[extropy-chat] just a though I had....

Diego Caleiro diegocaleiro at terra.com.br
Sun May 15 20:23:21 UTC 2005

The Fate of Mankind

 It is now the year 2005, the ocidental civilization has taken three thousand 
years to do this, but it has now concentrated almost all the power there is 
to achieve in the world. Wherever capitalism arrives, it vanishes the 
previous culture. To avoid wars, the world has seemed always to be forced to 
make the two powers to be more likely to each other, and this brought 
padronization of thoughts. Individualism as an ideological doctrine has been 
settled never to be challenged again, as it fills human needs better than 
predecessors. The internal powers of civilization are being concentrated, 
more and more, just like properties, weapons, and media power. At this 
moment, some possible futures arrive, and this text has the pretension of 
analyzing whatsoever comes for us. 
 The process of concentrating power, as controlled itself by nobody is very 
likely to keep itself rolling, in this meanwhile, the world will be much like 
the same, famine and suffering everywhere, and some millions of rich happy 
people, that are not so happy as we want to beleive they are. No 
concentration of power will make people more or less happy, since people were 
designed by evolution not to be happy always at all. Being unhappy with the 
growing concentration, the people who held the power, during history, have 
had two main options, make their own subordinates to suffer, or make their 
own subordinates to make others to suffer in their place. When one becomes a 
murderer dictador, he has made the first choice, when he declares war for any 
cause, he chose the second one. It is a part of our own nature to use our 
power to inflict suffering on others, since only this way we can make them 
remember that we are the ones with the power. 
 The fact that we are still alive today can probably be attributed to the fact 
that when the technology to make overwhelming bombs has been achieved, we 
were living in representative (democratic or not) countries. The 
representative power, like US government for example, usually holds enormous 
amounts of destructive possibilities, and a huge number of people to stop 
this destruction being made. Governments are constituted by thousands if not 
millions of people, and this makes them very likely not to take some very 
impulsive actions against their own or other peoples. The UN and NATO have 
been created to be an extra force of power moralization, for cases where mass 
histeria allows a country to do what its governers want, like the nazi 
Germany once did. Its own government people, the UN, NATO, and the US are 
today the most powerfull organizations there are against government coercion 
and destruction. 
	Most people today would agree that the biggest threat for our world is  The 
United States of America government and their politics. I would argue in the 
opposite direction, US is today the only organization with power enough to 
fight against the desires of other powerfull non representative 
organizations. The monetary capitalism is concentrating in the hand of few 
make some people to be ultra-powerful, and this people usually do not have 
any group of thousands of people to make them to think twice before killing 
inumerous people. If one of this mighty people wanted to cause big 
destruction, he would be considered a terrorist and his power would diminish 
in the hands of US government. 
	But with alliances and technology, the power of terrorists, or any other non 
representative group only rises, and the more powerful they become,  the 
bigger threat they are. If we were to extrapolate this thought, the obvious 
conclusion would be that if no international power, like UN were given power 
enough, sooner or later the terrorist organizations would be able to achieve 
enough power to thread the US, and start a world war that is very likely to 
give a terminate end to our species. But extrapolating is a very incomplete 
technique, if we do not extrapolate a sistem as a whole. 
	The extrapolation I have proposed in the last paragraph is an extrapolation 
of human condition, it is, for all purposes, valid if, and only if, the human 
condition remains the same. But, just like technology has been giving birth 
to inumerous amounts of different weapons and ways of killing each other, it 
also brings a hope for our future. If technology could make us change the 
human condition before the individual powers become a threat to the power of 
nations, than the powerful individuals would not anymore need to use their 
power in coercion instances. 
	  The thing that I have been hitherto considering as human condition is the 
sum of all structures our brain developed in our evolutionary past. This 
complex set of evolutionary based commands control the way we live, think and 
proceed, including the way that we administer our power, inflict damage, and 
love our close related. 
	With the development of technologies we are now in a very crucial moment for 
our destiny, this happens because we have already ultrapassed the moment when 
humanity has enough power to destroy us all, and we still have not 
ultrapassed the moment when we can get rid of the evolutionary constraints 
that make us think like we think. We still think in terms of achieving power, 
and we have bombs to do so if no powerful organization stops us from doing 
	If the sum of international organization plus the US manage to maintain  the 
power of few under control for enough time, we still have a chance of 
surviving as a species. 
	This way is through artificial inteligence and/or biological manipulation.  
Supose that our brains could, genuinely, feel very happy about helping 
others, and had no desire for obtaining absolute power in our own community, 
in this case, the world would probably become a paradise within few years or 
decades. We would still be persecuting happiness, but happiness would have 
two main differences, the first one is that it would be something real, 
rather than just poetry, the second one is that its consequences would be the 
end of suferring, not its maintance at a stabel level, as it happens today. 
 If we understand the working of brains in a way much ahead of what we know 
today, we will be able to achieve the goal of both creating real happiness 
and making this happiness to serve other purpose rather than the genes will 
to replicate. Our knowledge about the world, and about brains, has been 
constantly increasing, and, further than that, the speed rate about which it 
increases also increses within time. Like an object will fall at a constantly 
higher speed if thrown out of a building, our knowledge seems to be speeding 
up its learning general ability. Having this on mind, we should consider that 
we are very likely to be able to change the human condition within no more 
than one century. Take for instance the number of pharmaceutical 
mood-changing remedies we already have. Millions of people have taken 
anti-depression drugs and challenged one of the human weaknesses, and with 
the current speed of technological progress, we will soon be able to 
challenge all of them. 
 Once we have the power to design our own evolution, and therefore the way we 
think, the world will probably change in unpredictable ways. We have been, 
until recend time, restricted by the mechanical restictions in achieving 
power. The whole of our species has already surpassed this point, and 
therefore we are now able to kill ourselves if we make a coordenated effort 
for it. The time has come were the effort to achieve autodestruction is every 
day smaller, since fewer people achieve constantly more and more power. We 
have also been restricted by the ways our brains make us think, this time is 
also near to its end, and I could say that our past sixty, and probably the 
next sixty or so years are, by far, the most important years for our species 
as a whole. Through representative governments and international powerful 
forces we have achieved to survive this age for sixty years, but the 
concentration of power is only growing, and its growth must or be traced by 
the powers of the large groups, or it must be surpassed by technological 
power over brain and genetic manipulation. 
 If the UN, NATO and the US manage to keep us alive until these new forms of 
technology arrises, than our fate is going, at least for a while, be somehow 
near to the so wished paradises of the prophets and leaders during history. 
In the other case, we will have lost the battle against ourselves, against 
what it means to be human, ultimately, we would have lost the battle to our 
genes, if this happens to be the case, we may, during our last breath still 
be able to have a consolation to fill our needs of defeating oponents, the 
genes that killed us will die with us. 

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