๐Ÿ“‘ The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand

Bookmarked The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand (onezero.medium.com)

So whatโ€™s to be done about all this? Over the coming months Iโ€™m going to both locate ways that we can try to increase our knowledge of the seemingly unknowable, as well as find strategies to counter the powerlessness and anxiety the system produces. Along the way Iโ€™m going to be talking to a lot of experts about everything from automated shipping and algorithmic trading to financial regulation and political resistance, as well as taking deep dives into how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing could make things better โ€” or a lot worse. I hope youโ€™ll join me as we explore how our systems work, how their complexities impact our lives, and how we can regain some agency within them.

Whether it be trade, economics, internet and artificial intelligence, Tim Maughan portrays a world that has become too complex to actually comprehend.

Ceding control to vast unaccountable networks not only risks those networks going off the rails, it also threatens democracy itself. If we are struggling to understand or influence anything more than very small parts of them, this is also increasingly true for politicians and world leaders. Like the captain of the container ship, politicians and voters have less and less control over how any of these networks run. Instead they find themselves merely managing very small parts of them โ€” they certainly donโ€™t seem to be able to make drastic changes to those networks (which are mainly owned by private corporate industries anyway) even though they have a very direct impact on their nationsโ€™ economies, policies, and populations. To paraphrase the filmmaker Adam Curtis, instead of electing visionary leaders, we are in fact just voting for middle managers in a complex, global system that nobody fully controls.

It is interesting to consider this alongside Adrienne LaFrance’s discussion of Facebook as a Doomsday Machine.

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