We’ve hit an information scaling threshold
The internet has massively increased the complexity of our information environment, but hasn’t yet produced the tools to make sense of it. Old forms of social sensemaking—institutions, universities, democracy, tradition—all seem to be DDOS’d by the new information environment. They can’t keep up!
The cost of forking realities has dropped below the Coasean floor, and there’s little incentive to merge realities. We fractally fragment understandings, then algorithmically amplify the confusion to maximize engagement. The most effective coordination mechanisms left seem to be memes and conspiracy theories.
And a summary of the next three sections:
What do we do now? I see three trends that seem like part of the winding path forward.
- Thinking with a second brain
- Thinking together at Dunbar-scale
- Thinking with the network
Each operates at a different order of magnitude in scale. To go beyond the information scaling threshold, we’re going to have to leverage all three.