Are we doomed?

During holidays I’ve watched with my son several crappy children movies. I wasn’t really paying attention, but when the end was near, I had to watch and whatever happened to Barbie Ranpunzel or the Beast. Then I realized deep inside how much we are hooked to stories.

we can only understand and believe something if it is presented as a coherent story. We are Better and Better to deploy stories that sound convincing, and digital media helps us to find whatever stories fit our prejudices better.

and then, the World is a stranger and more complex place, with no need to adapt to our simplistic stories. So, there’s a bigger and bigger deviation between our beliefs and the real world. How long till the divergence is so great that Catastrophes start happening? Maybe we already crossed the line?

 

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2 thoughts on “Are we doomed?

  1. This is a fascinating question.

    We are dealing here with the combination of two factors. On one side, as you say, and increase in complexity that makes our decisions to be more and more out of touch with reality. On the other side, available technologies are more powerful and far reaching every day.

    It may be the case that the combination of both things makes inevitable the destruction of our world (at whatever relevant level it may happen). In fact, the absence of any whatsoever sign of intelligent life in our Universe may be due to the fact that any intelligent civilization reaches unavoidably a point of self destruction.

    It is even possible to interpret the current financial crisis under such a light. If it ends up being the kind of destructive event I am afraid will be, it may be an early example of “complexity devouring its creator”.

  2. I like the sentence “complexity devouring its creator”. It describes the situation very well.
    Related to that, it fascinates me how much do we know about how wrong we can be, and we just assimilate it, without doing anything about it.
    The press, blogs, etc. love to describe “biases” and how we completely misunderstand situations due to status quo bias, risk aversion bias, lack of proper statistical knowledge and so on. But in doing so, they just turn it into another story: “You know, humans tend to be risk averse, and here’s a couple of experiments that prove it”. We read it, enjoy it the story, add it to our collection of stories and nothing else happens.
    I can’t find the reference anymore, but like a year or so ago I read a blog post on a discussion on what is the most important problem in the world, and one of the “winners” was: “Why are so few people working to solve the really important problems in the world”.
    And yes, why is that?

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