The crimes of the future

I just watched Mac Goodman’s TED talk about the crimes of the future:

That reminds me of a question I had some time ago: How was it possible for Nazi Germany to invade and maintain control over most of Europe while USA doesn’t seem to control a couple of countries while using the most advanced military machine ever created?

The answer is simple: technology helps the individuals more than the groups or governments. The technology to blow up a tank today is much cheaper than in the 40s, during the second world war. As Marc Goodman said: the power of and individual do influence a group is going up, at an exponential rate, for both good and bad.

Something else I been wondering is, where are all these evil people? Because I constantly see ways to cause a lot of harm and disruption to a lot of people. The world is full of opportunities, it’s full of fuses ready to be lit by those that like to watch the world burn. The only thing I can conclude is that there aren’t that many people eager to do it. In the end, human beings are inherently good.

But still, a lot of bad things are happening in lots of places. Organized crime in Mexico and terrorism in the middle east still exist. You definitely cannot fix the problem by outgunning them and you cannot fix it by outsmarting them. I believe the solution is in destroying the motivation.

You can have people willing to strap a bomb to their chest only by years and years of the worst kind of religious indoctrination. If those people had access to just see what the rest of the world was, then they would be less likely to do it. If those people had access to join the rest of society and not live as an oppressed minority, then I would be very surprised if any took any other path than being peaceful and productive member of the society.

People are putting a lot of ingenuity at fighting the system to produce something and get it to the hands of people that want it, and want it badly. You stop fighting them and you start taxing them. Suddenly, many of the drug related problems, specially those related to crimes, would go away. You still would have to deal with people self-destructing with drugs, but all evidence suggests that it would be the same or even better than what we have now. And if people want to self destruct, they’ll find a way to do so with or without drugs (tobacco, alcohol, food… heck, even exercise and TV!), no government or religion can magically solve the problem that all human beings face: what do I do with my life?

What I like about Marc Goodman’s approach is the openness. He’s not fighting to create a big brother, but to turn many more aspects of society into an open source model, a model we know it works. I just don’t think it’s enough, I think we still have to figure out what motivates people to be destructive and attack the motivations.