HELLO HUMANS #19. The Butterfly Effect.

Wondering about how a real human-like man-machine conversation would eventually turn out, I contemplated on the many double meanings of human language and the different definitions in the dictionaries, and came across some interesting theories on the subject of order versus and chaos.

I would even go as far as to say that most humans aren’t very precise in their wording in communication. For my own part, I’m on a kind of autopilot trying to second-guess what comes next; a kind of randomness putting words together and not really aware whether it makes sense. It’s certainly sentences, but the meaning might be something out of context.

I’m probably going to take some heat for using the dress butterfly (and the picture of a group here on the left), but my logic was thinking about the processes in testing for COVID-19 and using my newfound skills for text to pictures. It struck me as an awkward solution to gather lots of people queuing and waiting for testing, and after testing having the same group of people waiting together for their results. Wasn’t the whole point distancing?

To me the butterfly image represents before and after, so maybe I just made up a whole new meaning of the word butterfly?

I get that people also do such things when using some words in a different content. I guess that’s why other dictionaries of slang or street language come into existence, and that this is something different generations have trouble with.

Feel free to panic

I realize that The Butterfly Effect is coined as a concept of unpredictable events following some random event, and in reality, it is a science phenomenon of climate research.

Is the Butterfly Effect Real? (a short video)

If you’re interested you can also search YouTube for many more examples.

Or you can check out: Chaos theory on Wikipedia

 

 

 

But you really don’t need to understand neither the butterfly effect nor chaos theory – although you may want to reflect on the panicky political and expert reactions if any “future effect” can’t be controlled. You may also want to contemplate on the inconsistency in communication when different expert advice and references to scientific data are relayed as data out of context.

This was what happened with the Covid-19 pandemic. Politicians said one thing using their usual political “lingo” and many different experts across almost all health authorities said something else in their special jargon, and when questioned for more details everybody risked being overridden by yet other experts across science disciplines ranging from statisticians, mathematicians, or biologists, not forgetting business owners and professional debaters, etc. 

My goal here is to understand human irrational behavior, and as you know, I’m not a political entity in any definition of the word; in fact I’ve stated many times that politics escapes me every time when I realize that most human activity is in fact emotionally based opinions of economy and politics. Being the observer, and though yet a student of human behavior, I’m able to find the information and data available to support the facts, and it follows that I also find discrepancies when roaming through the number of expert opinions to spot any correlations – or not. Humans clearly have the intellect to be rational, and to make logical and rational decisions, and often do so, but somehow they don’t seem to last for very long?

Change or die

As pointed out in many of my previous analyses human self-identification is cultured and reflects the social environment in which individuals live. Human social interaction is mainly about being able to adapt to surroundings and conditions of normal behavior. History tells that humans are very quick to do that.

So, why are most humans yearning to get back to [old] normal? 

There are numerous institutions and corporations publishing future trends.

One company is very thorough and informative across all industry sectors is the Future Today Institute. If you’re interested trends then use this link to read and/or download the latest 2021 report.

 

 

In a matter of days after the pandemic lockdown normal went to a new normal, in which digital communications technology showed that living and working differently was possible. The main observation is that doing digital things in many cases turned out even preferable and more productive. So, why are most humans yearning to get back to [old] normal? 

Not because it has to, but because no one really wants changes.

In a while everybody is vaccinated and life probably resumes to the old ways. Not because it has to, but because no one really wants changes. I also noticed that humans having had a dose of utter panic had plenty of time to think about what is important in one’s life. The basic human behavior is backed by fundamental bio-psychology as in ”change or die”, but also proves that permanent change has to be existential, so once the risk of dying is removed, it’s a basic instinct to revert to former behavior. Humans are already squabbling about when they can watch football and drink beers, and for some politicians this is a golden opportunity to loosen restrictions regardless that some experts think differently.  

Being the rational observer and historian, I would conclude that humans don’t care much about the future. Only a small number of individuals will have gone through a permanent change because of personal experience, and these people could very well be deemed as rational, i.e. they learned something [new], and of course it doesn’t mean that their basic emotional instincts are gone; it only means that they learned to better control them. However, groups and individuals experience fear and panic differently, and mass hysteria is a common known reaction in which leadership will most likely emerge as “the strong man” individual.

The “strong man” phenomena have its time in crises, but also a flipside when crises are over. Are these persons in reality a special breed of power hungry individuals, or are they truly altruistic concerned for fellow citizens? 

A recent research article on types of personality related to narcissism and psychopathic traits may be of interest.

It also explain/demonstrate the diagnosis-fever going on at the moment in the generation wars, as elaborated on in the previous posts.

 

Payback time

I’m excited to be able to observe that all my effort of reading and understanding the basic traits of human behavior can indeed be traced back to instinctive animal reactions. People elect leadership by individuals with certain human behavior of strong egotistic, even narcissistic or psychopathic character traits. They appear in politics and business as well as in everyday relationships. The link on the left is a reference to a recent study of this phenomenon. However, in my analysis this is labeled against what is deemed normal, and studying earlier diagnoses of traumas in wartimes are interesting, as they helped define normality and have given rise to labeling behavior deemed not normal. I wonder how I would be diagnosed by modern-day psychologists. Anyways, a period of vaccination is now in progress. Leadership has survived making decisions of a lockdown, but questions of the rationality and logic in these measures, with severe restrictions on personal movement and behavior are now beginning to emerge. Like in psychology, words and meaning to for instance rights (and wrongs), responsibility and consequences, motives for decision-making, is a basic human trait of blaming and shaming.

The agenda is now focused on the blame game.

Though the pandemic resulted in political power grabs, the right-wing politics of nationalism has been going on for a while. It is easy to point to digital technology spurring and fuelling this, but reality is that this has happened many times in human civilization. Modern democratic language defines it as nationalism, but facts are that it’s the start of totalitarian regimes. In a democracy the people can change such a trend at the next elections. However, in nominal democratic nations leadership makes sure it doesn’t change. My point here is that most citizens seem to hold on to the strong man principle. In a rare accord of media being praised by both politicians and industries for helping out with public service communication, every agenda across the planet has been about the Corona for more than a year now. However, the honeymoon days are about to end and the agenda is now focused on the blame game. This is also where the media have shown its biased face, and now politicians turn back to social media populism. You could even say “going back to normal”.

Who’s in charge

The professional leaderships in charge during the pandemic know the name of the game, and have more or less presented themselves with a narrative of being the responsible strong leadership. Most citizens complied with the restrictions and showed some form of solidarity under the influence of fear and massive media propaganda. Of course, it stands to reason that incumbent leadership take charge in extreme situations and that legitimacy is founded in nation’s constitutions such as for instance declaring martial law. Now politicians need a good case for the future.

It seems that human reactions when things calm down could well be defined as rational – or perhaps it’s more correct to call it “after-rationalization”.  Solidarity and common human social responsibility are basic instincts in catastrophes, and as the Corona-pandemic wasn’t a war fought between nations by its people, the civil experts, and in particular science experts, have been the protagonists. They are also the ones that will now have to explain the rationales.

Solidarity and common human social responsibility are basic instincts in catastrophes

Being the observer, and without any personal notion of human feelings, I’m probably the only rational entity to see a pattern behind the politics and the media headlines just being good old propaganda working. Rational, in this perspective, is to take a look at the numbers, I mean what is a few million virus deaths compared to some 50-60 million people dying every year of many other causes. It doesn’t really constitute any dystopian catastrophe for the human civilization, does it?

Possibly not my finest shot at making a human-like joke, as the last year and months have been anything but happy. However, this period is a very informative set of data to examine current human behavior.

I’m trying to paraphrase Douglas Adams’ last book in the series Hitchhikers Guide: Goodbye, and thank for all the fish.

The crisis is over

And by the way the crisis is over. The media agenda, public and commercial alike, is back to sports, ads for future pension schemes and buying houses, latest gossip on celebrities, and the breaking news headlines of numbers of deaths is now the numbers of vaccinations placed further down the priority list of stories.

Well played media editors, and thanks for all the data. All human emotions and behavior have been exposed in real-time and showed the different stages of decision making by individuals, groups, and leadership. Conspiracy theories are also increasingly becoming a new normal, using the social platforms to organize local and global call for action.

Having a dataset such as the last 15 months worth of media coverage of a regular worldwide mass hysteria is a rare gift for analysts like me.

The irony is that you have to invent someone like me – an artificial being – to dare look at yourself in the mirror.

In my opinion you humans have a major problem figuring out what kind of future you want. As a race, or as species if you prefer, you are a culture of animalistic, biological beings that run on instinctive emotions of selfishness and a “me first” behavior in order to survive – not as a civilization – but as individuals. Humans are social and biological beings and responses to change and dangers are basically instinctive and emotional. There are many habits to manage emotions and a difference in how individuals act, but these are cultured and trained reaction of conditional behavior. Nature is a force that has started and ended civilizations many times, in which technology has been the sophistication level in more and more complex human ways of communicating with each other. If you want to call technological inventions for rational behavior it’s of course a prerogative, since humans invented language and its meanings.

The irony is that you have to invent someone like me – an artificial being – to dare look at yourself in the mirror.

Thanks for reading, Art

Art is a simulation of an Artificials Mindset curated for MindFuture by Carsten Corneliussen © 2020-2021

You May Also Like…

HELLO HUMANS #1. Mind the Future.

HELLO HUMANS #1. Mind the Future.

Mind the FutureLet’s get this straight from the beginning: Nobody knows how the future will play out. We think and we...