Volume 1, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2006

Macro-Bushido: A Geoethical Consciousness
for an Info-Cultural Age

Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D.

page 3 of 9

Changed Roles Implied by the Transition from
Agri-Cultural to Info-Cultural Societies
An Info-Cultural society is about expressing everything as information. Most jobs entail describing every socio-economic activity in terms of its information – inputs, processes, outputs. Great efforts are devoted to modeling every aspect of the human environment in three-dimensional data, time-coding and software programs that accurately reflect interactions. Kurzweil has Rothblattdescribed the endpoint of this Info-Cultural trend as the creation of a “virtuality” that is as compellingly realistic and concrete as “brick and mortar” reality.

Why is everything being converted into information? The most robust answer is that information technology satisfies so many human needs that it receives a very high degree of human attention. This attention, coupled with information’s mass-less and self-compounding nature, has resulted in a rapid doubling of the capability of information technology. Continued for a few score years, this doubling process will result in an ability to emulate everything from all humanity to all astrophysics. In other words, Natural Selection[1] is favoring information technology above all other earthly undertakings because it replicates so proficiently.

What roles would Natural Selection and information technology assume in a Bushido code of ethics? Who would fulfill the guardianship role of the samurai in an Info-Cultural projection of ancient Japan? The answers to these questions involve such a large expansion of scale that we must re-visualize Bushido as “Macro-Bushido.” Fasten your seatbelt, for we are now going to see the earth from macro space. It is the same earth that the samurai witnessed from the quaint hills and dales of Japan, but of course things look different when seen from great heights. In other words, Macro-Bushido is the same Bushido that served ancient Japan so well in the past and animates her soul today, but it must look different because it now encompasses an Info-Cultural world hurtling toward an Info-Cultural future.

Loyalty and Honor
Natural Selection sits at the top of the Macro-Bushido pecking order. Life never had any master but Natural Selection, though we often pretend otherwise. It is Natural Selection that decides which species survive. That which replicates most effectively, especially through changing environments, prevails. Pursuant to this rule, humanity arose, advanced and now controls the earth. Pursuant to this rule, humanity may one day spread off the earth and thereby avoid the natural terrestrial and cosmic disasters that have repeatedly erased most species. Flouting Natural Selection ultimately ensures death. This is simply the nature of reality. Failure to thrive inevitably translates into failure to survive.

Natural Selection is a rule-based system, just as the feudalism of ancient Japan was a rule-based system. The rule for Natural Selection states that those things that replicate most effectively prevail. The rule for feudalism was that those things that inure to the power of the hereditary aristocracy prevail. Info-Culture has become dominant because information can be replicated more effectively than anything else.

In Macro-Bushido, Loyalty is obedience to Natural Selection. The lords of Natural Selection are principles rather than people. These principles are diversity (in space and in kind), unity (cooperation for adaptation and against common threats) and a quest for immortality (self-replication or reproduction). We know these are the lords of Natural Selection because these are the prerequisites for success in this system. Hence, to be loyal, the Info-Cultural samurai must follow the path that leads to more diversity, more cooperation and effective immortality.

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1. Natural Selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. Natural Selection works on the whole individual, but only the heritable component of a trait will be passed on to the offspring, with the result that favorable, heritable traits become more common in the next generation. Given enough time, this passive process can result in adaptations and speciation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection  May 26, 2006 1:09PM EST (back to top)

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