""Game B is notoriously difficult to think and talk about for the very good reason that if you were using the conceptual structures that came out of Game A to do so, you may very well be poisoning the well.""
"- Jordan Hall"
Defining Game B precisely would suffer from the reductionist Game A tendencies. Looking at the constituents of Game B from multiple angles might help to elucidate the concept. Here are some different constructions that point to Game B:
- Game B is the flag on the hill for an omni-win civilization that maximizes human flourishing.
- Game B is the environment that maximizes collective intelligence, collaboration, and increasing omni-consideration.
- Game B is building or developing the capacity to navigate complexity without resorting to complicated systems.
- Game B is establishing coherence within complex systems.
- Game B is a meta-protocol for hyper-collaboration.
- Game B is the infinite game where the purpose is to continue playing. Game A is the finite game where the purpose is to win.
- Game B is the theoretically optimal condition for creative collaboration and, thus, for maximal innovation.
- Game B must orient its primary innovation capacity towards cultivating individual and collective sovereignty. It must foster awareness of how choices show up and are decided, more than it augments individual and collective power.
- Game B is a new mode of societal, economic, and political organization that leverages people's authentic, long-term interests towards a healthier, more cooperative society and improved well-being. A Game B system is any cooperative, mutually-beneficial system that can outcompete exploitative, adversarial systems through manifest appeal and willful, voluntary participation.
It may also be helpful to define Game B in terms of what it is not. Following Ariadnae:
- It is not an ideology nor a political stance; much different than Right and Left, which both strive to find ways for a fairer, more productive and sustainable Game A. Game B is an attempt at freeing oneself from any ideology and dispel biases, attempting to see the world for what it is
- It is not an apocalyptic view of the world; actually, the world in all its manifestations of cultures and extremes is remarkably plastic, resilient and adaptable.
- It is not an esoteric, psychedelic, cult-like movement trying to blow-up the classical success-based hierarchies of the Western world; instead, it is an earnest attempt at analyzing human spirituality, psychology, and sociology in order to understand what drives us as individuals and collectives. It is an attempt at leveraging old traditions and discoveries to build everlasting ever longer bridges across people with a myriad of backgrounds, cultures, languages, and religions and take the best of each in order to make sense of humanity as such.
- It is not a utopia in the making, nor a movement aimed at replacing markets and money with some obscure technology-driven new social order; instead, it is an attempt at understanding how money, technology, and political systems shape the world order as it is. It attempts to discover ways to advance societies via more creative, cooperative, and sustainable low-resolution forms of collaboration, to support healthy markets and societies.
- It is not a secret brotherhood of people armed with "bullshit baffles brains" jargon talking in such complicated words that laymen would find hard to understand. It is every one of us who is trying to make sense of the world using precise and accurate speech, evidence-based facts and scientific inquiry methods; we strive to make complex theories simple enough for the individual understanding, but without simplifying things to a point, where they would lose their essence and value of truth.
- It is not a counter-reaction to the great thinkers of yesterday and today; it is an attempt at distilling and integrating the truth in all that the classical and contemporary thinkers have to say, in order to create a round and comprehensible story of who we are and where we are heading as individuals and collectives.
Game B players are already everywhere, and Game B is already emerging. #gameb is merely a means to make the organism self-aware and show its players that they are already in a community.
How does Game B emerge and evolve?
As Jordan Hall mentions, there are at least three kinds of effort. All three are parallel - doing very different things but at the same time.
- Amelioration efforts - These are the things that are focused on minimizing the harm that Game A does as it winds down. From seed banks to cleaning plastic out of the oceans to preventing catastrophic war.
- Transition efforts (Transition B) - prototyping new models, building necessary infrastructure, taking well-considered and intentionally evolving swings at chunks of the larger problem (e.g., decentralized education models, permaculture at different levels of scale, much but not all of "green tech"..)
- Game B Proper (Game B) - Consciously and carefully co-creating an emergent and scalable new game.
Note that there are no plans or strategies to get to Game B because it is hard to plan for emergence. As a collective, each of us discerns with our full self the best "next action" and the "adjacent possible" and moves in that direction.
Through analogy, Game B players gather together to feel their way up each hill with their toes, sensing for the loamy untrodden ground beneath them, slowly inching forward, listening for signals from one another, adjusting at each step to orient themselves toward the flag that is barely visible through the gloaming.
So, to play Game B is to eschew reductionism, prescription and strategizing, and instead embrace complexity, uncertainty, and emergence. It is to adopt epistemic humility and deep listening as a default mode of engagement to notice what is emerging that may be omni-win. It is to cultivate a different form of knowing that leans less heavily on the propositional forms of the past and more on relational coherence, intersubjectivity, and participation to support that which encourages the universal flourishing of life.
How would Game B supersede Game A?
""The omni-win-win system actually outcompetes the win-lose system, while obsoleting win-lose dynamics itself.""
- Daniel Schmachtenberger
If we can create a social technology to hyper-coordinate with others, then Game B would be better at innovation than Game A. Then, the only way to beat it would be to coordinate even better, which is in and of itself a more Game B solution.
Origins of Game B
As Jordan Hall describes on Facebook, a series of meetings happened in between 2012-2013. In the third meeting, the group pondered the concept of Game B. They named it Game B and proposed it on their fourth meeting. By their fifth meeting, there were about thirty people in the group and the first formalization was proposed. This group included Jordan Hall, Eric Weinstein, Seb Pacquet, and Venessa Miemis (now Hall).
Jim Rutt mentions that Game B emerged in 2013 as an evolution from a failed attempt to launch the Emancipation Party. Ultimately this kicked off "Deep Code" where Jim assigned Jordan Hall the task of "going as deep as necessary" to establish the basis of any possible "game~b".
Game B, as an operating group, fell apart over two directions: personal change vs. institutional change. The group went into "spore mode" and disbanded and were to use the concepts in ways that they saw fit. Game B got reintroduced by Bret Weinstein on the Joe Rogan Experience in December 2017.
Design criteria of Game B
Although Game B does not have an exact vision, there are design criteria that it may solve in order to tackle the problems that we face.
Daniel Schmachtenberger started The Emergence Project to develop a set of necessary and sufficient design criteria for developing comprehensive solutions. Their vision is of an omni-considerate, integrally developed, effectively, and spontaneously self-governing global civilization.
An omni-considerate civilization is one where the incentive of any actor (individual or group), must be rigorously aligned with the well-being of all other agents in the system and of the commons.
The emergence model
Through the Emergence Project, a model was created. The model is derived from Ken Wilber's Integral Theory and draws upon the work of leading contemporary thinkers to:
- Include a comprehensive taxonomy of necessary and sufficient "metastructures" that support human civilization
- Provide criteria for evaluating the performance of existing structures
- Account for interactions between structures
- Prioritize the highest level initiatives that lead to omni-considerate outcomes
The four quadrants represent the memetic structure (I = individual subjective) , physiologic structure (IT = individual objective), social structure (WE = collective intersubjective) and infrastructure (ITS = collective interobjective)
- Memetic Structure:
- Human Values, Beliefs, Meaning, Orienting Stories and Narratives, Worldview, Identity, Definition of success.
- Physiologic Structure:
- Behavioral Influencers -- Nutrition, Neurochemistry / Neurobiology, Endocrinology, Epigenetics, Toxicity, Nutrition
- Social Structure:
- Economics, governance, law
- Modes of production: Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy Generation, Water, Building Technology, Waste Management
All factors that condition human behavior live in these quadrants. Each of the quadrants is fundamental and irreducible with respect to the others, so these categories are both necessary and sufficient for inventorying all sources of human conditioning.
Metastructures in each of the four quadrants co-evolve and co-influence each other in complex ways, and must all be integrated to evolve society effectively. Most social philosophies have emphasized one of these areas as fundamental, leading to projects focused on one area, excluding the others. Such a reductionist orientation simply is inadequate for systems as complex and interconnected as human society and the biosphere.
Below are examples of metastructure shifts, by category. Note that these do not include all design criteria.
|Separate parts||Interconnected Wholes|
|False Dichotomies||Meaningfully Reconciled Paradox|
|Random Universe||Emergent Universe|
|Unifying Through Homogeny||Unifying Across Diversity|
|self Centered or Self Sacrificing||Omni-considerate|
OPTIMIZING SYSTEM BEHAVIOR IN THE CURRENT CODE
Addressed Nutrient Deficiency
Addressed Structural Imbalances
EVOLVING THE CODE ITSELF
Transhumanism (Biological and Transbiological)
Social structure - Economics
|Win/ lose structures||Win-Win structures|
|Growth||Post Growth, Evolving Homeostasis|
|Separate Ownership||Resource Optimizing Commonwealth|
|Transactional Accounting||Systemic Accounting|
|Extrinsic Motive||Intrinsic Motive|
|Competition as driver||Conscious evolution as an attractor|
|Profit/ Resource Extraction||Resource Circulation|
|Extraction & Production Cost Accounting||Life Cycle Cost Accounting|
|Scarcity Valuation||Utility Valuation|
|Competing Metrics||Comensurated Metrics|
Social structure - Governance
|Imposed (Command & Control)||Emergent Self-Governance)|
|Person Mediated||Process Mediated|
|Conflicting Values||Inclusive Holarchy of Values|
|Imperialistic vs. Anarchistic||Consciously Self Regulating|
|Implicit Outcomes||Explicit Outcomes|
|Uncoordinated Partial Solutions||Systems Solutions|
|Opinion based||Data based|
|Arbitrary purview||governance at the level of effect law|
|Punitive||Protective and rehabilitating|
|Centralized||Decentralized & Distributed|
|Linear Materials Economy||Closed Loop (materials economy)|
|Depleting & Extraction||Regenerative|
|Fixed||Modular & Adaptive|
|Possession & Ownership||Access & Sharing structures|
|Nature & Technology Divide||Biomimicry|
|Commodity Based||Technology Based|
|Labor Work Force||Automation|
What are some design criteria of Transition B?
Similarly, there are also design criteria for a Transition B system. Daniel Schmachtenberger wrote about some design criteria for the transitional system here.
The Transition B system must be able to interface with the current economic system. Thus, it must be able to move resources from the current system into the transitional system. It must:
- Lead to a new attractive basin that moves a critical mass of resources to the new system, that past a tipping point becomes auto-poetic. Auto-poetic means that the system is capable of growing and maintain itself.
- Requires offering enough increased advantage over the current system, with enough ease of use, and reaches the tipping point towards auto-catalysis.
- Avoid/ be resilient to attack from the current economic system, including any associated systems (media, law, military). It also needs to be resilient to attacks from and outcompete any other emerging autopoietic systems that do not converge towards post-transition viability.
- Scale as fast as the current system might collapse.
- Move economic capacity to choice making agents and processes with higher omni-consideration.
The Transition B system also must serve as a bridge to the post-transition Game B system. It must:
- Not be capturable.
- Be oriented to evolve into the post-transitional system; must not be oriented to maintain its transitional structure.
- Not increase the probability of any near term catastrophic risk scenarios or tipping points towards long term risks.
- Converge towards the post-transitional system as quickly as viable; must allocate the resources to building the post-transitional economic infrastructure.
How can you move forward?
There are a many principles and ways that help individuals to prepare themselves for entering Game B. Jordan Hall has provided a number of strategies.