This thread is mainly to clarify my own thoughts a bit. I don’t expect anyone to fully understand what I am writing here. This line of thought had different origins, and a recent trigger in my observation that sentient beings have the natural impulse to flee from aversive situations, even if that reaction is dysfunctional and prevents personal growth.
There are other strands that lead to system V:
- The Aonian Exaltation is a fictional civilization that is supposed to be a deeply “posthuman” utopian utilitarian civilization. I have been wondering for quite a while how it actually works, and these ideas have shifted over time.
- System C and system X have been concepts I’ve used in the fictional Fractal Cosmos universe to denote the difference between capitalism / “communism” / centralism / command society / control society and the system that comes afterwards and is based more on decentralization, interactivity and self-organization principles
System V comes after system X. It is the ultimate system that I can envision at the moment. V stands for valence or value. It is a system that combines politics, economics, philosophy, ethics, systems theory and many other things into a unified theory that guides macro scale organization of society (if not micro scale organization).
System V is also represents the full development of valence utilitarianism, which is the latest iteration of classical hedonic utilitarianism, the ethical theory that identifies/sets the maximization of happiness / positive emotions as primary value. In System V, valence utilitarianism has a mathematical basis that allows the practical operationalization and application of utilitarianism.
System V transcends the paradigms of system X similarly to how system X transcends the paradigm of system C. While system X is very appropriate for a human / transhuman civilization, system V is the most appropriate system for a posthuman civilization. In a posthuman civilization technology makes about anything possible, including the radical and utter redesign of ones own body, mind, and identity. So, what orientation do entities have under such circumstances and freedoms? Clearly, old fashioned human religions and philosophies are not enough. More sophisticated solutions are required! I don’t claim to know how system V looks like, exactly, but I suppose that an elaborate theory will come into existence that builds on basic utilitarian principles and transcends them to reach something that doesn’t look quite like utilitarianism, but more like controlled madness from the point of view of uncomprehending human entities.
In system V there is still money, but its use is completely marginalized and controlled by the deeper intentions of highly intelligent forces that use it as a specific tool, just like they would use sulphur atoms as tools: Just as elementary building block of something greater. Also, system V still has reputation systems and reputation economics, and perhaps also resource based economics, but they do not represent the core of economic activity of system V. Instead, system V builds its economy on the principle of efficient maximization of value. Which is the same principle that underlies the main political imperative of system V. In system V there is no difference between economics and politics, because both have been completely subsumed under the organizing principles of system V.
V theory is highly complex and there will be highly qualified specialists, called Vians, who educate all kinds of entities about how the theory works, and what theoretical and practical implications it has. System V is a system that operates on insight into V theory, which (at least due to posthuman technologies) translates in V–motivated action. It’s a philosophical system through and through, even though it’s not called philosophy anymore, because there is a clear theory that guides behaviour through the insight about how true value is actually constituted. Vians certainly seem to have the dominating influence in system V, but that’s only since they have the deepest insight into V theory, and because the entities in system V choose to follow V theory, or at least the guidance of the Vians. Entities in system V are usually free to leave the system, though eventually insight will make them rediscover V theory, or just realize that V theory is basically correct.
This may sound like some kind of moral realism. It’s not. It’s merely a hypothesis that there is this V theory, which is an extremely strong memetic attractor in some large areas in meme space. V theory is not ultimate moral truth, but it’s basically the “natural area” for many highly developed entities to inhabit in spirit.
System V is a natural consequence of trans-/posthuman entities being confronted with technologies that allow for complete freedom – making most of the previous systems and philosophies obsolete and useless. Efforts to build a flourishing posthuman society based on the paradigms of system C or system X will be insufficient, because those paradigms have arisen from the human condition, and not the utterly different posthuman condition. At the same time, anticipating system V is necessary to make the transition to the posthuman condition look desirable. Therefore, system V is a component of transhumanist thinking that has been missing so far.
Nevertheless, a direct transition from system X to system V is not possible, or even desirable. (Trans)Humanity has to go through system X to reach system V. There are numerous reasons for that:
- System C is not able to make full use the technologies of the digital age. It is also inappropriate for humans living in the digital age, causing all kinds of problems, which dramatically increase existential risks.
- Stabilization of system C in the advanced digital age is probably only possible in a restrictive tyranny which nullifies societal progress and makes a direct transition to system V virtually impossible. First, the system C tyranny needs to be replaced by system X. Under system X society can flourish until it reaches the problems that stem from the posthuman condition, at which stage it needs to transition to system V to overcome crucial problems.
- System C is not sophisticated enough to even enable entities living under it to develop the elaborate and highly complex V theory which underlies system V. Only system X allows for the freedom and abundance to embark on the difficult journey to develop V theory.
It’s really hard to even imagine how system V looks like, because it will transcend the paradigms of system C and even system X. This doesn’t mean that it won’t use the tools of system C or system X; rather it will use all available tools, but in old and novel ways; basically it will use all tools appropriately.
Perhaps there is an issue with system V being appropriate for posthuman entities, and not directly for human entities, because they might have a hard time grasping V theory fully. In that case, they might still flourish by following the guidance of Vians. If they reject that guidance, they can still try to live in a system X society, if they like. Whether that’s better than living in a system V society under the Vians is not clear at this stage. If that’s actually the case, the Vians will probably establish a pseudo-X system for human level entities which is actually nicely embedded in the deeper system V. Meaning, society will mostly look like system X for human level entities, while at the same time it actually furthers the goals of system V, and is thus merely another component of system V.
But given those considerations, it is likely that system V will allow the greatest flourishing for all kinds of entities, because the Vians will know what is most appropriate for any entity living in that system. The Vians will be the ultimate mentors who lead entities to greatness, unfolding of their full potential, and reaching their own desires at the same time – while still maximizing value overall. System V is not a command system, it’s a system of guidance by truth! Thus, the guidance of the Vians is not any kind of oligarchy, it’s merely the most efficient way to organize society to lead everyone to full flourishing and maximizing value overall. Entities are free to reject that guidance, but doing so will naturally lead them to the insight that following that guidance is the better option, after all.
Is there a system after system V? It’s hard to say whether postulating a system after system V even makes sense at this point. For us, at this human stage, system V is probably a hard limit. Transcending system V doesn’t even make conceptual sense for us.
What sense does it make for us to think about system V? Well, looking into the distant future can reframe our existence in the presence. Talking about system V enables new narratives, optimistic narratives, about a positive future that we can strive towards, in which our current philosophical, political, economic, and ethical problems will be basically solved. Even the problems we can anticipate about trans-/ and posthuman existence will be solved in system V, which means that this mode of existence is really desirable!
Let’s move towards system V!