Daniel Taylor ~ The Road to Singularity: Potential Annihilation, Utopian Visions, Will Liberty Prevail?

It is situations and attitudes like these that make me wonder if an EMP — whether solar or rogue initiated — for as destructive as it would be, given our over-reliance on technology, might be the only saving grace of humanity. I don’t know. What do we do with the fact that most of the youngest generation is already glued to wifi, i-Contraptions, and engages simulated reality far more than Nature? What do we do with RFID chips, GMO’s and nanobots? I remember while getting my M.A. in English from the University of Chicago — a major think tank for all things NWO — that the thing (among many) that most disgusted me was this worship of cyborgs and complete denigration of anything soulful. It beyond creeped me out, and here we are 19 years later with so much of the then fantasy now as everyday life.

Will it take most of us unplugging even from positive uses of technology in order to reclaim and strengthen our claims on natural interactions with the world? I don’t know, but these questions have rolled around in my little noggin since I first encountered people who actually longed for and advocated the transhumanist agenda. In an English department, no less! I was appalled, having spent a life buried in books as an escape from things like television and radio noise. To find this BORGlike group of “literary” theorists so enraptured with humans becoming machines was a huge wake-up call and why I withdrew my automatic application to their PhD program. Along with their love of all things Blade Runner came an invocation of Bentham’s Panopticon (all seeing eye prison), Derrida’s Deconstruction, loads of Foucault and a propensity to butcher language into metallic gibberish. Leaving each class required a conscious soul retrieval on my part just to stay sane during that excruciating nine month period.

Soul is the antidote to transhumanism — and the big reason for its encroachment, along with all the brain mapping and other would-be controls of emotions, religious/spiritual experiences and all those things that make humans human. So, if reading this article disturbs you, please consider implementing even more soulful activities into your life. Please consider reading or listening to Thomas Moore’s wonderful writings and talks on Care of the Soul. Record your dreams. Spend time in Nature. Re-member your body and its connection to this beautiful, natural planet. Blessings, courage and love from my heart to yours … Laura

 Daniel Taylor ~ The Road to Singularity: Potential Annihilation, Utopian Visions, Will Liberty Prevail?

Dreams of the far future destiny of man were dragging up from its shallow and unquiet grave the old dream of man as god…” – C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 1945

In 1945, George Orwell, famous for his stunningly accurate portrayal of a future police state in 1984, commented on prominent author C. S. Lewis’ book That Hideous Strength. Hideous Strength revolves around the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments (NICE) and the organization’s plot to seize control of all life. Orwell’s commentary was published in the Manchester Evening News in 1945 with the headline “THE SCIENTISTS TAKE OVER.” Orwell wrote,

“All superfluous life is to be wiped out, all natural forces tamed, the common people are to be used as slaves and vivisection subjects by the ruling caste of scientists, who even see their way to conferring immortal life upon themselves. Man, in short, is to storm the heavens and overthrow the gods, or even to become a god himself.

There is nothing outrageously improbable in such a conspiracy. Indeed, at a moment when a single atomic bomb – of a type already pronounced “obsolete” – has just blown probably three hundred thousand people to fragments, it sounds all too topical. Plenty of people in our age do entertain the monstrous dreams of power that Mr. Lewis attributes to his characters, and we are within sight of the time when such dreams will be realisable.”

Do we live in an age when these dreams of power could become a reality? Lewis and Orwell have been proven very accurate in their portrayals of the future 70 years ago. Much of the momentum for the scientific developments that would create these formerly fantastical technologies began in the lifetimes of both Lewis and Orwell. They witnessed the rise of the science of molecular biology, initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation and other tax-exempt foundations who were interested in finding out how the human body operates, with an eye toward better controlling society. The eugenics and social control paradigms that sprung from this foundation sparked scientific revolution in the early 20th century are still in play today among the intelligentsia of western society.

Vannevar Bush became the first Science Advisor to the United States government during World War II under President Franklin Roosevelt. Bush played a vital role in the creation of what we know today as the Military Industrial Complex. Specifically, the method of scientific research of this gargantuan organization – beginning with the Office of Scientific Research and Development – was devised by Vannevar.

The roots of the internet can be traced to Bush’s ideas in 1945. The forerunner to the computer itself can also be attributed to his early designs. From 1935 to 1946 the Rockefeller Foundation funded Vannevar Bush’s development of the mechanical differential analyzer at MIT for a total of $230,500. This device, along with the Hollerith machine, is considered to be one of the forerunners of the desktop computer that we all know and use today.

Scientific developments and new technologies are often spun as beneficial things for humanity, and in fact many of them are. We need to remember that while each development brings power to mankind, it also gives power to some men over other men. As Orwell said, “There is nothing improbable” about such desires for power.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his 1961 farewell speech “…in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.”

In 1968 LIFE magazine profiled a man named Herman Kahn. Labeled an “action intellectual”, Kahn is a founding father of future studies. LIFE reports, “Herman Kahn has been a major figure in one of the most fascinating shifts of power in U.S. History: from identifiable public leaders to the ‘action intellectuals.’” The article continues, “As counselors to the decision-makers, men such as Kahn often have access to future technology (what is known, but not yet disclosed) and official intelligence (what is known, but not yet revealed, about the capacities and plans of other nations)… Thus, decisions – based on private knowledge, analyzed by private consultants and debated in private – can become public policy. This is a process of invisible power.”

Scientists from all over the world are warning that robots and artificial intelligence could eliminate humanity. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, a private space exploration company, told CNBC recently that he is worried about a “Terminator-like scenario” as a result of advancing AI technology.

Top A.I. researcher Hugo de Garis provides another example. De Garis explains that the development of super-intelligent A.I. may lead to a devastating “Artilect” war that could kill billions of people. This war could break out when two distinct groups of humanity emerge; One group embraces the god-like artificial intelligence and technological advancement with religious fervor, the other group fights to prevent it from ever being built. He adds that he is more than willing to take the risk, saying, “As a brain builder myself, am I prepared to risk the extinction of the human species for the sake of building an artilect? … yep.”

This mindset, common among scientific elites, was articulated by Arthur Kroker, Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria and Director of the Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture. Kroker identified these individuals as “Suicidal nihilists” who “…can very happily ally themselves with a notion of nuclear holocaust or perfect exterminism… They’re creating again and again the exterminism of human memory, the exterminism of human sensibility, the exterminism of individuated human intelligence…”

Transhumanism

Partly due to popular culture, transhumanism has begun to catch on with the younger generations. As Amanda Stoel, co-founder of the Facebook group “Singularity Network” told the Huffington Post, “Three years ago, we had only around 400 members, but today we have over 10,000 members.”

Another article from the Huffington Post says that the transhumanist movement is “on the verge of going mainstream” due to increasing popular culture references to transhumanist ideas. Art has been used for millennia to initiate and give support to ideas and movements. Transhumanist artwork in the form of sculptures, paintings, and music is now steadily flowing into our society. Movies like Transcendence, and Avatar are two recent examples. Continue reading . . .

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda on October 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Laura – Thank you for sharing the article, which is both thought provoking and sobering, tho’ I’ve been aware of this – and your thoughts. Like you, I’ve spent countless hours immersed in books, escaping from many things, including radio and TV, mindless “noise.” If the choice is, indeed, losing my soul for enhanced power, etc. I’ll choose the soul, thank you very much. Again, thanks for posting this.

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  2. Thanks, Linda. Yes, I’ll choose the soul, thank you very much. The odd thing is that with the soul we have plenty of power, too. Perhaps those who crave so much more artificial power either don’t have a soul or completely lost touch with it long ago. The soul is the most precious thing we have.

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  3. Add to that that no-one seems to question the hijacking of the education system in service to corporate agendas, so how many generations of “techno brainwashing” (ie technology is going to save us) has the human species been brainwashed into, add to that the globalization of that media stream of insidious programing?

    I ask this self the very same questions. The internet seems to be rife with cheer leaders for “technology is going to be our saving grace” and no-one questions who is funding this development via higher education. MIT is hugely funded by US Defense department – so the original Intention for creating these also comes to mind? If the original Intention is for a Defense (military agenda) can it ever become a genuine aid of Life, not just human ones?

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  4. Thanks, cdancer, and yes to all you’ve said. I have shared in the past about the co-opting of the education system, well along even in the 1980’s. In Goshen, I’ve kind of split ways with some of the people involved in a lot of the great grassroots projects happening here, basically over the technology issue. The main food security activist is now mapping EVERYTHING from community gardens, to farms, to fruit trees, etc. … everything goes online and through Purdue, which has very close ties to Monsanto. Given various executive orders and Monsanto’s business practices, I really thought we should be focused primarily on a modern victory garden rather than mapping and giving all the gritty details about productivity of our organic farms.

    There’s a very big technophile component to a lot of the green initiatives here, and it was raising so many red flags and warning bells for me that I just needed to pull back and started doing my own thing. Our yard is so flamboyant that it has created its own little grassroots movement — smaller than it would have been with more people doing similar things, but it’s within my own integrity. People ask me to help them get their yards producing food in a beautiful way; I convinced the planning commission to protect and encourage edible landscaping; and we’ve got more individuals doing their own thing within a loose community.

    People think I’m paranoid about the technology being a double edged sword, but for me, it’s more important to remain in integrity. These are, largely, younger people who grew up completely immersed already in the techy age. They don’t remember the alternative. Some of the young crowd appreciates the simpler life and is further ahead in off-grid living and food production than I am, so there’s hope. It’s just a big issue for me, and technology in and around food makes me ever so cautious!

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