Why Humanity Destroyed Itself


One day, if human civilisation ever wipes itself out, aliens or one of our successors will cast an eye on our ruined planet, and ask themselves what ever happened to. Their answer might look a little like this. The root cause won’t be the specific catastrophe, conflict or devastation that eradicates us; the problem will begin with the architecture of the human brain. This tool will be remembered for being, in part, deeply impressive, containing a 100 billion neurons capable of extraordinary computations and combinations. As aliens will note, a particular part of the mind where our most dazzling thoughts unfolded was known to neuroscientists as the neocortex; a part that in humans was many times larger than that found in any other species. This is what helped the hugely clever ape to produce The Magic Flute, Anna Karenina, Concorde and civilisation. However, our alien friends will also note that the human mind contained another component, very influential but far less impressive, known as the reptilian brain (an aggressive lustful impulsive
section of machinery), with a great deal more in common with what might be found in a hyena or a small rodent. Because of this reptilian brainended up with three grave problems: Firstly, tribalism. Humans were always on the verge of developing violent hatreds of foreigners and manifested strong ongoing tendencies to slaughter strangers in vast numbers. They could never reliably see the humanity in all members of their own kind. Secondly,was fatefully prone to short-term thinking. Even when confronted by data, it could only imagine the near-term future, a few years at best, viewing the long-term as a chimerical and unreal state. Its immediate impulses were left uncontained and worked to destroy its individual and collective future. Lastly,had an especially keen fondness for wishful thinking. Though capable of immense intellectual achievement, its mind hated to reflect on itself, it couldn’t bear to submit its ideas to rational scrutiny, it preferred to act rather than think and daydream rather than plan. Having invented the scientific method, it preferred, in most cases, to not to use it. It had a narcotic desire for distraction and fantasy. It didn’t want to know itself. For many generations, these three flaws were more or less endured. Certain institutions were invented to attenuate them: the law, sound government, education, philosophy, science. It worked, sort of. Humans did keep wiping out swathes of their fellows, but they didn’t scupper the species as a whole. What caused the ultimate destruction was the increasing yet untrammelled power of the neocortex. This mighty tool eventually managed to capture fire, contain the elements, and givea godlike power over the planet, while the animal overall still operated with reflexes as serene and gentle as those of a hyena. The cost of its mistakes grew ever larger, its powers became uncontained while its wisdom remained intermittent and fragile. Eventually, its might outpaced its capacity for self-control; it became a nuclear armed rodent. There was one thing that might have saved humanity: love. And three varieties of love in particular: Firstly, the love of the stranger; the capacity to see the other as like oneself and worthy of the same mercy and charity. Secondly, the love of the unborn: the concern for those who do not yet exist and whom one will never know but whose lives one is shaping in the selfish present. Thirdly, the love of the truth: the strength to resist illusion and lies and square up to uncomfortable facts of all kinds. We don’t need to be aliens of the future to understand all this. We can see the disaster scenario only too well right now. The fate of civilisation lies ultimately not in the law courts, at the ballot box or in the corridors of governments. It lies in our ability to master the most short-term, selfish and violent of our impulses active in the dense folds of organic matter between our ears; it lies in learning how relentlessly to try to compensate for the flawed architecture of the human mind.




Comments
  1. Territorial disputes became ownership sadly, which is basically property and then a life debt caused by the idea of owning slaves.

    Even though George Washington disagreed with the idea of money. Which came from such a horrible misunderstanding of priorities. We must declare resources as a common heritage to all of the worlds people. We are all important.

    End the system that keeps us competing for our basic needs and watch us evolve to a peaceful species.

    We don’t need aliens and they would not want to need us, as of yet.

  2. How does love of the unborn help mankind or the planet when there are already too many humans on the planet

  3. Nice idea but we are just a small part of the earth's evolution. As the erstwhile comedian George Carlin said,"The earth was here long before we arrived and will still be here long after we are gone, it will treat us simply as a bad case of fleas, shake us off and be rid of us".

  4. clever elitist tripe, by a most clever elitist – Alain Debotton.

    – the human mind is inherently weakened by these frailties
    – this is something everyone shares and accounts for societal dysfunctions like war
    – since this is a shared human frailty it is not a condition promoted by "leaders" and cultural social engineering
    -there is nothing that can be done except for individuals – wholly on their own – to come to some kind of spiritual and intellectual apotheosis; so of course nothing should be done

    in other words, here I have given you my brilliant wisdom, me being so brilliant; NOW, you go do it you, YOU go do it!!!

  5. We will be the first of its kind who knows what is causing and leading to our destruction yet we are doing nothing. We know the reason but we are so selfish to think about it or do something about it.

  6. There are infinite versions of this, this one is lame, especially as it tries to sound authoritative as if these opinions are fact.

  7. I would add dogma to the argument. Conflict between humans always comes about from a "I'm right you are wrong" Right and Wrong are illusions because they are quite subjective; and people confused them with Good and Bad. The belief that Truth is a definite static answer instead of a fluid mindset prevents humans from further progress and healing.

  8. as long as ignorant, greedy and power-hungry people are the one's ruling, all others are met with disinformation and will sadly spread this disinformation as factual themselves.

  9. The problem is that of leadership. Our leaders have been mostly despotic psychos surrounded by corrupt sycophants. How to get good leaders? This should a a core subject in education – it is more important than science.

  10. I think the premise is embedded in the title – How humanity destroyed itself. Past tense. It is already too late, hopeless, we humanity already destroyed ourselves. There is a pervasive fatalism about our future. There is an absence of hope. There is no positive vision of humanity or its future. …But WE are NOT humanity. Humanity has existed for almost 2 million years. We are the latest emergence of just ONE civilization. Human civilizations rise and fall like clockwork for thousands of years. This one is global in scope and more technically advanced than any that preceeded it. The same might have been said for the Roman civilization at its height. Rather than lamenting why 'humanity' is destined to fail because we are so flawed, why not ask instead what are the characteristics of our civilization that make it so hopeless? It's obsession with complexity and efficiency make it extremely brittle and unresilient. Its fixation of competition and greed make it incredibly unequal and precarious. Its worship of quantitative methods and rationality make it blind to psychological needs of people. The imperative of perpetual economic growth ignore the limits of a finite planet and its resources. There is hope for humanity but not for this global technological capitalistic acquisitive hypercompetitive winner-take-all no-holds-barred system that is our civilization.

  11. Thank God we have the glorious United Kingdom to serve as an example of how wonderful society can be when we reject tribalism and allow hordes of foreigners into our nations, when we uncritically accept ideas put forth by government funded “science,” like AGW, with dogmatic, quasi-religious tenacity, and when we reject God and traditional morality in favor of “rationalism” that totally doesn’t result in a depraved, decadent culture

    It’s almost like those parts of our brains that you reject are actually necessary – weird

  12. Overlooks the fact that the maligned "Reptile Brain" (aka R-complex) is ABSOLUTELY VITAL for our survival.

    Love and Truth are dandy words, but their meanings are anything but stable.

  13. Is there anything that is not subject to the pollution of of leftist, political correctness? If you would qualify your Marxist, 'Progressive', Leftist, Socialist, Stalinist, Mao's Pol Pot, Chi, Castro, crap as your opinion I could tolerate it. To present your politically correct crap as fact changes nothing it is still crap.

  14. Not so much… You are missing what drives the nervous system, which is the environment. Change the environment, you change the actions and behaviors the environment incentivizes . We are dealing with the effects of population density stress. Today we have the technology and knowledge to transform our environment to incentivize more equitable relationships. It is our current beliefs that drive our extinction, we need to adopt a new paradigm and our nervous system allows us to change, dramatically. Like The Green New Deal

  15. JUST STOP DEPRESSING YOUTH,
    How do you know This?? Hh Are you an alien ? Just stfu! You didn’t see the actual world Outside of your room reading it from books, what would you do if man trys to kill you Will you love him NO you have to act instantly and save yourself or kill him for your safety, We are born animals,
    Love passion War is what made this world Working,
    Day dreaming and thinking is part of human life, if you have set like this to male this video.

  16. It is always man’s pride that thinks to his future
    He fights to his death, sometimes saved by a suture.

    Tribalism, short term and wishful thinking
    Prognosis complete, humanity constantly sinking

    The neo cortex of a bandicoot’s mammalian brain
    Is aggressively protective of its territorial domain.

    As the neo cortex prepares for a crash landing
    Science must prepare for this basic understanding.

    No!…It’s not the brain that decides ones fate
    See! The heart must love, to squeeze out hate.

  17. Just an FYI, those forms of LOVE, were exemplified by Jesus. Call me crazy, I know most will. But seriously, Love is the Shortcut to what The Lord wanted us to do when it came to our decision making. There is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes tells us that. I say things that are not new. But I say them nonetheless. Lots of love, and this video was great. Have a great life while it exists.

  18. Thats where youre wrong, Humanity didnt destroy itself entities not from this world influenced our every move and thus caused us to destroy ourselfs so in conclusion energy entities destroyed us

  19. So the three flaws can be summarized as.
    1. Self-centered identity, causes division.
    2. Ignorance
    3. Using pleasure as an escape

    To know who you are, you must know who you are not. The way you think, the opinions you have, your religion, your politics, your name, your identity, your favorite music, your family, your vocabulary, EVERYTHING you call You has come from the world, the outside, so those things are yours but not you.

    To help human beings think long term and ecologically, it begins in our education. Unfortunately our education is structured around self-centered behavior, competition, acquisition, aggression, all which lead to number 1; self-centered behavior. Everyone is trying to become something, like a businessman for example, so everyone is forced to compete, and competing works when there is division among people. Then a person uses his or her riches to buy useless shit. Your education is like that, you can see for yourself through experience or with your eyes.

    Why do we seek pleasure at all? What has to happen in order for one to seek out pleasure? There an innumerable amount of pleasures. Pleasure of drinking, pleasure of smoking, pleasure of sex, pleasure of gaming, pleasure of partying, pleasure of memes, pleasure of politics, pleasure of being alone, pleasure of money, pleasure of having power, pleasure of aggression, pleasure of being a so called good person, etc. Humans place extreme important onto pleasure but have never asked themselves why? Is pleasure just a small part of life we have severely exploited? I can keep going but I'm tired.

  20. Human life will be on the verge of extinction by 2030 latest.Hopefully sooner.We are raping the planet earth and must be eradicated before the planet is left uninhabitable and cannot heal itself.

  21. no amount of brain power is any good when a super volcano erupts or a rock falls from space. And anyway we all individually go extinct within a few dozen years max. And I do have empathy for the unborn, that's why I didn't yank anyone into existence 😉

  22. Thus will be the sixth time…history always repeat when the lessons of human nature are not learned. Humans have always been a paradox …….sadly

  23. Thing is, logical thinking requires an active cognitive work to bear any results – and when it does, a critical thinker is still quite unsure whether the results are truly correct and how to implement them into a useful strategy. Ape-motions on the other hand are automatic, strong, sure and mostly simple, and come with ready inborn reaction patterns. No wonder they usually win, especially in difficult situations, in all but the most mentally disciplined people.

  24. All the while my tribe is being assailed & replaced by other tribes less altruistic than mine. My wife decided to leave & take the children when I lost my job. I'd happily swallow Plutonium.

  25. Is it possible that those aliens from the future will find the answer in this video if it somehow survived until that time

  26. You makes me cry so much. It is sad there are no where to go in this world anymore. I wanted to learn human civilization……but many places are locked, and many places are ruined or targeted. The world is hopeless, when people do anything for money, and when powerful people doesn't love peace. Civilian’s tears won't change anything.

  27. I might had been wrong at first to state propaganda in part there is truth it depends on the direction one goes with the information…
    Forgive my ignorance and haste, there were some similarities to other seemingly propaganda videos.
    Just be wise in how the information is received processed and used.

  28. It's all been laid out in the bible millennia ago and nobody understands it or if they do it's one of those inconvenient truths. The book of revelations isn't a punishment it's a prediction of what our greed and self interest will bring about and its happening. We've all sunk into apathy because our cells are too comfortable and convenient

  29. It’s funny that even though we didn’t take this direction, we let sensitive people who are now just finding reasons for no probable cause just getting offended, humanity is ALREADY destroyed it may not be the earth burning but it seems pretty damn close.

  30. The invention of the spork highlighted the beginning of the end. It was the end of inventing things that would benefit society & as a byproduct make a living & started exploiting humans weaknesses & selfish craving of convenience for profit. 🤔

  31. "it didn't want to know itself" – in my eyes this is key. The only way to save humanity is for us to collectively raise our consciousness. If everyone could learn to sit with themselves with no distractions they would soon see the true core of their being. Once you realize we are all one and the same, then love takes over. People will start thinking about the bigger picture when they make decisions, and be less concerned with the short lived hits of dopamine that controls most people's lives. It all comes down to consciousness. Lack of consciousness in the masses is what causes blind consumption of crap, whether it be junk food, brainwashing TV or excessive alcohol. Once you bring awareness into your life you realize that your addiction to consumption of crap serves neither you nor the world, it simply gives you a momentary hit of pleasure, puts money in the pocket of the rich, fucks the planet and fucks you!

  32. It won't be the human brain; unless you consider a dangerous mix of reckless stupidity and an unwillingness to recognize reality.

  33. Really needed this..felt I was the alien having wierd thoughts with wishful thinking gone too far..thank you for making me realise that there is something in the brain which is doing all this..I even went so far thinking that god creates good and bad people and I was the bad person and trying to be good all these years..

  34. If we ever destroy ourselves it won't be because of what is proposed from this video. It'll probably be because we don't have the capability to control our population.

  35. I find it funny how the first thing this video says about how humanity could change is to love itself and its neighbor. Yet most of these comments are repeating on the hate and low faith and confidence. I love humans. Nothing in life is perfect so why should we be? Things fail and succeed in an endless cycle. That doesnt mean we need to make things worse and hate ourselves or our neighbors in a time when the human race needs to come together. Like usual a good future is on the horizon if we choose to act now and look further than the short term. I could go on and on about why lol. ✌🏾 good luck guys.

  36. I never seem to have a problem with thinking about climate change. I understand the dangers. Could you be more specific?

  37. The suicide rate is high, because both genders; boys and girls feel the need to stick over their limits to be a part of the beauty standarts "everyone talks about".

    They feel the need to become stick sillicone barbie dolls to get "likes" on Instagram and Facebook. Instead of humans loving their curves, they get bodyshamed. If you're overweight, underweight, obese, anorexic, normal, curvy, thick… as long as you love your body, eat healthy and keep yourself busy with your hobbies It's gonna be alright.

    Those models and fashionista's feel like buying leather shoes, while many businesses produce so much trash to be let out in the nature…

    Think of us pitying our society now and blaming people for the plastic in the sea, while you never blame yourself on how many plastic bottles, makeup containers etc used and wasted…

    I'm only 13 years old, you may think "What does she knows? She's only 13" It's my opinion and you can hate me for it, but I don't care. I won't change my opinion.

  38. Around 3:00, when various institutions are listed that have tried to rein in humanity's destructive tendencies, two very key institutions were left out altogether: the family, and religion. Leaving out these two institutions leads to a flawed (or at best incomplete) analysis of man's self-destructive tendencies.

  39. This video reeks of jew behind it , its the same thing that's is thrown at us every second from every direction possible. i appreciate how these videos are made but the content is still the same thing i ve been hearing since a child . love doesn't do anything at all if it could you never would have made this video , look at the modern western society the more you people embrace love the more you get volatile homosexuality in the name of love , incest in the name of love and every morally bad thing you do in the name of love. For ANYthing success is achieved by rationality and principles based on that rationality, just like how a car plant makes cars. its not hard to understand but you just got to be ignorant

  40. I understand we all play a part of living clean. But how can that be done when evil government uses radiation weaponry bombs dry up countries. A world paying so much to technology yet ppl stave how is that OK. The government complain plastic yet won't stop using it smoking yet won't stop producing them dirty electricity yet they know we have free energy farming yet they want to use toxic chemicals the list is long to write down so yes we all play a part but as far as I can see in my life its the poor who help clean living rather them in power sure they spit it from their mouths but the evil and greed is too much. People are forced to live certain ways because of greedy man. Tell our worldwide government get their act together or step aside allow the poor to do it they have bigger hearts to love our planet. Remember a government telling us to do better produces these toxic items we use on earth get that they allow them then point the finger.

  41. it s patetic😂 saying that about animals(reptilian brain), like until now should to be dead because no data long term vision issues 😅 and human aswell it s preciously designed for his place in the trophic chain, aliens why always need to fuck'd up something by selling hacks to kids and make them dumb 😂after to believe they are useless without them? if you leave humankind to live in their world everything will run smoothly, but not by tempting them with alien shits where it s never enough and the fuckin' bugs stay where should to stay😂 this is a human dream so don t need to know the truth, it s already within them everywhere but fuckin aliens want to make human being like them to fuck the real humans who live to be humans not dirty minds who are blinded by light and dark. As Humans we always love each other this is what fuckin alien can't understand, we fight only what it's in our way, to stay humans with roots in our natural earth, aliens and bugs are only idiots around now😂

  42. The best lie is 90% true or how to get enough wrong in just over 5 minutes to make it plausible? The truth, while not found here, is stranger than fiction and alas, still true. GetWisdom.com

  43. Think about it, every item in every store will eventually end up in a landfill. All we do is take from the earth and throw it away. Imagine an entire wall mart supercenter in the trash, every last item including the building itself.

  44. How incredibly ironic that the ad that played before this video was about learning how to "brutally dominate any street fight". Really says it all, doesn't it?

  45. When the earth is destroyed once again, I don't want us to come back. But if we do, I hope we'll have sense.

  46. Don't worry I hear alexandria ocasio-cortez and the government is gonna save the earth lol. But ill put my faith in Jesus Christ and know he'll come before mankind completely destroys earth.

  47. The problem with us is we think in logic but our emotions have control over us and it's a constant battle to balance both

  48. Sheep or a Wolf
    Slave or Master
    Dead or Alive.

    The difference between a Dog and a Hunan, a dog will not bite you once you make it prosperous.

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