It seems society always goes down the shitter over and over following the same path. People rise to wealth and power extracted on the repression of the masses, massive disparity, ignorance exemplified, xenophobia and blaming minorities for any possible issue, laws signed with golden pens but becoming more meaningless when they’re only enforced to protect the wealthy…. Then some sort of collapse, fragmentation, and/or dystopia usually in conjunction with war, purges, and killing in the name of tribalism.

History seems to rewind the cassette and record right over the top with the same old song.

  • intensely_human@lemm.ee
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    9 months ago

    It’s called corruption and yes every institution eventually becomes corrupt.

    The trick isn’t to give up, but to constantly renew the institutions by being present and alive and talking openly about what’s wrong, how to make it better, etc.

  • TheBananaKing@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    Yes, it’s a drunkard’s walk. All systems constantly and inevitably evolve towards concentration of resources.

    People talk about entropy being the big-bad, but selection is entropy’s personal wetwork consultant, and she is a cold heartless bitch.

    It’s like a rainforest: you start off with a bunch of tree species that all grow at the same rate. Then some chance mutation makes one tree grow just a little bit faster, and hey look not only does it get the sunlight the others trees don’t, it shades them out so they can’t compete. That’s some hellacious selection pressure right there, and so the arms race is on.

    You can’t stop that from happening, it’s baked into the very fabric that all the systems are built on.

    Some deer decides that big antlers are hot, and a million years later all the males are stuck walking round with a fucking tree growing out of their head. Fuck the individual, keep them teetering on the edge of starvation or violent death at all times, extract maximum efficacy at all costs.

    Goodhart’s law ruins everything.

    Everything from biology to economics and fucking video games. Oh no, you don’t get to play a fun creative entertaining build, you slavishly follow the meta or you’re out of the running. It’s the same in business, it’s the same everywhere you fucking look.

    Every slightly sub-optimal build of [organism | business model | social organisation | I dunno, school of fucking architecture ] since the beginning of forever has been outcompeted by something slightly more effective, and has been abandoned, throat slit and dumped on the roadside like an underperforming child prostitute.

    And enshittification is just one aspect of this. Anything that exists can be out-competed by something else a little more ruthless, a little more exploitative or unscrupulous, a little more expensive, a little more shitty. And at any step, someone can not take that step, in which case things stay as they are… or they can take it, in which case it gets worse. And once they have taken the step, there’s no going back. One little step at a time, salami-slicing us all to hell.

    You can never fix it from inside the system, because the system is always rigged to protect itself - you don’t get there in the first place unless you’ve already subverted the things that could stop you. All you can ever hope to do is burn it all down and start again.

  • Wogi@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    The problem you’re describing has been described countless times before. Plato talks about it at length. It’s literally the basis for 1984.

    So, the answer is yes.

    The good news is, it’s part of a cycle of revolution and enshitification. Things get bad, the masses decide they’ve had enough, and strike back, things get better for a while, until they follow the same path they did the first time, and the cycle repeats.

    But.

    Every time it happens, things get a little worse. The relentless march of time and enshitification will gradually consume the planet, until human civilization collapses entirely. Maybe in our lifetime, maybe in 200 years, maybe in a 1000. But some day, all we’ve built will come crashing down around us, because while each individual may have foresight, society does not.

    • Rhynoplaz@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      Every time it happens, things get a little worse.

      I’d argue that each time, things get a little better.

      Sure the worst part is always the worst we’ve ever seen, but we take what we learned from that and create new systems. Plan A starts well enough, until money and power corrupt it, it gets bad enough to revolt and now we try plan B. Plan B will eventually corrupt, but, it’s better than plan A ever was. We’re getting closer, but it’s a trial and error process that happens over centuries, so it’s going to take longer than we’ll ever know.

      • the_q@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        I disagree. The world now is still dealing with issues that technology has eliminated. No one has to be hungry now or thirsty or homeless or sick (mostly). No, now meeting needs is setup behind a paywall with artificial barriers.

        • Rhynoplaz@lemmy.world
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          9 months ago

          I think we’re on the same page actually. Currently, shit is fucked, and it’s well past time for a reset. I’m ready for the next, better (but probably still not quite perfect) system.

    • Damaskox@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      I’ve heard that it’s easier to grow in power or money when you don’t consider ethical questions while rising above others (as long as you either follow laws or don’t get caught while not following them).

      And since humans seem to be an animal that corrupts easily (especially when given enough power/money)…

      Makes me wonder - when do I corrupt? How? And if/when I will, will I even notice it myself?

    • hiddengoat@kbin.social
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      9 months ago

      It’s not a billionaire problem. It’s a SOCIOPATH problem. The kind of people that come up with terms like “human capital” aren’t the ones sitting on the board of directors or in the C-suite. They’re the “consultant” types whose entire job consists of selling other people their opinions. Take for example Irving Fisher, who is credited with the term “human capital.” Know what else he was into? Motherfucking eugenics, because of course he was.

      That’s the real problem, and it’s one that exists across every socioeconomic class. The asshole will always win because everyone just wants to shuffle them off to be Someone Else’s Problem. Eventually said asshole will attain a position well above their actual capacity for value and their lack of mental acuity will appeal to similarly ill-tempered douchebags, creating a cultlike following.

      Figure out how to solve the sociopath problem.

      The billionaire problem is easy. Bring back the 90% margin and add another 99% one to those earning over, say, a billion in a year.

      This, of course, for a given value of “easy.”

      • setInner234@feddit.de
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        9 months ago

        Yup, this aligns closely with my own impression of what needs doing. I’d only add to this that people need to be aware how billionaire wealth works. Nearly nobody receives just a billion in their bank account every year. Billionaires’ wealth is stored in investments (normally a company they’ve founded, or bought, owning loads of shares, which then blow up to create unbelievable wealth). But this isn’t liquid, accessible money. Billionaires use this wealth to borrow against, which banks happily do, knowing that it’s safe to do so, considering the billionaire’s leverage. This is one mechanism by which billionaires avoid paying taxes, for example. Here, things become tricky: How do you take this power away from the billionaire? How do you tax share ownership? There are some approaches, but I’m not sure any of them have ever been tried. If you just force the billionaire to sell 90% of their shares above 1,000,000,000 in value, the share price will plummet immediately. That doesn’t really work. You could prohibit borrowing against value held in shares, but you’d somehow need to limit this to ultra-rich people. Or you somehow devalue shares held beyond 1,000,000,000, so that this isn’t actually wealth the billionaire can use (to buy elections, or media companies). But then what’s the point of having 299 billion worth of shares just sitting there doing nothing (in Elon’s case, for example). It’s a surprisingly difficult problem to solve. You could split the shares across many people. So any shares above 1,000,000,000 in value have to be divided evenly across the workforce of your company or something.

        This is all theoretical though, because most billionaires would happily murder every last human being with their bare hands before giving up 0.0000000000001% of their wealth.

    • setInner234@feddit.de
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      9 months ago

      While I wholeheartedly agree, we need to “solve the concentration of power in the hands of the few problem”. Even if you simply said all the stocks and shares of current billionaires can’t have money lent against them (or however you want to address this without taking half the economy with it), there will just be a new class of psychopathic narcissists to take the place of the current ones. I feel without some kind of set of laws which enforces continuous dilution of power by somehow spreading it across more people and randomising who is allowed to influence what (which can only really be done with computers or AI) these cycles will repeat themselves ad infinitum.

      • radix@lemm.ee
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        9 months ago

        I’ve never heard this particular suggestion, of using computer randomization to define who gets influence. I don’t have a well-defined stance on much; I just wanted to say this is interesting.

  • OpenStars@kbin.social
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    9 months ago

    There is nothing new under the sun…we are the same monkeys that we have always been. Technology / circumstances have changed though, somewhat. Nature + Nurture, with the former unchanged and the latter altered might produce something different? But people thought that the internet would solve all the world’s problems, and if you replace “internet” with anything else at all, repeat as nauseum, you get life… so no, it both “changed everything”, while also changing nothing.

    Strong societies beget weak children, who produce vulnerable societies, which after (as?) they fall apart beget strong children. That is what I see anyway, right or wrong. That is why it is important to ask questions as you are doing. Entropic decay can only be overcome with effort. You can’t solve the world’s problems, only your own - and those who are willing to listen. As an example, we cannot fix Reddit, only make a new place to be better, but that takes WORK.

  • banana_meccanica@feddit.it
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    9 months ago

    No we won’t because soon resources will ends and the basic, like food, is already poisoned. We burned the candle very fast in this last hundred years, not very much progress that entertanament, we should have moon colonies at this point but we aren’t even closer to the idea. I think human race will ends in next 200 years.

  • Refurbished Refurbisher@lemmy.sdf.org
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    9 months ago

    I’d like to think there’s a way to keep shitty people out of power and concentration of resources to a minimum, but unfortunately, that conflicts with human nature.

    The people who have power are generally the type of people who want power over other people. We haven’t solved the problem of preventing sociopaths and psychopaths from becoming powerful yet, and it’s hard to believe that society will ever solve that problem, since sociopaths and psychopaths will always exist. People who care about others generally aren’t the type of people who seek power.

    Even if, for example, we have a proletariat state, people who seek power will find a way to gain power. For example, if it’s a direct democracy without representatives, propaganda will be a very useful tool. If it’s a communist government with centralized planning, there will be a way to control the centralized planning. We already know how representative democracies can fall since we’re living it. With social democracies, capitalism still exists, so that’s pretty easy to exploit and revert back to straight capitalism.

    • monobot@lemmy.ml
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      9 months ago

      We haven’t solved the problem of preventing sociopaths and psychopaths from becoming powerful yet, and it’s hard to believe that society will ever solve that problem, since sociopaths and psychopaths will always exist.

      Yes, and it even works the other way around - we are choosing our leaders and we are choosing craziest ones. That is how group dynamic is working like, according to Bion:

      And perhaps one of the most important findings in his experiments was that whenever a group is formed, it always seeks a leader to follow. The group then searches for someone who has questionable attributes with his or her mental health. Initially, the group will search for someone who is paranoid schizophrenic or someone who is malignant hysteric. If the group is unable to find someone with those attributes, the group looks for someone with delinquent trends and a psychopathic personality. Otherwise, the group would just settle on the verbally facile high-grade defective.

      You might find his “Experiences in groups” quite interesting.

  • Call me Lenny/Leni@lemm.ee
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    9 months ago

    Because misguidance is easy, natural forces are disruptive, and this thing we call mental health is fragile and twisty, total satisfaction will never be possible. The next best thing to do is to prepare, and that helps at least half of things. Fortunately victory typically favors the wise if no gimmicks are used.

    • RememberTheApollo_@lemmy.worldOP
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      9 months ago

      Define “wise”.

      There have been many victorious dictators that were idiots and killed millions of their own people out of fear, ignorance, or prejudice.

      • Call me Lenny/Leni@lemm.ee
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        9 months ago

        People whose ability to back themselves hold water compared to their opponents. But the “without gimmicks” part is key. Of course you’re going to have people who win because they cheated everyone or stumbled upon the keys to victory by chance. Hence the first part.

    • RememberTheApollo_@lemmy.worldOP
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      9 months ago

      Rome.

      Look, don’t kill me over specificity. I wanted a general statement and cannot possibly name every avenue by which society collapses without being boringly pedantic, however I would suggest that “modern” Non-nomadic societies generally faced wealth concentration, disparity, and collapse at some point.

  • Maeve@kbin.social
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    9 months ago

    I can see the beginning of replies in notices, I come to the thread and see no other comments. I’m not having this issue in any other threads. Wondering if it’s an issue with my instance?

  • Maeve@kbin.social
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    9 months ago

    Interesting. I came to reply to a comment in a thread that had some that went poof! And .ml moderation is problematic?

    • wahming@monyet.cc
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      9 months ago

      More likely you’re having technical issues, the thread is active as heck