To Watch, or to Be Watched, That is the Question

© Deafilosophy – Chris Hanna

All over the country we are seeing a renaissance of weapons technology, surveillance equipment, and military trickle down economics (the only place I have actually seen that ridiculous term valid when applied).  We see it on the news every day: “New police tank complete with drone squadron delivered to town of 364 people!” Correspondingly, inside we feel a twinge of panic, at least I do.

 

There is an interesting situation developing as we see the proliferation of monitoring technology and the continuation of Moore’s law, for a little while longer as the silicon chip is still holding up to miniaturization demands, but that does not mean it will be easy to find the best social course of action.  The idea of drones, of eyes in the sky, is immediately Orwellian for anyone who has read 1984, but even the mention of that fine author and his masterworks, also including Animal Farm, will draw a blank look on the faces of today’s youth.

 

Yes I said today’s youth, there it is, my transitional moment into atheist codgerdom, where I will be in good company with well read individuals like my friend David Goza.  The point is, we are looking at a generation that increasingly looks to the moment for instant understanding, advice, and direction.  This massive shift in attention duration and historical learning will skew or bias the findings, ultimately I fear, to something akin to doublethink.
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Solving the Holy Land: Designing a New Anti-Virus.

One of the most telling aspects of the living organism is the immune system, a series of checks and balances evolved to search, recognize, and subdue or destroy.  The changes undergone in the processes of gaining biodiversity and complexity can be metamorphosed into the political state of the world today.  We have seen human society reformed countless times: from the isolated and xenophobic tribal states of humanity’s origins, to the conqueror empires of Alexander and Genghis Khan, to city- and nation-states, and now to the beginnings of an economic nationalism, a global cellular structure where quality of life is starting to supersede arbitrary traditional 19th and 20th century borders.

 

The intense inter-connectivity and physical transitions from the furthest corners of the globe have made the idea of a global organism that much more real to me (I am still looking for the corners of a spheroid to justify that old saying, but alas).  The world is a living entity with the equivalent of breathing organs in the varied ecosystems, a Circulatory System in the oceans and travel lines, a Nervous System within the world wide web and satellite arrays, and finally, an Immune System hybrid of autonomous sovereign states who have agreed that the social contract of human life is worth compromise.

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Nature is Not Your Friend… But Transhumanism Is

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For all of human history, humans have been forced to die from the natural effects of aging. Unless humans have been living forever in secret unbeknownst to our history books, they had no choice in the matter of death. But now, with advancements in medicine and technology, death is seemingly becoming closer to being a choice for possibly, the first time in history—that is, if we survive long enough to benefit from these therapies.

 

But even despite this apparent choice in the foreseeable future, many people claim they would still choose death and their actions suggest they are telling the truth. They seem to be very happy with accepting the hand that nature has dealt them. They show no fear as they draw nearer to the end of their lives. This attitude of accepting death is what we call Deathism (see “Deathism Explained”)

 

The parallels between Deathism & Stockholm syndrome

In many ways, deathists exhibit symptoms of someone who is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Mankind has been held hostage by death for so long that most of us have learned to be helpless and we gave up fighting. It’s as if nature’s plan of involuntary death from aging has broken our spirit, and now we just go along with the plan. We don’t question it. Betraying our own survival instincts, we have become willing victims.
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We Sit Atop the Tower Babel, Fearless and Alone.

Welcome to Babel version 2.0

Weary we rest, the tower rebuilt, and a universal scientific language desperately tries to coalesce the minds of all who would listen; “…and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”  From the tower floors we search, be it jets cascading the gentle cloudy sky, to satellites drifting through the silent shadows of the moon, from behind the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope searching the oldest light in the universe, and through distant radio transmissions of the space craft Voyager carrying with it a golden record of our short existence thus far in the cosmos.

 

In a book of fear: fear of a jealous lord god, fear of capricious divine power, and fear of eternal consequence for the simple crime of thought, we have a case quite startling. Does god fear humanity, it’s own creation? Does god really have the power to will the universe into existence, yet tremble when human kind reaches for the clouds? Does god fail to posses knowledge that even though humanity could reach the earthly sky and beyond, they would never find him? How trivial, the impulse to destroy and scatter, I declare this “creator of worlds.”
Continue reading “We Sit Atop the Tower Babel, Fearless and Alone.”