class Problem Solving Societies

Sorting Out the Castes: Easy Disqualifiers

Within 30 seconds of looking at someone’s facebook, their room, a list of their favorite hobbies, what they’ve bought lately we get a rough sense of what type of person they are.  It’s possible we could be mistaken but generally quick judgments work.  In modern society we’re told we can’t accurately judge and categorize people but in reality it’s not only doable, it’s pretty easy.
In real life, it’s generally safe to assume that a passing frat bro is more into jack and coke and fireball whiskey than single malt scotch or that a black dude with baggy pants and expensive shoes isn’t a Babylon 5 fan.  That hipster sitting nearby at the coffee shop probably isn’t into nascar(unless he’s being “ironic”), the rugged looking man with the big pickup truck probably doesn’t listen to NPR.  There’s exceptions of course, but even very crude anecdotal stereotypes work most of the time in real life.  So it’s not that extraordinary to expect that we could sort people correctly at least 90% of the time with a very low amount of effort.  If it was broken down to more of a science, I figure people could be put in the right place almost all the time.
If all a system needs to do is sort people out better than the present system, that’s a pretty low bar.

Perhaps we start with easy disqualifiers:

-Regularly buys lottery tickets, gambles against the house.
-Regularly uses payday loans and maxes out credit cards without compelling emergency reasons.
-Buys products from infomercials, web ads, spam emails.
-Doesn’t understand basics of how government works.
-Doesn’t have a basic idea of or curiosity about nation or world outside of their area.
-Buys all junk food at the grocery store and over-indulges in it.
-Doesn’t read, watch, or listen to anything that isn’t light entertainment.
-Buys flashy cars and clothes they can’t afford.
-Hopelessly, non-functionally addicted to any drug they come into contact with.

People that meet these criteria demonstrate they lack critical thinking and judgment. They lack the brain power to understand how probability or compound interest works. They don’t have the impulse control to manage complex choices or delayed gratification. In our present system they are mercilessly parasitized and exploited and they’re fair game because we’re all “equal.” Sorted into their proper caste, kept away from all positions of responsibility, it would be understood they are inherently vulnerable to the clever and must be protected as an adult would protect children or animals.
A pretty simple computer algorithm could probably instantly remove at least the bottom 10-20% or so without having to give evaluations or examinations to millions of people. Just data mining people’s real life behavior could probably make the initial rough cuts.

Imagine just taking away the vote from the dumbest and most impulsive 10% or so of the US population. There would probably be massive systemic improvements and an upgrade in political discourse overnight as if by magic. Just ponder a moment the magnitude of this lowest-hanging fruit alone.
Just weeding out those obviously unfit for civic life and placing them in an undercaste alone opens up huge possibilities before we even get started.

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

6 replies on “Sorting Out the Castes: Easy Disqualifiers”

I think you have the arrow of exploitation pointed the wrong way. The stupid vote for high taxes on smart people so the government can protect the stupid from the natural consequences of their actions. There is a small cadre of smart people who personally benefit from administering this racket (e.g. the Clintons), but most smart people would be better off if the stupid were left to starve.

If some of your kids are stupid, as often happens, care for them yourself and don’t let them breed. If you only had two or three kids assuming they’d all be smart like you, you know nothing about genetics.

If the stupid were so capable of formulating a deliberate collective strategy and successfully executing it, they couldn’t be considered stupid at all.
Rulers have often had some form of the dole since before ancient Rome when most people had no voting power simply because a hungry underclass causes incredible mayhem. Worse, they can be useful tools for a disaffected upper middle class. That’s how successful revolutions happen.

I’m not talking about hereditary caste. Each generation would get sorted out anew.

But the problem is it is easier for the masses to put the smart people into castes (all the revolutions where teachers, doctors, engineers are basically murdered) then it is for the opposite to do the same.

If you as a smart person tell the 100 dumb they can’t do something in society, the 100 dumb people can have your head on a pole

The average intelligence of a society limits what an individual can aspire to within society’s understanding and determines the infrastructure they have to work with.
But you must be joking. A few clever, well-connected people at the top have dominated the masses easily since the very first cities.
Khmer Rouge and Cultural Revolution style uprisings against the upper middle class have been the exception to the rule and even then only when enabled as tools by the actual rulers.
Proles are inert.

Imagine just taking away the vote from the dumbest and most impulsive 10% or so of the US population.

… that actually votes you mean. The very dumbest, most impulsive 10% over all already do not vote in large numbers. You have to register to vote, and stay registered to vote. That requires agency, and the worst 10% tend not to have it.

You make a good point, but is soft discouragement good enough based on the results we see around us? Is there any shortage of ignorant and stupid people voting? What little agency they have is merely clay in the hands of the unscrupulous. Pruning off the lowest hanging fruit would lift up the baseline of discourse overnight.
We can look back and see how a typical 19th century writer uses flowery vocabulary and assumes his average reader has a basic command of Latin and Ancient Greek.
Paradoxically, the baseline of discourse was higher in a far less educated world with worse nutrition precisely because participation was limited.
Previous generations could rely on lack of information and scarcity to act as a crude and unjust sorting mechanism.
What they could let drift in a state of nature we must engineer.

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