New technology brings power to people that unleashes possibilities unimagined, even by those who developed it. Power that is not harnessed by humanity has the potential to harm civilization, even destroy it. People have a history of misusing power environmentally, humanely, and politically. Its misuse has resulted in war, injustice, and poverty. Much, and perhaps most of the world’s despondence and despair is the result of either the calculated or accidental misuse of power. The sad fact is that misusing power causes harmful consequences that accelerate and amplify.
It is a myth that history repeats itself. What repeats is the tragic consequences of repeated mistakes. When even tiny misrepresentations of reality are used to grow unbridled power, its harmful consequences grow exponentially. That is true whether the consequences are planned or unexpected, whether the power is physical, or social.
An example of misused power that has historians pointing out yet another repeating ‘historic cycle’ is the misuse of power that is generated from ‘The Constitution of the United States’. The Constitution’s preamble clearly defines the vector of its power, ‘Toward a more perfect union,’ More perfect doesn’t mean ignoring reality. It clearly doesn’t mean to harm its citizens, or the environment they share with each other, the world, or the future.
Back, when lying was an individual disgrace, there were harmful consequences to a few. When the lies were publicly distributed on paper, the consequences were multiplied, being more severe and more widely distributed. When they were broadcast on radio they became increasingly toxic because they reached more people and were more easily digested. Electronic communication such as TV, and the internet are causing lies to be distributed with no accountability as to their source, accuracy, or purpose.
Reality is being obliterated by lies. What purpose does education serve if disinformation destroys its benefit? Trustworthiness is the basis for safety, health, and happiness. Can one trust lies, disinformation, or camouflaged reality to create a straight path toward a promising future?
Power has polarity, positive toward, or negative away from a more stable, more satisfying future. When it is not built on that particular foundation of truth and observable reality the historical myth appears masking truth and reality, continuously cycling deception as if it was a hereditary trait of humanity, not just a behavioral one that can, and must be changed to improve the durability of satisfying human life. Power is transformational. It improves humanity or it degrades it. There is an environmental timeline, a clock that ticks as chaos destroys the environment people must preserve for their benefit, for their survival, for their future, and for their humanity.
There is a clear path forward. Lying was not acceptable before it was accelerated and amplified digitally, before its rapid distribution to nearly every habitable location. Technology has magnified the harmful effects of lying on the environment by degrading human behavior. The behavior won’t improve before the underlying cause of its degradation, disinformation.
There is a reason that sand is not allowed inside the engine of an automobile. Even a little sand rapidly destroys the engine making the auto useless while the environmental cost of its manufacture and disposal cannot be erased or subtracted.
Lies are sand in the digital engine of communication. They make communication unreliable, uninstructive chaos. Communication requires truth. Without it information is passed miscommunicatively as disinformation, The environmental cost of finding truth covers much effort over many generations. Lies destroy the benefit of communication while the harm they inflict on human behavior covers generations rapidly toxifiing the single environment that all people count on for survival, and satisfaction.
Improving behavior is a function of improving communication. Information must be filtered before information can be communicated because disinformation breaks the communication technology, sand in its engine, dysfunction spinning out of control creating yet another chapter, perhaps the final chapter in the myth that pits good people against the evil, whose plot needlessly degrades human behavior in reality.