Skip to main content

The Power of Big Ideas

What should be the next big ideas?
What are some of the recent big ideas?
When did the world change last?

Language. Writing. Books. Farming. Swords. Governments. Gods. Towns. 

But what have we done lately?

The Renaissance. The invention of the scientific method.  Galileo invents the telescope and observes the universe.  Humans look at the world, believe what they see and try to understand and predict.

The Scientific Revolution. How to go from observations to theory, make predictions that are reproducible.

The American Revolution. Government exists by the consent of the governed.  All people are created equal. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Inalienable rights to religion, speech, press, arms, etc. Enforcement of contracts and private property.

Abolition of Slavery and Suffragism. Government exists by the consent of the governed, all of the governed. Every single one of them, whatever their heritage, whatever their sexual proclivities, whatever their beliefs. The power of the peaceful revolution. Again, all perople are created equal.

The Industrial Revolution. The invention of the steam engine makes it possible to amplify human capabilities.  Railroads.  Mills. Automobiles. Planes. Rockets. Oil and gas. Renewable energy. Exoplanets.

The Darwinian Revolution. We are all cousins, with all life. We are made from a program of DNA; all life is. If we can breed together, we are the same species.

The Medical Revolution. The Germ theory of disease. Vitamins. Double-blind studies. Immune system. Vaccines. Neurobiology.

The Electrical Revolution. The Industrial Revolution comes to the home and more. Maxwell's equations. The telegraph. Long distance communication. The light. The telephone. Radio. Television.

The Quantum Revolution. Quantum Field Theory. The transistor. Digital transmission. 

The Computer Revolution. The computer. The network. Compression and encryption. Smart phones. Artificial Intelligence.

Freedom of Movement. Free trade. Free travel. Floating exchange rates. National parks. Environmentalism. 

The Information Revolution. Google. Facebook. Amazon. Uber. 
Happy Human
Secular Humanism. Using the Scientific method to "improve the well-being of every person on the planet." The biggest idea. The most important idea in the last 10,000 years. 

And some big ideas that were not so good and took a long time to discredit:

World wars.
Scapegoting and dehumanisation.
Industrial pollution.
Unpaid Externalities. More to say about this one later.
Not taking care of the average citizen.
Allowing unregulated monopolies.
Taking things on faith.
Suicide bombings.
Violence instead of persuasion.

Never stop fighting a bad idea. 

Never stop promoting a good idea.

The key: Learn to distinguish between them.

Ask who benefits? Who loses? How much does it cost? Who's paying for it? How do we increase the economic pie? How do we share it fairly?  What happens if we don't do it? What happens if we do?

And what's next? 

Mind recording and downloading. Immortality. 
Virtual reality. Manufactured religion. Hell? Heaven? The nerd rapture.
Robots? Self driving cars. Self flying quad-copters. The end of work?

Leaning how to distinguish emotions from logic when making decisions? Nope. Never going to happen. Unless the killer robots take over.

Thanks for reading.
 -Dr. Mike


Popular posts from this blog

The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of modern ethics

The Settlement of the War between Science and Religion.
Why the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are More Important than you realize.
These two documents provide the foundation of the Grand Moral Compromise between Religion and Science that allowed the Industrial Revolution to progress by defining the morals and ethics of governments and their relationship with the people. The only moral and ethical form of government is declared to be a Lawful Democracy with Religious Freedom. These two documents define why this is from first postulates and dictate the method to form a government.

The Grand Moral Compromise was defined in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Bill of Rights: it is the agreement that abolished the crime of heresy in return for freedom of all religions, including science, the harbinger of truth.
Only about half [G] of the world has agreed to this Grand Moral Compromise, the rest are still at war with themselves: religion against religion, a…

A modest proposal to end the Flat Earth Society and put Silicon Valley on the map.

Flat Wrong the end piece in Scientific American, in the latest issue (May 2020) got me to thinking about how we could just end this idiocy that leads to many, many people being driven into believing obviously fallacious conspiracy theories.

Did we actually go to the moon? (hint: we did.) Was Obama born in Hawaii? (hint: yes.) Is he Muslim? (hint: no.) Is QAnon saying anything that's true? (hint: no.) Are the Jews trying to take over the world (hint: no.)Are aliens here? (hint: no.)Do humans cause Global Warming? (hint: yes.)Have the Clintons murdered tens of people? (hint: no.)Did the Russians help the Trump campaign? (hint: yes.)Yada, yada, yada. We can't actually have much proof against most of these fallacies, but the Flat Earth one, we can if we actually get high enough in the atmosphere to see the curvature of the Earth. You will convince some Flat Earthers they are wrong. Most will just come up with some other excuse and continue to try and justify the fun fact that they …

Republicans vs. Democrats. It's not conservatives vs. liberals, it's authoritarians vs. progressives.

It's Authoritarians (Royalty lovers - L'estate, c'est moi) vs. Progressives (All men are created equal)

Republicans are more Authoritarian than Conservative. Conservatives want to pick an imaginary time in the past and declare it to be perfect. Authoritarians have a Father figure complex. Whatever the Father says is right. Anything else is immoral. [1]  So even though there is a streak of Conservatism in the Republican party, it's not really the basis of their morality. Their morality is handed to them by their Father, whatever he says is moral. To disagree with him is immoral. Pretty simple, easy for people who are too tired to think for themselves.

In contrast, the moral authority of Democrats comes from their Progressive, American ideals.

Progressives believe in the

Declaration of Independence:Life Liberty and the Pursuit of HappinessAll men are created equalThe people agree on how they will be governedNo Royal authority is acceptedNo one is above the lawThe Gettysbu…