Do Rules Save Our Lives By Destroying Our Brains?

Is civilization the mind’s attempt to commit suicide? Via the Institute for Emerging Ethics and Technologies, Piero Scaruffi writes:

Ultimately, the most structured society will be a society in which every action has to comply with some rules, i.e. its citizens will de facto be robots with no brains. Why does brain/mind want to get rid of brain/mind?

Every animal tries to create some order around its natural environment. Likewise the history of human civilization is largely the attempt to control nature and structure life. Human societies are environments in which the chaos of nature is greatly reduced. This allows for humans to predict the future and therefore minimize threats to their survival.

One chaotic component of nature is humans themselves, the interaction among them. Societies invent rules and regulations to order and structure the interaction among humans. The process of turning children into adults is largely a process of forcing them to obey rules, from “good manners” to language itself.

Rules help make society stable and predictable, i.e. safe and efficient. However, rules also restrict what people can think of doing. The more structured your society is, the less often you need to use your brain. When we install a traffic light in front of a school, we are creating a safer and more efficient environment for children. The price to pay is that those children won’t need to use their brain to cross the street.

The safest society is one in which what is not forbidden is mandatory. Ultimately, the most structured society will be a society in which every action has to comply with some rules, i.e. its citizens will de facto be robots with no brains.

Civilization seems a process to remove the brain from the decision process, to turn life into a simple sequence of rules that must be obeyed. Those rules are, of course, designed by brains. Therefore the ultimate function of brains within a society of brains seem to make sure that brains don’t run the society, i.e. to commit a sort of suicide.

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  • RobinHoode

    > Therefore the ultimate function of brains within a society of brains seem to make sure that brains don’t run the society, i.e. to commit a sort of suicide.

    This is where he fumbles the ball. Just because “brains don’t run society” doesn’t mean they are committing suicide. Maybe regulations can constrict one’s growth, but that’s not the same as self-destruction.

  • RobinHoode

    > Therefore the ultimate function of brains within a society of brains seem to make sure that brains don’t run the society, i.e. to commit a sort of suicide.

    This is where he fumbles the ball. Just because “brains don’t run society” doesn’t mean they are committing suicide. Maybe regulations can constrict one’s growth, but that’s not the same as self-destruction.

  • emperorreagan

    I think rules just direct growth – in the same way you train a vine to grow up a trellis. If you overconstrain the system, then you end up with a system that simply can’t function.

    Without some rules civilization isn’t possible.

    I think at the other end, if you constrain things to the point that there is only mandatory and prohibited acts, civilization will also no longer be possible. Things will grind to a halt or you’ll get unexpected/erratic behavior.

    • mannyfurious

      I think if we allow the people who must follow the rules to decide the rules for themselves (i.e. Anarachy), we solve a lot of the problems you mention. Rules ARE necessary. But arbitrary rules, or rules that serve to protect the select few, are not.

      • emperorreagan

        I agree. I think voluntary association is the way to go. There’s little need for top-down governance to direct the behavior of individuals – just as you don’t need the catholic church to dictate morality.

        • Jin The Ninja

          as someone who was parochially educated, i laugh/snort/vomit whenever people equate morality with the catholic church.

  • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

    the eyes in fours they see so wrong the carbon bonds do not compute
    even valance and valiance was an illusion, then, an allusion so civily astute
    the genus problem, the factoring, the intractable species demise
    all within a tragedy, some say, inherent to such eyes
    so here it lies, a Schrodinger’s horse
    a god once dead and decaying
    revolution doesn’t care about you and is camoflaged by what you’re saying
    it’s like morse
    it’s not morose
    it’s so morose and grody
    maybe if you could have my brain, zombie, you know, seeing is and isn’t knowing
    still, your hypothetical treachery is flowing
    as you keep on rowing
    unto the hypocrisy each are bestowing
    upon the evolutionary growing
    OF A LAWN THAT NEEDS A MOWING

    fuck your grass in your grass for grass’ sake, grass Grass grass GRASS GRass.

    esssseeeeencccccceeeeee #Dehaka

  • Andrew

    Evolution occurs when an organism adapts to its environment.
    Devolution occurs when an organism adapts its environment to itself.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    This tries to ignore that there are such rules that aren’t sourced out of nothingness through a human brain.

    Many rules are determined by cause and effect and are arguably self evident(though i hate to use that term). They aren’t constricting the brain like this guy tries to argue.

    If you wan’t to have the view that the rule “don’t hold your hand in the fire” is constricting to your freedom, then i think you may be a bit confused. That isn’t to say there aren’t bad rules, but I don’t think i need to explain that a bad rule doesn’t make the concept of rules bad.

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