Orlando Florida US Jun 12, 2016, 50 dead 53 injured. People died and got hurt again, is there a way to stop this from happening?
- Paris France, Nov 13, 2015, 130 dead and more then 350 injured (source Wikipedia)
- San Bernardino California US, Dec 2, 2015, 14 dead and 22 injured (source Wikipedia)
- Brussels Belgium, Mar 22, 2016, 35 dead and more than 300 injured (source Wikipedia)
- Lahore Pakistan, Mar 27, 2016, 75 dead and more than 300 injured (source Wikipedia)
- Orlando Florida US Jun 12, 2016, 50 dead 53 injured
- And then the Sirian Civil War counting to more than 400000 people killed until now with millions pushed to live their lives with mostly nothing
- And the list is longer, to long…
I would like to extend my condolences to all the people who lost loved ones in all those tragedies.
In total, in less than a year, we lost 130+14+35+75+50=304 people and destroyed or badly impacted the lives of 350+22+300+300+53=more than 1025 people by a handful of other people who’s minds were twisted by extreme ideas. I can’t even imagine what 400000 dead and millions more displaced means for a time we call ourselves “civilized”.
But by simply stopping here, by only feeling sorry for the loss, would not make much difference for the future. We need to start open our eyes minds and harts to the truth no matter how hard is to find it.
Against all the primal instincts which pushes us to answer the violence with violence the path to a solution include quite a different path. It is said that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing again and again without changing anything and expecting different results. If that is true it is also an extreme, and we could tame the definition by excluding the “changing anything” to “changing enough” to reach a realistic goal. The thing is, we all find ourselves in various shades of insanity and need to continuously correct our action to stay out of it.
My personal opinion is that one important root cause, if not the most important one, on all our history, but more important these days is our ability to communicate.
The communication process implies extracting information from our minds, filter it, encode it in speech or words, then transport it over various mediums like airwaves (voice), electromagnetic waves, in networks, or solids, to one or more people, the receivers. The receiver(s) will then attempt to decode the information and (attempt to) re-integrate it in their minds. Both the sender and receiver have different mind contexts and each of those steps can and usually will be subject of errors.
My explanation of the communication process, may look “Rube Goldberg”-is but it is darn simple compared to the full fledged phenomena.
We usually do all this in “automatic” mode, paying little attention or no or little attention to all the possibilities for errors and that is where things break down. We assume we “master” communication, when in fact we kind of suck at it and the consequence of this inability is dire.
These days our abilities to transport information has advanced faster than our ability to process the information we receive (and make sense of it) due all the technological advances. Now we are witnessing the first consequences of this imbalance between our abilities to transport information, and our ability to process it. On top of that, we are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction and our ability to listen and understand other cultures has diminished due to of this informational overload.
All this pushes some of us to drawn in the informational flow, and tumble down into the vortex of madness and extremism.
Carl Sagan had this prescient view, he expressed in his last interview with Charlie Rose. Charlie asks, “What’s the danger of all this…?” referring to the Science and Technology in the hands of the public. Carl answers “We arrange the society based on Science and Technology where nobody understand anything about Science and Technology and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow-out in our faces…” For the full interview (if you didn’t see it yet) check here.
I’m coining this phenomena the “Informageddon” as a derived form of the regular Armageddon, describing a way to screw ourselves big time due our collective madness and stupidity.
Of course, you may say, you can go crazy about it, but nothing would really happen (to others) if there will be no guns. Personally I think we should be able to defend ourselves, however if anyone would own a classic gun can lead to a arms race at the micro social level. All this is good for making bucks on short term but makes no sense on long term. I will discuss more about how to balance the need for self defence and what sort of technology can we use to replace the actual guns. As a Canadian I’m impacted in a slight different way than a US citizen but the problem is actually universal and needs attention.
I’m sure that there is a brighter future ahead of us. Yet the path to it is narrow and not a straight one, but I believe in it. To draw the path to an acceptable future we need to understand the dangers of the new technologies as well as their strengths. As with all other Technological wonders we can use every one of them for both good and bad, the distinction is apparent when we are able to see the big picture on long term.
“In order to be able to harvest the fruits, first we must take care of the roots”
The last two important aspects of the social organization, which can push towards the “Informageddon” are the specialization and competition. Even though both of them are essential for our progress an unhealthy amount or kind of each can hamper the progress.
We can distinguish two types of competition, constructive (or positive) and destructive (or negative). To understand the difference I have to tell you a small story. “Once upon a time there were two neighbours. And they (as with many of us these days) were competing on who had a better life. They both had livestock and were proud of their animals. One day the goat of one of them dies accidentally. In the evening both neighbours pray to God. First one asks God for good health for his family and livestock and wishes the best for his neighbour. He shares some of his goat milk with his neighbour whose goat died . The other neighbour though, prays for his neighbour’s goat to die too so he would not be in the position to be helped as he feels this as humiliating”.
You can see clearly the difference between constructive competition in the first person action and the destructive one from the other person.We can see how for the entire system (the two people together) helping each other leads to a stronger state whereas in the destructive case both would suffer. The problem with the technology is that it speeds up all processes and makes it harder and harder to people to react with long term plans. This inadvertently favours he destructive type of competition.
Please take some time and think how much of the constructive versus destructive competition is promoted more these days? What is the impact on long term of all the secrecy out there and all the actions we are involved in. This is the first step towards a sane future.
For future articles check the “Informageddon” category.