Your browser has JavaScript turned off.
You will only be able to make use of major viewing features of this page of The Self-Sovereign Individual Project website if you turn JavaScript on.

Natural Social Contract Annotations

Ownership Acquisition

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) One of the implications of the Theory of Social Meta-Needs is that, in order for a Freeman to be able to Act to optimally increase hir Lifetime Happiness, it is necessary that s/he have exclusive and/or clearly defined Possession, use and Control of Material Existents, most particularly those that are in hir Possession, use and Control as an Effect of hir Non-Violational Actions. One of the purposes of the NSC is to define mutually agreeable and consistent Procedures by which such Possession, use and Control of Existents, External to the Person of any Freeman, will be acquired, maintained and Exchanged in a manner which is efficient, effective and consonant with the nature of humans and reality. Such clear mutually agreed common understandings are necessary to establish orderly unambiguous arrangements among Freemen for the Possession, use and Control of Existents, rather than the sometimes chaotic, often disputatious, and sometimes Harmful arrangements that are prevalent in current Societies. Rather than by any belief stating that certain Existents belong to a human "by right", it is a major implication of the Theory of Social Meta-Needs that the only Method in accord with Reality, and therefore practical (ie. it works), is that all Freemen agree to the Property Entitlement of each other Freemen to the Possession, use and Control of certain Existents acquired and maintained by the Procedures defined in general in the NSC and in detail in Contracts relating to the particular item of Property in question. Although some of the general arrangements for Property Entitlement in the NSC are not significantly different in many aspects of their practical application from those of some of the more civilized western societies, they are fundamentally different because of their derivation from different foundations. On the other hand, some of the Stipulations of the NSC are significantly different in important practical respects. I am convinced that the arrangements detailed in the NSC are, in general, more logical, more self-consistent, more consistent with the other principles of Social order implied by the Theory of Social Meta-Needs and implemented in the NSC, and more contributory to the Lifetime Happiness of all Freemen than are those of any current or past Society.

2) The Section B of the NSC entitled "Ownership, Abandonment, and Property Entitlement of Ownership and Possession" details the general arrangements under the NSC by which Property Entitlement is acquired, maintained and Exchanged. For annotation purposes I have split Section B into three parts. This annotation covers the acquisition of Property Entitlement; the second covers the Abandonment of Property; and the third covers other general and miscellaneous Stipulations of Ownership. Most important of all is that Property Title is acquired by Methods to which all Freemen agree. That is, all Freemen Entitle the Owner - give hir their agreement, acknowledgement, sanction and permission - to Possess, use and Control the Existent under certain well defined conditions. All of the Stipulations in this section are Requirements in the sense that if they are not done then the Freeman Possessor does not acquire Property Entitlement from other Freemen and as defined in the NSC does not Own the putative Property under consideration (ie. it remains either "UnOwned" or the Property of the Freeman who does have Property Entitlement for it). A major reason for this (ie. why it is needed and therefore made a part or the NSC) is that if such Methods of acquiring Property Entitlement are not Performed, then the result will be later disputes that have no clear method of resolution, and to which the resolution Procedures of the NSC will not be applicable. In order to prevent the possibility of such later difficult disputes, it is clearly best to make the decisions regarding them ahead of time, at the outset of Property acquisition. Yes, there will still likely be things that happen later which were not thought of, but the Methods detailed here will help to instill in those acquiring Property, the idea of thinking ahead and planning for all eventualities as much as possible.

3) Section B.1.a states the general conditions that are required for the establishment of Property Entitlement to the three mutually exclusive Categories of things that are "Ownable" - Material Existents, sets of Information and Parcels of Real Estate. A Freeman (as usual, any Action or Requirement for a Freeman can also be carried out by hir Agent) can always establish Property Entitlement by entering a Valid Contract with its Owner for transfer of Property Entitlement and then achieving Possession of it. While in the current society such Possession is not Required, I am convinced that it is in the best interest of everyone that it be made a Requirement that the putative new Owner or his Agent must first Possess that of which s/he wants to become Owner before actually acquiring Property Entitlement.

4) Section B.1.b establishes the method by which a Parcel of Real Estate is "homesteaded" under the NSC. It is a much more fully defined method of establishing Ownership and Registering a Deed of Entitlement than has been used in the past and should lead to far fewer disputes concerning boundary problems related to Real Estate than has been the case with previous, more vague Procedures. In addition, the method of Possession of a volume of space that is desired to become a Parcel of Real Estate is detailed1 in a such manner that the Possession can be accomplished either by the Freeman seeking to acquire Property Entitlement for it, an Agent for hir or a robot under hir Control. The percentages specified in this Stipulation seemed to me to be neither too big nor too small all things considered, but I am fully open to any reasonable adjustment of them (for example perhaps they should not be mere percentages but instead relate to the span in some non-linear fashion) as I am with all other numbers specified in the NSC. Unfortunately, since most land is already owned and registered by the previous methods, any implementation of such new methods with respect to currently owned real estate can only be done if owners seek and conclude new Covenant arrangements with the owners of abutting real estate, with the owners of other real estate that may affect them and with others who have any current rights of ownership, possession, use or control of their real estate.

5) Since all Material Existents within the boundaries of a Freeman-A's Possessions are automatically Owned by hir, unless they are Owned by another Freemen-B who Freeman-A has Permitted to have them within the boundaries of hir Possession, the only UnOwned Existents will be those that are located within Unowned space and are both "UnPossessed" and "UnRegistered", or are "Abandoned". It is these to which a Freeman can establish Property Entitlement, by simply moving them inside hir Entitled Property. All other Material Existents Must be acquired either by creating them from already Owned Existents or by their transfer from other Freemen as part of Exchanges. Note that this means that anyone having Stolen Property on hir Real Estate, while Possessing it, has no Property Entitlement to it (as is specifically stated in the NSC).

6) Since Information is created in the mind of the Person of a Freeman, it is Possessed only by that Freeman at the moment of creation unless and until s/he communicates it to an Existent capable of copying it and transferring it (effectively recommunicating it). If two Freemen get the same idea or even see the same Event causing essentially the same Information to be created in each one's mind, the Information that is created is nevertheless unique to each in its complete detail.2 No matter how identical is the Information, each Freeman still Owns whatever is in his mind, simply because s/he alone created it and has not transferred it. If the same objective Event is sensed by many Freemen then the Value of the Information for each individual as a basis for Exchange may be reduced by such duplication, but the Ownership of it is not in question.3 On the other hand, since each Freeman's intake of, Evaluation of and mental stimulation by Information is unique, the same Event can stimulate one person's mind to create something of great Value, even though no one else gained much from it. In that case, it is the added Value of the modified Information that is uniquely created which is Owned by the one Freeman only and which may be Exchanged by hir for other Value. Even though the others may have witnessed the very same Event, they have no Entitlement to any part of the creation within hir mind which that Event stimulated.

1. Here is an example which illustrates the meaning of Span and of boundary marking and Working Stipulated in NSC Sections and B.1.b.vii. Suppose that the volume of space is a box (or rectangular prism) with sides 1000 meters by 500 meters by 20 meters. In common usage for Real Estate, this can be thought of as a rectangular piece of land roughly 2/3 of a mile on one side and 1/3 of a mile on the other with vertical boundaries extending from 5 meters below the surface to 15 meters above, but in order to generalize the example I will assume that one 500 meter boundary is within a body of water (say 10 meters into the water from the land). The Span (S) of this property is then the square root of {10002 + 5002 + 202} = 1118.2 meters and the boundaries need to be marked or otherwise described so that it can be determined whether or not any point of space is within or without the Real Estate to a margin of error of not more than 1.1182 meters (0.1% of its Span). Working the boundaries would mean that in the ground below, the boundary must be inspected within 22.4 meters (2% of the Span). This effectively means that one could register 22.4 meters below ground merely by inspecting the land surface that one was registering. One could also in this manner register 111.82 meters (10% of the Span) above the land surface and 44.8 meters (4% of the Span) into the adjoining water boundary. Note that these numbers would then alter the size of the volume and its Span requiring an iterative computation for accuracy (for which a computerized determination could easily be programmed). Of course the surfaces of any volume of space being Registered do not need to be planes. A non planar surface might specifically be needed if one had tall trees, a tall hill, a point or land or floating dock jutting into the water boundary, planned to erect a tower, planned to drill a deep well, etc on a piece of Real Estate that was too small overall (ie in Span) to accommodate these automatically within the Working Requirement. These variations from a simple plane would in addition need to be marked or uniquely defined (note the difference between the Requirements for defining boundaries and Working them).
Finally, the phrasing "where a boundary includes two States of matter, the Working percentage varies linearly at a rate of one from the lowest percentage to the highest percentage as the distance into the higher percentage boundary type varies" means that with respect to any water land boundary, the Working proximity Requirement varies from 22.4 meters to 44.8 meters at the rate of one meter increase for each meter from the land into the water (ie. right at the shore one would need to Work the boundary to within 22.4 meters of its defined location, whereas 10 meters off shore one would only need to Work it to within 32.4 meters of its defined location and similarly for the other solid to gaseous or liquid to gaseous boundaries.

2. While this uniqueness is technically also true in an absolute sense for identical cameras taking a picture of the same scene from the same perspective, the difference between two human minds recording that same scene even from the same perspective is so vastly greater that, for all practical purposes, the camera images are identical in comparison to the mental images.

3. Note that this means that the approach of most current societies that the first person to register a patent for an idea is its sole owner is totally rejected by the NSC for the major reason that it effectively results in the theft of the idea from every other independent creator of it. Any concern that it is difficult to distinguish between the co-creation and the theft (conscious or unconscious) of an idea is mere pragmatism which must not be allowed to encroach upon the fundamental principle of Ownership of one's creations. Such pragmatic notions are too often, in current society, used to justify exceptions to basic principles and to prevent the continued search for practical criteria that would allow any disputes over original creation to be determined.