Albert Einstein is famous for many reasons, and also left behind many type of memorable quotes about all manner of intelligent topics. That shelp, my favorite quote of his, by far, is this:
“Only two points are unlimited, the universe and also huguy stupidity, and I’m not certain about the cosmos.”
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of this quote. Walking down the street. Driving. Reading short articles on Facebook or Twitter. Wars, mass shootings, moronic national politics. Observing people, anywhere, it is constantly obvious…
Humans are very fucking STUPID.
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Humans are also imaginative, and also in many type of means truly brilliant. No various other species on our world has, or is also remotely qualified of, accomplishing what we’ve achieved. And our future potential is virtually boundless.
But herein lies the difficulty, this juxtaposition of stupidity and also brilliance.
The brain evolved for survival, for proproduction and self-defense…yet it progressed in a time when whatever was trying to eat us, and also wright here our literal survival was a everyday issue.
But the brain evolves slowly. A tiny but substantial evolutionary adjust deserve to take thousands or even tens of countless years to construct. A astronomical adjust deserve to take thousands of thousands if not countless years.
For the initially few million years of “human” existence, that was fine. Daily life, and the threats we faced, continued to be greatly continuous across enormous actions of time. Hunt, gather, eat, sleep, proproduce, try not to get eaten, or poisoned, or injured. Good times.
This slow-moving and also measured pace was most likely fine up till a couple of thousand also years ago, once huge groups of people began living together, and the dawn of people as we understand it started to take form.
There’s some evidence that component of the development of the huguy brain stemmed from living and also functioning in groups…but historically those teams were very, extremely small, generally less than 100 civilization. We’re not well equipped mentally for bigger teams, and also Dunbar’s number is a thing for a factor. We’re great for tiny villeras, probably 50-150 human being offer or take. More than that, and also things begin to fray.
So right here we have Root Problem #1 – too many type of world, too cshed together, breeds problem. Us vs. them. Haves and also have actually nots. Our earth has WAY as well many kind of human being, split right into WAY as well many kind of factions, through many kind of living WAY also close together.
What’s wrong via that you say? Diversity is an excellent thing you say?
Sort of. In some means, diversity is great. Genetic diversity appears to be a great point. Diversity of thought as well, as curiosity drives a lot of innovation. But the level of diversity we have, well, it’s come to be even more divisive than ssuggest diverse.
Due to the fact that of our tiny group wiring, the further we are mentally and emotionally from an additional team, the less choose us, the much less “human”, we perceive that group to be. This is well-known as Dehumanization, and it’s not a great point if you’re trying to avoid problem.
And aacquire, ago in the day, when resources were scarce and also your group was your literal lifeline, that made feeling. But we live in an age of true abundance, and also this cognitive holdover is no much longer proper.
Now, an additional evolutionary peculiarity of the human brain is its optimization for performance. The brain renders up 2% of your body weight, yet consumes 20% of your calories. It consumes 10x even more energy by weight than the rest of the body…and that’s after every one of the developmental and also cognitive tradeoffs evolution has actually made in the name of “efficiency”.
What type of tradeoffs? Oh boy, where to begin. It’s a loooong list, but you can break it dvery own right into 3 vital buckets: awareness, memory, and shortcuts.
First, the brain achieves a degree of effectiveness by filtering out a huge percentage of stimuli from ever hitting aware awareness. This is called latent inhibition.
Your senses procedure method, means more input than you ever come to be consciously conscious of (an estimated 11,000,000 bits of sensory data via simply 50 bits of that hitting conscious awareness), and also what bit sensory information does pass through is regularly skewed for a range of reasons.
Your brain is composed of 2 major “systems”, to usage the terminology from the amazing book Thinking, Rapid and Slow. System 1, the lizard brain, is very efficient and also handles the majority of regime work. System 2, what we think of as “conscious” us, is not energy reliable, and is referred to as on mostly to take care of brand-new and potentially crucial information.
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In the name of effectiveness, System 1 tries to involve System 2 as little as feasible. System 2 thinks it runs the display, however in reality System 2 has no fucking clue what’s going on most of the moment.
Therefore, your awareness is significantly restricted, without you ever being conscious