Humanity’s Success, Through Beastly Struggles

Humanity has brought famine, plague, and war under control. Author Yuval Noah Harari writes:

Success breeds ambition, and our recent achievements are now pushing humankind to set itself even more daring goals.

Harari adds:

And having raised humanity above the beastly level of survival struggles, we will now aim to upgrade humans into gods, and turn Homo sapiens into Homo deus.

But, can our new ambitions give birth to new beastly struggles? Could genetic engineering give birth to a violent species of humans? Could regenerative medicine create an antibiotic-resistant pathogen? Could nanotechnology be hacked to become the modern-day Black Death?

Author Andrew McAfee does not share my perspective, McAfee notes:

We need to let the technologies of the second machine age do their work and find ways to deal with the challenges they will bring with them.

McAfee co-author of, “The Second Machine Age” understands that humanity’s success will breed ambition. He also understands that you poorly predict the future. Why, because predictions are based on your current assumptions.

Instead of making bad assumptions, McAfee explains you need to find solutions for these challenges:

  • Improving education to reduce the number of unskilled workers
  • Focusing on entrepreneurship because it’s an innovation engine
  • Supporting scientists, by reforming the U.S. intellectually property laws
  • Upgrading our infrastructure — bridges, airports, streets and highways

When you focus on finding solutions, and not making predictions you can better manage humanity’s ambitions.