©Fernando Caracena 2014
The cause of human self destruction is the obstruction of the flow of information and the generation of false signals that lead to seriously erroneous responses. In the wilds, mistaking a lion for a zebra can have fatal consequences. Humans have become very finely tuned to the flow of information, on which they base critical decisions. Blocking the flow of information, makes them partially blind. False signals produce inappropriate actions.
The access to the rapid flow of information is vital to the fast paced lifestyle that we live in the 21st Century.
Causes of blockage
Competition has been good for the human race. Those who have been able to receive and assess information the quickest have been able to beat the competition. Throughout the ages, some groups of people have found that they can increase their competitiveness, not by being sharper than the rest, but by gaining positions in which they can control the flow of information and gain access to critical information before the competition. On a national scale, a country will seak to maintain its dominance by the same means.
Governments have found that they can gain advantages by being able to control the information content that reaches the general public, by one means or the other. False signals are generated in the process, which can poison the basis for a nation's well being.
The need for the free flow of information
The Internet is a good example here. It began with the idea that nothing should be able to obstruct the free-flow of information other than total annihilation of the human race; and it was set up that way. When people began to connect to the Internet in increasing numbers, the experience proved very valuable. Internet-based businesses flourished. Some people became fabulously wealthy as a result. Those who did not have the technical knowledge, but had access to a lot of money, rushed in to buy out successful start ups. This created the high-tech bubble.
The effect of the Internet on human life in technically developed countries has been dramatic. Never has a person had such great access to ideas and information as we have now. No mater what your interest, the information that you want, is available on the Internet. The result is that people are becoming better informed in all aspects of life. Perhaps, some are misinformed, but at least we all have the opportunity to be well informed if we can think critically. Again, we have the element of competition operating here, which depends on the sharpness of individual minds.
The free-flow of information threatens the positions of long-standing institutions, such as the mass media, the stock market and banking, as well as politics. At the same time, the connectivity of smart-phones has extended the network into ad hoc organizations, such as flash mobs. Witness the recent overthrow of the Egyptian government.