Can the algorithms save them?
What happens when we keep kids out of school?
They go feral.
If all your kids see is family, that’s all they know. They learn, “This is what people look like,” people who are this color, act like this, dress like this, talk like this.
And people who don’t — aren’t people. They’re “other.”
Bad stuff. That’s tribalism and tribalism is at the heart of the longest, most bitter conflicts in the world.
Knowing that one unintended consequence of keeping them alive is risking a rise in tribalism, what can we do in mitigation?
To answer that question, we have to look at why and how tribes form.
Tribes are about survival. Your drive to form a community and live in a tribe is a basic instinct. Your odds are better when you’re in a group, when someone is watching your back, standing watch while you sleep, sharing food and water. Being in a tribe increases your probability of staying alive.
Tribes need a center. Usually that’s geographic proximity. It’s hard to take down a wooly mammoth together if you’re not in the same valley.
And usually tribal members have a similar appearance, if not biologically, through dress, decoration, football jersies, or rings.
But today, tribes need not depend on geography. In a mobile society, a tribe can form around a common interest. A hobby. A political view. A passion. A football team. A conspiracy. Anything can form the locus of a tribe.
All you need is a common connection.
Social media exploded traditional tribal analysis. No longer is physical proximity even a consideration. Neither is similar appearance — a filter and a few avatars, and appearance is as fluid as geography.
It’s a two-edged sword. The downside of all this is that a tribe can be built based on anything. The upside is that a tribe can be built based on anything.
So who builds tribes?
The algorithm does.
You’ve seen it, the documentaries and your own experiences with social media. “You might also like,” pops up and suggests more groups/friends/pages based on what you’ve looked…