How to Think About Our Future

There are no easy answers but we now know what isn’t working

by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 27, 2019

There is no way around dealing with the incredible complexity of the layered disasters that have befallen us. I, and many others, spend time attempting to analyze and define the situations that we are in. Often that results in people saying, Ok, so what do we do?

That only appears to be a reasonable question. The cry for help is valid but the expectation of getting an answer is not. We are in new territory and no one is going to have any answer let alone an easy one. The whole complexity thing makes the human situation in 2020 geometrically more difficult than any problem in our history.

All we can do is attempt to constantly update our logical projections of what we see, know, and learn in our daily struggles. These are hard times that are going to get harder and harder. That is a logical deduction from the situations that we have in the climate crisis, population issues, entangled with the projected economic collapse and political insanity that is the new normal.

The tenacious efforts to ignore these things and pretend that nothing is new so it all will work out is probably the largest single problem we have. Our sophisticated networking and communication systems have turned the planet into a small country but is hasn’t changed our character or evolutionary instincts based on millenia of tribal and clan development.

We are points distributed on a bell curve despite any conviction that our tribe members are all above average. One of the most difficult lessons we are now being forced to learn is that random distribution is a law of this universe. No special force beyond chance and the laws of relativity and quantum mechanics are gong to load the dice for us or any part of us.

If someone attempts to tell you otherwise, smile and nod along or tell them to take a walk depending on how significant they are to your life but don’t waste time on them. It isn’t worth it anymore as we have only a little time to get our act together on this planet. That’s the other really hard lesson we are desperately ignoring.

Our sophisticated technology has allowed us to create a very nice collection of echo chambers with only occasional shocks by new and rude people from outside. This has allowed us to sort ourselves into categories of delusion but we need to stop ourselves from actually believing those delusions. You may like them but don’t believe them. As we know it is never smart to believe your own bullshit.

Half of us are not as bright as the other half. Something like 10% of us are bat shit crazy and you can add another 10–15% who are mentally damaged one way or another. Most of these may be nice people but some are selfish assholes. We all know that but we want to put people into groups with identical problems. Doesn’t work that way.

We have never figured this out on some kind of social evolutionary scale so we fool ourselves the same way every time. In our capitalist, post modern world we are programmed to think that the very rich must be special so we should listen to them. Usually wealth is inherited to a significant degree and in grossly distorted economic systems having a few million will begin to make you even more whatever you know or do. Not having any money will usually assure you that you will probably never have that much.

We all need to get serious about outing our own lies.

It is not that we don’t know all of this. We do but we choose to ignore it particularly if our tribal group sees wealth as both the answer and some kind of right. Those are delusions also. We all need to get serious about outing our own lies. We must do that if we are to out other people’s lies in a networked culture that is always virtually immediate.

This is not impolite or not cool, it a lesson we need to apply rigorously and that, too, is not something most of us know how to do. That lesson is being learned now and will be learned for sure over the coming years. Intentionally bad information is an unforgivable sin in an information economy and needs to be dealt with as a serous crime.

To distil this down, we need to learn our very real limits. How much complexity can we deal with and can we understand both the uncertainty principle and what means to be an observer participant in a quantum mechanical reality?

That’s pretty hard. What it means is that we know a significant portion of humanity will not be able to do that and some of those will become angry if asked to try. And some of those will not only get angry but insist that it is all lies and the Green Goddess of the Sacred Cat is the only source of true information. Careful observation, active thinking, and logic suggests otherwise. But the Green Goddess of the Sacred Cat may show up in a spacecraft one day so we should probably leave a little room in our minds for that.There is really nothing absolute about the universe at the level that we see it.

What matters is what we act on and, as Occam’s razor indicates, the simplest and most logical answer is probably right.

In terms of reality there is no limit on room so no reason to not keep things open. What matters is what we act on and, as Occam’s razor indicates, the simplest and most logical answer is probably right. We also are facing growing problems with where we live, how we survive, what we eat when, and when we need to move somewhere else. That means that keeping your eye on the weather and the ball, for that matter, is a very good idea.

Remember that a significant percentage of our fellow humans are crazy assholes with no idea of quantum mechanics. In a world driven by massive change those are probably not the people you should listen to. While they certainly deserve a little room in our minds, along with the Green Goddess and her cats, they should never be allowed to call the shots. We no longer have the luxury of allowing any idiot to take over the controls.

This is why we will almost certainly figure out that our long interest in the idea of democratic decision making is now a critical need in order for us to have a future, primarily because we don’t know what to do. We also know that no one knows and we are all stupid and in this together. This is a case of needing as many ideas as possible and as much innovative thinking as we can get out of eight billion people.

Even that might not be enough but is definitely a better chance if as many people as possible are working on this. If we allow someone to declare themselves the one with the answer and they happen to be one of the more ignorant dumb shits are chances of survival go to hell in hurry.

If as many people as possible are directly involved in making decisions we have a chance. If one asshole tries to take charge and surrounds himself with similar assholes we won’t have a chance. Diversity is the key to innovation. Ignorance and stupidity is not a factor in diversity.

If you can’t tell an ignorant asshole from a decent person with honest concerns and doubts about what should happen, then you are, most likely, an ignorant asshole and should take yourself out of the democratic process.

These are all very hard lessons to learn but we have no choice. Let’s get the right kind of people involved and question everything we know.

Written by

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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