"The 20th century will be humanity’s high-water mark."

We live in a funny dystopia -- funny as in funny smell


Tue, May 9th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

If you think the world has gone crazy and makes absolutely no sense, not to worry: not only are you not alone, but Jon Evans of TechCrunch pretty much spells out everything that's wrong with a world that has its "finger jammed on technology’s fast-forward button." You'll laugh, then you'll probably cry.

It also helps to explain why more and more tech executives are of the moustache-twirling comic-book-villain variety. Consider Peter Thiel’s opposition to democracy, and/or his wistful longing for the years when women were not allowed to vote (seriously! I am not making this up!) Consider Uber’s astonishing run of pervasively amoral/immoral behavior over the last few years. We thought they were bizarre throwbacks; turns out they were the leading edge of the wedge. 19th-century-style plutocrat comic-book villains are so in, these days! And by “in” I mean “in charge.”

This zeitgeist longing for the colonial era also explains why, at a time we should be reconsidering the division of the world into geographical nation-states, thanks to technology increasingly making those divisions obsolete … serious law professors in serious newspapers are instead calling for a return to colonialism. What could possibly go wrong?

And speaking of tech executives with questionable agendas, this article on immortality sought after by Silicon Valley is also an interesting read:

Not all the billionaires of the world are investing in science to live long. Some Indian billionaires, for instance, pray to God. Most of the billionaires who have waged the war against ageing and death are from Silicon Valley because they are the sort of people who have been trained to believe that a problem, because it is a problem, must have a solution. Unity Biotechnology, one such effort funded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon and the venture capitalist Peter Thiel, among others, has declared, “Our medicines could make many debilitating consequences of ageing as uncommon as polio.”

There is a hypothesis, endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that the eradication of polio involved a beautiful transaction in society: Children who were fortunate to receive the oral polio vaccine would excrete the virus, and children who lived by the sewers, too, could, by chance, receive immunity from the disease. The rich and the poor have always lived this way, exchanging maladies and favours without intending to. The quest of the super rich to live long, too, would deeply affect those downstream. Whether most of the world wants it or not, longevity is going to be thrust down their soul.



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