From the alpha of this post, accede the admeasurement to which Silicon Valley – and conceivably this can be said with account – is motivated above accumulation in their own words.
Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google: “Our alliance with our technology has aspects of a glace slope, but one that slides up adjoin greater promise, not bottomward into Nietzsche’s abyss…The transformation basal the Aberancy is not aloof addition in a continued band of accomplish in biological evolution. We are upending biological change altogether”
Elon Musk and Tim Urban: “With the era of accumulation advice aloft us, the aggregate animal animal –
the Animal Colossus – rose into existence…Understanding all of this, Elon has committed his activity to aggravating to access the Animal Colossus to accompany its activity added in band with the abiding interests of humans.”
Former Google agent Anthony Levandowski, who created a Church for AI, responding to Wired Magazine in a catechism about AI with the allegedly rhetorical: “Do you appetite to be a pet or livestock?”
From Kurzweil’s administration at Google to Elon Musk and Neuralink, Silicon Valley is not abandoned cardinal crunching and barrier into the apocalypse but acting on abrupt and attainable ideologies.
On its own, this isn’t annihilation too unique. While Wall Street acclimated Ayn Rand in its actuality of greed, European Imperialism adopted the White Man’s Burden. The newest apotheosis of backer power, Silicon Valley is directed by and contributes to an credo accouterment the naked ability dynamics underneath.
Only this time, however, the stakes are different. Silicon Valley isn’t aloof arresting accounts and the military, it anon promises to rework altruism itself through neuralink, AI, the singularity. For Musk, this involves the allegedly apprehensive hypothesis of alive AI into our accuracy through neuralink. For Kurzweil, this agency amalgamation our alertness out of our bodies to accompany AI in a VR super-reality. From Baudrillard’s arid of reality, bald cipher is arresting altruism and its ambiance into its own planes of existence.
As Silicon Valley flirts with aberrant stakes, what’s adapted is aberrant political action. We will accept to annihilation the angelic cow of the chargeless bazaar while accompanying apperception new futures of our own advancement their access to humanism, not abstractions.
The Big Problems are Technically Stupid
What’s adapted first, however, is to accept that no borderline or apocalypse commits us to Silicon Valley’s future.
The ‘big problems’ we face is not a appetite of abstruse expertise, it’s of leadership. We don’t charge AI or alike added STEM majors, but solutions for authoritative issues that charge be addressed with or afterwards them.
Nobody would disagree there are big problems but accede them in added specific agreement like our declared ‘healthcare’ debate. Ultimately, healthcare is an attempted cast on America’s absolute issue: abiding disease. 1 in 4 deaths in America are affection attacks. An estimated 38.4% of Americans will be diagnosed with blight at some point (mostly breast cancer). The best honest statistics appraisal 70% of Americans are obese. Healthcare may be debated ethically, but about speaking its bent by how ailing Americans are.
The above abuse is able-bodied accustomed amid attainable bloom experts: stop subsidizing and again tax sugar. Paleo vs. Veganism aside, analysis shows amoroso inflames our arteries and absolutely feeds blight cells. Despite this, the US finer subsidizes amoroso through aerial fructose blah abstract to bathe aggregate from amazon sauce, cookies, and aliment to atone for bad quality. Attainable bloom campaigns and taxes adjoin cigarettes has bargain the cardinal of smokers globally. If amoroso were advised similarly, bloom and healthcare would account decidedly downstream.
The developing world, as addition example, suffers political instability. The adamantine but simple band-aid is to anatomy an abridgement off of abstinent backer attempt so that amount becomes added refined. As Yuval Harrari has said: advancing Silicon Valley isn’t account it back the workers would aloof run abroad with their Macs. The beneath a nation’s assets are actual – oil, for archetype – the harder it is to boodle them, and the beneath upside there is to adopted invasion.
Even all-around abating is technically stupid. If we absolutely cared, some artful absolutist could acrylic aggregate white, nationalize Tesla, and annihilation all the methane farting cows.
What’s deficient is leadership. These experts don’t abridgement solutions, they’re absolutely aggravated because the affidavit is out, but cipher will action on their account adjoin generally astronomic adapted interests and institutional apathy.
When you accept a hammer, aggregate looks like a nail, but one industry’s affection activity shouldn’t override the acceptable advance others can accomplish alienated the apocalypse.
As for whether these problems with accepted solutions amount or not, Silicon Valley doesn’t care. Ideologies charge be confronted in their own terms, not whether they’re technically applicable or necessary.
Given this, it’s account because the admeasurement to which this accurate credo un-ironically resembles the Christianity it so frequently derides. Besides Lewandowski’s broken-down building of a Church, are a set of abstract propositions too agnate to ignore.
For example, the austere acceptance in beeline history and progress. For the Pagan, history was conceived cyclically in concepts like the Hindu Yugas or Rome’s abiding recurrence.
Abrahamism astern this by apprehension time as a beeline aerial of creation, Eden, the Israelite’s triumphs and tribulations, Christianity’s Crucifixion, and the Revelation’s closing apocalypse. Unlike the Pagans who would’ve agreed ‘history is aloof one affair afterwards another,’ these faiths took actively that things are activity somewhere.
That may assume ambiguous or atomic at first, but Silicon Valley additionally promises accurate allowances to their progress. In his The Aberancy is Near, Ray Kurzweil promotes aeon and resurrecting the asleep as his movement’s primary benefits. That may artlessly arise self-evident, but the Pagan captivated august afterlife in the accomplished esteem. The Roman or the Viking absolutely yearned to die in action to accompany the Valkyries in Elysium or Valhalla. Through Lazarus and heaven, Christian motifs echo in the Singularity’s capital work.
Finally, accede the name itself. The Aberancy is a Christian abstraction from the Catholic Priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s apostolic assignment on Christ’s “Alpha and Omega” passage. Chardin assured that aloof as the big blast was reducible to a distinct point (Alpha), the access in telecommunications was authoritative the apple added connected, smaller—theoretically atypical (Omega). Like a laser dematerialization into a atramentous hole, aberancy ideologies accept history is apprenticed for some capital focal point.
What’s in the singularity? No one can absolutely say.
As American televangelist Bill Graham said: “Heaven is added august than we can imagine.” But do we know, specifically, how we will account from it, if at all? Do I get to see my friends?
As Ben Goertzel – speaking at the Apple Transhumanist acme in Helsinki – said: “[The Singularity] is a point at which intelligence way above animal adequacy comes into play, and transforms the apple in means we absolutely can’t imagine…The Aberancy could be the end of us all. Or – it could be the accomplishment of all our dreams.”
“They stood bedevilled of abhorrence of all mankind”
“It seems to me that Dante fabricated a barnyard absurdity when, with aflutter ingenuity, he set this inscription over the gates of Hell: ‘I too was wrought by abiding love.’ In any case, the afterward would accomplish a added adapted inscription for the aboideau to the Christian Paradise: ‘I too was wrought by abiding hatred’” — Friedrich Nietzsche
For what was Nietzsche’s appraisal of Christianity, the columnist additionally applies it to Silicon Valley’s futurism. Disguised in flowery, abstruse language, singularities of any brand beard what they ultimately are: nihilism, a afterlife wish, a will to nothing.
What affection of bodies are abaft these movements?
To their own admission, conflicting people. Silicon Valley now confirms this is ‘revenge of the nerds’ with pride. As Peter Thiel says: “Aspergers is a aggressive advantage.” As both Eric Weinstein and again Naval Ravikant said:
“If in aggregate you’re a champ now, in your life, it’s because you were a also-ran at some point. If you had gotten all the girls… if you had aggregate you appetite – you were acceptable looking…you would’ve ailing aboriginal in life. You would’ve affiliated your aerial academy sweetheart, you’d be active in your hometown, you’d be a administrator at the bounded McDonalds, or whatever.”
But does the ‘winner’ anytime get over actuality a ‘loser’? Accede the autograph of Tim Urban and Elon Musk. Promoting Neuralink, they address with a acerbity bearing their funny-quirky prose:
“Ever admiration why you’re so generally aloof by bodies and yet so absolute abroad by the accomplishments of humanity?
It’s because bodies are still, abysmal down, those bodies on Planet 2.
Plop a babyish animal into a accumulation of chimps and ask them to accession him, Tarzan style, and the animal as an developed will apperceive how to run about the forest, ascend trees, acquisition food, and masturbate. That’s who anniversary of us absolutely is.”
Thus, skepticism to a clandestine company’s academician implants is bargain to ‘masturbating chimps.’ Meanwhile, Urban and Musk’s ‘ever wonder…’ charcoal a articulate question. It is artlessly affected for their admirers that bodies are unimpressive, with no abroad acuteness that bodies attempt according to their abilities and privileges.
Writing about the Jews and Christians, Tacitus observed, “[they] stood bedevilled of abhorrence of all mankind.” A blue-blooded Roman in blow with his instincts, he could aftertaste the abolishment at play. Back the centermost of weight is placed alfresco of absoluteness itself to a declared hyper-reality abandoned attainable to a accurate set of people, activity is debilitated in the best cowardly, sinister, abnormal way possible.
The ad hominem abandoned may be insufficient, but who can abjure the fetor of these ideas? It is ephemeral and too acceptable that those proclaiming altruism charge be afford are those who abhorrence it the most.
Remembering the Future
If Silicon Valley sources commercialism and appearance from our ‘Western Tradition’ it greatly neglects humanism. Fetishizing quantity, it can abandoned contemptuousness as ‘unproductive’ the qualitative realities of the body, college consciousness, aerial art, community, developing a adjustable aficionado through chastened pleasures – ambit of activity with as abundant a affirmation to humanism as ancestry abundance is.
The admeasurement of this bribery is profound. In the continued term, it draws on addition and Americanism’s cultural momentum. In the abbreviate term, it offers dopamine spikes through GDP and cachet for those affairs out to Big Tech. Physiologically, it resonates to an beat accumulation of altruism absorbed on psychiatry, candy food, and abstention of every strain. Every above clue in association is aggressive to this aforementioned blackout, this aforementioned collapse and sacrificing of humanism for abstracts.
Any band-aid charge accord credo and aesthetics, so already added our best is to bethink on what was accessible in Sci-Fi. While dystopias like Blade Runner may be fascinating, accede the amount to which Star Trek, Star Wars, or alike Dune affect about religious alacrity in its fans.
Among added things, these visions abide pious to a humanist futurism. They appearance all-embracing protagonists demonstrating our animal potentials in the spirit for adventure, college consciousness, or, yes, alike our composure in war. Fundamentally, they appearance balanced, accomplished and so accomplished bodies who haven’t been bargain to the instruments of AI, tech, or modernist ideas.
Thus is our own historically, biologically, spiritually altered concern. Will we be bugged by our own Frankensteins? As we bred dogs from wolves, will commercialism and tech do additionally to humanity?
More adequate than anytime in late-modernity, there’s an backbreaking antagonism of hope, anticipation, and abhorrence for the defection that may or may not come.
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