The mass inundation of technology and information has neutered our abilities to have original thought. I find my own thoughts, and those of others, becoming a regurgitated mess without any creative input or new connection.
Humans seem to have become this low-grade memory center in which there is information input that is only filtered through emotions. We all create narratives through which we see the world. This is human nature, and it may be our best and only tool we have to comprehend and make sense of the world. But this tool is not our own, it is controlled by the sum of all we know and all we feel. If information comes in that could change our perspectives on reality, we generally reject it. You can see this in religion, or the absence of it, politics, or any other ideology. And for good reason; with information overload how can we be expected to pivot our interpretation of reality on a dime?
I joined the Army at seventeen years old. This was a time in my life full of immense change: physically, mentally, and ideologically. My experience and knowledge of both military tactics and the geopolitical world has only further developed since then. In my mind, I host what feels like a lifetime of knowledge on this subject, and there is no doubt that it plays a role in shaping my views of the world. The information I know regarding military history and tactics is not wrong, it is all factual, but it is not a complete worldview. Nothing is—how can it be?
Weighing every perspective in relation to COVID-19
Let me use a hot topic to further illustrate my point: COVID-19. In the handling of COVID, there are nearly an infinite amount of experts that could weigh in on the topic with valuable information, Including psychologists, virologists, economists, and military tacticians. Which of these is most important when handling the virus? The answer is not so obvious.Each respective professional could surely argue why their perspective must be heard or there will be grave danger. And they are not necessarily wrong.
That is what politicians are for, to weigh all the competing information in order to determine the best course of action. Is a doctor specializing in viruses the sole perspective we should consider in regard to policy? Of course not, that would be ludicrous. But this is what we all do daily without realizing it. We are only able to act with the information we know, and this will always be the case.
One should live their life with this example in mind. When you are hyper-focused on a concern of the world, stop and think: what am I missing? What are the other factors or perspectives that I have yet to weigh against my current ideas? It is impossible to have a complete view of the world on any particular situation—and that is okay. There is great power and strength in not knowing everything.
I think that to say humanity has lost its ability to think would not quite be accurate. This would imply that a past version of humanity was inherently brighter than our current society, and I do not see any evidence to back this up. To me, it appears to be more of an incompatibility between current technologies and the human brain. We have reached a point in history in which there is so much information ripe for consumption, yet no good way to determine the legitimacy of almost anything. The undisputed truth is that on a deep level you can hardly “know” anything, with maybe the exception that you feel you are experiencing something.
Disagreement will always exist—but life will go on
Building off this, and with the growing human population, agreement on the nature of reality and “facts” has dissipated. I am not sure why this is inherently bad because it cannot be another way. Yes, it is frustrating and causes issues, but how can it be another way? What is the opposite—a world in which we all agree on everything? I am afraid this would be a totalitarian utopia that cannot exist. We live in the “real world”, and we have to be pragmatic.
We don’t need to solve the integration of technology and humanity. If there is none, war will become the solution. It is not so crazy to assume that it may have to be. War is what takes place when politics no longer function.
But, on a deeper level, there will not, and cannot, ever be a solution to all of our human issues. That should not be felt with worry, it is just a function of humans:perpetual disagreement. Life goes on and when the day comes that it no longer does, the world will go on without us. And that is also okay.