An interesting discussion to have is where the majority of funding comes from in the US for computer science and advanced artificial intelligence programs at the leading institutions, e.g. Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, etc. These are publicly knowable. Sadly, the majority is from the defense department for weapons, surveillance and military research. If i’ve said anything in my time here on the planet it is that living in the US you think that enemies and terrorists are dropping from the skies every 10 seconds.

But what does that do to the human brain? Well, we know. There is research, namely Robert Sapolsky’s work on the pre-frontal cortex. We need this to modulate our emotion and give us empathy. Every day living in the US is high stress, which means glucocorticoids running through your bloodstream.  We as Americans have built a lose/lose scenario allowing this to happen over a nearly 80 year build up, post WW2.

When one steps back from this and thinks about it in pragmatic terms of how to really create a beautiful, lasting society and community, for things like peacefulness, clean drinking water, advanced schools and bullet trains/infrastructure, (really the things that matter to humans), the US grossly fails in all of its marks, instead routs its economic might to by building this massive feedback loop of funding, for never-ending weapons, war, surveillance, etc.

All this young brain power co-opted to build what destroys the world.  How do we unsubscribe?

—August Ritchie