There are moments when, alas, all seems lost or maddeningly chaotic, and I’m not just talking politics here!
Though, in truth, I’ve veered from politics because it induces spectacular headaches for the five of us left who foolishly believe we act as rational beings. Turns out this is false. Rational beings are a false dichotomy. We are all emotional response beings, and as such are easily and inevitably manipulated.
This is all coming clear to me as I read Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
For those of you who like to think we’re in control and aware, or woke in the popular parlance, this book will disabuse you of that belief. I don’t say that lightly: I considered myself to be the same. But the more I inquire, the more I pause and consider my own responses, the more I see he’s right. We are all barrelling down the same road of manipulation and outrage to our psychic and physical demise for the purposes of personal enrichment by those who assured us that their disruptions will do no long term harm.
As a rejoinder to this, I direct my energies, my hopes and dreams; my delusions, to the perhaps strange, but highly likely future where our, hopefully, benevolent robot overlords take care of all the important and pressing needs that seem to have died on the vine in our fractured political landscape.
That will allow us imperfect humans to utilize, or waste, our time and energy on all the vacuous nonsense that is slowly killing us already. No need to worry about food supplies, power production; even warfare! All that can be handled by AI instructed machines while we are systematically manipulated by other AI programs that have continuously monitored and tracked our responses and outrages over such important things as whether our favorite celebrities, real or not-and the fake ones are already a part of social media-are being loved or dissed, whether the earth is flat, along with our thoughts and feelings on race, gender, marriage, death, you name it.
And, if this drives you to hole up somewhere in the wilds of the frontier, assuming it hasn’t already been sold off to the oligarch billionaires running the planet and owning the very robot overlords looking after us, then good luck with that when your uncontrollable desire for Cap’n Crunch inexplicably drives you back (AI can also track and manipulate your addictions, intended or not) because you can’t live without it.
Now it’s possible, since machines are not the product of genetic predispositions to emotional responses honed over a million years, that the use of AI and the algorithms that define and direct how AI collates and compilates the data it collects on us humans will be of a beneficial nature to us humans.
Anything is possible.
Whatever it is, given the situation on the ground, as they say, it can’t be any worse that it is now.
Next I believe I’ll rant about the world being flat.
What do you think, HAL?
©2019 David WIlliam Pearce