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Our destructive power has already far exceeded our maturity level

On May 4, 2020, a five-year-old boy living in Orem, Utah (United States) decided to do what every child of that age does when the mother refuses to buy him a real Lamborghini: he got into the family truck and started driving down the highway to head to California to buy that expensive vehicle in person.

Two miles later, on the highway, a police officer stopped him without incident. The boy, who had never driven a car before in his life, not only started the truck, but he also read the road signs to drive in the right direction and knew what to do and how to stop when he saw the lights of the police car behind him. 

After the incident, the boy's family was criticized on social media for allowing someone "without enough maturity" to be left unsupervised so he was able to drive of a family van on an interstate highway. And although nothing happened, the argument is that a tragedy could have happened due to the child's immaturity.

But the truth is that the chronological age and the level of maturity don’t go together. On the road, I've seen teens and adults drive worse than the Utah boy reportedly drove. And I have seen "adults" (please note the quotation marks) in high positions in their organizations or companies acting far worse than an immature child.

In our time, immaturity affects an increasing number of individuals, becoming dangerous for all every time one of those individuals start his/her own journey on the highway of life with the sole purpose of satisfying his/her desires, without consideration for their families or for others, nor for the consequences.

Even worse, humanity as a whole is acting from time immemorial with a high level of immaturity, as evidenced by centuries and millennia of wars, hunger, poverty, discrimination, and endless conflicts across the planet. We are so immature that even a virus can easily stop and derail our lives. 

Recently, futurist Nikola Danaylov, founder of the Singularity blog and author of the book Conversations with the Future, warned that the barrier that previously allowed the destructive power of humanity to be controlled by humanity has already been crossed.

According to Danaylov, our capacity for destruction already far exceeds our collective wisdom, especially in the West. Specifically, he said, the technological power that humanity now has in its hands (such as artificial intelligence and nuclear energy) outweighs the wisdom to use it.

From that perspective, we are all young children driving a truck for the first time on a busy highway, putting our lives and the lives of others at risk. But, contrary to what happened with the Utah boy, no one will come to stop us or help us before we cause a tragedy. Not even aliens. 

Danaylov based his warning after having discussed the subject with dozens of scientists, philosophers, and experts. Its conclusion is undeniable: the exponential growth of intelligent technologies is accompanied by the exponential growth of human immaturity.

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