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There is a flood of ideas and opinions about various causes of the major problems humanity is facing right now. But there is a shortage of feasible proposals for what specifically can be done to address them.
This argument is a feasible proposal that lays out what is necessary to address a root cause of humanity's problems, based on thoroughly vetted and established modern academic research, and validated against a working system.
We ask that you take the time to carefully consider this argument and see if you are convinced. We invite you to share your questions, concerns, or criticisms with us.
Natural intelligence is what all living things rely on to make sense of and navigate their environment. There are factors and forces in the modern world that are breaking down natural intelligence in people at scale.
This breakdown of natural intelligence is a root generator function for both psychological distress and suffering across humanity and the emergence of global existential crises facing humanity.
Modern cognitive science now has provided the knowledge and understanding to build technology that restores and enhances natural intelligence, thus making it possible to address the root of psychological suffering and humanity's global crises. Inqwire has built and tested an instance of this technology.
This argument begins by presenting the role of natural intelligence in individual psychological wellbeing. It then goes on to present the role of natural intelligence in global crises and the human coordination required to respond appropriately. It concludes with concrete actions people can do at the individual, collective, and technology levels to restore, protect, and enhance natural intelligence alone and with others to address personal, local, and global challenges.
In part 1, we present the basis for how natural intelligence is being blocked in humans, how that leads to psychological distress, that technology and inquiry practices can be used to restore and enhance natural intelligence and thereby directly address the psychological wellbeing of humanity.
We have a vulnerability in our attention system that, when exploited, keeps us from being able to ground conceptual models into the real world.
This happens when either our conceptual models can't be grounded in reality, or when our attention system has been captured in a quality of attention that cannot ground models into reality.
There are no noticeable signs when we cannot ground models into reality. When we are presented with ‘nonsense' models that can't be grounded, we simply accept them as believable. When we are caught in a quality of attention that cannot ground models into reality, we feel as though 'nonsense' models add up and make sense.
When we cannot ground models into reality, our attention system gets caught in painful and unproductive processes that can lead to large scale forms of psychological distress commonly associated with mental illness.
When we lose our ability to ground models into reality, we lose our ability to make sense of our environment in such a way that we can navigate towards what's best for us, individually and collectively.
In other words, the inability to ground models into reality is the root cause of what we'd recognize as every form of insanity, where people are making choices that are against their best interests, including self-destructive and short-sighted behavior.
Any system or individual that can prevent others from grounding 'nonsense' models into reality will be more successful than systems or individuals that don't. This selects for human systems, technologies, and information sources that are designed to exploit the vulnerability in our attention system where we can be blocked from grounding models into reality.
Because we are living in a world full of factors and forces that block our ability to ground models into reality, many people have accumulated an understanding of the world that is based on ‘nonsense' models that block them from being able to navigate towards what's best for them and others.
There are specific inquiry practices that allow anyone to protect their attention system from being captured, to identify if it is has been captured, and to unblock and restore their attention system to its fully natural state.
This restored state enables the full functioning of their ‘natural intelligence' which is fundamental to being able to ground models into reality and take actions that make sense.
When our attention system is not being captured and is fully restored, we have access to a higher level of cognition, a much more powerful form of cognition than the quality of cognition we can exercise when our attention is being captured.
We have been misinformed to believe that the quality of our cognition we use when our attention is being captured, called analytic intelligence, is the most powerful form of cognition. This is wrong.
Our full attention system uses natural intelligence, which leverages our ability to accurately model and represent ‘naive physics,' and includes imagination, conceptual blends, theory of mind, affect, and counterfactual reasoning. It is the only kind of intelligence capable of insight and it is a much more powerful form of intelligence for generating the real-world solutions needed to address our current crises.
Natural intelligence is the unrecognized source of the scientific advancements and other ingenious achievements that we so highly value. Analytic intelligence, the subset of natural intelligence and the intelligence that our trapped attention system can participate in, is the one that receives the credit for scientific advancements and other achievements, giving it the illusion of superiority.
Tools and technology can help address the vulnerability in our attention system where we are blocked from grounding models into reality, and technology can both restore and enhance the abilities we get from natural intelligence that have been lost from having our attention system captured. Through this, tools and technology can help people develop a better, deeper understanding of the world around them so they can navigate their lives better and take actions that make sense.
Inqwire has created these tools and technologies, along with training material around the metacognitive skills needed to address the vulnerability in the attention system and engage in natural intelligence processes. Learn more.
In part 2, we build on the previous points to present a basis for how the breakdown of natural intelligence in humans is the root generator for global crises facing humanity, how restoring and enhancing natural intelligence is necessary and may be sufficient for humanity to coordinate to address the global crises.
Very simple systems or ‘functions' can generate very complex phenomena, as popularized by fractals and chaos theory. There are similar dynamics happening in our modern world where extremely complex and complicated systems can be a result of much simpler systems (‘generator functions') that exist at a deeper level.
Generator functions can serve as root causes for global crises around the well-being and survivability of humanity and its life support system.
The ability to exploit humans through this vulnerability in our attention system, where we can be blocked from grounding models into reality, is the lowest level root generator function that all other identified downstream generator functions follow from.
The current response to our global crises has been ineffective because it is operating at the wrong level, or at the wrong generator function.
Even if we manage to correct course at a higher level, the gains will be temporary as the root generator function will continue to create new global level crises until it is addressed directly.
Fundamentally, natural intelligence enables living systems to ground models into a shared reality, such that they can coordinate in the mutual creation of life. In exercising natural intelligence, living systems reveal feasible solutions for living and thriving that mutually constrain and accommodate other living systems.
This means that individual problems become recognized as collective problems, and solutions to collective problems are made up of coordinated solutions to individual problems that each individual needs to participate in navigating towards.
Natural intelligence is an untapped resource that we unintentionally gave up in exchange for the ability to control and exploit others through exploiting the vulnerability in their attention system.
Natural intelligence is ubiquitous across people in that it is similar to our universal ability to perceive our environment with our senses to the same degree. It is not like other forms of intelligence that are uneven across people, such as IQ.
Natural intelligence is more powerful than current AI systems, more powerful than current computing systems, and more powerful than what we're used to people being able to do in their current state with a captured attention system.
As the more powerful form of intelligence, natural intelligence opens up new possibilities for addressing larger scale problems.
It operates within context and naturally solves how to reduce complexity with shared, real-world constraints. This ability to naturally reduce complexity using shared real-world constraints leads to a natural way to distribute the cognitive resources needed to address problems that operate in the real world at a global scale.
There are necessary design constraints for distributing natural intelligence across people to be used to coordinate and address real world problems at scale. Inqwire has developed a feasible architecture that satisfies those constraints and has created a working technology platform based on it.
The wicked problems the world is facing today far exceed our computational resources and abilities.
If the same kind of resources that are currently being deployed for large computing systems and artificial intelligence initiatives, were instead deployed to the problem of restoring, enhancing, and coordinating natural intelligence, we may have more than sufficient resources to address our global scale wicked problems.
Given this is the only viable hypothesis right now for how we may address global scale wicked problems, it is imperative that this hypothesis be tested.
In part 3, we present a set of things people can do at the individual level, the collective level, and the technology level for putting the conclusion of this argument into practice.
Address the factors and forces that are blocking natural intelligence in your life.
Take the time to ‘ground' and revise your backlog of ungrounded models you have accumulated.
Exercise natural intelligence in navigating your life.
Address cultural factors and forces that are blocking natural intelligence within communities and groups you participate in.
Come together to exercise collective natural intelligence, explore disagreements, and exchange grounded models towards both improving and increasing a general understanding of how the world works.
Exercise collective natural intelligence with others to face shared challenges, coordinate, and navigate towards what's best and what makes sense for everyone.
Resist and challenge technologies that attempt to influence your behaviors, thinking, and decision making with ungrounded models.
Invest in technologies that recognize the value of human tacit knowledge and natural intelligence, and that are built with architectures that support the creation of grounded models.
Use and support initiatives to create various forms of global information systems that present information in a way that supports the creation of grounded models.
We've just laid out our argument about the root generator of global crises facing humanity and what to do about it. If you have any criticisms or questions about this argument, we invite you to reach out. And as a reminder, you can hear us talk at more length about these points and beyond in our Natural Intelligence Podcast.
If you agree with this argument and see the importance of the implications, then we ask you to consider helping us share this argument with others. Now that we have the understanding and a solution, it's imperative to inform the world.
And, if you're interested in helping us in any other way with this mission to restore and enhance the natural intelligence of humanity to win the race against insanity and create a world that makes sense, please get in touch.