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What is up with civilization?

If it seems like the news is depressing you all the time, that's okay. You are not alone. Thanks to so much access to information, we always know about the horrible things that are happening around the world at any given time.

As you can imagine, this has given people plenty of time to consider the root causes of so much civil strife.

People shared their thoughts after Redditor Tedsthebest11 asked the online community,

"What do you think is currently holding civilization back?"

"It's an easy target..."

"It's an easy target, but even with the press it has these days, I don't think people realize how destructive misinformation, and thinking you're correct without any training at all, actually is."


We are definitely seeing the consequences of this around the world; it has certainly split the United States in different factions.

"I shudder for the future..."

"The Internet has spawned a new form of communication people simply don't have good filters for."

"Civilization has thousands of years of experience learning to resist nonsense passed by word of mouth, hundreds of years of experience resisting nonsense passed by the printed word, a century resisting nonsense passed by radio and television, but only a couple of decades learning to resist nonsense passed by the Internet."

"People will evolve filters eventually -- but what will happen in the meantime? Could the dictators of WW2 have come to prominence without radio to spread their lies?"

"I shudder for the future when direct neural interfaces give demagogues the ability to communicate ideas and emotions straight to the brain."


Okay, this is really not going to help me sleep at night, FYI. Oh dear.

"As long as corporations..."

​"In the US, I think one of the things that are holding us back the most is money in politics. As long as corporations are able to keep politicians in their pockets, we will never have any real substantial structural change."


"The man was the leading cause..."

"Robert Maxwell, father of Ghislaine. The man was the leading cause of paywalled scientific articles today. Before him, science publishing was relatively open. He helped shape the industry into the cancer on academia it is today."


We don't talk about Robert Maxwell nearly as much as we should.

That family is truly... something else.

"People who are convinced..."

"People who are convinced they're geniuses without any actual training or education."


"Societal acceptance..."

"Societal acceptance that accumulation of material possession is more important than the pursuit of knowledge, enrichment, self-improvement, and individual well-being."


This is probably the answer to end all answers, come to think of it.

"I know that's kinda broad..."

"Tribalism. I know that's kinda broad but the whole 'I love everyone on my team and hate everyone on the other team' thing is the root of most problems."


Tribalism impedes plenty of progress, though, so you might be on to something. It's definitely what allows people to view politics like a sports team.

"Greedy bastards..."

"Greedy bastards who have enough money for 1000 lifetimes, yet are still screwing the rest of us over to keep grabbing more."


More than 1,000 lifetimes at this rate, and that's a depressing thought.

"Workers and lower classes..."

"Workers and lower classes are divided along racial, gender, and political lines; they lack solidarity, and they don't organize."


Karl Marx was on to something. His Communist Manifesto has only become more relevant year after year.

"In a lot of the world, half the population (women) is uneducated, denied equal rights, and pressured into marriage and motherhood at a young age, sidelining their potential."


And allowing these women to reach their potential would do wonders for cutting down poverty (allowing the United Nations to reach their Sustainable Development Goals, FYI).

We live in a wonderful world. It's also a complicated one, with a host of problems. Resolving them is not easy, but as long as there are good humans around, others have the capacity to hope.

Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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