No phone, no phone, I just want to be alone today
— Cake - No Phone'''
Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.
Our lives are filled with machines designed to reduce work and increase leisure. We have more leisure than any man has ever had. And what do we do with this leisure? Educate ourselves? Take up new interests? Explore? Invent? Create? Calvin:
Dad, I can't hear this commercial.
[Calvin is thrown outside
If it were up to my dad, leisure would be as bad as work.
In the world I see... you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
These people, it's no mystery where they come from. You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it could split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals. Fiber-opticly connect the world to every eager impulse. Grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-played fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor. Becomes his own God
Democracy can hardly be expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized. But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralization of power...ever have so many been manipulated so much by so few.
—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
I am resolutely opposed to all innovation, all change, but I am determined to understand whatís happening. Because I donít choose just to sit and let the juggernaut roll over me. Many people seem to think that if you talk about something recent, youíre in favor of it. The exact opposite is true in my case. Anything I talk about is almost certainly something Iím resolutely against. And it seems to me the best way to oppose it is to understand it. And then you know where to turn off the buttons.
Man has created a world of man-made things as it never existed before. He has constructed a complicated social machine to administer the technical machine he built. The more powerful and gigantic the forces are which he unleashes, the more powerless he feels himself as a human being. He is owned by his creations, and has lost ownership of himself.
The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
—Julian Assange (yes, that one)
Out of a misguided reaction to the symbiotic relationship between religious fundamentalism and corporate hegemons, it's all the rage for young geeks to run around bigging up 'Science' as a substitute religion...Yet, those same hegemons control the application of science in its near-totality, and are using it to help establish broad-spectrum dominance that will be beyond all challenge. The same figures who are waved around like Medieval saints by gullible geeks are in fact all bought-and-sold-and-paid-for whores for the corporate elite.
The first Deus Ex
tackled the philosophical quandary of whether it's possible to wear a trench coat and sunglasses without looking like a ponce, but Deus Ex: Human Revolution
centralizes the debate surrounding transhuman augmentation. 'Would you,' it asks, 'supplement your body with machinery?'
What do you mean, would I?
I already wear spectacles. And a wristwatch. And I always carry a phone (which I'm currently in the process of duct-taping to the side of my head). Anyone who talks about technological development being 'unnatural' deserves to be abandoned in the wilderness wearing nothing but a fig leaf.
If you want level-headed advice about preparing for a global crisis
, who better to turn to than a nude photographer who played a space creature on TV?
...It starts with Leonard Nimoy
scolding the ancient Atlanteans
for their hubris. This is to create a context for what comes next: this is all your
fault, mankind. Your lazy dependence on transistors is what caused all this in the first place.
Speaking broadly, the Reagan
era was the end of an era of conservatism because they and their half-rate successors were the last of the conservative technocrats. Modern conservatism is profoundly non-technocratic, a viewpoint best exemplified in American conservatism inasmuch as its orthodoxy includes the rejection of large swaths of science. Technocracy depends on the fetishization of automation. One of the first things to be discovered in the digital era was that the embrace of technology posed massive challenges to the orthodox views of humanity. Just as the Enlightenment provided a rationalist revolution, the Singularity, debased a concept as that is, provides a post-humanist revolution against rationalism. Accordingly, the technocratic conservative withered and died save for a handful of Redneckbeards.
For vast numbers of Middle Easterners, Western-style economic methods brought poverty
, Western-style political institutions brought tyranny
, even Western-style warfare brought defeat
. It is hardly surprising that so many were willing to listen to voices telling them that the old Islamic ways were best and that their only salvation was to throw aside the pagan innovations of the reformers and return to the True Path that God had prescribed for his people. Ultimately, the struggle of the fundamentalists is against two enemies, secularism and modernism.