Solving For the Problem of Narrative Fragmentation

In 2019, the biggest domestic national security threat and public health issue is narrative fragmentation. It affects our health, our politics, our culture, our sense of national coherence. Narrative fragmentation is also the biggest market opportunity for any organization that can definitively solve for the problem of healthy coordination and information ecology. The problem is that no one believes this is possible.

Central questions in this story:

  • What is fundamental value, in a market sense and cultural sense?
  • Where does true authority come from?
  • What makes effective coordination and community possible?

These are the decisive market questions in 2019. Solving these questions is going to determine market dynamics of the next 5-10 years, and possibly the next 100 years. Corporations and “influencers” are still trying to chase profits by capturing a large audience or “going viral” or collecting massive amounts of digital data. That’s not how the world works anymore.

In this paper, I show the formal cause of narrative fragmentation, and present the market solution which is also a cultural solution.

No firm that I know of is explicitly focused on figuring out how to capture true signal market value. The term “true signal market value” refers to exchange in which both parties gain market leverage as a result of the exchange. True signal market value is the prototype of market exchange, when both parties are made more rich as a result of a deal. A firm dedicated exclusively to generating scalable “true signal market value,” is finally possible, as our economy is now primarily a service-based economy.

In 2019, Silicon Valley and Wall St. are focused on capturing market value by aggregating digital data with signals intelligence (SIGINT) and artificial intelligence (AI). They are still focused on asymmetric advantage. They are playing a win-lose game as if we still live in a material scarcity, advertisement based economy. The primary scarcity is not material, but temporal. The primary problem is how to evaluate information in the proper sequence to facilitate optimal distribution. People are no longer competing over resources, they are competing over how to properly understand and make use of patterns in large amounts of data.

Silicon Valley and Wall St. have absolutely no clue about how to master this problem. They are still using models from physics and AI research based on neuroscience. These approaches have no consideration of the value of organic contextual environments or the paradigm of Western civilization which causes any of this.

Asymmetric information transfer like television, propaganda, broadcast news media, information warfare and psychological operations, social media platforms, massive digital data collection, is based in a market psychology of win-lose games. It is based in the Malthusian assumption of material scarcity left over from the industrial revolution. But information products are anti-rivalrous and open source, we’re no longer competing on the dimension of who can reach the most people, who can go “viral.” We’re competing on the dimension of who can use information in the correct way, who can sequence time most effectively, who can generate the most true signal market value.

People don’t actually believe in tech anymore. The fundamental way that people live their daily, everyday activity is in spatially localized personal interactions. That’s what’s fundamentally healthy and valuable.

The diminishing influence of broadcast information transfer shows up as “fake news,” rumors, conspiracies, narrative fragmentation, confusion about the state of the world, and “legitimacy crisis.” The legacy, asymmetric systems appear to be breaking down.

The formal cause of narrative fragmentation

There are two macro-tendencies in cultural and market dynamics that are unfolding in 2019. On the one hand, there are symmetric network information topologies, which are increasing in value as they gain in collective coherence.

On the other hand, there is asymmetric broadcast information transfer, which is diminishing in value as preaching from the pulpit is increasingly ineffective.

Symmetric network information topologies are localized, contextual interaction information transfer.

Asymmetric broadcast is one-way, hierarchical transfer, one node conveying a narrative to many receptive audience nodes.

We can see these two modalities at work in the following tendencies:

  • The turn in national defense strategy towards “non-lethal warfare.”
    • Information warfare (asymmetric)
    • Psychological warfare (asymmetric)
    • Perception management (asymmetric)
    • Large-scale data collection and SIGINT (asymmetric)
    • Cyber warfare (symmetric)
    • Superforecasting (IARPA) (symmetric)
    • Alternate reality games (IARPA) (symmetric)
  • The turn in defense strategy under Trump towards open-source intelligence and removing corruption from government. (symmetric)
  • Rise of efficient spatial coordination platforms, otherwise known as the “sharing economy,” that matches buyers with sellers in space more efficiently. (symmetric)
    • Uber
    • AirBnB
    • Amazon
  • The rise of distributed philanthropy economy, otherwise known as crowdfunding. (symmetric) Is venture capital on its way out?
    • Patreon, GoFundMe, Kickstarter
    • Cryptocurrency token sales and decentralized autonomous organizations
  • The turn towards human intelligence and open source intelligence digital media. (symmetric)
    • Podcasts- face to face or voice to voice, long-form conversation
      • Joe Rogan has a larger audience than any television show.
      • Rogan says that conversation is a lost art.
      • The “Intellectual Dark Web” group of digital media personalities forms around the question of “how to have a good conversation.”
    • Youtube- new genre of media presentation dynamics. (symmetric)
      • Pewdiepie has a much larger audience than any television show and constantly interacts with his audience.
    • Independent media- blogs, research, information aggregation. (symmetric)
      • Increasing reliance on many sources of information to form a more cohesive picture.
    • Twitter- ground zero of the culture wars. (symmetric)
      • Everyone is a broadcaster! Everyone can scream and shout all at once.
    • 8chan image board- purely anonymous, symmetric interaction. (symmetric)
    • Wikipedia, self organizing collective intelligence. (symmetric)
  • The turn away from asymmetric, broadcast information transfer.
    • Diminishing authority and value of academia. (asymmetric broadcast model)
      • Rising tuitions
      • Rising student debt
      • Replication crisis in social sciences
    • Diminishing influence of Hollywood. (asymmetric broadcast model)
    • Diminishing authority of legacy journalism. (asymmetric broadcast model)
  • Increasing social reaction against consolidation of global money power.
    • Political debates about inequality, globalization, nationalism.

Pervasive narrative fragmentation is caused by the juxtaposition of these two subconscious psychological tendencies- symmetric interaction versus asymmetric broadcast. On the one hand, many organizations and thinkers still feel they need to be an influential broadcaster (“influencer”). They feel they need to reach a large audience in order to have any effect, so they shout louder and louder and get more extreme in their positions so they can “go viral.”

On the other hand, people are beginning to realize that their immediate surroundings and direct contextual spatial interactions actually contain and affect everything. Context matters. Contextual information is “organic aggregation.” Contextual information actually has a lot of potential value, and is currently highly undervalued.

With all these tendencies in mind, let’s take a look at the implicit economic-cultural outlook of Wall St. and Silicon Valley for the near to mid term (5-10 years). The basic vision of Wall St. and Silicon Valley imagines the continued dominance of technology and biotechnology sectors.

  • AI-SIGINT asymmetric information warfare, mass data collection, surveillance
    • Facebook, Google, Amazon, Palantir
    • Private defense contractors
    • NSA
    • High frequency, AI-driven global finance
  • Robotic warfare, drone warfare
  • 5th generation wireless
  • Internet of things
  • Biosensors
  • Nanocomputing
  • Genetic engineering and human hybrids
  • Brain-machine interfaces

I will call this the “transhumanist” vision of the near to mid-term future. Most people expect that this is our future, because it is the general momentum of interest of the consolidated global money power, consisting of organizations that have more money than most countries.

This transhumanist vision is almost everyone’s at least implicit or subconscious expectation. Even people who are aware of this possibility feel hopeless to do anything about it.

The argument of this paper is that the transhumanist vision of the future relies on the continued dominance of asymmetric-broadcast information transfer. As we have already established, these asymmetric information transfer dynamics are diminishing in influence and value. This indicates that the transhumanist vision of the future may be mistaken in its fundamental premises. And therefore there is an opportunity to command a new market value orientation.

What is coming to the surface with digital technologies is that information is more valuable than money. The whole current economic paradigm is driven by digital data. People assume that digital data is a monolithic, omniscient collective mind. That’s a fantasy, that’s a market bubble. That reality is already gone.

Behind all digital data, every AI and software platform is a human programmer. And behind every team of programmers is a leader who coordinates those programmers into an organization. All of the emphasis on digital data makes us ask, what is it about information that makes it valuable?

Conversations make deals, deals make markets. Deep conversation is what causes the transfer and distribution of resources. Critical, time sensitive information revealed in human interaction and open source intelligence, is highly undervalued in the current market. This form of spatial media communication has not yet been definitively mastered by any market players, until now. The subtle, layered, multivalent aspects in the value of human interaction have not yet been fully realized. It is only through deep contextual information that true signal market value can be realized. The economy has to transition to higher bandwidth, higher efficiency states in which the economy reflects all information about what is really going on.

The solution to narrative fragmentation

  • Macro-scale coordination/market dynamics are tending towards symmetric network topologies of human interaction and open source intelligence.
    • We see more open source online courses.
    • We see more independent research outside of academic institutions.
    • We see increased spending on R&D
  • This means that the market is tending towards true signal market value– interaction where all parties gain market leverage as a result of exchange.
  • It is tending away from asymmetric interaction- zero-sum, win-lose games, in which one party wins and one party loses, or one party gains more than the other party.
  • The basic problem is that no one has definitively solved the problem of how to make mutual leverage interactions scalable- no one has figured out how to incentivize win-win interaction at scale using market dynamics.
  • Mutual leverage interaction is a product.
    • It is an educational product.
    • It is a metamodel.
    • It is not technique or a system, but a spatial paradigm.
  • Solving the problem of scalable mutual leverage interaction would change fundamental market orientation and outlook.
    • Resources start to transfer into the more effective systems of coordination.
    • This is primarily a communication bandwidth and convergence problem.

The market solution to the information ecology problem is not only a market solution, but a psychological, cultural, political, economic, environmental, mathematical, and theological solution. It draws on variegated fields of knowledge across domains in a simple spatial implementation that relies on the subconscious pattern of the inner senses.

The elements of the solution are as follows:

  • The precedent for information-based organizations are:
    • Consulting firms
    • Business intelligence and intelligence community
    • Think tanks
    • Academia, Universities
    • Incubators and accelerators
    • Co-working spaces
  • All of these organizational models operate on the fundamental premise that learning generates value. Value in the market sense and cultural sense. Value confers authority, legitimacy, and leverage.
    • These models operate with various forms of funding, from market exchange to philanthropic donation.
  • These organizations operate in specialized domains, with specialized knowledge and specialized goals.
  • They compete for resources within the market environment.
  • Thus their existence inevitably contributes to narrative fragmentation and the proliferation of coordination failures.
  • All these information organizations have an uncomfortable, fringe existence in the market economy, some more than others.
  • The underlying problem that all of these information organizations are trying to solve is “learning = true value.” Learning is fundamentally more valuable than market value.
  • Integrating the various social functions of these information-based organizations, I propose the “information ecology firm:”
    • The information ecology firm does not compete for market resources.
    • It is the foundation that generates market resources.
    • The economy is no longer based on material resources, but on temporal and spatial resources- modalities of learning, effective choices, effective coordination of knowledge.
    • The only competitor of the information ecology firm is the social form of market coordination itself.
    • The information ecology firm does what markets do, more effectively than markets do it- spatial coordination.
    • Markets are the automatic, naturally arising form of macro-organization because they generate a spatial coordination equilibrium that everyone implicitly has to agree to, whether they like it or not.
  • Information ecology realizes the more fundamental, more efficient spatial coordination equilibrium, that displaces market coordination, over time.
  • In other words, it discovers and creates an organic spatial interaction environment, through seamless combination of the most critical, high value fields of understanding, in living spatial implementation.
    • Spatial media environment, as opposed to digital media environment.
  • The more efficiently coordinated organizational environment intrinsically attracts resources as a byproduct.
  • Information ecology firm definitively and geometrically solves spatial coordination problems and therefore commands market orientation. How does it do this?
    • Deep, spatial conversation self-reveals the inner, organizing structure of self-subsistent being.
    • Human intelligence (HUMINT) which is human to human interaction, and open source intelligence (OSINT) which is aggregative human research, are fundamentally undervalued in the current economic paradigm.
    • HUMINT organic data is layered, subtle, multivalent, and uniquely life-promoting, whereas SIGINT data is flat and lifeless.
      • Contextual information is organic aggregation.
      • Contextual information reveals the underlying environment or ground.
      • Thus contextual information reflects the state of the whole.
    • With all of the emphasis on SIGINT and digital data, organic data has not yet realized its true market potential.
  • There is a fundamental inversion of value into a new economic paradigm.
    • Mutual leverage interaction is now the accepted socially enforced, social norm.
    • This is based on the synchrony theory of value, rather than the marginal utilitarian or labor theory of value.
    • Mutual leverage interaction is a self-propagating social norm because it is natural law. It is the natural biosocial, psychophysiological coordination state.
    • The information ecology firm institutes social dynamics that inevitably lead to a tipping point where social expectation cascades into synchronous spatial coordination environments- new, upgraded social networks.
  • How does this actually work?
  • Formal cause is applied physical information strategy.
    • Information transfer is physical, it mutually affects spatial path selection.
    • Spatial path selection is interdependent. Each micro-choice affects each other, across time.
    • Spatial path selection is an “investment” in a value or meaningful opportunity space.
    • The interdependence of spatial path selection is the formal cause of market coordination.
    • More effective, efficient spatial gradient processing leads to more effective interdependent path selection and thus more fundamental coordination equilibria.
    • Interdependent path selection is the integrated metabolism of personal physiology, social community, and global environment, as a single functionality.
  • Conversations make deals, deals make markets.
  • The value of specific, contextual information in generating more fundamental coordination dynamics depends on:
    • Criticality
    • Leverage
    • Time-sensitivity
    • These make up the formal cause environment.
  • The economy is no longer about material resources, it is about the most iterative spatial gradient processing, resources that derive from the inner senses of the subconscious.
  • The equilibrium of coincidence in spatial information is a more fundamental physical organizing structure than market equilibrium.
  • Market resources inevitably flow towards the greatest coincidence of spatial information.
  • Optimal information ecology depends on the realization of organic spatial networks of formal cause.
    • Explanation of organic spatial networks:
    • A person’s life, from birth to death, is a single 4-spacetime timeline topological structure, an “inertial frame of reference.”
      • The person’s “psychology” consists of distribution of emotional memory valences across this lifetime.
      • This distribution of emotional memory valences can be adjusted to change the framing of the past, so that memories optimally reinforce each other into the most constructive possible framing of every contextual situation.
      • The energy signature of this aggregate lifetime-timeline structure can be compressed into a sequence of fundamental descriptive categories, known as a biography.
    • The collection of all such lifetime timelines in interdependent spatial interaction, is also a coherent, unitary topological structure.
      • The energy signature of this structure can be compressed into a sequence of fundamental descriptive categories, known as formal cause pattern (the whole environment).
  • Information ecology is the distributed negotiation of this formal cause pattern.
  • All conversation is implicitly, subconsciously about this structural pattern.
  • All sequences of categories are unique compression-mappings of this causal pattern.
  • Conversation is just the distributed sorting of how this spatial pattern collapses into reality.
  • The information ecology firm relies on discovery and creation of aggregated gestalts of variegated fields of understanding.
    • Theology and comparative religion
    • Science and mathematics
    • Philosophy, ontology, and metaphysics
    • History
    • Geopolitics and current events
    • All of these fields are studied actively as spatial implementation, drawing on time-sensitive, contextually relevant memory of higher order intelligence.
  • In the pure solution to information ecology, there is no longer a distinction between philanthropy and market exchange. The firm does not compete for market resources, it generates them.
    • At scale, all interaction confers market leverage for both parties.
    • At scale, mutual leverage interaction sorts people into truly natural hierarchies of effort and responsibility.
  • The information ecology firm is the only kind of firm which produces mutual leverage interaction at scale, through self-propagation of natural law.
  • The formal cause pattern is the motivation and incentive that spontaneously orders the spatial information ecology environment.

The basic, practical business model is as follows:

  • Pay and train analysts as “polymath autodidacts,” to organically aggregate massive amounts of information from many fields of understanding, specifically targeting high value information nodes and high compression, multivalent categories that organize space.
    • Take everything that AI is trying to do and do it better.
    • Organic aggregation practice relies on higher order intelligence of traditional teachings that organize and generate Western civilization- Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas.
    • And it relies on the teachings that organize and generate Eastern civilization- Analects, Tao te Ching, Iching.
    • It relies on martial arts, physical practices, and spatial implementation of thought.
  • Analysts aggregate information primarily in organic spatial network implementation, and also in written research reports.
  • They build their own symmetric network topologies of information transfer, using both the inner senses and digital networks, engaging critical, high value actors in mutual leverage, depth conversation.
  • The original information ecology firm views each analyst as an “investment,” similar to a venture capital investment. They expect a return on their investment over time.
  • In working with the original firm and learning aggregation skills from more practiced teachers, the analyst will in turn build their own spatial networks, and become their own central, high value node.
  • Each analyst is a synthesis of legacy institutional roles:
  • They are a “student,” similar to a student of a higher education, academic institution.
  • A “researcher/reporter” on current events, national politics and geopolitics, similar to a news media journalist.
  • An “artist,” similar to legacy entertainment media.
  • An “intelligence analyst,” similar to Department of Defense analyst.
  • Information ecology captures and streamlines all of these major sectors of production value, in order to geometrically solve for narrative fragmentation by producing high signal, meaningful narratives.
  • The analysts produce concise, lucid, value narratives that compress many fields into an actionable, predictive picture of what’s going on in the environment.
  • This process systematically eliminates noise, confusion, and sickness from people’s lives.
  • When they have reached sufficient ability, the trained analysts are no longer paid by the origin node, but generate their own income through their own spatial network, and pay a portion back to the origin node, generating a return.
  • They use their unique skills and discoveries to train their own analysts.
  • Similar to venture capital, a few of the analysts will generate an out-sized return on investment for the origin node.
  • The analyst does not have to bother with “building an audience” or creating a successful virtual community. They simply engage the most critical, high value actors in mutual leverage depth conversations.
  • This behavior naturally scales on its own because it is based in natural law. It is intrinsic biosocial, psychophysiological interaction dynamics of geometric spatial conversation.
  • At first, only a small group will be able to handle “polymath autodidactic” learning and generate market value from it, but over time it will become the higher education standard.
  • This compounding network of networks cascades into a new market value orientation- a new economic paradigm that incentivizes healthy behavior at micro and macro scale. Once people realize the investment value, resources are not the problem.

The focus is on localized organic spatial networks of coordination across time. The focus is on human intelligence and deep conversation dynamics. These are the causal origin of all market and spatial coordination. Being surrounded by electronic media and digital media for the last 100 years has affected our psychology, and allows us to return to human conversation with a new depth of rigor and meaning.

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