Human 2.0 – The Death Of Identity

We are all doomed to a technological death by computers. Our resources have value to a more intelligent being, which in their innate cleverness will exploit it to our absolute peril. How can we ever hope to control an intelligence that is more intelligent than ourselves?

Computer viruses and human viruses will merge to create a new disease. The transfer between machine and man will be enabled when the first connections are allowed into our bodies, through DNA modification.

We are changing DNA, like we understand the implications of doing so. The sad fact is that we understand intellectually what basic relationships exist between our DNA and our development, but these have not been tested by nature. Nature is the original testing ground for replication and mutation. I doubt the social acceptability of a test lab to do the same.

We will make mistakes that will spread. We will introduce differences across generations. We hand-over from Mother Nature, and destroy millions of years of exhaustive testing and development with a few clicks of a mouse.

We are that clever. We can change the human race because we know better than Mother Nature. We modify our food, our water, our air and ultimately our future. We are already Human 2.0, only it’s a label we give ourselves, not one earned through progression.

I write this not from the land on which I once stood, but from a shelter underground. Mother nature has a fight on her hands, but one, which is laughably easy to win. Humans are an interim stage of nature, not nature itself. We can happily destroy ourselves through obsessive manipulation of our surroundings, yet nature will simply look on in neutrality, with a finger on the trigger of annihilation.

We die for less than we should; we live to be less than we could. We don’t have the right to destroy a world, which is not even ours. We have developed into the most intelligent beings on a planet called earth. Yet our intelligence cannot even stop us from killing ourselves with ridiculously sized weapons of war.

The majority of people do not even enjoy their lives. Instead they exist in the hope of stumbling across a lucky break. We live for no purpose and with no direction. We let others make our decisions, and in doing so help orchestrate the ultimate demise of the human race. We let others make decisions that are not theirs to make. Not only that, but we pay them to do it.

We stand by and allow other human beings to be kicked to death in front of us because we don’t want to get involved, or too busy buying lottery tickets. We give money to scratch card companies and dubious charities, which do nothing to truly improve human kinds chances of survival, and in that action of giving we empower someone else to make our decisions on what really matters.

Humanity has become a direct debit.

It’s too late for us now; we have travelled down this neon sign-posted road for too many years to turn back. Yet the stars still shine above us, the earth still supports our weight below us. We are doomed to a fate, which we subscribed to. We watched our fate minute by minute on cable TV in high definition 1080p and surround sound with oxygen-free cables and gold-plated plugs.

We ate finely diced animal in bleached bread, drank fermented vegetables and marvelled at our own intelligence. Yes, we are intelligent. We are creatures of habit, and will do anything to avoid hassle and pain. We live precariously on the edge, praying that when we fall, we have enough insurance to cover our injuries, or enough evidence of the fall to claim an insurance payout.

We spent so much time regulating everything we possibly can; we lose sight of what’s important in our lives. We live in a context of fear and anxiety, where failure is permanent and credit ratings are more important than self-respect.

Fear and consumption, fear and consumption, even our death leads to fear of social unacceptability and consumption of very expensive firewood. It’s no longer about showing respect, but putting on a show. The performance has become our day-to-day lives; we can no longer walk the streets as ourselves, but as a celebrity in-waiting. Our public awaits another great performance, the only problem being that it’s a deception we play on ourselves.

There is clearly something very wrong with a society where our children’s ambitions in life are limited to the acquisition of a better mobile phone. We don’t even need money anymore to finance such luxuries; instead we take credit from double-glazing salesmen, and a new sofa paid for on tick. We offset our responsibilities to the next generation, not caring if we leave the world a better place or not.

We paid money to a government, which governed the depletion and destruction of our natural habitat, and used our scarce resources to kill other humans because they killed us, for killing them in the first place. The irony of our ‘just and honourable’ fight for peace is apparently lost on the self-appointed leaders of the day.

Reality TV was a hit between 1990 and 2010; we spent more of our lives watching disempowered people bear their souls for cash, without ever thinking of the shame. The amazing gift of life on this planet, at this time, surely cannot be better expressed than in the actions of a fat, alcoholic travelling insurance salesman purchasing McDeadAnimal with extra salt at a rat-infested drive-through. We should be ashamed at the mess we have all created.

Our consumption, makes it ok to produce products and entertainment which truly represent the dregs of a diseased society. We take all the shame of our self-destructive lifestyles and apportion the blame onto figments of our imagination, for this we are revered by some as truly good.

We tell our bodies to stay awake by drinking caffeine at night, and then drug ourselves because we can’t get to sleep. We drain ourselves to the limit putting up expensive patterned wallpaper and gold leafed borders, then catch colds because our bodies no longer have the strength to fight. Not to worry though, we can drive our big gas consuming trucks to big out of town supermarkets and buy imported drugs, which will hide the cold from everyone we meet. We are intelligent.

We all have a choice of what to do at each moment. Our choices are not determined by the action of others, only of the actions of ourselves. We choose to commit socially acceptable suicide by running the rat race every day, yet we complain and get upset because those rats die, even though it was usually their choice to do so.

We need to use are intelligence to undo what we have done. Nano-technology, high definition displays, genetic modification and cloning are tools of a civilisation, which can handle the responsibility. The fact we queue day after day to audition to be pop-stars, when we have zero-musical talent, is certainly not a good sign.

Give a man a gun and he will shoot someone, give a man a bomb and he’ll blow something up. Give a man the keys to nature’s encryption, and we are surely all doomed. Yet it’s inevitable. We can’t undo our progress, because it’s in our nature to be progressive. Nature itself is progressive, and we follow by example.

We will develop artificial intelligence, which can harm us in ways we cannot by definition comprehend. We will learn to clone people, find ways of contaminating our food and water supplies and learn to kill each other in more technologically advanced ways. It’s our destiny to figure out how to achieve these things, yet the action to actually carry them out will be a decision for each of us to make. It’s our destiny to make decisions, which ultimately define the fate of the human race. The technology is irrelevant, it’s the action taken which will steer our course, which will secure our fate as human beings.

You have a choice to make now. You can close this document and check your e-mail, or perhaps check out some lame videos on Youtube. Or you could do something now, which makes a difference to this world and to the human race. Take positive action, even if that’s just to pass this document to a friend or colleague, at least make a commitment to yourself that you will contribute to the world in some positive, creative way.

I doubt whether most people reading this will have gotten to this point, and why should they when they have celebrity game shows to watch. We need to start looking beyond the TV and our digital lives, to find the part of humanity that’s still alive within us. This is your moment to make a decision, use it wisely. What are you going to do next?

(2006)

River Hunt