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the end of control

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the end of control

Did print allow democracy, and is that why the founders of the USA put freedom of the press into their Constitution?

“ … just invent the printing press. Wait a couple of hundred years while literacy spreads, and presto! We can all talk to one another again, after a fashion, and the democratic revolutions begin.” —Gwynne Dyer

If print enabled democracy, will the rising digital medium destroy it?

“The main handicap of authoritarian regimes in the 20th century — the desire to concentrate all information and power in one place — may become their decisive advantage in the 21st century.” —Yuval Noah Harari

But maybe Harari didn’t think about {that a} linked world is greater than digital and that our transportation applied sciences allow the speedy unfold of illness vectors as nicely. Too a lot control results in filtered info, making it tougher to cope with complicated issues. Authoritarian regimes then are much less in a position to deal with complicated challenges — like an epidemic.

These regimes then lose the belief of the individuals, and when trust is lost, information fails to circulation, hampering the regime’s skill to react much more. Will these regimes be compelled to turn out to be extra open as a result of a posh world calls for it? I consider that leadership through cooperation is the finest mannequin to information our linked civilization. We have advanced to cooperate as a result of that’s the finest approach to cope with a posh atmosphere. Perhaps that is authoritarianism’s “fatal flaw”?

“The misguided agricultural insurance policies of the Great Leap Forward had prompted a collapse in meals manufacturing [1958]. Yet as a substitute of reporting the huge failures, the apparatchiks in numerous provinces had engaged in aggressive exaggeration, reporting ever-increasing surpluses each as a result of they have been afraid of reporting dangerous information and since they wished to please their superiors.

[Chairman] Mao didn’t know famine was at hand, as a result of he had arrange a system that ensured he would hear lies … Just as Mao didn’t learn about the huge crop failures, [Chairman] Xi might not have recognized {that a} novel coronavirus [2019] with sustained human-to-human transmission was brewing into a worldwide pandemic till too late.” —The Atlantic 2020-02-22

Hierarchies and control measures that restrict the circulation of information be sure that these at the prime don’t perceive what is absolutely occurring, as Tim Harford famous in — Adapt: Why success always starts with failure.

“There is a limit to how much honest feedback most leaders really want to hear; and because we know this, most of us sugar-coat our opinions whenever we speak to a powerful person. In a deep hierarchy, that process is repeated many times, until the truth is utterly concealed inside a thick layer of sweet-talk.”

Mao was wrapped in a thick layer of sweet-talk, and so it appears is Xi. How many different leaders are wrapped in these information blockers? The finest future for humankind is to weave complex networks of trust that transcend any single establishment or nation state so as to cope with The Entanglement“As we are becoming more entangled with our technologies, we are also becoming more entangled with each other. The power (physical, political, and social) has shifted from comprehensible hierarchies to less-intelligible networks.” (The Long Now Foundation, 2019).


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