What do we know about modern knowledge?
This is the entire volume of not only scientific facts, but also technologies, platforms, skills and algorithms. The accumulation of such a massive amount of information carries many negative factors.
Arrays of knowledge have become complex and technology-dependent. It becomes almost impossible to predict the results of our actions.
For example, there are many starving people around the globe. But all over the world food is produced to feed the needy. Rich countries consume more calories and still have enough food. Our desire to feed the whole globe and save from suffering those who cannot do it themselves leads to the growth in food production. The increase in food production, especially of animal origin, enhances the emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. Fighting hunger leads to population growth. This in turn increases the number of hungry people.
For example, in Africa, the more children parents have more guarantees they have in old age to get a piece of food.
By 2100, according to forecasts, the population will exceed the figure of 10 billion people. The poor will still be poor, and the rich will continue to get richer. The calorie imbalance will remain the same accordingly. But the amount of food produced must increase. There are positive aspects to this asymmetry of results — the search for alternative possibilities. For example, manufacturing animal food by a factory method.
Understanding how the process of accumulating and distributing knowledge will help humanity survive in the era of asymmetric results.
What should it be? How much will we need to know for the continued existence of people as a species?
And most importantly, are we not sacrificing the integrity of knowledge for the sake of complexity?
Of course, variety is necessary. The more varied the system, the more complex it is. But here integrity is lost. The limiting case of great complexity and great integrity is the human body. The opposite case — less complexity and less integrity — is a pile of sand.
Along with the specific and general technical capabilities of combating the pollution of our planet, it is necessary to highlight socio-ethical methods. It is easier with the first two types — the main thing there is the technology and its invention.
With the third — social-ethical — it is more difficult.
This criterion is in the realm of the social sciences and the goodwill of the people. You cannot force one to voluntarily adopt new ecological technologies or change consciousness to eco-friendly. The goodwill of all active participants in the process is needed to fight the “black elephant”. Then, what will politicians, religions or military-industrial complexes of developed countries do?
This criterion leads us to the conclusion that with the increasing complexity of the arrays of knowledge and the increase in the variety of technological methods, we lose the integrity of the interaction.
The variety of methods is a positive side of the process. In the future, we can be prepared for any kind of man-made threat. For example, fossil fuels can be replaced with solar or wind power, or tidal power. The fuel can be replaced with ethanol made from sugarcane or other plants, and the different bacteria can be used to produce it.
The asymmetry of the results led to difficulties in forecasting. It is difficult to predict which would be more: Positive Effects (PE) or Negative Results (NR). Humanity must be ready for:
1. PE more than NR
2. PE equal to the NR
3. PE less than NR
4. PE sameness to the NR
The Earth as a resource system begins to exhaust itself. If previous industrial and technological revolutions brought Variant 1 to humankind, then our subsequent activities do not guarantee that we will receive it. Population growth, depletion of natural resources, pollution of the Earth, closeness and fanaticism of some societies lead us to Variant 2. Variant 3 — the process is irreversible. Variant 4 is theoretically an extreme scenario. The logical operation “sameness” means the complete correspondence of objects to each other. In this case, any human activity leads to NR. It differs from Variant 3 with time-lapse. In Variant 3, a certain period of time still passes between PE and NR, when the system is not exhausted to the limit.
Often the events that occur are hard to explain by simple theory. To do this, we have to use the whole set of knowledge or create whole disciplines. Today we are not able to create a unified scientific theory of what is happening (which will explain the anomalies as well).
The idea of using AI will lead to the processing of a huge amount of information. But not to its explanation or theoretical foundation. AI uses algorithmic functions that are already built into it. It is not yet an open system, but a very fast and smart data analyzer. But it does not have the skills of abstract or metaphysical thinking. The theoretical justification, in turn, will lead to an increase in the predictability of the future. And that is what we are trying to do.
Today there is a theory of Net Zero pollution by 2050. Some researchers call 2030 an intermediate year as the first critical milestone. But we are not able to predict the correlation between PE and NR in our activities.
The transfer of production from Western countries to undeveloped countries has reduced the pressure on the ecology of these countries for the harmful emissions of enterprises. But at the same time, this fact accelerated the process of global pollution. Without the removal of the production out of these countries, the public society has started the alarm about pollution faster.
Removal of production quickly spread pollution throughout the Earth when PE was greater than NR. And one more side of the removal — a middle class began to appear in developing countries, which led to the growth in the culture of consumption. This puts additional pressure on the environment. For example, air conditioners or powerful SUVs.
The measures of complexity and integrity are mutually reversible. Increasing integrity reduces the level of complexity. For example, the dictatorial regimes of China or Russia. Or, a decrease in integrity leads to an increase in complexity — the pluralistic societies of the West. This kind of complexity adds variability and flexibility to them. A high level of integrity while reducing complexity helps to survive in a predictable environment.
This is Variant 1 when PE is greater than NR. The ecological problems of the Earth today are quite complex, but, fortunately, not sufficiently holistic. They will achieve absolute integrity in Variant 4.
Therefore, the system that opposes them should be no less complex in structure but have greater integrity. This parameter will be useful in confronting a crisis only if it does not negatively affect the complexity of the system.
If an increase in integrity leads to a simplification or vice versa to a complication of the system, then this may be fatal to its functioning.
We have already achieved the necessary complexity and diversity to combat environmental pollution. Integrity is still an open question.
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