“And for the long game, imagine a world where everybody understood the full meaning of this simple idea: love is that which enables choice.
If you really get that, if you lived by that principle…if everybody in the world understood that thoroughly, the world would be a better place as cliché as it is. ”
As I was watching Albert Kim’s presentation on Game C, I was immediately reminded by Forrest Landry’s quote, “Love is that which enables choice”. I found Landry’s quote to be particularly helpful in the context of Kim’s presentation in that the birth of Game C starts with choice. In order to have effective governance, good choice making is essential.
But because of existing power asymmetry, the capacity of choice making by the very influential few is disproportionately larger than the majority of the populace. The decisions of those influential few hugely impact the majority of the populace. Look no further than the economic crisis of 2008 and the subsequent bailouts of big banks and business. While the public can band together and force the hand of policymakers as with the George Floyd protests, that is not the manner in which policy is often designed. It usually takes a devastating event (like a prominent death or a natural disaster) to get people to enthusiastically respond because it is immediate and readily accessible proof of ongoing complex social problems.
But we cannot have governance that only acts on what is immediate because it means that we fail to prepare ahead to deal with problems down the road. To prepare requires us to have excellent sensemaking in order for us to be aware of ongoing trends and developments that can help us fend off existential risk. Right now, the ongoing social, ecological, technological developments are too fast and too complex for any individual to make sense of and respond to. That is why we need each other to co-ordinate in order to create adaptive systems that can adequately respond to our ever-changing world.
Since there is no one size fits all solution for governance as it is contingent on the participants involved, local considerations, etc., some communities may employ effective bottom-up participatory governance while others may use a top-down AI approach.
Enter Game C, a framework that Albert Kim presented on The Integral Stage, which proposes a plurality of good places in a networked, localized manner combined with an awareness of the good that is ever-changing. The communities are linked by a holistic notion of the good that is ever-changing, but the communities themselves and the links between them are highly resilient as well. That also requires people to know and have experience in forming strong relationships. Ideally, the attitude of “I just want the state to work so I can do my own thing” would be a thing of the past. Kim offers a promising vision of relationality without getting lost in utopic thinking.
A crucial piece to the puzzle to maintaining resilience within Game C communities will be deciding on what is relevant for the whole community and the network as a whole. Since there is no one size fits all solution for governance as it is contingent on the participants involved, local considerations, etc., some communities may employ effective bottom-up participatory governance while others may use a top-down AI approach.
The concept of narrowing down to what is most relevant is a concept that John Vervaeke calls relevance realization. While this means that every thought from every agent cannot be taken fully into account into the problem space because that would result in combinatory explosion, instead what it does is that it encourages a process in order to get to what is relevant to the whole community on behalf of the true, the good, and the beautiful.
This is where I see John Vervaeke’s concept of relevance realization having a practical application for designing systems of governance, the rationale behind collective sensemaking. What is relevant would differ for each community, but the point is that there would be multiple communities to choose from whether they be democratic, technocratic, etc.
It is important to remind ourselves why we are sensemaking and designing adaptive systems in the first place. It is because we want to make the most relevant choices for ourselves on this planet. Could we find ourselves in a loop of inquiry? Quite possibly, but that is also a choice. One of the choices on behalf of what is good, true, and beautiful is to be vulnerable and to bring your gifts out into the world where they have effects, intended and unintended. But when making a choice, remember Landry’s quote “Love is that which enables choice”.
Choose on the basis of love.