Sub-title: “WTF? A non-sequitur for the ages…these guys are really crazy.”
Elon Musk and several other unnamed billionaires believe we all live in a computer generated reality—they’re convinced the universe is a simulation. Therefore, they’re funding research aimed at helping us escape.
The story, as reported in The Independent (10/5), gets even more interesting when we hear from Sam Altman, who owns Y Combinator, a company that helps create tech start-ups:
“Mr Altman…told the New Yorker that he was concerned about the way that the devices that surround us might lead to the extinction of all consciousness in the universe. He spoke about how the best scenario for dealing with that is a ‘merge’ – when our brains and computers become one, perhaps by having our brains uploaded into the cloud…’ The full-on-crazy version of the merge is we get our brains uploaded into the cloud. I’d love that. We need to level up humans, because our descendants will either conquer the galaxy or extinguish consciousness in the universe forever. What a time to be alive!’”
If you’re confused and spinning, you should be. How do we get from “we’re all living in a simulation” to “we should get our brains uploaded to the cloud”?
“The devices that surround us might lead to the extinction of all consciousness in the universe,” and therefore we should merge our brains with another such device; the cloud. Our brains and some super-computer should become One, and that will solve the problem.
The machines are taking over. Therefore, let’s all merge with the machines.
If you believe this is logic, I have golf club memberships for sale on Jupiter.
The underlying message here is: say anything that leads to hooking up brains to computers, even if it makes no sense at all. Just do it.
Fast-food burgers are unhealthy. Therefore, let’s all merge our brains with the cloud.
There’s a big hurricane coming. Hook your brain up to a computer.
Perhaps Mr. Altman thinks that a brain-computer interface will preserve consciousness against our own tendency to destroy ourselves. Who knows? If that’s what he thinks, I have news: connecting brains to computers doesn’t produce “more consciousness.” It just brings about a condition of slavery, in which we accept all answers and data generated by a computer.
Which is exactly where technocrats want to go. “You’re not allowed to make mistakes. Computers are flawless. Follow their instructions.”
At one time, people were supposed to discover God’s Will and follow it to the letter. Now God has become a machine. Same scenario. Different authority.
Technocrats, to the degree their motives can possibly be construed as genuine, are always looking in the wrong places for magic. They think computers embody it. Fill a processing device with enough complexity and it comes alive. Not so. It just becomes a more complicated machine.
The technocrats want computers to issue commands to brains. For example: “always perform greatest good for the greatest number of people.” Yes, but how do they define “good”? The computer doesn’t do that. The human programmers do.
They want you to overlook that little trick. They want you to be awed by the computer itself. In stage magic, it’s called misdirection. You’re looking here; the sleight of hand is being performed over there.
But there is another kind of premise that these geniuses are overlooking: a brain-computer hookup actually works. Who says so? Who says that wiring connections between a brain and a machine is going to produce information, for a human being, that’s more than static and gibberish?
A whole host of assumptions are being made here. On extremely tenuous grounds. It’s mostly slovenly thinking: a brain is like a machine and a computer is like a brain, so the two of them will get along just fine. Really?
The technocrats have seen far too many bad sci-fi movies.
Their basic problem stems from their adoration and worship of machines and systems. This leads to treating human beings as systems and nothing more. If it isn’t a system, they’re afraid of it. They want to predict and control. That’s the world they see.
How about this? Suppose the technocrats discovered we are, in fact, living inside a simulation—and they dissolved it. Where would we be then? Are they laying any plans for that eventuality? Maybe they believe hooking the brains of nine billion people to a supercomputer would be the only reality left. Then we’d be floating in a dead zone of computers running brains…whatever that turns out to mean.
Here are several relevant quotes from my work-in-progress, The Underground:
“Systems are, when taken too far, labyrinths. You can enter but you can’t exit. Humans generally don’t know when that line has been crossed. They eat systems. They want to think and behave like systems. This obsession spans the spectrum all the way from schools with zero-tolerance policies to metaphysical maps of the cosmos.”
“When elites reach the point where the population can’t even imagine what non-system thinking might be, they will have won. They won’t need a supercomputer to instruct brains. They will have created a collective brain.”
“There is a point beyond being trapped in systems: humans just want to know what ‘everyone else’ is thinking…and after they find out, they sign up and join. The joke is, everyone else is thinking they want to be part of the collective, too. That’s the bottom-line thought, and it’s passed around like an empty shell, from person to person. It’s meaningless.”
“All right, Mr. Jones, we’re going to link your brain up to our supercomputer. We think this is going to work. Ha-ha, we’ll see. We hope it doesn’t fry any brain synapses. Once we make the connection, you should be receiving a whole new set of information from your brain. We hope it comes through clearly. Your job is to obey what your brain is telling you. When I use the word ‘you’, I’m not sure what I mean. That’s a mystery. There’s a lot of mystery here. We expect you to become a super version of yourself. Super-smart, within the parameters set by the supercomputer. The computer will make sure you’re a good person from now on. Ready? Take a deep breath. Here we go…oh wait a second. I see we need one more signature from you on the informed consent waiver. In case there IS a YOU separate from your brain, this procedure may eliminate that YOU and turn you into a perfect operating android who is never unhappy. No problem, right? Just sign on the line here…”
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.