"Examples ... of human manipulation of events leading to the destruction of our environment and economies.
1. Our inability to work together to address a pandemic. In itself, that is shocking. (good observation) Given all the technology we have, particularly with regards to instant global communication and data transfer...
This is where the double-edged sword comes in. We're not just galloping towards the precipice of big-data control (and warming) anymore - we've careered over - due to Covid (and exponential consumption). Saw a good anti-lockdown banner that said 'Covid-1984'. We're living it. There are still substantial pockets of resistance - the fight's not over by any means - but the fight is on.
China has gone right ahead and done it. It's own people first - then Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. It's a high tech block break n brainwash.
Hong Kong is an example of both sides of the sword. The internet allowed people to come together in a just cause - they used it, savvily, but, combined with Covid, it was also the instrument that crushed them.
This is the technological 'Great Leap Forward'. It's happening. The difference from the last Great Leap Forward is that the internet has no borders. Even if we forget all about what the origin of the virus was, which we mustn't do (although mass media has long forgotten), there's still the fallout of jacked-up surveillance justified under the dark cloak of night. That's real, whatever the 'reason' for it. I think you're right with the 'decentralization'. It's a fucking pity, but it may be the only way to undermine the centralized power base.
2. Global warming. We're looking at one, maybe two more generations after which the human race is toast if radical change is not made now. It's surely entertaining to watch, as a good typhoon is, except this is the grandaddy of typhoons.
Yeah, i often wonder if aliens discovered earth just now - what they would make of us? Off the rails dysfunctional suicidal consumers with a contagious disease? It pisses me off that so many 'experts' have dropped the ball on Covid - it devalues the hard-accrued facts about the consequences of pollution and global warming.
I go through cycles of having hope, thinking maybe the next generation will get it right, and just saying, you know, we don't have what it takes. Our brains are going to be our undoing. They led to our rise on the food chain, but they're just not up to the task of getting over all those animal urges, also produced in the same brain, of greed and self preservation.
I do think robots will outlive us - it's all about the 'vehicle for Thought' - hopefully they'll do a better job.
Maybe some instinct will kick in universally that will allow us to cooperate and actually act as an organism, our species that is, as birds fly in flocks and ants do all sorts of crazy shit, maybe that biological trait is lying dormant in us and will rise when needed. Let's hope so.
As Brian once said - basic morality is a self-preservation mechanism - his evidence: a society is not gonna get far as a pack of murderous cheats - so it must be built in there somewhere. It's prone to manipulation as you say - maybe the day has come where the bees will rally, start fighting back, demand some answers. Involvement breeds its own excitement.