Evolutionary Forces and Cooperative Structures

It is 9.30 am on a cloudy Thursday morning in Los Angeles. Two founding members of Space Cooperative are discussing what ubiquitous cooperative structures could mean for themselves, other members, our planet and well, rest of the solar system itself. Big ideas die hard.

Let’s rewind a few thousand years…Humans have lived as a herd — let’s blame ‘herd mentality’ on that, humans have competed with other species as a herd — let’s blame greed, jealousy, anger and betrayal on that, humans have celebrated as a herd — let’s not blame anything or anyone for that. All these examples represent the core idea that working together seems deeply rooted in evolution. Nevertheless people don’t seem to easily do it.

This is despite the fact that evolution is a powerful and empowering force. If a team can swing by its right side, that team will magnetically draw all the resources it needs to get to its goal. Evolution is the force that has kept us alive. It is the force that will keep us alive.

Consider the following two premises:

  • As per evolution, we are meant to expand to other planets. The interplanetary species argument has been beaten to death now (weird pun).
  • We all come from a lineage of people who had survival genes in them. Nothing personal, people! Your ancestors just befriended evolution. They were ‘naturally’ selected to live in every battle they knowingly or unknowingly fought in the past.

In summary, we all have a global instinct to survive and we are/will be globally guided by evolution in any action that leads to survival. This implies that in a scenario where minds are so powerfully aligned and have attained a purity of motive that lies beyond “local competition”, their survival genes may kick in and gravitate them towards each others’ “core survival spheres” for expansion of human life beyond Earth.

Cooperative structures are meant to establish platforms where local competition rapidly vanishes and global forces of nature are harnessed and befriended to aid all pursuits. So we see the cooperative structure as being a hypothesized solution to aid this next evolutionary step for humanity.

So why not subscribe to positive thinking and optimism even though such notions have not been tested in the lab, to assure gifts from the universe?(see footnote for limitations of today’s science).

In conclusion, aligning with an ally as powerful as evolution, which is certainly what cooperative structures do, seems like one efficient way to operate.

— Based on chats between Yalda Mousavinia and I on Dec 15, 2016. Location: Los Angeles, Earth.

Footnotes (despite which the above argument stands true):

There is a problem with evolution though. It is too survival focused. It will help anything that living organisms to do to be alive in the medium-term. This obviously is a good thing. Only because no one knows what lies beyond that final event horizon we call death. Only because death is a bad thing. What if — consciousness continued to exist beyond death but humans don’t have the ability to perceive it? What if — consciousness is a shared entity when all biases and behavioral attributes are removed from people? What if — the feeling of ‘I’ is actually a feeling of ‘we’? We may not live to ever know the answers to these questions.

On another note — We are limited by what we perceive and all cognitive perception stops at the moment of death. We are limited by the structure of logic that was conceived by giants such as Aristotle and formalized by Kant. We strive to fit the perceivable universe into these logical constructs based on math and science — tools developed by us to communicate these very constructs amongst, well, ourselves. So, in essence, we are limited by science itself in trying to uncover scientific truths that lie outside these constructs.

On a third note (last one, I promise) — Even if it is not for the “universe’s greater good”, evolution certainly sides actions taken to stay alive. Therein lies the fundamental betrayal of evolution — it could merely be a survival focused, short-term rewarding mechanism.

However, we only understand what it means to be alive. So, let’s assume, for the lack of better evidence, that evolution works and we all should learn to love it, embrace it and only finally abandon it when we have found a way to instantly share consciousnesses.