Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The fear of being irrelevant

On 27 November 2016, the Guardian published an interview with anthropologist Genevieve Bell on Artificial Intelligence (AI) entitled: “Humanity’s greatest fear is about being irrelevant”. That article raised a red flag in my mind. This interview is restricted to the fear of human irrelevance following the introduction of AI robots.

Most of my life, I didn’t bother about the fear of being irrelevant. Education, career, relationship, children were much more important than such existential questions. Life-altering moments make you start questioning things that were previously tedious. Similar questions (and implicit fears) are: Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? Am I worth it?

In my 25 August 2015 blog, I compared humans to ants (builders) and to grasshoppers (destroyers). This ant-human comparison is frequently used in science (eg, Gowdy & Krall (2016), Hou (2016), Mark MoffettNatGeo – burying dead ants). A 2016 Scientific American article – Trapped in a Black Pit, Ants Refuse to Give Up – makes clear how ants differ from humans. 

The 2015 scientific link between AI, ants, and humans may shed some light on the irrelevance issue. Princeton: “Researchers from Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) report for the first time that these structures [of “living” bridges] are more sophisticated than scientists knew. The ants exhibit a level of collective intelligence that could provide new insights into animal behavior and even help in the development of intuitive robots that can cooperate as a group, the researchers said.” Note: italic markings are mine.

Ants are part of a group, and a group provides synergy. A colony of ants can do much more than its individual ants could ever achieve. It’s the same with humans. Our relevance is being part of a whole (eg, family, study, work). Only when we drift apart from the whole and become an individual then the fear of being irrelevant will come up.

The answer to this fear of being irrelevant is in beliefs, which is the core element of my 3 concepts: (1) Faith, Beliefs & Willpower, (2) Needs, Wants & Beliefs, and (3) the 7 Belief systems

This belief would likely be in Philosophy (“I am (not) irrelevant), in Politics (eg, representing the Unneeded Unwanted & Unbelieved), in Religion (countering Fear with Faith), or in looking for the Truth

Since my 8 January 2016 blog “Also sprach Zarathustra”, I have been intrigued by Zoroastrianism. Slowly, I am seeing the connection between my thinking, my 3 concepts, and the teachings of Zarathustra

This updated drawing represents my new insights and I am happy to share them.

Shota Adamashvili – Irrelevance (2014?) – artist, FB, lyrics, TED, video, Wiki


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