John Banister's Unsolicited Advice to the World

1. Don't kill people for religious reasons.

During my communication with God, I've learned that God isn't interested. If you're contemplating killing people for religious reasons and you want to try and look at this murder-for-religion from God's perspective, rub your own shit all over your entire face and keep it there continuously for a month, refreshing it at every opportunity.

2. Don't participate in any accidental pregnancies.

Only become a parent on purpose. The earth has been replenished already. We're going more for quality than for quantity now, so learn about being a parent and carefully consider what it takes to do this job well. Be certain that you and your potential child's other parent(s) are prepared, ready, and willing before you undertake this profound responsibility.

3. Learn how to form groups that are capable of and oriented towards behaving responsibly and in the manner of having personal integrity.

A group of people considered as a single organism meets all the conditions necessary to qualify as a living being, but having the ability to pass a Turing test is another matter entirely. The psyche of groups without the proper structure moves backwards down the evolutionary scale as the group gets larger. Many large organizations of people, taken as a whole, are incapable of acting with more moral comprehension than that of an amoeba that blindly consumes, grows, and divides. We need to learn how to organize ouselves so that the strucutre of our organization helps to keep its psyche from backsliding, and once such strucures are working, organizations whose structure generates a psyche too primitive for properly moral behavior need to have the same legal status as other living organizms that are too primitive for properly moral behavior.


While visiting with my parents on the first day of 2008, I saw on CSPAN2's Book TV program a discussion given by Professor Steven Pinker in relation to his book, "The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature," in which he introduced to me a notion whose origin he attributed to an anthropologist named Allen Fisk, which notion is that all relationships between people fall into three categories: Dominance, Communality and Reciprocity.

Following that was a discussion by Shannon Brownlee in relation to her book, "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer" in which she suggests that the organizational structure of medical practice found in Sweden, France, and the Mayo Clinic's salaried group practice is serving people better than the organizational structures found more frequently in US hospitals and championed by the AMA or those of the managed care systems taken up by several insurance agencies.

It occurs to me that a large and essential part of the difference in the structure of these organizations is in which of the interactions (between both individuals and group entities) governed by the structure of the organization can be characterized as communal, and which of them are characterized as reciprocal (encompassing its important trying-for-dominance subcategory, commercially competetive).

The desire for moral behavior and the overt safeguards to predispose moral behavior are greater in the practice of medicine than in many other aspects of human life, but it's readily apparent that the structure of the organization within which medicine is practiced can, itself, predispose the occurance of morally suspect instances of interaction between these organizations and members of socity.

Here's a link back.