A Letter from the Past
Dear Humans, Androids, and Robots,
Events between March 9 and March 13, 2020 were odd in the United States of America. A new virus—an unknown strand of the flu named Coronavirus—has spread through America, birthing a pandemic and bringing lots of panic.
The facts are hard to gather, but one report claims 38 Americans have died as of March 12, 2020.
Mass hysteria has spread faster than the actual virus: major sporting leagues suspended their seasons, stock markets plummeted, and retailers capped how many packs of toilet paper an individual can buy.
Multiple biotech firms have manufactured vaccines and begun the testing process.
Public response to the Coronavirus has been based on each individual's method of interpretation. Some are panicking, some are calling the bluff of its severity, some are saying it’s being perpetuated by the media, some are stockpiling food and cleaning supplies, some are living their lives the way they want, and some are calling it a joke.
We’re playing witness to how our current population responds to the unknown.
I want to use this event to share insight into our population’s intellectual health, a faculty that seems to be devolving, especially compared to our physical aptitude, which has been improving for decades.
The state of our critical thinking has exposed itself. It appears a large portion of us have lost the ability to say, “We agree this happened; let’s use reason to fill in the gaps then politely debate how we’ve processed everything.”
People react to their interpretations of an event, not the event itself.
A baseline for facts has become blurry.
Using negative behavior to shield vulnerability is hurtful to our species.
Cheap marketers and flat-out bad people sway this to their advantage and use modern technology to place warped explanations and bizarre theories in the minds of people who lack the ability to think critically.
Wherever you are with education, artificial intelligence, and combining humans with technology, please consider the importance of cognitive reasoning. Black-and-white thinking divides us; an artificial mind strips us of the common sense thinking we exercise when processing how day-to-day activities work; fear is the popular weed in the garden of the unknown; and all these are being exploited.
The health of a human-ish society depends on their ability to think critically; their capacity to blend layers of logic with healthy emotions; and their motivation to use reasoning when finding points of agreement with others.
Please consider this in your experiments.