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Social Dilemma: We are Not as Smart as We Think

Updated: Oct 20, 2020


Illustration by Nadia Mokadem

As humans, we are not as smart as we think. Our ignorance of the limitations of our brain is leading us to dangerous places.


We created an artificial world that is different from the environment we evolved for. We changed our environment but our biological hardware did not change with it. This mismatch has a big cost on human functioning. My theory is that majority of the problems we are facing now stem from that mismatch.


Despite all the progress and conveniences of our age, people are anxious, unhappy, sick, and burned out. Profound thinking and deep focus are harder to come by. Polarization, misinformation, environmental harm can be traced back to the working principles of our nervous system backfiring in this unnatural environment.


I’m not saying that progress is bad and we should go back to being hunter-gatherer. I’m saying that unless we educate ourselves about our limitations as human species, we will fall prey to our own progress.


The good news is that we have the ability to understand our limitations and design ways to overcome them. I believe that is the only way we’ll be able to steer our progress towards benefiting our species and ecosystem.


Netflix documentary Social Dilemma demonstrates some of these points even though not in-depth. Still, it is a must-watch. It displays our over-confidence in our free-will and reason and how misguided that is in the context of social media technology. If interested, join the conversation at the Center for Humane Technology.


Drop me a line, tell me what you think.



Written by

Banu Hantal

Leadership Psychologist // Executive Coach // SuperHumanist


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