry of the body, making them even more dependent on the medical system and taking drugs.
It is extremely harmful and even painful for the soul body to feel its physical counterpart being cut open and used for parts, in many cases it generates horrific spiritual trauma to the consciousness. This is especially so when the body is alive and the person is declared brain dead, because the soul has not yet left the body if it’s still alive. If the body remains alive, but the person is brain dead and their organs and parts are harvested, many times they will attach themselves to the recipient’s physical body. They may be in shock as they watched their body be cut up for parts, while they were unable to speak and defend their body. This may in effect change personalities, and create the problem of multiple soul attachments connected to one human body.
The current medical practice of organ transplantation supplied by the human body trade has very serious spiritual consciousness body implications, that overall promote even more diseases and human suffering, from the violation of natural laws.
Spiritual body attachments that get enmeshed to physical bodies with their transplanted organs so they cannot leave the earth plane.
Mismatched body parts that generate spiritual blockages from incompatibilities in the unique arrangement of spiritual forces that make up the spiritual anatomy.
Soul fragmentation as a result of the shock or trauma that is experienced from the destructive elements of the events taking place.
Alteration of birth imprints and blood record that may alter the spiritual purpose for that individual in the physical body they inhabit.
When the blood record changes from the use of transplanting different filtering organs, this has effects on the consciousness development and stations of identity of that person.
Soul binding that occurs from the dark entities that take advantage of the pain and suffering of the people involved, in order to harvest their potential energy.
Satanists are able to procure body parts that are used for a variety of ritual purposes, as they are aware the soul record is recorded in human tissue, and the body part can be bound or harvested for hungry satanic entities.
When we understand more about how our consciousness and physical bodies work in alignment to the principles of the natural laws, then we are more equipped to recognize the violations that are directly related to producing more worldwide suffering, deprivation and disease in all human beings.
Universal Human Body
The human body is a total living energy system that mirrors the microcosm in the macrocosm, which is composed of smaller parts of consciousness systems that reflect the same principles in the laws of structure that are directed throughout the Cosmos by the Universal Laws. Each human being has transcendent value that is sacred in Universal Law, the Law of One, as every person is exceptionally unique in that there will never be another exact consciousness copy.
Each layer of the physical matrices in the human body have an energetic blueprint and consciousness counterpart that is unique to that individual, and which acts as a gateway into the spiritual world. All body parts, organs, glands and physical tissues are intertwined with the consciousness functions of the spiritual anatomy, therefore all of these functioning systems are influenced by birth imprints that govern the metaphysical forces that make up the unique blueprint of each individual.
As there are physical raw materials that are used for building a material structure, there are metaphysical raw materials for building a consciousness body or spiritual structure. Although we cannot see the metaphysical raw materials that make up the spiritual forces that are present in the physical body, these elements are completely enmeshed within every cell in the body.
Every person is a spiritual being composed of a variety of metaphysical raw materials that recombine into a unique arrangement of spiritual forces which gives each person a unique blueprint, as well as a unique nature. The spiritual nature of each person is determined by the metaphysical forces of creation in combination with the architectural blueprint, which are based upon mathematical principles that can be studied through musical and chromatic scale, as well as the study of astronomical events that inform us of the relative positions of celestial objects imprinted at birth.
Astrology is an important science of studying the unique arrangement of the metaphysical forces occurring within the spiritual anatomy, that lost its academic standing as a credible science due to NAA infiltration towards worldwide adoption of the scientific method. The study of the astrological sciences were traditionally considered to be for advanced scholars and were common in academic circles until the 20th century.
Astrology in the current times is labeled a pseudoscience, which is used to discredit its validity and purpose in studying the laws of structure, to keep humanity ignorant of the study of the astronomical patterns, which inform our personality through many different forces of consciousness influences. When we study astrological patterns, we are studying magnetic imprints that are relevant to the function of our bodily layers, we can then determine those patterns that influence our higher or lower spiritual nature, and then decide to make corrections.
Thus, proper use of the science of astrology allows us to better determine if we are accurately living in our true spiritual nature and potential, it informs us of our lessons and challenges, as well as what we came to the earth to resolve and transcend. Without deeper knowledge and awareness of how these astronomical patterns impact us, 3D human consciousness goes on auto-pilot, uninformed of the massive forces and influences to which they are exposed everyday. The spiritual development towards transcendence of these archetypal and celestial forces of polarity in order to return them back into neutrality, becomes even more important during the Ascension Cycle.
Cosmobiology and Medical Astrology
Many of the ancient wisdom teachings understood the mathematical concepts of connecting the Universal Human Body and its correlation to Cosmobiology. The mathematical and astrological correlations were made between the principles in the cosmos and its relevance to organic life forms, as well as the necessity to study the effects of these cosmic forces, and the stellar movements and astronomical conjunctions that impact the world of forces on the earth.
The Pythagorean Mystery Schools taught that the solar system is one massive musical instrument, and that the twelve signs of the zodiac may be compared to the semitones of the chromatic scale. The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches or frequency tones, each a half tone above or below the tone next to it. This same structure also represents the architecture that exists within the dimensional scale of the holographic reality.
The twelve planets constitute the white keys of the cosmic musical key board. Each constellation is an intelligent consciousness body that transmits spectrums of color wave frequency and mathematical coded patterns connected to building metaphysical structures into form. Each constellation represents an astrological sign that responds to a certain frequency tone and color wave.
Some of these frequency tones blend together and are harmonious, while others clash into discordance and distortion. As we can sense the disharmony and conflict made between certain notes of a piano, or feel the distortions running in mainstream music, this impact has the same effects within these metaphysical forces. There are similar themes of harmony or discordance that transpire between the alchemy of forces that occurs within the various constellations of the zodiac, the twelve planets and various celestial bodies that have a great effect on human beings. These instruction sets are inherently recorded in the spiritual blueprint and design of every human being on the earth.
When incarnated into a physical human form, we evolve through the stages of the Precession of the Equinoxes, and this progression takes us through the all twelve layers of archetypal forces that hold instruction sets for the Universal Human Body structure, as well as levels of DNA transmission.
As the Sun moves through each constellation, we receive frequency exchanges of intelligent instruction sets that are designed for the human body to evolve towards increasing DNA activation and spiritual ascension, which are alchemical forces being transmitted into the earth field. When astrological alignments occur through major conjunctions made between planetary and stellar bodies, forces of alchemy occur which alter frequency current and manifest new creations that help to expand consciousness, at planetary and personal levels. With the war over consciousness, humanity is undergoing psychological operations to prevent them from actually participating or being aware that these stellar forces are being transmitted to the earth for purposes of bio-spiritual evolution.
Mystery schools developed the field of iatromathematics, or medical astrology, and viewed the entire matrix of the human body through astronomical and astrological principles, as well as the bio-mechanics. The twelve astrological signs contribute a specific law of structure that is incorporated within each part of the human body from head to toe, inside and outside. Moreover, planets and the existing cosmos in space are directly correlated with certain parts of the body that are designed to overall unify the layers of consciousness structures.
Through examining a natal chart, iatromathematicians studied the patterns of the birth imprint as the star (soul) body, and were able to study the various combinations of energetic forces and how these forces impacted the human body and consciousness. By observing the behavior profile that would show general tendencies in constitution and disposition, they would become aware of the specific patterns in that individual, to help guide them towards aligning with their highest nature and achieve the state of health and wellbeing. Each of us can study our own astrological patterns in order to gain knowledge about the internal workings of the self.
Medical astrology reflects the law of principle in each of the twelve constellations that has association with maintaining the structure within the parts of the human body. From the Guardian perspective, the Galactic Zodiac includes another important constellation called Ophiuchus, which is the missing 13th constellation that acts as the unifier and trine force for all of the other twelve constellations during the Ascension Cycle. Thus, in our model, the constellation forces that are represented are the thirteen signs of the Galactic Zodiac which preside over the parts of the body, covering the body from head (Aries) to toe (Pisces), as follows:
The human bodily form represents the movement that is made through the precession of equinoxes, with each astronomical and astrological principle having direct relevance to our physical and spiritual anatomy. When we remove or transplant body parts, we are removing imprints and specific principles in our bodily structure that alter and change consciousness influences, which have consequences to our spiritual development. Not to mention the potential issues in overall biological functioning, such as internal circuitry disconnection between transplanted organ systems that can block integrative and holistic healing for the body, mind and spirit.
Ophiuchus is the Trine Unifier
In addition with the Ophiuchus transmissions, the divine fire water element acts as the trine and unifier between each of the squares in the combinations of four constellation groupings that make up the cardinal signs, fixed signs and mutable signs. In the previous cycles, the spiritual blueprint of humanity included many squares and oppositions in the birth imprint from certain planetary or constellation conjunctions that generated disharmony, discordance and distress.
These oppositional forces placed limitations upon the spirit, and resulted in a variety of spiritual oppressions, miasmatic patterns and karmic burdens. It is similar to say that squares, oppositions and limitations that are recorded in the geometries of the spiritual blueprint can be understood in the birth chart, and are the result of the consequences of actions, unlearned lessons, spiritual purpose and the debts of destiny that have been carried throughout multiple lifetimes.
The earth body also has its own blueprint that is made up from the collective consciousness records of humanity, so when incarnating into a timeline on the earth, we are also imprinted with the karmic burdens of the collective consciousness imprint at the time of incarnation.
It is also accurate to say that the NAA had control over aspects of the twelve constellation transmissions, which had resulted in more extreme negative polarities in the world of forces, in order to achieve their intended objective of control over matter forms. They intended to radically increase black subtle forces by filtering negative polarity aspects of the constellation archetypes, in order to influence humanity into the negative polarity and to use planetary dark matter for running AI machinery.
An example is to observe the negative polarity accumulation in the Libran constellation principles in the masses, which represent energetic balance in the world of forces, and to observe when destroying energetic balance through violating the natural laws, rampant disease is generated. Libra rules the kidneys, and when we see the rate of kidney disease exploding on the earth, this imbalance of the scales can be considered a potential factor.
These discordant frequencies in the birth imprint can be described as the vicious circle, the challenging oppositional patterns that bring intense conflicts between the personality and the higher self. In 2013 we began the Ophiuchus transmissions, which are to be simply understood as the flow of harmony and divine grace towards humankind during the ascension cycle. This allows for many releases in the intense squares of opposition recorded in the original birth blueprint and helps to restore the karmic pattern back into a more gentle flow of harmonious and aligned frequencies.
Ophiuchus transmissions can be consciously participated with during each cycle to help release oppositional magnetic imprints in the birth chart, although it will happen naturally when you surrender to the process. The last cycle of Ophiuchus transmissions had themes of releasing and clearing harmful blood covenants in the intergenerational binding of the family of origin lineages.
There are three primary activation areas in the body that act as the unifier of all chakra centers and body parts, first the tailbone and sacral area, second the higher heart complex and the third is the center of the brain and sphenoid. The divine water fire of Ophiuchus transmissions are designed to better harmonize the elements present in the body, through the release and clearing of discordant patterns of opposition back into the trine field, unity or what’s called the peacemaker pattern.
Recently, some waves of ascending people underwent changes in the transduction sequence links that were defined in their original birth pattern on earth to clear blood covenant records. This elevation out of 3D incarnated karmic birth patterns during the bifurcation, has been a result supported by the trine unifier of the Ophiuchus transmissions reaching a critical mass last December.
In considering this month’s newsletter, please remember to apply common sense and non-judgment towards any human being that has been put in the position of organ transplantation or being cajoled into becoming an organ donor. We live in times of great deception and falsity, in a controlled system of inversion, where storefronts like the medical system are massively profitable businesses which are actually acting out the opposite of what they represent themselves to be.
This theme has been offered for deeper education for developing clarity about the Universal Human Body, the reality of the spiritual anatomy and to deeply think about the nature of the reality we find ourselves in today. The issues we have on earth are extremely complex, and they won’t be solved overnight.
The first step is understanding the many ways that our society is violating the laws of nature, right under our noses, so we can see how we may be contributing to these violations without our awareness or consent. When we are informed and aware about what we are facing on earth, we automatically have the personal power of choice and consent, which allow us to return back to align with the natural laws.
Please only take what is useful for your spiritual growth and discard all the rest. Thank you for your courage and bravery to be a truth seeker. I am God, Sovereign, Free!
Until next, stay in the luminosity of your Avatar Christos Sophia heart path. Please be kind to yourself and each other. GSF!
The 1900s were a century of extremes. It was also a masculine decade (1900 = 1). Examples of this include nuclear bombs, LSD, abnormal psychology, world wars, computers and successful manipulations by the cyrptocracy. As with all cycles (presidential, climate, war), an adjacent century such as the 2000s will exhibit opposite characteristics.* First of all, it is a feminine century (2000 = 2). Secondly, it is about the sweet spots hidden in plain sight, far from the extremes that were manifested in the 1900s. I say this not because of a plethora of signals in these first eighteen years of the 2000s, but because I have sensed it for some time and the rule of cycles suggests it to be true. The feminine aspect will likely exhibit itself more profoundly by the year 2022, which is rich in twos.
What do I mean by sweet spots? My favorite physical example is the Trojan points. These are the locations between Earth and Moon that have the unique and valuable characteristic that anything placed at these points, whether a walnut or a factory, will remain at that location indefinitely. In other words, no energy is required to keep the object from falling into either the Earth or the Moon or any other direction. This is a valuable characteristic; it is the non-Terra version of holding the high ground. As of yet, no one and no nation has laid claim to these points, but in this century they will. It is a sweet spot, hiding in plain sight. I do not doubt that cheap, uncentralized energy will be uncovered in this century, and likely a host of other valuable and surprisingly easy opportunities. “Why didn’t I think of that?” will be on everyone’s lips.
The message of these opportunities comes from outside this universe, and in most instances only a minority of people have the antennae necessary to pick them up. Many are already capturing these thoughts and many sweet spots are already under investigation.
One symptom of the sweet spots, and perhaps even a valuable lynchpin, is the dethroning of the mind. As long as the mind has primacy, the “how” of everything will be center-stage. How to avoid taxes, how to win the presidency and how to make a million dollars all rest on the cleverness of the mind. The Human mind, however, pales in power next to Human intentions and emotions. The mind is capable of much, but it is both a quagmire and a ghetto; once trapped there a great many options disappear, including the sweet spots I am talking about.
The HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm has plugged into a sweet spot. Lauded comedy tv show writer and now actor, Larry David, has completely abandoned written dialogue for his popular show. The raw emotions and interesting tendency for real people to talk on top of each other appear on this comedy show where the writer gives direction but leaves the actual dialogue in the mouths of the actors. Writing a scene where two people speak at once is difficult in itself, and even more difficult to execute in a satisfactory manner. By offering an intention for the scene and being open to the interpretations of the actors, David has moved television into a sweet spot that in time others will pursue.
At its core the dethroning of the mind involves two opposite poles of a polarity. The most relevant is this intention/openness polarity. Duality demands that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we create with full polarities in mind we tap higher order energies. Whether it’s the creative response of an actor to freedom from the written word, or simply the arrival of serendipity and synchronicity, this approach naturally gravitates to the sweet spots of any situation.
With the full throttle control of any “how” we assert our cleverness. In abdicating the how of any situation in favor of intentional openness we assert our wisdom. The 1900s were about extremes because that is where cleverness takes us. The 2000s are about sweet spots hiding in plain sight because that is where wisdom leads. The latter is a matter of dancing with nature and the universe with a sense of play. The former is all about control and is akin to raping nature and the universe. The two different outcomes (think Monsanto) are exactly what you would expect.
*I am particularly intrigued by the cycle of Bush to Obama to Trump. The Bush/Obama polarity is classic good cop/bad cop. Bush illegally searches our car and then whacks us in the head with a telephone directory. Obama shows up with a smile and a Coke (and a lie on his lips). The Obama/Trump polarity is entirely different. Here we have the very good fake, Obama (think how much better he looks and sounds versus the very bad fake Hillary), followed by the very real, but bad real, Trump. Once again I associate Obama with a can of Coke; it’s a fake food, but oh how we love it. Trump, on the other hand, is real, but he’s the real of halitosis and neurosis. These two polarities, Bush/Obama and Obama/Trump, make we wonder about future plans for Obama. If you wear glasses you know well the experience of the optician having you look through different lenses. He is continually asking you, A or B? C or D? as he narrows down to a proper prescription for our eyes. It’s notable that Obama is favored in each of the polarities. No one wants to be facing a cop in an interrogation room, and no one likes a fake person, but given the options offered most will choose Obama the “good” cop and fake. Everyone knows that Coke is bad for them, but how many still indulge in this comfort food? Just so does social engineering proceed in its clever fashion.
University education made a lot of sense when reserved for the upper classes; it was a way to herd the leaders of tomorrow into a similar mindset. For a time the middle class made this work for them, but that time is long past. A far superior, and a time tested approach, is that of apprenticeship. Today universities are all about supporting a large paper-pushing clerical class; the excessive inflation of tuition doesn’t even go to the professors. It largely reflects the high cost of being an expanding and politically correct institution. The institution doesn’t care about the students or the professors. It merely wants to be bigger. Below is a letter from Simon Black addressing some of these issues:
February 28, 2018
We’ve all seen the headlines: the cost of university education in the United States has become completely debilitating. And student debt keeps rising to record high levels.
It’s almost commonplace now for a 22-year old to graduate from university with $50,000+ in student debt.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student debt in the United States is now $1.5 trillion.
That’s more than the estimated $1.3 trillion in direct costs that the government spent fighting the War in Iraq.
What’s probably even more bizarre is that the US government actually owns about 70% of those student loans– a total of $1.06 trillion.
Student loans actually constitute the #1 asset of the US federal government, comprising about 30% of its balance sheet.
In other words, young people of America owe more money to the federal government than the value of every tank, every bullet, every aircraft carrier, every acre of land in the national parks.
That’s a pretty sad statement to make.
And remember that student debt in America is a very special kind of debt: it chases you around forever.
Thanks to a piece of legislation signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1998, student debt is almost impossible to ‘discharge’.
So unlike just about every other type of debt like a home mortgage or medical debt, student debt is extremely difficult to wipe away through bankruptcy procedures.
It’s more a form of indentured servitude than it is debt. There’s no escape.
To me, this really calls into question the long-term value of a university education.
Now, there’s a lot of data on this topic, and it’s all over the board.
A 2016 study in the United Kingdom by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, for example, showed that median salaries for graduates at several dozen universities were lower than non-university graduates.
On the other hand, researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have argued that university graduates will earn, on average, $1 million more over their lifetimes than people who do not graduate from university.
This is what they call the ‘wage premium’ of a university degree.
But even their own data shows that this wage premium is falling.
Another study from the UK’s Warwick University in 2012 calculated that a university graduate’s wage premium had fallen 22% in a decade.
Factoring in the steep cost (and stress) of student loans, university is not an obvious choice anymore.
More importantly, student debt can really limit a young person’s options.
When you’re staring down the barrel of $50,000 owed to the federal government, you don’t have the luxury to take a year off, travel the world, and learn a foreign language.
Or to NOT take a job and start a business.
Or to take a lower paying job where you’ll learn more.
You’re relegated to the first available option that pays down the most debt.
And that certainly has a long-term impact.
I also feel like all of these studies are flawed; they’re not really making an apples-to-apples comparison.
Students attend university because they’re making an investment in themselves… in their education.
So rather than simply comparing the wages of university graduates to non-graduates, it would make more sense to compare graduate salaries to the earnings of other people who made ‘non-university investments’ in their education.
I’ll give you an example.
One of my closest friends is Matt Smith. I’ve known him for over 10 years, and, in addition to being a great friend, he’s also a brilliant businessman who has become phenomenally successful many times over.
But Matt didn’t learn how to start, build, and run a successful business by indebting himself at university.
He briefly attended college, but dropped out.
Instead of spending his 20s in a university classroom, Matt focused all of his resources and energy to find talented entrepreneurs that he could work for… and learn from.
He moved around a lot, going wherever he had to go and taking whatever shit job was necessary, sleeping on the floor if he had to, in order to learn from successful people.
When he first started out, he knew absolutely nothing about business.
But over time as he watched, listened, and practiced, Matt developed the skills and experience that have been so integral in his own success.
It’s a simple premise when you think about it– if you want to be successful, learn from successful people.
It’s not to say that a university education is a waste of time and money (though an electrical engineering degree is probably a better investment than majoring in ‘18th century lesbian studies’).
The point is that going to university and racking up $50,000 in debt solely for the sake of obtaining a piece of paper is bad idea.
Any investment– especially the one you make in yourself and your education– requires careful thought and planning.
That’s precisely what Matt did.
He didn’t attend university. But his deliberate plan to build up his business skills was clearly an investment in his education… and one that paid off handsomely.
The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority
(Chapter from Skin in the Game)
How Europe will eat Halal — Why you don’t have to smoke in the smoking section — Your food choices on the fall of the Saudi king –How to prevent a friend from working too hard –Omar Sharif ‘s conversion — How to make a market collapse
T he best example I know that gives insights into the functioning of a complex system is with the following situation. It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of intransigent minorities –to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences. Further, an optical illusion comes with the dominance of the minority: a naive observer would be under the impression that the choices and preferences are those of the majority. If it seems absurd, it is because our scientific intuitions aren’t calibrated for that (fughedabout scientific and academic intuitions and snap judgments; they don’t work and your standard intellectualization fails with complex systems, though not your grandmothers’ wisdom).
The main idea behind complex systems is that the ensemble behaves in way not predicted by the components. The interactions matter more than the nature of the units. Studying individual ants will never (one can safely say never for most such situations), never give us an idea on how the ant colony operates. For that, one needs to understand an ant colony as an ant colony, no less, no more, not a collection of ants. This is called an “emergent” property of the whole, by which parts and whole differ because what matters is the interactions between such parts. And interactions can obey very simple rules. The rule we discuss in this chapter is the minority rule.
The minority rule will show us how it all it takes is a small number of intolerant virtuous people with skin in the game, in the form of courage, for society to function properly.
This example of complexity hit me, ironically, as I was attending the New England Complex Systems institute summer barbecue. As the hosts were setting up the table and unpacking the drinks, a friend who was observant and only ate Kosher dropped by to say hello. I offered him a glass of that type of yellow sugared water with citric acid people sometimes call lemonade, almost certain that he would reject it owing to his dietary laws. He didn’t. He drank the liquid called lemonade, and another Kosher person commented: “liquids around here are Kosher”. We looked at the carton container. There was a fine print: a tiny symbol, a U inside a circle, indicating that it was Kosher. The symbol will be detected by those who need to know and look for the minuscule print. As to others, like myself, I had been speaking prose all these years without knowing, drinking Kosher liquids without knowing they were Kosher liquids.
Criminals With Peanut Allergies
A strange idea hit me. The Kosher population represents less than three tenth of a percent of the residents of the United States. Yet, it appears that almost all drinks are Kosher. Why? Simply because going full Kosher allows the producer, grocer, restaurant, to not have to distinguish between Kosher and nonkosher for liquids, with special markers, separate aisles, separate inventories, different stocking sub-facilities. And the simple rule that changes the total is as follows:
A Kosher (or halal) eater will never eat nonkosher (or nonhalal) food , but a nonkosher eater isn’t banned from eating kosher.
Or, rephrased in another domain:
A disabled person will not use the regular bathroom but a nondisabled person will use the bathroom for disabled people.
Granted, sometimes, in practice, we hesitate to use the bathroom with the disabled sign on it owing to some confusion –mistaking the rule for the one for parking cars, under the belief that the bathroom is reserved for exclusive use by the handicapped.
Someone with a peanut allergy will not eat products that touch peanuts but a person without such allergy can eat items without peanut traces in them.
Which explains why it is so hard to find peanuts on airplanes and why schools are peanut-free (which, in a way, increases the number of persons with peanut allergies as reduced exposure is one of the causes behind such allergies).
Let us apply the rule to domains where it can get entertaining:
An honest person will never commit criminal acts but a criminal will readily engage in legal acts.
Let us call such minority an intransigent group, and the majority a flexible one. And the rule is an asymmetry in choices.
I once pulled a prank on a friend. Years ago when Big Tobacco were hiding and repressing the evidence of harm from secondary smoking, New York had smoking and nonsmoking sections in restaurants (even airplanes had, absurdly, a smoking section). I once went to lunch with a friend visiting from Europe: the restaurant only had availability in the smoking sections. I convinced the friend that we needed to buy cigarettes as we had to smoke in the smoking section. He complied.
Two more things. First, the geography of the terrain, that is, the spatial structure, matters a bit; it makes a big difference whether the intransigents are in their own district or are mixed with the rest of the population. If the people following the minority rule lived in Ghettos, with their separate small economy, then the minority rule would not apply. But, when a population has an even spatial distribution, say the ratio of such a minority in a neighborhood is the same as that in the village, that in the village is the same as in the county, that in the county is the same as that in state, and that in the sate is the same as nationwide, then the (flexible) majority will have to submit to the minority rule. Second, the cost structure matters quite a bit. It happens in our first example that making lemonade compliant with Kosher laws doesn’t change the price by much, not enough to justify inventories. But if the manufacturing of Kosher lemonade cost substantially more, then the rule will be weakened in some nonlinear proportion to the difference in costs. If it cost ten times as much to make Kosher food, then the minority rule will not apply, except perhaps in some very rich neighborhoods.
Muslims have Kosher laws so to speak, but these are much narrower and apply only to meat. For Muslim and Jews have near-identical slaughter rules (all Kosher is halal for most Sunni Muslims, or was so in past centuries, but the reverse is not true). Note that these slaughter rules are skin-in-the-game driven, inherited from the ancient Eastern Mediterranean [discussed in Chapter] Greek and Semitic practice to only worship the gods if one has skin in the game, sacrifice meat to the divinity, and eat what’s left. The Gods do not like cheap signaling.
Now consider this manifestation of the dictatorship of the minority. In the United Kingdom, where the (practicing) Muslim population is only three to four percent, a very high number of the meat we find is halal. Close to seventy percent of lamb imports from New Zealand are halal. Close to ten percent of the chain Subway carry halal-only stores (meaning no pork), in spite of the high costs from the loss of business of nonpork stores. The same holds in South Africa where, with the same proportion of Muslims, a disproportionately higher number of chicken is Halal certified. But in the U.K. and other Christian countries, halal is not neutral enough to reach a high level, as people may rebel against forceful abidance to other’s religious norms. For instance, the 7th Century Christian Arab poet Al-Akhtal made a point to never eat halal meat, in his famous defiant poem boasting his Christianity: “I do not eat sacrificial flesh”. (Al-Akhtal was reflecting the standard Christian reaction from three or four centuries earlier — Christians were tortured in pagan times by being forced to eat sacrificial meat, which they found sacrilegious. Many Christian martyrs starved to death.)
One can expect the same rejection of religious norms to take place in the West as the Muslim populations in Europe grows.
So the minority rule may produce a larger share of halal food in the stores than warranted by the proportion of halal eaters in the population, but with a headwind somewhere because some people may have a taboo against Moslem food. But with some non-religious Kashrut rules, so to speak, the share can be expected converge to closer to a hundred percent (or some high number). In the U.S. and Europe, “organic” food companies are selling more and more products precisely because of the minority rule and because ordinary and unlabeled food may be seen by some to contain pesticides, herbicides, and transgenic genetically modified organisms, “GMOs” with, according to them, unknown risks. (What we call GMOs in this context means transgenic food, entailing the transfer of genes from a foreign organism or species). Or it could be for some existential reasons, cautious behavior, or Burkean conservatism –some may not want to venture too far too fast from what their grandparents ate. Labeling something “organic” is a way to say that it contains no transgenic GMOs.
In promoting genetically modified food via all manner of lobbying, purchasing of congressmen, and overt scientific propaganda (with smear campaigns against such persons as yours truly), the big agricultural companies foolishly believed that all they needed was to win the majority. No, you idiots. As I said, your snap “scientific” judgment is too naive in these type of decisions. Consider that transgenic-GMO eaters will eat nonGMOs, but not the reverse. So it may suffice to have a tiny, say no more than five percent of evenly spatially distributed population of non-genetically modified eaters for the entire population to have to eat non-GMO food. How? Say you have a corporate event, a wedding, or a lavish party to celebrate the fall of the Saudi Arabian regime, the bankruptcy of the rent-seeking investment bank Goldman Sachs, or the public reviling of Ray Kotcher, chairman of Ketchum the public relation firm that smears scientists and scientific whistleblowers on behalf of big corporations. Do you need to send a questionnaire asking people if they eat or don’t eat transgenic GMOs and reserve special meals accordingly? No. You just select everything non-GMO, provided the price difference is not consequential. And the price difference appears to be small enough to be negligible as (perishable) food costs in America are largely, about up to eighty or ninety percent, determined by distribution and storage, not the cost at the agricultural level. And as organic food (and designations such as “natural”) is in higher demand, from the minority rule, distribution costs decrease and the minority rule ends up accelerating in its effect.
Big Ag (the large agricultural firms) did not realize that this is the equivalent of entering a game in which one needed to not just win more points than the adversary, but win ninety-seven percent of the total points just to be safe. It is strange, once again, to see Big Ag who spent hundreds of millions of dollars on research cum smear campaigns, with hundreds of these scientists who think of themselves as more intelligent than the rest of the population, miss such an elementary point about asymmetric choices.
Another example: do not think that the spread of automatic shifting cars is necessarily due to the majority of drivers initially preferring automatic; it can just be because those who can drive manual shifts can always drive automatic, but the reciprocal is not true .
The method of analysis employed here is called renormalization group, a powerful apparatus in mathematical physics that allows us to see how things scale up (or down). Let us examine it next –without mathematics.
Figure 2 shows four boxes exhibiting what is called fractal self-similarity. Each box contains four smaller boxes. Each one of the four boxes will contain four boxes, and so all the way down, and all the way up until we reach a certain level. There are two colors: yellow for the majority choice, and pink for the minority one.
Assume the smaller unit contains four people, a family of four. One of them is in the intransigent minority and eats only nonGMO food (which includes organic). The color of the box is pink and the others yellow . We “renormalize once” as we move up: the stubborn daughter manages to impose her rule on the four and the unit is now all pink, i.e. will opt for nonGMO. Now, step three, you have the family going to a barbecue party attended by three other families. As they are known to only eat nonGMO, the guests will cook only organic. The local grocery store realizing the neighborhood is only nonGMO switches to nonGMO to simplify life, which impacts the local wholesaler, and the stories continues and “renormalizes”.
By some coincidence, the day before the Boston barbecue, I was flaneuring in New York, and I dropped by the office of a friend I wanted to prevent from working, that is, engage in an activity that when abused, causes the loss of mental clarity, in addition to bad posture and loss of definition in the facial features. The French physicist Serge Galam happened to be visiting and chose the friend’s office to kill time. Galam was first to apply these renormalization techniques to social matters and political science; his name was familiar as he is the author of the main book on the subject, which had then been sitting for months in an unopened Amazon box in my basement. He introduced me to his research and showed me a computer model of elections by which it suffices that some minority exceeds a certain level for its choices to prevail.
So the same illusion exists in political discussions, spread by the political “scientists”: you think that because some extreme right or left wing party has, say, the support of ten percent of the population that their candidate would get ten percent of the votes. No: these baseline voters should be classified as “inflexible” and will always vote for their faction. But some of the flexible voters can also vote for that extreme faction, just as nonKosher people can eat Kosher, and these people are the ones to watch out for as they may swell the numbers of votes for the extreme party. Galam’s models produced a bevy of counterintuitive effects in political science –and his predictions turned out to be way closer to real outcomes than the naive consensus.
The fact we saw from the renormalization group the “veto” effect as a person in a group can steer choices. Rory Sutherland suggested that this explains why some fast-food chains, such as McDonald thrive, not because they offer a great product, but because they are not vetoed in a certain socio-economic group –and by a small proportions of people in that group at that. To put it in technical terms, it was a best worse-case divergence from expectations: a lower variance and lower mean.
When there are few choices, McDonald’s appears to be a safe bet. It is also a safe bet in shady places with few regulars where the food variance from expectation can be consequential –I am writing these lines in Milan’s cental train station and as offensive as it can be to a visitor from far away, McDonald’s is one of the few restaurants there. Shockingly, one sees Italians there seeking refuge from a risky meal.
Pizza is the same story: it is commonly accepted food and outside a fancy party nobody will be blamed for ordering it.
Rory wrote to me about the asymmetry beer-wine and the choices made for parties: “Once you have ten percent or more women at a party, you cannot serve only beer. But most men will drink wine. So you only need one set of glasses if you serve only wine — the universal donor, to use the language of blood groups.”
This strategy of the best lower bound might have been played by the Khazars looking to chose between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Legend has it that three high ranking delegations (bishops, rabbis and sheikhs) came to make the sales pitch. They asked the Christians: if you were forced to chose between Judaism and Islam, which one would you pick? Judaism, they replied. Then they asked the Muslim: which of the two, Christianity or Judaism. Judaism, the Muslim said. Judaim it was and the tribe converted.
If a meeting is taking place in Germany in the Teutonic-looking conference room of a corporation that is sufficiently international or European, and one of the persons in the room doesn’t speak German, the entire meeting will be run in… English, the brand of inelegant English used in corporations across the world. That way they can equally offend their Teuronic ancestors and the English language. It all started with the asymmetric rule that those who are nonnative in English know (bad) English, but the reverse (English speakers knowing other languages) is less likely. French was supposed to be the language of diplomacy as civil servants coming from aristocratic background used it –while their more vulgar compatriots involved in commerce relied on English. In the rivalry between the two languages, English won as commerce grew to dominate modern life; the victory it has nothing to do with the prestige of France or the efforts of their civil servants in promoting their more or less beautiful Latinized and logically spelled language over the orthographically confusing one of trans-Channel meat-pie eaters.
We can thus get some intuition on how the emergence of lingua franca languages can come from minority rules–and that is a point that is not visible to linguists. Aramaic is a Semitic language which succeeded Canaanite (that is, Phoenician-Hebrew) in the Levant and resembles Arabic; it was the language Jesus Christ spoke. The reason it came to dominate the Levant and Egypt isn’t because of any particular imperial Semitic power or the fact that they have interesting noses. It was the Persians –who speak an Indo-European language –who spread Aramaic, the language of Assyria, Syria, and Babylon. Persians taught Egyptians a language that was not their own. Simply, when the Persians invaded Babylon they found an administration with scribes who could only use Aramaic and didn’t know Persian, so Aramaic became the state language. If your secretary can only take dictation in Aramaic, Aramaic is what you will use. This led to the oddity of Aramaic being used in Mongolia, as records were maintained in the Syriac alphabet (Syriac is the Eastern dialect of Aramaic). And centuries later, the story would repeat itself in reverse, with the Arabs using Greek in their early administration in the seventh and eighth’s centuries. For during the Hellenistic era, Greek replaced Aramaic as the lingua franca in the Levant, and the scribes of Damascus maintained their records in Greek. But it was not the Greeks who spread Greek around the Mediterranean –Alexander (himself not Greek but Macedonian and spoke a different dialect of Greek) did not lead to an immediate deep cultural Hellenization. It was the Romans who accelerated the spreading of Greek, as they used it in their administration across the Eastern empire.
A French Canadian friend from Montreal, Jean-Louis Rheault, commented as follows, bemoaning the loss of language of French Canadians outside narrowly provincial areas. He said: “In Canada, when we say bilingual, it is English speaking and when we say “French speaking” it becomes bilingual.”
Another attribute of decentralization, and one that the “intellectuals” opposing an exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit ) don’t get. If one needs, say a three pct. threshold in a political unit for the minority rule to take its effect, and on average the stubborn minority represents three pct. of the population, with variations around the average, then some states will be subject to the rule, but not others. If on the other hand we merged all states in one, then the minority rule will prevail all across. This is the reason the U.S.A. works so well as, I have been repeating to everyone who listens, we are a federation, not a republic. To use the language of Antifragile, decentralization is convex to variations.
Genes vs Languages
Looking at genetic data in the Eastern Mediterranean with my collaborator the geneticist Pierre Zalloua, we noticed that both invaders, Turks and Arabs left little genes and in the case of Turkey, the tribes from East and Central Asia brought an entirely new language. Turkey, shockingly, still has the populations of Asia Minor you read about in history books, but with new names. Further, Zalloua and his colleagues have shown that Canaanites from 3700 years ago represent more than nine tenth of the genes of current residents of the state of Lebanon, with only a tiny amount of new genes added, in spite of about every possible army having dropped by for sightseeing and some pillaging. While Turks are Mediterraneans who speak an East Asian language, the French (North of Avignon) are largely of Northern European stock, yet they speak a Mediterranean language.
Genes follow majority rules; languages minority rule
Languages travel; genes less so
This shows us the recent mistake to build racial theories on language, dividing people into “Aryans” and “Semites”, based on linguistic considerations. While the subject was central to the German Nazis, the practice continues today in one form or another, often benign. For the great irony is that Nordic supremacists (“Aryan”), while anti-Semitic, used the classical Greeks to give themselves a pedigree and a link to a glorious civilization, but didn’t realize that the Greeks and their Mediterranean “Semitic” neighbors were actually genetically close to one another. It has been recently shown that both ancient Greeks and Bronze age Levantines share an Anatolian origin. It just happened that the languages diverged.
 There is a current controversy in the U.K. as the Normand left more texts and pictures in history books than genes there.
The One-Way Street of Religions
In the same manner, the spread of Islam in the Near East where Christianity was heavily entrenched (it was born there) can be attributed to two simple asymmetries. The original Islamic rulers weren’t particularly interested in converting Christians as these provided them with tax revenues –the proselytism of Islam did not address those called “people of the book”, i.e. individuals of Abrahamic faith. In fact, my ancestors who survived thirteen centuries under Muslim rule saw advantages in not being Muslim: mostly in the avoidance of military conscription.
The two asymmetric rules were are as follows. First, if a non Muslim man under the rule of Islam marries a Muslim woman, he needs to convert to Islam –and if either parents of a child happens to be Muslim, the child will be Muslim. Second, becoming Muslim is irreversible, as apostasy is the heaviest crime under the religion, sanctioned by the death penalty. The famous Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, born Mikhael Demetri Shalhoub, was of Lebanese Christian origins. He converted to Islam to marry a famous Egyptian actress and had to change his name to an Arabic one. He later divorced, but did not revert to the faith of his ancestors.
Under these two asymmetric rules, one can do simple simulations and see how a small Islamic group occupying Christian (Coptic) Egypt can lead, over the centuries, to the Copts becoming a tiny minority. All one needs is a small rate of interfaith marriages. Likewise, one can see how Judaism doesn’t spread and tends to stay in the minority, as the religion has opposite rules: the mother is required to be Jewish, causing interfaith marriages to leave the community. An even stronger asymmetry than that of Judaism explains the depletion in the Near East of three Gnostic faiths: the Druze, the Ezidi, and the Mandeans (Gnostic religions are those with mysteries and knowledge that is typically accessible to only a minority of elders, with the rest of the members in the dark about the details of the faith). Unlike Islam that requires either parents to be Muslim, and Judaism that asks for at least the mother to have the faith, these three religions require both parents to be of the faith, otherwise the person says toodaloo to the community.
Egypt has a flat terrain. The distribution of the population presents homogeneous mixtures there, which permits renormalization (i.e. allows the asymmetric rule to prevail) –we saw earlier in the chapter that for Kosher rules to work, one needed Jews to be somewhat spread out across the country. But in places such as Lebanon, Galilee, and Northern Syria, with mountainous terrain, Christians and other Non Sunni Muslims remained concentrated. Christians not being exposed to Muslims, experienced no intermarriage.
Egypt’s Copts suffered from another problem: the irreversibility of Islamic conversions. Many Copts during Islamic rule converted to Islam when it was merely an administrative procedure, something that helps one land a job or handle a problem that requires Islamic jurisprudence. One do not have to really believe in it since Islam doesn’t conflict markedly with Orthodox Christianity. Little by little a Christian or Jewish family bearing the marrano-style conversion becomes truly converted, as, a couple of generations later, the descendants forget the arrangement of their ancestors.
So all Islam did was out-stubborn Christianity, which itself won thanks to its own stubbornness. For, before Islam, the original spread of Christianity in the Roman empire can be largely seen due to… the blinding intolerance of Christians, their unconditional, aggressive and proselyting recalcitrance. Roman pagans were initially tolerant of Christians, as the tradition was to share gods with other members of the empire. But they wondered why these Nazarenes didn’t want to give and take gods and offer that Jesus fellow to the Roman pantheon in exchange for some other gods. What, our gods aren’t good enough for them? But Christians were intolerant of Roman paganism. The “persecutions” of the Christians had vastly more to do with the intolerance of the Christians for the pantheon and local gods, than the reverse. What we read is history written by the Christian side, not the Greco-Roman one. 
We know too little about the Roman side during the rise of Christianity, as hagiographies have dominated the discourse: we have for instance the narrative of the martyr Saint Catherine, who kept converting her jailors until she was beheaded, except that… she may have never existed. There are endless histories of Christian martyrs and saints –but very little about the other side, Pagan heroes. All we have is the bit we know about the reversion to Christianity during the emperor Julian’s apostasy and the writings of his entourage of Syrian-Greek pagans such as Libanius Antiochus. Julian had tried to go back to Ancient Paganism in vain: it was like trying to keep a balloon under water. And it was not because the majority was pagan as historians mistakenly think: it was because the Christian side was too unyielding. Christianity had great minds such as Gregorius of Nazianzen and Basil of Caesaria, but nothing to match the great orator Libanius, not even close. (My heuristic is that the more pagan, the more brilliant one’s mind, and the higher one’s ability to handle nuances and ambiguity. Purely monotheistic religious such as Protestant Christianity, Salafi Islam, or fundamentalist atheism accommodate literalist and mediocre minds that cannot handle ambiguity.)
In fact we can observe in the history of Mediterranean “religions” or, rather, rituals and systems of behavior and belief, a drift dictated by the intolerant, actually bringing the system closer to what we can call a religion. Judaism might have almost lost because of the mother-rule and the confinement to a tribal base, but Christianity ruled, and for the very same reasons, Islam did. Islam? there have been many Islams, the final accretion quite different from the earlier ones. For Islam itself is ending up being taken over (in the Sunni branch) by the purists simply because these were more intolerant than the rest: the Wahhabis, founders of Saudi Arabia, were the ones who destroyed the shrines, and to impose the maximally intolerant rule, in a manner that was later imitated by “ISIS” (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/the Levant). Every single accretion of Sunni Islam seems to be there to accommodate the most intolerant of its branches.
Imposing Virtue on Others
This idea of one-sidedness can help us debunk a few more misconceptions. How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person –most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people. The great philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell lost his job at the City University of New York owing to a letter by an angry –and stubborn –mother who did not wish to have her daughter in the same room as the fellow with dissolute lifestyle and unruly ideas. 
The same seems to apply to prohibitions –at least the prohibition of alcohol in the United States which led to interesting Mafia stories.
Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.
An insight as to how the mechanisms of religion and transmission of morals obey the same renormalization dynamics as dietary laws –and how we can show that morality is more likely to be something enforced by a minority. We saw earlier in the chapter the asymmetry between obeying and breaking rules: a law-abiding (or rule abiding) fellow always follows the rules, but a felon or someone with looser sets of principles will not always break the rules. Likewise we discussed the strong asymmetric effects of the halal dietary laws. Let us merge the two. It turns out that, in classical Arabic, the term halal has one opposite: haram. Violating legal and moral rules –any rule — is called haram. It is the exact same interdict that governs food intake and all other human behaviors, like sleeping with the wife of the neighbor, lending with interest (without partaking of downside of the borrower) or killing one’s landlord for pleasure. Haram is haram and is asymmetric.
From that we can see that once a moral rule is established, it would suffice to have a small intransigent minority of geographically distributed followers to dictate the norm in society. The sad news, as we will see in the next chapter, is that one person looking at mankind as an aggregate may mistakenly believe that humans are spontaneously becoming more moral, better, more gentle, have better breath, when it applies to only a small proportion of mankind.
The Stability of the Minority Rule, A Probabilistic Argument
A probabilistic argument in favor of the minority rule dictating societal values is as follows. Wherever you look across societies and histories, you tend to find the same general moral laws prevailing, with some, but not significant, variations: do not steal (at least not from within the tribe); do not hunt orphans for pleasure; do not gratuitously beat up passers by for training, use instead a boxing bags (unless you are Spartan and even then you can only kill a limited number of helots for training purposes), and similar interdicts. And we can see these rules evolving over time to become more universal, expanding to a broader set, to progressively include slaves, other tribes, other species (animals, economists), etc. And one property of these laws: they are black-and-white, binary, discrete, and allow no shadow. You cannot steal “a little bit” or murder “moderately”. You cannot keep Kosher and eat “just a little bit” of pork on Sunday barbecues.
Now it would be vastly more likely that these values emerged from a minority that the majority. Why? Take the following two theses:
Outcomes are paradoxically more stable under the minority rule — the variance of the results is lower and the rule is more likely to be emerge independently across populations.
What emerges from the minority rule is more likely to be be black-and-white.
An example. Consider that an evil person wants to poison the collective by putting some product into soda cans. He has two options. The first is cyanide, which obeys a minority rule: a drop of poison (higher than a small threshold) makes the entire liquid poisonous. The second is a “majority”-style poison; it requires more than half the liquid to be poisonous in order to kill. Now look at the inverse problem, a collection of dead people after a dinner party, and you need to investigate the cause. The local Sherlock Holmes would assert that conditional on the outcome that all people drinking the soda having been killed, the evil man opted for the first not the second option. Simply, the majority rule leads to fluctuations around the average, with a high rate of survival.
The black-and-white character of these societal laws can be explained with the following. Assume that under a certain regime, when you mix white and dark blue in various combinations, you don’t get variations of light blue, but dark blue. Such a regime is vastly more likely to produce dark blue than another rule that allows more shades of blue.
I was at a large multi-table dinner party, the kind of situation where you have to choose between the vegetarian risotto and the non-vegetarian option when I noticed that my neighbor had his food catered (including silverware) on a tray reminiscent of airplane fare. The dishes were sealed with aluminum foil. He was evidently ultra-Kosher. It did not bother him to be seated with prosciutto eaters who, in addition, mix butter and meat in the same dishes. He just wanted to be left alone to follow his own preferences.
For Jews and Muslim minorities such as Shiites, Sufis, and associated religions such as Druze and Alawis, the aim is for people to leave them alone so they can satisfy their own dietary preferences –largely, with historical exceptions here and there. But had my neighbor been a Sunni Salafi, he would have required the entire room to be eating Halal. Perhaps the entire building. Perhaps the entire town. Hopefully the entire country. Hopefully the entire planet. Indeed, given the total lack of separation between church and state, and between the holy and the profane (Chapter x), to him Haram (the opposite of Halal) means literally illegal. The entire room was committing a legal violation.
As I am writing these lines, people are disputing whether the freedom of the enlightened West can be undermined by the intrusive policies that would be needed to fight fundamentalists.As I am writing these lines, people are disputing whether the freedom of the enlightened West can be undermined by the intrusive policies that would be needed to fight Salafi fundamentalists.
Clearly can democracy –by definition the majority — tolerate enemies? The question is as follows: “ Would you agree to deny the freedom of speech to every political party that has in its charter the banning the freedom of speech?” Let’s go one step further, “Should a society that has elected to be tolerant be intolerant about intolerance?”
This is in fact the incoherence that Kurt Gödel (the grandmaster of logical rigor) detected in the constitution while taking the naturalization exam. Legend has it that Gödel started arguing with the judge and Einstein, who was his witness during the process, saved him.
I wrote about people with logical flaws asking me if one should be “skeptical about skepticism”; I used a similar answer as Popper when was asked if “ one could falsify falsification”.
We can answer these points using the minority rule. Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.
So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.
The Irreverence of Markets and Science
Now consider markets. We can say that markets aren’t the sum of market participants, but price changes reflect the activities of the most motivated buyer and seller. Yes, the most motivated rules. Indeed this is something that only traders seem to understand: why a price can drop by ten percent because of a single seller. All you need is a stubborn seller. Markets react in a way that is disproportional to the impetus. The overall stock markets represent currently more than thirty trillions dollars but a single order in 2008, only fifty billion, that is less than two tenth of a percent of the total, caused them to drop by close to ten percent, causing losses of around three trillion. It was an order activated by the Parisian Bank Société Générale who discovered a hidden acquisition by a rogue trader and wanted to reverse the purchase. Why did the market react so disproportionately? Because the order was one-way –stubborn — there was desire to sell but no way to change one’s mind. My personal adage is:
The market is like a large movie theatre with a small door.
And the best way to detect a sucker (say the usual finance journalist) is to see if his focus is on the size of the door or on that of the theater. Stampedes happen in cinemas, say when someone shouts “fire”, because those who want to be out do not want to stay in, exactly the same unconditionality we saw with Kosher observance.
Science acts similarly. We will return later with a discussion of how the minority rule is behind Karl Popper’s approach to science. But let us for now discuss the more entertaining Feynman. What do You Care What Other People Think? is the title of a book of anecdotes by the great Richard Feynman, the most irreverent and playful scientist of his day. As reflected in the title of the book, Feynman conveys in it the idea of the fundamental irreverence of science, acting through a similar mechanism as the Kosher asymmetry. How? Science isn’t the sum of what scientists think, but exactly as with markets, a procedure that is highly skewed. Once you debunk something, it is now wrong (that is how science operates but let’s ignore disciplines such as economics and political science that are more like pompous entertainment). Had science operated by majority consensus we would be still stuck in the Middle Ages and Einstein would have ended as he started, a patent clerk with fruitless side hobbies.
Alexander said that it was preferable to have an army of sheep led by a lion to an army of lions led by a sheep. Alexander (or no doubt he who produced this probably apocryphal saying) understood the value of the active, intolerant, and courageous minority. Hannibal terrorized Rome for a decade and a half with a tiny army of mercenaries, winning twenty-two battles against the Romans, battles in which he was outnumbered each time. He was inspired by a version of this maxim. At the battle of Cannae, he remarked to Gisco who complained that the Carthaginians were outnumbered by the Romans: “There is one thing that’s more wonderful than their numbers … in all that vast number there is not one man called Gisgo.”[i]
Unus sed leo: only one but a lion.
This large payoff from stubborn courage is not just in the military. The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people. So we close this chapter with a remark about the role of skin in the game in the condition of society. Society doesn’t evolve by consensus, voting, majority, committees, verbose meeting, academic conferences, and polling; only a few people suffice to disproportionately move the needle. All one needs is an asymmetric rule somewhere. And asymmetry is present in about everything.
 Note some minor variations across regions and Islamic sects. The original rule is that if a Muslim woman marries a Non Muslim man, he needs to convert. In practice, in many countries, both need to do so.
The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord. Gibbon
 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
 The Carthaginians seem to be short in name variety: there are plenty of Hamilcars and Hadsrupals confusing historians. Likewise there appear to be many Giscos, including the character in Flaubert’s Salambo.
“Blockchain – The Final Phase of the Protestant Reformation and Jesuit Counter-Reformation
The following statement was made by Father Joseph M. McShane, president of the Jesuit Fordham University, while giving a speech at a dual sponsored workshop, with IBM, on the Blockchain and its use.
“We have a long and storied history in the drawing up of ciphers in order to ensure that the information that was flowing to Rome was safe and secure. If the Blockchain technology is new, the concept is ancient: how to build and support trust among different parties and how to protect information.”
The statement was a comparison between the Blockchain digital ledger system and the Jesuit’s use of ciphers in the 16th century to relay communication back to the Jesuit General in Rome. Such a secure communication system was a vital part of the Jesuit mandated Counter-Reformation, which was waged to reclaim wealth and land which the Catholic Church and Vatican had lost under the expansion of the Protestant Reformation.”
A good friend died last year. He would have turned 64 recently (born 1954). His early death got me thinking about the poor health and habits of my generation, and set me wondering about their possible common origin. I dismissed the later life situations such as fighting in Vietnam, drug and alcohol problems and the toxic government; every generation faces these or similar issues. I also dismissed the experiences of those in the minority: the Caesarean births, the pedophile victims and those who suffered harsh child abuse. I was drawn to looking at the most common experiences at the earliest times: womb life and early infancy. My experience is that as we age trauma has a lessening impact on us.
Here’s what I found: While we weren’t the first to experience hospital births, we were still guinea pigs in this regard. The corporatization of America was well underway in the 1950s; there was simply too much money on offer not to bring the healthy event of childbirth into the haven of the sick and diseased. As if to offset the absurdity of surrounding brand new babies with the diseased and infirm, sterile, clinical and human unfriendly operating rooms became the place to bring babies into the world. The rooms were cold, loud and echoing, and rather than placing the baby right atop its mother it was first weighed and measured, given eye drops for an ancient syphilis problem and then, when reunited with the mother, not allowed to breast feed. If the mother was drugged, which was very common, the baby had to be first knocked around so it could wake up and breath.
In line with the corporatization of America, most babies were bottle fed by mothers who had smoked cigarettes and even used diet pills throughout their pregnancies. Most doctors condoned these behaviors. Fortunately, alcohol was not on the approved list, though a minority ignored this. Smoking and diet pills were behind the extremely low birth-weights of my generation. Following the poor womb experience and the nightmare birth experience, these babies were then fed the sludge called bottled milk, entirely missing out on the immunological and emotional benefits of breast feeding. After that, half the babies were circumcised. Male genital mutilation was and is widespread in the US.
Lastly, in line with the anti-syphilis eye-drops, the child began a series of vaccinations. Until late in 1955 there was no valid anti-polio vaccine, but every child was given whatever passed for the best at the time. Many of these polio vaccinations resulted in polio like symptoms. The impact of other vaccinations, and also the common removal of the tonsils, remains unclear.
The amount of unprecedented, guinea pig experimentation during this period is astounding. Our ancestors, over hundreds of thousands of years, had not one of the experiences I have mentioned. We had them all. And each new generation continues to have most of them plus a few others.
Is it any wonder our civilization is dying? Forget for the moment all the cancerous tumors we call institutions, from the AMA to the public schools to Congress. These institutions are not so much the cause of the problem as the result and reflection of a wrong-headed attitude towards the unborn, babies and children. It’s a perennial problem, but the widespread embracing of progress, the urge to novelty, and the eagerness to disconnect from past traditions, has accelerated our high-risk behavior.
Some assume we are at the end of a 5000 year cycle of degradation called the Kali Yuga. That is all too plausible. Surely our downward trajectory will soon bottom out.
Think of the Anglo-American deep state, and all its organs of banking and finance, socioeconomics, cultural engineering and propaganda, and academic institutions, as a disease which needs to be treated and extracted without killing the host. When analyzed through this lens we can begin to see that the extensive counter-strategies began years ago.
Think of it. Since the coup in Saudi Arabia, and the confiscation of hundreds of billions, funding has been cut off to North Korea, the Democratic National Congress is going broke, and numerous CIA black ops field offices have been abandoned and the human assets left to fend for themselves, as Russia, Syria, Turkey, and others, move into to mop up the mess left behind. It’s only a matter of time before economic propaganda organs, such as CNN, fully go broke and collapse inwards.
To be sure, the changed operational strategy in Afghanistan also means that the once lucrative opium fields will no longer be able to provide the large drug trafficking money to the Anglo-American establishment, like it has since the 1960s and 1970s. Trump and team have completely turned over the apple cart and are now driving the stake even further into the infection.