MUD

By Proxy

circa 1980


Hello, I'm Mud. You probably don't like me much anymore since you've been formed and glazed, but I have something to discuss with you that's pretty important. Remember back before you were placed in the public mold, before the first grade of heat had engulfed you? Your parents might have poked at you some, but you were still really malleable, and you loved to play with me. Well, see if you can get back to that state of mind for a while. Wonder was wonderful. Color was colorful. Touch was tingly. Fun was funny. You could see me as a castle or a cake, a mommy or a daddy or anything you wanted to make. In short, you were very alive, very aware, very imaginative and very creative. Are you there yet, or are you telling yourself that none of that was real anyway?

The way it appears to me is that most of you have an unreal view of what is real. For one thing, a lot of you see reality as being hard and fixed. You say, "You can't change reality; all you can do is try to deal with it." You've been brainwashed!!! Sure there are things you cannot change, but reality is far more like soft and malleable me than like a hard and fixed stone. Whether you realize it or not, you are always molding reality, and that's what concerns me. You seem to be creating a monster, and I don't want to get baked in your monster's breath. It's not my idea of fun.

You see, I rely on life to motivate me. I can't will myself to move like you can. About all that happens to me without you creatures is stratification, and believe me that's boring. I can remember how thrilled I was when I first felt purposeful reordering taking place within me, but that was a long, long time ago. You humans are recent playmates for me and quite frankly you're my favorite so far, especially when you're young. That outwardly-directed imaginative creativity that sets you humans apart from the other creatures I know is so refreshing--so you see my concern is somewhat selfish. I don't want to lose you.

The monster you're making isn't powerful enough yet to destroy all life here, but it sure is strong enough to put the hurt on it. Dirt-daubers and termites don't play with me like kids do, they just use me. So if you can open your mind to me, I wish you would. I have seen many realities come and go, and I think I can relay some possibilities that haven't occurred to you yet. The most important thing for you to center on is that you can alter your reality. You must however, learn to really imagine again. This is not the same as fantasizing. It is designing holistically.

Since we're dealing with the nature of reality, let's start with the realist of what's real--Grand Omniverse Design. Now, Grand Omniverse Design is not a thing like me or your body, nor is Grand Omniverse Design a pattern of actions like you. No, Grand Omniverse Design is more like an eternal kernel. Without Grand Omniverse Design there would be nothing--literally no process, no change, so no info flow. You humans have intuitively sensed this reality, but you've generally tried to comprehend Grand Omniverse Design as a thing or as a greater version of yourself. A truth is that you can't totally comprehend Grand Omniverse Design. No one can. This is because everyone is tuned in only to one finite aspect of Grand Omniverse Design at any given moment. It is because of this selectivity that you can be one.

In fact, your recently acquired mechanistic viewpoint of reality, which lead many of you to believe there is no Grand Omniverse Design, developed a technology--that of broadcasting--which is a limited but useful aid in realizing why you can't totally comprehend Grand Omniverse Design. Try to imagine a TV set with one picture tube and one speaker. This set is capable of picking up every broadcast in the world equally well. The only problem with this set is there is no channel selector. You receive all broadcasts at the same time. The information of every broadcast is being received and amplified, but it will be totally incomprehensible to you. So you see, meaningful perception as well as meaningful reception requires selectivity. In other words, you can't see all patterns at once just as you can't be all patterns at once.

I hope I'm not muddying up your mind too much, but it's necessary to get these heady concepts down. You see, a lot of you have been convinced that life is some cosmic accident. Let me tell you that opinion is a crock of slip. It may serve to give a smooth, slick, finished appearance to the urn of mechanistic thought, but it's pure speculation! Actually, life has always been part of the whole--that's what I believe anyway. But my belief is not just a fanciful one. It's a necessary condition in an internally consistent body of thought that I've evolved over the years. You, however, must be the judge of how well any thought pattern explains what you perceive. For I cannot be you nor you I.

A long time ago, before you willful creatures manifested on this orb, I had a very mechanistic view of reality. In my mind, I could explain everything I perceived in terms of sinking in or shooting out. It was sort of a crude form of your yin/yang, concave/convex mode of thought. I called it sinning and shouting.

You see everything I was aware of was either sinking in or shooting out. I figured everything just took turns doing one or the other, and that was what kept everything going. This explained why I was stratifying. It was just my time for sinning, and sooner or later would come my time for shouting. I actually looked forward, although somewhat apprehensively, to this change.

As I mentioned earlier, just stratifying was really boring, but at least I knew what it was like! I had no idea what it would be like to shout, and every time there was a big eruption, I would get all gushy and say to myself, "This is it! This is it! I know I'm going to shout this time! Keep it together now!" Obviously though, it never happened. The bulk of me just kept sinning, and what little of me that did shout always started sinning before I could get much of a feeling for it. I was beginning to feel that I was just an anomaly, a hopeless sinner that for some reason would never get a chance to shout.

That's why I was so excited when you life forms came along. At first I thought it was just another crystallization rush that I was feeling, but the feeling didn't stop. I soon realized that I was experiencing something totally new to me, and it didn't take me too long to figure out that you life forms didn't fit in with my sinning and shouting theory. How could I be bored anymore? I just had to find out how this growth by division and purposeful movement fit in with the rest of what was going on.

It took me a long time, and I had to go through a lot of scenarios before I came up with what seems to be a good solution to this puzzle. I say seems because one of the things I found to be true fairly early was that there is no way to prove anything one hundred percent. That's because at some point an assumption has to be made. The best "proofs" are demonstrations, but one can go only so far with demonstrations, and although one may feel one hundred percent sure that doing a certain thing will produce a certain result, one can never know for sure until the result is produced.

The assumption in a demonstration is that all factors that could affect the demonstration will remain the same. So if anyone states that they know "The Truth," most likely they know very little. I'm making a point of this because from time to time I will say "a truth is" (in fact, I think I already have). When I do this, please understand that I'm stating a belief or experience that stems from my original assumptions or perceptual base; however, I do try to limit my assumptions and broaden my perceptual base. This is the only way I have found to really get closer to "Truth." It's really important for you humans to investigate your assumptions and perceptual biases. You'll miss a lot if you don't--besides you'll probably save yourself a good deal of trouble in the process.

The way you often treat me like dirt is a case in point. How many of you people stop or drive around me if I'm lying helpless on the road? About the only time I get any respect is if there's a lot of me or if I happen to be on a curve. You think this is a silly example? Well, unfortunately, I've seen you humans run tanks right over other humans. To do this I imagine one group perceives the other as enemies and assumes they would do the same. Most likely they would, but why? Obviously, they perceive the other group the same as the other group perceives them. A destructive, regenerative, feedback loop has been formed, and what's saddest is that the reasons for these conflicts are almost always based on false assumptions and perceptual bias. Now I was only kidding about it bothering me when you run over me, I actually get a kick out of it sometimes, like when you slip and slide a little. But I do get upset when I see you people blowing each other away.

I think a lot of your problems stem from your perceptions and assumptions in regard to self interest. Many of you perceive self interest as a negative trait only, and you assume that if you were a "good enough" person you could dispense with it. If you feel this way you are wrong, wrong! Self interest is inseparable from life, and it certainly isn't all negative. No, actually self interest is a very broad motivator. It runs from the very negative frightened self interest to the highly positive enlightened self interest. No matter what you creatures do, self interest is involved. So it is best that you understand self interest as well as you possibly can. By examining self interest you may learn to utilize the more positive aspects of it without succumbing to the negative ones.

The key really is how you perceive yourself. If you see yourself as separate from what's outside of your physical form, you will tend toward frightened self interest. What is outside of you is to be controlled or crushed so it cannot crush or control you. If however, you perceive yourself as part of the whole you will tend toward enlightened self interest. What is outside of your physical space is your counterpart to be appreciated and nurtured. The difference in behavior that these opposing self perceptions produce in you humans is profound!!! That's why in order to improve your collective reality each of you must start with self. The time for you to start is now, the place is here--for here and now is the only place in time you can be. So before we go on, stop and enjoy being alive for a while. I'd be more than happy to have you for a playmate again.


CHAPTER II


Do you feel more alive yet or are you still bogged down? Don't worry if you are. It takes some practice to really be in the present and have a positive outlook at the same time. Try mentally melting your self doubts while allowing your counterparts to embrace you. Soon you will be dancing with the Omniverse. A tingle will tell you. Your enlightened self interest will direct you. What is constructive and helpful will become your friend. What is destructive and hurtful will become your foe. You will truly merge with the outward flow. The flow that runs counter to that great homogenizer, entropy.

Never again will fear block your potential, for once you've searched for and found this current it becomes less difficult to remerge and recharge your will. So keep seeking and you shall find. There are many paths, so beware of those who say there is but one. They will lead you to a whirlpool--a vortex that will twist your mind with dogma and spit you out to the under current which leads to absolute sameness--homogeneity--a state of non-being that is as close to absolute nothingness as possible. So avoid this void, and listen to guides, but don't follow leaders. They're mostly trouble breeders.

Don't wanna be done,

Better have fun.

The light's too dim

'Cause some vandals

Broke the candles...

Sorry, got a little carried away there. Anyway, I hope you perceive the structure of what I'm saying. Speaking of structure, it probably doesn't fit in with yours that Mud should know anything at all, much less that I should have any feel for human thought. Well, it's not as far fetched as you might think. After all, I am a medium. Sure, I can't write or speak, but I can convey. I've been doing so for years in a less overt way. Ask any archaeologist. Potters and sculptors know this, too. After they've cleaned me up some, I tell them by my color and texture what I want to be, then they do their thing. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't. Communication is seldom easy and rarely precise.

For this rather detailed communication I first had to find a human with a sufficiently muddled mind to serve as a writing hand for me. Hopefully the one I chose will not garble the message. I think I picked the right person though. A veritable hive of thoughts this one. So it's pretty easy for a medium such as I to catch one that's similar to what I want to convey, mold it to my liking then nudge it from the muddle into focus and onto paper.

Speaking of focus, I would like to change it to what I consider the hottest item on my list of thoughts to get across. I put a high priority on this one because of its urgency in respect to your survival. If this thought is acted upon, it will solve at least two major problems for you. First though, let me tell you about what happened to some late great friends of mine several million years ago. It was just an average day. They were out munching on the vegetation--or each other, laying their eggs--or each other, in other words, they were going about their business just like they had been for a long, long time before when, from out of the blue, came a very, very large body of matter. It was never the same for my grand friends again.

The change in climate that this impact evoked was so radical that my big friends couldn't adapt. It was a trying time for me as I sadly buried their broken, battered and starved carcasses. That was one of the biggest collisions that I can remember since you life forms have been on board, but it wasn't the only biggy. In fact, there have been several encounters just a while back, geologically speaking. You humans thought you were being punished by an angry sky-god (it was only a big comet but you know that active imagination...). Fortunately, these crashes have not been as violent as the one that got my big buddies. They still caused a heap of damage though--enormous tidal waves, extended monsoon type rains, devastating blizzards. It's where your great flood and fire from the sky stories come from.

Let's just give these objects a broad name. I know you call them meteorites if they hit Earth, meteors if they burn up in the atmosphere, wanderers if they have a very elliptical orbit, asteroids if they're in their band, or comets if they're mostly ice and exhibit a tail when close to the sun. What would you call a comet that hit the Earth? A disaster probably. I'm going to call them OFUs. That stands for object falling unguided. Now even a relatively small OFU like the one that hit in Siberia around the turn of your century could cause you a lot of grief if it crunched into a well populated area. The way you're set up now there wouldn't be too much you could do about it. You would be lucky to have any warning at all if the OFU was less than say a quarter mile across.

There is a way though that you humans can protect yourselves and the other life forms on the planet from this very real threat. The way is nuclear reaimament. I know a lot of you have been pleading for nuclear disarmament, and I commend you for such concern. But a truth is, total nuclear disarmament is not going to happen--not as long as you follow paranoid leaders and practice isms. Sadly, most of you humans will, simply because it's easier. Also, a big portion of your economies are devoted to building such dangerous "weapon systems." No--if you want to end the threat of nuclear war and hopefully war in general, you are going to have to foster cooperation. Nuclear reaimament will do this for you.

You see in order for an OFU defense to be effective you will have to put nuclear devices out in space. You may already have some out there, but the idea of an OFU defense demands that they be pointed away from the Earth not toward it. Also, you will need observation stations placed strategically in space about the planet so as to have an unobstructed view of the surroundings. These stations should be peopled by several different nationalities jointly, and serve also as information gathering centers. The nuclear devices themselves should at minimum require a double key system for activation.

This is a change in reality that I advise you to start pushing for right now. You really haven't much time. It is doable. All the necessary ingredients are here. Accountability is made much simpler under a plan such as this. What would you do with a dismantled nuclear bomb anyway? Sit on it? No, it would most likely end up as another nuclear bomb with a newer wrapper.

Now reaimament is not something that can happen all at once. The beauty of it is that while it is happening cooperation is being fostered. In other words, your mutual paranoia will be diminishing as you work together on this OFU defense project. Soon your missile silos will be empty and you will be patting each other on the back with pride at accomplishing such a grand and practical endeavor. Also, you will realize many fringe benefits from this undertaking. It's only a short step from having functioning observation/research stations to having manufacturing stations and mining vessels that pose no threat to your environment. So get to it. Don't just wish--Push!


CHAPTER III


Remember what I said earlier about changing reality--about how you needed to design holistically? Well, there is no place you humans need to do this more than in your silly accounting systems. You have simply got to look at the whole situation if you want to go much further. Do you realize that you people are actually creating scarcity? If not by outright destruction of "surplus" goods then by bureaucratic mismanagement. Another goofy practice you've taken to lately is this stupid planned obsolescence.

I was talking to my old buddy dirt and cousin clay about this P.O. practice of you humans just the other day. Now they are not as fluid as I, but they got their point across. Basically, they are fed up. Cousin clay said that you were all a bunch of banana brains. She said, "First they come along and spend all this time and energy digging this and that out of me; then they spend more time and energy making something out of what they dug out. I can understand that. What I can't cope with is the dummies coming along and disturbing my sedimentation to bury what they dug up earlier. I don't want it."

It would not be proper to repeat what old dirt said. A pretty crusty individual that one. Principally, he is tired of being dumped on. He doesn't mind the stuff that gives him an interesting sensation like a little potassium, but some of these strange concoctions you humans have been cooking up lately have really made him ill. And he said that he is gonna give them right back to you.

I know what your problem is. You people haven't learned to deal with abundance. Now I do not want to come down on you too hard. After all your reality has changed pretty fast on you. Why less than a hundred years ago scarcity was a very real condition for you. You humans didn't waste much back then. What has happened is that you have had a favorable period of time for real wealth to accumulate and grow. Now real wealth, which is knowledge, is a little like kudzu. It requires the right conditions to get started, and it's most easy to destroy when it's just starting to grow, but given enough undisturbed time to get well rooted, it becomes almost invincible.

Of course, there are several desirable conditions for real wealth to start and keep growing, but the three that are most important are necessity, cooperation, and freedom to explore and experiment. Please note that competition is not among the big three. I'm still not sure how so many of you people got it in your heads that human eat human competition is essential to progress. Perhaps it is because scarcity tends to evoke a survival type competition.

Actually, competition stems from self interest, and like self interest, has positive and negative extremes. The most positive--progressive competition--is chiefly with one's self. How may I do better for and with myself without hurting others? Progressive competition requires no losers. Personal gains are not made at the expense of others. Regressive competition--the most negative--is primarily concerned with control of others. How may I keep what I have and get more? Regressive competition creates losers. Personal gains are almost always made at the expense of others. Obviously, progressive competition tends to enhance the growth of real wealth, whereas regressive competition tends to retard or distort the growth of real wealth. War is the extreme form of regressive competition--need I say more.

Unfortunately, since all your isms were conceived and established during times of real scarcity they all lean toward regressive competition. That's because regressive competition is justified by the assumption that there is not enough for everybody to have all they want. Proper use of real wealth can prove that assumption false for real wealth enables you to do more and more with less and less. Put another way--the only true profit is finding a way to do something more efficiently.

It is time for you humans to turn away from your false profits which teach greed and pursue the true profit which reaches need. To do this you must, as I said earlier, look at the whole situation. First, you must realize that you have only one major source of real usable income--radiation from the sun. The others, gravity and nuclear, are minor by comparison. Besides it's best if you shy away from nuclear power on the planet. I've had a lot of experience with kilns, and if I learned one thing it is that when you keep adding energy to a relatively closed system, it's gonna get hotter. Burning your savings deposits (oil, coal, and gas) as rapidly as you've been doing isn't very wise either for the same reason. Plus they are very important raw materials for you to make things with.

Once you start viewing solar radiation as your sole income it will seem very logical to use units of energy as your medium of exchange. Your gross annual worldly income is of course the total amount of solar radiation intercepted by the planet in a year. Your net income is what you can utilize.

Now utilize is a key word. Suppose you have a hydroelectric plant which is on average generating only seventy percent of its capacity. You are losing net income. Once the water is below the dam its potential is spent. Since you should not spend more than your net income you have lost both production and consumption potential. So you see using units of energy as your medium of exchange will induce you humans to be as efficient as possible. Actually such a realistic medium of exchange will do even more than that. It will also provide another incentive to control your numbers. But doing just this will not be enough. What you really need is an economic constitution. From what I've seen of you humans' behavior, you always do better when governed by rules than you do when ruled by individuals.

The reason you do better when governed by rules is that most of you humans are pretty smart. In other words, you don't need an individual or group of individuals telling you what to do. You only need honest factual information and a well thought out, equitable set of game rules to beneficially rule yourselves.

Let me define a governing mechanism so it will be really clear to you as to how it is needed in an economic constitution. A governing device is something that is designed to protect whatever it is governing from self destruction. What this means in a well designed economic constitution is that the governing rules should rarely have to be called upon. In other words, the agreed upon operative rules should minimize the need to operate governing rules.

The best way to achieve such a game plan is to apply the KISS and cooperate method to formulating your operative rules. Now KISS is one of your best acronyms, in my opinion. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it stands for: "Keep it simple and sweet." Some of you may know it as "Keep it simple, stupid," but KISS gets the point across either way. Basically, what I am saying is that if you make your accounting system simple and cooperative it will serve you well. If you keep it complicated and regressively competitive it's gonna fail you.

Now the hard part of this is not going to be designing a workable economic constitution--the rough part is going to be implementing one. The powers that be are not apt to yield their control systems on the basis of logic. The place to start, however, is in the design stage

To do this, I suggest that you have contests. Sympathetic publications and groups would be the best sponsors. Each should carry on a separate contest but keep the guidelines similar. The reason for this is that any designer should enter as many contests as the designer is aware of, for different reviewers will find different approaches attractive, and it would be quite a hassle for a designer to conform to different guidelines for each submission. I would suggest the following guidelines:

Perhaps I should explain the reasons for guidelines one and three. The reasons for keeping it short and simple are many. The most important of these however, is to encourage the designers to seek, understand, and express general principles, rather than becoming bogged down in specific details. In other words, a good effective economic constitution must be primarily concerned with G.N.P. (generalized natural principles). --Gotcha. The interrelationships and interactions of a dynamically stable economy are inherently complex; ask any mature forest. The operative principles however, are few in number and straight forward. In the case of a mature forest community the operative principles go something like this:

Well, it's obvious there is a boot-legger operating in this community. It's getting harder and harder to find a place not influenced by you humans, and it's a pretty safe bet that the boot-legger is violating several of the community's principles out of ignorance. So the second most important reason for keeping your economic constitution short and simple is to combat ignorance. It should serve as an operating manual easily comprehended by all who can read or listen.

Now the third guideline that prohibits the selling of the medium of exchange also has several reasons behind it. Fundamentally it reflects the fact that you cannot transform a quantity of energy into a greater quantity of energy. A watt is worth a watt, no more, no less. You can, however, invest some watts, resources, and know how into a project or device that will either save you some watts previously wasted or tap into some watts that have been sliding by you. So you can make a true profit from an investment. Selling a watt for a watt and whatever only transfers purchasing power--the "lender" gains purchasing power; the "borrower" loses--it's false profit. There is a lot of wisdom in your often ignored warning to be neither a borrower nor lender of money. Selling the medium of exchange encourages hoarding and excessive appetites. It's scarcity thinking. The medium of exchange should always be flowing freely!!!

About two or three months after the contest begins the sponsors should each publish what they consider to be the best submission. This will provide a starting point for comparison and feedback. The sponsors should continue this selection and publication process on a monthly or every other monthly basis until a design emerges that is not improvable. How long this will take is impossible to reckon, but it will be obvious when you get there. It would probably be best to work out a system to keep all designers anonymous until they are published; it should be their option even if their submission is published, to prevent possible bias amongst the reviewers.

The important thing is for you humans to think about and figure out how to maintain comfortable sufficiency. If you do not impose limits upon yourselves you will soon be facing real scarcity again. This potential scarcity however, may well be lethal to you, for if it comes it will be because you pushed the environment beyond its limits. Every time I've seen this happen before, as when a large OFU hits, it has taken a long time for the environment to come back into dynamic balance.

But then no OFU thus far has released large quantities of radioactive materials such as plutonium into the environment, nor has one been particularly rich in other chemicals toxic to life. No, to the environment, a massive OFU hit is like a well-landed punch in the nose would be for you. It may knock you out for a while, but you will recover. What you people are doing to the environment now is as if you were to beat, torture, and poison someone at the same time. The person will stay conscious longer than if punched out, but when they do go out it may well be forever. What I am hoping is that you humans will wise up and not only stop harming the environment, but start enhancing and protecting it. If you can effect the nuclear reaimament strategy and implement an ecologically sound economic constitution, I feel sure you humans will be with me for a long, long time to come.

GOOD LUCK

Madness Under Discussion done ~80


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The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.