Questions that I'm Pondering...

I recently came across Julia Galef and immediately fell in love with her idea of open questions and her series on unpopular ideas that are worth a ponder. Here are a handful of things I'm (semi-actively) pondering. They will not all be popular.

  • Technology enables individuals and non-nation organizations to have more and more power to harm, how will we respond to the threat? What would be most effective? How should we?
  • What should education look like today? How should resources be divided across populations of differing ability? What, as a society, should we be focused on?
  • How can we challenge and change the culture of multi-generational poverty? How can we discuss non-race based socio-economic privilege without triggering all the triggers?
  • How can we research, discuss and address population level differences without enabling discrimination and xxxx-ism? And on the other side, without triggering all the triggers.
  • How is the lack of natural selection impacting humans as a population? What happens when people who would not have made it (primarily for physical or occasionally social reasons) 100 years ago are now reproducing?
  • If we separate the discussions of societal and personal responsibility for addressing privilege, what does personal responsibility look like?
  • I am highly doubtful that, as a human population, we will make thoughtful and deliberate decisions about current and upcoming species-level risks about artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, space travel, space broadcasting, etc. Mostly, this is due to question #1 -- with the right technology, it just takes one person to make a species level decision. Given my pessimism, how should I think about it? How can we best prepare? How can the best voices of humanity intelligently steer the path if we lack control of it?
  • How much control do we have over our life, really? Given the different paths, how does it change the way we relate to each other? To criminals? To geniuses?
  • How is phone/social media/addictive gaming impacting us at a population level? What are the strengths? Weaknesses? Is there a way to address the challenges effectively? Given that technology companies goals (as much attention as possible) are not aligned with optimal human experience, how can we mitigate their influence?
  • What is motivation? Why is it fickle for some and raised to a 'pro' level for others? Can it be taught?

My Fundamental Question:
What makes us the same... And what makes us different?