The deterioration of mainstream society
Before the advent of the internet, characteristics such as intelligence, knowledge and wealth were all inextricably intertwined with social relationships.
You couldn’t receive an advanced education unless you were socially connected to highly educated people; this is because mentorship was the only reliable form of education available. It was not possible to navigate your way through all available information without the guidance of a mentor.
Something else which was very different was that most jobs required relatively little education. This meant that only individuals who were particularly curious and demonstrated natural intelligence would seek out and be given access to teachers and books.
There was only one path to knowledge, it was centralized and it involved social relationships. Knowledge and intelligence could be reliably traced and ranked through a single monolithic social network simply by looking at social relationships. This made it easier for capital and governments to tap into the smartest people which society had to offer.
Nowadays, with the internet and search engines, there are infinitely many paths to knowledge and many of them do not require any social relationships. In spite of this, the legacy of thousands of years of history has meant that society has been unable to adapt to this radical shift in how intelligence, knowledge, capital and social relationships relate to each other.
To protect the financial interests of its members, mainstream society has evolved an elaborate framework of academic credentialism to discredit new, non-traditional paths to knowledge (I.e. outside of the university system). This rejection of all ‘unofficial’ paths to knowledge by mainstream society has prompted many individuals to launch or join alternative social groups based around their alternative philosophies. This has created deep divides in society. The failure of mainstream society to look beyond credentialism to accommodate for alternative forms of intelligence and knowledge has served to prevent the cross-pollination of ideas between different social groups and prevented their integration into mainstream society; this has caused mainstream society to become sealed off into a hermetically sealed filter bubble of its own making.
Mainstream society’s obsession with status and credentialism has created numerous harmful financial incentives around education; this has attracted new kinds of people into academia. Many people who go to university nowadays are not intellectually curious and they derive little pleasure from acquiring knowledge; to them, education is merely a means to an end; simply a tool to acquire wealth, power and status within mainstream society. Many of these people have no natural aptitude for critical thinking because their thirst for wealth and power is far stronger than their thirst for truth and knowledge.
When it comes to economics, the absence of a single cohesive knowledge and intelligence network means that capital struggles to reach many of the smartest people which society has to offer. So far, capital has mostly failed to expand its reach outside of mainstream society. All these factors have contributed to its deterioration.