Dve zistenia o správaní sa človeka na zamyslenie:
1) In practice, the power of human cooperation networks rests on a
delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too
much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against
more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise
masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths.
So if you stick to pure reality, without mixing any fiction with it,
few people would follow you.
Fictions enable us to cooperate better. The price we pay is that the
same fictions also determine the goals of our cooperation. So we may
have very elaborate systems of cooperation, which are harnessed to
serve fictional aims and interests. Consequently the system may seem
to be working well, but only if we adopt the system’s own criteria.
2) Political scientists also increasingly interpret human political
structures as data-processing systems. Like capitalism and communism,
so democracies and dictatorships are in essence competing mechanisms
for gathering and analysing information. Dictatorships use centralised
processing methods, whereas democracies prefer distributed processing.
In the last decades democracy gained the upper hand because under the
unique conditions of the late twentieth century, distributed
processing worked better. Under alternative conditions – those
prevailing in the ancient Roman Empire, for instance – centralised
processing had an edge, which is why the Roman Republic fell and power
shifted from the Senate and popular assemblies into the hands of a
single autocratic emperor.
This implies that as data-processing conditions change again in the
twenty-first century, democracy might decline and even disappear. As
both the volume and speed of data increase, venerable institutions
like elections, parties and parliaments might become obsolete – not
because they are unethical, but because they don’t process data
efficiently enough. These institutions evolved in an era when politics
moved faster than technology. In the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries, the Industrial Revolution unfolded slowly enough for
politicians and voters to remain one step ahead of it and regulate and
manipulate its course. Yet whereas the rhythm of politics has not
changed much since the days of steam, technology has switched from
first gear to fourth. Technological revolutions now outpace political
processes, causing MPs and voters alike to lose control.
Precisely because technology is now moving so fast, and parliaments
and dictators alike are overwhelmed by data they cannot process
quickly enough, present-day politicians are thinking on a far smaller
scale than their predecessors a century ago. In the early twenty-first
century, politics is consequently bereft of grand visions. Government
has become mere administration. It manages the country, but it no
longer leads it. It makes sure teachers are paid on time and sewage
systems don’t overflow, but it has no idea where the country will be
in twenty years.