Not even reality itself, it seems.
What's truly frightening is how delusional our new overlords seem to be, even when it comes to the things they should know about best.
"Uploading", popularized by Cyberpunk guru William Gibson in the 1980s but dating back to The Outer Limits and further back still, is a bedrock tenet of the new technofaith, even though we're nowhere near up to pulling it off. And that's assuming that you could program consciousness in the first place, a prospect for which no evidence yet exists.
How far away are we from uploading? They're still working on mapping -- mapping, mind you-- the brains of houseflies. The amount of computing power- and raw energy- it would take to program a single human persona staggers the imagination (in much the same way a trip through the vast reaches of space between stars does, ironically).
But an extreme strand of materialism has infected the new robber barons with an overwhelming terror of death, which itself seems fueled by a new strain of myopic solipsism:
“The merge has begun—and a merge is our best scenario. Any version without a merge will have conflict: we enslave the A.I. or it enslaves us. The full-on-crazy version of the merge is we get our brains uploaded into the cloud. I’d love that,”What's at stake in all of this? Why nothing less than the fate of consciousness in the universe, bro:
“We need to level up humans, because our descendants will either conquer the galaxy or extinguish consciousness in the universe forever."Dude.
Where do you even begin with this kind of narcissistic solipsism? Where's it coming from? We've barely begun to poke our noses outside our solar system (and still have no way of actually testing our methodology) and yet these people have unilaterally decided that consciousness exists nowhere else?
Well, I'll tell you where this is all coming from; it's coming from the closed island environment of TED Talks, exclusive Burning Man tents and Think Big Festivals, where the overpaid pashas of the Valley genuflect before newly-minted religious dogma like this:
According to the Sunday Times, Cox believes that any alien civilisation is destined to wipe itself out shortly after it evolves.
“One solution to the Fermi paradox is that it is not possible to run a world that has the power to destroy itself and that needs global collaborative solutions to prevent that,” Cox said.
The physicist explained that advances in science and technology would rapidly outstrip the development of institutions cable of keeping them under control, leading to the civilisation’s self-destruction:
“It may be that the growth of science and engineering inevitably outstrips the development of political expertise, leading to disaster. We could be approaching that position.”
Cox’s comments came ahead of the publication of his new book, Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos, written with his colleague Manchester University physicist Jeff Forshaw.
The pair suggest that politicians should start thinking like scientists by grounding their views in evidence in order to tackle global challenges like climate change.Climate change. Of course.
Can someone please inform Mr. Cox that astronomers barely understand our own solar system?* How do these people speak with such authority about planets trillions of miles away when they have yet to determine what's floating around outside the orbit of Pluto?
This isn't science, this is dorm-room navel gazing, writ large.
What Cox is in fact doing here is sucking up to the archon class, and providing them with the existential justification for unilaterally breaking down our entire socioeconomic system and replacing it with an iron-fisted feudalism in which no middle class (long a thorn in the side of oligarchal rule-by-fiat) remains.
Because if we don't fight climate change there goes the entire universe, bro.
What is it Sam Kriss wrote again?
And something Luciferian persists in the techno-Gnostics of San Francisco. They have decided that our universe is the conscious creation of a higher power, and now they’re massing their armies to storm the gates of heaven and go to war with God.
And like Goethe’s Mephistopheles, their doctrine is omnicidal. ‘All that exists deserves to perish.And here's where we find ourselves back in Lucifer's Technologies territory, that in fact all that strange new technology some say we suddenly found one sultry summer morning in the New Mexico desert was in fact a Trojan Horse, lending us the bricks and mortar which to build ourselves an entirely new kind of prison for the human race.
Oh, come on, you say. That's just swivel-eyed tinfoil hat stuff. Low-grade conspiranoia foolishness, not worth even mocking.
Well, maybe so.
But one has to wonder, what would a world in which humanity were trapped- quarantined- on a prison planet in fact look like?
Maybe our spacecraft would be subject to constant monitoring and harassment. How's that sound? Maybe after 60 years of trying we'd be no closer to breaking Earth's orbit than we were when we started.
And maybe our most ambitious attempts to jailbreak Earth would be subject to devastating acts of sabotage:
Around 9am EST, the 604-ton rocket was being fueled with a concoction of liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellant when the upper region burst into flames.
The entire craft was engulfed in what seemed like seconds, including Facebook’s $200 million communication satellite that was specifically designed to bring internet to Africa.
And although Falcon 9’s creators are baffled by the turn of events, a new theory has emerged that could provide answers. Since the explosion, YouTube videos have been surfacing that highlight a mysterious anomaly passing over Falcon 9 as it sits on the launch pad before, during and after the explosion, Daily Express reported.
YouTuber Graphics King posted footage yesterday and slowed down the video to reveal a black object flying over the rocket at the moment it met its fate.Does this smackdown in fact explain Musk's leap into the murky waters of techno-Sethianism? Is it in fact an escape from a far more troubling reality? Why the desperate push for Mars? What is that based on?
Maybe we don't want to know.
Either way, one thing remains true; all the money, fame and power in the world only amplifies one's anxieties. More than sometimes actually.
Though it's certainly hard to muster much (well, any) sympathy for the new robber baron class, given their unending, broad-spectrum assault on the American way of life, we can acknowledge that they may in fact be working from a more comprehensive data set that we are and that their anxieties may in fact be well-placed.
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL
It certainly seems that the new earthside, small "a"- archons seem to hold all the (micro)chips right now, don't they? But if History teaches us anything it's a strange inversion of the "darkest before the dawn" notion when it comes to imperial power.
Empires seem to reach their zeniths right before it all comes crashing down. Spain, Portugal, Holland, Austria, Turkey- these were all the seats of mighty imperial projects, not so long ago. The British Empire was the largest colonizing force in human history, just a century past.
The same holds true for conglomerates as well as countries, for bankers as well as bloodlines.
Similarly, the new archons of the Valley might want to take a good long look at the old archons of the Valley. Remember AOL? AOL were the undisputed overlords of the online world in the dialup days. Remember AOLTimeWarner?
How about MySpace? How about Twitter? Remember Twitter?
Or how about Yahoo? Remember Yahoo? Good times.
Pay heed, Valley Boys: "Disruption" isn't just a two-way street, it's a demolition derby.
I'm not telling them they don't already know. I'd say that our new overlords are all too aware how shaky their perch is up there on Olympus 2.0. If it takes less and less time for computing power to double, likewise it seems that it takes less and less time these days for corporate titans to fall right back down that hill, like Sisyphus and his stone.
We can only hope they don't take the rest of the world down with them.
*And how does Cox write a "Guide to the Cosmos" if he's never stepped foot off Earth? I've never been to Denmark but you don't see me writing travelogues about it now, do you?