The Great Reset Discussion, Part 3

An idea that is repeated often in the book is that politicians are incapable of understanding the complexity of the times we live in. Democracy is too slow and unwieldy to serve the needs of extremely complex societies like ours. So it follows that ultra-intelligent people whom nobody voted for and who aren’t part of any political process should be in charge of running things globally.

This doesn’t mean that local or national governments should be disbanded. Not at all! They should be strengthened but in a singular way. These governments should have a lot of power to impose the dictates of this unelected uber-smart group of people whose interests are global and who aren’t attached to any particular territory.

Schwab obviously thinks he’s one of the uber-intelligent beings who should decide everything on a global scale. This is quite funny given that his book isn’t very smart. It’s the work of a lazy, uncurious, dogmatic mind and is riddled with errors that could be avoided if the author had bothered to use Google to verify his claims.

From the mysteriously expired quechuas to the childishly false analogies between the Bubonic plague and COVID (“these were the consequences of the Bubonic plague 400 years ago. So it must follow that the consequences of COVID will be identical!”), the quality of the argument is that of a smug freshman. The quality of the writing is worse.

This is one of the saddest things about this whole phenomenon. The only argument all of the Bill Gateses, Zuckerbergs and Schwabs ever advance is that they should be in charge because they are so much smarter than everybody else. But in reality, they aren’t even that smart. That is, they are brilliant in their narrow area of expertise, which is what made them rich. But their understanding of history, society, politics, etc is poor, and their hubris is preventing them from learning more.

10 thoughts on “The Great Reset Discussion, Part 3”

  1. “An idea that is repeated often in the book is that politicians are incapable of understanding the complexity of the times we live in. Democracy is too slow and unwieldy to serve the needs of extremely complex societies like ours. ”

    Clarissa, I think this is a true statement. Society has gotten incredibly complex the last few decades. I think even the “experts” are having a hard time really understanding the changes that are occurring and will occur.

    Just looking at social media and its impact, you realize the effect that technology can have on society. I don’t think even Zuckerberg and Co. realized what they were unleashing on the world, and we’re now seeing evidence that Google and social media are literally re-wiring our brains in ways we did not anticipate.

    What I think it’s absolutely right is COVID19 is acting as an accelerant to bring about changes in society that were already occurring. It is bringing about a “new normal” that was already in the works, but it’s now being accelerated by a few years. Many people, especially low intelligence low tech literacy people will be left in the dust as they just cannot grapple with the complexity and fast pace of change. I totally understand their frustration as they are slowly becoming an unappreciated underclass, and they will continue to turn to populism, nativism, and conservatism as a way to desperately grab onto something to give their lives importance.

    However, these changes are unstoppable. Technological acceleration will not slow down. It’s gone global and no single country or countries can stop it now. The best we can do is steer it in a direction that may be beneficial to most people.

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    1. That’s exactly the idea that the book advances but expressed in a more elegant way. Thank you, ed. I disagree with the idea but that’s precisely what the author is driving at.

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    2. “Society has gotten incredibly complex the last few decades. I think even the “experts” are having a hard time really understanding the changes that are occurring and will occur.”

      Sometimes they’re not incentivized to understand it. The economic models used by the Fed and other monetary institutions have been wrong for over 3 decades, yet they refuse to change them. Some of our most prominent doyens in this field still believe debt is an irrelevant factor in predicting future trends.

      “Many people, especially low intelligence low tech literacy people will be left in the dust as they just cannot grapple with the complexity and fast pace of change. I totally understand their frustration as they are slowly becoming an unappreciated underclass, and they will continue to turn to populism, nativism, and conservatism as a way to desperately grab onto something to give their lives importance.”

      The majority of Millennial and Generation Z individuals are tech illiterate themselves and beyond basic routines, don’t understand how the devices they rely upon work. Additionally, they lack the old skills required for home and vehicle maintenance which is one prominent reason the value of blue-collar labor is skyrocketing (this is largely anecdotal evidence from acquaintances who are making a killing in the home installation/repair and auto technician fields). Essential shifts such as the outsourcing of manufacturing are primarily motivated by financial incentives first and technological second.

      It’s a modern myth that for some reason, the future demands everyone will need to be a competent programmer and tech wizard. Society only requires a finite number of specialists in any field to keep it stable. As technology advances, its various interfaces will also be simplified for mass consumption. The computer is the example par excellence to illustrate this.

      “they will continue to turn to populism, nativism, and conservatism as a way to desperately grab onto something to give their lives importance”

      Occam’s Razor would dictate that populism, nativism, and conservatism work to their self-interest instead of merely being a cry for help. Mind you, describing political stances in terms of psychological coping mechanisms is a classic bait-and-switch tactic intended to divert attention from the validity of the position. We could easily reverse the parties and accuse liberals/leftists of creating self-justifying belief systems to ameliorate urban alienation, instability in personal life, lack of reassuring social hierarchy and set of behavioral norms, and the absence of transcendental purpose.

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  2. Seems to me that the person writing the book doesn’t understand what democracy actually is, or at least, in how many ways it can be sensed.

    Anyway, democracy as it is practiced in most of the world, where it chooses rulers and/or regional managers who have been bought off by vested interests is certainly too slow and unwieldy to provide for the needs of the people of this world.

    But, democracy in its truest form, which is direct and exercised by the people themselves, which reduces rulers to mere secretaries that provide information to the people and who then carry out the will of the people, can be both very rapid and very effective if structured properly and the population developed/cohesive enough in its thinking.

    I think that is where the problem is, though, for the man writing the book. He seems like the sort of person who wouldn’t want any kind of democracy that reduces todays rulers and regional managers to secretaries and servants, since he seems to want to rule himself.

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  3. “The majority of Millennial and Generation Z individuals are tech illiterate themselves and beyond basic routines, don’t understand how the devices they rely upon work.”

    There was talk of a lost generation back in the recession of 2008, and now with COVID there will be another one. Millennial and Generation Z individuals are incredibly bad positioned to achieve fulfillment and happiness compared to their parent’s generation. They certainly also lack the manual labor skills that could be useful as you pointed out.

    “It’s a modern myth that for some reason, the future demands everyone will need to be a competent programmer and tech wizard. Society only requires a finite number of specialists in any field to keep it stable. As technology advances, its various interfaces will also be simplified for mass consumption. The computer is the example par excellence to illustrate this.”

    They definitely will be simplified. I was getting more at the coming introduction of autonomous machines that will replace many people, exactly because as you mention, their interfaces will be “simplified for mass consumption.”

    “We could easily reverse the parties and accuse liberals/leftists of creating self-justifying belief systems to ameliorate urban alienation, instability in personal life, lack of reassuring social hierarchy and set of behavioral norms, and the absence of transcendental purpose.”

    We definitely could, and “liberals” definitely are creating systems of belief out of thin air (all systems of belief are, but that’s besides the point). And it gets at the heart of what I think the problem is: The terms liberal/conservative, capitalist/socialist, etc. have no real meaning in the current world. The basis for their meaning is now gone, e.g. China today is probably one of the most capitalist countries in the world, “progressive” liberals are now acting like self-righteous conservatives and calling for censorship, religious conservatives support and adulterer president, etc., etc.

    What I see is completely manufactured conflict to keep people occupied and divided on issues of no real consequence.

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    1. “Millennial and Generation Z individuals are incredibly bad positioned to achieve fulfillment and happiness compared to their parent’s generation. They certainly also lack the manual labor skills that could be useful as you pointed out.”

      And the situation will probably continue to deteriorate as public awareness of their dilemmas are largely staying observational. There isn’t, and won’t be, a large scale coordinated effort to address them.

      “They definitely will be simplified. I was getting more at the coming introduction of autonomous machines that will replace many people, exactly because as you mention, their interfaces will be “simplified for mass consumption.””

      I foresee the automaton wave being a lot slower than anticipated as the service industry has some in-built resistances. But I also take exception to the common belief that the fallout will largely involve low-skill jobs. In theory AI adoption will ravage the programming industry as its sheer computational advantage rends most positions that require no creativity or higher goal orientation redundant. Ditto for cognitive fields where memorization and processing speed are the main traits for success i.e. accounting.

      “China today is probably one of the most capitalist countries in the world”

      From my limited understand of internal Chinese politics, the Party was heavily influenced by the adoption and propagation of Carl Schmitt’s works starting in the late 90s. Although Chinese reception to his philosophy has been ambivalent on the whole, Schmitt’s ideas on the distinction between liberalism and democracy, the friend/enemy dichotomy required for state formation, and the rights behind sovereignty seem to line up with the evolution of Chinese state policy.

      ““progressive” liberals are now acting like self-righteous conservatives and calling for censorship”

      To be fair the Puritanical censoring is not THAT surprising. The public, outright rejection of shibboleths like free speech is the novel aspect of modern progressivism; those used to be implicitly rejected.

      “religious conservatives support and adulterer president”

      At this point it’s a captive demographic like the African-American community and Democrats. And if even a sliver of the leaked materials and videos are true, the religious right would back away from Biden like vampires from the cross.

      “What I see is completely manufactured conflict to keep people occupied and divided on issues of no real consequence.”

      They are important, but not to the extent of ignoring structural issues like the Triffin dilemma and infrastructure decay across the country.

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  4. Geez. Reminds me viscerally of so many jaw-clenching tongue-biting conversations with my PMC in-laws. FIL thinks if the world ran on the brilliant ideas he’s gleaned from Piketty and The Economist, everything would be so much better. We should listen to the smart people!

    Naturally, he couldn’t be bothered with the trouble of raising his own kids. Tykes are a nuisance and get in the way of all those big important thoughts! I taught my husband to drive a car when we were dating. His Very Intelligent parents hadn’t had the patience or time for it.

    MIL is fond of the “scientific finding” that smart people have messier homes, because their fine intellectual lives are so absorbing that they haven’t the time for menial tasks like mopping the floors. This is because she’s a hoarder who lives in a 2000+ sq ft house where you have to carefully thread your way between stacks of boxes to get from one room to the next. God help them if the place ever catches on fire.

    They are both totally sure they could run everything better than your average 100 IQ Line cook or housemaid…

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  5. My research area borders on tech, and I cannot tell you how much of this exact spiel I keep continuously hearing from all the tech-bros I meet in course of my work over the years. It’s as if the there is this complete group think among the tech circle — everybody thinks, says and does the same thing. Coincidentally these are all things that hugely benefit big tech, and that normal people do not like. I even have a colleague who has been talking about the demise on in-person teaching as if it’s a done thing for 10 years. 10 years!!! And now it has finally happened.

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    1. Right? It’s like they are on a loop, constantly repeating the same recording. It’s creepy at times. The same expressions, the same turns of phrase. Yet they think they are oh so smart.

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    2. who do you call normal people? The ones that bring on their own demise by bowing to bigtech? tech-bros???
      things don’t just happen – just be careful what you wish for. I for one wish that all Technocrats and Pedophiles and Producers of synthetic drugs and fertilisers and pesticides woldwide DIE WITHIN THE NEXT & DAYS AND NIGHTS.
      LET IT BE SO !!!

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