Human Nature and Human Abilities2016-11-16T10:46:26+00:00

Human nature and our abilities are intertwined with collaborability. The view one has on our nature and our abilities is fundamental to both understanding and assessing the way we collaborate and how changes in e.g.our technological capabilities will have effect on our potential to collaborate (i.e. „collaborability”).

My statements are scattered all over Red Planet Dust as they have been made in a specific context, sometimes even only as a byline. I wondered if a consistent image would arise when I would collect my statements and bring them together in a topical landing page. NB I will add new statements on our nature and abilities when applicable.

As the individual statements were written within the context of a given post there has not been a preconceived plan to create a comprehensive and elaborate list of my views on human abilities. The list therefor only comprises what has been relevant so far.

NB The reference to original post/article where the statements was (first) made can be found via “origin”

1) Meta on Human Abilities

  • Many hold only casual and popular notions on our human abilities (origin)

2) Biological Predisposition

2a On our biological disposition

  • We humans carry psychological, sociological and cultural prewireing firmly aiming us at collaboration. (Origin)
  • The symbioses of humans and their tools has neurological backgrounds. (see also 6b below on our use of tools) (Origin)
  • How we sociologically behave and how we psychologically function has a direct link of how we use trust. Trust is embedded in our DNA – as a matter of speech, but maybe even literally – for it is crucial to collaborate. (Origin)

2b On the spread of abilities over individuals

  • Humans in general only have limited mental capabilities while these abilities are unevenly spread over the individuals. (Origin)

3) Our Perceptions

3a On our self perception

  • We go to great length to convince ourselves that we are indeed a continuous and stable “I”, which basically is an illusion. (Origin)
  • Even though most humans are of the opinion to be unique their behaviour is less individual that they are aware off. (Origin)

3b On our perception of the other(s)

  • Most people assume that the other person is having precisely the same apprehension as they have. (Origin)

3b On our ability to perceive the world around us

Notions:

  • Humans base their understanding of the world around them on a wide variety of notions. Not to many people challenge the notions (concepts, models, words) presented to them, they will just absorb and start using them unquestioned and casually. (Origin)
  • We are loaded with concepts and ideas that when looked upon more closely are feeble at most. (Origin)
  • We construct our realities on assumptions of our “own truths” without realizing that we are usually just guessing. We do this however so convincingly to ourselves and others that we really believe that these ideas and explanation of our reality are the right ones and true. (Origin)
  • Most people hardly ever try to get a grip on the words they read, hear and speak. In general people take their own meaning of a word, any word, totally for granted, however vague and broad their apprehension often is. (Origin)

Causality:

  • It is our human nature to seek causality and to presume conspiracies, often with projecting ourselves as either being actively part of it or at least being targeted personally as victims. (Origin)
  • We, amongst other limitations, have an incredible urge to see(k) causality everywhere. We do so to make our perception of our world and hence our perception of our selves coherent. It is one of the mechanisms to help us keep up the „illusion of understanding”. (Origin)

Limitations

  • We have difficulty seeing longer term developments and complex relationships, especially when a time delay is involved. (Origin)
  • We, as individuals, are seldomly aware of the fact that we have difficulties in seeing the world around us neutrally. (Origin)

Senses

  • We have brains which are interpreting all the loose titbits registered by our senses into a (seemingly) coherent “picture”. (Origin)
  • Our senses filter information: now our brains are compensating for color cast as much as they can. (Origin)
  • An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. While illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people. (Origin)

4) Brain Power

4a On the limitations of our brain

  • The magnitudes of the universe are totally lost on us and our imagination. (Origin)
  • Einstein did tell us time and space is not linear. But this is lost on most of us mortals. (http://leika.nl/wp/2014/02/the-future-of-payments-and-the-socialpolitical-implications-of-crypto-currencies-part-1/#more-2998)
  • Even though science explains us „time” is non-linear we as humans are caught in a linear appreciation of time. We are caught in a small time-frame which we call NOW. (Origin)
  • We have an apprehension of the past – being mostly distorted as it is – and tend to expect the linear continuation of the present into the future. (Origin)

4b On our ability to reason

  • We construct our realities on assumptions of our “own truths” without realising that we are usually just guessing. We do this however so convincingly to ourselves and others that we really believe that these ideas and explanation of our reality are the right ones and true. (Origin)
  • Individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values (Origin)
  • We are inclined to seek and process information in a way that supports our own opinion, we mainly frequent with peers and generally think that others just hold the same such extreme views. (Origin)
  • We create all kinds of reasonings; nicely connecting the dots of our experiences and opinions while bending corners and ignoring dots or even fantasising new dots by the truck loads. This is mostly an unconscious process but sometimes we even do it consciously. (Origin)
  • Today decision-making is predominately based on illogical and arbitrary reasoning; which is typical for humans and thus managers. (Origin)

4c On our ability to make decisions

  • Generally speaking humans are notoriously bad in decision making and are not getting any better in it over time. (Origin)

4d On our ability to predict the future

  • We have a hard time predicting the future. (Origin)
  • Whenever we try to predict what it’s actually going to be like to live in that future, what the future is going to taste like, we invariably fail, and in the most ridiculous ways. It’s like a weird law of nature. We can see the technologies coming, but that knowledge somehow makes the future less predictable. (Origin)
  • We overestimate the tempo of their introduction and adoption but clearly underestimate the impact of new technologies. (Origin)

5) Adaptation

5a On our ability to adapt to change

  • Managing and adapting to technological change, is one of the core abilities we humans have to adapt to changing conditions. We as humans are so adaptable that many will hardly notice though…(Origin)
  • We tend to internalise these types of mechanisms very successfully, both socially as a group and psychologically as individuals. (Origin)

5b On the way we change / adapt our mental abilities

  • We change as humans as a consequence our decision making will change, both for individuals as for companies. We delegate decisions to computers step by step and call this “exo-thought”. (Origin)
  • We adapt seamlessly to the opportunities that the Internet offers us. We do this so well that we hardly realize that we humans are changing. (Origin)
  • Our human minds are not static as we see ourselves changing due to the developemnt of exo-thought, exo-memory etc. (Origin)
  • The increasing capabilities of software are influencing the way we make decisions as persons and as companies. These capabilities influence what we do and how we do them to an extend that it is starting to change the very nature of our being. (Origin)
  • Robosourcing does not only involve what we think, how we act but also influence WHEN we do things. Given time we will be driven by a self-drive car which will decide WHERE we are. (Origin)
  • We are placing our memory outside the brain in a large-scale way (“exomemory”). The next step is that we place thought itself outside of our brains. (“exothought”). (Origin)

6) The Individual

6a On the boundary between ourselves and the world around us

  • We tend to internalise the mechanisms of implicit collaborability very successfully, both socially as a group and psychologically as an individual. To an extent that we in general do not even see them as mechanisms any more. (Origin)
  • We do not have a choice other then to rely on an incredible amount of others if we are to accomplish almost anything at all. (Origin)
  • We internalize notions from others easily but often rather casually. (Origin)

6b On our Use of Tools

  • Tools extent our human abilities. We are as dependent on our tools as we are dependent on others.(Origin)
  • Humans are living totally symbiotic to their tools.The symbioses of humans and there tools has neurological backgrounds.(Origin)
  • The boundaries between humans and our tools are blurry; it is not that easy to define a clear demarcation between humans and their tools.(Origin)
  • More and more the way we as individuals act and think, how we collaborate in and between groups and how society are designed, governed and policed is tailored to the very tools we use. (Origin)
  • Our technological means (i.e. tools) change, but our aims stay mostly the same. Figuratively speaking we keep on playing the same music with the same refrains but with different instruments. (Origin)

6c On being individuals and forming groups

  • We tend to regard humans as individuals. Like an anthill we should regard our joined life form as a super-organism as well. Even though we see the world trough the eyes of the ants, the mechanisms at work apply to us ants but are effective because we form this super-organism. (Origin)
  • Human nature, social dynamics, our ability to adopt change as individuals but also our resistance to change as a society. (Origin)
  • Individual persons do not even have the notion that they are collaborating most of the time, nor feel part of a defined group. Companies – similar to ant hills and beehives –  are self directing while based on a colony of “workers” who as individuals have no clue of how the underlying collaboration mechanisms work that let the anthill survive or even prosper. (Origin)