This story is concerning the thoughts of a technocrat and my private journey that led me to make some sense of that thoughts.
Just lately, I had an incredible dialog with Charles Eisenstein. We talked about totalitarianism, bullying, and braveness as an antidote to bullying. Amongst different issues, Charles mentioned one thing that resonated with me very strongly — one thing that in all probability resonates with many people right this moment. He mentioned that he felt like his complete life had ready him for this second in time, as if previous to 2020 he had been rehearsing — and now all the things was for actual. I assumed, wow, that’s precisely how I really feel!
Because the starting of COVID, I’ve been feeling like my complete life previous 2020 was out of the blue helpful: my childhood spent in Moscow, on the ruins of the USSR, my attempting to grasp 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 Massive 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 fashioned a mosaic serving to me perceive the present second with relative readability. I really feel compelled to share my understanding of the psychological pressure that we’re coping with as a result of understanding that highly effective managerial pressure will help us stand as much as it with intelligence and braveness — and that’s what we want.
Ray Kurtzweil: Pleasure! Pleasure! Folks and Machines Will Be One, at Final!
Right here’s straight 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 in addition 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 perpetually, or at the very least a few of us will. Given the acute nature of his public statements, Kurzweil personal views are anybody’s guess. Previously, I used to assume that Kurzweil was principally honest when speaking about his imaginative and prescient of the longer term — however right this moment I think 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 and marketing pitch, such because the under:
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 prevented an 18-month jail sentence after receiving a presidential pardon, has closed the church he created to grasp 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 hearken to the smart 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 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 have been speaking to a human being. Weizenbaum didn’t like that growth and made it very clear that his program was merely a predesigned algorithm, and that it was harmful to ascribe emotions to it.
Sadly, a lot of his contemporaries discovered the idea of “humanized” AI very tempting and profitable, and Weizenbaum was finally pushed apart by his enthusiastic colleagues.
The assertion under is from the trailer for an incredible documentary about him known as “Plug and Pray”: “It’s disastrous that almost all my colleagues imagine that we will create a synthetic human being. This immense nonsense is expounded to delusions of grandeur. Possibly, if I had recognized again then what I do know now, that I’d have mentioned, ‘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 relies on a really primitive, linear imaginative and prescient; it’s void of religious thriller.
The thoughts of a technocrat is caught in a spot the place it may well’t transfer previous the mechanical precept. It’s nearly as if like he has by no means developed an organ to sense or know religious magnificence, and so he resents that magnificence and tries to destroy it in all the things, with cold-minded effectivity.
Very like non secular fanatics of the centuries previous, who mocked and denounced different cultures’ religious 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 side of human life, whereas viewing their fellow residents as a useful resource to be managed with most effectivity.
Scientific administration was a technique of business optimization developed by Taylor within the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The essence of his technique was excessive fragmentation and compartmentalization of the manufacturing course of.
It required taking a fancy 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 completely different employees, whereas insisting that the employees ought to solely use the pre-optimized motor patterns and work as effectively as attainable. Underneath scientific administration, there was no room for employees’ creativity.
Famously, Taylor’s technique was adopted — and perfected — by Ford who employed Taylor to assist optimize his auto manufacturing. Working collectively, they have been capable of minimize the manufacturing occasions and improve the earnings dramatically. After all, what was misplaced within the course of was the inventive sovereignty of the employee who was successfully changed into a human robotic.
To compensate for the stress and emotional vacancy and depletion that got here with the speedup, and to forestall what in right this moment’s language we name “employee burnout,” Ford supplied aggressive pay to his employees on the situation of changing into an obedient robotic. No insurrection was tolerated. The vibe of the speedup was portrayed very poignantly by Charlie Chaplin in “Trendy Occasions”:
Looking for Whole Management
The pressure driving the thoughts of a technocrat is the overbearing emotional want for complete management, mixed with distrust for different folks on the whole. They seemingly look to compensate for his or her emotional poverty. (In different phrases, there is no such thing as a cause to admire their successes as their successes are based mostly on theft of different folks’s proper to free will.)
The technocrats’ need to completely management their environment is anxiety-driven. They merely can’t stand the sensation of uncertainty that comes with permitting different folks’s subjective selections to play any function. They don’t belief others to do the proper factor, very like a really neurotic mum or dad doesn’t belief his little one’s capacity to decide on properly with out supervision — however far much less benevolently.
Their need for management is extremely neurotic. They’re sitting on needles, so to talk (a Russian idiom and a pun within the gentle of right this moment) — and with the intention to dampen their nervousness, they resort to attempting to implement their controlling ambitions.
A rhetorical query: Does Invoice Gates imagine that our planet can not maintain a rising inhabitants — and due to this fact, he has to step in and do one thing about it with the intention to stop a complete collapse of the human civilization (as a result of he’s the person for the job)? Does he imagine himself to be a saint and a savior?
Brief 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 legit 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 pressure, he stays an intruder so far as I’m involved, and I don’t wish to comply along 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 imagine themselves to be the great guys or the dangerous 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 Outdated Drawback
Whereas the technocrats of right this moment have lastly discovered their excellent managerial companion within the type of AI — which they’ll have programmed in any manner that fits their pursuits, after which fake that AI is goal — their damaged mentality is an outdated one.
We’re not the primary technology dealing with this problem, and we will study so much from the previous. The Nice Reset delivered to us by the technocrats of the twenty first century is identical outdated try at domination, carrying new sneakers (or fairly, new digital boots).
Among the best analyses of the underlying malaise was completed 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 problem from a singular perspective that I discover very smart and enlightening.
Amongst different issues, Steven Newcomb appears to be like on the linguistic variations between the idea of nature-based “free and impartial existence” that was largely prevalent amongst folks in every single place on Earth for hundreds if not tens of millions 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 with the intention to be “human” or “civilized,” one has to denounce one’s religious and bodily sovereignty and one’s inside 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 imagine that the actual cause 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 with the intention 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 grasp 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 similar to I pray for the therapeutic of all — however I settle for my limitations so far as saving the technocrats. In all probability 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” business that he exhibits to advertise his new product — the place his laptop saves the world from the grim Orwellian future — are value testing:
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 not possible to withstand.
The world because it was created earlier than me, feels out of the blue boring. I would like one thing new, even when it’s a lie. A spot the place I don’t know another God however me. A spot the place there is no such thing as a vulnerability, a spot the place I don’t have to offer 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 all the things and everyone, by me.
I wish to overlook the world wherein 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 all the things round me change into inanimate, and should 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 all the things to be inanimate – as a result of solely inanimate issues will be owned – misplaced his soul and have become a robotic.
In regards to the Creator
To seek out extra of Tessa Lena’s work, make sure you take a look at her bio, Tessa Fights Robots.