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Just a reminder: there really could be a miracle

utopia dystopia collapse miracle AI

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9 replies to this topic

#1
Recyvuym

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It's too late for industrial civilisation, and likely for billions of people. But even factoring for the very likely calamities to come throughout the 21st century, there is still some chance, however small, that our species can pull through and eventually prosper, even though the environment is ravaged and the world will doubtless be plagued with problems. When we look ahead to the future, we can only project based upon what's happened so far, and what's happening right now. So far, we've had vicious, corrupt, incompetent leaders, and an indifferent, belligerent population that largely feels disenfranchised and powerless before the status quo. And this combination is leading us down a path of self-destruction. However, that is not to say we cannot avert course, or that there isn't some chance of an unexpected, groundbreaking social and technological revolution that could save the human race from descending all the way into chaos, totalitarian terror and total economic and ecological meltdown. 

 

Humankind has been lucky before. Just think of the number of nuclear near-misses we've had in the past three generations. Of the ones we know about, it clocks in at what, twenty or so? I wouldn't go so far as to call this providence. But when you roll the dice on nuclear obliteration twenty times in less than a century, and manage to roll a nat 20 each and every time, often based on the unlikeliest of factors, you do have to wonder if perhaps there are multiple branching universes and we categorically only get to experience the one where we don't all die. Or something. My point is, it's not out of the question that even when things look bleak and hopeless, even when our children grow up in a world where they shouldn't expect to have a future... there's always the possibility of something completely unexpected happening. It certainly isn't something you ought to count on. But it could happen.

 

In my fictional series, this case of anomalous serendipity takes place around the birth of AI, but not in the way you might expect. There is the bad AI I've described before that so many of you seem eager to sell your soul to, dominates all the remaining power institutions of the partially collapsed world. But there is a subversive underground strain that complements human abilities rather than trumps them, and that exists in symbiosis with the human race rather than dominating them. Similar case for transhumans, who are exploited for cruel and utilitarian purposes by the American world order, but developed for the purposes of genuinely honing the human mind and body in the underground. There are still big problems with the alternative model. Nonetheless, it ends up triumphing over the conventional model, which stagnates. The newer 'organic AI' proves superior and the reductionistic, lifeless system it opposes crashes and burns disastrously before it can completely enslave the human race. The alternative movement is headed by a highly controversial messianic figure, who ends up turning a middle power into a superpower through a major, post-industrial revolution that gives him an edge nobody else can compete with. Eventually, he is able to help build a new world out of the wreckage.

 

I would like something along these lines to happen. I'm not saying it will. I don't even think it will. But who knows. Unquestionably, we are heading into a time of crisis. The crisis does not need to be unmitigated however, and nor need it be fruitless. However, just as we're poised on the brink of nuclear annihilation at any moment, we could also be on the brink of some enormous breakthough. The breakthrough cannot be a purely technological one because societal change according to technology is reflexive and lacks wisdom. But the revolution cannot exist in some vacuum either, so it will be tied in to the development and competition of new technologies.

 

Most likely, the human race won't recover from the crash we're about to go through for at least a thousand years. We probably don't stand a chance of truly prospering, as many here think we are about to, for thousands of years more. But, I am not going to discount the possibility that the future may surprise me. Even if we wind up in the next century with our population brutally whittled down to a third, the atmosphere 5C hotter, radiation zones everywhere and all the minerals stripped bare from the earth, that does not preclude us from surviving and finding another way.


I loudly predicted the second wave of the Global Financial Crisis would begin by the 31st of March 2017. But I was wrong! Observe my well-deserved public humiliation here, here and here. Let this be a warning to all of you who try to guess the future. Yes, that means you, reading this now! Put that prediction back in your pocket! Do it now, before it's too late! (Also check out my userpage, it's even funnier.)


#2
Astralator

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Recyvuym, first up, congratulations on writing a fascinating specimen of a post. One has to admire the extreme amounts of pessimism and optimism you expressed.

 

Personally I see a miracle as just an event that needs more Science! done to it.
Still, I would prefer it if we would not need depend on some miracle, but instead got ourselves out of the mess we got ourselves into in the first place. Which admittedly, would be quite miraculous by itself.

 

As a dynamist personally, I would like to propose a little change. How about instead of hoping for a miracle that could happen, we actually take action and try to make it happen?

 

Your idea would make for a great story though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S: Let me enjoy my fantasies of a hard working, reasonable mankind for a second, before the news remind me otherwise.


Playing God is actually the highest expression of human nature. The urges to improve ourselves, to master our environment, [...] have been the fundamental driving forces of all of human history. Without these urges to ‘play God’, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist today.” - Ramez Naam


#3
Recyvuym

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Thank you Astralator for being one of the only people to recognise the optimism!

 

I would argue that at this point, it would constitute a miracle if the human race suddenly got their act together. So there's not much difference between what you're proposing and what I'm proposing.

 

I am very proud of my story and I guard the details jealously, I've been working on it since I was eight years old, it will be ready to begin publishing in three or four years. Everything I described above is in the history of the setting itself, as far back in the timeline as WWI and WWII are for us.


I loudly predicted the second wave of the Global Financial Crisis would begin by the 31st of March 2017. But I was wrong! Observe my well-deserved public humiliation here, here and here. Let this be a warning to all of you who try to guess the future. Yes, that means you, reading this now! Put that prediction back in your pocket! Do it now, before it's too late! (Also check out my userpage, it's even funnier.)


#4
Infinite

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Interesting read Recyvuym :)

I'll say it again and again, but I believe education is one of the most important areas to focus on if we want to address these problems. Faulty thinking from countless generations before are still lingering about, holding humans back from making the right decisions. It is imperative to completely reform our education system to fit the contemporary era, and a system that informs us on how the world works.

As Abert Einstein said "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Taking serious steps to educate future generations correctly is as important as any other action proposed.
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#5
Infinite

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I am very proud of my story and I guard the details jealously, I've been working on it since I was eight years old, it will be ready to begin publishing in three or four years. Everything I described above is in the history of the setting itself, as far back in the timeline as WWI and WWII are for us.


Can't wait to read it :D
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#6
TheComrade

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But when you roll the dice on nuclear obliteration twenty times in less than a century, and manage to roll a nat 20 each and every time, often based on the unlikeliest of factors, you do have to wonder if perhaps there are multiple branching universes and we categorically only get to experience the one where we don't all die

 

Interesting theory. Another explanation is that if there are two parallel Earths with some tragic event happened or not, we're more likely to "find yourself" in "lucky" Earth. Just because "unlucky" one have much lesser population. It's like your chances to be born in India thousands times higher than in Luxemburg.



#7
caltrek

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I guess I am more optimistic than most in that I see signs of the type of revolutionary changes that are needed.  The near success on Bernie Sanders being Exhibit A.  I simply did not expect Bernie to do so well in the primaries. Sure, he failed to get the nomination, but I look at how much closer he came than say Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader before him. 

 

I do agree that there is already so much carbon dioxide that has been emitted, as well as other pollutants, that a lot of humans are going to suffer. Still, in a sense, mankind has always been in crisis mode.  That is to say, there has always been a struggle against scarcity and other evils of the apocalypse. We are simply the descendants of the survivors of past disasters. The difference for you younger folk is that you are now waking up to that reality.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#8
Alice Tepes

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it doesn't take a miracle all it takes is a bunch of people not being dumb.


aspiring gynoid macrointelligence


#9
Yuli Ban

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There is no "miracle".

 

There is only fate. 

 

Time will pass, and the world will see I was right. I've said it on this forum only a scant few times, but I've said it. History will look upon what is done and only wonder "why did anyone doubt it would happen?"


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#10
Erowind

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There is no "miracle".

 

There is only fate. 

 

Time will pass, and the world will see I was right. I've said it on this forum only a scant few times, but I've said it. History will look upon what is done and only wonder "why did anyone doubt it would happen?"

I agree entirely, the futureTM is going to blow peoples socks off!







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