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Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?

Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?

We have the capacity to learn from previous civilization’s errors–rising inequality, hubris, over-reach, decay of production and trade, parasitic elites, and so on–yet we go right ahead and repeat those same errors.

After listening to my explanation of the many cycles human civilizations track first to glory and then to decay, podcast host Tommy Carrigan asked a key question: why don’t we stop ourselves from self-destructing? Tommy and I had a free-range conversation on this and related topics (plus a lot of laughs) that you can listen to here: UFOs & Cycles of Humanity (1:36 hrs)

We have the capacity to learn from previous civilization’s errors–rising inequality, hubris, over-reach, decay of production and trade, parasitic elites, and so on–yet we go right ahead and repeat those same errors.

What explains our inability to learn from history and take corrective actions by maintaining the dynamics of adaptive advances? (Transparent governance, the sharing of knowledge, incentivizing trade and enterprise, competition, stable money, rule of law / fairness, social mobility and limits on elites’ plundering / exploitation.)

Why do we allow the decay, over-reach, greed, hubris, institutional sclerosis and parasitic elites that lead to collapse gain the upper hand time and again? Why do we not act on what can be learned from history?

For those of us steeped in science fiction and the study of AI, this question inevitably leads to discussions of the potential immutability of historic cycles (Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, which posited that cycles could not be annulled but the decay/collapse phase could be reduced in duration), the deus ex machina of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations and the potential of super-intelligent AI to save us from ourselves.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

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