One Solution for World Peace

The meeting at the office (just, every office, everywhere – you know?) should be best parent practice for all; especially for leadership. Ultimately, working environments are those that keep society standing year-in, year-out. They keep our world running so that families and individuals can grow living safe and happy lives in modern times, lived in one place or lived throughout the world – wherever, whenever. How we feel in a working environment, is reflected in how we act in our home environment. Which results in how other people feel, at a very personal level.

I mean – seriously – the job of top leadership (across politics and business) is mainly to wake up, dress nice, go sit in a nice environment with pre-arranged refreshments and talk. It doesn’t get more Royal than that. The least top leadership can do is talk nicely, and I’ll bet that – if one day that were to just happen – then things, in general, could start to turn and go in better directions. You know – maybe it takes a couple of pushes to get the ball rolling but when its rolling, who knows what can happen? It just sort of makes sense that good things come from good people, right? 🙂

Let’s remember that Parliamentary Buildings are offices, too: the ones that, in my view, at least, still show the most example to the people (but maybe instagrammers have overtaken politics already in terms of what the youth are interested in? I mean, who wants to watch old people fight each other when there’s so much other stuff to do on the Internet?)

Crossing the Internet Abyss

Consider the life led by those of us born in the late 1980’s. I was born in 1987. We grew up as kids in a mostly non-digital world. Yes – we played games – but we were in our teens by the time the Internet began to take off, widely diversifying our digital experiences from games to games and just about everything else.

The biggest change, however, wasn’t the Content Explosion of increased bandwidth and more processing power. It was the change from technology being a content-provider for a user to a content-receiver from a user. What the Internet first allowed us to do was to bring content out like never before, and what the devices we eventually had to use the Internet (such as my iPhone) allowed us to do was to become content projectors, not just content receivers.

That is a huge change in our relationship with technology! But wait – it gets better when you start thinking about what the Internet really is.

It isn’t immediately obvious, but give it a bit of thought and you’ll realise that the Internet is the collective human mind. Everything on the plains of the Internet came out of the head of a human being and through their hands into a computer, then through a whole bunch of code inside the computer, to be transmitted through global communications infrastructure (that the Internet physically travels through), only to have the process reversed step-by-step on the other end so you can act as consumer for the supplied content.

The Internet goes back and forth between its users.

What you have in the Internet, then, is a pathway into the individual minds of every connected human being on the planet: some receiving content, some projecting it, some (many, even most?) doing both. But all part of the same network, the Planetary Human Mind.

Noticing this, you start to realise how visceral the emotions related to technology have become: they have become part of us as a species. They are laid out on the Internet.

Ask any engineer and the most important thing, more important than food, is reliable wifi! I just finished reconfiguring my WordPress after a server provider migration, and some of the angst related to mistakes made in the process were akin to pain like no other. Why can’t I just see what I want to see on my screen?!

The State of the Internet, since it is the Planetary Human Mind, is the State of Connected Humanity: if the content itself that we run into or the software that this content plays upon is of low quality, we are pissed. The State of the Internet is poor, like weather is bad: and vice-versa.

So – perhaps we should start studying the weather of the Internet. That requires understanding the core component of the Internet, which I’ll delve into next.

The Singularity

At the Center of the Internet lies a point where the two directions of communication, reception and projection, meet.

This point is, of course, you yourself, as you are where content is ultimately received at, and you are where content is ultimately projected from. Whoever you are and whichever place you might be in. As a result, we can all be thought of as representing a singularity within the Universe of Content Singularities of the Internet.

While the state of the Internet lives on as a whole, it does not always move at each singularity, for we do not always stay connected. If we do not consume and we do not project content, indeed – if we are not connected – our singularity in the Internet does not move. It is frozen in Internet time, as our data signature (sum of things in and things out) has not changed.

You can think about your Internet singularity as the sum of all of your data and everything you have consumed online. The algorithms tracking your usage are constantly increasing the probabilities of different paths that your singularity might take next, forming your potential singularity. This is thought of as the realm of things that might happen to you online the next day, if we are dealing with a daily potential singularity prediction instead of, say, a weekly one.

For example, based on your online behaviour, held within your singularity, it might be pronounced as likely that you should react to an ad, targeted at you by an algorithm, and go online shopping tomorrow. The Force of the Ad’lgorithm pushed your singularity into a direction where online shopping was possible: all it takes is for you to react to the ad the next day, and your singularity path to new shoes has been made real!

There is always built-in potential within your singularity – you just don’t know exactly how your next day’s Internet usage will play out. Nothing new here – just an updated version of you can never know what the future will bring.

Driving the Singularity

Here is where you really have to think. If the world of today pretty much runs on the Internet, and we understand the Internet so well now that we’ve just handed you the keys to your own virtual car – the Singularity, your own holding of the Internet Plains – then perhaps it is good to take some driving lessons.

Driving the Singularity is just like driving a car. Sort of. The main thing is to not go too fast – to not try and cover too much virtual ground on the Internet Plains in too short a while.

But, so, here we go: You can accelerate content into the Internet by projecting it out. You can decelerate content out of the Internet by consuming it in. You can think about the content you’ve pulled into and what you’re pushing out of your Singularity by turning left and right as you go along. Like Tinder: left for bad, right for good.

If your Singularity is veering left, why do feel bad about the content in front of you – is it because you’re receiving it or because you’re projecting it? If you are veering right: what is the best part about the content – watching it or making it?

The point is very simple. If we all drive our Singularities like shit, then the Internet Plains will be a dangerous place. If we learn to drive them well, it’ll be nice – really nice. Perhaps we should pay more attention to how the global population is separated by technological usage and creation capacity.

 

The Final Point

To watch or to make happen – that is the question asked by many bearing chairs to events where points are made. Is one to sit on the chair and watch the stage or is one to sit on the chair whilst being on the stage? Or is one to forge the chair in the first place?

Think of the Internet as a stage. First, there are those who set up the stage by forging the chair (there is no stage without a chair). Then, there are those who are upon the stage, with chair or not (there must always be chair for audience). Finally, there are those who observe what is going on upon the stage.

Which group do you belong to? Which group do you have a chance to belong to?

Without the skills to act upon the stage – technical capabilities to set up a website or an eCommerce platform, for example – you are relegated to consumer and social media status within the Internet. With the skills of website and eCommerce, you open gateways to higher plains of adventure within the Internet and outside of it (where you go with all the money you’ve made). Knowing how to run an eCommerce website from a technical perspective is the first step to actually running an eCommerce website – just as a brick and mortar retailer has to know a lot about maintaining a retail store from a technical perspective.

The world is changing quickly, and we cannot expect everyone to keep up. We need to learn how to use the modern world, built around the Internet, at a broader scale. Ramping up significantly on technology education has to become a government priority within the next few years to make sure we do not formulate a technological elite that runs the Age of the Internet, an elite unchallenged due to lacking educational investment. Give the engineers scarcity to skyrocket the value of their skills, and I’m sure many will take hold of it.

There is no worse statistic in the European Union right now than that of youth unemployment. This includes Finland, where employment rates have gone up for everyone except those under 34 years of age. I fear that, as technical skill requirements keep going up in an ever-digitalising world, these numbers are bound to stay bad until significant educational investments into the workforce of the digital age is made. The spade in the field of yore has become the keyboard of the coffee shop laptop. A spade was much easier to use, in all honesty.

Hopefully this little piece of philosophy sparks some new thought on the world we live in, and the potential power we all have at our fingertips with modern technology in our faces all the time. We must learn to drive our Singularity, and we must learn to drive well! There is a lot to think about in understanding the human-technology relationship.

The Internet is us, and we are the Internet. Let’s start understanding what that really means for the future.

“Tärkeintä on se, että tiedät mitä tavoittelet maan pinnalla nyt hetkessä ja muutamalla pitemmällä aikajänteellä. Kun jalat ovat tavoitteiden myötä maassa, eivät Internetin kaikennäköisten sisältöjen tuulet pysty horjuttamaan henkistä tasapainoasi yhtä hyvin. Maailmanmelskeiden pahimmat tuulet on täysin hyväksyttävää sivuuttaa, jos niille ei ihan aidosti voi itse yhtikäs mitään. Nauti matkastasi ihmismieleen, Internetin tutkimusmatkalle.”

Free will, all-ready

I think a time in history has come when the debate over free will, a debate that has been raging on amongst a very small subset of people for quite some time, should be moved into a new context: reality.

Now, I’ll be the first to grant anyone the right to think about the nature of life, death, reality, and our role in it all, in whatever manner they choose to do so in, as long as the similar right of others to think in their own respective manners is not endangered.

That said, amongst other things, Society exists for the purposes of protecting the undivided right to freedom of thought, so that it becomes logically possible for us to have freedom of expression, which we hold on to so dearly in tumultuous times such as the ones that we live in. Freedom of thought comes before freedom of expression for, if we are to be able to behave well (defining ”well” as something commonly agreed upon as ”perceived as good by others”), then we must be able to think before we are able to speak – right?

So – as a politician – I must end up taking a stand on the very basis of my freedoms: my liberty to think freely. To see the full depth of the position of societal guardianship that I hold with political power, I must recognise the right to hold fully within my self my right to the most divine gift of all: my body and the capacity to use it to act upon my thoughts; from the soft slap of emailed words to the hard punch of the fist.

Without knowing that I should be able to hold this right as my own, how should I know to protect it? I must acknowledge what I protect so that I can know I am protecting it. What I know, I can focus upon, in order to improve.

Free will can, by choice, be assumed by recognising the power we all have to act upon our lives at an individual and societal level. As long as we have a vote to guide the direction of society, we have a very concrete artefact expressing our ancestors’ gift to us: free will to speak out at the injustices and prejudices around us.

Proving it

I cannot utilise my voice without my body. How do I present myself at the voting booth without my body in play?

My thoughts dictate the expressions of my body, and the accumulated experiences of my body dictate the feelings that I have which guide my thoughts. There is a balance to be had, a landing in the moment to be made, if you can see the connections between your past and your future collapsing upon the decisions you make in the now. It is in the moment where you find your truest power, since a decision in the moment, based on an interpretation of the past, is the control panel for the future.

Of course – I can’t prove anything beyond this point. As I point out above, the paradox with free will is that it takes free will to have free will. You can only prove it for yourself by choosing to try out your own power, for example by breaking an old habit or kickstarting a new one. Everyone has their own journey towards finding their power, and everyone has their reasons for choosing to use or not use it to the fullest extent.

Relative limitations

Yes, guardianship of the wills of the people is not to be taken lightly, but it isn’t too heavy a burden, either. Because of the very nature of free will, it remains to be taken by the citizen acting upon themself. It simply can’t be forced into the individual, as that would be forced will – not free will.

A politician is merely a custodian of the process, making sure it is possible for a citizen to take is what is naturally theirs to be had.

That said, nature deflates the power of free will with the utmost of efficiency. You are always part of the world around you – never truly separated from it.

You have less relative free will by not having political power – meaning almost everyone. You have less relative free will by not having cash in the bank – these days, many people, middle class included. In turn, you have more free will by having more equity relative to others, but you can never really be sure how much relative equity that is, since relative equity power measurement is truly a difficult problem (a story for another time).

It is clear to see that free will is bendy and superfluous. Its amount is dependent on so many things in the moment, such as what is the moment, what kinds of skills are needed in it, and what level your skills are at. Like ”mana” in a whole bunch of wizardly-spirited games, and how you apply it.

It is clear to see that free will, while we always have access to it at an individual level should we so choose, is far removed from the individual at the societal level. Individual free will and societal free will are best seen on election days: voting citizens express their individual power, voted-in politicians catch the projected individual power at the societal level. As the vote count is released, the division of power is dictated into history, and things begin to unfurl from there.

Implications

There are many implications of recognising the constructive factors of free will as a component of the practical political process. By far, above and beyond all else, a practical grasp of free will should act as a heavy reminder to all current politicians in Finland about the weight of the political debt that they all carry.

A reminder that they carry and protect the fuel of our independence – our votes and, thus, our voices and the thoughts behind them. Our right to have them, in the first place.

There is no more important inheritance from our past than having these rights, and it is here that a huge hats off must be made towards the United States of America and all of our global ancestors who went there to show us the way to this moment in time where we are in now, where liberty prevails (mostly). The USA is us, and we are them, and we should all be thankful for each other.

Every Finnish politician has caught a share of the votes cast in the previous election. They now carry those votes on lease from the people, returning the votes to them as the next election rolls around.

In the act of politicking, each politician stands as the guardian of the wills of the people – are their actions additive or subtractive to the relative value of those wills across time? Are the actions of current politicians constructive or destructive to the future life possibilities of the people whose votes these politicians carry? Put simply: will Finland emerge from this four-year governmental season more or less independent (ability of citizens to choose life paths) than it was before?

Perhaps current politicians should take a breather from the smartphone-fuelled pace of the modern world and consider their own usage of their own free will in dictating the pace of their calendars.

Are they in charge of their own logic and reasoning – are their thoughts keeping up with their smartphones? Are they able to ingest the information coming at them every single day, or are they at the mercy of those in bureaucracy who bomb them with excessive amounts of intel?

In these times of information-fuelled warfare that we live in (a war borne mostly out of our collective incompetence at smartphone usage and setting limits for ourselves in informational intake) it might make sense for everyone to stop and think about whose power they carry and what it represents.

What does that power represent right now, as measured through my day-to-day actions as a politician? Does it represent an infinite struggle to keep up with email, an infinite battle across party lines about anything and everything to ”save face” (you’re getting old, most of you, so there’s not much to save anymore..) or does it represent a calm approach to solving societal issues, one by one, taking into account the state of the modern world as opposed to the state of the historical world without smartphones and the Internet?

These are gigantic topics to think about. Amongst the most gigantic, in fact. That said, there has never been a better time to think about them than now.

Who’s in control – you or the algorithm?

Life in the now, beats life in the past. I mean come on now.