In response to Ralph’s facebook post on the new Covid-19 alert level change.
[ 12/8/20 ]
I fear we will see too many people revert to overly simplistic true/false models of what is happening, rather than acknowledging the reality of complexity that can only ever be dealt with in terms of probability.
Nobody could have said exactly when our earthquake would occur with certainty, but I could know with confidence beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that we would have a larger earthquake, and be prepared for it – which I was.
Covid-19 is similar.
I could not know that we would have covid-19 as the specific viral pandemic, and I could know with certainty beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that we would have pandemics like this, and that the only real and effective response is universal lockdown for twice the lifecycle of the organism.
I wrote as much on one of my websites in 1993, and I was far from being the first, as I read about it in books published before my birth.
What we need is cooperative systems that can meet the essential needs of every person on the planet.
What we have is competitive systems optimised for the needs of a very tiny fraction of the people on this planet.
What we need is to create systems and processes that create and maintain sufficient linkages and trust between all the many levels and types of complex systems in existence, so that we can maintain coherence in the systems. That demands responsibility from all of us, at every level we are able to appreciate, and that includes acceptance of and respect for diversity.
Our major problem is that we all have brains which are biologically constructed such that when under stress difference tends to be identified as “bad” or “wrong” or “foe”.
Under stress the subconscious processes of our brain simplify everything down to simple binaries; and all aspects of the world manifest as some version of “if you are not with us you are against us”.
We actually get to experience existence that way.
It isn’t a choice, it is subconscious processes, that take a great deal of training to modify.
We are all built that way.
In our deep past where stress came from big cats or bears or roaming bands of marauders, then it was a useful adaptation. In today’s complex and necessarily highly connected and densely populated world it can easily lead to unrecoverable tipping points into catastrophic failure modalities.
In a very real sense, our survival rests on actually meeting the real needs of everyone. And it is a seriously complex and highly dimensional situation; with many levels of very complex sets of strategies present simultaneously, as well as the basic needs for food, shelter, warmth, respect, hope, freedom, etc.
So yeah – the “team of 5 million” does actually seem to be essential for our survival in many ways that few have much awareness of.