Quora – Is there any hope for humanity? Is there no chance to save the human species and is there no way to continue as a species?

[ 16/9/20 ]

Yes – most certainly there is hope, and there is also risk.

One of the greatest risks we face as a species comes from two false sets of ideas that are very common.

1/ That evolution is all about competition. That is wrong. Certainly competition can play important roles in some contexts, and when one looks closely and deeply at the mathematics and logic of evolved complex systems, it is true that all new levels of complexity are based upon new levels of cooperation. Thus for very complex organisms (and we humans are the most complex organisms we yet know of), it is true to say that both our survival and our freedom are based in cooperation. The current myth of market competition does actually pose existential level risk to our species, and needs to be understood for the gross oversimplification that it is.

2/ The idea that the sort of value measured in markets is a reasonable proxy for value more generally can no longer be sustained. One can make a reasonable case that for most of the last few thousand years there was a reasonable degree of correlation, but in the presence of automated systems, that case can no longer be made.

The use of market value as a proxy for value more generally can no longer be sustained.

In the response to covid 19 nowhere is that more evident than in the difference between the responses of New Zealand and the USA.

The New Zealand cooperation based response has been far more effective, and with far greater freedom in practice, than the USA response.

So we face very “interesting” times.

Fundamental changes to economic and political systems are required, and that is deeply complex. There are no simple answers. There are no universally applicable answers.

Real freedom must result in diversity – by definition.

Real freedom and real security can only be achieved in fundamentally cooperative contexts, where the real needs of everyone are largely met by automated systems.

And such cooperation cannot be naive. It must be aware of the possibility of cheating strategies, and must have constantly evolving ecosystems of cheat detection and removal strategies, in order retain survival probabilities.

The mathematics and logic of complex systems is unavoidable, they are eternally changing. There is no way of avoiding that – ever!!!

So we all need to embrace change, at the same time as we retain respect for the lessons hard won from the past.

Both are necessary for survival.

Neither can survive alone for long!

That means eternal sets of “interesting” conversations, at multiple levels, across multiple contexts.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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