Here flows an essay, mostly unedited. It starts with an expectation. The world gets better over time. This is in direct conflict with entropy, where things decay and diffuse. Instead, life finds a way to create information and interest out of nothing.

Whether framed by science, theology or technology, such a world view implies that information increases. Knowledge increases. Productivity increases. Humans get smarter, partly because they have more time to think and reason and imagine.

This essay argues that political gridlock in the US has temporarily blocked this inevitable expansion of knowledge. Without discussion, active listening and conversation, two sides disdainful of one another hold back the many for the benefit of a few.

Hopefully, you agree with this observation. After all, we have evidence that human civilization has become more sophisticated over time. This essay was composed on a computer and could be viewed on a mobile phone or one of many other devices.

But why is this the case? What drives our collective humanity? Christians may say that it is the desire of God for everyone to have an opportunity to come to know the Creator. Yet, followers of the technological singularity see arbitrarily accelerating machine intelligence that will inevitably replace the human.

Or take the greater post modern view that we are all alone though side by side with others. One gets to the same end. On a planet of 8 billion people, we can’t all be yelling and screaming at each other, fighting over scraps, imposing our world view on each other. We must get along or risk reversal of knowledge growth.

Interactions today are faster than in previous decades and epochs. Social media went beyond email to speed up communication and expand our reach to people well beyond our physical neighborhood. In our search for knowledge and independence we know more people less well.

We are more likely to fight back against world views that don’t fit our own. Then again, we might just as easily discard one for another. Humans come with a historical artifact of a brain with two speeds - one for avoiding peril, and one for creating the future. Peril trumps potential.

Charlie Munger argued that the greatest inventions help people to do the right thing. In his view, the pinnacle of human achievement to date has been the cash register. It allowed for retail sales by restricting the natural desire of the teller to dip into the till.

As a collective, modern humanity could stand to innovate on governance models that impose a similar restriction on impulsive, reactive public speech and action. In fact, let’s start with governance itself. Let’s slow the roll of political factions and enforce dialog.  How might this emerge?

In theory, the US has a balance of judicial, executive and legislative government branches. They work to slow each other down and force discussion. In recent decades though, ideologically divided Republicans and Democrats in the legislature have fallen into gridlock.

Critical decisions cannot be made. Yet, the politicians desire reelection. So they find expedient ways to force a pure blast of their constituent’s will upon the full electorate. Whether by executive order, judicial decision or legislative rider, a semblance of the deed gets done.

Recently, US President Joe Biden signed a $95 billion national security (i.e. military aid) package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Riding along was a provision to force the sale of Tik Tok, a social media app owned and operated by a Beijing China based company (ByteDance).

What’s wrong with Tik Tok? China is surely manipulating US social division and polluting our youth through the algorithms in this addictive mobile phone app. They are destroying our country! They know that we can be lured into obsessive, hours long short form content binges featuring kittens and comedians.

Seriously though, researchers are starting to discover that Tik Tok guides its users into undesired behavior without their knowledge. The algorithm serves up whatever it knows will create more engagement, despite what might be in that person’s best interest.

But yet, that’s not the point of the forced sale is it? There exist plenty of US owned social media companies, with equally pernicious application behavior that create deleterious outcomes. No shut down demanded there. The issue is really that the wrong people (the CCP) have access to the information collected by the app.

Let’s bring this back to the core thesis now. For the sake of our collective humanity, it is in the interests of the greater population to encourage legislation that benefits them rather than political party leaders and their deep-pocketed lobbyists, corporate or otherwise.

What does collective humanity demand in this moment? Move the social media algorithms that serve content to individuals into the public domain. Require that both companies and independent researchers post their algorithms on an internet accessible forum for download, readable as web standard.

Enable a thousand providers of media and content curation who may compete for the eyeballs of people around the world in a consistent way. Let people seek out the best and safest tools. Let them have access to the data collected by these apps.

When people argue for anti-monopolistic action, they want it to be punitive. They want to impose their will on someone who was successful in creating a business. They want to transfer wealth from the owners of that business to themselves.

This approach of collective humanity argues differently. It says, create the rules of engagement for business activity moving forward. Ok, Meta, Tik Tok, or whatever Twitter is called these days, you won. You reached the Unreal level in Fortnite. Now we reset and start over.

This is how battles are fought in auto racing, football and other sports. Each season we get a champion. Each season, game authorities review the competition and start over with new rules.  Some do this better than others. The NFL keeps us interested. Formula 1 isn’t doing as well.

If businesses will not operate in the best interests of collective humanity then some other entity should intercede and set new rules. Is that government as it operates today? Not convinced it can operate effectively to achieve this outcome. If not the government than who or what can make this happen?