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(Twelve-minute read) 

We live in a world where the obvious cannot be addressed.

Each and every aspect of our daily lives, work, relationships are somehow influenced or mediated by technology today, not only as individuals but collectives.

It makes one wonder about the sheer volume of ignorance which not only allows the same problems to persist decade after decade but to even get worse.

It is obvious that our very sustainability is under threat but we remain “Oblivious”

Why? 

Consider the paradoxical and strategic implications of the fact that people do not perceive things being too small or too big, too far away or too close, too wide or too narrow, too unimportant or too important for us, too slow and gradual or too sudden and fast, always present or usually absent, too often repeated or not often enough to be remarked, too general, complicated and abstract or too simple, too respectable or too unworthy, too familiar or too alien, too similar or too different too few or too many… Imagine the practical implications of such blindness!

Some of the biggest things around us dissolve into background scene, too huge to count and seemingly too big to fail.

To defeat this blindness we must ask what exactly is obvious? Why? obvious to whom? To me? to you? To everybody? Everywhere? All the time? 

Decisions about technology should not be irreversibly delegated to technocrats, corporations and tech monopolies. 

We think unknowingly with other people’s thoughts.

The conclusion is that our senses and memories cheat us, our common sense is no good and our judgement false.

It is self-evident that basic assumptions are the riverbeds of our thoughts, the compass of our judgment and choices and our actions; most of them we inherited from trusted people and from authorities, they look inherent, seem to be there from eternity, as if out of sight, so that we would not question them.

This is now leading to a ready-made thinking world of algorithms used by Facebook- Utube – Google – Smartphones -Twitter -and Social media. An invisible prison of social media where it is easier to observe other people’s basic assumptions than yours; particularly when they are dissimilar with yours; then, other people have not yet grown into your culture may be useful to detect your unquestionable beliefs; especially very different people coming from somewhere else; or you, visiting somewhere else.

I do not see much good in convincing people not to trust their own mind; we must instead accept and work around this “blindness” without moving our life into monasteries at the feet of gurus or into laboratories at the feet of the experts of the day.

After a while, you don’t notice. They become references.

The Right to an Algorithmic Opt-Out…

How to notice, by ourselves, the obvious turned imperceptible? How to detect it, how to discern it from the merely neutral “obvious” background? How to evaluate the importance and potential of change of something so evident that it escapes your attention?  How to wake up to it? How to seek and get help? How to help other people to do the same? What to do when people cannot or do not want to see the obvious? How to awaken people?

The question is still “How to open my eyes when they are open already?”

The intelligent reason should visit its basic assumptions, regularly; but it doesn’t.

Our worst enemy in discerning the obvious is a certainty, to be convinced that we know it all and that the obvious is obvious for us.

The obvious is best disguised into itself. One obvious hide another.

How banal to say that the obvious is that which is right in front of us, readily accessible to our observation, to our senses or being credible knowledge we have!

With commercial profit-seeking algorithms, this hidden price of selective blindness and thus freedom diminished.

if you repeat slogans endlessly they will become obvious for you (even some false ones), and you will end up believing them.

The most amazing for me is to observe how we only apprehend things fit to our size and relative to us. We do not grasp the incommensurable, out of proportion with us, with which we have no common standard of measurement: the trillions of billions.

Because of compression, we have become an incredibly stupid species.

The obvious known comes alive for us to do something about it only when understanding turns it into a personal image, vivid and simple enough to be of our size; otherwise, we stay paralysed and dumb. 

Perhaps it because our body believes that big things don’t move and unmoving things are harmless. 

Perhaps its because we are weak, unable to face them and we allow our judgment to slumber; we do not see what we do not wish to see, hoping that it will go away or solve itself.

Perhaps only when understood does the evidence become awareness, we are able to respond to, so that we would do something because of what it means. 

Perhaps figuring out that the elusive 20th-century social contract is gone, is too enormous for us. Therefore we will go on like cattle to the slaughterhouse. 

Why is this becoming true? 

Because as Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Philosophical Investigations states. 

“The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something because it is always before one’s eyes.) The real foundations of their inquiry do not strike people at all. Unless that fact has at some time struck them. And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful.”

Only by understanding how and when common sense fails can we improve how we plan for the future. 

Then, question and challenge the obvious at the root: “Why exactly it must be so? Why it is impossible? Who says so? Where is it necessary or impossible? Only here or everywhere? Really?! For whom; for you or for the entire humanity? With what means? At what size? Within what frame of time? Forever? Which pieces in this puzzle would, if changed, make the impossible possible and the necessary less so? Maybe you or somebody else, somewhere else, with different means have other self-evidence. 

Where it will end?

Either there will be a technological or psychological breakthrough or we will see worldwide degradation like we’ve never seen before.

Old labels often obscure the obvious. 


 

I’d like to state the obvious:

Problem-solving is the only thing in life that holds value. Anything that isn’t a solution to a problem is pure excess.

The truth is that the world is not a democracy. We don’t all decide what is best – only a select few do.

We are egocentric through and through – but creating a lasting, meaningful change feeds our egos like nothing else.

Unfortunately, creating change takes time, patience and perseverance.

It appears that for every one step we take forward as a global community, we end up taking two steps backwards.

Every problem in the world is a function that is processed in an environment, on a platform with certain bounds, certain rules, and certain major players.

As far as I can see, life has little certain purpose. If there is a real reason for it, then we have to accept that we simply don’t know the reason.

However, don’t give up until you have to – until there is a better, more logical option.

Big ideas can change the world, can’t they?

Of course, we don’t know. Nobody does. It is really about what we want to happen and whether we go out there and make it happen.

Will we be able to shift direction to avoid the worst impacts of climate change?

Yes.

We face risks, called existential risks, that threaten to wipe out humanity.

These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history.

Nuclear war.

Climate Change.

Bioengineered pandemic.

Superintelligence.

Nanotechnology.

Inequality. 

Unknown unknowns.

Anyone of them might mean that value itself becomes absent from the universe.

In doing so we will get the economy back on its feet again and re-orientate our financial institutions so that they cannot place the world in a similar situation to what we experienced in 2008.

In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.