No question, Mike, you pinpoint the historical moment we find ourselves in.
Jack Preston King

Managing our emotions

We need to work on our emotions. You are absolutely correct. In fact that is a logical point(?!). And that raises another issue: We seem very reluctant to deal with emotional health in politics. We all know the pattern of manipulation is to trigger fear and negative emotions as the most effective weapon in the modern political process. The extent of our analysis is lamenting this as unfortunate with no real alternative. This is more than unfortunate. We maintain and educate our children in a civic image of the demos engaged in political debate as the center of our democratic system. Obviously this is mostly bullshit and has been from the beginning but it was the ideal presented. Debate intentionally does not rely on emotion but on logic or, at its base, honesty and plain speech. Emotion (honest emotion) may result from positions logically presented and honestly argued.

We seen to have lost the concept of that kind of civic emotion that rises from a rational process. That is my concern. I just called it honest emotion but perhaps that is simply the public person combining rationality and emotion. It so happens that civics is not a requirement anymore, dependent on the place and educational system, and that is obviously a part of the problem. So emotion is, as you say, not going away and needs to be incorporated in the new planetary order we must build.

The heart of your response (ok, I’ll let that stay there) is that achieving a just and sustainable planetary culture requires emotion and not just rationality. While love is important the key emotion, I think, is compassion. But this is the problem with describing emotions as our words both describe and trigger emotions on a great range. And emotions tend to escape control. We are primarily emotional animals and only very secondarily rational animals. That’s the problem. Emotions make us unique but will also destroy us.

In short I’ve come to the conclusion that we are at an evolutionary cusp. Unless we remove emotions from our day to day planetary management we’re going to kill ourselves. This is the same realization that politics (as a purely emotional game) doesn’t work with civic administration. But we are able to build preeminently rational systems that can do the things we can’t. We need to do that as fast as possible by recognizing our species strengths and shortcomings.

We are beginning to see this in the replacement of people in jobs by AI robotic systems. This is much closer and will happen much faster than people realize. But it is not the “takeover” that people are wasting time talking about. It is augmentation to us. We are creative and emotional but our AI offspring are not. The balance is already in process as we remain the ultimate conscience and source of creativity of our systems. Our AI partners can discover and manipulate patterns in vast arrays (ever bigger) of real time data. That allows effective management of complex systems that we can’t even understand. There are nearly overwhelming ethical issues with accepting administrative courses of action affecting people that are generated by algorithms built by us based on data that may be distorted. That is where we need to be working now as that job will take decades but only if we survive. We are working on our AI and machine learning conscience. But we desperately need to get better administration without emotion based on agreed ideals. That is the limit of politics. What ideals do we want our systems to use to build our planetary happiness?

I’ll be writing more on this . . .

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