Futuristic Calamity

By Xah Lee. Date: , 2004-02

Bill Joy, computing geek, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has written in 2000-04, gravely titled Why the future doesn't need us, at: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html

In 13 thousand words, the author alarms us the impinging dangers of technology the likes of robotics, genetics, nanotech. These are unprecedented in power, far beyond nuclear, biological, chemical weapons, and in quite a different nature that makes them far more pandemic and perilous. In the next decade or two or three, our society will change drastically, calamity or not.

The populace is blind. But oblivious is the hateful academia and intelligentsia, clouded by the status of their shoe-horned expertise, along engendered their above-it attitude and mannerism not realizing just how poor is their understanding of everyday things (aka general ed.) and consequently the resultant of their behaviors and decisions thereof.

Love Trilogy by Beth Moor 1994
“Love Trilogy, Part One” by Beth Moor. 1994

Nano Technology, Genetics, Robotics, working in concert for the harms of humanity thru ways of not-sufficiently educated and not-sufficiently loving population. Personally, i embrace and welcome them along with the following propaganda vengeance stipulation: In order for us to survive and well, a necessary condition is for the majority of population to have a knowledge equivalent to about today's 3 college degrees in disparate disciplines; one in science and two in arts and humanity studies. Change today's optional 4 year college to a universal life-long perennial 8 years of college. A first step for this drastic change is to get rid of the “major” in college. That is, the 4 years of college should all be in diverse studies without specialization. Especially important in these scheme is to reduce specialization in sciences, and increase the general population's knowledge in humanity: human society, history, arts, values, philosophies.

The isolation that you find everywhere, particularly in our age. But it won't come to an end right now, because the time has not yet come. Today everyone asserts his own personality and strives to live a full life as an individual. But these efforts lead not to a full life but to suicide, because, instead of realizing his personality, man only slips into total isolation. For in our age mankind has been broken up into self-contained individuals, each of whom retreats into his lair, trying to stay away from the rest of mankind, and finally isolating himself from people and people from him. And, while he accumulates material wealth in his isolation, he thinks with satisfaction how mighty and secure he has become, because he is mad and cannot see that the more goods he accumulates, the deeper he sinks into suicidal impotence. The reason for this is that he has become accustomed to relying only on himself; he has split off from the whole and become an isolated unit; he has trained his soul not to rely on human help, not to believe in men and mankind, and only worry that the wealth and privileges he has accumulated may get lost. Everywhere men today are turning scornfully away from the truth that the security of the individual cannot be achieved by his isolated efforts but only by mankind as a whole. -- Dostoevsky (1821 to 1881) in The Brothers Karamazov.

Today's academicians are full of specialization, specialized to such a degree that they not only lost sight of humanity, that their knowledge becomes a vicious abyss that connects to nothing else, that they have little understanding of even the neighboring sub-branches of their study. Our technology is already sufficient to sustain the whole world in leisure, but that is not happening. Half of the world live in poverty, and war continues to break out. Human animals haven't made progress in humanity. Reducing specialization and increasing general knowledge in humanities can help put a check to technologies too rabid for us to encounter, and put more love, appreciation, and understanding between ourselves.

If this dream of my vengeance stipulation cannot come true, i wish our technologies fuckup us entirely.

Was it H G Wells who said “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”?

A essay by the philosopher Jose Ortega Y Gasset expressed similar views on specialization. See: the Barbarism of Specialization.

See also: Time Machine by H G Wells.

James Cooke Brown. (1921 to 2000) The inventor of the logical language loglang. [see Xah's lojban Tutorial] It is interesting to learn that he wrote a science fiction The Troika Incident. Quote from Wikipedia:

The novel begins with the belief that the world is on the eve of self-destruction but then presents a world about a century from now which is a paradise of peace and prosperity, all based on ideas, movements, and knowledge presently available in the world. In its metafictional structure the novel is a call for social change, not through revolution but through free education and the resilience of human ingenuity.

This reflect my thoughts. In particular, contrasting to some of the modern luddites such as Theodore Kaczynski with his Industrial Society and its Future, whose views are such that it is a inevitability, that modern technology will doom the human society, therefore men should destroy technology.