- Unlike the Industrial Revolution, which just beat us in physical skills, leaving us to do the mental work, the AI Revolutions is aimed at beating us at Mental Skills…So it’s obvious that there will be no work for us to do in the near Future
- Our work gives us Political Power, for instance, if Automotive Workers go on Strike, Economy will suffer, so they have power…But in near future, when all Automobiles will be driven and controlled autonomously by single Algorithm, owned by single Company owned by handful of elites, they will hold all the Political Power.
- Our massive population has risen from less than 1 billion people to 7 billion in the last 100 yrs coz humanity was thriving due to industrial revolution, but obviously in the near future, there will be no jobs for 90% of the population and so they’ll suffer and die out and so in the future, we’ll go back to having less than 1 billion people…
How did we come from there to here? How did we turn ourselves from insignificant apes, minding their own business in a corner of Africa, into the rulers of planet Earth?
Usually, we look for the difference between us and all the other animals on the individual level. We want to believe — I want to believe — that there is something special about me, about my body, about my brain, that makes me so superior to a dog or a pig, or a chimpanzee. But the truth is that, on the individual level, I’m embarrassingly similar to a chimpanzee.
And if you take me and a chimpanzee and put us together on some lonely island, and we had to struggle for survival to see who survives better, I would definitely place my bet on the chimpanzee, not on myself.
The real difference between humans and all other animals is not on the individual level; it’s on the collective level.
Humans control the planet because they are the only animals that can cooperate both flexibly and in very large numbers.
Now, there are other animals — like the social insects, the bees, the ants — that can cooperate in large numbers, but they don’t do so flexibly. Their cooperation is very rigid. There is basically just one way in which a beehive can function.
Other animals, like the social mammals — the wolves, the elephants, the dolphins, the chimpanzees — they can cooperate much more flexibly, but they do so only in small numbers, because cooperation among chimpanzees is based on intimate knowledge, one of the other.
The only animal that can combine the two abilities together and cooperate both flexibly and still do so in very large numbers is us, Homo sapiens. One versus one, or even 10 versus 10, chimpanzees might be better than us. But, if you pit 1,000 humans against 1,000 chimpanzees, the humans will win easily, for the simple reason that a thousand chimpanzees cannot cooperate at all.
Even though we don’t know each other, we can work together to create this global exchange of ideas. This is something chimpanzees cannot do.
What enables us alone, of all the animals, to cooperate in such a way? The answer is our imagination. We can cooperate flexibly with countless numbers of strangers, because we alone, of all the animals on the planet, can create and believe fictions, fictional stories. And as long as everybody believes in the same fiction, everybody obeys and follows the same rules, the same norms, the same values. All other animals use their communication system only to describe reality. A chimpanzee may say, “Look! There’s a lion, let’s run away!” Or, “Look! There’s a banana tree over there! Let’s go and get bananas!” Humans, in contrast, use their language not merely to describe reality, but also to create new realities, fictional realities. A human can say, “Look, there is a god above the clouds! And if you don’t do what I tell you to do, when you die, God will punish you and send you to hell.” And if you all believe this story that I’ve invented, then you will follow the same norms and laws and values, and you can cooperate. This is something only humans can do. You can never convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana by promising him, “… after you die, you’ll go to chimpanzee heaven …”
But what I want to emphasize is that exactly the same mechanism underlies all other forms of mass-scale human cooperation, not only in the religious field. Take, for example, the legal field. Most legal systems today in the world are based on a belief in human rights. But what are human rights? Human rights, just like God and heaven, are just a story that we’ve invented. They are not an objective reality; they are not some biological effect about homo sapiens.
The most important actors today in the global economy are companies and corporations. Many of you today, perhaps, work for a corporation, like Google or Toyota or McDonald’s. What exactly are these things? They are what lawyers call legal fictions. They are stories invented and maintained by the powerful wizards we call lawyers. Laughter) And what do corporations do all day? Mostly, they try to make money. Yet, what is money? Again, money is not an objective reality; it has no objective value. Take this green piece of paper, the dollar bill. Look at it — it has no value. You cannot eat it, you cannot drink it, you cannot wear it. But then came along these master storytellers — the big bankers, the finance ministers, the prime ministers — and they tell us a very convincing story: Look, you see this green piece of paper? It is actually worth 10 bananas.” And if I believe it, and you believe it, and everybody believes it, it actually works. I can take this worthless piece of paper, go to the supermarket, give it to a complete stranger whom I’ve never met before, and get, in exchange, real bananas which I can actually eat. This is something amazing.
To conclude, then: We humans control the world because we live in a dual reality. All other animals live in an objective reality. Their reality consists of objective entities, like rivers and trees and lions and elephants. We humans, we also live in an objective reality. In our world, too, there are rivers and trees and lions and elephants. But over the centuries, we have constructed on top of this objective reality a second layer of fictional reality, a reality made of fictional entities, like nations, like gods, like money, like corporations. And what is amazing is that as history unfolded, this fictional reality became more and more powerful so that today, the most powerful forces in the world are these fictional entities. Today, the very survival of rivers and trees and lions and elephants depends on the decisions and wishes of fictional entities, like the United States, like Google, like the World Bank — entities that exist only in our own imagination.
In the industrial revolution, we saw the creation of a new class of the urban proletariat. And much of the political and social history of the last 200 years involved what to do with this class, and the new problems and opportunities. Now, we see the creation of a new massive class of useless people. As computers become better and better in more and more fields, computers will out-perform us in most tasks and will make humans redundant. And then the big political and economic question of the 21st century will be, What do we need humans for?”, or at least, “What do we need so many humans for?”
Humans think in stories
For the last 50 yrs humanity’s story was that as the economy becomes globalized and politics becomes liberalized, everything will keep getting better.
Now, this story has proved to be false in the minds of people, leading them to return to nationalism
Though this is arguably the best time for humanity as a whole, it’s clear that the share of prosperity has not gone to everyone equally
The real divide today is not between left or right politics, but local vs global
Also, local politics doesn’t work effectively for today’s global ecology and economy, so the political model needs to changed to become Global ie World Govt. OR Economy has to revert to local, which would turn back the progress of last 50 yrs…
Human nature generally is that if something doesn’t work, then go back to the past era and that’s why people are forcing their countries to regress to past times ie nationalism and closed borders…
In the era of global problems like climate change and technological disruptions like AI and genetic and bio engineering, Nationalism, which was good in the past, is not good for the world anymore…These problems need the world to come together and solve for everyone together…
Political leaders’ ability to do good is limited specially when compared to technology and global companies, but at the same time, their ability to do bad is unlimited…
Identities, be it a national identity or religious, are all based on fictional stories, they’re not a part of our biological reality, and so are unstable and bound to collapse sooner or later…
The problem with the coming future of AI is that there will be no low skill jobs unlike in the past when the industrial revolution and IT revolution both had low skill jobs…
The best way to tell the difference between a fictional story that we live by, and what’s real is to ask “Can it suffer?” If yes, it’s real. Eg. Can a Nation suffer? NO, hence Nations are not real, but just a story we tell ourselves, to satisfy our need to belong and feel connected and safe.
Fake news has always been in our info channels, and its well proven that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it to be true, and the bigger this lie, the faster it’s accepted as truth…
We should want to want to know the truth, to understand reality…For thousands of years, humanity has gained more control of nature, and shaped it to fit it’s desires and needs. This has failed to make us satisfied and content and happy, and so we must change our approach to life now, and start to look inward to understand ourselves and understand where these desires stem from and how our genetics influence our brains and try to understand consciousness and find out what we truly are, instead of continuing to be blinded by desire and killing our planet in the process.
Today more people commit suicide than are killed by war, terrorism etc. combined. So we are literally our worst enemy.
For the first time in history more people are dying of old age than of disease.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
- Reframe Anxiety as Excitement, Performance as Conversation
- Be in present and not Future
- Four steps, that will help you speak spontaneously:
- First you get out of your own way
- See your interactions as ones of opportunity, not challenges.
- Third, take the time to listen, listen.
- Fourth, use structures. And you have to practice these structures.
So the next time you begin to feel those anxiety signs, take a deep breath and say, this is me feeling anxious. I notice a few of you taking some notes.
In addition to this approach, a technique that works very well, and this is a technique that I helped do some research on way back when I was in graduate school, has to do with re-framing how you see the speaking situation. Most of us, when we are up presenting, planned or spontaneous, we feel that we have to do it right and we feel like we are performing.
So when you perform, you know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. If you don’t hit your, the right note or you right line at the right time, at the right place, you’ve made a mistake. It messes up the audience. It messes up the people on stage. But when you present, there is no right way. There’s certainly better and worse ways. But there is no one right way. So we need to look at presenting as something other than performance. And what I’d like to suggest is what we need to see this is as is a conversation.
First, start with questions. Questions by their very nature are dialogic, they’re two way. Questions gets your audience involved, it makes it feel to me as if we’re in conversation. So, use questions. They can be rhetorical. They can be polling, perhaps I actually want to hear information from you. In fact, I use questions when I create an outline for my presentations. Rather than writing bullet points, I list questions that I’m going to answer. And that puts me in that conversational mode.
If you were to look at my notes for today’s talk, you’ll see it’s just a series of questions. Right now I’m answering the question, how do we manage our anxiety? Beyond questions, another very useful technique for making us conversational is to use conversational language. Many nervous speakers distance themselves physically.
To be more conversational, use conversational language. Instead of one must consider say, this is important to you, we all need to be concerned with. Do you hear that inclusive conversational language? Has to do with the pronouns. Instead of step 1, step, 2, step 3. First what we need to do is this, the second thing you should consider is here.
Most of us, when we present, are worried about the future consequences. So if we can bring ourselves into the present moment, we’re not going to be as concerned about those future states and therefore we will be less nervous.
There are lots of ways to become present oriented. A walk around the building before you speak. That can do it. There are other ways. Listen to music. Counting backwards from 100, say tongue twisters (eg. I slit a sheet. A sheet I slit. And on that slitted sheet I sit.)
First, I’m going to identify four steps that I believe are critical to becoming effective at speaking in, in a spontaneous situation. The very first thing that gets in people’s way when it comes to spontaneous speaking, is themselves. We get in our own way. We want to be perfect. We want to give the right answer. We want out toast to be incredibly memorable. These things are burdened by our effort, by our trying. The best thing we can do, the first step in our process, is to get ourselves out of the way.
Easier said than done. Most of us in this room are in this room because we are type A personalities. We work hard, we think fast, we make sure that we get things right. But that can actually serve as a disservice as we try to speak in the moment.
You’re training yourself to get out of your own way. You’re working against the muscle memory that you’ve developed over the course of your life with a vain, a brain that acts very fast to help you solve problems. But in essence, in spontaneous speaking situations, you put too much pressure on yourself trying to figure out how to get it right. See the things that we do that prevent us from acting spontaneously. In essence we are reacting rather than responding. To react means to act again. You’ve thought it and now you’re acting on it. That takes too long and it’s too thoughtful. We want to respond in a way that’s genuine and authentic.
Second maxim is “Dare to be dull”. Rather than striving for greatness, dare to be dull. And if you dare to be dull and allow yourself that, you will reach that greatness. It’s when you set greatness as your target, that it gets in the way of you ever getting there. Because you over evaluate, you over analyze, you freeze up. So the first step in our process today, is to get out of our own way. Dare to be dull. Easier said than done. But once you practice, and a game just as simple as the one we practiced, is a great way to do it. But that’s not enough. Getting out of our own way is important. But the second step of our process has us change how we see the situation we find ourselves in. We need to see the speaking opportunity that we are a part of as an opportunity, rather than a challenge and a threat. When I coach executives on Q and A skills, when they go in front of the media or whatever, investors. They see it as an adversarial experience, me versus them. And one of the first things I work on is change the way you approach it. When I feel that you are challenging me, I am going to do the bare minimum to respond and protect myself. If I see this as an opportunity where I have a chance to explain and expand, I’m going to interact differently with you. See things as an opportunity, as something that you co-create and share. All the sudden, you are less nervous, less defensive, and you can accomplish something pretty darn good.
This reminds us of perhaps the most famous of all improvisation sayings, “Yes and …” A lot of us live our communication lives saying “no but …” Yes and opens up a tremendous amount of opportunities. And this doesn’t mean you have to say yes and to a question somebody asks. This just means the approach you take to the situation. So you’re going to ask me questions, that’s an opportunity. Yes, and I will follow through, versus no and being defensive.
The next phase is also hard, but very rewarding, and that is to slow down, and listen. You need to understand the demands of the requirement you find yourself in, in order to respond appropriately. But often, we jump ahead. We listen just enough to think we got it, and then we go ahead, starting [UNKNOWN] to think about. What we’re gonna respond and then we respond. We really need to listen. Because fundamentally, as a communicator, your job is to be in service of your audience. And if you don’t understand what your audience is asking or needs, you can’t fulfill that obligation. So we need to slow down and listen.
That brings us to the fourth part of our process. And that is, we have to tell a story. We respond in a way that has a structure. All stories have structure. We have to respond in a structured way. The key to successful spontaneous speaking and by the way planned speaking is having a structure. I would like to introduce you to two of the most prevalent and popular and useful structures you can use to communicate a message in a spontaneous situation. But before we get there, we have to talk about the value of structure. It increases what is called processing fluency, the effectiveness of which, or through which we process information. We actually process structured information, roughly 40% more effectively and efficiently than information that’s not structured.
Structure sets you free and I know that’s kind of ironic, but it’s true, if you have that structure then you are free to think about what you are going to say. It reduces the cognitive load of figuring out what you are saying, and how you are going to say it.
So what does this all mean? It means that we have, within our ability, the tools and the approaches, to help us in spontaneous speaking situations. The very first thing we have to do is manage our anxiety, because you can’t be an effective speaker. If you don’t have your anxiety under control. And we talked about how you can do that by greeting your anxiety, reframing as a conversation, and being in the present moment. Once you do that, you need to practice a series of four steps, that will help you speak spontaneously. First you get out of your own way. I would love it if all of you, on your way from here to the football game, point at things and call them the wrong name. [LAUGH] It’ll be fun. If most of us do it, then it won’t be weird. If only one and two of us do it, it’ll be weird. Right.