Mankind's Doomsday?

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sat, 2014-03-22 00:44

Eugenic superhumans, self-aware computers, and superior space aliens are extremely unlikely to enslave or exterminate mankind. This is so, no matter how much we well deserve it! Many of those science fiction novels and films taking up this catastrophic thesis are wonderfully melodramatic and a ton of fun. But they simply aren't very realistic.

Almost certainly these future, ultra-formidable life forms will gaze upon us as we humans today look at ant colonies and insect culture. Almost invariably we human beings don't want to enslave or exterminate our humble insect friends because these two highly aggressive behaviors offer us no real value, profit, benefit, or pleasure. Moreover, we homo sapiens very much tend to see the wanton destruction of these defenseless, and relatively harmless and peaceable, creatures as inhuman and immoral. Absent some overwhelmingly strong and strange reason, we humans view such a senseless and irrational attack upon such modest, but still sacred, life as a violation of our moral code. Human beings simply don't assault such innocent and irrelevant life forms.

So when modern human people eventually encounter and confront eugenic superhumans, self-aware computers, or superior space aliens -- or even all three at once! -- these superbeings are immensely unlikely to attack us either. Enslavement or extermination simply isn't in the offing. Especially not if we live our lives as, and turn ourselves into, upstanding, worthy, noble creatures who love life, work hard, don't initiate force against our fellows, and are generally decent, civilized, and high-minded. Our technologically-, intellectually-, and morally-superior new friends will virtually beyond all doubt observe this, and then choose not to fetter us, or wipe us out. Thus it's a kind of pomposity, grandiosity, and pretension to fancy that we humans face such histrionic threats, and are worthy of such attention, excoriation, and annihilation from these ultra-superior beings, who clearly have better things to do with their time.

The fact is, folks, notwithstanding all the entertaining fiction and imaginative, creative scenarios, all our colorful and charming Martian friends are not coming to take away our women -- or worse.


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I'd back you on this one Kyrel

gregster's picture

Hawking is another theorist quack who derides a sensible, observation-based what-you-see-is-what-you-get astrophysics. He has modified his earlier stance on the purely theoretical black hole, and now his event horizon has an escape velocity. I think he realised that these made-up entities have been imagined to behave in a manner contradicting his big bang. Computers can be tamed by pulling the plug.

Mankind's Final and Worst Mistake Ever?

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Cosmic ultra-genius Stephen Hawking begs to differ with me: http://io9.com/stephen-hawking....

Food for Thought

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Great link, Greg! Big smile I'm going to try to read this article in the next few days.

But wasn't Tracinski himself a long-time Ayndroid until he was kicked out? It isn't an act of independent rationality, rebellion, and heroism if they make you leave. And did Tracinski ever apologize for all the terrible evil he did while inside the Talibani inner circle?

p.s. Evidently I have to read the antecedent article from 2010 first. 17 tedious pages! Damn...

The 1980s Called, and They Want Their Objectivism Back

gregster's picture

Worth a look, in case it's missed.

"From what I can tell, those in the ARI camp are sticking to the usual story: nothing’s wrong with the system, the only problem is an unexpected, unforeseeable betrayal by this one person. Once that person is duly purged, everything will be fine again. This is the same line we’ve heard since 1968, used over and over again through one crisis after another, merely with the name of the villain changed.

It’s time to re-evaluate the whole system, and from what I’m seeing online, that’s what a lot of people are beginning to do."

http://www.tracinskiletter.com...

Life Today

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Greg -- I still say mankind has been going in a neoliberal, positive, ascending, reasonifying, Enlightening direction for the past 30 years. And I still say life today is glorious, even if mankind hasn't been. But human existence is better if you're friends with the Doug Bandlers of the world, and enemies with the ARIan-types. That creates a better Galt's Gulch in the here and now. But I currently think that practical, workable philosophy is more important to immediate individual happiness than the theoretical, abstract stuff I now seem to enjoy discussing the most.

A clarion call Kyrel

gregster's picture

• Probably not a doomsday—though it may as well be—but another Dark Ages, the Endarkenment, as other enlightened concerned humans have been calling it. A good basis here for a novel Kyrel, Twilight Zone hovering about the Gulch, without clichéd zombies. The “aliens” would be the thinkers. I can too envisage President Zero’s NSA army of automated snoops, hacked and re-directed to seek out sub-humans—their inept controllers—in my moments of optimism. Think Robocop & Iron Man, with congress and “intellectuals” lined up against the wall for crimes of sub-humanity. You call to mind the arrogance of the sub-human missing links in inventing their Gods as if the self-haters were worth salvation. These days Objectivists can noticeably only enroll bile against their own most effectively, as the Harriman at Branden’s farewell demonstrates. It’s increasingly difficult to demonize a “Doug Bandler” when most every character is a hustler and nubile feminines reveal reciprocal guile. It is paramount not to dwell too long on these realities, and, as you say to seek out worthy associates. This stance does erect a self-made Gulch but we must make the most of each of our lives, with humour.

The Variety of Humans

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay -- I certainly agree that authentic humans -- or fully-realized ones -- are rare. Most people don't come anywhere near their potential due to bad philosophy and low character, in my judgment. We should all strive to be a version of Nietzsche's Overman or Superman (but without initiating force or generally abusing the massman) and live a vivacious, dynamic, heroic life. But it may simply be the case that most people are naturally and permanently sheeple and lowly insect-beings who will never be truly noble. Thus it's up to all of us potentially great humans, or authentic and fully-realized ones, to associate with the best folks we can. Some of us are possible demi-gods, in my view, and so human spirituality demands we make the effort to be great.

Ha, Kyrel!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The point is, actual humans must choose to be human. We don't need to wait for self-aware computers (a nonsense), intelligent aliens or eugenically enhanced humans. We need to recognise that most existing "humans" are just that: humans in inverted commas—anti- and sub-human, but existing in human form. If they all acted on their pomo-premises and committed suicide, that would be a huge advance for authentic humanity. Since they won't do that, we do have to await the playing-out of their premises by other means: an Islamofascist dirty bomb, economic self-destruction, cultural self-immolation; any or all of the above, aided and abetted by cowardly, politically correct OrgOism. Me, I can't wait. Authentic humans who survive will have a chance collectively to start over, sans the drooling beast. Bring it on!

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