Communication Considered Harmful

Joel Gustafson / Thoughts

In ye olden days, there were natural constraints that stopped people from meeting and ideas from spreading, like the sheer time for travel and post, respectively. As different cultures split and merged and evolved, this served as a sort of neuron dropout, and prevented humanity from overfitting: math and science and music and art were invented and independently reinvented all over the world, and only the most powerful ideas rose and jumped the spark gap once they had enough energy. But now there aren't these constraints and everyone is talking to everyone and nobody is working in true isolation. This may seem good in the short term but it's dangerous to put all of our intellectual eggs in one basket.

Similarly, introducing people is a dangerous action that must be done seriously and solemnly. In E&M, energy is stored in potential, and potential is separation of charges. Introductions are like burning trees or opening dams: it's fun to watch that energy release, but it's irresponsible and reduces the entropy of the system: people you introduce are more prone to groupthink and less likely to be as original afterwards. Entropy in ideaspace is the potential in separating people who have different ideas about the same thing, and we should burn it responsibly. There's only so much originality to go around and our children will thank us, so let's be good stewards.