By Sidney Secular
Silicon Valley’s elite are hosting meetings to hatch plans to escape the disasters they see coming; and when they come, they’ll leave the rest of us behind. The techies naturally are relying on tech as their modus operandi. The buzzards bandy about techie buzzwords to sound smart, sort of like stock ticker symbols for potential investments: Blockchains, “Crispr” technologies, quantum computing, hedging bets on hedge funds, deriving massive profits from derivatives, trans-humanism, underground and hidden bunkers, isolated survival communities, the “Event”(possible “Armageddons”), environmental collapses, inevitable global warming, cornering the food supply for themselves during disasters, colonizing Mars or The Moon, resource depletions, nativist panics(adverse reactions from middle-class Americans), mass migrations, rising sea levels, post-human utopias, etc. are the topics of discussion. Topics revolve around perceived or imagined threats, or the means of exploitation of the masses, resources, or stock gyrations.
The quest or thrust is not for using technology as a means to benefit society, but as a means for the super-rich to isolate themselves from those of lesser status and escape the consequences of the Frankenstein monster technologies they create. It is a trans-humanist vision that reduces all reality to data and treats humans as beings that just process information and consume resources. Life is sort of a video game won by those who find escape hatches and and can form alliances with entities that can assist in their aggrandizements; those that can scope out the presumptive winners in the digital economy; and those that can navigate the survival-of-the-fittest landscape. The players are freed from the moral implications of their scenarios and their activities. To call attention to the human implications to all of this is to be cast as an anti-technology curmudgeon or an anachronism.
Some topics bandied about by academics, journalists and science fiction writers that feed into the pervading high technology amoral mindset focus on fanciful conundrums and include: Should children get implants for foreign languages? Will autonomous vehicles prioritize the rights of pedestrians or those of its passengers? Should robots have rights? Will changing my DNA matter? They never stop to think that mixing up the DNA of the races through integration and subsequent miscegenation has already messed things up, but that the consequences won’t be known until they show up in future generations, just like hybrid vigor in plants and animals dissipates in future generations and leaves the future specimens weaker and more prone to disease and death(or maybe they’ve thought of this and pushed it out of their minds).
Dehumanization continues in the form of advancing automation; the insecure gig economy; the demise of retail; the lessening of human interaction in general including, of course, the Zoom phenomenon; and the cancellation of normal human social activities due to the “covidiocy”.
The manufacture of computers and smartphones still use networks of semi-slave labor that rely on near-starvation wages to turn out low cost junk that’s programmed not to last long.
The mining of rare earth metals is essential to provide substances that are integral to the performance of high-tech gadgetry. Quantitatively, more than 80% of these rare earth elements are mined in Communist China with limited mining conducted in North America due to scarcity here, and not due to any lack of desire to compete with the Chinese. This mining destroys human habitats and replaces them with toxic waste dumps which are picked over by peasants who sell the reusable materials back to the manufacturers.
Out-of-sight, out-of-mind poverty goes on as we immerse ourselves in alternate realities portrayed in TV shows, movies, and videos, where many times the humans that remain after apocalyptic events are near zombies that fight with one another in zero-sum game struggles. We begin to see humans as the problem and technology as the solution. Diseased human psyches can be corrected with dangerous drugs, or digital or genetic upgrades. The mental gymnastics required for these profound role reversals between humans and their machines depend on the underlying assumption that humans basically suck. Let’s either change them, get away from them, or do away with them–that’s the thought or psychology behind the plutocrat drive for survival and domination . If humans reach escape velocity, the result will be not a continuation of the human diaspora, but an escape vehicle for the elite from the world they ruined to go to un-plundered and unpolluted worlds.”
© 2020 Sid Secular – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Sidney Secular:
Print Friendly, PDF & Email