Friday, December 24, 2010

Latest Version

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Letter To Richard Wolffe

Dear Mr. Wolffe,

Where we fit in the social evolution of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens is discussed in detain in “Universal Isocracy: The Religion” [] but we are now in the sub-pattern that we can identify as the “Industrial Revolution” dating from the 1500s. This is an effort to get back to the egalitarianism of the Paleolithic (50,000 bce to 8,000 bce) after the autocratic period of the post-agricultural Neolithic (8,000 bce to 1500 ce).

The characteristic of the Neolithic has been described by Arnold Toynbee, where the fall of a particular civilization is marked by the decadence of the ruling elite and the religiosity of the non-elite. This was modified slightly during the Industrial Revolution in that the sub-periods were marked by the upward mobility of the lower “middle” class to elite status by the exploitation of some form of technology. This was clearly demonstrated by the movement of social strata in North America.

The first layer were the traders and bankers who used the technology of the ocean going ship to get wealthy: the traders got tchotchkes from distant countries and the bankers exchanged and stored forms of wealth. Calvin invented a new form of aristocracy, the Elect, that was appointed by God and whose sign was wealth.

The Planters stayed in the colonies using the technology of the slave-powered farm or Plantation. They became the elite in North America and used the American Revolution to disestablish the european elite. The response of the american non-elite is identified as the first religious “great Awakening” of the 1730s to 1740s. The Planters, like Washington and Jefferson, maintained their elite status until the 1860s.

The Industrial Entrepreneurs brought mechanical technology from northern Europe and became wealthy but they were blocked from becoming elite by the planters. Their religious movement was the second “Great Awakening” (1800-1840) that led to the abolition movement and the downfall of the Planter Class by the elimination of slavery as a consequence of the American Civil War.

The Industrial Entrepreneurs demonstrated their decadence by building castles in Newport, Rhode Island, and leaving the operation of their factories to the clerks and mechanics. The religious movement in their period (1880 to 1910) is called the Third Great Awakening, and was characterized by the social gospel, i.e., upward mobility for the lower class. It corresponded to the “Managerial Revolution” identified by Fortune Magazine, in which the clerks and mechanics became the elite bureaucrats: the government bureaucrats being represented by the Democratic Party and the corporate bureaucrats being represented by the Republican Party. They became the elite during the two World Wars and the Great Depression. In the post-war period they passed the “G. I. Bill” which diluted the status of a college education. When these ex-GIs absorbed the Republican beliefs they became “Reagan Democrats” and put the Republicans in power until that caused the depression of 2008. The Democrats are trying to get out of that situation without losing power.

There is a movement that can be called the “Fourth Great Awakening” that includes things like the “Tea Party” movement and Glen Beck’s revivalist movement. The Republicans are trying to use this movement to counter the attractiveness of the Democrats to voters of color and in the lower class. It is not clear (because we are in it) just how much of that movements is spontaneous and how much is rigged by the corporate elite. In either case the sensible thing is for the Democrats to stir up the fervor in their non-elite supporters, but the Democratic elite will be afraid they can’t control them. In either case the revivalism is another symptom of social change from a system controlled by a bureaucratic elite.

What happens next is anybody’s guess. One of the possibilities is a Crusade against Islam (which would be a crusade for oil and against Obama). The democratic elite would like to keep the status quo without stirring up too much fuss, but the left wing is more activist. The Republican elite would also like to keep the status quo, but their activist fringe is out of control. The election of 2010 should give some solid indication as to how soon we can expect the “Decline and Fall of Western Civilization”.

In any case it is interesting that Glenn Beck has seen the opportunity of getting on the revivalist bandwagon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The immediate problem in the fall of 2010 is the elections of 2010 and 2012. The difficulty is that Obama has not been able to keep his overenthusiastic promises and he has appeared to be satisfied with that situation. The odds are that the Republicans will be able to make enough gains in Congress to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything, while not being able to overthrow a veto so they won’t accomplish anything either. If Obama can convince the voters that the inability to get out of the recession is the Republican’s fault then he’ll be returned to office and can continue his program. If not we’ll go into a “double dip” recession.

The thing to remember that there are six groups to think about instead of two. There are the Democratic elite (the office holders and their hangers on) and the Republican elite (office holders and hangers on and recent office holders). The media takes them at their word.

Besides them there are the voting blocs. The left, including the far left (progressive) are included with the regular democrats. The centrists, called independents because no party is located in the center. The regular Republicans were moderate right. And the far right now identified with the “Tea Party” and other neo-fascist groups. the core democrats and core republicans will vote no matter what because they will be moved by local issues. The far left will either vote democratic or not at all. They learned what happens to left wing third parties in 1948. The independents will stay home unless they get stirred up to be anti-republican. The republicans will vote their party line because they believe in “trickle down”. The right wing “Tea Party” people will vote republican and they may provide the difference in elections, but they won’t be party line in congress.

The result will be that whether or not Republicans can control one or both houses of congress nothing will be accomplished during the 2010-2012 period. What happens in 2012 depends on who takes the blame for the inaction of the federal government. This will be difficult to use as a political ploy because both elites want minimum federal action so as to keep the non-elite from experiencing upward mobility.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's Happening (Short Version)

The crisis that we are presently undergoing has deep roots. It can be argued that it was an inevitable result of the way we found to cope with the invention of agriculture, which we call the Neolithic Revolution. Before that we were limited to a tribe of perhaps a dozen or so people who governed by talking themselves into a consensus. Everybody was pretty much equal except that the Shaman and the War Chief had executive power when they were needed.

After the Neolithic Revolution and until the Industrial Revolution the limits on population were removed and governance was by an elite: a secular elite who governed the state and fought other states and a religious elite who passed on God’s orders.

After the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” the elite had gotten a taste for global tchotchkes but no army to get them so independent traders did. They, and the middlemen/bankers, got rich but were still non-elite.

Calvin solved this problem by inventing a new kind of elite appointed directly by God. The “Elect” proved their election by becoming rich.
In the world the Planters developed the slave-powered single-crop farm and got so rich they fought the American Revolution to become free of the bankers and traders in Europe. Then the Industrial Entrepreneurs fought the American Civil war to abolish slavery so that they could replace the planters as the elite.

They became decadent and left the factories to be run by their clerks and mechanics who styled themselves as “managers”, turned the stock certificates from documents of ownership to gambling chips in a casino called a Stock Exchange and became the new elite. In the first World War the government employees emulated the corporate bureaucracy so they were ready to become the elite when the depression came. That and the second World War kept the elite government bureaucrats (represented by the Democratic Party) in power till the new elite corporate bureaucrats (created by the “G.I.Bill” and represented by the Republican Party) became converted by Reagan. They retained power until 2008.

One might have expected that the next stratum of the lower middle class would have become upwardly mobile in the 1950-60 era, possibly as some phenomenon of the postwar explosion of computer technology, but that didn’t happen. If anything, the strata that were lower middle class and lower suffered some degree of downward mobility. The elite bureaucrats of both kinds have been aware that their own positions are at hazard.

The primary certification of upward mobility in the 20th century has been conspicuous consumption of tchotchkes. This is possible so long as this is limited to an elite that is of the order of 10% of the population. But there aren’t enough resources for the lower-middle and working classes to waste resources like the elite of western civilization do.

If we retain our attitudes and move toward a civilization that is egalitarian we will have class conflicts over resource shortages. If we retain our attitudes and do not move to become more egalitarian we will have domestic terrorism from the left as well as the right. Either one will be likely to bring on a “decline and fall”.

If we want to move toward a more egalitarian global society we will have to make waste, and especially conspicuous consumption, behavior that is considered “bad taste” or nekulturni. That will be very difficult to do.

The probable outcome is the “decline and fall of western civilization” which may result in a Utopia that is egalitarian, ecologically responsible and creative after we have passed through a chaotic “dark ages”.

For more details see

Sunday, August 8, 2010


It strikes me that some people who read this might want to write me directly. If you are one of them send an email to

Second Version of Uniso

I just posted the second version of "Universal Isocracy" on the net at I suspect I will be writing some more about the topic, but I'll leave this alone as a reference. Maybe I'll start putting things on here again. This will be a good place to mention relevant pieces on the net, like Op-Ed things from the times.

Monday, July 12, 2010


The democrats are openly abandoning the non-elite in order to "reduce the deficit", i.e., preserve that value of wealth. This should produce the left-wing equivalent of the Tea Parties and a federal legislature that is effectively split four ways so nothing can be accomplished. If that doesn't take us a step farther toward the "decline & Fall" or at least a double dip recession I'll be surprised.

I'm rewriting to suit. Mostly the introduction.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More or Less Open Letter

To Russ Douthat, Paul Krugman, Rachel Madow and Keith Obermann,

I want to thank you all: Rachel and Keith for your programs, Paul for his opinions and Ross for his occasionally brilliant insights into reality. Together you have solved a problem that has puzzled me: why Hitler emerged from the liberal decadence of the Weimar Republic. Russ' oped today provided the key; the liberals call for dictatorial action because they want to fail.

Not that I fault you. It is considerably more pleasant listening to left-leaning folk than right-leaning folk who would as soon see me ground up for fuel for their limousines as not. You may not have thought through the consequences of what you say any more deeply than your rightwing counterparts, but at least you are much less likely to advocate anything that will cause us harm. Sally and I don't have much money and less status so we have little to lose from anything you are likely to advocate.

We do have a house in the Caribbean in which we spend most of the year, but it is an island which is not easily accessed (yet) so it has few US tourists. (See

When you do disappoint me, what causes the disappointment is the failure of my own expectations. And that isn't fair to you. I shouldn't expect you to be more perceptive than your listeners/readers and, as Ross pointed out, I certainly shouldn't expect you to be more perceptive than your colleagues.

I particularly noticed that Keith seemed to feel that Obama should have blustered like Il Duce (remember him?), and acted like Hitler. But that's just because you didn't think about the unanticipated consequences. I had sometimes wondered why a liberal populace like Weimar Germany chose Hitler. But they forgot that dictators are dangerous because they are always on their own side, even if they seem to be on your side once in a while. But it is one of the things that might happen. Not with Obama, of course, but with the left wing guy after the next right-wing guy. It will seem like the important thing is to solve the problem, not to have a democratic infrastructure.

But I have been thinking about these matters for quite a while. I have been thinking seriously for the last 50 years, and trying out left wing positions for a
number of years before that, and I can definitely say that while I can't make a precise short-range prediction I can expect us to evolve into a globally egalitarian, ecologically responsible and creative civilization. We have been progressing in that direction at least since the neolithic, and you could argue that it was inevitable once we started using mouth-noises to communicate abstract ideas. We don't even know when that was.

But the thread isn't obvious. It took me 50 years to figure it out, starting with a Ph. D. in Physics, and it will probably take longer for anyone who doesn't start with some feeling for the mathematics used in quantum physics.

If the geekyness of that turns you on, the argument is contained in (

But it isn't going to be painless.

The key to the present is that by 1950 we had evolved to the point where
the senior bureaucrats were the elite. The government bureaucrats were represented by the Democratic Party and the corporate bureaucrats were represented by the Republican Party. Since 1950 they have alternated
being in control of Western Civilization and their main unconscious ambition is to maintain the status quo.

The reason is that since around 1500 the certification of upward mobility has been the conspicuous expenditure of resources. There aren't enough resources for the rest of our species to waste resources to the degree that the upper levels of western civilization does.

The net result is that the elite (both Democrats and Republicans) have to hold social evolution to a standstill, so that the lower classes ( sma folk, in swedish), mostly people of color, have to be prevented from experiencing upward mobility and the fringes of the elite (like the people in Dilbert) have to be forced to be downwardly mobile. These fringe people are more aware of what is happening to them, which provides the anger in the tea-party and left-blogger groups. They have a right to be angry, they just don't know who they ought to be angry at.

Obama is trying to get our system working again, but he doesn't understand that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want him to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. For instance he was the only one in the White House who wanted the health care bill. Probably even he doesn't understand how very revolutionary it is.

Remember that the best medicine for many chronic diseases of the poor is to have good nutrition and shelter, and imagine what will happen when the doctors learn to prescribe that and the bean counters learn it is cost effective. That will set economics on its ear. But neither Democrats nor Republicans would either anticipate nor desire those results.

So in one sense it may not be a good idea for you to become infected with my concepts. If you took them seriously you might lose your audience. But as we get deeper into the crisis knowing about the "unintended consequences" might help you survive. The next decades are going to be hard to predict.

Karl Eklund, Ph.D.
Myricks, MA and
Villa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Questions about Homo Sapiens Sapiens

Question 2: Why is Homo Sapiens Sapiens found in so much variety of appearance?

In Part 1 of it says: But fission and migration doesn't always work. When we were surrounded by other tribes just far enough away that we know they are there, we couldn't easily fission and move apart. We had solve the population problem another way. We had to control our population without moving, in a more direct manner.

The only technology we had for that was infanticide. If we wanted to use abortion, even if we knew a method safe for the mother, we wouldn't know that it was the undesirable infant we killed. And there was little point in waiting until we had a lot invested in a person, and then killing them and wasting all that effort. So we had no choice but infanticide to keep the tribe a stable size.

The problem is that infanticide requires us to choose which infants to kill, and there aren't enough babies like Oedipus (with swollen feet) who was born with a visually obvious disability.

The only easy choice was to kill those infants who didn't look like the rest of us.

The result of that practice is that while the individuals of our species in different places might look quite different, in any one locality we pretty much look alike.

We refer to that global variety and local uniformity of appearance and language as "race".

We evolved the characteristics we call "racial" not by "natural selection" based on the laws of evolution but by the same kind of artificial selection we use in breeding show animals. The important conclusion is that no "race" is more likely to be better at survival than any other, because the selection for "race" was simply based on appearance. And that remains the case: no "race" is better or worse than any other, we just look different."

A special case should be mentioned. Some anthropologists, with more good intentions than common sense, have argued that because Africans who live close to the equator have darker skins than Scots or Swedes, skin color was determined by the latitude in which one grew up. Unfortunately the Lapps and the Innuit, both of whom live at a greater latitude than, say the English or Swedes, also have a darker complexion.

This corresponds to another phenomenon. Research on grave sies in Britain and Scandinavia have found that when grain agriculture was introduced to the region around the Baltic Sea, the residents stopped eating fish. That meant that they were unlikely to get enough vitamin D except through sunlight exposure, which tends to fall short in that region. That meant that people with a pigmented skin were also likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency and, thus, from rickets.

Life was not gentle during the mesolithic-neolithic transition, and rickets would not have been a positive factor for survival. Thus the evolution of "the White Race" was most likely a by-product of an Anglo-scandinavian boredom with fish as opposed to bread.

In any case, the lightness of skin color among the anglo-scandinavian population is not in any way related to any kind ohf virtue. If our ancestors hadn't lost their taste for fish we'd probably be as dark as the other people who live in our latitude.

Questions about Homo Sapiens Sapiens

Question 1.: Why is Homo Sapiens Sapiens widely distributed around the earth, even in places that are hard to live in, like the Arctic, or hard to get to, like Easter Island.

In Part 1 it says: "If the tribe found an ecological niche that allowed it to be successful, it naturally expanded and developed tensions. If it had the opportunity, it fissioned and the two parts moved away from one another to reduce the stress. If it was just a matter of getting too big to exploit the ecological niche properly, we wouldn't have to move that far. But we have to move far enough so we aren't affected by being aware of the people in the other tribe who aren't like us.

When we settle down again, if the place is reasonably fertile our tribe will expand again and fission again, and migrate apart. This repeated fission caused us to spread all over the globe even without the attraction of looking for a better environment. If the environment had been the motivation the whole tribe would move together.

The need to fission to control population is why we are distributed all over the globe in a manner unlike any other primate."

This is not only an unusual phenomenon, because not many other animals are as widely distributed over the earth as Homo Sapiens Sapiens is, but it is a unique phenomenon because the wide distribution is associated with a wide variety of appearance that does not correspond to a variety of species. All the varieties of Homo Sapiens Sapiens are of one species as we occasionally demonstrate by interbreeding of appearance varieties. That is undoubtedly unique.

Chinese Proverb

At my request, Akira Tonomura sent me a copy (shown below) of a calligraphic scroll displayed at the Hitachi Research Facility. It was mentioned in his essay about Professor Yang Chen-Ning, who had mentored him. I read it because I had been a colleague of Frank Yang's at Stony Brook, and had been a student of "TD" Lee's at Columbia when Lee and Yang won the Nobel Prize.

The proverb in the calligraphy could be considered the motif of my essay at That essay was inspired by Lee's and Yang's attitude toward statistical mechanics and mathematical physics, two of the subjects I heard "TD" lecture on in the late '50s.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Norbert Wiener

In Wiener's 1948 Cybernetics on page 158, he says In the case where two subjects have the same technique and intellectual content but belong to widely separated fields, this still requires some individual with an almost Leibnizian catholicity of interest.

Having Universal Isocracy regarded as Leibnizian is quite a compliment, but it does explain why no one has ever taken it seriously. The people who profess to study human behavior are certainly not familiar with the behavior of quantum mechanical systems and even less with the mathematical techniques used in that field; nor are physicists commonly familiar with the various academic specialties that the study of human behavior is divided into. Neither would imagine that the same mathematical techniques would be useful in both.

Curiously enough both Wiener and Feynman had the breadth of interest to do what I did in Universal Isocracy and both touched on applying mathematical thinking to human behavior. They just didn't push it far enough.

From The Nobel Lecture Of Richard Feynman

If every individual student follows the same current fashion in expressing and thinking about electrodynamics or field theory, then the variety of hypotheses being generated to understand strong interactions, say, is limited. Perhaps rightly so, for possibly the chance is high that the truth lies in the fashionable direction. But, on the off-chance that it is in another direction - a direction obvious from an unfashionable view of field theory - who will find it? Only someone who has sacrificed himself by teaching himself quantum electrodynamics from a peculiar and unusual point of view; one that he may have to invent for himself. I say sacrificed himself because he most likely will get nothing from it, because the truth may lie in another direction, perhaps even the fashionable one.

But, if my own experience is any guide, the sacrifice is really not great because if the peculiar viewpoint taken is truly experimentally equivalent to the usual in the realm of the known there is always a range of applications and problems in this realm for which the special viewpoint gives one a special power and clarity of thought, which is valuable in itself. Furthermore, in the search for new laws, you always have the psychological excitement of feeling that possible nobody has yet thought of the crazy possibility you are looking at right now.
Richard Feynman, Nobel Lecture 1965

I discovered this after I published my view of the evolution of Human Behavior on Feyman is talking about the quantum electrodynamics for which he received the Nobel prize, but he could just as well have described my mathematical theory of human behavior. There was a slight difference in that I was working alone, but if you read the rest of his Nobel Lecture you'll see that Feynman was pretty much doing the same even if others were nominally looking for the same answers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Religious Belief In Hard Science, Part 1

Back in the 1930s, when physicists were just starting to get used to the new mathematics of the quantum theory, Lev Landau, a russian physics professor, proposed a new conservation law. It was a law of conservation of symmetry which said, in simple form, that the dynamics of a quantum reaction would be the same whether you were looking at the reaction itself or a mirror image of that reaction. That seemed to make sense according to all the experiments that had been done and, more importantly, it explained why some reactions that conserved energy and mass weren’t observed. So everybody immediately said that because nature was symmetric that obviously ought to be true and it was called “The Law Of Conservation Of Parity” and everybody believed in it. Nobody had the slightest smigin of doubt about it: the conservation of parity was so obvious.

Fast forward twenty-plus years. Professor Lee Tsung-Dao of Columbia University and Professor Yang Chen-Ning of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton were studying the peculiar behavior of a certain meson. It seemed to have two modes of decay. That wasn’t unusual in itself, but the two modes had different values of parity. If the Law of Conservation of Parity held, that shouldn’t happen. So either we had two mesons with different parity that otherwise looked so much alike we couldn’t tell the difference between them (which was unlikely) or the “Law of Conservation of Parity” didn’t hold (which was unthinkable).

Lee and Yang thought hard and figured out two experiments that could be performed that would have different results if parity was or was not conserved. They were not easy experiments. One involved the measurement of the relative angular distribution of beta and gamma radiation from polarized radioactive nuclei. The nuclei had to be kept still, which meant holding them at around absolute zero in temperature. That required a facility that was capable of detecting beta and gamma radiation from a sample held at cryogenic temperatures.

The other involved the measurement of the angular distribution of the decay of a pi meson into a mu meson and the subsequent decay of that mu meson into an electron. That was not only difficult but it required access to a relatively high energy accellerator.

I happened to be present when Lee and Yang presented this discussion (in greater scientific detail) as a seminar to the Physics Department of Columbia University. It went over like a lead baloon. Not only did all the attendants (possibly including Lee and Yang) firmly believe in the Laws of Physics including the conservation of Parity, but the experiments were very difficult and, if they got negative results, would not be suitable for publication because everybody expected that they would get negative results. The consensus (with the exception of Lee and Yang) was that it was interesting to know there had been no direct experimental proof of the conservation of parity in weak interactions, but it wasn’t interesting enough to risk their professional reputations on a wild goose chase.

Lee and Yang then went to Professor Wu Chen-Shung who was a world class experimenter in the area of beta decay. They didn’t think they could convince her to do the experiment, so they asked if they could borrow enough equipment to do it themselves. She told them that because they were theoreticians they couldn’t be trusted with her precious equipment, but she’d consider doing the experiment if she could recruit a cryogenic partner to handle the low temperature aspects. She was turned down by the low temperature facility at Columbia, but she convinced the cryogenic lab at the National Bureau Of Standards to provide her with facilities. After some considerable difficulty, she succeeded in getting some data that shown an agreement with Lee and Yang’s suggestion. It seemed possible that Parity was not conserved.

Madame Wu might have wanted to repeat the experiment to make sure of the result, but she didn’t have a chance. It was customary for some members of the physics department to have lunch at Lucky’s Chinese Restaurant on Fridays and on this friday “TD” Lee mentioned Wu’s preliminary result. Leon Lederman and xxx Garwin, on hearing this, thought they had a chance to do the Pi-Mu-E experiment at Columbia’s Synchrotron. They immediately drove there and elicited the cooperation of graduate student xxx yyy who was scheduled to work on the accellerator that weekend. By monday they had the result that Lee and Yang had predicted and were ready to announce it on the front page of the New York Times. Cooler heads pursuaded them to hold off and make a joint announcement with Madame Wu on Wednesday. It was a world sensation. The American Physical Society was having its major yearly meeting in New York in a short time, and the special session for last minute papers was held in a large ballroom and overflowed into the corridors.

Within a month an experiment was done that proved that parity was not conserved using equipment that could have been found in a good high school, but the calculation that showed it was possible was so complicated it would not have been done if the result had not been expected.

The important result was not that parity wasn’t conserved in interactions involving the weak nuclear force. The important result was that if an experiment is difficult enough, or a calculation is difficult enough, scientists are as likely to believe something convenient but untrue as are any other professionals like theologians. The Law of Conservation of Parity, though completely untrue, reigned as a “Law Of Nature” for a quarter-century.

So just because the current generation of scientists believes something, as long as that something can’t be proven, it is no more to be relied upon than any other religious dogma.

The particular religious belief that gets us into trouble the most is “survival of the fittest”, Spenser’s paradigm. Darwin’s original paradigm, “survival of the just barely fit enough” is accurate, but it requires modern mathematics to get results out of it, so Darwin was conned into accepting Spenser’s as a substitute. But a mistaken paradigm, even if the math is easier, is still a mistake.

I will be approaching this same conclusion from other directions in future blogs.

Scientists and [Popular] Religion has a review of "Scjience vs Religion": What Scientists Really Think" by Elaine Howard Ecklund (no relation). I added the word "popular" because religion is a broader thing than Prof. Ecklund gives it credit for. There more comment on

Prof. Ecklund has a web page on

I've put some comments out and sent Prof. Ecklund an email and I'll remark on any responses I get. In the meantime I'll think about it and comment on "Religion (In General) vs Science" where I will be more specific about the parts of science that are more like religions than they should be.

Before I get back to this I'll give a hint: I'll be talking about the conservation of parity.


Welcom to this blog, which I intend to be titled "Universal Isocracy" and to be reached at "". If that isn't the case I'll try to make it so.

The basic notions can be found at

A novel that provides more background is at

If the blogs that follow leave you puzzled, try reading the references above. Sometimes I'll repeat what I said there and sometimes I won't. If I don't you'll find it in one of the two references or in an earlier blog item.