The Computer Drew Us To It

This morning, when I was drifting awake, when I sometimes have good ideas – this idea came to me.

The imagery is this – the Computer is out there someplace, already existent, and it is causing us to make it. An image, however, can be worth a thousand words – and now I must come up with the words to explain it. But I think you already have a feel for what I am trying to say.

The end result is also clear to me, if not to everyone else – the Computer has sucked all our smarts out of us, and used them to improve itself. The result is smart computers, and stupid people.

You may respond to this rant in a sensible manner – and point out that computers have been used by nefarious men for evil purposes – as has always been the case for any technology – and it is not proper to blame the computer for this. And I would have to agree.

But – I would add – the computer, due to its very nature, is more capable of doing immense harm. And we should carefully take this into account.

The Computer Industry has made a careful analysis of human nature, discovered our weaknesses, and exploited them. Instead of using the Computer to make us better – it is using it to make us worse.

You may say that stupidity is built into human nature, and cannot be eliminated – and the catastrophic worsening of this by computer technology cannot be fixed. I am tempted to agree with you – that the eternal battle between Good and Evil, has been won – by the wrong side.

Humans will have to evolve some more, to be able to cope with their advanced technologies – before they can reach their potential.

This, it seems to me, may be possible – and we may not have to wait a million years, or so, for biological evolution to do its work. Perhaps only a thousand years, or so – such as our Middle Ages, will be enough. We did come out of that nicely – or what seemed to be nicely at the time – only to collapse again.

We must realize where we are – at the point of collapse of one civilization. Which may contain the seeds for its recovery. As I write this, I am also studying TypeScript – part of a new approach to writing software. Only a few are interested in this – but, as they say – great oaks from tiny acorns grow. And due to the general speedup of everything – the next phase of growth may not have to wait too long.

There will be a collapse, no doubt about that. But it may get ride of dead wood – and clear the ground for new growth.


The Mental Switch That Got Us To Where We Are

First of all, I have to say I have grave doubts about my ability to explain this.

I picked up the idea of mental switches somewhere, and it never left me – because it seemed to explain so much. Somehow, in the way the human brain, and therefore the human mind, is constructed – it makes the decision to go one way or the other (the switch is flipped to one position or the other) that takes it down a whole different track.

This happens all the time in Literature or Poetry. We may take the track least followed – or the one most followed. The decision is a simple binary – it only has two states – like a light switch. But the results of going one way or the other, are profound.

Such a decision must have been made in Europe sometime in the 19th Century. And it quickly spread throughout the world. Because it seemed to have such overwhelming advantages. Its disadvantages were slow to emerge – but they were devastating. They resulted in a world that does not work. And a world population that does not realize this.

You may retort that “This is only thinking!” But you would be wrong. It is feeling also – we take the track that feels right to us. Even if to an outside observer it is insane. This makes no difference – we go the way everyone has decided on. And we have extremely sensitive antennas that can detect which way this is.

Politicians everywhere are concerned with detecting these movements – and, if possible, influencing them. This is what Great Speeches have been throughout history. Speeches that have changed the way people thought.

Such speeches are now conspicuous by their absence.