Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Problem With Techolibertarianism...

...Or the acronym SMI2LE, which was coined by none other than Timothy Leary, which stands for "Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension; the problem with these is that they are dreams of a "New Utopia" fueled by several different drugs of choice, only one of which is psychedelics.

It pains me deeply that space exploration, or human improvement itself, for that matter, became a pseudo, mystical-religious, attempt to transcend in one way or another. That as opposed to a simple understanding that there are not only too many of us on the planet, but that the other drugs of choice got the planet well on the way to being screwed up long before the population numbers started becoming quite unmanageable.

Or that we could improve ourselves quite handily if we were no longer shackled by the constant economics of scarcity; even as the captains of tech and capital become awash in excess that staggers the mind. But then, that nexus represents the other drugs I've already mentioned; those heady amounts of wealth, and/or the status of genius being granted on techno applicators; applicators who were in the right place at the right time when Capitalism's already insane penchant for competition started getting accelerated by science on a number of fronts.

And now that Capitalism has jumped into the turbo-electric, loop accelerator, turning ever faster trying to find, and then exploit, the next "disruptive" advantage, making application an absolute necessity, whether it's a good idea or not, or whether the long term implications have even been imagined yet, or not, let alone prepared for. Now that we're here, in this insane acceleration, and we've made a mess of things on the planet, and a significant number of techno-luminaries think the next big singularity is machine intelligence taking over, because we have run our evolutionary course and there's just nothing left here that we are capable of understanding any more. Unless we use this madness machine to run away to other planets, or the right drugs, in a conventional sense, to drop out and not care anymore.

What crap. What unmitigated crap.

Don't get me wrong. It's hard not to be impressed by the likes of Musk, Leary, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, or even Ken Kesey who, with the bus further and the pranksters (read the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolf), probably did at least as much to promote psychedelic drugs, if not more, than Leary ever did. Guys like this are, and were, impressive minds that took an idea, or an experience, quite a bit too far. And it's indeed unfortunate, especially in the case of psychedelic drugs because they can have tremendous benefit if used as something other than just party favors. But then, the same could be said for technological development as well.

What guys like Musk and Theil don't understand is that the very markets they've "disrupted" and made billions on is a fickle mistress of fate, even when she isn't already messed up on her own drug mix of electrified new technologies. The money they have to start their grand schemes is at their beck and call now, and they are still the darlings of the market, but what of tomorrow? I had a retirement fund going, as well as a very nice chunk of land in Eastern Washington, I was counting on. That is until the great depression wasted the fund, and left me with land I had to sell at a loss because I no longer had the bucks to make it liveable, now that I am retired. Something I think a lot of people in this country can relate to back when Obama first took office.

And even if we were to get off planet in the way that Musk would like, what would follow in our wake? Now that covetous eyes are looking at all of the mineral wealth that's undoubtedly out there. Will we end up with a combination of scenarios that combines ultimate gated communities like "Elysium" with the economics, and class strife suggested in the series "The Expanse?" If that's the case then why not just drop out and let the robots take over.

The problem. The central problem is that the current economic operating system is no longer up to the task of doing what humanity needs to do, when it needs to do it. It is now, in fact, an out of control, science, and social engineering, experiment that must be turned off, and then scraped. We must take what we can then recycle from it and build something that makes actual human sense, as opposed to profit sense, or development sense. Getting off the planet eventually is just a part of that.


As always, check out the introduction video here: