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                                                   A Human Interest Series

PART V - April 2015

                                                                   Being Human 
Printable Version                                                                                                                                          October 2012
                                                                                                                                         Endless Revisions; 2013 -2017

                                   Definition of overwhelming: writing this damn series. 
        Humans. We get to learn the hard way—every measly trinket. I believe that quip came from Kurzweil but I can assure you that I’ve no intention to re-read The Singularity just to confirm that! 
        Through this getting to learn the hard way—how to write—I’ve learned many things; the value of taking better notes for one. But, I’ve also learned that as each installment develops, each takes on its own identity. Meet—Damn Complex. Sure, I’ve tried simplifying this one countless times but you gotta know—it aint easy tackling all that’s wholly complex about being human. Well, I’ve done my best. It’s in your hands now. Tip: if there’s one installment worth a re-read, this would be the one. I’ve used nearly 9000 words to condense Damn Complex so good luck! 
        Here’s the 1st paragraph worth a re-read; its four revisited quotes that embody what’s imperative we comprehend. Cognitive Scientist Marvin Minsky’s: Common sense is not a simple thing. Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas—of multitudes  of life-learned rules and exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks.”  Here’s one from the smartest guy around—Ray Kurzweil: “Will original thought or consciousness, which is derived exclusively from key bio-based humanistic traits—be missed on Earth if decisions are deemed best-made from non-bio processors vastly larger than humans?” This one’s from Berkley Philosopher John Searle: “Consciousness is an exclusive biological bi-product. A gem not to be discarded or messed with.” And last but not least, one from Bill Joy, The Professor of International Political Economy: Transhumanism is the most dangerous idea to mankind.”  

Once asked…
        Somehow, we’ve trudged to one decisive—human evolution juncture. Ushering in stage III intelligence means we concede our level of intelligence as inferior to machines. This takes The Human Experiment—in a whole other direction. Yet, I’m the one writing this and I didn’t always keep a tight grasp on the significance of what Stage III utterly meant. Yeah, I damn well get that by feeding our lifelines to Baby-G, we are blindly buying into the greatest compromise ever sold to mankind: a morphing into some emptied, artificial type of design. And yeah, I get how crucial it’s become to put the skids on this now—not too late tomorrow. I also see the conditioning grease sliding us to that nearly-here cataclysmic dive: that industry efficiency must come at our expense. And I can even spell out how tomorrow’s greasing will come simply by using another Ray quote: We’re a walking program miracle ourselves. Why leave the computer stuck, immobile on the desk. We already carry lots of computer gadgetries on us—why not in us?” This insanity is not harmless and yet, it’s being dubbed Transhumanism like it’s the most natural thing to occur to our very adaptation! There’s more benign sounding grease out there. Humanity+ is a great example. So the founder for the flock of 6000 beavers eager to transcend wasn’t tardy to his lessons on  clever but I wasn’t tardy to my lessons on conditioning. Hyping a horrific minus as a harmless plus—is—slicked up conditioning. 
        Yeah, I get how precariously we stand at this techno-juncture. So—why are we even dabbling in the most dangerous idea to mankind? Truly, are we so dissolutioned with being a purebred walking program of a miracle that we’ll just throw it all away? Could it be that we’re just not willing to see transcendence is actually bearing down? Maybe, we just haven’t paused enough to consider what it actually means to be human—what we’d outright lose by messing with this pureform of a miracle. These why’s don’t leave me alone to which—begged another why. Hence, Damn Complex. It was after I’d exit my wee typing room and head out the door to do life, I began to notice the significance of Stage III kept slipping from my view and I wondered why. Well, once asked…  
        Part of the answer to this why ended up being a no-brainer. Simply learning something, especially futuristic mumbo jumbo, wouldn’t stick unless I provided some gel. Yeah, Simple Simon observation alright. We barely squeak by boring after boring test simply because the crammed material is really boring! But in this case, I wanted to learn about where we were being led and in doing so, the material became captivating. Why then, wasn’t Stage III auto-sticking? Well, this part of the answer took a while to sink in. First, I rationed that I must be low on gel so I exited my wee typing room to refuel—for like a whole outdoor summer. See how eight years stacked up? Anyway, while outside, this procrastinator at least mulled over my low-gel theory until finally, a slow-mo dawning began. Like a bystander watching a process unfold, I looked from outside to within, to see more clearly—what it actually means to be human. From there: I held this precious moment of awareness in focus until a sparking came to takeover. Now, I not only know why we have no business discarding our pureform gem for some artificial, enhanced-looking shell, but I now have a keenly guarded appreciation as to the why—within. At the point from when I chose to stay my focus, did a whole lotta fervency come to back up what I’d learned. Stage III significance—now auto-sticks.

Faking it.
        The gap between uniquely human values and outputs is fully up against inanimate it mimicry. This gap narrows daily. Already, replacement machines do many outputs similarly to us because its are designed to do just that. Just like us, its already store, share and duplicate information. Its already come packaged with motor skills, can talk—can see. Its now have best-case data-selecting, ever-changing scenario and human-tendency capabilities. So if we stay this course, then very soon:  it just becomes a matter of how either of us gets packaged. But, there’s still a few impressive distinctions left and one is about how either package actually derives at an output. Of course the makings to any doing for both man and machine begins at our inception. Both come pre-programmed, both get upgrades as we age. Both calculate upon known data to then apply motor-skill capabilities. Motor-skill output or not—a decision is made. But first, before one single decision gets ignited, before one movement shudders to life—Choice fires up the whole shebang. 
        Machines come auto-programmed will zillions of choice-variables, then gorge from the webs’ endless stream of more variables, to then quantify all pre-programmed and auto-updated derivatives it’s been geared to look for. Called best-case outputs, machines instantly share zillions of choice-selections. Likewise, to spark even one choice for one decision, our conscious data-gathering process comes from an individual’s—lifetime of learning. No instant sharing. This distinction is where machines are quickly gaining an edge. But for both human and machine—this is the end-part of the process. And for machines, I’ll use Ray’s words: “by reverse engineering of our brain’s process” meaning: it’s impossible to simulate how a human actually derives at decision-making from ground floor up so a machine therefore—begins at the end. The ground floor is much too complex for mere machine mimickery. Artificial Intelligence is just that—it fakes it.

Sparking it.
        For humans, the ground floor is where a fleeting thought gets sparked up to the final decision-making room. It’s a wholly complex, impressive journey. These sparks come from lifetimes of emotion-fueled choices stored safely in our intuitive, common sense cache. The Minsky quote embodies this significance: “Common sense is not a simple thing. Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas—of multitudes of life-learned rules and exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks.” 
        Machines already mimic most every human output exceedingly well, so really all that’s left—is within. Before we fully concede to machine supremacy, I want to paint a more complete picture. Maybe this is a futile last stand but I think it’s only fair, only logical, we more fully appreciate what we are giving up and/or diluting by relegating nearly every aspect of living our lives to the realm of machines:  including the crucial, final step a thought takes before crossing the finish line of its journey. Decision-Creation. So let’s pay homage to what’s quintessentially us; the raw ingredients that head upstairs for storing and baking. These ingredients, our humanistic traits—spark every single choice to every single decision we make or act upon. This series begs us to remember: life—it’s about choice.

The Journey.
        A coworker used to tell me I was the most wonderin’ person he knew. He’s dead now so he no longer wonders because he’s either dead-dead or all-knowing. But for the living, our insatiable imagination remains ever-primed and I’ll admit—mines a healthy one. There’s times I’d pay good money to have an off-switch installed up-there. Sittin’ all alone inside my head ~SS. 
        Philosophers say wonderments; fleeting thoughts, have something to do with human evolution enveloping triads. The past, present and future, collide around in our mind, body and soul, congealing with imagination, emotions, and finally—consciousness. This begins our extraordinary, exclusively only unto us—conscious journey. 
        Basically, lifetimes of intrinsic thoughts we don’t even know exist, race about in one damn big playground called imagination. It’s when we choose to pause—to actually take notice of some of those fleeting rascals the playground director is instructing our attention to—can we then snatch it up by adhering a bit of focus to it. Then and only then, can we ponder over this rascal—consciously. So, how do we even know to paste focus onto a thought—not yet known? Who is the playground director instructing us towards which thoughts need conscious scrutiny?   
        Likewise, conscious thoughts can backtrack. From another pack of racing zillions, we consciously choose—to send known thoughts back the way unknown thoughts come so as to snag more focus; to cast more intensity on them. The question here remains: where does a thought, now compelled, backtrack to? Since we feel things churning about, is what we feel just our thoughts careening about until some kind of congealing settles them down? Or, does a thought remain up-there to steep in some kind of heady brew, and it’s the brew that is actually felt careening about? Or, does a thought instinctively dive straight to the heart of the matter and if so, just exactly: where is that ground zero? Questions like these stymy those so frenzied to chart our last—human frontier. This obsession; to discover exactly how a thought develops: is the key Super-Goliath must have in order to become truly invincible. Well, in all that’s damn complex about this walking  program of a miracle, here’s a few certainties: however a thought process begets itself—its one emotion-fueled journey. Somehow—choice plays a lead role. And, it’s a complex journey that Super-G will never ever take. Problem is, our fevered scientific brethren don’t ask themselves just because they can should they, so left unhindered, their cash cow race will end up at Pandora’s Box and once that opens—Super-G will be invincible enough. This is where Ray’s question comes to light: will the journey of our thoughts, much less any other pureform human journey—be missed?

Blossoming.
         Wonderments. It’s where this series began. Don’t know if an inspired thought sparked it all or if a conscious thought backtracked to blossom but either way—a blossoming damn well occurred. Nowadays, I find myself trying to sort conscious thoughts as either compelled or inspired. Inspired; in-spirit thoughts, somehow come into view from somewhere, whereas the origin of compelled thoughts can be pinpointed; a snippet read, heard, seen. And I cast data-derived thoughts to the compelled side simply because of these outside-influenced zillions that also race about, I only choose to snag just a fraction of them—adhered by focus. Well, however a thought derives itself, once it comes into view—watch out! Conscious rascals demand attention!
        Now enter on the scene—blossoming’s. Just think of known thoughts mature enough to actually launch us into an output, like mission-ready rascals. But when an output actually occurs: it’s delivered on the wings of want, need, or had to.  So, what makes us even want, need, or have to do—one damn thing? Now enter on the scene emotions. Ray calls our thought journey emotional intelligence for good reason.

Passion Breakdown.
        If I succeed in conveying to you why our pureform must not be messed with, then it will be because: you chose to paste some focus onto the data I’m offering. But still, the significance of all that’s wholly complex won’t move you unless—you choose to cultivate it. There is not one known thought, inspired or compelled, that doesn’t go through some passion-channel in order to mature into even one—teeny tiny output. 
        Say you have a deal you want to seal. Armed with a conscious want-thought, you’ll still have to delve into that good ole’ fashioned humanistic cache where faith and belief reside because if you think about it, merely wanting, needing or having to clinch a deal, even if fully equipped with a data-spiel you know by heart—won’t be enough. First, you’ll need resolve. Call it perseverance or fortitude, but just think of these understood labels like channels to a wellspring called emotions.
        Emotions can be felt churning from head to toe. Emotions which, somehow ever-renew and likely beget—a thought’s journey. So wherever ground zero is; wherever that emotional cache is that a lonely thought goes to steep—it steeps in some heady gel. A gel so complex, mere conjured labels like faith and belief are all we have to describe it. Thoughts alone—compel nothing. We must believe and/or have faith, that to even contemplate the act to seal one single deal—has purpose.  
        The most impressive part of our emotional intelligence journey is called subjective experience. And what makes subjective, as opposed to objective experience very cool is: every experience each person has—even if only felt within via a mere thought rather than an outside eventcan never be exactly experienced by another human. Not even at the peak of lovemaking. So if a yes comes from asking if it was as good for you as it was for me—well… 
        What’s suddenly become even cooler about subjective experience is: it can never be duplicated by mere machinery. Again, Ray’s ponderance; will AI based data-decisions sorely fall short without the means to learning a thought via subjective experience? This captures why transcendence is sheer lunacy.
1) By relegating all manner of outputs to the realm of machines: we dilute, or downright discard—all that subjective experience brings to the table simply by lack of actually doing all that we need, want, or have to do.
2) Transcending utterly means tinkering with bio-processes. Since we don’t even know where ground zero is; and it may well be coursing throughout our entire being—this tinkering will affect the complex journey of our very intelligence. Whatever tinkering gets used, it will alter and/or likely dilute the pureform means as to how we got to be the kings of this amazing hill in the first place. And while our intelligence gets compromised, Baby-G’s sure won’t. 
        Even a fully developed AI won’t have the means to bake original thought. This distinguishing marker is the primo-perk our grandkids and every pureform human beyond will have over Super-G. However: our chapter in this showdown is to ensure we leave them a fighting chance. To do this, we’ll need to feel our way to the significance of Stage III or it won’t auto-stick.  
        I’m sure it’s fair to say that we all take for granted—the journey of a thought. And though we don’t know all the ins and outs along this journey, we do know where much of it begins and ends. There is no blossoming, not even a noggin jam-packed full of compelled and inspired thoughts which results in one tiny output—without a passion-channel open for business. The jest of a Calvin Coolidge quote helps put this in perspective. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent, or a world full of educated derelicts.” Still, no output without a blossoming, no blossoming without being compelled but first and foremost: the gathering of the very fruit to those intricately enriched—wondrous creations of original thought. Subjective Experience.

Mundane to Momentous. 
        So what came first—the chicken or the egg? Does subjective experience actually beget this process to a thought? Or, does something in-spirit—inspire us to go forth to experience a life in return for thoughts?  Either way, from the moment we consciously awaken, emotions spark every ponderance we have—into choice. From the mundane to the momentous; should I get up and make something of today, or just lay here and let today pass me by? If I choose to get out of bed and get on with the messy business of living, which shoes, coat, hat—do I feel like wearing. And in racing to catch the day, the mind races too where momentous thoughts easily hold court. How do I feel about buying that yellow house? Does this pending marriage proposal feel right? Little or big, all known choice derivatives play-out before we ever muster up one ounce of energy to then act. And it’s emotions that roil within us constantly; well-honed: they fuel inspiration, conviction, resolve—the very passion-channels to that wellspring of whatever makes us tick. 
        You might then wonder: what keeps passion-channels even open for business? Well, this is where Damn Complex gets so complex—it’s become one of the greatest unknowns to ever plague mankind. Wherever and whatever is that cache we call faith and belief—it stokes passion. This is why I chose a slow-read approach for The Story of Our Times. It’s the reason why I’ve invoked song lyrics to help tell it and it’s why two-bit soundbites just aren’t cutting it. Humans simply need time for passion to do its magic. To gel with purpose. Without feeling inspired—we aren’t compelled to carry out one inkling of intent. 
        When a thought tags out in that heady brew to renew itself for the journey back through all that’s wholly complex, all the way to that final decision-making room which opens the door for any single output to exit from, the all of it happens because: what we choose to do—has purpose. This is how our on-switch works. Machines, our newday replacements, our newday critical decision-making buddies miss the whole damn point of the journey. Always will.

To Be or not to Be.
        The heavy-hitter colliding around in us is a mortality/immortality reactor that keeps wonderments in perpetual motion which must be why sleep; the standardized, mortal off-switch option, is so intoxicating. This heady reactor, dubbed sex and fear, equates to life and death. And since troubadours have always been so adept at crooning each era’s rhythm, I’d say sex and fear still remain front and center. On his left hand he tattooed the word love and the right the word fear ~ but which hand held his fate was never clear ~BS. This is as true today as in every yesterday. Obviously, machines will never fear, never love—never ponder fate. So why in the hell are big picture decisions being relegated to an ogre—completely devoid of this daddy of ‘em all reactor? Well anyway, this is where Damn Complex takes yet another—complex turn. 
        There is at least one more powerful reactor that separated humans from the rest of the animal pack. Something other than the daddy base-necessity reactor—compels this beast. Whatever else developed within: whatever else opened passion-channels of intent powerful enough to compel us to do more than simply sit around and pick fleas off one another, has indeed—captivated humans. And the rest—is history.
        It’s likely that humans have always been enterprising; it remains one plausible answer as to how we gained that original edge to begin with. But whenever it became evident that something else compels this beast—it was probably the biggest Eureka moment of all time. Once this whatever else was realized, I doubt it took very long for enterprising chaps this world over, to see that top dog status could be gained—not just by physical prowess—but by decreeing you wielded the answer to what became known as—human purpose. Intent. And if you knew that, well then, you were graced to answer all unknowns! So from Stonehenge, all the way to Chichen Itza and every civilization in-between: enterprising chaps have tried to harness the limitless potential to be gained from the immense power of whatever else—makes us tick.
        Now enter on the scene—the variety-pack. Enterprising chaps are indeed inventive! Purpose-decrees quickly became insanely convoluted; debilitating even with all the Gods to appease and all the rituals to adhere to, that I’d guess it came as a welcomed relief to find Abraham a’ wandering about with one simple message: that really—only one omnipotent God stamped us with intent. So, forward-ho. A condensing of all-knowing creeds thus ensued. Today, we call this condensing of intent—organized religion.

Our Purpose.
        Surely, no human ever walked life’s path without wondering what’s it all about, why am I here, do I have a purpose and if so—who decides? Gods, elites, or our intrinsically-stamped selves? I suppose these wonderments come part and parcel for a beast gripped by emotional intelligence. Well, regardless of any one person’s full-on belief that they know the primo answer to this ultimate unknown, one certainty is absolute: this all-encompassing, loaded wonderment, indeed captivates us—for some reason. St. Francis of Assisi ties this complex weave up with these words: “What we are looking for is rather — who is looking.” When gifted seers glommed onto the bright idea to explain purpose—empowered by a God-head, this potent concept perma-stuck: for some reason.
        Since antiquity to now, our God-fearing brethren have salted the human trudge with a mountainous plethora of purpose-dogma. Decrees were hand-delivered straight from one God-head, only to leap over to another God-head who then decried yet another right-version. Our historical cauldron then became heavily steeped in a monstrous panoply of tyrannies from imperialistic shimmer to autocratic shine that without exception—invoked God’s wrath to seal decisive, right-purpose decrees. And all along the way, hand-in-hand, the scientific mind played a lead role. Minds that evidently can’t control their desire to prove just exactly what universal intelligence is and where it’s located—in, out, or all around. Minds that damn sure are—fully ensnared in the ageless power dance to wield the one answer to the unanswerable. 
        Every esoteric group has splayed decisive markers all along The Human Experiment way. But, rulers, scientists and absolutely anyone who becomes the keepers of each era’s all-knowing status do not hold the exclusive on purpose.
We all have Purpose. It just happens to play out in measures of Choice.

Choice.
        The mass who? Well, I guess sheep. Sometimes, kindly referred to as the flock. But there’s good reason why we’ve been sorely mistaken for sheep and it has lots to do with Decisions insatiable mistress. Choice. Whether God actually gave us or by just being us—results in the same immutable truth. Life is most certainly—all about choice. Choice! Choice! Choice! Decision only plays a lead role once choice presents her options. Knowledge introduces more options. Sometimes the choice to follow or do nothing becomes simplistically alluring—hence sheep. However, if we must resemble some analogy, I’d like to introduce bees. The dizzying dance of Decision and Choice is why I like the bee simile. I marvel at what bees do like I marvel at ourselves. Both busily buzzing and bumbling to our deaths but all the while, fascinatingly, beautifully—creating life. Both—innately passionate with intent. Although, as we forever haggle over our intent bees sure don’t seem to. Their intent has got to be the purest, altruistic kind of intent ever concocted.

Tolerance.
        On a good day, my imagination basks in all the endless possibilities. Pure potential! Our human jig, a sort of trudge towards Nirvana. I can’t help but wonder though if the trick is—we gotta arrive together. Nobody doubts we’re the most uniquely diverse animal on Earth. Such diversity would never get by Mother Nature’s discerning eye. Our diversity is of necessity then—Intentional. This is why I think tolerance must be the gatekeeper. I love to imagine that while we bask along  the way, ever-appreciative of all our universal glory and beauty, we radiate humanity’s forward movement. One day, we will make it—together. But on a bad day, frustration and fear overtake my rose-colored perspective. Portals from all fronts blast diabolical realities of what humans are still capable of doing to each other. The current atrocities happening in Syria, even to babies unaware they are even Christians—is unconsciousable. But even our ability to conspire and map out insidious plots against loved ones further testifies to our messiness. What if our one step up ~ two steps back, is not just the dance of two sad and messy lovers but rather, the gist of it all? Our human jig forever caught in some perpetuity of backsliding—we only imagine forward movement.   
        Replacement acceptance begins gradually. Personally, I damn sure don’t believe Gods want their creations annihilated. These decisions are hatched from mere mortals. But God’s wrath invoked or not, ultimately it’s a mass that chooses to buy into an idea that another mass needs replaced. The nightmare then unfolds when that mass believes it—then does it. Belief and Faith. We use these words to describe an intent powerful enough to compel us to get out of bed, build monumental masterpieces, go to the moon—commit the most heinous of acts even. 
        Today, replacement mentality lives on in replacement-technology and it’s not benign. It’s a formidable entity replacing workers today—geared to replace pureform us tomorrow. And it’s because of this: humans can no longer tolerate such base-mentality decisions—no matter how replacement blows come packaged.

Knowings—a Human Exclusive. 
        In Wonderments, Choice, Purpose, and Tolerance—we progress. Restoring humanity’s forward movement up-there means I change the scenery and I have one steadfast knowing lodged deeply within to pull from. How I derived at it I don’t recall but it is—one fully blossomed rascal.
        I believe every conceived dogma; from Gnostic to totalistic, remain en’ vogue simply because: something’s innate in each and every one of us which compels perpetual wonderment.  For some reason—there is no off-switch up-there. There are no certainties about purpose either—not even for atheists or scientists. Something compels humans to keep looking—to keep trudging forward. So whatever else developed within, wherever that ground zero is; roiling within our imagination’s playground even—it comes drenched with belief and faith. And if imagination is  ground zero, well then—imagination deserves renewed appreciation. Sure, it gets all the credit for the immense slide show of amazements Super-G won’t ever once fathom, but if faith and belief also reside in our imagination—intent is saddled right up alongside them. Whatever labels get used: no atheist can deny that we come stamped with intent—however concocted, however tempered.  
        Yes we can be pathetic. This isn’t because faith and belief are pathetic drivers and it damn sure isn’t because intent hopelessly misguides The Human Experiment! We have progressed to a more civilized, tolerant humanity, so surely we are on the right track! And while the jury’s still out about our purpose, my faith includes another certainly. We must choose to embrace diversity, we must require basic decency to keep guiding us, and we must contribute altruistic outputs from each and every generation if we hope to have our watch propel humanity forward. Otherwise, atheists all the way to every steadfast believer of anything would seriously have to wonder: just what’s the purpose of anything—ever? Daily trivialities would have been so laughably miniscule, humans would never have made it this far. Hell, we wouldn’t have made it past the purposeful, flea-picking stage! Today, just like every yesterday, we’re still pondering this timeless wonderment simply because survival is innate and Purpose, in some round-about way—appeases this instinct. 
        In 2003, the chair for—The Presidential Commission of Bioethics, Leon Kass said: “Human  life without death would be something other than human. Consciousness of mortality gives rise to our deepest longings and greatest accomplishments.” Dr. Carl Jung said: “Religion is an instinctive attitude peculiar only to mankind.” These are two powerful statements. So, if you want their potency to auto-stick, then just choose to paste some focus onto these rascals, choose then to let your emotions in on the ride and poof! Feel their potency. That’s all. That’s it. That’s everything. 
        Luckily, my wayward musings always slink back home. It’s a cozy spot and feels right. Knowing something. Innate knowing’s; commonly attributed to the yet unproven triad labeled Soul, is at the very heart of what it actually means to be human. Ground Zero. Indeed, for us to survive these techno-challenged times—our pureform state must not be messed with. Now, that’s about all I know but it’s enough. Any more defining labels just mess with my feel-good. 
        Wonderments happen to us all. I began this single-page contribution which morphed into a damn big series simply because one lonely and pesky Wonderment demanded companionship, Choice insisted Decision needed to get off the couch and Purpose—simply refuses to be denied. All summed up: the stuff that compels any of us to act upon any and every decision, is birthed from every derivative imaginable because imagination is yet one last human frontier. Imagination is comprised of anything and everything of the past, present, future, mortality, fear, immortality, sex—the list is endless. Perpetual wonderments are then hatched from this incomprehensible, quintessential humanism, which pulls us out of bed, grasps us and doesn’t let go. We then always, but always, root for the home team, whatever team—gives home meaning. There is a historical past, only because each and every human generation were forever compelled toward some future purpose. For some reason, humans trudged purposefully forward or—we wouldn’t be here.

But now—it’s a new day.
        For machines, no matter if they come packaged to look like us—its will never care one flyspeck about one thing, will never wonder about one thing, will never once—have one original thought. Machines certainly won’t feel, be fueled by emotions—learn tolerance. Machines will never once, have even one fleeting knowing and will never ever—have one lick of sense about purpose. In all that machines can do, the intertwined and convoluted bundle of every intrinsic humanistic part playing out in each and every one of us will never just once—compel one machine. 
        This small snapshot of what it means to be human, the stuff we to take for granted, is no small matter anymore. We now have powerheads choosing to unleash Superintelligence upon The Human Experiment. This includes confounding the decision-making process for emotion-fueled humans. Yes, the average us don’t always make the best choices, but is our ruling cadre doing any better? Are machines? If we believe machines will do better, then not only will this ebb-away at our own unique critical-thinking skills, but the ones we hope and entrust to make good and just decisions on our behalf—won’t fare any better. The same dysfunctional void we are now seeing and sensing in industries, have common-tines to the dysfunction going on in corporate and political arenas—in our personal lives as well. We are all compromising our unique edge on critical decision-making. Just think of how wimpy our abilities to divide, multiply or alphabetize have become. These simple tasks; the stuff we used to do in our heads without calculators and search engines, are preliminary examples of what’s to come if we stay on this road. It’s like this writing; it wouldn’t be faring very well right now if not for spell-check. Basically, if we don’t use it—we’ll lose it. 
        Finally, there’s still that wretched lesson history keeps reminding us not to forget. We are being irresponsibly naïve to hope the self-serving won’t take advantage of our growing inability to think for ourselves. Sure, they’re compromising their own thinking contraptions too but to be selfish means one strongly ticks from lower base drives so their outputs will simply become—more base. Remember the gang rape on a New Delhi bus a few years back? The one where the woman had been raped multiple times and then penetrated with a rod causing internal injuries and ultimately—her death? Well, today’s news quotes one of the sub-humans who took part in this unconsciousable act; said she’s the one who killed herself. Had she not fought back—she’d still be alive. So whenever you need a refresher on what base mentality looks like—remember this one. 

Free Falling.
        Ray says there are already many deterrents in place to prevent the wrong human hands from getting hold of human replacement technology. Well I have no doubt. We will litigate, mitigate, and soft-sell ourselves to extinction before we know it. The definition of propaganda comes to mind: deceptive or distorted information that is systematically spread. Our free falling into this futuristic techno-abyss will appear, indeed already has—harmless. Like Hitler’s pre-SS days. It wasn’t like on a Monday that twisted base-driven piece announced to the German populist he was exterminating millions and by weeks end—it was a done deal. Techno-enhancing, because of real afflictions or perceived ones if you’ve got the bucks—is—the subtle conditioning to get us to passively accept transcendence. It’s a road where machines will continue to do more and more motor-skill and critical-thinking for us. It’s a road where our intuition will continue to be relegated to the back seat, ignored—diluted. How then, will we even suspect we’re being led astray or even know as in Bostrom’s words: when headed the wrong direction—the last thing we need is progress?

What’s real? Replacement lesson 103.
        This question—what’s real, will make humans look even more hopeless and techno-enhancing even more attractive because our passions will flare. Arguments will rage about who’s real and who’s not and where to draw this newest line. What’s real and what’s for sale? ~STP.  Well, all of us need to wonder loudly and now dammit! Otherwise, the insidious replacement of our species will quietly zoom on ushering in at least—one more class of humans. In an outerwear sort of way, this new class will be impressively flawless and more capable than the human 1.0 version. The trade? An innerwear gutting.
        Evidently, virtual-reality is not just a Hollywood invention but a very real techno-option. I can’t quite grasp this one myself but sex comes to mind. I guess we can have sex with whoever suits our fancy. Of course—so can our spouse. Sex occupies our minds allot. So does love. I suspect I’ll need to know my spouse wants only me—at least while making love. I want you to want me - I need you to need me ~ CT. I bet we’ll get real messy over this as well. 
        Survival of the species is why we’re still here and is the primary reason we’ve progressed in an inglorious sort of way. Top-dog stuff. Our new bio-brothers will have this competitive stuff as well. So while we are busy shouting at the enemy coming through the front door, the back door remains wide open for Super-G to waltz right through. Then, both human 1.0 and bio-brother 2.0 won’t exist unless Super-G finds us of value. Ray says —“Hope they like us.” 
        This is the 2nd flaw is see in Ray’s fantastical. My common sense tells me bio-generated emotions such as hope and like are not gonna sway invincible Super-G. This it will only keep things of intellectual value because this it is nothing but an intelligence mass so it will be up to a no-emotion bundle of data to decide what’s of value and if we have any. Super-G will only mimic emotions but only if its programming says that’s the intelligent thing to do. This it—will never feel emotions so benevolent thoughts such as hope and like are completely moot.

Biophobic vs. Singularitarian.
        Ray has peers that are critics—has a Singularitarian fan club as well. Fans regard Singularity as not a matter of faith but of understanding. I wonder if these fans understand just how ultra-exclusive their new, faithless—home team club will be. 
        The growing number of critics don’t seem to doubt the scientific capabilities about to unfold but whether they should. So if a good many brainiacs don’t embrace this future as a rosy one, then it’s no wonder the bulk of us have grave concerns about where we are being led and—that should matter. We are where we are and we yam what we yam! 
        Singularity means: something unique, a hypothetical point in space where time and space become infinitely distorted. A point at which a complex function is undefined. At least that’s what Webster’s knows. Ray says: “Singularity does not mean we achieve infinite levels of computation, memory or other measurable attributes, but will appear infinite for all practical purposes.” Please notice what attributes are considered valuable—deemed worthy to measure.
        Contemporary philosopher William Dembski says: “For Ray to modify machine with the adjective spiritual, therefore entails an impoverished view of spirituality.” We are losing our religion. Life is bigger than you and you are not me ~REM. Max Moore, another distinguished philosopher says: “The world does not need another totalistic dogma.” Ray agrees so he poses this question: “What is an acceptable palpable substrate?” And you might ask—what the hell does that mean? Well, Ray says and bear with me: “By reverse engineering of the human brain, we will be able to apply the parallel, self-organizing, chaotic algorithms of human intelligence to enormously powerful, computational substrates. This intelligence will then be in a position to improve its own design, both hardware and software, in a rapidly accelerating iterative process.” Wow! I had guessed the meaning had something to do with an acceptable alternative we could stomach! I agree the world does not need yet another totalistic dogma so I question just what an acceptable palpable substrate really means. Ushering in an Aryan’esque bio-human, or some Goliath-wolf, has my biophobic-xenophobic warning sirens screaming!
        This is the 3rd flaw I see in Ray’s fantastical: totalistic dogmas are hardly any different than ushering in yet another class of humans. We don’t need either. Humanity’s forward movement can only continue with passing the torch of freedom for humans! It’s humanity not machinity dammit! We may well be dazed and confused but of this I am certain: as assuredly as we know we will one day croak—we also know our Purpose is no different than the same future-freedom pull that tugged at each and every one of our own human procreating predecessors!

Why are the skies silent?
        Ray says, (basically): “When lifeforms reach stage II intelligence, radio-waves begin a techno-inevitability. And so today, we keep listening for other stage II intelligence out there, sending out waves, awaiting response—nothing.” We’ve been doing this for quite some time now so Ray suggests we may actually be alone. Why? Simple! Universes are created all the time and without getting into black holes and worm-like tunnels, just think of patterns layered on patterns. “Some of these universes would support life but not always at the same level of development other universal intelligence might currently be. However, once you get to stage II intelligence, then it’s only a matter time before stage III comes along, but—it’s a tricky time.” Ray says: “It’s quite possible that other lifeforms annihilated themselves at this juncture.”   
        If I had to deem which tidbit of newly-learned information I felt was most crucial, I’d have to choose that statement. For me, this is the heart of Ray’s fantastical. Given time, humans adapt and given time, those other lifeforms probably would have adapted as well. But, stage III intelligence means technology and we already know—technology adapts exceedingly fast. I doubt those other lifeforms stood much of a chance—just like us right now. 

We are playing a dicey game.  
        We are still learning how to play well with others—much less other types of others. So here’s another one of my own—million-dollar questions. If the skies are silent—what’s the damn rush? If any of those annihilated life yams could have sent out an SOS just before their demise, I’d put my intuitive gut-deciphering capabilities up against any expertise crystal-ball theory because I’m certain the dire warning would have shouted—slow your Baby Goliath down!  
        I happen to be a big fan of ourselves. It’s hard to imagine any lifeform as perfectly equipped as humans. Just visualize one or three legs or arms and you’d probably come to the same conclusion I have. Two legs and arms seem perfectly suited for an upright creature. A creature fully equipped with seeing, hearing and smelling capabilities, interconnected to a communication gateway that doubles as a feeding/breathing apparatus, right below a thinking contraption located on the top part of a forward operating body which houses a vast and complex: emotion-fueled system. So if we’re as special as we like to think we are, then why are we rushing into a silent sky future of transhuman and non-human lifeform-somethings? If bad guy aliens aren’t out there looking to gobble us up, then what’s the rush? If annihilated others didn’t make it past this same techno-infused juncture, yet we believe humans are so damn smart, then shouldn’t we back our superiority up with some proof like: heeding the echo of some unheard warning reverberating through the silent sky to slow our exponential nightmare down! Give ourselves time to adapt?
        If invincible Super-G is going to be so vastly intelligent, then surely it will calculate on the soundness of leaving Earth to a species equipped with emotions—won’t it? Possibly, our ability to create such beauty in each and every form and monumental design using every medium imaginable stems from the simple fact that emotions fuel this beast. We are able to stand in awe of what Earth shows us. Super-G won’t mess with that—would it? If nothing else, Super-G will surely know the value of not tampering with a species rampant with imagination and original thought—right? Surely, we’re not gonna bank the human future on Super-G to decide for us—are we? 

But still—the skies are silent.
        Considering we don’t even know the magnitude of what the universe holds, I find it absurd to think that our planet is the only planet hosting lifeforms. So I also wonder why we haven’t yet, or possibly don’t accept yet, or know with certainty yet—our neighbors? Ray’s theory is the most plausible one I know so it’s only prudent to consider: how did other lifeforms get annihilated? Did they do it to themselves during the same, frenetic top-dog bio-brother race we now face? Maybe Super-G found no value in keeping them. Possibly, stage III snuck up on them so fast, when they finally unified to gear towards a saner road—it was too late. Maybe those annihilated lifeforms forgot to remember just what their history must so aptly have taught them—not to forget.

Back to real-time.
        Silent skies or not, we are cusping an unprecedented way to exist. There’s a few known certainties that come with this newday way. Artificial Intelligence is here. Regardless of packaging—it will grow. AI adapts exceedingly fast—we don’t. Other lifeforms may or may not equate their techno-transition to stage III intelligence but that doesn’t matter. For Earthly humans, I guess it doesn’t really even matter why the skies are silent. We can count our lucky stars we still have time to put our house in order before visitors arrive. The glaring fact is: raising awareness about what a techno-infused existence ultimately and utterly guarantees for all Earthly humans is now—not tomorrow.
        If higher intelligence is the only thing Super-G is about, then I suggest there’s an entire universe out there waiting discovery. Take it to the Moon if you must. The Goldilocks Galaxy looks promising. Seek higher intelligence out there if you must but for Earth—let’s be smart. Human smart. I implore us to steer towards a future that leaves Earth to humans. Let us figure this trudge out without another entity thrown in the mix. After all, for some reason, the kind of intelligence that came to inhabit this gem, came equipped to stand in awe of every amazement it holds. Amazements that will always be—utterly wasted on some non-breathing, artificially concocted kind of intelligence.

Our value.
        Philosophers, Historians, Scientists and Spirituality contributed to this wondering-aloud mission and from all this, I understand the following: experience means consciousness. That is to mean—the subjective kind. Beaming intelligence into any brain, man or machine, is but a mere sensory or objective experience. I’ll come back to this later but for now: wisdom, intuitive knowings and original thought or consciousness, can’t be fully realized unless you’re a human but will that matter is tomorrow’s million-dollar question. So here’s yet another mega-buck ponderance; this one’s been around a long time and is at the heart of why this is even happening. Is consciousness only an illusion? Edgar Allen Poe wondered; “Is all what we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?” A hefty part of Buddhism and Hinduism is about bio-transcending. Here, Deepak Chopra brings old-age to new-age with this: “Are we of this world or is the world in us?”  You see, the purposeful-pull that tugs at us all—tugs at scientists too. Their clamor to see what makes us tick is said that: in order to find ourselves—we must lose ourselves. Their fevered desire to know the unknown, is shoving humanity headlong into that box which conceals an abyss detrimental to our very pureform being! Once we take that dive, we relinquish the keys to this amazing ride; humans will still need to exist to then get permission to chronicle our outcome. 
        Noetic Science is the study of inner-knowing. Also not yet known to Webster’s, there are now several Noetic Science Colleges. For most of us, the occasional knowing that warms our insides or the fleeting déjà vu experiences we revel in, will be our only glimpse into what we really are or are not. We deal in dreams - graciously to God - and the rain - and the sun ~L. 
        Anthropic principle is the assertion that: any life existing in a universe will impose conditions that significantly restrict properties of that universe. So, are we restricting God? If God is omnipotent, then it’s no stretch for the scientific to conclude universal intelligence is God, and we must go out there to embrace God. Also, it’s no stretch for the spiritual to believe God is in each one of us and conclude that we must go into ourselves to embrace God. We can mix this up a bit and conclude all this stuff; soul, imagination, faith and belief, are all inextricable parts to universal everything and to simplify it all we could just use a three letter word like God—to describe all that is wholly unknown yet all-encompassing and omnipotent. Maybe this whatever-reactor that developed within is actually the missing God-particle! Maybe, it’s actually our very thoughts, like little energizer bunnies; a sort of vibrational lifeblood-energy the non-physical/physical God-mass requires! The missing equation to intelligent design! Possibly, a life-bearing, universe-creating God-force doesn’t concern itself with the conjured labels used to define wonderments and our fighting over labels merely attests to our adolescence and God is patiently wondering if we’ll ever mature enough to arrive at Nirvana’s finish line—intact! If God would send his angels ~ if God would send a sign ~U2. 
        Daoism says to label it is to lose it. I agree. Noetic Science may one day prove this or that but for now we have this: Faith—an acceptance of something not proven.  Personally, not knowing for sure gives my imagination free reign and I like that. Yes—mortality sucks, but then we can just choose some immortal concept, put a bit of Faith in it and let our imagination run. That’s how I keep thinking we’ll somehow get to read about this David and Goliath showdown where David wins and the young adult era trudges in. For now though, for real-time reality, I know whatever experience I’m having I’ve somehow signed up for. I’m blessed. I’m a modern-day American so if I’m miserable, I’m probably doing it to myself which is why my head and ass are both numb right now.
        I’ve not mentioned Hollywood much because it seems to be in our minds that what comes out of Hollywood are mere fantasies. However; “once we think it, Hollywood creates it, and then—it’s only a matter of time.” Once a thought always a thought—until it takes form. There’s plenty of Hollywood apocalyptic techno-thrillers out there but we don’t have to watch every one of them to get the gist. It’s not like Hollywood thinks up things—not yet thought. 
        Where it stands right now, our brains are being dissected and reverse engineering is what’s creating our current-day replacements. Tomorrows self-replacements will only keep us around if we are of value and there are only a few things I can think of which our replacements may value. Consciousness. Evidently, we can’t find it. Can’t find intuition, emotions or imagination either. It’s these ingredients, these one-of-a-kind individual immeasurable values, which may actually end up being our saving grace. 
        Ray says that at the heart of our techno-future will be: “can machines have emotional and spiritual experiences. What’s subjective, what’s objective? What does it means to be human and should it matter?” Right now I’m listening to a great JP song that AK and RP are asking;  you want me to find what I already have? 

Who are we? 
        After reading Rays book, I’ve come to value what it actually means to be human. Now, I’m profoundly grateful I have emotions to guide me; pulsing in me to feel my way through this thing called life. And now, when I find I’m annoyed that I can’t seem to get a handle on one of those pesky vibes coursing through me, I smile—it’s like an inside joke. 
        Is the idea for some non-messy machine to exist in but a shell of ourselves supposedly better? Is this actually where humanity’s trudge is to end? Why would we want to morph into less and let conditioning have us believe it’s more? What’s the whole damn Purpose of anything then anyway? How will all of us—peacefully make this insane jump into such an unknown abyss? What if we don’t want to go? Who decides?
        After all these questions settle, I’m left with a few certainties. Of one: every single notion we have about universal purpose is no less right or wrong than any elite’s—concept of purpose. These people do not know with certainty any more than we do and—this is not their exclusive ride. They don’t get to deem the mass, at least average on down, is hopeless and therefore replaceable—unless we let them. Is this some sick solution to world population? Luckily, these thoughts still vex me enough to retrieve my musings from the trash and write yet another day.
        Maybe we are inert placebos or organism’s flitting around in a petri dish of some Godly experiment. If so, it’s an incredibly awesome dish we’ve been graced with. I don’t have to be a scientist to know experiments conclude something. If The Human Experiment is coming to an end, then I want to know what’s been concluded and who’s been deemed worthy to inflict their conclusion upon us! But, that’s just me. You hold the keys—what do you think? I’d like to know your point of view so don’t be shy ~KOL. 
        This curveball starter-kit for how to engage a nation didn’t come with directions so I’m winging it. I’ve gone back through this series attempting to ignite some passion in others to the point there’s now a dozen damn installments! Sometimes I can’t believe myself. I fret over each page; wondering if I’m putting too much or not enough rah-rah and connotations in. Yeah, yeah, life is definitely about choice dammit anyway. 
        Well, I’ve done my best. And if I fell short of sparking a passion-channel in you, then like I said—it’s now in your hands. But, my failure won’t be because I didn’t tap my own. It rises up to answer the why I’ve chosen to publicly splay my inadequate-self for easy pickins’. I know this go-for-broke effort may be nothing more than some vain attempt to prod us into engaging in a saner, unified forward but then again—maybe not. In the end, my exposed ego keeps losing out to quintessential humanism; to my optimism, to my capacity to have faith in something greater than myself, and to one steadfast belief that mere data-proof can’t a hold a candle to.

The intelligence that walks here, for some intentional reason—came fully equipped; able to appreciate, able to cherish, able to stand in awe of this gem of a planet—we call home.

                              Feel the sky blanket you with gems and rhinestones ~PJ.
                                        I am faithful, and I am sincerely yours, Publius.

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