My plan to destroy the world

Isaac Newton was, I believe, the first to describe the notion of an entirely deterministic universe. The idea being that if I pitched a marble at a group of marbles, and could somehow account for the temperature in the air, the density of the individual marbles, and physical objects around the marbles, I could predict where each marble would end up. Such calculations are beyond the human brain, of course, but perhaps with computers, could be eventually performed.

I’m reading a book called “Emotional Intelligence.” In it, the author tells a personal anecdote of being in a grumpy mood and getting on a bus driven by a cheerful, chatty bus driver. As the bus driver pointed out the highlights of the trip, the author felt his mood rising. And he noticed the same thing happening with other passengers on the bus. And he presumed that as his fellow passengers got off on their individual stops and went through their day, they passed off their good mood to others. The bus driver was “infecting” people with cheerfulness.

Let’s consider the idea that people’s mental state is also entirely deterministic in a fashion similar to the physical state of marbles. If you could account for my entire mental and emotional history, and place me in front of a happy bus driver, you could with total accuracy predict my resulting behavior. Again, such calculations are beyond the individual human brain, but perhaps aided by computers, could be performed.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this… what if we took advantage of this mental determinism for the forces of evil? Could I perform the right calculations in such a way that I could make an offhand comment to someone that would darken their mood enough that they would then insult someone else whose temperament would be similarly be darkened leading them to insult someone else with greater force, eventually leading to a fight, perhaps a murder, which would set various social groups against each other, building to an all-out class/race war, which eventually drives an individual or group towards amassing biological and nuclear weapons and using them to destroy all life on earth? Is this possible?

I don’t know. But it would be fun to find out.

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