During the quest for progress, we need to remain benevolent

We learn history, but we do not necessarily learn from history.  We always think that this time is different; with different people, circumstances, incentives, etc.  But, we really are not all that different than our ancestors who walked several thousand years before us. Humans are still - and will always be - humans.

We, as humans, have faced several turning points in our collective history. I believe that we may be getting close to another global revolution; a la agricultural, industrial, etc. We are hearing it now: robotics will lead to massive job loss.  Sci-Fi writers have been talking and dreaming about robotics for many decades, but significant progress in ancillary technologies like machine learning, processing power,  and artificial intelligence now make it much more real this time around. Yes, robotics will lead to job loss, but that assumes that we (as humans) will sit still and not create any new jobs and industries. Spoiler alert: we will.

But it is not job loss or robotics that concerns me. It is the massive centralization of wealth and the increasing disparity of wealth; therefore leading to the centralization of power. We have seen that in history, too, and the story generally does not go that well.

Some examples

Why change happens

And it is not that people just wake up one day and want to do away with the centralization of wealth and power. Rather, they wake up and realize that not only is there this massive centralization, but there are also bad economic circumstances and that things are not going well. That is when they want a change.

What can we do about it?

We need to maintain a delicate balance. When people have too much power, then they are free to do whatever they want without consideration of others. This happens no matter the group size; five or five billion.

We have to remind ourselves that progress should be for all; not just for the few. That does not mean that a few cannot take the lead, but it does mean that the few should only do so in order to pull everyone else forward.

At these type of turning points, we need to be benevolent in our intentions and be sure that we do not leave people behind. When people feel left behind and are hungry, that is the most dangerous point for a society because they have nothing to lose.

If we want this time to be different, then we have to do things differently.