The Coming Singularity

Have you noticed how rapidly technology is advancing? Five years ago, very few of the general population gave any thought to tablet computing. And today, the iPad and many other tablets are the preferred method of access to the Web. The web itself is just over twenty years old, and the PC revolution started in the early seventies. And shortly after that, cell phones burst on the scene. Can you imagine not having these devices? The dark ages for sure. How would we stay in touch with our friends and family? How could we look things up? How could we even live?

Look at not just the technological advances in and of themselves, but look at the space between these milestones. They get shorter and shorter.

In the last two years, amazing breakthroughs have been made in advancing technology and cybernetics. Powered exo-skeletons for people with physical disabilities or for military personnel; thought controlled devices that allow paraplegics the ability to control a mouse with their brains. Hell, they even make rabbit ears that you wear and wiggle with your mind. The Japanese are the furthest ahead in robotics, having released some very interesting devices.

Even more recently, they have managed to allow one animal to control the movements and decisions of another. Organic transistors have been produced and a certain type of organic chip is being worked on for implanting in the human brain. There is talk of boosting human intellect and merging the human mind with computers. Theories of direct mind to mind human communications have also been posited and are being worked on as we speak.

But what does this all mean for us? In his seminal paper, The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Global/Singularity/sing.html

Vinge describes such an accelerated evolution of technology in which advances happen so fast and furiously, we will hit a point where we will become Post-Human as he terms it. Beings with unlimited intelligence, merged AI and human intellects, even upload of human consciousness to computers so we would be aware for all eternity. He calls this post-human point the Singularity; the place where all previous understanding breaks down and things would be incomprehensible to the average person today.

It is coming. Many are in agreement that it will happen mid-twenty-first century or a few years before. Not much time at all. Ask yourself, should it be stopped? My answer to this is a resounding NO! This is part of the natural evolution of intelligence. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, A French Philosopher and Jesuit Priest held forth the belief that Man was evolving to become One with God. The Hindu philosophies express succinctly that we are on the Wheel of Life to learn lessons, grow, and ultimately return to the Godhead from which we sprang.

But look at the state of the world and the human species these days. Loss of freedom, incredible displays of violence and genocide, governments and businesses ignoring the welfare of nature and the common man in a rapacious campaign for material riches. Children starving and lacking the ability to educate themselves while a few miles away gated communities house the wealthy and educated. The rich get richer and the poor grow poorer and increase in number.

Is this the kind of mentality we wish to have as the template for the Post-Human future? I don’t know about you, but hell no on my part. When the Singularity hits the prevalent mentality will prevail. So what can be done?

Its time to take sides; time to touch on the spiritual side of things. Not the dogmatic religions that are in the media, but the philosophies of the Buddha, the actual teachings of the Christ and many eastern religions.

In opposition to this mentality, there are a few thousand people who could be considered enlightened. And they spread the teachings of love and compassion, tolerance and acceptance, to their students. And this is passed on to anyone who will heed their words. But the work is slow.

The future is coming. Join me. Let’s make it a beautiful one!

Advertisements

Chaos

Many people speak of Chaos without truly understanding it’s meaning. For example, there is a branch of Mathematics called Chaos Theory. In it’s simplest terms, it can describe something like the behavior of a weather system. It’s not an exact science, hence why the weather reports are often inaccurate.

The important thing to understand about Chaos Theory, is that it is based on what is happening at the start of whatever is being analyzed. Any unexpected change can invalidate the current analysis.

But there is another use for the word Chaos. It denotes randomness, disorder or confusion. When you throw a pair of dice, Chaos come into play. You have no idea how they will land, what numbers will come up. That’s what makes gambling so exciting.

And as for randomness and disorder, just look in your kids room and you’ll understand. 🙂

Chaos is all around us. It touches us daily. The action of random elements of life, the so called “Murphy Effect”. For some of us, it is a constant companion. Nothing ever seems to go right, no matter how hard we try. And we don’t understand why. We say it’s just “bad luck” or “karma” or “fate”.

But those of us with a visceral understanding of Chaos, we see something else. In order to deal with the oncoming storm, you need awareness. Awareness of everything you think, do and say, and the possible outcomes from it. That funny feeling that raises the hair on the back of your neck. It makes you crazy having to look at everything, but it does help.

Relationships are the worst, because each individual is a set of chaotic emotional responses. If you study someone long enough, you can even start to see how they will respond under certain stimuli.

Now as a person with a dominant and sometimes overbearing personality, I love to poke people and see their reactions. Yes, I do it on purpose. When they react, I compare it to a list of predicted behavior and see which one was chosen. But beware, the unexpected happens a lot. Every time i poke or prod someone, I expect them to explode in uncertain ways. In an instance of “Don’t try this at home”, a friend of mine tried it with someone, to very unexpected and somewhat unpleasant results. When she complained, I told her she was poking at  live bomb. What did she expect?

In many different cultures, Chaos is embodied by an archetype. The god Loki, and Prometheus, are examples. My own personal favorite is the Native American Archetype of Coyote. The Trickster God, he is depicted as a hero, but always with an edge. It is said he brought fire to the Tribes, but also the concept of death.

Coyote is a teacher of lessons, a creature of chaos and laughter. He fights hard and refuses to give up.

Some if us who believe in Chaos, see it as a Primal force, see it as the underpinning of creation. From this Chaos sprang what we call reality. In science, some who study Quantum Physics see the nature of what lies beneath what we see.

Some of us see a correlation between what the scientists see and the chaos we experience in our everyday life. Chaos can be tasted, felt and on very rare occasions, avoided or channeled. It all comes down to awareness and expecting the unexpected.

Embrace Chaos. Expect the unexpected. Become more aware of yourself and those around you.  I sometimes call myself Brother to Coyote. I feel his hand on my life, and I am aware of what can happen. It’s lots of fun, actually! Especially poking people that are SO entrenched in their modes of belief. They blow up real good! 🙂

Dedicated to my good friend Raven

Taking Innocence…

“Death reaps the beauty of the world

Bundles old crops to hasten anew,

Be still, heart:

Hold peace

Growing is better than decay:
I hear the blade, which severs life from life.
Be still, peace:
Hold heart.

Death is passing on—
The making way of life and time for life.
Hate dying and killing, not death.
Be still, heart:
Make no expostulation.
Hold peace and grief
And be still.”

– Lord Mhoram (Stephen R. Donaldson)

The taking of any life is heinous. But taking the life of an innocent child is an act beyond imagination to me. There are no words in my mouth or head that can describe how I feel. I live in that town and have for many years. I live only a short distance from that school. So this one hits close to home.

Sandy Hook is a part of Newtown, a very quiet town. Boring in fact. Everyone is friendly, everyone wears a smile. And its’ not a forced one. We like each other. New England living at its’ finest.
Image
But today that peace was shattered in a hail of bullets. Children taken away from their families and loved ones. The future changed in an instant. Who knows how those young lives could have enriched humanity. Ills cured, peace ennobled. But now we will never know. All we will know is aught but grief and to wonder why…

What has happened to us? When did we become so inured to the sacredness of life? What thoughts ran through his head? What kind of rage makes one kill a child? What manner of beast have we become? I have no answers only tears.

“…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;…”

” And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

William Butler Yeats