7.3.2021 Rule GT6432

While you’ll find existence is a cornucopia of lovely experiences, you’ll also find that the current iteration of human is spending an outsized share of his time mired in frivolity and hate. Not that these states are necessarily bad or unproductive, just that creativity is dulled by residing in these states for too long.

And it is through creativity and the accompanying excitement it so often births that a population can become problem-solvers of the highest order. This is not only good for the advancement of society but also for the individuals themselves, or so King World XVIII believes.

See, instead of 4.15.20 Rule HJ8945 offering King World XVIII a respite from circling thoughts about free will, his thoughts merely morphed into an offshoot problem the Free Will Battles rarely cover. That is: why do humans use their free will in ways that reliably hurt their long-term self-interests? Yea, yea, yea, there’s the whole immediate satisfaction bit and evolution in a world of scarcity and blah blah blah, but none of that reasonableness offers a path forward. King World XVIII wanted a path forward.

So he considered the most generative communities.[1] They offered the obvious reminder that human choice is significantly influenced by the community. Same person, same genes, same childhood environment will utilize his free will in markedly different ways based on his surroundings. Call this You are the company you keep. YATCYK’s power will undoubtedly create all manner of consternation within your parents if you, for whatever reason, start cavorting with unsavory characters. Conversely, if you end up in one of those growth-oriented communities, the likelihood that you’ll end up better dramatically increases. It’s really that simple.

What’s not simple is jumping from an observation that ever more communities are eroding the company we all keep to actually reversing the trend. If this is what free people want, King World XVIII will not stop them. Not now. Not ever. Freedom must always be preserved. Plus, there’s the whole fact that King World XVIII has taught himself to be hyper-skeptical of his impulses to label others “obviously dumb” and “acting against their own self-interests” and to instead turn those impulses into an examination of his own ignorance. Yet, he can’t shake the feeling that the population is unconsciously crying for a worldwide community enhancement that pushes us toward a childlike state of curiosity and exploration.

When 7.2.2021 Rule TX5632 passed simplifying the tax code to a blockchain flat tax, hundreds of billions usually spent on enforcement were freed up for deployment elsewhere. With this opening, King World XVIII and honorary delegate Citizen 66666666666666666666666666666666666666666 [Kirk Hammett] introduced 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432:

For a five-year test period commencing 11.27.2021, all children shall receive a token tradeable for any musical instrument of their choice. The token expires on their 16th birthday. It’s expected that this token will be traded according to the unwritten rule of Don’t Own Nice Things Unless You Yourself Are NIIIIIIIIIICE.

After 21 years we will evaluate if the program’s intended effect of fostering cultures of curiosity, creativity, problem-solving, and resilience has been successful. 

This whole thing began as a joke when a group of teenage burnouts began showing up to communal protests re: the day’s hottest topics – healthcare, housing, prison reform, etc. – with “Guitars are a human right!” signs. None of them even played guitar, which only added to the humor – humor that seemingly everyone was in on. Just like that, The Guitar Burnout Boyz became a cultural phenomenon in the same partially explicable[2] and yet totally inexplicable way that anything sweeps the world à la Gangnam Style.[3]

Which of course led to the overintellectualizing of TGBB’s joke “point.” Music Is More Important than Food, How the Guitar’s Decline Is Causing Water Shortages in Africa, and Why System of a Down Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize were just a few of the absurd headlines voraciously devoured by the public. But there was also a less absurd body of literature – that playing music causes positive brain changes and the like – trotted out to argue that our society’s increasing focus on facts and figures and How are you ever going to make a living studying that? had gone too far, that something deeply human was being lost.

It was within this cultural moment that King World XVIII passed 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432. In keeping with his historical legislative patterns, the Rule is purely opt-in. Maybe the culture will change in the manner he hopes; maybe it will not, and he’ll put increased stock in the idea that people’s revealed preferences are their true preferences.

The deficit hawks were apoplectic about the undefined budgetary expense. They could wrap their tiny little heads around the actuaries’ population projections, but not the conclusion that, “The total expense of 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432 will be highly contingent on the brands and instrument classes chosen by Token Kids.”

So really, employing Don’t Own Nice Things Unless You Yourself Are NIIIIIIIIIICE instead of a hard constraint was probably 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432’s riskiest component. Part of the riskiness stems from a general ignorance many people have regarding any “unwritten rule.” This one in particular is so frequently violated it barely exists at all. King World XVIII hopes to change that since societies function best when norms are upheld because of culture, not a legal system. Don’t Own Nice Things Unless You Yourself Are NIIIIIIIIIICE goes something like:[4]

For products associated with skill, you should never choose the high-skill brand/offering unless you yourself possess great skill. Like, you can’t own a Lib Tech snowboard unless you rip; you can’t wear white wrestling shoes unless you are your team’s #1 wrestler (and probably should be highly ranked outside of your team as well); you can’t wear #23 in a recreation basketball league unless you are the #1 player on your team; and you can’t play a nice guitar unless you shred. Those are just a few examples to help you get the idea. 

Which is all to say that the hope is for 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432 to be economically palatable. We shall see.

There shall be no waiting-and-seeing, though, regarding the type of environment you will be raised in. Given your parents’ character and love,[5] it’s a safe wager that 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432 is less necessary for you, that it’s a bit of the “rich getting richer” since your household will already embody and encourage the traits core to 7.3.2021 Rule GT6432.[6] This should make for an enjoyable childhood, so, please, go enjoy it!

[1] A nice lesson, I must say, can be learned here. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working, focus on what is/has.

[2] Their charisma and affability were truly off the charts. At a time when most public figures identified themselves by what they were against, TGBB were so refreshingly apolitical and free from anger that they were hard to dislike.

[3] Sure, PSY’s hit was stupidly catchy, but there are dozens of equally catchy songs produced every year that don’t reach grandma-doing-the-PSY-horse-ride-thing-at-a-wedding status.

[4] Goes something like is the best I can do. Unwritten means unwritten.

[5] It will be hard, in childhood at least, for you to know how true this really is because you only get to live with your single set of parents. It would be normal to think your parents are “normal.” As someone who has investigated all sorts of familial studies for King World XVIII, let me tell you they are not “normal.” You’ll still hate them at times, sure. And they will definitely be wrong on occasion. But they will separate themselves in their ability to translate wishes for a child’s well-being – something all parents feel – into actual action, action often requiring large sacrifices. Unlike so many other parents, your parents will not fold under the weight of life’s greatest responsibility (raising a child).

[6] One area the rule might help is in the type of music you explore. For that is an area where your household will be lacking with its Disney soundtracks and dull “adult” music that’s loathsome to anyone outside the intellectual elite. Btw, forever be on guard for Paul Graham’s observation: “Most adults looking at art worry that if they don’t like what they’re supposed to, they’ll be thought uncultured. This doesn’t just affect what they claim to like; they actually make themselves like things they’re supposed to.”