how the little green men might defeat us humans 4

In the first few parts of this current speculation, the theme I’ve been exploring involves ways in which the little green men might use aspects of us against us. Some of these might involve our sense of the passage of time, and in fact that we sense time as we do.

And some of these might involve how we act towards another. I didn’t follow this line of inquiry all that far, but I have read the claim that we evolved to most comfortably operate in groups of around 200, and that there is some speculation that a careful examination of the data on social media networks might well provide some evidence supporting this claim. I don’t remember where I read these claims, but I have to admit that I do like that we might be able to use social media data to test these sorts of hypotheses, and so we add this to the list of things to do at some point in the future when we have time for exploration.

How might we defend ourselves against this latter sort of exploitation of our innate social tendencies, including our seemingly innate sense of tribe. This is where I find some of the science fiction I watch and read to be hearteningly optimistic. The Federation of Star Trek has left this tribalism behind and we see, by and large, humanity operating as a coherent whole.

How do we get from our current fragmented state to this coherence? This will require of us a degree of reflection that we have not yet demonstrated. I can only hope that we find a way of engaging in this reflection without being forced into it by some disaster, whether it be by our own hands or not. Going back to an earlier speculation, will our impact on the climate bring us to this point of reflection? We are starting, but we do have some long way yet to go.

We can go in a different direction as well. We know that advertising and marketing can be remarkably effective, which we could view as a consequence of our lack of understanding of ourselves. Should we ever make contact with a sentient alien race, would it be necessary to make it illegal to teach the alien race the details of human psychology?

~ by Jim Anderson on 22 September 2019.

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