A Fork In The Road

Please watch this 1 hour documentary before reading the blog.

I found that all to be a well researched and rational examination of our current predicament as a species.  I also see the occupy movement as part of a social response to information that The Age Of Transition (and other news items that may be called Internet Revelations) provoke amidst our public commons.

Whether we like it or not, we are all caught up in an ongoing information war.  Some would like to explain it as class war which might be a good definition for an individual that believes in the value of class or hierarchy.  I do not believe in class or hierarchy and understand them both to be well-thought out systems of control and oppression.  Regardless of what we believe, the information war has begun to manifest itself in our physical reality.  The “powers that be” understand the occupy movement to be extremely threatening to their beloved machine.  But does the machine have anything to do with humanity and the necessary joie de vivre that is life?

This is the question that must be answered:  Which direction for humanity to take?  Do we continue to embrace the machine of industry and take it to its logical conclusion which includes the continued extraction and consumption of fossil fuels and also the acceleration of technological evolution towards the direction of The Singularity.

Or do we want to turn our backs on industrial civilization forever and move into small, sustainable communities that are able to treat one another altruistically rather than exploitatively?

Or is there a third alternative that somehow marries sustainable, renewable technologies with permaculture designs to our communities?

These three possible futures have been pre-occupying my mind for the last couple years ever since I began to be interested in The Singularity (read Ray Kurzweil’s book).   The Singularity is ostensibly an amazing new era of technological dominance in which humanity as we know it will cease to exist.  My initial impulse was of disbelief and dismissal.  One could also call it denial.  But now I realize that there are a great deal of people that are directly advocating for this kind of future.  This is a world that would eventually look like it was inhabited by The Borg (Star Trek reference!).

Is this the kind of world you want for your children?

Make no mistake, humanity is at a crossroads.  We need to come to a consensus about whether we continue to pursue technology and its supposed “benefits.”  Or whether we should begin collectively decolonizing our culture and align it with the values of equality, freedom, compassion and sustainability.   To pursue technology, in my humble opinion, is to pursue further oppression.

Technology will continue to be about “haves” and “have-nots.”  Those that can already afford to be plugged in and have constant internet access already have a massive advantage compared to an individual that hasn’t had any such opportunity yet.  And if our current trends continue, the money-makers-traders will use every opportunity of progress to continue to raise the prices on us and will drive us further into debt in order to “remain competitive.”

Another world is possible!

It’s certainly complicated, because the internet is a tremendously valuable and useful tool when it comes to communication.  But is it possible to make it available to EVERYONE in order to unleash the true potential of our collective ability to communicate?  If we do already have the collective resources extracted and wasted, then it might be possible to funnel our collective imaginations and workforce to use what we already have to meet the communications and energy needs of EVERYONE.

However, if we can’t meet the needs of everyone, then we should seriously question whether or not we want to live in a world where such a massive gap between the haves and the have-nots exist.

I value equality before most other ideas – primarily because if equality is a value than it requires that everyone have the same opportunity.  It also means that a pure democracy is possible where one voice equals one vote.  Such a society negates the need for leadership.  As a white/straight/male I’ve been the recipient of much privilege and entitlement, and I frankly feel that everyone else should have the same opportunities.  A techno-fascist world would not make that possible.

It’s ultimately up to you, the free person reading this.  I’m free (at present) to write these words and articulate the possibility of a sustainable world.  But you must choose which fork in the road you will take.

If you’re undecided, then here is a suggestion.  For a New Year’s Resolution:  Resolve to actively imagine possible future scenarios where technology becomes increasingly less dominant, and where people power begins to heal the world.

2 comments on “A Fork In The Road

  1. When you wrote, “Technology will continue to be about “haves” and “have-nots.” Those that can already afford to be plugged in and have constant internet access already have a massive advantage compared to an individual that hasn’t had any such opportunity yet.”

    I think you were referring to wall street and their dishonest monetary digital deals that can be replicated over and over, (such as home mortgage securitization investments based on unsustainable, dishonest mortgage deals).

    However, I believe what is amazing nowadays is that the poor can actually communicate digitally at virtually no cost. In some parts of the world, Ipads are used to keep tabs on the price of food so that the western business types don’t rip off the previously uneducated farmer.

    • yes interesting. No doubt technology has its benefits. Just like people argue that money has its benefits. But I think too many people (probably myself included) are frequently and blindly plugging into our laptops/ipads/phones without considering the lasting effects that these behaviors are having on us as a species. The question remains: Are robots any good?

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