Own your sh*t

Own your sh*t. It’s called sh*t for a reason. It’s your legacy and it’s not perfect. It never is.


Society emerges from the recognition of individuals. An individual is located in space and time. More than this, it is tied to a sphere of influence. We assigne causes to events and we stop in the chain when hitting a decision center - the mind of an individual. For example, a recognized causality chain would be:

global warming
⇑ [caused by]
excessive CO\(_2\) emissions
⇑ [caused by]
bad governance of world countries
⇑ [caused by]
leaders of world countries
⇑ elections ???

It’s generally the leaders of the countries that are held responsible, not the citizens that put them in power.

Individual members of society are considered responsible for their actions, or they’re not members of society. This is how various societies have emerged throughout history. sometimes, some individuals are considered less responsible than others but nonetheless, it’s hard to find cases where someone else is held responsible instead. Examples of classes of people that have been historically considered less responsible include:

While there’s no scientific reason why the world must be comprised of one or more societies, it is the framework within which humans operate. It follows from the emergence of individuals minds although it’s not necessary. Many animals arguably have minds but are not meaningfully organized as societies. Even a human, when stranded alone on a desert island, ceases to function within a society. Another class of scenarios with unclear consequences involve hive minds. A hive mind a spatially distributed, which may temporarily be split into individual minds due to communication network failures but eventually reconnects. It is what humans might turn into if they became telepathically connected, possibly using brain implants and wireless communication networks. We don’t have historical evidence of actual hive minds to have a clear sense of how responsibility and justice would be implemented in such societies, if we may still call them societies. We could speculate that hive minds tend to not be competitive in the world and die out precisely due to the lack of blame assignment to their individual constituents, as well as the lack of competition between multiple hive minds if they keep merging into bigger hive minds on first contact. This is to say that a hive mind may not be evolutionary competitive unless it implements some mechanism that guarantees its evolution and survival in changing environment. This is a concern when one considers that the major contributor to the evolution of intelligence in humans may have been intraspecific conflict, i.e. war. Modern communication technology may be bringing humans closer to functioning as a hive mind. However, we still operate as a society with well-defined individuals, and we have laws and traditions based on that. Historically, efforts to assign or deassign responsibility from actual decision centers - the individual minds - have failed massively. See for example dictatorships or attempts to create pure collectivist societies where everyone is equally deserving regardless of they do.

Martin Jambon, August 17, 2022