This story is in regards to the thoughts of a technocrat and my private journey that led me to make some sense of that thoughts.
Lately, I had an amazing conversation with Charles Eisenstein. We talked about totalitarianism, bullying, and braveness as an antidote to bullying. Amongst different issues, Charles stated one thing that resonated with me very strongly — one thing that most likely resonates with many people at this time. He stated that he felt like his whole life had ready him for this second in time, as if previous to 2020 he had been rehearsing — and now every little thing was for actual. I believed, wow, that’s precisely how I really feel!
For the reason that starting of COVID, I’ve been feeling like my whole life previous 2020 was out of the blue helpful: my childhood spent in Moscow, on the ruins of the USSR, my making an attempt to know the technology of my grandparents who had been damaged by the totalitarian system of their time, the desires about robots and company holograms within the sky that I had as a child, my abusive marriage that taught me about the price of self-betrayal, my analysis into Big Tech and transhumanism that I did for years previous COVID — all of it out of the blue fell into place and made sense.
These experiences — a few of them painful — out of the blue shaped a mosaic serving to me perceive the present second with relative readability. I really feel compelled to share my understanding of the psychological drive that we’re coping with as a result of understanding that highly effective managerial drive can assist us stand as much as it with intelligence and braveness — and that’s what we’d like.
Ray Kurtzweil: Pleasure! Pleasure! Individuals and Machines Will Be One, at Final!
Right here’s immediately from the horse’s mouth, particularly from the mouth of Ray Kurtzweil, who’s the poster little one for the technocratic imaginative and prescient and likewise the official “father of singularity.” Publicly, Kurzweil espouses the assumption that people and machines will inevitably and essentially converge — and shortly — and that the bodily integration with AI will considerably enhance the human race and promote our evolution gloriously.
Kurzweil’s different promoting proposition is immortality — as in, we’ll dwell without end, or no less than a few of us will. Given the acute nature of his public statements, Kurzweil personal views are anybody’s guess. Prior to now, I used to assume that Kurzweil was principally honest when speaking about his imaginative and prescient of the longer term — however at this time I believe that he is aware of that he’s promoting us a bridge. Even so, the act of promoting this bridge pays him very properly, and so he retains upping his advertising pitch, such because the beneath:
Means of the Future: An Inglorious Try at Formalizing AI Worship
One other formidable gentleman, Anthony Levandowski, previously of Google, went so far as beginning an official church of AI, known as Means of the Future. He began it in 2015 — after which in 2020, he quietly closed it, whereas narrowly avoiding a jail sentence associated to a case of stolen mental property for self-driving vehicles and citing being moved by Black Lives Issues as an inspiration for altering his thoughts (issues can’t get any weirder):
“The primary church of synthetic intelligence has shut its conceptual doorways. Anthony Levandowski, the previous Google engineer who averted an 18-month jail sentence after receiving a presidential pardon, has closed the church he created to know and settle for a godhead based mostly on synthetic intelligence.“ As they are saying, sic transit gloria mundi!
‘Plug and Pray’
Earlier than we dive within the anxious thoughts of a technocrat, let’s take heed to the sensible and sobering phrases by Joseph Weizenbaum, a famed German laptop scientist who handed away in 2008, and who was credited with the invention of the primary “AI” program known as Eliza. This system, created within the Nineteen Sixties, was a easy chatbot mimicking a remedy session.
Weizenbaum created it as a scientific exploration. To his nice shock, folks interacting with Eliza began reacting to it in an emotional method, as in the event that they had been speaking to a human being. Weizenbaum didn’t like that improvement and made it very clear that his program was merely a predesigned algorithm, and that it was harmful to ascribe emotions to it.
Sadly, lots of his contemporaries discovered the idea of “humanized” AI very tempting and profitable, and Weizenbaum was ultimately pushed apart by his enthusiastic colleagues.
The assertion beneath is from the trailer for an amazing documentary about him known as “Plug and Pray”: “It’s disastrous that almost all my colleagues consider that we will create a synthetic human being. This immense nonsense is said to delusions of grandeur. Possibly, if I had identified again then what I do know now, that I’d have stated, ‘I don’t like being on this bunch.’”
Man as an Imperfect Machine
To a technocrat, a human being is an imperfect machine, a humble meat bag that’s operated by software program, which is produced by the mind. The technocrat’s understanding of life is predicated on a really primitive, linear imaginative and prescient; it’s void of non secular thriller.
The thoughts of a technocrat is caught in a spot the place it could possibly’t transfer previous the mechanical precept. It’s nearly as if like he has by no means developed an organ to sense or know non secular magnificence, and so he resents that magnificence and tries to destroy it in every little thing, with cold-minded effectivity.
Very like non secular fanatics of the centuries previous, who mocked and denounced different cultures’ non secular traditions, based mostly on their very own sensory limitations, technocrats really feel like they’ve discovered the precept of human existence, that it’s a matter of time for the science to decode the software program of life and create it from scratch. They assume it’s inevitable, and they’re making it our drawback.
Frederick Taylor and ‘Scientific Administration’
Technocrats apply the ideas of Frederick Taylor’s scientific administration to each facet of human life, whereas viewing their fellow residents as a useful resource to be managed with most effectivity.
Scientific administration was a way of business optimization developed by Taylor within the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The essence of his methodology was excessive fragmentation and compartmentalization of the manufacturing course of.
It required taking a posh course of, breaking it down into quite simple duties, timing every job, optimizing it to the utmost utilizing the stopwatch, after which assigning every of these easy duties to totally different staff, whereas insisting that the employees ought to solely use the pre-optimized motor patterns and work as effectively as doable. Beneath scientific administration, there was no room for staff’ creativity.
Famously, Taylor’s methodology was adopted — and perfected — by Ford who employed Taylor to assist optimize his auto manufacturing. Working collectively, they had been in a position to lower the manufacturing occasions and enhance the income dramatically. In fact, what was misplaced within the course of was the artistic sovereignty of the employee who was successfully become a human robotic.
To compensate for the stress and emotional vacancy and depletion that got here with the speedup, and to forestall what in at this time’s language we name “employee burnout,” Ford supplied aggressive pay to his staff on the situation of changing into an obedient robotic. No riot was tolerated. The vibe of the speedup was portrayed very poignantly by Charlie Chaplin in “Trendy Instances”:
Looking for Whole Management
The drive driving the thoughts of a technocrat is the overbearing emotional want for complete management, mixed with distrust for different folks generally. They seemingly look to compensate for his or her emotional poverty. (In different phrases, there is no such thing as a purpose to admire their successes as their successes are based mostly on theft of different folks’s proper to free will.)
The technocrats’ want to totally management their environment is anxiety-driven. They merely can’t stand the sensation of uncertainty that comes with permitting different folks’s subjective decisions to play any position. They don’t belief others to do the fitting factor, very like a really neurotic mum or dad doesn’t belief his little one’s capacity to decide on correctly with out supervision — however far much less benevolently.
Their want for management is very neurotic. They’re sitting on needles, so to talk (a Russian idiom and a pun within the mild of at this time) — and so as to dampen their nervousness, they resort to making an attempt to implement their controlling ambitions.
A rhetorical query: Does Invoice Gates consider that our planet can not maintain a rising inhabitants — and subsequently, he has to step in and do one thing about it so as to forestall a complete collapse of the human civilization (as a result of he’s the person for the job)? Does he consider himself to be a saint and a savior?
Quick reply: I don’t care whether or not Invoice Gates self-identifies as a saint or a villain. No matter whether or not he believes himself to be a profitable saint or a profitable villain, he has no respectable enterprise in my relationship with the world — and whereas his mindset and his wealth permit him to de facto impose his imaginative and prescient with drive, he stays an intruder so far as I’m involved, and I don’t need to comply together with his imaginative and prescient of my future.
Technocrats might imagine they’re the cream of the crop. They might assume that their sensible imaginative and prescient is nice for the world. However no matter whether or not they consider themselves to be the great guys or the unhealthy guys, their thirst for complete management is a pathological, anxiety-driven expression. They will’t stand being depending on different folks’s free will, and they also aspire to squash it, which isn’t existentially proper.
An Previous Drawback
Whereas the technocrats of at this time have lastly discovered their excellent managerial companion within the type of AI — which they will have programmed in any means that fits their pursuits, after which faux that AI is goal — their damaged mentality is an previous one.
We’re not the primary technology dealing with this problem, and we will study quite a bit from the previous. The Nice Reset delivered to us by the technocrats of the twenty first century is identical previous try at domination, carrying new sneakers (or somewhat, new digital boots).
The most effective analyses of the underlying malaise was executed by Steven Newcomb, the scholar of the System of Domination. Steven is Shawnee and Lenape, and his roots permit him to take a look at the difficulty from a novel perspective that I discover very sensible and enlightening.
Amongst different issues, Steven Newcomb appears to be like on the linguistic variations between the idea of nature-based “free and unbiased existence” that was largely prevalent amongst folks in every single place on Earth for hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of years — regardless of the inevitable imperfections of the human situation and the existence of wars — and the comparatively new paradigm of “domination” which maintains that so as to be “human” or “civilized,” one has to denounce one’s non secular and bodily sovereignty and one’s inner relationship with nature, and undergo a mechanical precept, the Machine — be it the state, an institutional faith, a company council, or a communist social gathering committee (the latter examples are mine). Steven’s work is essential for the understanding of technocracy.
A Sensory Drawback
I consider that the true purpose for the best way a technocrat’s thoughts works the best way it really works is damaged sensory circuitry. Human beings have to undergo sure experiences so as to develop humility and awe — each qualifies sorely missing in technocrats — and of their case, these expertise by no means occurred. They’re metaphorically two-dimensional, lack depth.
Thus, we will’t repair them, and it’s not our job — however it actually helps to know their considering in order that we will shield ourselves from their follies as a lot as we will. Personally, I pray for his or her therapeutic identical to I pray for the therapeutic of all — however I settle for my limitations so far as saving the technocrats. Most likely not my precedence!
As an attention-grabbing visible illustration of this psychological state, right here is younger Steve Jobs with a proud shine in his eyes, asserting the well-known 1984 launch of a Macintosh laptop. Each his announcement and the strikingly bizarre “1984” industrial that he exhibits to advertise his new product — the place his laptop saves the world from the grim Orwellian future — are price trying out:
Man Worshipping His Mind
I’d like to finish the story about technocrats with an allegory that I wrote in 2017 BC (earlier than COVID):
Lord Mind, create a lie for me, a lie so grand and tempting that it is going to be unattainable to withstand.
The world because it was created earlier than me, feels out of the blue boring. I need one thing new, even when it’s a lie. A spot the place I don’t know every other God however me. A spot the place there is no such thing as a vulnerability, a spot the place I don’t have to provide or be grateful to anyone, a spot the place there is no such thing as a uncertainty of affection however solely predictability of possession – of every little thing and everyone, by me.
I need to overlook the world through which I’m part of the so known as ‘complete,’ one thing that I didn’t design. Might there be no roots, solely Holy Innovation. Might there be no duty, solely Holy Disruption.
Might every little thing round me change into inanimate, and will I be perpetually trapped in re-living my greatness, in order that nothing jogs my memory of what I’m about to lose. And thus, the person who requested for every little thing to be inanimate – as a result of solely inanimate issues might be owned – misplaced his soul and have become a robotic.
Concerning the Creator
To seek out extra of Tessa Lena’s work, remember to take a look at her bio, Tessa Fights Robots.