Tag Archives: future

On the lowest common dominator:

One bad egg spoils the batch, ruining it for everyone ect… The idea I’m harping on today is the least common dominator, that smallest bit that still fits and how it’s bad when the actions of everyone else are based on that small group. ( I know that’s not the mathematical correct use… forgiveness please.)  Ex: Notice those yellow concrete pylons around businesses, infrastructure ect? Those did not exist when wagons and the 1st automobiles rolled out,  it was not until some lowest common dominators plowed their vehicles into important stuff that they sprung up, (and with the recent rash of people plowing vehicles into people we will likely be seeing more). They are a visceral daily reminder that (intentional or not) people drive into stuff. I’m not of the opinion they are bad, just a sign that people in general are poor at planning and how when faced with large problems tend to focus instead on small ones.

Like people crashing into stuff, there are accidents/ tragedies happing today that have yet to get their practical solution, and far more troubling are the accidents/ tragedies that may be coming down the pipes. Moreover the short sighted solutions used to prevent tomorrows tragedies will (if history is any guide) be horrific to present day sensibilities. Do you like others to have access to all your thoughts? It’s coming. Do you want literally all the technology you use to be remotely shut down by someone else? We’re ½ way there already.  Personally I don’t take much issue with either, (I personally think there is much to gain by having all thoughts recorded, logged and searchable) but my point is this: When we let the least common denominator dictate our actions it prompts short sighted, knee jerk solutions that are bad.

Leaving the Sci-fi behind and getting back to my first example the pylons, there are many ways to prevent people from driving into important stuff: stop producing cars, have all cars equipped with a 5 MPH governor, require 2-3 years of training before issuing licenses, and so on, those are all bad ideas. Restricting freedom in favor of safety is not a new idea, and the trade-off is always painted by those in power as a good one. The catch is it never is, not once. Solutions that are dictated by the LCD have in the past, and as far as I can tell always will only address a facet of larger problems. That’s the rub, people running their cars into stuff is a problem for stuff owners, so they put up pylons, but now we have issues with people running their cars into people, do we put up pylons everywhere people gather? (Possibly)… but there are 2 larger problems at play the 1st I see is humans propensity for accidents, the 2nd some people’s desire to do harm. There may be a solution where it is worth trading freedom to solve one of those 2 big guys, but not the multitude of little problems that spring from them individually.

When we let a small group dictate the actions of the entire population (regardless if it’s a dictator/oligarchy, person with a gun, people with bombs ect.) it leads to bad policy and suffering. It matters not what the small group is (Lawmakers, terrorist, zealots ect…) the narrow focus that always comes with small groups inevitably leads to short sighted solutions.  So ware the LCD, they are never specific problems that need solution (though that’s exactly how they feel) they are merely early warning signs of larger problems we need to focus on together.

So next time you see one of those pylons, take a second and think: Are they a solution to people crashing into stuff, or a sign that humanity takes the quick and easy solution far too often.

On civic duty:

Not a new point here, just a bit o clarification. We are all in this together, this truth is indifferent to the fact that a lot of us dislike or event hate each other. The finite resources of earth, and more importantly the rate at which we are depleting them, make it necessary for all peoples to acknowledge their role in humanity.

Normally civic duty is thought of as being a good citizen for the state in which one lives, being a good American, or Briton or what have you. I would like to advocate a more global approach; we are all members of the human race. This is (currently) not much of a distinction, as we are far from unified and cohesive, but it’s importance will probably become more clear in the next 40 years or so as our technological prowess go absolutely insane. So while it is important to think about what is good for me, it is ( when personal conditions are OK) to think about what is good for my neighbors, and provide the local community is doing OK we need to then look at the world, not America, not just our national interest, but human interest. It is here I think our leaders have been mucking things up, by pursuing policies that do not address real problems, and sometimes making those problems linger and intensify. I cite to examples, (they are far more but I’m the lazy sort) first physical security at airports: The notion that scanners and gates and armed guards will provide absolute security for air travel is laughable. It operates under the same idea that drunk driving laws prevent drunk driving, to be clear it dose reduce the chances of something bad happening, and as a stop gap measure I can abide it, but it will NEVER be a solution to the problem of people wanting to kill other people! I cannot stress this enough, our leaders are putting so much of the peoples resources into security, but almost nothing in addressing the in-equality that is far closer to the root of the problem, until the problem’s root is addressed we will just keep making smarter scanners, maybe in a couple decades brain scanners will detect ill intent, but having our emotional states read will still not prevent violence! Another example of policies exacerbating problems would be our (The U.S.’s) wars in the Middle East. The problem is thousands of years of religious turmoil and hatred, this will NEVER be fixed by more killing (with the one exception of killing everyone, but I hardly consider genocide “fixing”) education, empathy, aid these things at least have a chance, but the people we choose to represent us went with the plan that ended lives and made things worse. They (like all of us) need to think of civic duty to humanity, I know that being one seventh of one billionth makes one feel like we have no role to play in humanity at large, but this is not the case, in fact the idea of 7,175,118,110 people looking out for me, ready to help me if I want it gives me goose bumps. I can hardly fathom the positive outcomes of such a mentality if embraced by us all, and I make a point of fathoming outcomes on a daily basis. But as has always been the case with civic duty it must be a desire from within, it true value comes from the shared understanding and belief that we all deserve to suffer equally, regardless of the abilities we are born with, or who spawned us, or what great things we do. The ideal is equality, now the reality will probably never reach that, but we are orders of magnitude away at the moment and progress, while promising, is far too slow.

So waste less, conserve energy, vote for anyone who puts equality and empathy as their main principles, think of yourself as ( at least nominally) a member of the human race and how you can help us all out, you can be dam sure we need all the help we can get.