Poetic Justice Warrior Douglas Engelbart Bootstraps Individual Production to Collective Knowledge
Legal justice is a system of laws, however subjective they can be, that punish vice. Poetic justice is a code of moral principles that rewards virtue and punishes vice. While some politicians are threatening the arbitrary use of government force during the Wuhan virus fiasco, and others are defending individual rights, no one is talking about the poetic justice solution to the pandemic.
Most politicos rally around the three V’s – vaccines, ventilators, and v-shaped recovery. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine claims that life will not get back to normal until there is a vaccine. A threat. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo complains about the lack of ventilators in area hospitals. Yet he has authorized spending billions on the failed projects of his donors. In Washington, economic advisor Larry Kudlow and his sycophants in national media are cheerleading a v-shaped economic recovery, despite their demand-side remedy for their supply-side disaster.
They fail to grasp two moral principles – production is primary to human life, and producers must be free to innovate. These principles are codified in Say’s Law, the mother of all economic theory – production creates its own demand. A corollary is Engelbart’s Law, the mother of all high-tech bootstrapping – exponential progress. The justice of the peace who married the individualism of production with the collectivism of human knowledge is Poetic Justice Warrior Douglas Engelbart.
The Ultimate Resource
Engelbart’s philosophical achievement is proving the volitional nature of knowledge, we are not merely products of our environment. We can objectively understand reality, even when political overlords try to indoctrinate us into dependency. He defines this as the socio-technology fabric.
Engelbart showed we can grasp the nature of this socio-technology fabric, and make improvements to it. With his Bootstrap Paradigm, Engelbart demonstrated that the accumulation of human knowledge is exponential, and is stored for human flourishing in the Dynamic Knowledge Repository. Technically speaking, its all part of his Concurrent Development, Integration and Application of Knowledge (CoDIAK) process.
More simply, in economics, its called prices. In politics, its called, say what? Oddly enough, the political solution to complex problems is something less reliable than moral principles, it’s their computer models. Their utilitarian purpose is to predict the future and control behavior, for the common good.
Economic forecasting to justify government spending is known as Econometric models. Climate forecasting to justify government spending is known as Earth System models. Since both have perfect batting averages for striking out, the political response to the Wuhan virus pandemic is also rooted in computer models. Oddly enough, they too were horribly wrong, and huge swaths of vital production have come to a halt.
The solution to macro social problems is human ingenuity. In economics, Julian Simon proved this in his book, The Ultimate Resource. In environmental science, philosopher Alex Epstein proved this in his book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. For computer models designed for physical sciences, economist Jesus Huerta de Soto proved they are useless for the dynamic systems of human ingenuity.
Engelbart’s theory of knowledge, abstract concepts derived from simpler forms, is his ABC Model. In this structure of human behavior, the simplest activity is A-level, business as usual. Its history is the Dark Ages, society does not advance. In demand-side economics, this is known as equilibrium. A-level compulsory public education was best expressed by its architect, John Dewey, “There is no obvious social motive for the acquirement of mere learning, there is no clear social gain in success thereat.”
B-level activity improves on the status quo, society advances, and civilization evolves. The prime historical example is the rebirth of reason that led to the Renaissance. Because Western society began to flourish under individualism, freedom, and science, supply-side capitalism broke the chains of feudal anarchy and deprivation. Its educational philosophy was advanced in the private-sector by Maria Montessori; a system aimed at the cognitive, rational faculty of each student’s mind. In calculus, B-level would be the first derivative of speed, and C-level would be the second, acceleration.
Engelbart preferred turbocharging the “C” activity by accelerating the acceleration. In the world of semiconductors, we know it as Moore’s Law. Named after Gordon Moore, he predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every year. His prediction was based on the more reliable SWAG computer model (scientific wild-assed guess), “I just did a wild extrapolation saying it’s going to continue to double every year.”
For Engelbart, bootstrapping had its own corollary, the exponential nature of human life. As living proof of Engelbart’s CoDIAK process, the science of DNA sequencing was taking shape as semiconductor performance was doubling. Concurrently, Nobel physicist and microbiologist Walter Gilbert and his colleagues were isolating proteins that bind to specific regions of the DNA strand.
Here’s a simple way to think of this, all life has three components – the memory chip instruction manual is DNA, the fat burning motor is mitochondria, and the glue that holds it all together are proteins.
The Mother of All Poetic Justice
Because of computing power, Engelbart’s Law also applies to the cost of DNA science. It now costs $10,000 to map an entire genome instead of $100 million twenty years ago. The Wuhan virus genome was mapped earlier this year. None of this was possible without capital. Capital is not possible without production. Production is not possible without human ingenuity. Human ingenuity is not possible without political freedom. Political freedom is not possible without economic freedom. Economic freedom is not possible without profit.
Profit is the poetic justice solution that is rooted in moral principles. Yet our political overlords have contempt for the profits essential for vaccines, ventilators, and v-shaped recoveries, let alone the producers who are essential to human existence. To them, it just happens, so it makes sense they would suspend the supply-side economic activity they consider unworthy.
Instead, they give stay-at-home orders, and disregard the immune system overload that is the greatest danger of the Wuhan virus. Hygiene is essential, but our overlords are silent about fortifying immune systems. While maximizing the number of low risk, healthy, highly productive workers should be the top priority, we’re sacrificing them instead, for the common good.
According to Dr. Amesh Adalja of the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Wuhan virus, like every corona virus that preceded it, will be with us forever. In fact, immune systems have adapted to countless viruses over millions of years of evolution. Known as terrain theory, healthy living is dependent on our body’s ability to resist disease. Choosing to live is not the avoidance of death, yet our overlords are addicted to germ theory because avoiding disease depends on their pharmaceuticals.
As poetic justice would have it, Douglas Engelbart chose to live. He delivered The Mother of All Demos 52 years ago in San Francisco. Its goal was to show how technology would turbocharge “C” activity, augment the ability of the human mind, and expand possibilities, exponentially. The windows graphic user interface, display monitor, word processer, hypertext, file linking, keyboard and mouse were introduced to the world; proving that necessity is not the mother of invention.
For today’s A-level thinkers in government, all of this was non-essential activity. Tell that to those under stay-at-home orders from the ignorant, power-mad governor of Michigan, while networking and performing essential work, remotely, thanks to Engelbart’s Law.