The Fear of Complexity

This is the cause of our social polarization and collapse

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By Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ October 29, 2019

Our problem is complexity. We are still defined by the dyadic mentality that seems to be fundamental to the evolutionary form of our sentience and awareness.

Despite our insistence that we are completely unlike our binary, digital computing devices, we are also binary. We may laud infinite shades of grey and infinite ranges of emotional nuance but we always start with black/white, hot/cold, good/bad and then struggle to fuzz the edges of those rigid categories.

In times requiring major change we are crippled by the heavy percentage of our populations who cannot escape the simplicity of either/or. If forced into complex conditions they will search for and declare unconditional love for a leader who restores dyadic simplicity even if it is self-destructive and deadly.

Strong emotion is the drug that drives this addiction. It is the high that consumes us. It is the lure of authoritarianism in its modern form that takes vast populations and categorizes them into simple dyads adding patriotism as an emotional bond. In large human populations covering planetary regions this is, inherently, a self defeating strategy. The size of our planetary population dooms this over simplicity to disaster. Any definable group must be good or bad in order to support the strong emotion to create social self policing in the overarching society. The bad must be changed to the good or destroyed.

But we are a diverse species producing similar but unique social structures and individual variants. Strong control means strong dyadic definitions with strong emotions that are easy to manipulate. We are not rational when we are emotional. That is another dyad of the human reality.

This produces permanent conflict and internal suppression of minorities as the dyadic reality most commonly identifies opposites by easy to determine physical characteristics or ethnic based social relations. Any minority is automatically bad to those fully inculcated into a formal dyadic, authoritarian system unless carefully redefined as good by identifiable differences.

Such systems cannot survive increasing complexity. Originally this was natural to tribal groups, kingdoms, and small nation states. Empires required support for diversity and struggled with that complexity. That support was an intellectual exercise in managing complexity and required a literate and intellectually sophisticated managing class.

When that class disappears or is undercut by denial of literary and intellectual abilities, the empire falls. This is very close to being an historical law of human civilization.

Increasing numbers, as variables, means increasing diversity and increasing complexity. At some point that reaches a level of complexity that is defined as chaos by the more rigidly dyadic in the population. This has come to be understood in chaos theory as nonlinear change with disproportionate cause and effect.

Needless to say most humans find chaos frightening. It is, after all, the complete opposite of dyadic categories. Restoring order in chaotic conditions is the creation of good. But this is dyadic by bringing light to darkness, warmth to cold, and land to water.

The surviving forms of the earliest human mythologies begin with the creation of order in a chaotic environment. Yet chaos is an inherent characteristic of our universe as we now understand. It is not an absence but a complexity beyond our understanding. The discovery of order in recursive fractals made this possible.

Our ability to internalize this understanding is our future. Failure at this will be our end.

In fact our digital binary tools are now limited without conversion to quantum mechanical processing. This is the use of chaos, in human terms, as the tool for increased understanding and control of our complex nonlinear universe.

Quantum mechanical computers are not binary. They use expanded states and super-positioning of subatomic particles to process information in much higher volumes and speed. While our metaphorical models for this are partial and confusing they work empirically. This is a much improved image of our universe.

We are now reaching a significant potion of humans who are converting to this new model of reality with all of its confusion and nearly incomprehensible potential. This is the force that is disrupting human institutions but also destroying the structural integrity of authoritarian systems because those systems are totally dependent on dyadic simplicity.

As has been recognized in the last two centuries of expanding modernity, the increase in knowledge and understanding is totally dependent on creativity and innovation. That is achieved in more open and diverse social systems. It learn to seek and thrive on complexity.

The Enlightenment’s liberal world order came from a combination of economic open markets and shifting authority in society from a tiny elite to a broader range of the population defined as citizens. This was incredibly successful so moving planet wide within two centuries.

While the modern (liberal) world order, produced knowledge and a networked planet of nearly eight billion people it also brought unsustainable materialism and cancerous growth. This is not an abstract or intellectual point of discussion but an immediate issue of species survival due to climate change.

The, still, dyadic and inherently authoritarian political structures could not adequately grasp and use or even accept full diversity and it’s chaotic nature. This is the field of current growing conflict as insecurity with growing fear of the new is driving the most dyadic in the human population to those offering authoritarian restoration of the simplest possible order.

The point of rejection of the expanding knowledge of the climate disaster is its complexity. That these conditions exist destroys the simplicity of the authoritarian. Everything must be reduced to opposite and only one is good. If that is not possible then none of it can exist. It is cognitive dissonance that cannot be allowed.

By its nature this dyadic demand for order can only grow if literacy, intellectual skills and the growth of empiricism are repressed. Those are now bad in the dyadic world of those who cannot understand the new. This is a conflict between emotional unity and broadening diversity. But it is now a quantum world so the conflict holds human civilization in superposition of survival and extinction.

There is no simplicity. We have only the struggle to internalize complexity and manage our evolution as ever more complexly diverse. I am begging to see this as an emerging law of sentience.

Life is increasing complexity. This must not be confused with materialism and mindless production of goods. The greatest simplicity is the integration of great complexity. The authoritarian mindset substitutes replication of uniformity, endless ranks of the identical type, as a form of greatness. It is not. That is the illusion of materialist wealth that destroys well being with a surfeit of goods.

But whatever the philosophical or spiritual truths for sentient beings, we are now faced with a planetary reality of extreme complexity that we must master or die. The descent into the dyadic simplicity of authoritarianism is acceptable for many but only for the short term. It is, in a complex world, suicidal.

This brings another range of reclusive complexity. Time, itself, is now complex at the human level.

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

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