Destructive Emergent Properties

I am reading Whiplash and enjoying it. But he is overlooking something plenty of other people are writing about – the rapid social decay in our globalized world.

He writes about emergent properties – how chips (in hardware) and the Internet (in software) – are changing everything. He works hard at being neutral when he describes these changes. But I can see despair creeping in around the edges.

He is now writing about Emergence over Authority – with an emphasis on how it can be constructive – which it certainly can be. But hidden mutations in this process can also make it destructive. And we have to say the obvious – things we do not understand, are now eating us alive. They are eating our social capital – and our economic capital.

This, in itself, is not a problem – we could just recognize it as a problem, and get on with a solution. But if we do not recognize this problem – we got a big problem.


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