There is a general belief that humans as a species had reached a generally high level of general intelligence (say compared with chimpanzees, our nearest biological relatives) and most people could solve many kinds of problems. The difficulty I faced with this premise is that if it were true, why do most people, including some very bright ones, do really stupid things? The world is in a really sad state due to humans and their economic activities. Ironically, we actually know about these stupid things and know what we SHOULD do to avoid or correct the situation. Yet, we don’t do anything about them. Indeed we keep making matters worse. My big question became why, if we are so smart, are we being so stupid? But this was the wrong question to ask. The big mistakes we are making are not due to stupidity but to foolishness — the lack of wisdom.


from this post.


Also the idea of cooperation-competition balance:


People in the future must develop the kinds of coordination strategies that started to play a major role in early man’s evolution. Group selection may have accounted for more of our evolution toward cooperators and away from being competitors. While many will argue that in a world where resources will be further constrained beyond what we see now, that competition will be essential to survival. But I argue just the opposite. Competition is a necessary strategy only in cases where the competing populations are growing, whereas, if some kinds of population control are in effect the need for competition is much less. And, one of the attributes of wisdom is understanding the balance that needs to be established in managing the human populations in light of knowledge of ecological footprints and carrying capacities. Wiser heads think long term and large scale. They can plan for contingencies further out in time and space as a result of their capacity for much more tacit knowledge learned through life.

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