Our World is too Complex for Us

This is very related to my last post. More and more I am thinking that the number one priority of society NEEDS TO BE directly augmenting the human brain. We are far far too stupid individually to navigate the coming future landscape as we are now. We need to become post humans post haste! We have made our world so complex that no one understands it any more. Even the very brightest of the human race can only actively comprehend the smallest sliver of human knowledge. Our collective intelligence has so far exceeded our singular minds capabilities that there is just NO POSSIBLE WAY any one person can know the right things to do for a group of people as large as a country. Still plenty of people try. Someone has to do it, I guess. We can’t seem to vote on policies, elect leaders, run corporations, or even perform basic day to day tasks in a way that consistently benefits ourselves and our fellow human beings in the long term. Our numerous cognitive bias’s fight us every step of the way when seeking the truth. Even when extensive research is done, the majority of people will mistrust it because its beyond their understanding.  The amount of time it takes to be truly informed is staggering, even with the vast resources of the internet at our finger tips. You can never really tell how much of other peoples bias’s, agendas, and flat out lies you are reading. No matter how much data is available, we can only do so much with it in our own heads. I think most of the time a person comes to a decision about something they are researching, simply when they get tired of comparing conflicting information in their brain, not when they have done it to it’s fullest extent. At that point of exhaustion, I think our bias’s may pick up the slack that our analytical mind leaves off.

I believe it has gotten to the point that ANY individual theorizing about a complex system serves more for personal amusement than actual large scale problem solving or the generation of useful predictions. Going forward, the only way I can see humans furthering their effectiveness in decision making as a whole, without direct brain augmentation, is to further utilize and develop software that aggregates collective knowledge. That way we could potentially act as each others augmentation. However this seems like a transitional solution at best in my eyes. people will still have to trust the system and the people who interpret its results. At some point, independent problem solving computers will be able to collaborate so much more directly and effectively with each other, that there will be no point in us trying to awkwardly put our heads together. That’s the point I don’t think we want to reach. i hope we can sidestep this divide.

There are really only two ways I can see the future of AI going, us and them, or us and us. AI could just as easily stand for Augmented Intelligence, as it could Artificial Intelligence. While it would still be artificial, it would be part of us. We would all be in it together. Hopefully we could start to really understand our world again and our minds would upgrade with the tech so nothing becomes fundamentally beyond our individual understanding. I suppose it could all lead to the eventual dissipation of the individual, if everyone is so efficiently networked and augmented. The whole world’s network might start to fee like it’s within ones own mind, but I think that possible eventuality is pretty far off, and it might not be a bad thing anyway.

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4 thoughts on “Our World is too Complex for Us

  1. Kyle hameister says:

    Youve hit the nail on the head with your ‘its decision time when im exhausted with research’ comment. Even as i fancy myself a proficent delver of interweb tubes, i find muself at that point of exhaustion several times a day. Whats a guy to do though? If anything i think people more and more are reverting to their biases simply from getting fed up with taking that research to their breaking point…

    • nickquest says:

      With our current brains, I don’t think there’s much more we CAN do. Basically just wait for better search technology and hope it doesn’t intentionally hide results from us.

  2. Todd says:

    More and more I see people falling back on mental modeling when making decisions. Even if they try to gather information, which few do, they filter it through their existing model so that only validating data is accepted. To make matters worse, I wouldn’t hold out any hope for AI. There is, unfortunately, a prevailing mental model that tells people to fear technology and science in general. In short, we may be experiencing the Peter Principle on a global scale for years to come.

    • nickquest says:

      I’m sure you’re right. I just hope “even expect” that as new generations of people are exposed to more tech at earlier ages, this mindset will die out. As people live longer and advancements happen quicker, let change become the norm.

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