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Humanity has its limits

Anything related to matters of the mind


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Jul 28, 2013
When we look at the world, whether we are a kid, fresh out of college, or weary from decades of work going nowhere, there is this certain naivety we all carry. I'm talking about the expectation that "humanity can do anything". That no matter what we ask of others, of ourselves, of society, that it can be done.

This is a dangerous idea to believe in without scepticism.
The reason being that JFK and the moon landing etc, it was about risk takers, not about naive optimism. It was sold as optimism, and designed to generate naive hope in the populous because that breeds SUPPORT to the leader and the ideas they want to make happen. However the ACTION, was a risk, and it is perhaps a testament to our risk taking abilities as human beings that it happened.

Those who sat with naive hope, and optimism, started to INDULGE in the "we can do anything" mindset. And this is a problem.
You might say, "isn't that a good thing though?"
But what happens when you indulge in the idea that humanity can do anything you get less pragmatic, you start to expect big results, you start to think that anything less than everything is humanity and society short changing you and your dreams.
That is dangerous, because, in order to take risks, and to accomplish goals you need to be PRAGMATIC AND UNDERSTAND THE LIMITS OF OTHERS. It is all well and good for a politician to say "do it! do it for the greater good!" and turn to the audience, wave his hands and lift the mood... but... He's not the one rolling up his sleeves and digging into the problem to solve it.

True problems can only be faced with a realistic outlook.
And every scientist on that project was GRINDING, and trying to get away from vague ideas of "we can do anything" and were detailing what they COULD NOT DO. You can't breathe in the vacuum of space, you can't handle the radiation, you can't escape the gravity of the earth if rockets are too small and payloads too large. You can't reenter from any angle you like or without heat sheilding.

If they had tried to fly into space with a naive attitude of we can do anything, EVERY SINGLE LAUNCH WOULD HAVE FAILED.

I say this to help make it clearer to you that this naive idea of you can do anything if you try is a dangerous way to resolve your doubts. If you have doubts, face them with knowledge of the limits of others, limits of society, and limits of yourself. The only problem is when you start considering every limit that exists it can in effect make you a bit crazy... loopy from the insane pressure, "Omg, humanity can't do anything! The sky is falling, ahhh, omg!".

So essentially there is a duality here, on one side is false optimism, and the other paranoia stemming from an overwhelming amount of harsh truth.
JFK, chose to go to the moon, to distract the people from the CRAZILY OVERWHELMING TRUTH, of tensions around the world. Geopolitical complexities that were crushing down on people, in order to wiggle it into a different place.

In order to overcome this duality, you must face one truth, and face it well.
Humanity has its limits.

Now what does that mean?
It means that human beings could conceivably build a lot of things with their time, but they DON'T. A lot of the work force has creative indifference, a focus on territoriality, and a need for a lot of downtime. That means that while humanity "could" build everything for a lot of people, it WON'T.

Why won't it build things for everyone?
Well... so long as you naively trot around thinking "humanity can do anything", you aren't paying attention to just how much work that would literally require and how people in their current attitudes and lifestyles could never PRODUCE those results.
A lot of the "dreams" we have for society take a truly crazy amount of work. It takes more than a bunch of people screaming "yeah lets do it", it takes people working from their hearts, every single day. And it'd not happen followiing the script or the system that currently exists.

And if that is true, why would you keep your naive view that "humanity can do anything", because you know your peers... we are all beset by insecurities, fear, and paralysis in the face of these things. And this is our honest limit, not our ability to go to the moon.

Yes we can go to the moon, perhaps in the next decades to mars. But this is a result of a risktaker like Elon musk, who lost his entire fortune, investing in spaceX. He was saved by NASA who at the last moment helped him pay for the last rocket test that proved viability of his business and saved it. He risked literally every last bit of his fortune, and in his own words "chewed on glass" to make that happen.

Risk takers, can do great things, huge things. But they are not done by naively indulging in the idea that humanity can do it if it just hopes hard enough.

And even when risk takers do great things, it does not mean that all of society will start to produce, or be inspired, or the systems will self correct, and somehow we all magically provide for each other. And this goes far past people "leeching" on the system. It goes through everything and everybody, unwilling to face the truth.

Humanity, truly has a limit.
And by understanding that, you can start to unravel what is BS and what is real.
For example, music videos with flash cars, is BS. Why? Because you really think some magic fairy comes along and sculpts those aesthetic lines, and builds that highly expensive car, then throws it at all the cool kids? And if you are just a cool kid, you will naturally have it?

There is no magic car fairy. Every person who spends time building that car, bears a cost upon themselves. The effort involved to design something that VALIDATES AN EXPECTATION, yet still comes in at budget, is a troublesome balancing act. It is as troublesome as a husband being a perfect guy for a good long time. It bears a cost. And those costs increase the more something is INAUTHENTIC of supllicating to the WORST sides of humanity.
It is CHEAPER, to smile to a smiling person, than one who frowns. It is cheaper to give a reward to someone who earns it (and is without ego or entitlement) than to give it to someone who screams and shouts.

I want you to understand,
There is depth to business that goes BEYOND simple production and exchange of goods.
There is a human component of EFFORT. Those efforts can be squandred, they can be thrown into a pool of muck, they can be torn to shreds by privalidge, or entitlement, they can be disrespected, mocked, and discouraged. And in fact, THEY WILL BE.

And if you know this is true, why would you then walk around thinking, "I deserve that car" etc. Or "houses should be provided". You do it cuz it is easy to look at it like that. You think "the worlds got plenty of food, money enough for all, etc". But what if I told you it was an ILLUSION.

One family might have a trillion dollars, but, it is fools gold in a sense because if spent, it'll vanish. Mankind won't lift up all of mankind just because it GOT PERMISSION to do it by the richest families in the world.
Rich families have limits too, they can TAKE RISKS, yes, like Elon Musk did, but it will not shift all of humanity. To think such things is ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICAL, and ill-concieved.

These non-solutions are not EARNEST looks at the truth.

If we all switch off, if we all follow the script, if we all then indulge in the idea anybody can do it, and we all act like toddlers expecting fairy godmother results for OUR OWN efforts, then we are living in a fantasy world, while letting the real world suffer attrition.

In a relationship, you can passively sit around thinking you are great, the perfect partner.
OR you can say "wait, I'm lying to myself..." and start learning how to evolve your views and become aware of larger and larger issues and work on having a caring approach to them.

In life you must also do the same. DO NOT cry out in vain that YOUR EFFORTS are unheard, because that submits to the BS mentality that someone's gonna save you and everyone else.
No, no one is coming. Not only that, those revolutions around the corner, they aren't going to change the real persistent problems. Btw, I'm not saying those things shouldn't occur, cuz passiveness is really stupid, and obedience even worse.

Start looking at the limits humanity has, and get rid of the naive idea that we can do anything.
WE CAN'T "just do it"

We need to grow,
We need rest,
We need respect,
We need all kinds of things...

And we often still won't grow, or rest, or take that respect... because we don't live in the moment, we live worrying about tommorrow or yesterday, burying every act of productivity underneath our ability to take it for granted.

Don't take it for granted
Look it right in the eyes

Cuz in a world of limits, if you are running around feeding your worst impulses and running off of illusions, then boy (giiirl) you are way the f*ck off track.
You need to develop more than a reaction to life circumsttances and get that for every limit, there must also exist a mindset that TAKES IT INTO ACCOUNT.

And if you are ignoring limits, you are ignoring solutions.
All of humanity, blindly glides OVER the top of the opportunity to be accountable.
To look deeper.

In business, this has a very specific application.
Look at JFK saying "we choose to go to the moon, not cuz its easy, but cuz its hard"


Gather up the chaos, the hurt, the strain, and bring it into your center
Become resilient
Focus all that variability
And sharpen your senses, your eyesight, to truths behind the easy assumptions

Become the hawk that see the BS from a thousand yards
Humanity does have its limits and if you are unwilling to see it, you are going to be bitter or aggressive when someone tells you politely that they won't spend effort on you

But humanity's effort, is a scarce resource
You must not be arrogant towards its capacities
We can do a lot of things... sure...

Do not ask humanity to write you blank cheques
For your naive entitlements to cash
Be sceptical of yourself first and look for the view that underlies your expectation, and if it doesn't match the limits humanity has, rethink it
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