Why America Slept
Tim O'Reilly

The foundation of the United States is built on an inherent distrust of the government. Indeed, the Constitution was written with the overtone of distrusting governmental authority and power, and so vesting it with the most limited set of authorities possible. Almost by default then, the citizenry would be more trusting in organizations that they voluntarily coordinate with. It stands to reason then, that the state of trust in government vs corporations today is simply an extension/magnification of our central ethos even if there have been times where government trust was real and greater.

The concern that a country (like China) which has it’s citizens in coordinated philosophical lock-step is a threat to one who doesn’t (like the US) is a real philosophical question. Is the idea of centralization being detrimental to individual and group outcomes antiquated? Can a centralized reinforcement learning system that provides better end-to-end individual and group outcomes possible? What does such a system look like?

One of the big problems with organizations, and as an extension countries is that they don’t chart a collective philosophical vision for the future coherently. Questions like What should we do? What should we all be working towards? are never coordinated well— and past attempts to do have resulted in horror (Great Leap Forward, First Five Year Plan). Perhaps the Chinese think that with better planning and data it is possible to do…what happens if they are right?

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