The Three Flaws of Mankind

Drogheda445

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As is well known, humanity's own flaws can be found at the root of many potential causes of our extinction. Nuclear war, global warming, and in the future the possible takeover by artificial intelligence all stem from negative traits endemic to the human being: negligence, inability to face up to uncomfortable realities, chauvisism, ignorance of our own powers, wastefulness and a plethora of others.

A video I've linked to below sums up these fatal flaws into three precise categories:

http://youtu.be/Yk3QsGzAjKI

1) Tribalism: Specifically our inability to see the humanity in people who are not ourselves. This could be for a variety of reasons: their religious persuasion, their physical characteristics, their cultural traits, their political beliefs, etc. It clearly stems from our days as hunting-gathering bands, when a suspicion of the outsider was beneficial in control over ones own territory and securing access to resources. As a result, we in the modern world carry on this flaw to dangerous extremes: we unnecessary pigeon hole large numbers of people, create stereotypes and clichés to reinforce this behaviour, and engage in conflicts which can range from personal spats to global wars.

2) Short-termism: Our constant tendency to neglect planning for events or scenarios which unfold beyond the next few years or beyond our lifetime. This could possibly come from the fact that for much of human history planning beyond long beyond the present wasn't necessary as apart from elements such as the seasons and animal migrations, not much could be reasonably expected to change over the course of our lives, short as they were back then (consider that we were hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years longer than our current innovative, constantly-evolving present society). This clearly plays a role in everyday life (as regards setting out goals or planning out careers etc.) but it has dire consequences for societal issues when we cannot give ourselves long-term goals and abide by them. Global warming is the obvious example here, but even locally in Ireland, short-termism afflicts every branch of government, especially in areas of urban and national planning, and economic management.

3) Wishful thinking: We have a tragic inability to face up to uncomfortable facts and realities; we constantly avoid facing up to the consequences of our decisions or reconciling ourselves with bad decisions in the past. Many countries and groups often seek denial or whitewashing as a means to soften the blow of these past actions, and often create fanciful alternative narratives to justify future behaviour or avoid admitting wrong-doing. We can often institutionalise this insecurity and many countries deliberately close themselves off from alternative ideas. In the realm of science, a fear of new ideas or innovations can often stifle development, and uncomfortable statistics or predictions about long established behaviour are denied and/or countered with fabricated information. In a world of technology where our own insecurities aren't accounted for by rapidly-developing technology, we risk being destroyed as the negative outcome of our decision rears its ugly head.

So what are your thoughts? Are we doomed to be made extinct, or at least to be constantly afflicted by our negative traits, or is it possible to rein them in and overcome our flaws for the benefit of all humankind?
 


statsman

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As is well known, humanity's own flaws can be found at the root of many potential causes of our extinction. Nuclear war, global warming, and in the future the possible takeover by artificial intelligence all stem from negative traits endemic to the human being: negligence, inability to face up to uncomfortable realities, chauvisism, ignorance of our own powers, wastefulness and a plethora of others.

A video I've linked to below sums up these fatal flaws into three precise categories:

http://youtu.be/Yk3QsGzAjKI

1) Tribalism: Specifically our inability to see the humanity in people who are not ourselves. This could be for a variety of reasons: their religious persuasion, their physical characteristics, their cultural traits, their political beliefs, etc. It clearly stems from our days as hunting-gathering bands, when a suspicion of the outsider was beneficial in control over ones own territory and securing access to resources. As a result, we in the modern world carry on this flaw to dangerous extremes: we unnecessary pigeon hole large numbers of people, create stereotypes and clichés to reinforce this behaviour, and engage in conflicts which can range from personal spats to global wars.

2) Short-termism: Our constant tendency to neglect planning for events or scenarios which unfold beyond the next few years or beyond our lifetime. This could possibly come from the fact that for much of human history planning beyond long beyond the present wasn't necessary as apart from elements such as the seasons and animal migrations, not much could be reasonably expected to change over the course of our lives, short as they were back then (consider that we were hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years longer than our current innovative, constantly-evolving present society). This clearly plays a role in everyday life (as regards setting out goals or planning out careers etc.) but it has dire consequences for societal issues when we cannot give ourselves long-term goals and abide by them. Global warming is the obvious example here, but even locally in Ireland, short-termism afflicts every branch of government, especially in areas of urban and national planning, and economic management.

3) Wishful thinking: We have a tragic inability to face up to uncomfortable facts and realities; we constantly avoid facing up to the consequences of our decisions or reconciling ourselves with bad decisions in the past. Many countries and groups often seek denial or whitewashing as a means to soften the blow of these past actions, and often create fanciful alternative narratives to justify future behaviour or avoid admitting wrong-doing. We can often institutionalise this insecurity and many countries deliberately close themselves off from alternative ideas. In the realm of science, a fear of new ideas or innovations can often stifle development, and uncomfortable statistics or predictions about long established behaviour are denied and/or countered with fabricated information. In a world of technology where our own insecurities aren't accounted for by rapidly-developing technology, we risk being destroyed as the negative outcome of our decision rears its ugly head.

So what are your thoughts? Are we doomed to be made extinct, or at least to be constantly afflicted by our negative traits, or is it possible to rein them in and overcome our flaws for the benefit of all humankind?
We'd be no loss. We're selfish, and our short-termism is beyond stupid. Let the insects have the planet back.
 

Peppermint

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You've forgot to mention our ability to stick our head up our own arse, obsessing in self analysis..... Killed off a few wise monkeys I believe??
 

Gurdiev77

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Tribalism is retrograde and irrational , we should be able to dump it.

Short termism, I've always seen as our biggest weakness. This might be overcome if we can get smart people living longer lives and remaining in positions of decision making.

Wishful Thinking - pure laziness/
 

HenryHorace

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sooner or later mother nature will take it back anyway. Just enjoy what time you have left and hope your kids can do likewise.
 

firefly123

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We have made huge strides in a very very short time. Contrary to belief the world is a much safer and less violent place than it was. Our problem is that we are evolving technology faster than we are evolving common sense. The race is to see which will win out.

My view is that if we aim out into space rather than in into ourselves we will move up to the next level of evolution. We are tribalist, short term and wishful thinking but that makes us competitive, adaptive and optimistic.
 

Drogheda445

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You've forgot to mention our ability to stick our head up our own arse, obsessing in self analysis..... Killed off a few wise monkeys I believe??
We desperately need to self-analyse in the face of all the problems ahead of us. We now have the power to certainly devastate the vast majority of the world, and potentially to wipe ourselves out. We need to prepare for every outcome.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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You've forgot to mention our ability to stick our head up our own arse, obsessing in self analysis..... Killed off a few wise monkeys I believe??
That video cam was for security only!
 

gatsbygirl20

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We have made huge strides in a very very short time. Contrary to belief the world is a much safer and less violent place than it was. Our problem is that we are evolving technology faster than we are evolving common sense. The race is to see which will win out.

My view is that if we aim out into space rather than in into ourselves we will move up to the next level of evolution. We are tribalist, short term and wishful thinking but that makes us competitive, adaptive and optimistic.
We're doing our best. Forever falling short of the ideals we claim to espouse. because beneath all the pious talk there are clear traces of the roiling Darwinism that got us this far.. We're trying to house-train ourselves, but it's a work in progress.

Our tribalism is part of our dependence on clan and our need for boundary, roots, family, community, an ancestral story.

Short-termism might be a compensatory adaptation to help us accept our own certain mortality and our pitifully short span of years. Sometimes living in the now is the only way to stay sane.

Wishful thinking is really just hope, optimism and positivity. "Facing reality" is over-rated. We all have our own realities. Wishful thinking makes us dreamers, artists, innovative thinkers. "Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not"
We are slow to let go of our illusions, however fanciful "Let the disappointments pass/ Let the laughter fill your glass/ Let your illusions last/ Until they shatter"

Carping cynicism is a worse sin., probably.
 

Niall996

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The three flaws of humanity,

Greed, greed and greed.
 

Cnoc a Leassa

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We're doing our best. Forever falling short of the ideals we claim to espouse. because beneath all the pious talk there are clear traces of the roiling Darwinism that got us this far.. We're trying to house-train ourselves, but it's a work in progress.

Our tribalism is part of our dependence on clan and our need for boundary, roots, family, community, an ancestral story.

Short-termism might be a compensatory adaptation to help us accept our own certain mortality and our pitifully short span of years. Sometimes living in the now is the only way to stay sane.

Wishful thinking is really just hope, optimism and positivity. "Facing reality" is over-rated. We all have our own realities. Wishful thinking makes us dreamers, artists, innovative thinkers. "Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not"
We are slow to let go of our illusions, however fanciful "Let the disappointments pass/ Let the laughter fill your glass/ Let your illusions last/ Until they shatter"

Carping cynicism is a worse sin., probably.
From https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/opinion/david-brooks-the-case-for-low-ideals.html
The paragraph - Low idealism begins with a sturdy and accurate view of human nature. We’re all a bit self-centered, self-interested and inclined to think we are nobler than we are. Montaigne wrote, “If others examined themselves attentively, as I do, they would find themselves, as I do, full of inanity and nonsense. Get rid of it I cannot without getting rid of myself.” – seems relevant. Humanity is a work in progress.
 

derryman

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As is well known, humanity's own flaws can be found at the root of many potential causes of our extinction. Nuclear war, global warming, and in the future the possible takeover by artificial intelligence all stem from negative traits endemic to the human being: negligence, inability to face up to uncomfortable realities, chauvisism, ignorance of our own powers, wastefulness and a plethora of others.

A video I've linked to below sums up these fatal flaws into three precise categories:

http://youtu.be/Yk3QsGzAjKI

1) Tribalism: Specifically our inability to see the humanity in people who are not ourselves. This could be for a variety of reasons: their religious persuasion, their physical characteristics, their cultural traits, their political beliefs, etc. It clearly stems from our days as hunting-gathering bands, when a suspicion of the outsider was beneficial in control over ones own territory and securing access to resources. As a result, we in the modern world carry on this flaw to dangerous extremes: we unnecessary pigeon hole large numbers of people, create stereotypes and clichés to reinforce this behaviour, and engage in conflicts which can range from personal spats to global wars.

2) Short-termism: Our constant tendency to neglect planning for events or scenarios which unfold beyond the next few years or beyond our lifetime. This could possibly come from the fact that for much of human history planning beyond long beyond the present wasn't necessary as apart from elements such as the seasons and animal migrations, not much could be reasonably expected to change over the course of our lives, short as they were back then (consider that we were hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years longer than our current innovative, constantly-evolving present society). This clearly plays a role in everyday life (as regards setting out goals or planning out careers etc.) but it has dire consequences for societal issues when we cannot give ourselves long-term goals and abide by them. Global warming is the obvious example here, but even locally in Ireland, short-termism afflicts every branch of government, especially in areas of urban and national planning, and economic management.

3) Wishful thinking: We have a tragic inability to face up to uncomfortable facts and realities; we constantly avoid facing up to the consequences of our decisions or reconciling ourselves with bad decisions in the past. Many countries and groups often seek denial or whitewashing as a means to soften the blow of these past actions, and often create fanciful alternative narratives to justify future behaviour or avoid admitting wrong-doing. We can often institutionalise this insecurity and many countries deliberately close themselves off from alternative ideas. In the realm of science, a fear of new ideas or innovations can often stifle development, and uncomfortable statistics or predictions about long established behaviour are denied and/or countered with fabricated information. In a world of technology where our own insecurities aren't accounted for by rapidly-developing technology, we risk being destroyed as the negative outcome of our decision rears its ugly head.

So what are your thoughts? Are we doomed to be made extinct, or at least to be constantly afflicted by our negative traits, or is it possible to rein them in and overcome our flaws for the benefit of all humankind?
It's long since these things were explained to us. But we keep misrepresenting the message

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0060628626/ref=zg_bs_12196_9?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YS64MMBAZR9EBMTVZVF5
 

gatsbygirl20

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Generosity and humility are two things that you really need before all else.
Not if some guy tries to rob your wallet and mobile phone. Or tries to scam you when you're selling your car on Done Deal.

Sometimes you need to be able to access your inner bastard. Whack 'em in the head before they whack you.
 

*EPIC SUCCESS*

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You forgot beer.

The cause of, and solution to, all of lifes problems.



There is no problem a beer cannot either cause or, indeed solve.

Drunk too much beer and have a hangover - drink more beer!

Getting into a possible nuclear escalation with a psychopathic megalomania because you had too much beer? Give em a 6 pack!

Seriously, you can apply this to pretty much anything. Its no secret that there is a direct correlation between ISIS head hacking and poor/no beer choices.

Also, the decline of pirates, who are fond of 'grog' (Piratese for beer) has been shown to have a direct link to climate change.

I read this on the internet so the truthiness follows, naturally.
 

GDPR

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Not if some guy tries to rob your wallet and mobile phone. Or tries to scam you when you're selling your car on Done Deal.

Sometimes you need to be able to access your inner bastard. Whack 'em in the head before they whack you.
Look I'm trained in Karate, Aikido (which people slag off but if you are a girl it is analogically gold because with it you can take down people much larger and stronger than you) and Krav Maga. My best friend when I lived in England and still one of the best friends talked me through Iraqi Army training manual on how to use knives in combat most effectively. I also know a lot about how to use guns and I'm an excellent shot. I will raise up my kids to have excellent combat skills and I regard parents who don't in the times we are in as neglecting. All that said if someone tried to steal my hand bag I would take them down and than give the money in my purse. If someone tried to steal my mobile phone they can have it. After the initial surge of anger I might even see it as a charitable act.
 
Last edited:

Nitrogen

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Feb 12, 2016
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As is well known, humanity's own flaws can be found at the root of many potential causes of our extinction. Nuclear war, global warming, and in the future the possible takeover by artificial intelligence all stem from negative traits endemic to the human being: negligence, inability to face up to uncomfortable realities, chauvisism, ignorance of our own powers, wastefulness and a plethora of others.

A video I've linked to below sums up these fatal flaws into three precise categories:

http://youtu.be/Yk3QsGzAjKI

1) Tribalism: Specifically our inability to see the humanity in people who are not ourselves. This could be for a variety of reasons: their religious persuasion, their physical characteristics, their cultural traits, their political beliefs, etc. It clearly stems from our days as hunting-gathering bands, when a suspicion of the outsider was beneficial in control over ones own territory and securing access to resources. As a result, we in the modern world carry on this flaw to dangerous extremes: we unnecessary pigeon hole large numbers of people, create stereotypes and clichés to reinforce this behaviour, and engage in conflicts which can range from personal spats to global wars.

2) Short-termism: Our constant tendency to neglect planning for events or scenarios which unfold beyond the next few years or beyond our lifetime. This could possibly come from the fact that for much of human history planning beyond long beyond the present wasn't necessary as apart from elements such as the seasons and animal migrations, not much could be reasonably expected to change over the course of our lives, short as they were back then (consider that we were hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years longer than our current innovative, constantly-evolving present society). This clearly plays a role in everyday life (as regards setting out goals or planning out careers etc.) but it has dire consequences for societal issues when we cannot give ourselves long-term goals and abide by them. Global warming is the obvious example here, but even locally in Ireland, short-termism afflicts every branch of government, especially in areas of urban and national planning, and economic management.

3) Wishful thinking: We have a tragic inability to face up to uncomfortable facts and realities; we constantly avoid facing up to the consequences of our decisions or reconciling ourselves with bad decisions in the past. Many countries and groups often seek denial or whitewashing as a means to soften the blow of these past actions, and often create fanciful alternative narratives to justify future behaviour or avoid admitting wrong-doing. We can often institutionalise this insecurity and many countries deliberately close themselves off from alternative ideas. In the realm of science, a fear of new ideas or innovations can often stifle development, and uncomfortable statistics or predictions about long established behaviour are denied and/or countered with fabricated information. In a world of technology where our own insecurities aren't accounted for by rapidly-developing technology, we risk being destroyed as the negative outcome of our decision rears its ugly head.

So what are your thoughts? Are we doomed to be made extinct, or at least to be constantly afflicted by our negative traits, or is it possible to rein them in and overcome our flaws for the benefit of all humankind?
True,

But it is worth bearing in mind that these are not specific to humans as such, short termism in particular.

What makes humans different is that we are the only animal that has the capacity to reflect upon our selves.
 

Plebian

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There's a lot of talk about tribalism as if it was the cause of all the wars and strife in the world. In the Western sense tribes don't collectively decide to go to major war, they are manipulated into it or dumped into it by cliques of political or military leaders who decide it'd be a good idea for a wide variety of reasons, usually to try to gain some perceived gain for the clique.

The tribe at tribe level represents potentially the ideal of mutual support amongst humans. It's the human traits of violence, greed and vanity + no small amount of base human insanity that prevent the tribe or brotherhood of man from always behaving in a calm cooperative unselfish way.

We have individual humans trying to live in the ant-colony environment of modern societies when people are incapable of behaving like ants. People are not uber-loyal to the tribe like ants are to the colony. People are essentially intelligent hunter gathers naturally disposed to behaving like predatory animals. There's an essential conflict between what we are as animals and what we've become as human societies of millions living together, our dexterity has allowed us to evolve into living in ant-colony type societies of specialist trades. We're not ants so we struggle to fit into our new societies.

Imagine if you will a million cats trying to live together in peace when inside each one of them is essentially a killing machine designed to assert the highest level of dominance within the tribe that it can.
 

Plebian

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True,

But it is worth bearing in mind that these are not specific to humans as such, short termism in particular.

What makes humans different is that we are the only animal that has the capacity to reflect upon our selves.
How do you come to that conclusion, there are lots of highly intelligent animal species, ones such as Orcas, Chimpanzees etc?

Indeed how much human self reflection do you imagine humans are capable of that's not just their own brain chemistry playing involuntary games with them?
 


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