The Earth Party
Technology vs. Technocracy
Part 6: A Vision of Healthy Technology
We've been thinking of technology as a series of ever more creative ways of dominating and replacing Nature. This is how our culture has taught us to define it. And hence, most of us do.
But the Earth Party rejects that definition. It's wrong. To us, technology is a series of ever more creative ways of living in harmony with Nature.
Under the philosophical regime of technocracy, the more advanced our tech, the less Nature there is.
But with a healthy technological mindset, the more advanced our tech, the more Nature there is, because we find better and better ways to meet our needs alongside Nature, with less and less disruption to Nature.
That is the path our technology should follow. That is the direction in which progress should "march." That is the proper playground for our innovation.
WE get to DECIDE what kind of future we have.
And the direction WE choose is one that honors the Four Key Values.
The Earth Party's
4 Key Values
for the Direction of Technological Progress
1. Service to Life. Life's purpose is not to serve technology. Technology's purpose is to serve Life. Life is not a stepping-stone on technology's road. Technology must be subordinate to Life, and Life must have the power to veto and curtail, by force if necessary, the advancement of technology in any direction fundamentally hostile to Life.
2. Harmony with Nature. In order to serve Life, technology must fit into Nature. Technology shall not replace, nor disturb, nor compete with Nature. And the rhythms and parameters of the human body and cellular structure are part of Nature. Any new technology must integrate with existing society and ecosystems, without harming them. And if it cannot do this, then it must not be developed or produced.
3. Caution toward Change. It must always be assumed that we cannot predict with certainty how the introduction of a new technology will affect our society and ecosystem, and there may be unforeseen consequences to any alteration of Nature. Therefore we must always lean toward the side of caution when deciding whether to proceed with a development, and avoid making changes that are unnecessary.
4. Integration before Expansion. We must take care of what we have before making more. Figure out how to make the existing set of technologies function harmoniously with the greater ecosystem (both biological and societal) before upgrading to higher speeds and developing new features.
If our ingenuity can find ways to dominate and erase Nature, then it can also find ways to integrate and live in harmony with Nature - if we prioritize this as a value.
"OK, sounds good. So what does such a world actually look like, in practice?"
It's pretty simple! Just ask yourself: How did the world look before technocracy?
Just go back to Page 2 (Technocracy's False Promises), and take a look at the sequences of "steps" that technocracy took, to get us to the insane state we're currently in.
Then, undo those steps.
It's like a zipper: Technocracy zipped it up - now we unzip it.
"Wait a minute... are you saying to get rid of all of those technologies? Get rid of social media... get rid of COMPUTERS... get rid of CARS... heck, even METAL is on that list. Are you saying to get rid of METAL? You'd have us go back to the STONE AGE?"
"Get rid of" is not the right phrase. Most technologies we currently have will still be present - just with a different role, and a different place in our lives.
And in order to correctly place them into their new, more wholesome roles, we need a starting point - a basic template to serve as a foundation from which we can work outwards.
Nature is our original condition. So the closer to Nature our society is, the more wholesome, and the less technocratic.
And the Stone Age is the template. It's the environment in which our species spent the vast majority of our evolutionary time. It's what we're best adapted to. It's the environment most aligned with our bodies, and our inner psychology. It presents us with the least amount of conflict and dissonance. It is resonant with who we are, at the deepest level.
This doesn't mean that we should go back to the Stone Age and stay there - but rather to start there, and re-do our technological evolution from there.
"Ummmmm...... now you're making no sense. I don't want to go back to the stone age. Are you crazy?"
What was actually wrong with it?
What was the actual problem with the stone age? Why did we need so badly to get out of it? Why did we embark on this technocratic journey in the first place? What was so wrong with our world that it seemed to necessitate us completely remaking that world?
"Ummm... it was the stone age. It sucked majorly! The very term 'stone age' is SYNONYMOUS with things sucking."
Are you sure? Do you really know how things were then?
The same way technocracy tells you a story about your (supposed) future, (see Part 1), it also tells you a story about your distant past - your pre-technocratic past.
Who were you - who were we - before technocracy came along?
Are you sure your beliefs regarding the past are really your own, and not something the technocratic paradigm gave you to strengthen its "case" and win your consent for its agenda?
"I think, from a psychological perspective, you may be right. Because of the 'hedonic treadmill', we might not actually be happier now than we were back then. We might not have been quite as unhappy back then as we might expect. Internally, we might have been just as happy then as we are now. Probably a lot happier, in fact. I get that.
But still, from an external perspective, things sucked. And they would especially suck for us today. It's one thing for a person of stone age mind to face a stone age world - but it's quite another for us, of modern mind, and accustomed to modern comforts, to face a stone age world! We'd never be able to handle it!
We can't go back to a stone age world. Sorry. Not doing it."
OK, so, what was wrong with it?
"You keep asking that, as if you don't know! Come on, it was the STONE AGE, and it SUCKED."
"Omg, fine... It was rough, uncomfortable, and perilous."
Give some specifics.
"Ok. It was COLD."
That's one, anything else?
"And nothing soft to sleep on."
"Predators, food insecurity, diseases, boredom..."
Now we have a list! A list of "problems with the stone age."
-No soft beds
-No hot/running water
So, if we could solve all the problems on that list, then would the stone age be OK? A stone age minus those issues - would you be OK with that?
A stone age with indoor heating, soft mattresses, food security, medicine, running water, hot water... Would you be alright?
"Hmmm... fascinating question... very interesting way to look at it... Maybe I would be happy. Maybe everyone would.
But... wouldn't solving those problems require, like, you know, TECHNOCRACY? I'm not seeing how things would evolve differently. If we start with a stone age template, and solve all those problems, won't it just be technocracy all over again? "
No, it won't, because technocracy is, by definition, not about using technology to solve problems for us - it's about using us to create more technology. It doesn't solve problems - it exploits problems. It uses our problems as an excuse to offer us "solutions" which are nothing but advances to its own agenda, having nothing to do with improving our lives, and each generation is more miserable than the one before it.
Imagine if that didn't happen.
Solving those problems will indeed require technology - but not technocracy. Remember, technocracy doesn't even solve problems - it just exploits our desire to solve problems... to trick us into advancing its own agenda.
Healthy technological development begins by identifying an existing problem and seeking to solve it. That's it! But technocratic development doesn't do that - it just takes advantage of problems (and in many cases creates them) just to have an excuse to sell us technologies that have nothing to do with solving any problems. History proves that.
So if we get off the technocratic path, and start with a healthy mindset, we'll simply identify problems that exist, and then design ways to solve them. If we do that, we aren't being technocrats - we're just being problem-solvers - and our course of evolution will be vastly different from the way it was under technocracy.
Imagine if there had been no ulterior motive, no hidden agenda, and humanity only invented technologies to solve actual problems. It would have been a very different course of development. We would have fixed the stone age's imperfections, WITHOUT the madness.
So let's do that.
Let's go back to the beginning, before technocracy, and use that world - the stone age world - as a starting template, and then fix its imperfections.
So we make a list of those things - all the reasons why the stone age wasn't perfect. Then, we design a world in which technology solves those issues, and does nothing else. All tech will solve some actual problem, or it won't be used.
"When you say 'start with the stone age', are you saying to destroy all of our existing technology, and literally be cavemen, and then start the whole 10,000 year process over again?"
Because fortunately, so much has already been invented and pioneered. We have every piece of tech we need.
And thankfully, it won't take thousands, (or even hundreds), of years. We can redesign our entire civilization in less than a decade, because we're starting out with all the knowledge this time. Every major piece of tech we need has already been invented. We have the blueprints, the equations, the factories, and the experience. All we have to do is consciously pick and choose which ones we want to use and where they ought to go.
"That sounds like a super complicated thing to do. I'm just a regular person - I wouldn't even begin to know where or how to start doing this."
Thankfully, there's already a plan! It's the Earth Party's Master Plan for a Mature Civilization. It provides a blueprint for how to set up our world, and when, where, and how to use technology to do that. It's all there!
"OK, cool, I'll have a look at that. In the mean time, I have another question. How will we actually implement this vision? How do we take it from just a vision, and make it into a reality? Even if you get one person or country to choose healthy tech, there will still be other people or countries that choose to continue technocracy, to gain power over the ones who don't. 'Game Theory' will always ensure that the 'arms race', if you will, plods ahead."
You're right - the individual person (or even nation) can't solve it. It can only be solved collectively, at the level of the entire planet at once.
There needs to be a planetary body that regulates technology and holds stewardship over it, and ensures that humanity' path of technological advancement reflects humanity's collective choice (not just the choices of a few individuals or companies who happen to own the research labs), and more importantly, respects the planet we live on.
This body is the Planetary Protectorate. It's the social manifestation of the self-preserving intelligence of the planet.
Continue to the next page:
Part 7: Taking the Reins of Our Own Destiny
How will we actually convince people to adopt this healthy mindset? I mean, the thing is, most people are totally brainwashed, and unable to think on their own. Even if they had the choice of the Healthy Vision, they still probably wouldn't choose it! They'd rather be able to watch Netflix at the bus stop. What do we do about the human dimension - the mental dimension - of this situation?"
We live mostly primitively, but with a adjustments.
Primitive - with comforts.
What's required is a rewilding. A massive transformation of the surface of this planet - the only thing that will solve climate change - back into what it was before we humans came along. But the good news is, we humans can still exist, because we're going to shift our tech in a different direction than the one it's been going in. We're gonna shift it into a direction of coexistence with nature, being able to blend in with nature, being able to exist alongside nature without disrupting any of natures cycle or replacing nature at all. blend in with nature. So we can both exist.
But it's not intrusive. It doesn't dominate our lives. It's not everywhere, all the time. It's mostly invisible. It mostly has little to no impact on our day to day world for 99.9.9 we don't even notice it's there. The physical living biosphere of the planet is pretty much the way it would be if humans weren't even here. But humans will be here. but the biosphere will be as healthy as if we weren't, because we'll be able to blend in. And that's what our tech is used for, that's what we value in tech, that's our high tech, it's our ability to blend in with nature and to coexist with nature, that's high technology, to have comfort and great things, and not only to have them, but to have them in such a way that doesn't hurt the planet. we both coexist, healthily and happily. That's a truly advanced civ. And that's what we are no called to become.
We'll be living in forests, on mountains, on beaches... but, our tech will allow us to do so comfortably. We won't be cold. Won't have difficulties that people had back then. Our lifestyles will LOOK and FEEL like it was in primitive times, except the discomforts will be ameliorated.
And since our tech is high tech, the meaning of that is that we're able to provide ourselves with these comforts without damaging the environment. Without altering it. Without erasing it. And without replacing it, but living IN it. But comfortably.
that's our values. Whatever we value, that's the direction in which tech is going to go. As long as we hold that as the vision and we all agree that that's the relationship that we want tech to have with the world , then we can create that. starting right now.
The Stone Age was the happiest time in human history, at least thus far. Once we entered the metal age, our quality of life only went down. We got a lot of new "stuff", but it didn't make us happy. It didn't decrease our workload. Work has only increased with each level of technocracy.
The stone AGe was the happiest time in our history thus far. We didn't have a smuch, but we didn't need as much. We had little.... but we were happy when we got it.
After we got more, we needed more. The hedonic treadmill just keeps bringing us back to baseline.
But at least then it was our natural habitat. We had joys and sorrows and toils and fund itmes, while in our natural habitat. And today ,we sitll hae all those htings... but in an unnatural habitat (which also just happens to be a fundamentally incompatible iwth the planet, and driving the most serious ecological collapse wince the dinosaurs). And since we're so far out of our nature now, we get a deeper sort of anxiety -adepply lonely and neurotic one, far beyond those. And so our inner condition is worse than it was in the stoen aege. our hedonic index is exactly the saem - unchanged since the stone age - while our spiritual integrity has plummeted, and we've become miserable on the inside, every minute of eveyr day. Cavepeople never had to deal with that.
so in all this time, we iddn't gain. In fact we list. Technocracy gained.