Technology has been sold to us as a panacea, as the solution to all our problems. Technocracies convey false promises that foster a future of longevity and eternal youthfulness free from disease. In our leisure and hedonistic paradise, we will be surrounded by serving robotic slave appendages that execute our menial chores, dirty work and expand our perceptions. In this future, technology becomes its own evolutionary process: in that outcome self-replicating “nanorobotics” will thrive inside our biology, deterring dangerous alien pathogens and populating the heavens with our own creations. In that forecast, the post-industrial mentality has idealized a gadget dependent future and essentially a technologic “Frankensteinian” concoction. Our innate capacity for discovery and innovation has improved the life we were given. This gift is part of our unique experience, and it’s also part of the whole natural life cycle. Anything outside the wheel of life breaks the fluctuating natural chain that sustains it. Technocrats claim to ultimately not need the planetary environment to sustain their inventions. They believe we are meant to rise above nature. Our current technology is at war with natural cycles and we need not go far to observe its consequent mountains of waste and radioactive landfills, depleted soils, species extinctions and devastated communities. The inventors of these technologies act as if their will is sovereign in the universe. They proceed as if the evolutionary laws are mechanical and limitless. The assumption that we must conquer nature by waging war on its resources is the dominant myth of our modern technological times. The pursuit of discovery is an inalienable right. It’s also an implacable duty, that in the exercise of this gift, one needs to act in a considerate and ethical way toward ecosystems on Earth. The problem is the unethical use of technology, perpetuated by the institutions of discovery to divide, conquer, and establish domination. The dysfunctional establishment lacks social discipline and morale. They solely monopolize scientific and technological research and development. Consequentially and by design we have begun imploding in a quest for limited diminishing returns, technology upon technology, smashing against the wall of ascension, as more and more discovery piles up taking us to a technological dead end.
Exploration and curiosity led to the accidental rubbing stick on flint with just enough friction to spark a kindling tinder fire. Since then humanoid groups have lighted up the night sky cracking fizzling wood around the camp. From then on, ideas and stories of survival have matured incessantly. Pressured by harsh environments and extreme necessity but also at play, our drive to improve and to question have transcended the seasonal difficulties of the terrain and climate. The mastery of fire provided our distant relatives with, heat, protection, cooking, and nighttime schedules that eventually furnace the golden bronze age. Technology and fire have allowed humanity to conquer the world around us and the world within at the chemical and atomic levels. This technological edge has been integral to our breakthrough evolution on planet Earth. This breakthrough has come by domination of the natural world. Our inherent problem in the myth of domination is that we have forgotten we are part of nature and not opposite parts in a confrontation. The mentality of confrontation is antagonistic and sets out to conquer which means to subdue by force or to secure control by force. It can also mean that we surmount physical and mental shortcomings, such as conquering disease. In allopathic medicine, we think of conquering disease as invasive battle forces fighting germs, symptoms, and pathology. The medical tyranny forestalls good examples of the failed promises of future improvements. Today we could argue that society is more disease ridden than in the 1950’s. Today our bodies are depositories of thousands of highly toxic chemicals that were not there two generations ago. Yet we reach an older age, however decrepitly plagued with disabilities and degenerative ailments.
The drive to create and improve is written into the fabric of our biology and you can see this with children at play. If instead of conquering the world we thought of life as a cooperative relationship of mutual potential always in some kind of interaction, in dialogue, in cooperation with the full picture, we would still continue to pursue improvement and inventions, but with affection for everything that is moral and humanistic. This would screen pervasive manipulations of technological tools. I say manipulation because of the universal gifts of free will and insight, creative formulations and thought. In the business of discovery, we have forgotten we were put here to play. This gift allows us humans to play god and bring about change. It may allow us to perpetuate our destiny seeding the Universe with self-reflecting life.
To alter the results of the backward arrow of time attracting a cloud of new possibilities from the future requires great responsibility. In this sense, morality is the biggest crisis of our times. The social motto of maximizing one’s self-interests has corroded the empathic human fiber, and one could say that we have lost the ability to be empathic, the ability to be affectionate. Under these corroded parameters, the corporate industrial park of dangerous technologies is continually being researched by unscrupulous laboratories of coward and corrupt scientists with their methods specifically designed to control and alter the social experiment with no regard for humans. A good example of this mentality is the creation of atomic bombs and radioactive weaponry. Under the assumptions of preemptive national sovereignty, the military industrial complex at the height of the cold war stockpiled more than 30 thousand nuclear missiles on either side ready to destroy mother Earth and everybody on it several thousand times over. Who in their own right mind would commit matricide? These technological artifacts are made under the de-spirited and dark secret agendas of the military-corporate state. These methods of deterrence are based on war, violence, destruction and mass control. They are funded with our monies and continue to develop extremely dangerous technologies that enslave us and jeopardize the preservation of all life on Earth.
What if we turned that predicament around to reactivate preemptive sympathy and affection with all fellow members and neighbors of this world? This self-preserving principle of peace does not cost anything nor does it need any external technological appendages or artifacts. How about using technology to restore the ecological paradise on this planet? As a society, we would promote technologies that are benign and proliferate peer to peer, community to community, systems resonating possibilities and beauty. These would not be controlled by the nation-state but by the people. Why don’t we start by creating technologies and innovations that lead us to renewable energy, clean water, restoration of our meadows, swamps and lakes, restoration of the air and seas, restoration of the land and topsoil? Why don’t we redirect intellectual forces such as the thousands and thousands of creative minds in the entertainment and advertisement industry, inviting them to design, inform and network the diverse and plural society of the future? Why don’t we include scientists, architects, and corporate management to re-dimension cities with off grid neighborhoods and rooftop gardens, empty lots, horticulture barge floats and regional “permaculture,” thus providing autonomy and regional self-reliant energy zones? Agribusiness could invest in the full integration and rebirth of small farms and communities by bringing back multi-crop and organic gardening and local economies. We would also eliminate the corporate meat industry with herds of cattle for mass slaughtering at extremely high ecological costs, and begin the reforestation and restoration of biodiversity. By doing so we would be putting value into regional scales and environments while also putting value in our rich cultural diversities and treasures. We would all be involved in the long-term business model using Wendell Berry’s perennial golden rule:
“Doing for future generations as we would have them do for us.”
In this realignment, value takes on its rightful place. When life becomes priceless money has no meaning. Technology and innovation, made to improve the quality of our experience, will move us and change the current paradigms. The end result will only be the increase in happiness and massive well-being. This might mean getting rid of unnecessary technological trash. The real wealth of humanity is maximizing the planet of pristine cleanliness, so we can get back our full potential to breathe the abundant natural nourishment that feeds the soul of destiny. Instead of GDP, our new measure of wealth is the air quality, the purity of the water supply, the nutritional value of the foods we consume. These will become the new commodities. These factors will determine the happiness indicator of a community. We would also constantly have to remind ourselves that if nature does not thrive we don’t thrive. There is complete interdependence in this exchange and the appropriate measure of world health is our personal health and the health of our communities. The good news is that with the technology of restoration we can heal and reboot the paradise of abundance.
Yes, it’s true that in the post-industrial world life has become comfortable and easy, a situation we would not take for granted were we aware of the struggles that preceded the modern age. The story of humankind has been a succession of victorious innovations and mastery of technique; this has resulted in dominance over nature, but also the dominance of one group of ideas over another. This need to dominate could be replaced with the much wiser and empathic practice of being “in dialogue with” which, as I said earlier, implies a conversation and a negotiation among the parts. For if we work with each other and we correspond with the life cycles that perpetuate the fine balanced heavenly nature of Earth, we will reenter cosmic alignment. We are a part of this nature, and we grow out of it, like flower blossoms from the budding branches. The gift that allows us humans, to change our environment at will, through technological breakthroughs, resembles more a demigod like attribute that cannot be dismissed. On the contrary, it must be closely monitored by our utmost humanity. The gift of innovation has to be at the best service of us all and it should be a reflection of everything that is good and beautiful and not at the service of profiting parasite technological monopolies that trash and burn our universal corner. All innovation should be available free from secrecy and should ultimately strive for close to zero environmental impact. We can only dream of a place with this biological richness. In this dream, we get to improve our inner strengths and improve the treasures of land and sea. Can you imagine the enhancements of our biosphere if we allowed all our talents to emerge in a renaissance of ideas and wealth of knowledge, in balance, open and free?
It’s very easy to be seduced by the egoistic need to conquer positions of power. Even in our most private spaces, it’s normal to obsess with control of every aspect of our lives. The mechanization of society endorses these controlling behaviors. The post-industrial information age has added virtual simulation to this orderly “other world” of technological appendages. These breakthroughs are used to dominate and domesticate masses of people through the convenient household gadgetry of our times. Just ponder about the latest generation of refrigerators with new smart meter technology and back doors designed into our latest computers, TV sets, and smartphones. Facial recognition log in social network giants will chain us to the master villains of cyberspace. The smartphone industry is already forecasting computer phone chips that will be implanted under our skin. This technology is inescapable and made to assault, track, censor and invade our privacy and innermost intimacy. Throughout our history, from the first war battalion technology of shields and archery to the sophisticated drones that begin to surveil our populated skies; one technological breakthrough upon another, humanity has carelessly perpetuated the idea of dominance over “the other.” It also has avoided at all cost any environmental accounting.
We are living in an age of technological innovation, in permanent war against nature, with the insane idea that we must conquer her to evolve and progress. Like most wars, this one has turned out to be harder than we thought and not what we expected. The immense power and violence deployed against the natural world jeopardize our livelihood. We cannot invent our way out of the current environmental and economic collapses. Let’s hope that we are intelligent enough to recognize that our technological revolution, like our world, is limited and has exhausted its vitality. Our carefree short-term mentality has led us on a dangerous course that causes irreparable damage to our biosphere. Most of us seem to know and fear the consequences of our recklessness. Fewer of us are sold on the belief that technological ingenuity will triumph and get us out of this mess. We must stop the worshipping of predatory technology, assume personal responsibility and factor in all costs.
The ability to make improvements in our lives has expanded our field of possibilities, setting new records. Imagination has allowed us to go beyond these limitations. The exponential curve of technological improvement promises to reverse engineer our brain. It promises to build quantum computers that extend our consciousness. The realization of this technological ideal promises new sentient technology that will replicate human free will. This evolutionary pathway is dangerously artificial and incorrigible. It also makes the complete omission of what really makes us human. It ignores our limited comprehension the essential animated jest of life. What animates an atom into a group of molecules? The technological breakthrough of protein synthesis was animated from above and we don’t have a clue. For that which animates the nuts and bolts of these biological machines, is not reducible to its parts and preexists elsewhere and everywhere non-locally connected and independent of time, matter, energy, and causal laws.
As humanity continues to explore the universe, the “transhumanist” path that promises an evolutionary transition into a new cyborg human hybrid species or post-humans that will prey and replace mankind, that brags about the technological paradise that will permit us to transcend our bodies and fuse with nanorobotics and synthetic biologicals, with personality transferring machines and nano shape changing organelles; will take us to a sinister hellish anti-human reality of evil science-fiction. This technology promises to resurrect us ad infinitum perfecting the farmed human livestock, copying enhanced clone copies of ourselves into the future. This mentality is irresponsible; it forgoes the human heart and fosters an impostor. From this perspective humanity is obsolete. In the age of machine glorification, the race of the future looks and smells rottenly artificial. The record speaks volumes for the vilification of technological innovation, and the ease with which technology is not kept in check and away from unscrupulous kleptocracies. For example, without our consent, and maliciously inoculated through force, Big-Pharma and the American FDA partner to make vaccinations with nano organelles and biologicals. They plan to deploy them on the population after a false flag viral pandemic.
After all this hell is set loose, imagine that the human race manages to avoid self-destruction and continue on the path of increased mastery of technology. Imagine that we mature from our mistakes. Technologies will evolve out of this daunting scenario rethinking tools that are much more humane, with service to nature, realizing that what makes us human is not the quest to conquer and escape our skin surface. What makes us human is the discovery of our incarnation into this biological paradise. Buckminster Fuller put it wisely:
“The universe physically is itself the most incredible technology.”
We need not tamper with it, but humbly learn as we embark on our stellar journey. If we don’t, beware of a new dark post-industrial age where we will live in little hi-tech reservations, with breeds of designer humans. The establishment will give them rights and use them against us. Right here in the present, biotech-engineers are busy tinkering with the biological genome as recent gene splicing has created hybrid species and GMOs that alter and sterilize the biological protoplasm. This is deadly inadequate, dangerous, artificial, risky and reckless.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.
In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.
His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.