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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons Never Learned

I don't know how effective online petitions are, but this one gets my vote: Tax Payers Against a Wall Street and Mortgage Bailout

AI is our only hope, because the natural stuff just isn't working.

Have you noticed that as you get wiser year by year, the world around you does not? Think about it. Old people die, and new ones are born, and people are already maxed out on how much they can (or are willing to) assimilate through reading and education, so while you become a notch wiser every year, the average person you interact with, the average politician who makes your laws, and starts your wars, the average juror who is your "peer" -- they are just as dumb as they were the day you were born. I know this seems obvious, but at the same time it isn't. Intuitively, we feel like the world moves with us in this march of wisdom, that every event with a lesson makes a lesson learned by all, and so each year we are as a whole more learned. But there is the subtler back-current created by the cycle of death and birth which is quietly removing wisdom at the same overall pace, steadily and relentlessly undoing all of that apparent progress. And so we, as individuals, ride over this stationary wave and eventually drop off the end ourselves, taking our wisdom with us, clearing the road for new follies just like the old--lessons never learned.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com