Yesterday, a great step for humanity: Elon Musk has sent out in space, well… not the 1977 Golden Record with humanity’s Best Of, that was just ol’ Carl Sagan’s outdated nostalgia condensed on small metal plaques. No, this is a brand-new cherry-red Tesla Car (well, only the best, what else would you expect?) with a SpaceX suit worn by a dummy “driving” it… oh, and its speakers blasting David Bowie’s Space Oddity (how I wish he just named it Earth Oddity.)
“For hundreds of millions of years,” according to proud EM (Elon Musk for conformity).
There is this “heartwarming” (the adjective is not mine) message on the Tesla’s circuit board, “Made on Earth by Humans.”
Oh, the modestly… and, Long Live the Great EM!
But if you sit and think straight, who on Universe would stoop down to read the message on the car’s circuit board, in terrestrial English?? Aha, perhaps those aliens who have had already knowledge of terrestrial languages from Carl Sagan’s time capsule in one of the Voyagers. They’ve had plenty of time to read, listen to and learn them since ’77 (seriously EM, don’t you fear that, if they do, they’d just have the same reaction we all have when we get to hit another piece of garbage while bathing in the pristine waters of a Pacific island)?
Forty years since Sagan’s Golden Record – the same amount of time we had here on Earth. To be striving at the Progress and Advancement of Science. See how far we have come?
Concerns such as endemic poverty now afflicting even western countries, climate change, mal-adjustment to the all-intrusive, all-invasive technologies in our lives, poisonous foods and medication – medicine is advancing with huge steps in inventing machines that would name our diseases, but would let us die for lack of means to pay for those machines’ work. Because shortly, very shortly, we are going to lose those hated jobs that enabled us to pile up three monthly wages and pay for a 24-hour stay in a clinic for a CT – MRI investigation.
Science has betrayed us since a long while – it smeared itself with digital-technological pomades and it stopped serving us, the rest of humanity, you and me, US – the ones that EM is claiming to have contributed to his flint.
No, EM, I don’t feel “heartwarmed” by the little note you scribbled on the car you have sent in space. Your claim that I’ve contributed to it in any way isn’t flattering me, it is insulting me.
I am writing this to express how I feel duped by Science and its rational, “scientific method”. It has long diverted from its noble scope of serving human knowledge by serving just technology. It became not just heartless, but brainless, too. By constantly chasing promotional feats it is appealing to people’s emotions, not to people’s rationality. It’s all ethos and pathos with not even a trace of Logos.
The same way that the “made by humanity” message is just a hypocrite addition meant not to inform those aliens, our co-universals, but just to make our techno-addicts even more duped by the “good intentions” behind EM’s enterprise, I see hypocrisy in all the claims of science that it is objective and rational. Actually, I don’t see objectivity in its servitude to Big Money and Big Companies. I don’t see rationality in its participation to the endangering of life on this planet, human life included; all I see is greed, hypocrisy and shamelessness.
Science has long lost the meaning from its initial reason of being, “scientia” – to Know; science is just a prostitute selling itself to the bigger money.
No thanks EM, I don’t want you to send anything to space in my name – btw, who on earth entitles you to think that space is also yours to send whatever piece of garbage you consider suitable to advance your profits?
I am powerlessly watching terrestrian Ego, how it’s been bit and infected with the Profit and Power Virus, and there is no Pasteur around knowledgeable enough to create a vaccine. All this is also happening in my name.
While advances in neuroscience and insights from psychoanalysis keep on revealing the unfathomable power and the untapped potential of the human mind and especially of the human unconscious, technologists are forcing on us the dawn of a new world; that we have no idea and no saying in it, nobody cares.
We are a society of new everything, starting with new technologies and inventions. We, humans, are no more good enough drivers, not good enough operators, chess or other game-players, not healthy enough, not smart enough, not creative enough.
I have a special interest in the new technologies, tendencies and developments, so I follow the news from developers, futurologists, life extensionists* and transhumanists** – those who are set to improve, even create a new, updated, perfected human race, a sort of “bionic man”. The conclusive argument is that we have already reached our limitations, and the solution would be to resort to artificial intelligence and nanotechnologies. Eventually, according to Google’s Ray Kurzweil, we would be “running nanocomputers through our bloodstream”.
To me, all this sounds like a revival of old eugenistic ideologies, and any attempt at artificially improving the human race, with its inevitable creation of classes and categories (there are many populations around the globe that may have by far more trivial things to fix about their societies before they would recourse to bionic enhancers) sounds like an old Nazi program.
Some questions might serve as guiding lines to get a clearer picture.
Q: Is it feasible?
A:I guess it is. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ever getting more powerful, as “dictated by Moore’s Law”*** in 1965. It is at the very base of any estimation and prediction on IT (intelligent technologies) and AI progress and development. With the advent of nanotechnologies IT are ever “growing smaller” – atomic-scale foil, carbon or silicon, is already being fabricated, like graphene and silicene (atoms with amazing properties: graphene is 200-times stronger than steel).
Q: Are they thinking of the impact this is going to have on the generations of a not too far future?
A: Moore’s Law predicting, the “singularity” **** is going to occur by 2024 (with the deadline postponed to 2030 something), after Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzveil (see his books: Singularity Is Near, The Age of Intelligent Machines and The Age of Spiritual Machines), and others; after this date “nothing will be as it was before”. We are already “edging towards the future”, in their words.
Q: How close are we, in practical terms?
A: We are quite close. In a series of experiments, scientists connected live animal brains into a functional organic computer.”*****
We heard in many places that “the future is now” – if this is true, what kind of future, we may ask? For whom, and who needs this?
In order to prepare the future “elite” of the world, colleges like MIT, Stanford and Harvard are not the academic stars anymore. Now there is this Singularity University******. But if you ever thought that these aforementioned universities were a little bit out of your league or out of your kid’s reach, don’t fool yourself: tuition cost in this elite institution is so exclusive, that: this is uniquely an ELITE University.
Many are the things around us that go against the logic. Materialists claim that they are for the hard sciences, for rationality, that they will not take nonsense. But, to me, the irrational consists exactly in the idea of projecting and pushing for any future that will be especially destined for machines, intelligent or not.
Nature has been taken billions of years for the evolution of the human brain and now man, the highest in intelligence of all the animals, will end up serving as biologic support to some organic computers – until they learn to create one from scratch.
At the same time and in the same world there are billions of people who firmly believe, and many also know, that they have a soul, and that this soul has come from a Spirit that is infinitely wise and knowledgeable, because it is the Natural Intelligence at the base of Creation.
Maybe we are at crossroads. But whichever way, we should take our stances and voice our creed and concerns. The worse thing that could happen would be to suffer ourselves from the boiled frog Syndrome.
I began this writing here with my story – what just happened to me, and what countless humans around the world know dead-sure to be true – there is Mind, or Soul, or Spirit , and we are going to access powers than we never thought of – if only we had enough knowledge as to how to use them.
We have this infinite power as being part of this Spirit that created worlds, so why would we want to create machines instead?? We don’t need ultra, super machines, be they mechanic or digital to do our work for us “better than humans” – “Just” human would be enough to make us live happy and content. Who has a different agenda, and what about those countless situations and examples when machines have failed us?
OK, let’s create machines – I am using one here, and happily so – but let them be just what they are: dust of this world, transformed and processed by a human knowledge that grew along generations of creativity, perseverance and human genius. We don’t need IT and AI to help improve human potential and knowledge artificially, through implants, in ways that nobody can guarantee will remain harmless. Like we have done all along, we can surpass our limitations through our own efforts.
*Life extension science, also known as anti-aging medicine, indefinite life extension, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists”, “immortalists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation, stem cells, regenerative medicine, molecular repair, pharmaceuticals, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs orxenotransplantations) will eventually enable humans to have indefinite lifespans (agerasia) through complete rejuvenation to a healthy youthful condition. see Link: wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_extension
**Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
***”The observation made in 1965 by GordonMoore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.” It is still valid and functional – a graphic representation shows the exponential growth, with transistor counts doubling every two years.
****** “Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.” And for that, the singularity university needs to “identify key business and government leaders for possible partnership opportunities – interfacing with policy makers or influencers in your area”.
“To represent the organization around the world, SU has appointed Ambassadors to act as liaisons for Singularity University abroad. Ambassadors are selected from alumni who have participated in SU’s various programs. To contact an SU Ambassador on inquire about the initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or head to http://www.singularityuglobal.org”