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May 24, 2023Liked by Michael David Cobb Bowen

"The provocation is simple. We only need to be revolted. We only need to find something repugnant and worthy of being slayed. Our instinct is to survive."

In part, perhaps. However, when faced with the stark choices in survival events, we humans tend to pull together, regardless of the usual superficial differences that drive much of the rage today. I'm thinking of 9/11 and the volumes of spontaneous behavior to help each other - often heroically. Or the Boston marathon bombing - seconds after the explosion, CCTV shows people running **toward** the blast to help.

But much of the fear with respect to AI is not survival in nature. Certainly not physical survival. That's too abstract for the average consumer feeding at the social media trough. I believe it has more to do with core identity issues (to distinguish if from the manufactured and curated identity so prevalent today.) Fear seated in lost status, promised and yet unrealized rewards, or fractured self-esteem.

I forget where I read this, but it was a study of history and the origins of various revolts. It wasn't the peasant class, those with their focus on day-to-day survival, that start revolts. It's the not-quite-upper class that usually kicks things off. As their ranks increase, the opportunity for a seat at the limited-seating upper class table shrink. This they do not like, so they rally the peasantry to assist with the overthrow.

I'm generalizing a much more lengthily presentation, of course. And I wonder if we may see this play out in real-time as the ranks of university credentialed people - promised a seat at the upper class table once they have paper in hand - continue to grow and yet find themselves fighting for that coveted afternoon shift at Starbucks.

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