Hello my fellow HEthens. I had a very strange spontaneous hallucinogenic psychotic episode earlier today while playing a video game. I thought I was having a seizure, at first but it eventually stopped. However, once back to baseline, I seemed to have some things troubling me (aside from what had happened, which is probably reason for concern, but I’ll call my doctor about that tomorrow). I thought about what these things were and began writing. In a couple hours I came up with this. Personally, I found these revelations to be mind-blowing. Please take the time to read this and let me hear your thoughts. You may even respectfully disagree. And maybe we can have a constructive argument :)
We’re fucked. I’m going to die someday anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. But, not being nihilistic for a minute, there are a lot of reasons why we are all fucked and there is nothing we can do about it. The human race is bound to become extinct. It’s a temporal inevitability. Eventually, the universe may expand so far, and become so cold, that in fact all life in the universe would cease to exist. Before that, however, our sun will die, and bring us with it. But with a more timely urgency, we ought to consider the up and coming threats to our race. For example, we are walking on thin ice by the way we coexist with our environment—or rather, by the way that we do not.
At a certain point in the history of our species, some 10,000 years ago, we changed how we thought about living on the earth. We stopped being environmental adapters, and ceased our efforts of hunting and gathering as we traveled the lands in search of sustenance. We realized that we didn’t have to adapt to the environment, and that we had the power to shape and manipulate the environment ourselves. We began the process of agriculture and settlement. This allowed for more peaceful and larger communities amongst our people. Of course we didn’t have any idea of this at the time, but we had just initiated a fundamental paradigm shift of our culture that would change us and the world forever. From this one monumental achievement stemmed everything that we are today. Once we found a way to survive in relative ease within our self-sustainable communities, we were no longer entirely preoccupied with the basic needs of our survival. And a renaissance began. We initiated an age of intellectual pursuits and technological achievement. This cultural system blossomed, because it itself was self-sustaining.
An appropriate analogy for the growth of humanity would be a cancer. Imagine the planet is an animal, and all life on its surface, cells. All the different cells were engaged in a symphony of balance. It was a perfect ecological, self-correcting machine. Then a group of human “cells” became a cancer (the paradigm shift). This cancer proliferated at an alarming rate, until every corner of the globe was ravaged and infested with unnecessary numbers of humans. This is present day. The cost of this was disrupting the balance of the earth. The problem with the human cancer is that there is nothing trying to stop it, aside from the meager efforts of mother earth to retain balance and harmony. It won’t ever stop growing.
Group psychology is the cancer that infects our minds and culture. Looking at humanity as a single entity, this entity is gluttonous, prolific, and violent; and it wreaks havoc on the substrate of earth. One individual is simply drowned out by the whole, so no one could ever stop this entity from having such reckless behavior. One must consider that the psychology of this human machine is actually derived from individual psychology, despite the apparent differences between the two—a fascinating dichotomy. This is to say that the root of all problems lay in the generic psychology of the modern human mind. But consider that the genetic aspect of human psychology hasn’t changed much in the 10,000 years since the cultural paradigm shift—an evolutionarily brief period of time. So here are about seven-billion people with caveman psychology being thrown into a culture that gluttonously fuels their primitive desires with blatant disregard for the aftermath of their devastating footprint on the earth. But unfortunately we have built, on the neurological scaffolding of our primitive ideals, highly developed faculties that gave rise to our intelligence. So yes we are quite intelligent, but we are not so smart with how we use this intelligence. We built atomic bombs with this intelligence, for instance. Just considering this fact makes me want to laugh and scoff at our perceived intelligence. The culmination of man’s intelligence, perhaps the paragon of his aptitudes at a point in time, was a device designed to kill each other, employing the laws of nuclear physics. So yes Oppenheimer, “you are become death, the destroyer of worlds”. Congratulations, caveman.
We all have within us primitive motivations and desires, which are inherently designed to somehow bypass our sensible faculties in a grand paradoxical symphony of mind, and which manifest every day as irrational and destructive behaviors. So the next reasonable thought is that we need to somehow genetically re-engineer our individual psychology in an effort to in turn ameliorate the psychology of the human machine. But to do so artificially via genetic manipulation to our own genome is not feasible. How could we implement this globally? We couldn’t. Therefore, the only possibility is for something far greater and more powerful than us to seize the reigns of our evolution—something that has been around since the beginning. No, not God, I’m afraid. I’m talking about the ancient self-correcting system of natural selection. But, wait! We have a problem. Man is now exempt from natural selection, ever since the advent of medical science. People who were meant to die from a debilitating genetic mutation are now given drugs to keep their system in check well enough for them to function, and ultimately procreate, further muddling the gene pool. This is not merely to say that our genetics are at a stand-still in the absence of natural selection. In fact, we are going backwards. This is because most of our negative mutated traits go unanswered and remain in the gene pool. It’s sort of like all of humanity is slowly dying at the hand of an ever-increasing culmination of senseless mutations to our genome. So right there is one reason why we are doomed in the near future, but not the reason I’m trying to touch upon in this piece. I’m trying to do a more anthropological rather than scientific study of the human destiny. So, let’s look at the problem in short. The human psychology and intellect is still fundamentally driven by primitive ideals instilled in our genetic psychology from times in which we lived like savage animals. At the same time, we have undergone a cultural paradigm shift from being adaptors to being manipulators, giving rise to our advanced intellect, and in turn giving rise to our self-insured destruction in the near future, considering the advent of technologies capable of global genocide. Again, our only hope is to reshape our genetic psychology. Yet this cannot be globally achieved without natural selection being applicable to humans, which intrinsic to our modern culture, it is not. Therefore, I surmise that we will inevitably kill ourselves off. We will kill ourselves off at the hand of a dichotomy of our own intellect. One may very nearly identify the negative half to this dichotomy to be, quite simply, emotion. So emotion, the very thing that makes life worth living, and drives and inspires us all, is the great flaw of our species. It is a radical manipulator of our intellect. We cannot exist as both intellectual and emotional beings without an emergent global group psychology that inevitably drives us to our self-insured extinction. However, emotions are necessary for manifesting the human will to live, and the desire for companionship and intimacy necessary for procreation. So let me repeat. We cannot find equilibrium on earth as being both intellectual and emotional beings. However, the continuity of a species depends on it being comprised of emotional beings. Therefore, any self-sustaining, emotion-driven species that is comprised of intellectual “manipulators” is doomed to fail. We are a mistake, not a miracle. And we are all fucked.
@snaysler, sorry to burst your bubble but were not fucked, not soon anyways. Unless the sun explodes soon or a giant meteor hits us. Life is incredibly adaptable. Especially humans, being one of the most adaptable creatures ever to grace the planet. We didn’t get this successful as a species by being stupid and unadaptable. Of course, both of what we say does not matter as we are here now and both are just theories at this point.
@snaysler, You say we are fucked with such certainty, but nothing is certain. The mentality of the average person is getting more and more aware of environmental issues than in the past, definitely. Everyone knows oil will run out, and if we want to advance we’ll have to replace it with something that works just as well if we don’t want such an extinction to happen. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, I think we are getting to be more progressive all around, albeit at snail’s pace. You talk about genocide, but I think that thanks to the shrinking of the world due to the internet and other means of communication, we are coming to see that people all over the world are a lot more similar than different. People as a whole are more opposed to war than they were before too, look at Vietnam and how people really protested both the war and the draft. I don’t think there will ever be another draft again, the average person just doesn’t think dying for political causes is worthwhile. Also, would you not say that the curing or easing of genetic suffering is a good thing?
What I do agree with is the whole population thing…..we as a species need to realize that while we can’t and shouldn’t want to get rid of our libidos, we should make sure that everyone has adequate access to birth control. People need to stop having so many kids, or if they do choose to have kids then to really think about the decision. While I don’t know for certain it seems to me like people are still having kids willy-nilly.
I disagree in particular with this ‘Looking at humanity as a single entity, this entity is gluttonous, prolific, and violent; and it wreaks havoc on the substrate of earth’. Humanity has left the evolution of the body and has started to focus on changing its mind. We are in the process of learning how to live in this vast and complex world.Your statement may be true in some cases, but for every vile greedy politician there are many more that do good. We are learning as a whole and this website is evidence that humanity is and wants to learn more about itself and the world.
Everyone that doesn’t believe or doubts @snaysler ‘s assertions please know that he is almost completely right. If you don’t believe me, please watch this documentary.
Seriously you will not regret it. If you want to know what’s really going on with us as a species, then watch. Or continue to live in denial in order to be happy. Your choice.
@brentman, but what are we supposed to do? Just kill ourselves tomorrow? We already know how to make houses that power themselves (earthships) and there already are fully electric cars on the streets. A technologically advanced society that doesn’t use oil is far from impossible, it’s the political will. By now it should be crystal clear that most politicians don’t care about the issues of regular people. So people should take advantage of the fact that it’s a major election year, and stop voting for the people who again and again make it obvious that they don’t care. All the corporate figureheads, seriously, stop voting for these fuckers. Replace them with someone who talks about your issues, stop bickering about stuff like sexual orientation and racist wars, and talk about something real. Seriously, getting off oil needs to be priority #1.
And here’s an example of something we can do. Germany is kicking ass at solar energy production right now, we need to demand of our leaders that we do the same. Perhaps instead of subsidizing the oil industry we should subsidize small alternate energy businesses.
@brentman, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events there’s a list of apocalyptic dates, all of which never happened. Sure, our ways need changing but if you open your eyes you will see that the change is already occurring.
Politics/government is the last thing thing that will offer any help. Do you see a candidate that has anything to offer in regards to something like this? I don’t. American politics is a game we’ll continue to play as long as we feel the need to divide ourselves and grip to the simplistic ideologies within the two-party system. But that’s sort of beside the point…
The documentary offers some solutions at the end—none of which I really see as feasible with the way things are going. It could be a few decades, hopefully more, but we are definitely speeding towards a tipping point. IMO I think we’re just apart of the sixth major mass extinction earth has seen. With the rate of species extinction per year where it’s at it’s pretty hard to deny it. Who knows, maybe “technology” can actually aid us, but with most innovations being only commercialy and socially inspired I don’t think it’s really aiming the right way.
Again, who knows, this is just my opinion. I’d love to hear other insights. I just wanted to let it be known that what @snaysler is talking about it a very real issue that effects all of us.
Furthermore, these theories have been around for ages. The only difference now is we have the Internet to transmute things easier. the internet can be used as a tool of love or fear. Watch the documentary thrive which has a totally different message but is equally as pulling. The world isn’t so chaotic as one might think, there’s beauty in everything. The media is negative to keep people fearful and under control. Meditate on this and you will realize.
@brentman, Yes the government needs an overhaul. There’s always issues in society as far back as the history books go, thats just the way it is. We will come out on top like usual. Sure, there may be a war that wipes out a couple billion people but we would still be here. Honestly though I’m just giving another opinion. These issues will work themselves out and don’t worry me. Everything works out.
When science comes out of the laboratory to play in the world, people look at it and feel pity, and it looks back and thinks “We are a mistake, not a miracle. And we are all fucked.”
Morosity is contagious. Turn that frown, upside down!
Sounds like black and white thinking. We’re not really fucked. In fact, if you look at history, we were fucked over and over again. Although it doesn’t look like it, we’re actually evolving, but since the media only reports about all the bad things in the world and all that stupid nonsense, we believe that “we’re fucked”. Do you think 100 years ago everything was alright? No, it wasn’t, but people didn’t know as there was nearly no media available. It was even worse 100 years ago.
Now I won’t say that everything is working well, that would be a lie. It was never easy and it won’t be easy in the future, but we can manage, and we will. The question is how high the price will be. At the moment, the price for our wealth is poverty in third world countries, war, environmental pollution etc. In the future, there may even be greater conflicts, not only far away, but right here in our countries. Maybe many will die, but that’s not different from the situation we’re in now. Many will live and find ways to survive, to get through all the trouble. Also, the Government will never manage to take full control. The power is with the masses. Someday, even policemen and soldiers will stop obeying and start thinking. Maybe someday there will be chaos everywhere, what you call “fucked”. But we won’t die then. Out of that chaos, a new order will arise.
The funny thing about life and death is that they are both separated by a shield that no religion or ideology can sufficiently provide evidence to explain. This shield will never be figured out. Such is our current state as humans– there are no demigods amongst us no matter how much we’d like to believe there are. There is us, and then there is death. It’s a topic most people don’t like to think about. I myself am fearful of death in that manner– that we go through and bust our entire lives off to make a profitable living, of which nothing will matter one day. This is why religion exists– to provide a workaround for this state of mind. But that’s all we have- workarounds to fixate our minds into keep pushing for our humankind to be a better place to live. Then one day, mostly unexpected, you will cease to exist and be unable to contribute to this existing world anymore, and the shield will be no more. You will enter _______ and leave Earth. Kinda crazy to imagine why humans take things so seriously when you really think about what we are doing here, why we are here, and when we will go
@snaysler, i didn’t read everything bc i don’t have the time right now.. but from what i read you viewing your existence on the body… so when the body goes like it will… your saying spirit dies too.. which i personally don’t believe. yes we are being fucked physically by society and the limited choices we have.. but how can you be getting fucked when your doing something you really enjoy? like staring at a kitten and seeing how it reacts to a ball being rolled to it or showing something to a friend that they thought was really cool. those things are more real because they are little pieces of happiness that come from a hellish world. if your able to see that there is love and happiness then whose to say thats the only time you’ll experience it. if you really think your gonna stop living after this body and just become nothing… ( i don’t mean the spiritual nothing of being everything) then what do you really have to worry about.. shut up and bitch about everything you want. but until you stop and say to yourself.. “okay well this isn’t doing anything” then you can finally take a leap in consciousness and smile bc your always walking towards love. your choice to stop and bitch about your legs hurting(metaphor to any stress) is your fault in the first place because you chose to walk that distance and to see what was out there. of course thats all my opinion.
To respond to your first post, you are correct. Most of these reasons I provided for justifying my claim that we will die off at some point are temporally insignificant at the present time. We all know that sun will die and take us with it. We all know about all the other universal inevitabilities like this. But obviously, these aren’t relevant concerns for us right now. Even the gene pool slowly accumulating masses of erroneous genetic mutations is not an issue that will affect us in this lifetime, or even in the lifetimes of our grandchildren. Most likely, it will be more timely to us thousands of years down the line. However, I’m trying to focus more on matters that should currently concern us.
The main point of concern I would like to raise is this: Our technology is evolving a million times faster than our genetic psychology, so I don’t know if we can handle the potential destructive power of future technologies. @theskafish, @charisma, I take your point that most people possessing our modern cultural paradigms of thought/ideals in their character do want to be good, and to live in harmony with the earth, and do right by nature and their fellow man, and such. But, @theskafish, although we may be progressing in the sense that our culture is evolving to such an extent that we are now raised to fight our instinctual, primitive urges, and to become more conscious of protecting our environment and caring for our fellow man and such, there is a problem. This progress is, as you say, at a snail’s pace. Yet, the rise of technology and knowledge is proceeding forward at a thundering speed. A speed so great, that our cultural shift cannot keep up the pace, and so we are entering a scary period of time in the very, very near future, where there still will be a considerable amount of malicious people and cultures in the world, yet at the same time there will exist technologies capable of global genocide. This is to say that I may withdraw my previous statement that “any self-sustaining, emotion-driven species that is comprised of intellectual ‘manipulators’ is doomed to fail”, and replace it with, “any self-sustaining, emotion-driven species that is comprised of intellectual ‘manipulators’ is very, very likely to fail”, unless of course they can make it through this dangerous era I mentioned.
Also, to elaborate on the tools of “global genocide”, I’ll give one example. Although, there are infinitely many; each as alarming as the last. Consider that a nano-scale engineer managed to develop self-replicating nanobots specially designed to metabolize energy from biological matter, and to convert that matter into fundamental elements/substances for industrial use, for example. But, let’s say that this engineer forgot to design a mechanism in the nanobots for telling them to stop once they eat through their intended target. Then these nanobots would spread over the entire planet and eat all life as we know it, until the earth was a baron wasteland, blanketed by the nanobots which inevitably died in the absence of further sustenance. Seems like a fantastical scenario, but really it is not. It is a scenario that arose from technologies that we are currently researching, and could be a very real possibility. Although, in this case it is worthwhile to note that this global genocide didn’t originate from malicious intentions (as a sadistic scientist could simply engineer nanobots such as these for the actual purpose of killing everyone), but rather from the incompetence of an engineer who only meant well. This is to say that even if we all were empathetic, caring, respectful, harmonious, intellectual beings, we are going to be playing with fire with the emergence of technologies such as the nanobots in my example. So that said, I may revise the quote at the bottom of the above paragraph to say, “any self-sustaining, emotion-driven species that is comprised of intellectual ‘manipulators’ is VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, very likely to fail”.
@christian92, Yes, humans are very adaptable. Out of almost any global disaster, even global thermonuclear war, it is rather likely that humanity would find a way to survive, and once again find harmony and order as they rebuilt civilization. However, if you keep rolling the dice, eventually you’re going to get unlucky, and I personally foresee a lot of dice-rolling in the future with these dangerous technologies. And this makes me uneasy. I guess, as this is all speculation on both of our parts, we won’t ever know in our lifetime which of us is right. But, I certainly stand by my own assertions, in the mean time.
@stvora, turn that frown upside down my friend :)
Nihilism never accomplished anything. (apart from depression and psychosis in extreme cases) But yes, people don’t often enough think about those things in today’s society. It’s like a school of thought that we all unconsciously know to be taboo, and we avoid addressing with one another.
@thankyou, I don’t think you read enough of my post, lol. I never mentioned anything about spirituality. In fact, I’m a spiritual person, myself. I do love your anti-nihilistic outlook on life. That’s really great, and I wish everyone could feel that way, because regardless of whether or not there is some form of life after death, or whether or not humanity is doomed to extinction in the future, it’s all we can and should do to enjoy the little things. To appreciate the beauty of life, and to love the world and your fellow man, is to live a happy life; to live as one should. However, it is my greatest passion in life to examine matters philosophy and anthropology, and it’s what makes me happy. I did not mean to come across as nihilistic atheist or pessimistic “realist”. Maybe later you can finish reading, and give some more feedback.
@snaysler I’d have to disagree with this as well. I believe that with a higher level of intelligence, consciousness, and knowledge of the universe around us, our sense or morality also rises. The human species as a whole is becoming more advanced in all of these areas resulting in a general rise in the general sense of morality. Another thing we all need to realize is that our species has only made the shift to conscious beings 10,000 years ago or whatever it is. My point is we are a dust spec in the timeline of the universe. So, yes for now we are still utilizing our brains for medieval means such as war and manipulation, but we are still infants in progression of our species. In another measly 10,000 Earth years think of our intellectual gains, spiritually, morally, and consciously.
Ok, I haven’t read through everyone’s posts, so you guys may have gone over this already. But I said I’d reply, and here it is.
Yes, I agree with what you are saying that we may be screwed, because we have advanced too far. But, I don’t think that we are beyond saving. If we continue doing what we are doing, then yes, we’re going to kill everyone and everything. But we can change.
We may be immature intellectually, and have evolved too fast and gotten too much power without being ready for it, but we are able to advance mentally just as fast as we evolved physically.
What I mean is, we can now choose our destiny. With all this power we have, we can just as easily use it to save to world, as opposed to destroy it. We can create lush gardens out of deserts, we can turn salt water into fresh water, we can create food almost wherever we need it. We are just failing to use these technologies.
The only limiting factor we have is power. But, we can get power from natural, sustainable ways, such as solar, thermal, or wind. Once we have that, we can use it to mold our world. It has been going downhill, and will continue to go downhill if we continue out gluttonous spree. It’s almost like people have accepted that we’re fucked, and are jus trying to consume everything on the way down.
But not everyone is doing that, there are few who try to turn it around. They try to change the world, spread ideas for others to advance with.
We can change the world. There is no doubt about that. The only question is, will we?