5.8 C
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
HomeWho Will Save Us From Ourselves?

Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?


Related stories

Latest Cuts Leave OPEC with Fewer Options

Last week, OPEC and its partners from OPEC+ agreed to deepen and extend their production cuts into the first quarter of 2024. The move, almost unanimously seen as a means to propping up oil prices, did not have the desired effect. After an initial jump...

Caixin Manufacturing PMI. China, 03:45 (GMT+2)

At 03:45 (GMT+2), November data on Caixin Manufacturing PMI will be published in China. The indicator is compiled from the enterprises’ responses about their purchasing activities and supply situations. At the same time, the attitude of purchasing mana...

US Water Systems Targeted By Iran-Linked Cyberattacks In Multiple States

US Water Systems Targeted By Iran-Linked Cyberattacks In Multiple States Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Multiple federal agencies are warning that Iran-linked hackers have been targeting U.S. water systems and...

Powerful Storm Could Cover Millions In US East With Snow 

Powerful Storm Could Cover Millions In US East With Snow  Meteorologists are monitoring weather models that show a powerful storm might unleash thunderstorms, torrential rains, and snow across two dozen states in the central and eastern US...

Is A New Oil Price War Looming?

U.S. crude oil production broke another record in September, putting additional pressure on the OPEC+ group, which looks to keep oil prices above $80 per barrel by controlling "market stability." The underwhelming OPEC+ meeting last week showed that th...
Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

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.

Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?

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.

Longtime readers know that I often refer to the Martian Central Bank as one potential savior of our own financial excesses--the credit/speculative cycle of growth and decay / authenticity and artifice that we repeat with sobering regularity (Kondratieff cycle, etc.).

In my treatment, the Martian Central Bank is rather unforgiving of debtors who can't or won't pony up the quatloos due in interest. As Tommy pointed out, we tend to have a very either/or expectation of aliens: either they come to destroy us (the Earthling model of colonization and/or conquest) or as wise saviors.

I couldn't stop laughing once Tommy posited the aliens might come expecting us to save them with our great technology. ("You have fusion energy, right?" "Well, uh, not quite...")

As for super-intelligent AI, we discussed the key speculative questions, many of which boil down to who's watching the watchers?

I remain skeptical of current AI's potential to resolve humanity's cyclical turns of hubris, excess and karma, topics I've discussed in three of my books:

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet

A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All

I see potential for AI to reduce the human biases that generate so much unfairness and inequality, but find the expectation that humanity can look forward to sitting around doing essentially no work as not only unlikely but disconnected from the real world.

In other words, it looks like we're going to have to save ourselves without the aid of wise aliens or super-AI. We're going to have to reverse the decay, corruption, artifice, hubris, over-reach and sclerosis ourselves, if not by reformation then by opting out / let it rot.

There is much more in our discussion UFOs & Cycles of Humanity (1:36 hrs). What I like about our conversation is that it can be taken as two guys having a good time spouting speculative nonsense or as two guys exploring the limits of human knowledge and endeavor.

I've been fortunate to be a guest on numerous podcasts and it's rare that I've been invited to indulge in the sort of speculation that comes naturally to my (generally fevered) mind. Thank you, Tommy, for the no-boundaries conversation and the good humor. Tommy's extensive podcast archives can be found here: Tommy's podcast.

Looks like we're on our own--at least until the enforcers of the Martian Central Bank show up demanding their quatloos--or else...

*  *  *

My new book is now available at a 10% discount ($8.95 ebook, $18 print): Self-Reliance in the 21st CenturyRead the first chapter for free (PDF)

Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/09/2023 - 16:20


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here