Monday, February 20, 2017
It's a well known fact that civilization is in decline. We can expect this trend to continue for quite some time--until the species is extinct, or until our self-learning software finds rational solutions to all problems.
One of the challenges that our benevolent software will have to overcome is the tendency of humans to maintain tribal loyalty and revert to violence to express this loyalty. Aversion to the "Other" enables great abuse of power, even when differences between groups aren't worth the trouble of starting a fight. Media technology systems make tribal groups larger than our brains can comprehend. We mistrust analysis and statistical rigor, are easily swayed by emotional appeals, and willing to suspend disbelief for unworkable promises.