The Most Dangerous Formula


Most people would agree that the most powerful and dangerous formula of the last century was:

E = mc²

It is at the heart of the deadliest weapons ever created, weapons with power way beyond anything human beings have evolved to handle. At least over time we have evolved some temporary band-aid solutions such as MAD and NPT.

So far it looks like the most powerful and dangerous formula (or rather program) of this century will be:

1) Make outrageous statements targeted at the lowest common denominator =>
2) media attention + global viral spread via social and broadcast media =>
3) fame + money + power =>
4) repeat

We haven’t evolved to handle this level of viral spread either. What solutions might we evolve to handle this one?

Some possibilities:
– social media services can start indicating the quality and trustworthiness of every post (e.g. through color coding or star rating or something)
– they can at least periodically post PSA’s that warn people and tell them to look for signs that a post is pandering to the lowest common denominator or untrustworthy
– independent services (e.g. Snopes) or people with large followings could do this job
– people could educate themselves and change their behavior e.g. follow the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” philosophy
– any others?