Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

"A society is composed of members. . ".

 

Therefore it should have the following additional properties (besides those due to being a system):

 

Members
We call the parts of a society its members. Often these members are themselves societies. In this case the society is a hierarchy of societies. At each level we can call "super society" the society that has societies as members. We can call the member societies, sub societies. Sub societies are IS's, therefore they want to reach their objectives. Normally members of a sub society cooperate; they protect each other from IS's outside their own sub society. The sub societies are of two kinds, area sub societies and functional sub societies. A municipality is an area sub society of a department. The federal police and the post office are functional sub societies.

Please note that these subsocieties exist, independent of the life span of their members. The subsociety fulfills a function (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now).. Some members leave the subsociety, new members are added, but the function, and with that the subsociety, remains. It is only this function that is important to a subsociety. It is maintained by the amount of members and that part of the cumulative response rules of the members of the subsociety that is used in performing their function (the rest of the response rules are used for their private life).

Strictly speaking the criterion is that a member belongs to a society if it affects other members of the society more, than it affects IS's outside the society (reciprocally, affects and is affected). A big part of this "affecting" is through communications. There may be moments during which a member has more communication with members of another society than with his/her own. During these moments the member is part of that other society. Note that a multinational commercial or industrial organization is not a member of any nation. It has more correlations by internal communications across the frontiers of nations, than it has with persons within the nation, but outside of the multinational society.

Formal human societies identify their members by membership cards, passports and the like. In human societies, babies are born to members of the society. Are these babies members themselves? Members are IS's having objectives in common with the society. It seems that that is not the case with newborn babies. But babies grow and a time comes when entrance into the society is reasonable, if they agree to the objectives of the society and agree to abide by the laws of the society. Naturally, babies, due to their correlations are always parts of the system, but that is only one criterion for being a part of a society. Could not a little ceremony be held at that moment when the parents cease to be responsible for the actions of a child and it becomes responsible for its own actions?
By the way, it seems that there are no "juvenile delinquents", namely young persons not fully responsible for their actions, and treated more leniently by "the law". Either a person is not part of the society and the parents are fully responsible for its actions, or they have joined the society and are themselves fully responsible.

Note that the high rate of communication within a society results in common knowledge and habits of its members, which we can call their common culture. With the present increase in worldwide communications it seems that we will have a common culture worldwide within one or two generations.

 

Governing subsociety (GS)
Since the members of a society are IS's they have to learn, before they can act reasonably. Again, the time of existence of members is limited, so that it is efficient if some members use their limited time to learn some activities and other members others. This is also true for the difficult art of governing. Therefore each society has a subsociety, of specialized learning (mostly through experience), that decides which responses the society as such will perform, we call it the governing sub society (GS). Their responses are, externally, against or in cooperation with other societies and, internally, arbitration between members. Every member that influences directly or indirectly the decision process of the society is part of this GS (with greater or lesser influence). In a nation, and in different degrees: members of government, congress, newspaper persons, pressure groups, writers, groups of concerned citizens.

It is noteworthy that the special learning of this GS, may change if conditions change. In the last 100 years there has been a decrease in the importance of waging war as a way to further the well-being of a society. Destruction, in a war, is now so widespread that war is unprofitable for a society. (But maybe not for some members of a society.) At the same time there has been an increase of trade between societies. This was due to the rise of unique industries in different societies, due to unique raw materials, or unique climate, together with the massive trade now technologically possible over wide distances. This has brought a change of the type of person needed in the GS, from the military, who ruled since the dawn of history (as warriors and noblemen), to civilians (lawyers and businessmen).

How intelligent is a society? ("intelligent" as defined, not most learned or fastest thinking) That is, how effective are the responses that the GS selected? This depends on two factors: First, on the intelligence of the individual IS's that are members of the GS and second, on the method of decision used by the GS.
If the more intelligent members of the society compose the GS, then the intelligence of the society is higher than that of the average member. (As always we mean by intelligence the ability to learn to act in such a manner as to reach one's objective).

But just as important as having intelligent members in the GS is the method for choosing responses. There are (at least) three methods:

The responses that the GS decides upon are according to the objectives of the GS and of some of its members (Each of those is an IS and therefore acts according to its own objectives). These objectives are not necessarily sub objectives of the objectives of the society. Every member of the GS acts only to reach its own objectives (by definition, since it is an IS). So we should design the system of the society in such a way that it is to the personal advantage of a member of the GS to try to obtain the objectives of the society (In some way we have to arrange matters, so that the objectives of the member of the GS coincide with the objectives of the society). In history, only rarely, the objective of the GS of a human society was the well-being of all the members of the society. Mostly the objective was the well-being of the strongest sub society. This shows the need for a control of the responses of the GS by all members of the society, to insure that the society attains its objectives.

As in all systems, the society selects its responses to reach its objectives according to the situation and based on experience. If the evaluation of the situation is wrong, or its experience is one-sided, the selected response will be far from optimum. A society is a complex system. By this we mean that its parts affect each other mutually and as a result the outcome of a modification of a society is not easily predictable. The best way to change a complex system is to make small, reversible changes and to note the effect. If the effect is in the right direction, another small change, in the same direction, should be made. If it is not in the right direction, the change should be cancelled and a small change made in the opposite direction. Since a society is a complex system, this method would be a good one for governing it.

In a nation, the GS chooses attacks or cooperation with other societies. Errors of appreciation of the situation can induce the GS to declare a war because it foresees advantages for itself or its own society. Once the GS decides a war, it creates the needed sentiments in the population, so that the population will support the GS and the war. (Only later, if the war goes badly, internal opposition may arise) See also: Peace between Societies (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now)..

 

Internal Organization
As we have seen, a society is created to permit all members to reach some common objectives. One of these common objectives is maintaining the society; the survival of the society. Another is, that all members can reach their individual objectives as far as possible. In practice this means that each member can act freely as long as it does not impede other members or its society to reach their objectives (the members should not make attacks on each other).

Why do we want to avoid attacks within a society? Within a society there is much correlation, meaning that the actions of each member affects the others. If members normally have the habit of attacks, they may gain, in certain instances by their attacks, but they will lose in other instances by the attacks of others. Since in attacks, the losses are normally greater than the gains, in the long run, the achievement of objectives of all members of this society would be lower than if there were only few attacks. For this reason it is of advantage for the society to keep the number of attacks as low as possible.

 

How can attacks be avoided?
A society can do this by canceling any advantage for the attacker through responses by the society. The society enforces redress of the damage done (this should be redress for value and time lost by the affected member and cost of enforcing redress by the society). In cases where this is not possible, the society tries to avoid future cases of attack by the same member by restraining its possibilities of action, putting the member into prison or even expelling it from the society. There will be very minor offenses or molestations where the cost of redress and punishment is in no proportion to the molestation and thus not punished.
The opposite case is the acts of a member or sub society that is so powerful that punishment or forcing redress is not possible. For instance a dictator is powerful enough so that he can attack any of his subjects. Redress by the society is not possible. In some states the military subsociety (or the governing subsociety) is so powerful that the society cannot punish attacks by members of this subsociety, only this subsociety itself can do it, if it is willing.

Every big society avoids internal attacks by creating laws and enforcing them. For this, it needs a number of subsocieties.

Besides acting through laws and regulations the GS also acts directly through government organizations such as the armed forces and the central bank (the bank issuing and controlling money).

A society can be tightly controlled or only loosely controlled. This can mean that many rules, decrees, regulations exist, or only a few. Also only general rules can exist or very detailed rules. That people comply with these rules can always be enforced or enforcement can be lax.
Naturally, with the passage of time, there can be an increase or a decrease of rules and controls. To maintain these controls costs resources; tighter controls cost more resources (Probably there is an optimum; involving the number of controls and amount of internal "attacks").

Here is an example of a formula for the change of level of controls:

Here delta C is the change of the tightness of controls during the time interval delta t (it is a number). R2, R1 is the amount of response rules contained in laws and regulations at the time t2 and t1 respectively. Just as we can measure the amount of information contained in a concept by the amount of bits needed to express it, we can measure the amount of "choice of response" contained in a law by the amount of response rules needed to express it.

It is interesting to note that the control of actions in a society can be more centralized, if this is done by a single, small GS, or decentralized, if control is spread between many levels of GS. This control can be exercised by generalized statements such as laws, decrees, policy statements, guidelines and by specific orders.

 

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Last Edited 5 July 2013 / Walter Fritz
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