Faster Than The Speed of Science

Harari brings about a number of central ideas for why the state and market were able to establish themselves as central to the culture of modern humans. Firstly, he states that market and state related institutions pushed the very appealing idea of the individual into society. For much of human history, the family and community were central aspects of life, and most all parts of daily life revolved around decisions being made communally and problems being solved by the masses (Harari 356). However, the state and market values placed importance on the individual’s place in society, and more or less birthed the idea of individuals being able to contribute as much or more to the furthering of society and the workforce. Additionally, it recognized all as being individuals, not just the upper class or males (Harari 359, 360). Next, it replaced the idea of a necessary nuclear family and its associated values with imagined communities. It placed the importance and need for belonging on the state, where people were to be inspired to feel connected to their homelands and countries instead of people (Harari 364). This allowed people to be pushed to further the market of their respective homelands, despite being fairly alienated from the mass of the population residing in the society. Therefore, the need for a close family tie was reduced and replaced by members of the market who could be employed to take on tasks and caregiving.
Historians, despite their inherent dealings with the past, can tell a very important story when considering the future. While history does not necessarily predict what is to come, it can draw past relationships between decisions and consequences. Thus, it can show historical examples of what occurred when ability outpaces maturity. For instance, historians could point to the eugenics movement, where the ability to genetically influence a family’s bloodline was attainable, but was taken to a degree that was not appropriate. So, when looking to artificial intelligence, it is important to look to the past to interpret the potential downfalls when science and politics intertwine and desire exceeds sense.

1 thought on “Faster Than The Speed of Science”

  1. John great blog! I like that you talked about the progression of how family and community started as the central aspect in human history. Later it changed with the importance of state and market with individuals place in society. Harari does a good job of explaining the transition of how Family ties changed through the years. In your second paragraph I agree with you, that with historians they can draw from the past. Looking to our past can show how things were back then and looking forward can guide others. Overall great work!

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