Observed evidence suggests a possible hypothesis; in some pockets of the human species, evolution has stopped and has gone in to reverse.
The human species has reached a level of such great technological advance, the resulting inventions and indeed much of everyday life contains too much detail for the vast majority of people to fully comprehend. For many, it could be indistinguishable from witchcraft, to borrow a theme by Arthur C. Clarke.
This idea is neatly demonstrated by the excellent book and subsequent short animated video, “I, Pencil“. Although we take a pencil for granted, no one individual is capable of making one or even has the complete knowledge of how to make one.
Many of us are able to understand the principles behind much of the process though.
William of Ockham’s evolution in reverse hypothesis suggests we’ve left some people behind in this ability to understand complexity at a high level.
Today, I will offer two items of evidence for this but there will no doubt be plenty more over the coming weeks and months. Once seen, this phenomenon becomes visible everywhere.
Item 1: A CEO, whose entire business model is to offer sage advice to other organisations, couldn’t predict there would be any significant problems with paying exactly the same wage to every employee, regardless of age, skill level and skill value. In fact, the poor love seemed almost childlike in his wonder when he discovered a web developer in central London won’t work for the same wage as the office receptionist.
His brain hasn’t quite made the leap to the realisation other humans might have agency and will make choices that best suit their personal circumstances. Imagine reaching adulthood and not being even vaguely aware of that?
Item 2. A Senator of 14 years longevity in the Federal Parliament, who has spent her entire career sitting in vehement opposition to the government on the often inferred basis that it is a combination of corrupt, incompetent or even evil, believes a Government-developed internet search engine would be a useful project for taxpayer dollars.
This, despite the not entirely irrelevant facts there are already a dozen alternative free search engines which, between them, spend perhaps more than $3bn every year on research and development.
Yet she still believes we should trust the bureaucracy that brought you the NBN, CovidSafe App, expensive national firewalls to block websites such as PirateBay without understanding what a VPN is and countless examples of IT procurement and development with quadrupled budgets and minuscule realised benefits. This time they’ll get it right though, surely?
That they walk amongst us without their jaws wide open in amazement at the miracle of electric light bulbs, coffee machines, bicycles and adhesive stamps on envelopes, says much about these people’s lack of imagination or introspection.
Without getting all eugenics on the subject, it’s a bit of a worry for the species these genes are still washing around the system.
Somewhere in the world there is a tree working really hard. I think Calvin Benton and Sarah Two Dads owe it an apology.