I have been rambling about these ideas just way too long in the twittersphere to not have a more concise place to explain myself.
The machine that moves the world is Desire (Desideratum), the desire at individual’s level, the desire at institutional level, the desire at cybernetic systems level. That desire can be defined as the gradient that exists between a set entity and its proposed end goal, the end goal can be at its own defined as the ideal state where the machine would have achieved its purpose.
If a human has hunger, and wants to eat, that’s a flow of desire, the entity/machine wants to fulfill a need which can be seen as a gradient as it approaches its goal, that gradient can be numerized via different metrics, but the metrics themselves are generally for anyone who has managed a company or system, just an approximation of the relative advancement X system has on approaching its own goal. In our example, the gradient would be the distance between the human itself and the kitchen where the apples are stored so it can eat a couple, and the metrics of this could be numerous and of varying accuracy, it could be just the raw distance from A to B in meters, it could be the amount of salivation as hunger increases where higher amounts of salivation by proxy mean that limbic system of the human is being triggered by incoming reward, so the closer he’s to the Apples, the more the human would salivate, or it could be the sheer calories burned the human has since it started feeling hunger, as the human moves it would burn extra calories as if he were sitting. All of these metrics have of course different degrees of accuracy, but they all would ideally measure up the final end goal.
So, at a systems level, our metrics are an input to the cybernetic sensors of the system, which would steer the ship across the desire gradient towards the end goal. And this mechanism is an encapsulation of what happens every hour of every day in an ever repeating pattern through all the world systems.
The endgoal is little else more than an idea, which is why Desire is an apt term for it, a Desire of an end goal.
Desires are (basically) infinite, resources are not, and administering these Desires and the Metrics is the key tool to achieve endgoals with limited resources.
When we then start taking this very simple scheme towards micro-scale and individual’s decision making we quickly arrive at the core of marketing and propaganda. The goal of it is to manufacture desires on people, or to shift preexisting desires/endgoals towards the own goals of the company which is doing the marketing campaign, and that end goal is most often than not make profits and return on investment on the capital spent.
Machines which manipulate other machines into their own desires and endgoals.
Because of the opportunity costs of language and information input of all and any individual system, this translates to the shorter and more “Limbic Capitalism” like a message can be made, the wider its spread will be through the laws of information theory and memetic spread, this translates to the best way to alter the behavior of people is through irrational appeals to the limbic systems of people, as anything else is just friction to getting the message across as a consequence of information theory. Which is why so many “Nigerian Prince” type scams have so many typos, these typos are there on purpose to filter out these individuals rational enough to see through the scam, in marketing terms, smart people are not the target audience of the scammers, and it is a waste of resources to even try to appeal to them, so typos are there as a systems way based approach to filter them out. (To which level of rationality and thought went into that vs the natural selection force acting on it, is of course, up to anyone’s interpretation).
But digressing into the core of the issue.
Desires have always existed, be it from a man back in 10.000 AD wishing he had a “magical cure” for his ear infection, or from a 7 year old on 2054 wanting a nebulous new cool toy and making a drawing of it to show to his parents and having them 3D print it on the spot. Humans are ingrained to desire and that’s from my perspective one of our fundamental advantages as a rational species over other ones, we can desire objects, not just body-states, and through these objects we can achieve new desires