“Everyone has a different genotype. Therefore, for optimal development..everyone should have a different environment,” according to James M Tanner, an expert on body growth and development (JM Tanner, Foetus into Man, 1990, Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, p.120). According to Wikipedia, the genotype is the part of the genetic makeup of a cell, which determines a specific characteristic (phenotype) of that cell/organism/individual. Genotype is one of three factors that determine phenotype, the other two being inherited epigenetic factors, and non-inherited environmental factors. Not all organisms with the same genotype look or act the same way because appearance and behavior are modified by environmental and developmental conditions. Likewise, not all organisms that look alike necessarily have the same genotype.
In other words, we are all different, so the environment we each have, the systems and agreement structures that support each of us and we each support, should be designed to meet each of us. Well, that seems like a hard problem to solve.
It seems really hard to figure out how to meet everyone’s needs all of the time. Philosophers have been worrying about this for thousands of years. Is it better to let everyone figure this out for themselves, which free-market philosophers love, or is it better to calculate the best good for the most, which utilitarian-collectivist philosophers love, or is it best to make sure everyone gets the same treatment, whether it is great, good, or not so good, which egalitarian-justice philosophers love? While they all acknowledge that it would be better to satisfy everyone everywhere all of the time, it is just too hard to do, so they have developed self-acknowledged, suboptimal solutions, for which they have to make some rather radical simplifying assumptions. Well, they say, it works for many folks much of the time, which is better than nothing.
Maybe it is time to let go of this assumption that it is too hard to do. We have placed the robot Philae on a comet and the New Horizons probe has passed Pluto, while still sending back data and pictures over a very long distance. We have grown the world economy to over US$100 trillion, we generate about 4 billion tonnes of food a year, and we have created a network of roads extending over 20 million miles across the globe. These are amazing accomplishments, which we have achieved because people set themselves to figuring it out: they made it important. It was very hard to figure out, and they did. It took 100 years for a lot of people to figure out how to test part of Einstein’s theory of relativity, but they did, and for that some of them won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics.
So if we can figure out these things, why can’t we figure out how to understand the needs of 7.6 billion people? They are right here, and we can ask. Maybe it is because we don’t think it is important enough to figure out. Maybe it is time we do, and maybe we now have many of the tools we will need to do so. And maybe some people are starting to figure this out, and we should find out what they are learning. We could start by understanding the memetic code of the agreements fields that most influence each of us, and then, like the influence of the genotype, epigenetic, and environmental factors, we could begin to understand the evolution of the metamemetics and epimemetics of the agreements fields that most influence each of us–how we unconsciously accept and consciously choose the interwoven set of mostly hidden agreements that most influence each of us. That might be a good start, one we could take now.