The Trillion Dollar Question for Human Societies
I get a lot of replies, DMs, and emails from folks communicating a similar feeling: Utter helplessness in the face of societal-level irrational righteousness. “These forces seem completely out of our control!”
My wise Persian wife’s response is, “Welcome to my world!” Indeed, many parts of the world have dealt acutely with these issues for generations.
And helplessness is right. These forces involved are not centralized. There is no Center of Ministry or Evil Billionaire somewhere coordinating it. There is nothing and no one to target.
The forces of authoritarianism in these cases are nowhere. And everywhere. And there would appear to be no easy trick for undoing it. Or, at least, if there is, it’s very deep and not understood. In fact...
The Trillion Dollar Question for Human Societies is this:
How can we insulate ourselves from our own propensity for mass hysteria and consequent colossal self-harm?
A solution to this is the Holy Grail for Human Society.
And we’re working on it.
My colleague Dr. Tim Barber and I are finishing up a book tentatively called EXPRESSLY HUMAN on emotional expressions. We believe we have discovered how emotional expressions rigorously connect up to the rises and falls of reputation currency in social communities.
And we believe it is the mechanisms underlying reputation currency that will be key to understanding these societal forces. And hopefully fixing them.
That was from a Twitter thread from November of 2020.
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