Dark data: fall of civilizations

The rise of civilizations is from rapid adaptation of first-hand observations. The fall of civilizations occurs when theories override contrary observations. Government by data and urgency can restore the original vitality that created this civilization, and can prevent the inevitable decline resulting from theory-driven decision making.

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To my self 40 years younger: you know

Had you had that confidence at the age of 17, I’m confident I would be in a very similar situation as I am right now but with a memory of a life lived differently.   I can’t tell if it would be happier or not, but I do know I would have had more time for doing what I love most: solitude, contemplation, and living simply.   I’m guessing I would be here similarly situated but with more stories that I would be eager to tell.   My lack of confidence in what I knew to be true denied me those stories of living an authentic life.

Culture of Spoilers

This appeal to our most admired authorities defines our spoiler-based culture.   We can save ourselves the time and energy of experiencing and interpreting a first reading of some topic by just getting the spoiler review from our preferred content provider.

Assigning names to personality traits

One of the advantages of machine intelligence over human intelligence is that machines are not driven toward poetry.   To me, poetry captures the scientific appreciation for the simplest explanations with the fewest number of terms.   Humans are innately poets by nature, and even the objectivity of science can not escape the human delight in well-crafted poetry, or human disdain for inelegance in descriptions. 

Delusion of injustice

The delusion of injustice is that there cannot be privately negotiated justice that may be acceptable only to the private parties based on the particular context that they agree to keep private.   As a result of this, we overrule such private agreements and require a fresh trial in a public or formal setting based on current sensibilities and on lost information about the full context of the earlier event.   In the re-airing of past events, society regresses to a more immature level where every human interaction needs adult supervision and every offense be reported to authorities for a formal justice.

Open Secrets: data with strings attached

These cases are often described as open-secrets.   Many people in the community are aware of the information about individual cases and about the pattern of behavior, but there has been some kind of understanding that the past events are resolved in some acceptable terms, and that ongoing behavior is restrained by certain conditions.   The oxymoron of open-secrets can be resolved by defining the open-part as being observed data, while the secret-part is restraints on how this data may be used in future decision making.