I have a computer orbital simulation model, which I wrote myself over a period of 20+ years, and which I use to model the Solar System of planets orbiting the Sun. I have been taking a lot of interest in asteroids since the completely unexpected Chelyabinsk fireball in 2013. I’m always trying to make the model a more accurate representation of the real Solar System. At the moment I’m quite pleased with it: it corresponds pretty accurately to reality.
Idle Theory is another model, which I’ve been piecing together for 40+ years. It started life as an economic theory, and gradual extended to become an ethical theory, and a political theory, and a non-Darwinian theory of evolution. It’s has many similarities to my orbital simulation model, because it uses the same physics and mathematics. I often think of Idle Theory as an extension of physics into ethics and economics. I’ve only recently realised that I think in this way because I spent some 14 years in an engineering university in which I was taught a great deal of mathematics and engineering, while actually being an architectural student. It rubbed off on me. Much as 7 years of education by Benedictine monks (who taught me much of my physics and mathematics) also rubbed off on me.
I carry around in my head a model of the world around me. It’s a model of local geography, the locations of shops. I keep a list of the names and faces of people I know. And I have lists of people I know of, like Donald Trump and Theresa May, without actually having met them.
There is, as I understand it, a single reality of the stars and Sun and planets. And there’s also a single reality of the Earth and all the 7 billion people living on it, in their towns and cities dotted all over it.
But if there is a single reality, each of the 7 billion people living on our planet has a different model of the world, because they all live in different places, and so have different maps of their local towns. And they have different lists of people they know, or know of. And they also each have their own unique economic and political and ethical models of the world around them.
There’s the single reality, and there are all our innumerable different models of it. And if we have a good model of the world around us, it behaves as our model predicts. We feel rather disturbed when our model of the world does not accord with the reality of the world.
For example, grief might be seen as the product of a mismatch between reality and our model of it. When someone we know dies, they cease to play any further role in the real world. But they continue to play a part in our model of reality. We still know their names and faces. We can remember their voices. They live on as ghosts in our model of reality, perhaps growing fainter with time. The same applies with friends or partners we once had, but lost.
Something as simple as homesickness is the product of a mismatch between reality and our model of it. We find ourselves in a strange place which does not correspond in any way to our model of the world we usually inhabit. We feel lost. We feel homeless. Or we feel homeless until we have constructed a new model of the new world surrounding us, and can begin to feel at home with it – at one with it – once again.
The smoking ban created a mismatch between reality and my model of it. In my model of reality, it was populated by numerous friendly, smoky bars. They were the places where I met all my friends. But the smoking ban changed reality. It swept away all the friendly, smoky bars and cafes and restaurants. And it also swept away all the friends I used to meet there. And 10 years after the new reality was introduced, I still have not grown accustomed to it. I retain my old model of a world filled with friendly, smoky bars. And I want to restore the reality of that world. And with my online Smoky Drinky Bar I have succeeded in at least partially restoring that lost reality: it’s somewhere where I can meet up with people, and talk and drink and smoke much like before. But I still want the real world of friendly, smoky bars to be restored.
In this respect I’m trying to change the world. But I’m only trying to change the world back to something it used to be, and then only in a small respect (bringing back friendly, smoky bars). But some people want to change the world in very large ways. Inscribed upon the tomb of Karl Marx are the words:
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”
One might say of someone like Karl Marx that he had a model of the world which did not correspond with the reality of it, but rather than adjust his model to conform with reality (as usually happens), he set out to change reality to conform with his model.
By contrast, except in the one small way just mentioned, I have never had any wish to change the world. I have simply wanted to understand it. And all my various models of it have been part of my attempt to understand it.
There seem to be a lot of people like Karl Marx around these days. Discontented with the reality of the world, because they wish that it would conform to their model of an ideal world, they have set out to change it. They may not be Marxists, but they all share Marx’s wish to change the world. And so they have set out to demolish and rebuild reality.
Unfortunately, such people seldom ever get past the demolition phase of this process. And so they always leave the world in ruins.
The smoking ban is one example of such a demolition process. They took away a community hub, but did not replace it with another. And in the process they have quarter-demolished an entire hospitality industry: about a quarter of Britain’s pubs closed in the aftermath of the smoking ban, probably because the quarter of the population who were smokers stopped going to them.
One might say that the EU is in process of demolishing all the nations of Europe, one by one. Their goal is to replace Britain and France and Germany and all the rest with a single centralised superstate stretching from the Atlantic ocean to the Black sea (sometimes they even say, as David Cameron once did, to the Ural mountains). But the new superstate is deeply dysfunctional. It was modeled on the old Soviet Union, and it works no better than that did.
Their goal also includes the cultural destruction of Europe. Smoking bans are just one small part of it. They seem to even want to replace Christianity with Islam. And to that end they are importing millions of Muslim migrants (and terrorists and rapists) in order to assist in the deliberate cultural destruction of Europe.
If there are a lot of people like them, I think there are a lot more people like me, who will be wanting to restore the world to the way it used to be. For the more that they see the world be torn apart around them, the more disturbed and angry everybody will become, as it conforms less and less to any model they ever had of it. Everybody will be angry. Because everybody will affected in multiple ways.
It seems to me to now be inevitable that the entire European political class is going to be swept away in a colossal European-wide revolt against their vandalistic demolition of all its institutions. Pubs and restaurants are just one of the institutions they’ve vandalised. They vandalise everything they touch.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to be a “velvet” revolution. I think that public outrage is going to become so great that there are going to be summary executions of the hated European political class, along with many of their apologists, at the hands of those they betrayed.
We are moving slowly but steadily towards some sort of repetition of the French Revolution, or perhaps the Spanish Civil War, but on a European scale. It won’t be a war between nations, like WW1 and WW2, but a war to restore self-determination to all of Europe’s half-strangled nations in the face of a political elite that is determined to complete their strangulation. It will be a war between peoples and governments.