Greatest Risk to Humanity

With the current world-wide political situation, what do you believe is the biggest risk to humanity?

[ 25/December/22 ]

Looking for overly simplistic answers to deeply complex questions.

If there is a simple answer to any of this, it comes in the demand upon each and every one of us, each to the best of our limited and fallible abilities, to be responsible and cooperative, and to mitigate cheating, at every level we are capable of (looking within more deeply than we look outside ourselves).

The more deeply I have explored the nature of this reality we seem to find ourselves in, the more deeply I have explored the nature of strategy, across many of the infinite possible classes of logic, the more likely it seems that our long term survival is predicated upon responsibility and cooperation, even in the face of fundamental uncertainty.

Many traditions have given it many names: love, humility, respect, acceptance, …. It seems to be what is demanded of us, and it gives no guarantees, and it does seem, beyond any remaining shadow of reasonable doubt, to offer the greatest probability of long term survival, of freedom, of creativity, of interest – the greatest potential for being truly human!

We all have a deep tendency to look for simplicity, and in many contexts that is useful and appropriate, but in the deepest of questions it is utterly inappropriate. We need to be able to accept that we are all necessarily, eternally, profoundly ignorant, however knowledgeable we may be, and to act accordingly, with respect for any and all diversity that is not an actual and unreasonable threat to our existence.

A strong tendency to follow leaders with simple messages, to demonize those who are in any way different; that is one of the greatest dangers we face. The twin of that, is a tendency to over confidence in matters where we should have profound uncertainty and respect. Anyone who thinks intelligence is simple, has not studied evolution sufficiently deeply. The nature of recursive strategic evolutionary contexts has been of profound interest to me for over 50 years; and in that time I have learned a little of the profound levels of complexity necessarily present in intelligence. Humility is an appropriate response to such contexts. The failings of current economic and political and technological systems, structures and thought are profound.

I am cautiously optimistic for a great future, and it is by no means a certain thing. It demands from each of us the highest levels of responsibility we can find within ourselves; and the willingness to act accordingly (irrespective of any group agreement we may have been within). Yet to get there, we each need to find that internal balance, neither too confident, nor too timid; alert for error, yet willing to act when necessary. Nothing even remotely simple!

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) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
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