So You Want to Change the World?

By Xah Lee. Date:

i come to realize, that the world is rather quite complex…

this is in the context of creating a better world.

this will probably sound trite and silly to you, and if i may say so, you probably don't have sufficient understanding of the world to appreciate what i'll write here neither. (it's like, when you (let's say a teenager) read a philosopher's discourse, then it'll be like “what the hell is this guy talking about”, or “what a idiot, stating the most obvious”.

… btw, this is another extempore drivel by me, so no need to heed, nor is it some real insight or wisdom or such. It's just my brain fart …

so, i was saying… that i come to realize this world is quite complex, and it's rather helpless in making it better. Ok more context:

you know how in this day and age, we hear politicians all arguing such and such this and that about making the world better. And, when it comes to politicians, it's like a comedy show. They don't agree with each other, they argue. Nay, actually they gouge each other's eyes out; well they try anyway. On the other hand, we hear pundits, activists, and even YOU, my little nothingness activists or tweeters in social networks, tweeting daily opinions about #occupy , #wikileaks , politics, economics, share and reshare articles that you want others to see. (and then of course there's fights about religion, its validity, its role, its effects, etc, but we'll leave religion out, as they say, just to make the matter a bit simpler)

so, that's the thing. That's the context. It appears, everyone wants the world to be a better place, and everyone seems to know the right way.

me, myself, of course, want to fucking kill you, because you are a idiot. I, have one bag of opinions and beliefs, about porn, about politics, about many things, about the feminists pussy sex race and US American bleeding-hearts.

so that's the problem. That's the context and that's the problem.

take me for example, a man with learnings that surpasses vast majority of professors. But what can i do?? A fart from Paris Hilton has a far greater impact in this world than my lifetime's writings. One sex tape of Paris smites me out like a ant. I'm nothing, learning be damned.

yeah, so that's the problem. What can YOU do? You want to change the world??

so, u see, that's the situation am thinking about, and the world really has been like that. Humanity has been like this. In the good old days, if you are ruthless and powerful, you can become a king by the sheer power of your muscles, you actually could do some change. In modern society post industrialization, especially today, it's harder and harder. Well, what i meant is that each individual's power in modern society is effectively 0.

You could, be one Paris Hilton, or Steve Jobs, or George Bush, to be sure. But generally speaking, your chances are zero. Of the 7 billions of this world, mathematically speaking, some 0.0000001 percent of people gets to be the top few thousand that do have some power in directions.

i've had this thought about ten years ago… for those of you familiar with the math concept of cellular automata. (have you ever played Conway's game of life before? check it out here Conway's Game of Life) Human animals, human society, is like a cellular automata system. You can think of each person as just a ant. Ants, collectively, may create hills, eat a house, form observable swarm patterns and make visible changes to the world (good or bad), but individually, it's just a sand in a dune. I don't matter. U don't matter. Statistically speaking, nobody is powerful enough to put a dent in the whole system. The system, as a cellular automata system, has a life on its own, and unpredictable. Even if you are the world's most powerful man, say the currently richest Bill Gates, or USA president, you can effect the world somewhat, temporarily, and regionally. Or, consider the greatest philosopher, scientist, you might think they have ever-lasting influence on humanity. But viewed in a different way, perhaps they are like a giant wave, setting out a pattern, but it subsides soon enough, by all other waves of different shapes and sizes and all the drops of the water that makes the whole.

… humm i should end it here. It makes this essay powerful!

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