Reality Blind - Vol. 1

against predators and enemies. Following the agricultural revolution, human groups, villages, cities and eventually nation-states self-organized to maximize surplus (food) and defense. This complexity of throughput and organization was only possible because of our self-organizing groups, innate sociality, caring about others, caring what others think, cooperating in creative ways with others and working together toward common goals. There are two central points here. The first is that human happiness is emergent from social interactions within groups of people, and not from individual context or choice 69 . This is why mostly solitary individuals, despite monetary and technological riches, most often have high rates of depression and loneliness. Indeed, the highest rates of depression in the world are in urban wealthy cities in North America, and the lowest rates of depression are in poor villages in Africa 70 . The second implication of humans being ultrasocial is that we — as a species — can suppress the needs and wants of the individual to attain the goals and advantages of a larger functional unit. Can this ultrasociality be harnessed for a viable future? Today, the functional unit in the 21 st century is a globalized economy of 7.7+ billion and growing — a massive superorganism. Yet as we ’ ll see, it ’ s a superorganism in size and resource use only, lacking awareness, strategy and consciousness. It will become more clear that it typically functions at the mindless level of bacterial tropisms in its search for energy and material. Your authors will often refer to it as the human amoeba , which may be a useful description to characterize the behavior and goals of our species on the largest scales. TaaL: Watching humans these days, which is my main hobby, is strikingly akin to watching social insects, and this similarity has visibly accelerated during my lifetime. Fifty years ago, communications between individuals would often be information-dense (that is, having more meaningful content), because people might meet less often and had been doing their own thinking between times. These days, your species walks around staring at smartphones and sending tweets such as: “ going into restaurant now. ” “ leaving restaurant. yummy. ” “ here ’ s a pic of my genitalia. ” “ emoji. ” In other words, the same sort of “ status ” information passed from one ant to another chemically when they touch feelers and swap spit & pheromones when meeting one another. Bees dance and wiggle their hindquarters to


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