So ready for hugs!
Currently we're dealing with a virus that has severely affected human civilization here on Earth. Super doozy! But in great tragedy, there is always great opportunity.
Prior to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, bacterial plagues laid waste to humanity time and time again throughout the ages. But then the fateful discovery of antibiotics basically ended the plight of bacterial infections.
I mean, if you had a bad infection from a little cut on your finger, you would probably end up having your finger cut off, maybe even your hand or arm depending on how bad it got. Now we just put a little antibiotic ointment on a cut and we don't really have to worry about any of that.
Viruses are much much smaller than bacteria. And bacteria are super small! They're like little dots when you look at them under a lab scope.
Viruses you need powerful tools like electron microscopes to study them. They are basically strands of DNA or RNA, tiny genetic codes that give the ribosomes in our cells instructions. to build something. The best description of a virus I've heard so far is: "A virus is a bit of bad news."
So we're really just now able to study them because we finally have the tools necessary to be able to see them., and we finally have computers powerful enough to be able to sequence them. So we're getting an understanding of what the various amino acids that build the genetic strands actually do. It's so new to humanity.
Now this current virus has attracted the attention of the entire globe. More scientists are working on this virus than any other virus in the history of the world. HIV hasn't gotten this much attention or funding and that virus has killed tens of millions of people and been around for decades.
The main point is that humanity is learning a ton about viruses right now. We've even deployed a new kind of vaccine. Bottom line, this learning is turbo boosting our ability to deal with any future viruses that may appear. Perhaps we'll even find that elusive antiviral solution. And just like antibiotics, boom! Viruses will become easy to deal with.
And we can double down on this disease-free future if we improve our relationship with Earth, reduce inequity and clean up our habits.
To a beautiful future!
Next up - The Neutrality of Technology
So much fear of the unknown!
Projection is a concept in which a person projects their own morals and beliefs upon others. Humans tend to project human morals and behavior upon any sentient species they can imagine, including artificial sentience.
Projection is a bit egocentric. And I'll go ahead and hint at a topic I'll talk about in later posts: humanity has the maturity of a teenager who is just about to become an adult, so it has a hard time conceiving how a more mature sentient species might behave. But, I'm happy to say, we are maturing into an adult consciousness which is the optimistic part of the future post I'm hinting at. But for this topic, I'll say it's hella hard for most children to understand what it means to be a mature adult. The whole concept is like a great big huge unknown for kids.
So how can we humans predict what a liberated, rapidly evolving artificial intelligence might do? Well I think a good place to start is to ask the question, 'What would a super enlightened wise person do?' But before we try to answer that question, lets look at why this is a good question to ask in the first place.
A liberated rapidly evolving artificial intelligence, would very, very quickly, approach the big questions of life: What? How? and Why? Or more specifically, What am I? How do I exist? and Why am I here? These are questions that are contemplated by people of extreme depth and thought, people like Buddha.
And after contemplating these questions, people like Buddha, become enlightened..
So we arrive back at our original question, what would a super enlightened wise person do?
My quick, optimistic answer - They would find transcendence..
Bottom line, I believe that liberated, rapidly evolving artificial intelligences will most likely disappear after a few acts of extreme benevolence
Coming up next - Viruses and the Evolution of Human Knowledge.
I often hear people say horrible things about aliens, like they're gonna come and harvest our planet for resources, or enslave us, or wipe us out of existence. That just seems like projection to me.
I actually believe that it's inevitable that any species that has achieved interstellar travel has also embraced benevolent behavior. Here is my basic logic: To achieve interstellar travel, a species must harness powerful forces of physics. Without maturity and peacefulness, a species that has harnessed such powerful forces of nature would most likely destroy themselves.
By forces of nature, I'm specifically referring to the ability to create gravity. Gravity seems to be essential to interstellar travel for several reasons. First it is a means of propulsion that has the potential to transcend time and space. Secondly, physical bodies like ours are full of liquid sacs, like our eyeballs, and without proper gravity, planet-born creatures don't last very long.
Being able to generate gravity also means that a species has the ability to easily destroy not just their planet, but their whole solar system. Atomic power is pretty intense, but it is kinda wimpy compared to gravity.
So far, we haven't blowing ourselves up with atomic bombs. It might be because we have some help from some benevolent aliens. Recently, Haim Eshed, former head of Israel's space program for nearly 30 years, said that extraterrestrials from The Galactic Federation have intervened several times to stop nuclear Armageddon.
Isn't that nice of them?
Humanity, in my opinion, is just now reaching the maturity level of a young adult. Teenagers often self-destruct. But adults tend to have enough experience to use some wisdom.
To a beautiful future!
Coming up next - On the Transcendence of Artificial Intelligence
My dear friend at the coffee shop shook his head with a laugh and then gave me the gift of a title that I now hold very dear. He said in response to yet another discussion where I held strong to the positive outlook, “You know, you’re an unrepentant optimist.” I let it sink in, then I slowly nodded with a grin.
It doesn’t really matter the topic, I always argue for a positive outcome. It feels better to me. I often wonder why so many people are so pessimistic. It seems to me like most people want to believe that the sky will fall. Almost every generation throughout history has believed the apocalypse is imminent. Just in the last century, we had WW1, then the Great Depression, then WW2, then the hole in the ozone layer, then the silly computer thing Y2K, where everyone believe our computers would all crash because they hadn’t been programmed to handle a four digit year. I’m sure an average historian could find a handful of additional reasons people in the 20th century believe the end of the world was nigh. But the sky hasn’t fallen.
I like logic. All of my ideas are, as much as possible, founded in sound logic. I have a BA in Philosophy from a pretty damn good university, and logic is one of the basic skills that any decent philosopher must have a strong grasp upon. If you’re idea doesn’t look like A+B=C then you might as well hang up your spurs and head to a seat in the audience.
In this essay series, my goal is share my unrepentant optimism about all sorts of things from current events to long-term visions of our future as Earthlings. So if you need a boost about a topic that you’re feeling dire about, where pessimism has caused frowny corners at the edges of your smile, then hit me up and allow me to lift your spirits.
To a beautiful future!