Why some traditions have stopped working. Why most progress is going to fail.

A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society.

Traditions often include prescriptions about sexual behavior, diet, and dress codes. They serve to achieve economic prosperity, by influencing fertility rates and the ability to create unified action in times of difficulty.

Progress is a type of tradition which attempt to automatically practice the opposite of what other traditions prescribe.

There are more ways things can go wrong than as we want them to. Because of this most new ideas are wrong, and a method to falsify new claims is sufficient to narrow down our options to what works. Unfortunately, the unstated assumption here is that all ideas are equally often presented in a forum for falsification. What instead happens is that only claims which are acceptable to the tradition of the era, is presented for falsification and other ideas are censored. When any tradition tries to reduce the amount of ideas that can be presented for falsification, it slowly loses its ability to come up with useful, predictive and correct truths by falsifying bad ideas. As traditions lose their ability to become sources of truth, new traditions try to take its place. If a society cannot come up with traditions that work, it fails or limps on until new powerful traditions are found.

Most traditions we have today were invented in an agrarian society in which half the people worked in agriculture to feed the other half. More hands meant more food due to low industrialization, so more children meant more free labor, and so children were assets. There was an economic incentive to have more children. Children did not have to drain their parents income for 30 years before they got a degree in agriculture so as to be able to farm. As soon as they were 8, they were ready to sow and reap. Because of this children achieved economic independence early, and married early to make even more children. There was no time to be a 30 year old unemployed dependent on your parents income while having pre-marital sex with many sexual partners who are themselves economic dependents on their parents income. You were married long before that in your teens, and got laid in your teens to your teenage spouse. High infant mortality kept population from exploding. Women spend most of their time raising the large number of children who were assets as described above, and because of this they had to outsource bread winning to men. Because of this women were economically dependent on men, and so divorce was not an option. Men did not want to pay for other men’s children, and in the absence of paternity tests, marriage became the best option to discern paternity, and monogamy made sure everyone had a spouse whose children they were responsible for funding.

As a consequence of the above reality, most traditions that were invented during the agrarian era, prescribed post-marital non-adulterous sex between teenagers who would soon be married in their teens, and the women of the family had to raise as many children for their men so that the family had enough free agrarian labor to feed the family, and the society. Diets invented by new religions allowed for socialization between its members, and physical separation from non-believers. Dress codes just made spouses more attractive in private settings and also aided new religions in identifying its members in a large community.

The technological society we live in, requires a level of expertise that can only be gained through 20-30 years of training during which a child is sexually mature but economic dependent on their parents income. Children are liabilities who cannot marry until their 30s when they are economically independent and therefore these children resort to pre-marital sex while living on their parents dime. Women no longer make 10 children because children are liabilities, so women use the new found time, to enter the labor force and become economically independent from their spouses and divorce rates increase. Pre-marital relationships unlike post-marital relationships are not driven by economic necessity but primal qualities like sexual attractiveness which are easily advertised by breaking dress codes.

So it is no surprise that progress is the tradition of the day, because some traditions have stopped working. But emboldened by the success of progress, progressives will soon we will attempt even more radical ideas, most of which are wrong, and due to the lack of equal footing ideas deserve for presentation for falsification, progress will also lose its prescriptive power as the source of truth and prosperity. What comes after progress is what I am interested in. I do not know what form it will take, but I am sure it will not work because of pious observance of it, but because it works.