Future Flip

Current popular tech and science predictions about the future of humanity deny a great deal of history as well as present day observations.

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what is a human to become?

Very few “serious” thinkers take a non-anthropomorphic stance on world. In particular, few serious thinkers take a non-Western non-individualism future seriously. It is assumed that human individuals are the source and the container of rights, souls, being, etc. It is not a “natural law” that individual humans are the singular unit of “freedom” and “awareness.” In general nature does not select for species and ecosystems dominated by autonomous individuals operating under a selfish gene or a selfish nature. Consider the couple billion years of history on earth and the limited but still huge view we have into the solar system and its objects. The vast majority of what we see is complex in ecosystem, simpler in individuation. Even in the majority of known human history humans did not consider the individual human as the atomic unit of being.

Furthermore, multi-planetary creatures are most likely not going to be so sensitive to such specific conditions such as exist here on earth. Humans, while adaptable, have an extremely narrow band of survivable conditions. Temperature range is tiny and exceedingly rare in the universe we’ve looked at so far. Radiation and gravitation ranges pretty specific. Even our own social conditions are very sensitive to contagion, bad pattern recognition, etc.

Even if you think humans are the best thing ever imagined by the universe you have to admit that we have a long way to go to match the survival and thriving success of insects or dolphins or dinosaurs and birds. Perhaps your worldview says it’s not the quantity of time a species has been on earth but instead its quality — it’s technical and cultural creations. But really can you defend human “output” as better than other creatures and ecosystems? Even if you wanted to try a defense you’d still be wondering why it is we still can’t mimic even the most basic organic forms with our tech nor create life from raw materials. You’d still have a definitive limit on what you could claim as far as what had been created before observable history or beyond our observational horizon in the universe.

The growing obsessions with going to Mars or augmenting the self with AI and bionics and/or living inside a virtual world are silly.

This harsh reality should affect our attitudes about the world becoming automated and things like self driving cars. Never once in the history of humans or all of earth has something, technical or natural, overtaken an ecosystem in some clean, non competitive, non chaotic way. Humans have not created a single instance of self-sustained autonomous machines that do anything remotely complex. Not. One. Instance. Don’t be fooled by environmental constraints and helpers you take for granted. Don’t be fooled by things that seem untouched by humans because you don’t see the humans. And do not think we don’t have huge unforeseen bugs in every major system we’ve created (consider the recent Intel chip security flaw that affected every intel shipped in last couple of years….)

There also shouldn’t be a dispute that we adapt and we’re improving at noticing and adapting to things. That’s part of the point of adaptation…. if you survive it’s because you got better at adapting. But that shouldn’t comfort any of us too much. Most of our adaptation is useful at managing the statistically frequent circumstances. (the dinosaurs, while around for a very long time, hadn’t yet figured out how to survive world wide dust clouds and temperature drops… :) Catastrophes are those things that you can’t adapt to because they don’t happen enough for you to train against.

The long point here is that any promises of some solution to our present circumstance is short sighted and probably a fragile approach to what will always be a never ending shifting of contingencies.

In short, humans need to open up.

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I be doing stuff. and other stuff. More stuff. http://www.worksonbecoming.com/about/ I believe in infinite regression of doing stuff.

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