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Jandila comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 08:35PM

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Comment author: [deleted] 01 September 2011 07:58:05AM 4 points [-]

Family Weirdtopia: Individual autonomy pairs with a lower-energy, more localized existence built on the framework of dense, diverse urban population centers. The importance of kinship in human social systems diminishes gradually. Projected far enough out: Lineal descent is tracked solely through the direct relationship between mother and child; you do not share a family name with your grandparents or grandchildren. One's romantic and sexual relationships are not typically expected to outlast their natural lifespan; it's always nice when a couple finds themselves together after years or decades, but to pursue that as a goal would be seen as a strange, somewhat immature obsession or possibly an uncommon fetish. Despite this, social units and parent-child families are not isolated; the old saw "it takes a village to raise a child" is taken for granted, and your neighbors, friends and community members are likely to take a direct interest in your children's upbringing. Committed "mentor" and "caretaker" relationships are provided by means of various social institutions to those whose community ties haven't naturally offered up people willing to specifically dedicate to those roles.

Economic Weirdtopia: Bioregional commonwealths become the dominant world-system. This isn't a utopia; one's lifestyle, political and social opportunities become increasingly sharply-defined by where one lives, as do elements of culture and economic opportunity. Trade flows naturally across ecological and economic boundaries, and the existence of air and sea travel mean long-distance trade and travel remain viable, but globalization is a thing of the past, as is standardization. Life is very good in your little corner of the world as long as you fit there comfortably, but if you don't it's a long and difficult process to just relocate. It's not a simple matter of gathering your things and moving, after all -- your destination community needs to have room and someone to sponsor or support you during the transition to a very different way of life. International finance as we know it is dead in the water, but many forms of poverty and lack are a thing of the past. Cultural insularity is checked only to the degree that the citizens of a given Commonwealth engage with folks outside their milieu online.

Cognitive Weirdtopia: Standard cultural practice is to treat most forms of pedagogy or personal development like forms of budo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud%C5%8D#Civilian_vs._military). Early childhood education more closely resembles a freeform series of monastic-type practices guided by one's mentors; the emphasis is on the disciplined practice and refinement of whatever idea is being taught; understanding is the pupil's job. The less-pernicious aspects of self-help culture are seen as basic common sense; most people "know themselves" very well and by adulthood, are very skilled in several major disciplines (though "disciplines" spans the entire spectrum of human endeavor). Rationality is not inherently prized; it is more natural to most people to understand their failure modes and plan life around them rather than strive to change -- which is usually seen as a risky endeavour, less laudable when successful for the sheer inadvisability of teaching the average person to do so for it's own sake.