Did you know that raw force in this universe is philosophically balanced by intelligence? That the spark of life, our minds, bring order and understanding to the otherwise mute motions of mass, space and time? A boulder going downhill has enough force to crush a human, whose intelligence is manifest from inside a rather delicate structure. Force is all around us, going by in cars weighing a ton, in lightning sheeting down in heavy storms, in the sometimes-brutal sun, in one-hundred-foot waves at sea.

Yet humans have harnessed energy to light up and heat or cool homes, built heavy-bodied planes that fly in the air, and tamed animals and most of earth’s elemental forces with dams and roads and horticulture. Intelligence balances, or makes little of, or even nothing of, heavy force. Intelligence even adds aesthetics, it appreciates and admires. Force still shows up, it cannot be eradicated. Force could be said to be at the level of no intelligence, inanimate. If force and intelligence were on either end of a scale, there would be a nearly infinite number of demarcations from ultimate force to lesser and lesser force and all the way over to intelligence and more intelligence up to ultimate intelligence.

What does this have to do with AI and schooling?

Well, the mass exodus of students away from traditional public schools continues unabated. Homeschooling is growing at over 60 percent year-over-year. Private schools, both physical campuses and online, continue to gain. Charters and fully online public schools are the only gainers in public education. There is a certain forceful flow of new laws allowing choice and vouchers. It’s a trend, a sort of force. Where’s the intelligence to balance it? What has been applied that was effective to reverse the trend?

Not much. A few “Classrooms of the Future” ideas. Schooling of the future, a more encompassing vision aligning with more universal trends? Only one, the Hybrid Logistics Project.

Were you to map the exodus from traditional public schools it would look disorderly, a sort of ad hoc buffet of options and dispersal into smaller units and an even greater number of units-of-one being homeschooled and “unschooled” further and further out geographically. There is a clue in this as to what is happening.

You would be a fool to think it is a temporary trend, that traditional schools can regain their ground. That the pandemic was a blip to be overcome. There will be a few exceptions, but largely it won’t happen. The manufacturing-by-whole-group model is doomed. It is ancient. It does not fit the present age. Schooling is one of the last bastions of whole-group form of delivery. Even most of manufacturing is small batch now.

A new force has arrived to carve out a new future, no different than the water that carved the Grand Canyon. Such a soft thing, water, yet its force over time was a great one.

The forceful future is already here, moving slowly but inexorably smashing all institutions and organizations, flattening them down to their smallest part – the individual as an autonomous decision-and-action point through technology. Specifically, the internet.

Humans freed with information technology is a new type of freedom humanity is only now coming to grips with, to wield with terrible might, to turn in minutes to lay waste to hitherto inviolate leaders, whole industries, and governments. This strikes terror into all institutions who find their number one attempted product is information control, the control of minds. Second is their actual product or service. Unfortunately, easy and lasting control of minds can only be done by increasing intelligence and discernment across all of humanity on a level commensurate with the awesome relay speed and ubiquity of technology. That’s a very high bar. No longer can controlling minds be done by smaller units of force because the greater force of the whole of the internet and technology is here. It absolutely must be done by increasing intelligence. This is a hard thing to come to grips with, plan for, and implement.

Institutions have always used overwhelming force, laws and loudspeakers, and if having to gather good will, appeal most usually to baser intelligence with monotonous repetition to overwhelm the sensibilities – still a sort of force through marketing.

It’s not working anymore, as any marketer will tell you. Marketing is a game of diminishing returns unless it is a big new idea filled with reasonability, explanations, and proof, all of which are tailored into infinite subcultures. If marketing is just forcing something ubiquitously, like a culture trend or a tradition, a rising counter wave ensues merely for the fact that it is being forced. No one wants it because it is everywhere. Herein lies another clue – individuals wanting to be individuals today. People insist on unique identity rather than commonality because of something repeated ad nauseum on every screen and every billboard – or just because something has “always been done this way,” like traditional whole-group schooling.

Why are they insisting on not doing it if it is common or usual? Why are the threads of civilization, defined by common viewpoint so frayed?

Technology empowers individuality. The “mass” in mass marketing is no more.

As multitudes of autonomous decision-and-action points have burst forth enabled by technology, all people everywhere with any sort of computing device connected to the internet, decisions by a limited few for the many are obsoleted.

Individual decision-and-action points asserting themselves and not “staying in line,” kills all bureaucracies and enormously overcomplicated institutional structures. The intelligence-versus-force dynamic is upended because all the force now lays with the multitudes whereas it used to lay with the head of institutions. These multitudes are presently the same ones who have for centuries been intentionally neglected in the formation of intelligence because schooling favored itself in the direction of compliancy outcomes to work in industry, not creative intelligence. They are presently disillusioned, restless, and annoyed.

Unlimited numbers of autonomous decision-and-action points find hidden truths and expose them. The collective passes judgement. The judgement is final.

The Internet Kills Institutions

The multitudes kill traditional bureaucracies using an unseen power of enormous consequence – the power of the internet. The internet is built for single-node to single-node. Individual to individual. It “unstructures” structure and flows around bottlenecks. It doesn’t care about tradition and rules and policies or even laws. It is transactional, lighting fast, and replete with options.

All of humanity as individual decision points through what appear to be just inoffensive personal computers or hand-held devices connected to the internet is upending everything. It is the same upending as the move by societies away from agrarianism to industrialism over two hundred years ago. The upheaval and shift in power resulted in not one but two world wars.

The current reign of the internet is momentous and accelerating. It is unstoppable.

The outcome of the internet existing is that everything can and will become human-sized, highly crafted to the individual, and local. Very local. Walkable if possible, or no travel at all, please.

Only a few entities will remain national or global and those will not look the same as the last two centuries because they will be largely digital with a widely distributed and much smaller workforce.

If you think all the trouble with governments and, additionally, the myriad problems in traditional schools, is political, you are not understanding what is really happening. You must see past that to understand that any organization which has pyramidical centralized power is having a terrible time remaining relevant. All are having to resort to rather draconian means including censorship and trying to control the narrative to distract from cascading failure they cannot divert.

What’s happening is that humanity and human organizational structures are being disassembled and spread out geographically through the capacities of technology. AI will accelerate this.

How? Well, technology says, “I will take your complications and simplify them.” That is practically the definition of technology. AI just takes it from a machine force to the other side, historically the human side. If work gives us purpose, a role to play in the game of life to use our intelligence or maybe a little brute force in hard labor, well AI is the unmaker of many of those games.

There must be a new game, or a balance. Our leaders are ignorant of this great imperative, embroiled as they are in the drama of trying to stay relevant against old criteria.

The Balancing of AI with Intelligence

Short of instantaneous IQ increases over 130 points for all, we must first understand a bit more about humans. Here are several to know:

  • Understanding human tendencies explains why we will always let technology take our complications and simplify them – even though we don’t have to. The “don’t’ have to” individuals are even now busily creating a reverse trend of artful self-reliance, craft, and technology disconnection.
  • Humanity tends toward complexity of its own interrelations with never-ending power struggles. It’s like we are in little contests of overwhelming others continuously in some stand-out way to garner more admiration, rank, or resources.
  • Humanity also tends to always clump itself into hierarchical schemes of power starting with its natural inclination in families whether patriarchal or matriarchal or any-nearest-adult being the preferred leader over the children. It is what humans do for species survival. Those family units in turn are genetically and geographically and culturally extended into loose communities which always appoint a sort of figurehead.
  • Humanity also likes to give others work to do as part of its trying-to-overwhelm and its other inclination to the building of communities with a leader. This is not laziness but an assignment of identity which locks the other entities into remaining as that work identity while those outside of it float around freely doing what they will. Humanity establishes working institutions, communities of a specific interest, to take on tasks to serve the greater number. Humanity is then smug about this assignment of purpose and work as part of the contests of overwhelming and comparing relative personal importances.
  • Institutions, like individuals, then complicate these tasks until they become onerous and inflexible and unfair and costly, often perverted away from their original intent to do the exact opposite. This is due to internal power and domination struggles, individuals proving self-importance by virtue of making something hard to understand and the role of only those with advanced degrees and skills and snobbery. Arduous procedures and regulations ensue, licensing and requirements all mount up. Those that were free and without identity find the institutions they built to have an assigned identity have captured them anyway using complexity such as myriad forms or new taxes. A vicious circle.
  • The greater humanity, up against any overbearing complexity in any institution it birthed, starts to chafe, and try to flow around it, to leave it to decay under its own weight. It prefers simplicity even while having the tendencies outlined. It prefers freedom always and yet builds orderly monoliths which reach a height of utility and then start to decay and die out only to be replaced in a new birth-to-death cycle, all institutions, mirroring the real life of humans.

In the present age, without friction, technology provides a flow around institutions. It tears them down in favor of those that are simpler, responsive, accessible 24/7 from anywhere, and most of all, customizable to the individual.

Again, technology says, “I will take your complications and simplify them.” It will do this with all complications, including institutions and governments. We are in the process of letting it.

The internet already has a stealthily overwhelming force, but now AI is set to deliver on overwhelming intelligence. Woe to any large group or impersonal, inflexible, complex, inaccessible institution. You are toast.

AI and Individuals

AI takes the internet a step beyond force like its name says – artificial intelligence. It’s now on the other side of the game board. After institutions crumble, individuals are next because AI as overlords of the internet will minimize humankind’s tendency to hold contests in overwhelming (fight), to self-clump into communities randomly, and to complexify. AI will ameliorate frictions and customize so thoroughly that elbowing each other aside to take center stage will be moot, there won’t be a center stage anyway because AI will be on it. Additionally, AI can easily form and allow connections without anyone having to do so themselves but without individual exploratory choice. People will grow to think this is fine, less work for them. AI will also endlessly root out complexity, or maybe not. This last point could be the undoing of AI as anyone who has seen the backend code written for a major site will tell you. It’s never pretty. It can be refactored endlessly, but it has a tendency to want to be integrated with everything else and complexify itself.

Still, no single autonomous decision-and-action node, a human, can withstand the overwhelming force of the internet collective when it gets organized with artificial intelligence as a god above us. Both force and intelligence will have come together to crush remaining institutions as well as individuals – and those are the two observable “things that are” encompassing everything in the universe.

This is why the emphasis on human intelligence and exploration of tendencies must immediately be exhaustively explored to expand human capacities to balance what we have wrought in technology.

Any schooling, any learning, right now and into the future is an act of knowing humanity first while relying on technology to carefully transform. Form transference – not classroom upgrades.

Real transformation.