Life following the agricultural revolution has been a period of exponential growth in technological change affecting every aspect of human existence. Youth compared to the elderly are much more inclined to be comfortable with such change, even embrace it. Rash actions excite younger folks. Considering this through the lens of chapter 16, “Not knowing the constant, rash actions lead to ominous results” explains much of the increasing difficulties humanity began facing after the agricultural revolution (~10,000 B.C.).
The subsequent food surpluses freed us from our daily hunter gathering chores. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; humanity was free to specialize and fully ramp up ‘progress’, to the point where we now realize we’re often shooting ourselves in the foot.
The mean age of the human population has been in the teens (more or less) all along. As most people age, they become less comfortable with change, let alone “rash actions”. With the advent of modern medicine, the mean age of the human population is increasing. Within a predictable future, that mean age should easily exceed 100 years old, overall. Having civilization comprised of populations with a mean age that old should temper our traditional modus operandi of “willfully innovating while ignorant of the constant“.
Another way to see this is that we want the benefits (of civilization) but object to the costs (of civilization). We want to have it both ways, as all children do. This indicates that human E.Q. (emotional ‘intelligence’) is far less developed than human I.Q. Evolution is always a work in progress. (See Counterbalancing I.Q.)
We are super clever apes without the necessary ‘wisdom’. We have a superior intellect without the emotional where-with-all to balance that. E.Q. can’t be educated into us; it only comes gradually to us as we stumble through the lessons of life. As the mean age of humanity increases, the mean E.Q. of humanity (wisdom) increases. Eventually we’ll reach a degree of overall balance that will feel sufficient. My guess would be we’ll reach that within a few hundred years.