I thought this was interesting because it touches on the concept of stories in our society, and how those stories compete for resources, and minds.
The stories we tell ourselves, be they religious, science fiction, and everything in between, shape our cultures, landscapes, and minds.
At one point we had a few unifying stories, usually religious, of our view of the world, and morality. But as the traditional religious stories started to wane, society started to fragment as newer ideas started to spread which undermined the traditional religious stories.
As “freedom” increases, it creates room for more ideas, and different narratives from within the culture, but also as we import different stories from around the world via immigration/migration. One story that has stuck around for 50+ years is Star Trek and it has has had a huge impact on our society as it has given a vision of the future that people could coalesce behind; people like Elon Musk, and others like him are the current disseminators of that narrative. A hopeful future where technology is used to solve problems, instead of being used for harm. And depending on genetics and upbringing some people will like their vision of the future and support it.
We support a narrative when we pour our resource and time into it individually, but also as a society. The markets (and our purchase power) dictate which product, or idea is the winner.
With the internet we can connect with other people that share our views, for example this forum, and we create our own micro-culture of ideas that most have absorbed and generally agree with.
But if you take a broader look at our society… what story can you tell by where our collective resources go (by choice, not tax)?
Do not look at these as brand names, but from a generel perspective of what they create, provide, or distribute:
Walmart = Cheap Consumer Goods;
Berkshire Hathaway = Investment (resources) in Technology, Consumer Goods, Food production;
Apple = Technology;
Exxon Mobil = Energy;
Last year’s Fortune 500 Rank: No. 1
2016 Revenue: $485.9 billion
One-year Revenue Change: 0.8%
2. Berkshire Hathaway
Former Fortune 500 Rank: No. 4
2016 Revenue: $223.6 billion
One-year Revenue Change: 6.1%
Former Fortune 500 Rank: No. 3
2016 Revenue: $215.6 billion
One-year Revenue Change: -7.7%
4. Exxon Mobil
Former Fortune 500 Rank: No. 2
2016 Revenue: $205 billion
One-year Revenue Change: -16.7%
What story could you tell from this top level picture of our society in the US?
Something to think about; as our society continues to coalesce around compelling stories, be they about a futuristic future, which is currently the winning narrative, to a traditional religious life, which is waning in the west, it will divide people into separate groups with different interests, cultures, vernaculars.
This happened with the printing press as ideas spread via books like memetic viruses across minds, and this has accelerated with the internet. It will be interesting to see how we cope, if we can learn to stop forcing our stories on others, and as a society if we can adapt to the unique and interesting challenges that technology has introduced.
The story of us
What shapes our minds? We do.
(Genetic) Instinct <-> Emotion <-> Thought <-> Concept (morality and ethics are just complex concepts) <-> Action <-> loops back to Genetics, based on the ethics/worldview we value, who we mate with. It’s a never ending process.
What we like, or dislike, and how we act are all influenced by the interplay of genetics, society and upbringing. The subtlest influence comes from our instincts which are genetically encoded in us, the instincts for survival and reproduction. How the brain is wired, influences how these are expressed. Aggression for instance, out of fear, is an expression of survival on a more complicated emotional level. Emotions themselves are influenced by instinct and thought, and they can be trained to supersede instinct via thought. It is an interplay of influence across the whole process. A form of Indra’s net.
We have domesticated ourselves via our ethics systems, both religious and secular. We usually have children with people that are like us, either in what they value, or how they act in society. That is a mix of genetic and cultural influence through upbringing. Those that can spread that genetic information and the worldview have children that usually exhibit similar traits.
A religious family that is insular and does not allow for outside information will raise kids that are similarly religious. A religious family that allows outside information will risk losing the child to a different worldview that better conforms to their genetic predispositions, and those laid out by upbringing.
Biology, and psychology are tied, connected by culture, and culture is influenced by biology and psychology.
Genetic predispositions of instinct and emotion influences your political affiliation, or what you like ethically/morally. A percentage will have the instinctual/emotional traits for the left, right, authoritarian, libertarian, etc, how violent, peaceful someone is, which is also influenced by upbringing, culture or society. All of this will effect what religious/philosophical worldview that person will be attracted to. Some might pick violent or peaceful parts of an ideology, some will be pulled toward a different ideology altogether.
Your Political Beliefs Are Partly Shaped By Genetics
There won’t be peace in this world until we have an enemy besides other humans that poses a real danger. One of the easiest way to unify a group is make the “other” more scary then the current “other”.