I had a big long discussion today on the evolution of MMOs into virtual communities and the potential there for self-governing virtual communities. It was interesting. I’m not going to rehash it here.
I also had some interesting thoughts about the point of birth/childhood, old age, and death, and how those things affect communities, but maybe I’ll talk about that later.
Underneath both lines of thinking are some thoughts about human nature. I don’t mean ‘people are good’ or ‘people are bad’, but human nature as a system. Human nature on a species level, and how it manifests across time, and what those historical manifestations say when used to predict future human behaviors.
I believe the past can be used to predict the future. I believe the past can be used to understand the future, but that you have to look at it on a broad enough scale. Not just the decisions made and the paths chosen, but the reasons behind the decisions made and the paths chosen.
One of the things I’ve picked up from history is Change Happens. New things become true that were once not true, and more importantly, those things become the status quo. Humanity accepts, humanity adapts. Humanity integrates.
That’s really a simple one, visible in almost every aspect of human history.
There are more complicated ones, ones that parallel laws of physics, like following the path of least resistance.
Some things that look simple are complicated, and I’m still thinking about them., and about whether they’re design features, or glitches to be worked around. For example, why are some people so blind to their own nature?
A question often raised by some religious folks to some non-religious folks is the following: Without God, how do you have any sense of ethics?
This kind of question usually makes my brain stop for a bit when it’s asked because it seems so fundamentally inhuman to me. Humans are ethical creatures. Society may dictate the manifestation of those ethics– what is merciful and compassionate in one culture may be called something very different in another culture– but /humans have ethics/. They don’t come from religion. They come from being human.