A System is Created (Plus Bonus Extra Unrelated Story)

A system is created.

The system says: “Here is how the world works. These are the things that people need. These are The Good Things, which give people what they need. You will be rewarded for doing the Good Things. These are the Bad Things, which hurt people.  Punishing those who do Bad Things is a Good Thing and will be rewarded.” The system satisfies some human needs, and this makes people happy – but all systems have flaws, and this system is no exception.

The system rewards people for doing the Good Things – but the system sometimes gets wrong how much Good a Good Thing accomplishes, and so it rewards some Good Things too much. The system punishes people for doing Bad Things, but it sometimes gets wrong which things are actually Bad Things, and how bad those Bad Things are.

Some people do good, regardless of the system they are in.  Most others will follow the system, regardless of they good they do.

The Good Things Which are Excessively Rewarded draw in more people who do them – because people want to do Good Things, and because people like being rewarded.    As people are drawn to do the Good Things Which are Excessively Rewarded, the portion of the system which exists to reward those Good Things grows and grows – until these Good Things are now rewarded beyond all proportion to the Good that they accomplish. The other Good Things are now rewarded substantially less.

Those Who Punish the Doers of Bad Things are rewarded, because Punishing Those Who Do Bad Things is a Good Thing. In order to do more Good Things, the Punishers must find more Doers of Bad Things to punish.  Minor Bad Things are made into Major Bad Things, and things which are harmless are made into Bad Things, so that Those Who Punish the Doers Of Bad Things can do more Punishing of Doers of Bad Things.

Eventually, there mare any Bad Things which are not bad things, and they are punished beyond all proportion to the hurt they cause.  The people who get the most rewards are those who Punish Many doers of Bad Deeds (which are not actually bad) and those who Do Good Things which are good but not as good as the rewards suggest.

Human needs are not met. People suffer. People fight. Many Very Bad Things happen, so that a new Good Thing can happen:

A new system is created.


A plant grows towards the sun. The sunlight hits the leaves on one side of the plant, which triggers growth on the opposite side of the plant – the side which faces the darkness. Increased growth on the darker side of the plant causes the plant to bend towards the light.

If the part of the plant which had the most sunlight grew the fastest, the plant would bend away from the light, and get none. Instead, because the growth of the plant happens most in the areas which get the least amount of sunlight, the plant bends towards the sun.

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