Three Ills of the World

Three Ills of the World
1) Information Overload (No Source of Truth)
2) Division (No Shared Truths)
3) Psychosis (No True Selves)

Prologue – Same as it ever was… but not this time.
The evils of technology have threatened humanity since its beginning. From our bone wielding ancestors; to the alchemists of the dark ages mutating the very fabric of matter; to language itself preached by those and wielded it as a tool of submission; to movable type, radio waves, television, atomic energy and the super conducting super collider… our species seemingly exists on the brink of extinction. Yet, we are still here.

The tools, the perspectives, the impact and the scale of these technological achievements (or at least technological endeavors, successful or otherwise) have shaped and guided human perception and navigated us through eons of physical and social evolution.

The more that things change, the more they stay the same. Humanity has changed, but we are all still human.

Each of these technical endeavors impacted the status quo of its age, wrought huge strides in our collective existence, but our survival is evidence that although paramount to its age, each one was more of the same. For although each was an advancement upon the previous, we humans are also advancing right along with it. These were each rising tides that lifted us all, yet were never the tsunami that would engulf us, bringing our demise.

Humanity has either evolved, or at least adapted to the technology of the age. And we’ve come far enough along to now recognize each of these rising tides. We lean into the surge, knowing it will carry us forward. Even as many cry out for fear of drowning, we stayed above water.

This age is no different. The doom peddlers and prophets of Armageddon are still hard at work hoping and praying we will heed their warnings. As contrary as this may seem, we find ourselves in this current age where it is now different, and the peril of humanity doom’s is quite real. Everyone is just mistaken about the cause of our demise. Nuclear power, supercolliders and uncontrolled neutrinos will not bring our doom, will not wipe out humanity.

Ubiquitous data streams, information overload and the belief of a new spiritual enlightenment – ignited by everything combined under the term “Social media” will be our downfall.

Unlike the technological ills of our past, Social media is different. As I will explain, accidental or retaliatory nuclear Holocaust or fatally mutant CRISPER exploits are not real pending doom, nor will they decimate humanity, Social media will not destroy humanity with computer chips in our brains and robot overlords. The science fiction prophecies where we humans will become slave to our machine masters is not a threat. Its no longer a threat, because it has already happened. Social media, our current surveillance capitalistic environment is already technology inside out brains – it already is our neural net exceeding in the modifications of our behavior unlike anything Skinner could have ever dreamed.

We do not need to imagine computer overlords keeping us in check, we are already doing it to ourselves.

Information Overload
The dawn of the iPhone – the mini-size Cray supercomputer billions of humans hold inches from their faces for hours a day – delivers more information every minute to each human on the planet then there was information on the planet before its invention. Endless torrents of words, sounds, images and videos on every real and imagined subject bombards us at every conscious moment, more often than not without our permission. We are not expending effort to seek out this endless stream of datum – it is now just part of human civilized society. Its the very fabric of our environment, to some it the very fabric of our existence.

This device is a miracle, it is the manifestation of the peak of our evolution: all knowledge at the tip of our fingers. Its puts to shame Alexander’s noble achievement: the greatest library of antiquity. The fabric of this new information age is not enclosed in solemn, revered and tapestry-covered walls; its not documented within the pages of tomes and palimpsests that took the authors years even life times to compete; its not authentic sources of truth nor testaments to the lifelong scholarship of the greatest minds the world has ever produced. No, the threads of this data are now weaved seamlessly throughout every field of study, stitched through every branch of the art, every worthy enterprise and achievement, and sewn into the mundane thoughts and deeds of humanity. These threads have no beginning, no middle, no end. No source.

Endless opinions, presumptions, assumptions, points of view and pontificating… but no source of truth. Endless facts uncovered that without a shadow of a doubt disproof yet more endless facts. One can find facts to disprove everything. No originator of any source of information, nor overseer of any data point, nor arbiter of any truth is known; therefore all is untrusted. Except one person; each of us. In this new world order, the only thing we can all agree on and hold to be self evident is that we have broken the social contract and can only trust ourselves.

Each of us has an iPhone, and each of us has used it to decipher the real, objective truth through all the noise and its is only each of us who know the right answer. Its is each of us who knows what to do. It is each of us who is unflinching in our belief that we have all the answers. It is our steadfast believe that each of us is right and everyone else is wrong.


All common ground eroded, between me and you
the polarizing process, of opposing every view
three hundred million people in this overcrowded land
form three hundred million groups, and take three hundred million stands
– Rhythm & Bones

How can not the inevitable results of each of us alone having the right answer be a complete division of right from wrong; black from white; me from you? As you feed at your screen, you only eat what you want. You are only receiving the information that aligns thoroughly with your likes, your dislikes, your thoughts, your preconceived notions, your values and your righteous judgments. If a morsel of data is too tough to swallow, if it triggers your intellectual gag reflex, just swipe it away. Not need to taste even the tiniest bit of unpleasantness.

Everything you consume is derivative, a regurgitated menu of all your previous selections. All the same views, attitudes, beliefs and values to which you are are already agreeable. All the notions that come along with it are your comfort foods. Your consumption of the world around you in tasty bite size package of euphoria and rage keep you nourished. There is no need to change your diet, your view points or your perspectives – these are unwanted additives you need to avoid. However, the unwanted additives you avoid, is the high protein meals which sustains others. They throw away what you consume with the same disdain and disbelief.

Each one of us is right, the other other is wrong. They are wrong and will never see the error of their ways, they will never see the truth as each of us does, So unfortunately, we need to give them up for lost, they will never come over to the other side, so they need to be cast away, cast out. Canceled.

Whether at the local food pantry, school, courthouse or statehouse there will always be division between each of us who knows what is best and right for the other. With no side willing to concede, there will never be conscientious. And a divide house cannot stand.

Most painful of all of these ills, is when this division is felt personally. The more each of us uses and is used by the phone and social media and the twisting of reality to bend to the most sensational, then more we ourselves get twisted.

Too much information overwhelms us.

Dividing and splintering into millions of groups justifies our retreat from the world.

Forever managing and updating our online personas allows to to retreat from ourselves.

We had no choice, no say. Each of us has split our personalities, fractured ourselves and has created two you’s: our real flesh and bone self, and our online profile. I am not talking only about the true lifelike online avatars many of crafted to uncanny similes of themselves with touched up photos, well worded texts, intricately planned posts and Machiavellian “likes” and “ghosts”. No, also online lurks the profile of even the most ardent Luddite who’s been waging a private war against the armies of online agents who are relentless hounding you for any tidbit of personal data it can pick from you.

Whether you are one to edit and maintain your profile or continuously work to delete it, we each have one. We spend far too much time agonizing over how our online profiles will be presented to others. How anyone who stumbles or engages with our profile will react to it. Will they want to be friends with us? Will they like us? Hire us? Think we’re cool? Or think we’re too cool?

Many moment of our days, many hours of internal thought and emotional anxiety is in response only to how other will think of us based on their view of our profile. We are less worried and anxious of anyone will want to be our fried, or think we are cool. It used to only be the greener grass of our neighbors than concerned us.. but now the millions and millions of users and influencers have greener grass as well.

And this disproportionate stress and concern for the well being of our online personality diverts all thoughts and concerns for our real word personality. Each of us starts to consider just which one we are spending more time considering.. and which one we will then choose to consider more. Here we enter into psychosis.

If we don’t know who we are, then we don’t know on which side of the divide we belong, so then we cannot for certain judge any fact and we’ll remain far from the truth of the world and of ourselves.

Slow Moving Doomsday
The AI Agreement signed by the big players of the industry is a distraction.

Here come the robots and AI to enslave humanity. Terminator and Skynet and the Matrix will play out next – we must be careful.

Well, we are all decades too late.. humanity is already enslaved. We have freely give up our personal liberties, freedoms and privacy – real world privacy, virtual privacy and emotional privacy – to our corporate overlords. We do not need Skynet or robots.

Why are people enslaved?

For those in power to remain in power? To subjugate and exploit the weak. To ostracize those different in skin colors, thoughts and beliefs.

Just because there are no chains, do not think we cannot be prisoners. We are slaves to our tiny machines we engage with more fully than another other person, place or things in the universe. We give away our personal identify to our corporate masters. We curtail our movements by allowing our masters to track us online, but also physically in the world even easier. Our spirits are broken and controlled not by force, but because our corporate masters – like the devil – has bargained with us and made us an offer we cannot refuse: the full and utter control over every aspect or our lives… even on of our data points of our lives are in our own hands.

And we all know how thee Faustian bargain always end up.

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