Why does it take so long for intellectual understanding to translate into political action?


For all time, a common trend has been for the intelligentsia to understand or discover something and then, for the realisation to take years and sometimes even decades to fall into effect. Why are people so fearful of change? Why are we so short on trust? Why are the people in command so uninformed?
When I think about it, all I can come up with is that it’s never really mattered to them(plebian or otherwise) that these realisations have been dawned upon. Which is obviously a sad state to be in. My first thought when I realised this was how do we change the sytem? There must be a way to catalyse the process, some mechanism to grease the wheels of the machine. Why? Because it’s worth it. Doesn’t it feel good to realise that progress is happening? That something is becoming better?
All these questions originate from my own understanding of why we want progress or what should be done.Except I’m mising something.
This ideology of using current discoveries to immediate effect must’ve resonated with something in you, at least a little, but the thing is, it’s all hindsight bias. There are always numerous opinions, numerous “realisations” but we have to try them out to see what works, which is actually what in real life happens and then history highlights what actually works. Prescience of some event or act is actually one person managing to see what a 100 couldn’t – mainly cause they eliminated the other options for that one guy.
For example many people felt in retrospect that the economic collapse could’ve been predicted, or the World War or that the Y2K problem was nothing to worry about or that slavery should be abolished – but until the actual answer bubbled to the top and made us realise it was right- we didn’t know.
So what’s my conclusion? (do tell me yours)
It’s a tad depressing but basically this is the only way forward, progress is always 3 or 4 steps back then maybe 10 ahead. It’s the way it works and I can live with it until we have something with enough artificial intelligence to simulate those 3 or 4 steps. I wonder what it would take.

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