Thursday, March 21, 2019



The test team spent most of today brainstorming how to test the global strategy based on my new interpretation of the agreements section as a set of rules governing practically everything. Riddick and I sat in for the first two hours, during which I shared what few new insights might help, and then we went to her office and discussed revisions to the strategy documentation that could make it more understandable and usable to its intended audience.

As we talked, I learned that her role involves a mix of computer simulation, historical research, social science, psychology, and observation to make short-term predictions (she calls them projections) of how execution of the strategy will be influenced by current events tied to the public’s understanding of both the strategy and how it is being rolled out. “I’m tracking several ongoing surveys,” she said at one point, “and polling focus groups in the test communities to see what changes on a daily basis. You’re welcome to use those resources to evaluate your proposed inputs.”

I asked how she was accounting for press coverage in her simulation, and if it would be easier to decrease transparency to reduce uncertainty in the results. “You mean like cutting off your reporting from inside the operation?” she asked in reply. When I refused to answer, she continued, “Politicians have been characterizing and manipulating press for decades, with some very simple goals. Our goals don’t include manipulating people. We want to learn from them so we can collaborate in the common purpose of saving everyone from oblivion.”

“But is it really a common purpose?” I challenged her, recalling my discussions with leaders who seemed more interested in protecting a viewpoint or a privileged group rather than the entirety of humanity based on unvarnished reality.

She spent a few seconds searching for something on her computer, and then read, “Respect all creatures, because you and they are ultimately the same and cannot have lived independently.” I recognized the strategy’s first General Rule. She continued, “The term all creatures includes all people. The use of the past tense links all species to our common past; and ‘we’ are the common past of those who may live in the future. Respect in action at all scales is key to survival, from individual to group to species to just life.”

“So that’s the main message,” I said, impressed.

“The first one,” she corrected. “It’s the highest priority because everything else depends on the action that springs from it.”

Reality Check

The logic of the rules is beginning to be revealed here. It’s tied to the physical reality that drives survival, which is the point of the exercise, with limited longevity providing the urgency of the project (and something else people must be convinced of in order to take appropriate action).

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