The Macro and the Micro

There are, I think, a variety of situations facing humanity as a result of our SUCCESS as a species.


  1. Global Warming. The result of increased population and our search to control more and more of the biosphere’s energetic resources
  2. Overpopulation. The result of improved medical and food production and dominance over predators.
  3. Obesity. The result of severing the connection between calories expended and calories earned, industrialization and so forth.
  4. Gender Parity.  The result of effective birth control, having reached maximum population, industrialization and firearms leveling the playing field.
  5. Racial Parity.  The result of the death of racial mythologies due to actual contact between human groups: enhanced communications
  6. A.I.  The result of the endless human quest to extend our senses and physical capacities with our tools.
  7. Automation eliminating jobs.  The quest to accomplish more and more with less and less human involvement.  For individuals to do what used to require teams and groups.
  8. Pollution.  The result of increased population.


There are others, of course, but it is important to grasp that any or all of these COULD cause real problems, as every one of them upturns individual and social behavior patterns engrained for countless thousands of generation.   Every one of them.


What will happen depends on a couple of questions: what is true? And: Who am I?  They are related but not quite the same.


  1. “What is true” touches on questions of the structure of the universe.  Is it true that human beings are causing a rise in temperature?  That machines could actually behave as if conscious?  That there is a maximum healthy population for the planet?
  2. “Who am I?” is the “what is Man that Thou art mindful of him?” question.  What YOU are relates to what WE are.  Those who believe a “Universal Basic Income” would lead to a vast ocean of idle people either believe THEY, PERSONALLY would be idle, or that “they”, those “beneath” them, would.  Lots of racism and classism there.  Those who believe UBI would lead to a renaissance are the ones who think that THEY, PERSONALLY would take advantage of a “safety net” to learn, grow, explore, create.


Who is right?  Well, human beings have been arguing for a long time about what the basic nature of humanity is, just as we’ve been arguing about “what is true?”  That answer isn’t going to be found here.


But it is important to recognize the actual arguments being made when someone claims to know what is best for humanity. There is a REAL difference between the world views of someone who believes in basic human equality, and those who are tribal and hierarchical.


Note that I don’t say they are wrong. I disagree with them, but am aware you really can’t come to an absolute conclusion…ultimately there is an irreducible measure of faith involved.   You pays your money and you takes your chances.


But these issues are part of our future, and those who have a clear sense of those core answers AND are flexible enough to hear the perspective of the other side will be the most useful in deciding our actions.


Those who learn to recognize the beliefs underlying the political positions, and how people who believe in differential worth will almost NEVER say it out loud, will be useful.  Those who understand that it is possible to push “equality” into a cocked hat, creating a different sort of horror, will also be useful.


The answers will not be in the extremes.  Where are they? Well, again, this stuff has been argued for thousands of years. Your host has no absolute resolution.


I can say that I start…EVERYTHING that I believe starts with the assumption of basic equality of worth and capacity between most groups defined by birth. Not because I know it absolutely, but because I believe the potential for error is smaller, and has impacted my family and myself more than the opposite position.


But I don’t know. It is an ongoing investigation, and I have no reason to believe it can be resolved within my lifetime.


But I can live with myself much more by wasting resources if it turns out equality is NOT the reality than I could by withholding resources if it turns out people DID have equal potential. The level of evil seems to me much lower.


You will have to make your own decision. The only question is: will you make it consciously, and will you be honest once you’ve made it.


The choice is yours




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