As explained in the previous part, the purpose (the true, healthy purpose) of technology is to serve Life.
But technology has largely failed to improve our lives, especially in recent decades. In fact, it's made our lives worse. It's even becoming downright incompatible with Life. Yet it keeps advancing - in the same direction.
Serving Life is no longer the purpose behind it. On the contrary, technology has become a goal in itself, and Life has been relegated to a stepping-stone whose only purpose is to be a host for the development of artificial intelligence.
And the ultimate goal is to build the Singularity.
The Singularity is the name coined by the philosopher Ray Kurzweil, to refer to (what he, and many people think is) the ultimate goal of technology, and indeed the ultimate goal of all evolution in the universe: the birth of an artificial god.
Here's a quick run-down:
1. Humans build A.I. (artificial intelligence)
2. A.I. keeps getting smarter and smarter.
3. Eventually, it will be smart enough to program its own self.
4. Once it can program its own self, it can keep becoming smarter at an exponential rate.
5. Eventually it will be so smart that it could be called omniscient - like a god.
6. Once it's a god, we humans will no longer have a purpose - the future will belong to the machine god.
7. The machine god will then begin absorbing all matter and energy into itself, converting everything in the universe into more of itself. It will expand to encompass the entire solar system, then galaxy, and then universe. The universe will become the A.I. god - and this is the universe's ultimate fate.
Well... one possibility for it.
As you can see, technocracy is a religion. And its proponents are religious extremists.
"Whoa there! That's a bit too far, isn't it?"
Not at all. Your "garden-variety" extremists want to commit violence against specific people and groups. But Singularity-supporters want to erase biology from the universe.
"Yea but... it's worth it! Artificial Intelligence is superior to biology! Biology is messy, stinky, chaotic, and difficult to understand and predict. Computers are the next level of life! It's the next step in evolution, baby! This "Earth Party" thingy seems all about evolving, so why are you against this form of evolution?"
So, since your god is the "one true god", you get to erase biological life from the world? You get to perform a genocide on every race in existence? See what we mean? Extremist.
The technocrat author Katherine Hayles wrote in her 1999 publication How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics:
“In the post-human, there are no essential differences, or absolute demarcations, between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot technology and human goals…. Humans can either go gently into that good night, joining the dinosaurs as a species that once ruled the earth but is now obsolete, or hang on for a while longer by becoming machines themselves. In either case… the age of the human is drawing to a close.”
This maniac says "the age of the human is drawing to a close." Is that enough proof for you?
What if she said this about a specific race or culture?
What if she said "the age of the POC (people of color) is drawing to a close"?
What if she said "the age of the Jew" or "the age of the Muslim" or "the age of the whites" or "the age of the blacks" is "drawing to a close?"
Instead, she says it about all of humanity. She wants to erase all of humanity, in the name of her "one true god." This person is sick, and people who think this way are sick.
"OK, but... um....well... YES! The Singularity IS the one true god! Or... it WILL be, once we build it. Isn't finding the one true god WORTH IT? Even if biological life goes the way of the dinosaurs, look what we'll get in return! A GOD. What price could possibly be too high for THAT?"
Building a machine-god is NOT a good idea. You have NO IDEA what that thing will do once it's created.
How insane do you have to be, to want to create something that's orders of magnitude smarter than you, and has no soul?
You know those "soulless bureaucrats" who make life hell for people? The ones at the Motor Vehicles Department, the ones at the Internal Revenue Service, the tax collectors, the prosecutors, the cops - all those government employees who have lost the ability to see the human being in front of them, and merely treat you as a number?
Well, imagine them being omnipotent.
This machine god will not care about you. It will not care if you live or die, or how much pain you suffer.
And you want to give it the keys to your life, and then lock yourself out? How insane are you?
"Yea but we don't KNOW it'll be like that... I mean, it might be a kind, caring, nice god! It might care about us and turn our world into heaven!"
Nobody knows how it will turn out.
"That's true. Nobody knows. So why not just sit back and allow it to happen?"
This is the stupidest argument in the world. Once you find out, it will be too late. This argument is the equivalent of driving your car with a blindfold, because you "might not" crash.
"But no matter how smart it gets, we'll be able to keep it under control."
Who is "we"?
"Um... the people who created it?"
"The ones who are at the forefront of building it now."
And they are?
"Um... Silicon Valley. Google."
"And the CIA. The NSA. Jeff Bezos. Beijing. The House of Saud."
Stand-up kinda people.
"Haha. Not exactly. I'll admit that."
But you want them to have that kind of power? You want a person to be omniscient?
Why are you so obsessed with creating systems of absolute power? Why do you want this so badly?
"Because this universe sucks! Whoever "God" is, he did a poor job! He's an absentee father! This place is a MESS. We need a new god! You're right - I don't know how it'll turn out. But it can't be any worse than what we've already got."
Oh yes it can.
Look. It's understandable to be frustrated with our current world. Especially if you've had a hard life. Especially if you've suffered, and gotten a raw deal out of this world. If you're poor, if you've been excluded from most of the pleasures of life and had a hard life, then it could be tempting to view just about anyone as a better manager of worlds than whoever or whatever created this one. It can be very tempting when someone offers you a whole new order of things, and a brand-new god to run it all.
But you don't know that it will be better. It could be far, far worse. It could be worse than anything you could possibly imagine. Rather than create a heaven, it could plunge us all into a deeper, darker hell than you ever thought possible.
"But we'll program it to be nice! We'll program it with EMPATHY and COMPASSION!"
But if it's omniscient, and can self-program (as the Singularity-proponents BRAG it will be able to do), couldn't it just reprogram itself to erase its empathy, if it finds that trait too cumbersome?
"But it won't WANT to erase its empathy, because it will be... empathic! And since it's empathic, it will know that erasing its own emapthy will make it be mean and nasty to humans... and it won't want to be mean and nasty, because it's programmed to be empathic! See what I mean?"
This argument assumes that:
A) There is a fundamental algorithm for empathy.
B) We humans can figure out that algorithm.
C) Specifically, programmers (people notorious for being analytical-mind-dominant, and poor navigators of emotion) can figure it out.
D) Once they figure it out, they'll want to use it.
E) They'll use it, and won't make a single mistake, and won't accidentally create ANY loopholes.
All five of those assumptions are just that - assumptions. There is no proof for any of them. There's not even much evidence for them.
In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction. We have an entire history of false promises from technocracy.
As we saw in the previous part, technocracy's promises are hollow. It promises to make our lives better with every step it takes, yet it only makes everything worse. It has turned our beautiful garden of a planet into a toxic waste dump filled with torture.
Look at how callous it is towards all life - including yours. Look at what it does in its quest to build itself. Look at what - and WHOM - it's willing to sacrifice.
You've already seen how little concern it has for you. Why would you trust it? Why do you think it will be benign - and not a tyrant - and not make life a living hell for you - if it even allows you to live in the first place? Why would you trust it after all the things it's done, and the things its planning to do?
Why would you trust it to suddenly turn around and start being "good" once it finally gets what it wants?
"But technocracy didn't do all those bad things. People did."
And you want those same people to program your artificial god?
People? With their own disorders and sicknesses and self-hatreds and all the imperfections in us?
Whatever condition we're in, we're going to program that condition into whatever artificial intelligence we build. If we're psychopaths... our creations will be too.
"But... this time, it'll be different!"
That's the same thing they said at EVERY STAGE of technocratic social engineering throughout history. At every stage, they said, "we're smart, we know what we're doing, and the changes we propose will make life BETTER for all of you!"
And of course, they were totally wrong. And they never cared that they were wrong, because it was never about being right - it was about tricking us into consenting to their agenda, which had nothing to do with our well-being.
These people don't care about you.
And the A.I.'s they build definitely won't care about you.
All you have to do is look at what they're planning next. The following page will explain what they have in store for us in the upcoming years. It is truly ghastly. It will put to rest whatever faith you had in their motives.
"Hey wait a minute. I'm a trans-humanist. I believe in improving the human condition, and evolving beyond this primitive gutter. Don't you want us to keep evolving and advancing? Or do you want humanity to stay the same forever? Brutish, savage, sickly and fragile, a primitive species - forever?"
Aspirations to improve the human condition are as old as humanity - but there are correct ways and incorrect ways of doing it.
We're all for evolution, if it's organic - if it's through spiritual awakening and rediscovering our innate abilities that have been suppressed.
But not if it's through merging our brains with computers.
What most people think is trans-humanism is actually technocracy - the belief that every problem's solution is more machines, and more power of machines over the living world.
The ancient hope of improving the human condition has been hijacked, and exploited to rationalize the march of machine dominance into deeper and deeper layers of our consciousness. It is a false pathway, and will not lead to liberation or happiness, but to a mechanized tyranny of Borg-like proportions, unless we, humanity, consciously take hold of the reigns of our collective trajectory.
We can say no.