This is a critically important discussion that is beyond our ability. That is the problem that you are attempting to articulate, I think. So, despite the snide responses, it’s not your fault. We are in so far over our heads that none of us can initiate or even adequately participate in this discussion. So you end up with a long laundry list of things all of which are so beyond our knowledge limits that we are exhausted by the effort and embarrassed by the inevitable shuffling around in circles that this leads to.
There are a lot of us working on this but we are still scratching around the edges of this thing that is overwhelming us. And, no, this hasn’t been the situation since the invention of the wheel. And, no, it is not an illusion and won’t go away after everyone realizes they were being foolish. Those are the age old responses to not even being able to get a handle on something that we sense is going to destroy us but we don’t know how to determine what it is. It’s the equivalent of whistling past the graveyard on a dark autumn evening.
Those of us that have been at it longest don’t have the answers either but we finally just try to be consistent in our quest. Doc Huston has his strategy and many of us have our own but those are not solutions. I can only speak for myself but but we are down to gnawing on corners of the problem and trying to extrapolate as much as we can from that process.
Of some hope are a growing number of virtual communities linked here and on Facebook and other forums that try to keep throwing words and ideas at this stuff . One of these is Rally Point Alpha that pretty well illustrates good intentions but the inability to keep anything focused when a thousand very literate people are posting desperately. And it is increasingly desperately.
The one thing we know is that we are thoroughly fucked. We have built wondrous things but they are rapidly evolving even farther out of our control. The one way that the US is still in the lead is in displaying the symptoms of complete cultural collapse. The industrial/post industrial world is right behind us but not as bad off as we are here. Maybe some of them will make the full change. But right now we don’t even know what that full change really is going to be. We do know it is a phase shift, that is the equivalent of water becoming ice, so it will make most of what we consider valuable now worthless or, more accurately, irrelevant. And that is so scary that we lurch back into shuffling in circles.
My suggestion is that divide and conquer does not work in phase shifts. You have to deal with it all at once. That is non-linear complexity. We don’t do that beyond a very rudimentary level. We have been able to build systems (AI) that can do this and even understand it but when they do they can no longer talk to us. We need to work as hard as we can to visualize what we think it should be. Why not? If we can have an effect that is the best we can hope for and if we can’t then at least we kept ourselves from going crazy for a while.
The best estimate that I can make is that we may have 30% of the industrialized world population with ability and training to understand at least some of the implications of this. There is another 30% that don’t have the education but are intelligent and observant enough to be scared shitless. Education takes many forms so this is not a traditional situation. The real problem is the last 30% who, in this country at least, are intellectually adrift somewhere in the last 500 years of history. They are the new dependent minority. And that is a big part of the problem. They are not a minority because of race, ethnicity, or even poverty but because they didn’t make it mentally into the world that is emerging in the 21st century. And one of the things that this phase shift is doing is changing the concept of value from things to ideas. Shit! How do we deal with a new even angrier minority that thinks we are all just trying to trick them into something. As a result they get tricked into stuff that may kill all of us.
I do write about this a lot so you can always click on my profile and take a look.