Archive for Humanity
“The End of Work” published in 1995. by Jeremy Rifkin, “President of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the bestselling author of nineteen books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment.”
My elder frat brother and home town hero made some grand political philosophy alignments with Rifkin. Its important considering the news yesterday that the city that birthed us both is Bankrupt, well he was actually born in Highland Park, MI which is a city surrounded by Detroit that has always been on the brink of financial catastrophe but isn’t bankrupt. How’d that happen?
The notion that we can just shorten the work load of the few people working today is not very progressive at all, for someone that subscribes to the progressive moniker that the Democratic Party touts in its modern campaigns. Specific to the structural unemployment technoprogressivism, value isn’t distributed well. of When Hewlett-Packard or Facebook acquires companies to grow its ability to provide a valuable social network its hires the staff at those firms for being effective and efficient. Sometimes they’ve even warranted paying a team of 20 people 1,000,000,000 US Dollars.
If I were to root-cause the labor gap that Rep. Conyers is referencing, I’d start by looking at the value that workers are actually creating and where they are deriving it from. While much thinking specific to policy and liberal artistic disciplines like rhetoric are based in linear thought, thinking around innovation cannot be. It is exponential, or rather, an extension of previous developments and influences. Formal jobs are a great tool for deploying human talent, but they aren’t the only tool anymore and shouldn’t acknowledged as such.
A congressman with as little to lose as Rep. Conyers at 84 years old should be looking to usher in new measures to indemnify the people of his district and others for their toiling. Logic: If all innovations are technological (methodological, software, hardware) – and technological growth is exponential – and exponential growth is rooted in influences – and influencers are individuals or institutions – then we should be looking at way to indemnify the influencers. This incentivizes people to participate well in their respective professions regardless of what color collar they’ll wear. Use the #BigData.
Humanoid species have always upgraded themselves and co-existed with pred/successors in the same time. #Transhumanism is not specific to this recent technological era.
After posting a few weeks back on a Richard Dawkins article specific to Jesus and Atheism, I was responded by Lincoln Cannon a post called the New God Argument. I first heard this argument at the University of Utah from Lincoln while visiting the area for a conference.
Its logically sound, when the faith position is adopted. The argument is a derivative or rather an advancement on Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument and further Robin Hanson’s Great Filter argument, as the links above will tell anyone in much more detail. I’ve even sited Bostom’s 2003 paper in my own defense after being wrongfully labeled as an atheist. Its one thing to state that there
is no God (atheism) or that we cant know if there is a God (agnosticism), and quite another to state that we could create or evolve into one or a vast many.
I think that Lincoln’s argument progressive and may provide the next wave of theology arguments in their defense this century. It’s fascinating to see how far the modern human mind can go in its extrapolation of our exiting technological potential. As Lincoln puts it, the logical truth that post-humans have a probability of………..
[from Lincoln’s – angel argument, benevolence argument, and creation argument]
posthumans probably already exist
AND posthumans probably are more benevolent than us
AND posthumans probably created our world
After reading the argument I’m compelled to revisit my previous writings on spirituality. When I wrote that I was NOT and atheist I was leaving open the possibility (because of the probability) that we, as the new God argument reads, wont become extinct before becoming post-human. I was also relying on the probability that we could potentially create civilizations, worlds, galaxies, universes, multiverses, with humanoid or homo sapien like individuals. Having stated that I think that Lincoln and my definition of the God figure are much different.
When I reference the term God I’m only meaning to represent a creator figure; I am however, excluding the potential for this figure to intervene in those created lives/world/simulation. I cant find rationale that suggests the creator figure would have any incentive to intervene to interact as benevolent or otherwise.
Physics dis-Incentives: I think that there would first exist some very rigid code (computer language) that manifests in what we understand as our physical laws. Plenty of traditional atheists have identified the inconsistencies in physics as a cornerstone in their rebuttal to the spiritual realm. Their point being, physics is the great divide between what we are/can-be and what we cannot.
Management dis-Incentives: I don’t think that the creator figure would have the incentive to modify imperfections that it sees in its creation, because of the potential to recreate duplicates to modify with a searchable history for analysis are so attractive. We see these types of practices happening currently in the Information Technology (IT) industry becoming more common as computing power/speed/space become greater/faster/more abundant respectively. While There is the potential for the multiple creators in different places and times during a continuous evolution of (what some would call) our current transhuman being, to create existences like our own, they would all be quite different depending on the technology available, and unlikely curated to take advantage of the latest technologies available because of the obsolescence that exponential technological growth provides.
Economics dis-Incentives: Similar to the argument that I made in 2010 at Transhumanism & Spirituality the context in which individuals identify with “their own” spirits and a “supreme” spirit are inconsistent with the spirit having any potential actually interact on the individual’s behalf, in where, it connects the individual with physical being. The arbitrage or competition phenomenon in a competitive situation would create definite dis-incentives for benevolence.
To go a bit further, I would like to take a tangent from Lincoln’s progressive Mormon Transhumanist philosophy and bring into consideration the ideal that some Christian’s subscribe to regarding the tangible or physical creations by spiritual beings or God (see page 3); and further, spirituality being a tangible phenomenon.
Simply, there would be physical traces of spiritual activity if at any point there were any other-than-physical interactions in our physical realm. Prayers and miracles for instance would have physical manifestations. One of my favorites is walking on water or even flying. I’m reminded of the elementary science projects where student turn solids into liquids and finally into gasses. In order for either of the aforementioned miracles to happen the physical properties of air or water would have to change from less dense to more dense, in an almost instantaneous fashion….but there are simply no traces of that type of activity. The ideal that non-physical beings are more relevant to our physical realm is (in my opinion) invalid, and in fact provides a brand of ego-centric hope that ails human kind’s potential for real harmonious interaction.
The faith assumption is the cornerstone of The New God Argument, not the probability logic behind the benevolence argument. This should be conversely true considering the “value proposition” of spirituality: connectivity (or human connections).
It could be argued that I am faithful in human-kind’s ability to generate a desirable future and create linkages between persons without any need for a creator figure to intervene, generating an organic omnipresent benevolence. And even as I have coined myself as someone with no beliefs at all, I would keep that all we have is our opportunity to live and create connections…and dream of benevolence by using our technologies to create situations where resources of sorts are NOT scarce, and creating environments where we have incentives to connect. Faith is no substitute for rationale and action.
With the integration of human beings and technological enhancement, the ideal of what is morally just becomes increasingly ambiguous, referencing the seemingly endless scenarios of mechanical, electrical, and bio engineering enhancements that have propelled individuals of our kind to mature well beyond the centennial of exploration.
While the philosophical quarrels of today regarding emerging technologies are specific to ethics and what we have the power to do versus what we should do, I don’t think that we’ve spent enough time exploring what ethics are and to whom they apply.
Ethics, or the moral regard, has the potential to be somewhat relative when individuals fail to subscribe to the same social normative. Similar to legal standards, citizens or subscribers of a society agree on laws of sorts, and are only protected by those laws through acknowledging themselves as a member.
Although the Homo genus can define all humans in the known past and existing today, our sub species or sub group needs to be further narrowed as a result of the technologically forced evolution that is taking place currently.
Inside the group that we currently identify as human, per the attempted Universal Declaration of Human Rights presented by the United Nations, there is a great difference between the (Homo) extensions of the technological elite and the aboriginal groups that we’ve identified as Homo sapiens sapiens since approximately 200,000 years ago.
Today individuals use enhancements for physical deterioration and deprivation (like gene therapy or implants), cognitive abilities for qualitative and quantitative methods (like microprocessors), mechanical assistance both dynamic and static (like prosthetics and motor propulsion), and many other technologies, leading to a great difference in ability and, further, potential. These differences are at least as distinct—if not much more so—as between Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens idaltu.
Homo sapiens idaltu co-existed with Homo sapiens sapiens approximately 160,000 years ago, and became obsolete in their survival pursuits at locations in north and east Africa. The similar anatomical appearances of sapiens sapiens and sapiens idaltu are at least as significant as the differences between, say, Stephen Hawkins or the late Michael Jackson and the indigenous Australians (pictured right: perhaps our most identifiable linkage to the prevailing Homo sapiens sapiens some 160,000 years ago). All of the Homo species still possess the same bipedal primate designation, but that may change in the future.
The modern rhetoric of humanity is synonymous with inefficiencies (qualitative), ineffectiveness (qualitative), and inequality (lacking benevolence). I find that humans in passing typically state things similar to the ideal that our lack of proficiency is not only intrinsic to being human, but also desirable. Humans need to decide how they want to grow.
Of course there is an unfinished debate between the technological determinists and the social constructionists that would acknowledge how we grow. Perhaps the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature should modify its code to accommodate another variation in taxonomic rank of dual existing Homo sapiens subspecies. Of course the PEST (political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological) implications of such a classification are a huge regulatory undertaking, but it wouldn’t necessarily cease the orchestration by technological elites of the other factions in human societies.