So probably, civilization was organized by religion to regulate human reproduction and expansion of population. This along with establishment of standards of ethical behavior and consistency of ritual and doctrine allowed for a growth of mankind. This phenomenal initiated as tribal practices specific to regional mythologies and evolved into well established Dharma.
As the population exceeded control of religious organizations, government became necessary to set objectives for population. What was needed was a repressive organization to gather census data for taxation, public works and identification of resources for military excursion. These primitive nation states would eventually evolve into organizations capable of establishing economies of scale. As during the religious era, a reformation was necessary so was the establishment of a democracy to pacify the governed.
So what is the next step, will the network platform allow civilization to codified socially excepted behavior without repressive restrictions? Or will it allow a greater understanding of those behaviors to lead to greater manipulation? Will actuarial algorithms give us understanding of the wishes of the individual or discover triggers to repression of desire.
Each of those stages of human development have begun to solve a problem with the growth of civilization and evolved from strong control to benevolence. If this is the beginning of a third stage of civilization, would it occur if it wasn’t needed? So what is the disruptive civilizational expansion that we’re undergoing and what will it evolve into?
A significant amount of civilization energy is spent in acquiring and distributing resources. That is why there are markets and a monetary system. Economics is devoted to the distribution of the abundance created by the current civilization. Until now, production has been a reactionary phenomenon based on supply and demand. Soon it may be possible to have supply without demand. How will humanities relation to the supply chain change when the issues become wants and not needs. It may at first be disturbing for an expert system knowing what we need and want more than we do ourselves but eventually we will except this the same way we excepted clergyman telling us what was morally right and morally wrong to modify our behaviors.
The real challenge will be off loading our cognitive abilities. Although this has been one of the major functions of civilization, during this next phase, the changes are potentially more dramatic. Whether it was religion setting a rule against killing each other or government informing us we were going to provide for the common defense without any need for individual analytical analysis, civilization has systematically reduced the need for intellectual contemplation.
The objective of every organization is to reduce the intellectual requirements of the individuals involved and at its best to place decision making into the realm of objectivity.
A good question about “objectivity” is why more credibility is given regarding the opinions of members of specific social networks when it is possible to accurately draw predictions from the data available in documented behaviors of a sampling of the members? Instead of looking for algorithms to remove the biased of product reviews, why not conduct analysis of the actual behaviors of the individuals. If anonymized information from an individual’s banking shows that they have eaten at a restaurant five times and the restaurant is ten miles from their residence, then that is a more significant data point and if a bank should recommend that restaurant to other similar customers that is substantially more useful then the restaurant receiving five star reviews.
Then of course, there’s the issue of what’s good for humanity. I’m much more concerned in what my genetics tells me about seafood allergies then I am about what Leviticus says about eating shrimp. Consciousness could be defined as the conflict resolving function of awareness. If there is satisfaction with habits and beliefs, then there is no conflict, no need for awareness and no manifest consciousness. We do not question our map application on how to get to destinations or how to prevent delays. The fact that we are irritated when it fails is an indicator that we have excepted its superiority over our own abilities and become frustrated with failure. So as our understanding of reality outstripped the stories of religion, civilization had to organize with a story that expanded humanity’s needs. That organization was called government. Now we have to reorganize in a way to take advantage of this new connectivity. The term religion is a catalogue of organization. The same as all the systems of governance is a set of organizations. It is meaningless to try and name manifestations of a evolving category of a civilizational systems of organization. Just let it happen, we can name it later. —