TED Conversations

Spencer Ferri

Just a thinker, and a talker!

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is society too complicated?

I've only recently been learning about how our economy works in detail. Before this education I went about my life making relatively unwise financial choices without any real understanding as to -how- those choices were unwise. Some of these included racking up debt recklessly without a strategy for paying it off, but a lot of it was just wasteful practices.

Even though I've learned the basics of Canadian and American economics, there's a LOT I don't know. And I suspect that to have a specialists understanding in western economics, in the way major businesses change economy over time and the overall relationship that these thingies have with government would require so much time as to make being a specialist in any other field unfeasible.

Yet... To make wise decisions in relation to an important system, we need to have a relatively good understanding of how a system works. So when 200 million people have an incomplete understanding of how their societies structures work, and they all make little unwise decisions in relationship with a part of the structure, how would those unwise decisions affect the quality of that system? It seems illogical to assume they'll fix themselves.

And let's not forget that there are MANY levels to our society. Many different councils are given authority over moral issues, many different groups of scientists study the nature of things, many different levels of government interact with a complicated judicial system which interacts with businesses, each one having its own unique and complicated structure.

So, how can we expect society to be sustainable if it's so complicated? As unwise choices build up over time, weight is put on the shoulders of some to cover up the slack for others. And there's a wealth of knowledge out there on how -humans- work, and yet we're so distracted by the complicated system that we don't each learn about our own natures (which would arguably allow us to make wiser decisions!)

Is society too complicated?

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 28 2012: Society is not an agent or entity capable of action, and is therefore incapable of being deemed too much anything. Society, indeed is quite difficult to grasp and impossible to fully understand. Society is constantly evolving and changing due to a variety of factors. I suppose a question we would need to ask ourselves before we can truly contemplate whether society is too complicated is what is society? Also because society is not an agent, how could one possibly go about making it less complicated? Do we really have control over society?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.