Dance Partners                                          
                                            A HuMan Interest Series                     

Part III - Aug 2012

                                                                  Status Quo                                   
Printable Version
                                                                                                                                    Sept 2012 
Endless Revisions; 2013 - 2019

One step up ~ two steps back. History indeed repeats itself. That is, right up until a change making anomaly springs up and alters what up til then—was status quo.
        Countless are the reckless leads of yesterday and today’s is out of control. As near as I can tell, our government first bailed-out corporations in the 1970’s with about $22 billion; in the 80’s, about $306 billion, between 2000-09, $1,700 billion and in the two years of 2010-11: a whopping $1400 billion with speculation of untold billions more. That’s not genuine capitalism—its corporate welfare and those bucks didn’t magically appear but came from our tax coffers. When that bucket ran dry, other buckets were rented. Our debt then soared from billions to its 1st trillions in the 90’s. As 2019 opens, our runaway debt is nearly $22 trillion. In just two flyby decades, status quo has our great country spiraling into a debt of such magnitude, there comes a point when we must accept two facts: our ruling elites are well in over their heads and—what they’ve been doing is no longer working.  Harsh on our ruling duo? You bet.
        More status quo. Corporations love taking our money, and our jobs, overseas to then bloat into multinational powerhouses. Once there, they scramble to dodge the taxman here as the coup d’état for shaking this country and its people down; the very core that gave them their damn power to begin with. Intermeshed in this newday quasi-capitalistic way, is a complicit government overlooking such a raping of us; a pathetic transgression we foot the bill for. To top it off, while corporations scrapped over our hard-earned taxes to bail their sorry’ness out; leaving us to pick up the aftermath pieces from the last recession—they kept right on a’ scurrying to replace us with machines! We have been experiencing, and helping to pay for, the 1st job-eliminating rounds of higher-thinking technologies. Wall Street is gearing up for the next AI cash-cow rounds and will invest with our money, again and again, to keep stuffing Baby-G’s growth—so long as we let them.

Fat-Assed Rats.
              As a communal species, masses will always dance with some elitist ruling version.                Elite: a dominant authority within a larger society. Professors, clergymen, law enforcers etc. Our elitist rulership of today’s America is an intertwined political/corporate partnership. While here, a revisit of Oligarchy is apt: where power effectively rests with a small number of people—the privileged few. So regardless of how lofty we want to believe our system still is and as crass as it sounds—our ship is being overrun by a glut of fat-assed rats gnawing a gaping hole right through it while our elected representation dance amongst endless barrels of legislated pork. Our ship is dangerously listing. And it’s been us, the very generations reading this, who’ve allowed such recklessness to prevail—all on our watch.
       Every time I update this installment, first written in 2012, it still riles me and its writing tempo shows it. Back in 2012, we were just learning that our tax bailouts were handed over as premier salaries for corporate elites. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s top 10 rats alone pocketed nearly $100 million. AIG alone—showered $268 million onto their top pets. All of these stacked-fact realities should still rile us because status quo still hasn't changed!
        Most of us are proud Americans regardless of what political ideology we align ourselves with. We all want to stand on moral high-ground defending our way of doing business, our way of governing, but first and foremost: our governed helm must be fiscally responsible. Collapse takes every ideology right down with it when then, name-calling each other ignorant liberal or rabid conservative will be as useless as every told-you-so. 
       President Bush's 2nd term ended with an 8-year run tacking on the largest US debt ever. President Obama ended his 8-year run with the next largest tacking; overshadowed Bush's by about $2 trillion. However, Obama did inherit two wars and one raging recession. Now we have Trump. No big wars and an economy finally stabilizing and yet we've incurred another $2 trillion of debt. I keep trying to get this series aloft before yet another election charade because regardless of blue or red, status quo isn't gonna change until we, a unified we, force it. 
        I hesitate to throw in my own 2-bit political views because I don’t want to negate the intent of this series but in good conscience, I simply can’t waver from calling out fat-rat egomaniacs and I can’t help that Trump just happens to strike the perfect pose of one. This series isn’t written with an allegiance to either red or blue but in fact—for the not yet existing middle hue. There is only two—them against us pitting’s in this series; Super AI and fat-rat egomaniacs and I can’t edit out what’s worth raging over just to avoid offending Trump devotees. Truly, I hope he somehow manages to still do something decent but regardless, both labels are apt. Egomaniac: obsessive preoccupation with one's self; someone who follows their own ungoverned impulses; possessed by delusions of personal greatness. Fat-rat: Trump exalts almost daily—his empire. 
        This democratic mass, Trump supporters included, will be the negligible ones if we choose to overlook three Trump facts: 1) He overtly declines the longstanding gentlemen’s agreement to disclose tax records. This symbolic display; a sort of humbled gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve us, continues to go completely disregarded and is indeed—a blatant slap in our face. However, this overt blatancy overshadows something more: his empire might not be such a stronghold after all—the prime reason we elected him. 2) His record number of bankruptcies does not equate to solid business acumen but in fact—indicates an uncontrollable need to overreach. 3) Aside from his constant misuse of facts and flagrant sexism, this series looks back on history to help us remember what we must stop forgetting and—egomaniacs play center field. Yes, there’s likely a few egomaniacs who held genuine regard for their masses wellbeing and I hope Trump will choose to exemplify those footsteps. And, we all better hope. My overall Trump prediction: we will know sooner than later, just how wise we’ve been to put an egomaniac in charge of the greatest superpower on this planet.

          Red/blue quibbling isn’t a harmless pastime. Throughout the Romney/Obama run, I kept hoping one of them would offer a viable solution to wean Baby-G from absolutely gorging away our entire middle class but, that didn’t happen. What I did notice, more than ever, was the underlying powerful presence of the DNC and RNC.
           Then, when the fall of 2015 run came around, ten Republicans stood to vie for our acceptance; something our Democratic President encouraged everyone to watch, hopeful we’d all take notice to then remember, how much effort the new hopefuls intended to expend towards dismantling all his administration accomplished. So, if that's all that newday politicking boils down to, then how is our great country to move forward when our representation gears only for reverse? We are in a real jam here even without Superintelligence pounding down our door and yet, red/blue power-brokering continues to scrap for exclusive rulership; they remain firmly ensconced in division suicide. And us? The bulk of us are finding our way to that hallowed, centrist ground as evidenced by an overwhelming 50% of dutiful—not eagerly—casted votes. So, why aren’t we getting representation we can get behind?
        In his book titled Virus of the Mind, Richard Brodie tackles the tug-n-pull underlying power brokering with terms like Operative Conditioning, Anchoring, Cognitive Dissonance and Embedding. These terms summarize what is now referred to as a new science—Meme Planting: “used by those who understand how to plant viruses in the minds of others; the perfecting of delivering propaganda.” I probably read Brodie’s book 10 years ago. Today, I am reading about an entrepreneurial spirit sprouting out of a little Macedonian town where Meme Planting is really paying off in the world of fake news! The primary customer? Those looking for the latest scoop on America's presidential candidates.
        Regardless of who holds our highest office, there’s still plenty of greedy rats scurrying to fund the next concoction rounds for our replacement. Or, in the words of Ray Kurzweil: “There’s about 10,000 scientists all over the world feverishly working to develop Superintelligence.”  Ray wrote this in 05 so there’s likely a fevered quadrupling now. Well, feverishness expends itself without an outlet; scientists alone—aren’t doing this to us. And us? I doubt the president’s remembering statement was drawn only from observing today’s short attention span. In The Federalist Papers, the authors clearly understood how quickly a mass chooses to overlook just how the power dance rocks since they kept a running reminder going throughout their book. Actually, this observation is noted throughout all human history it’s just that this particular book gave me the bright idea to cops theirs. Sprinkling a few rearview lessons onto these pages isn’t meant to suffocate us with drudgery but—to help us remember why we must redirect our pride.

Looking back to see forward.
        Ruling elites of past eras knew that by keeping masses ignorant—uneducated and unworldly, made their job much easier. Our fears; mortality/immortality, were easily tapped. Rape, pillage and plunder were commonplace. But then by horse and by sea, automobiles, trains and planes, all ushered in eras where news traveled much faster. Worldly shared knowledge flung enlightenment’s doors wide open. At this country’s inception, day-breaking news across the Atlantic was old news by the time it reached our shores but by historical measures—it was a news flash. By the time Wars I and II got here, new-age technology had firmly entered the scene. Radios and planes gave way to weekly news of worldly happenings and it became evident—an educated, enlightened mass isn’t so easy to dupe. So if that’s the case, then how  did Hitler get away with atrocities of such monstrous proportions—right under the civilized nose of the world? 
        WW II was referred to as the Good War because the world was given a diabolical awakening of what humans were still capable of doing to each other and the world rallied against atrocity. Basic humane decency was finally weighed and measured. The Nuremburg trials meant civility would now be gauged, and film footage meant civility would now be visibly displayed for all the world to see, just how humans were treating each other. Surely, mass genocide and heinous atrocities would never again happen.  
        Enter on the scene—The Web of the World. The world is now one big neighborhood. Even the most remote areas now have access to education and knowledge of happenings in real-time. I’m certain the mass in every unstable corner of the world breathed a sigh of relief knowing the Big www would afford vigilance, conveyed on their behalf, to the entire civilized and compassionate world. So if that’s the case, then how did a 3-month genocide of one million Rwandan Tutsis in 1994—a mere 25 years ago—possibly happen? This time, the civilized world did indeed—watch. 
        Today, ISIS eagerly provides us weekly snapshots as to how they spell heinous. For the past 50 years, educated masses have become hypnotically numb to watching a continual stream of horrific atrocities unfold next door, in our towns, country and the world. What we are capable of doing but don’t, is nearly as barbaric as what we’re still capable of doing—and do. Surely, complacency is the devil’s weapon of choice. Surely, the devil’s a good place to lay blame.

Purposeful Future-pull. 
        How will messy humans, who still have the capacity to either inflict upon, or stand idle and watch as atrocities are being perpetrated upon others—ever be capable of some semblance of self-rule? Good question. I guess we do look hopeless if we don’t perceive The Human Experiment as a collective purpose that happens to play out in some progression of maturity. For instance, cannibalism, incest and bestiality are no longer en’ vogue. We’ve become more civilized simply because basic decency illuminated the way. And, we can wonder all we want about human purpose or where some final finish line is but—mortals don’t have those answers and our experience wouldn’t be the same if we did. So by looking back to see how far humans have come, my ponderances embrace an individual, but cumulative—totality of purpose. In-spite of how precarious or gruesome the human saga has been, we’ve somehow advanced to a freer, more civilized, more tolerant state. Surely we’re on the right track aren’t we? Surely we can agree: basic human decency must continue to be our beacon and anytime this dims—we’ve gotten off track. 
        Of course human purpose may be nothing more than our imagination fueling some instinctual pull that what we do—has purpose. It’s possible that our existence is nothing more than some random chance at life and something called humans got to be Earth’s fortuitous, king-of-the-hill. A hill that prodigiously accommodates—most of the time. Journalist Simon Winchester covers Japan’s 2011 earthquake with this: “Broken lives and broken homes prompt us to remember what in calmer times we are invariably minded to forget. A chilling mantra which holds quite simply: mankind inhabits this earth subject to geological consent—which can be withdrawn at any time.” In that one statement, we are humbly reminded that our mere existence may be nothing more than some insignificant role playing-out in some Earthly design; a play we call—The Human Experiment.  
        However it goes, I conclude that while here, our experience is greatly enriched by believing that what we do—matters. Parents parent because of this, teachers teach because of this, people who create jobs find great satisfaction providing a lifeline to others—the list is endless. Our country was founded on principals to progress a free humanity. This resides at the very heart of human purpose. Humans have messy tendencies alright but we’ve become freer, more civilized and what’s quintessentially in us, makes living our lives rewarding or I guess miserable but the choice is currently ours and any ruler who constricts this has designs to lead us backwards.

Never Forget. 
        Human replacement is not a theory but rather, a long standing practice; Nero, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, Pol Pot, Duvalier, Hussein. Hitler, just another diabolical despot in a long line of others, is a good example to use because he’s relatively new on the crazed-powermonger scene. During his reign of terror—a mere 70 years ago, it's been estimated that over 6 million Jewish were exterminated, that over 20 million Russians died, that over 600,000 Americans lost their lives. All toll: this world lost about 60 million—all because of one madman. So, how did Hitler get away with such atrocities in such an educated, civilized era? Well, that how is worth full-on consideration cuz that how—hasn’t changed. 
    Contributing factors: 1) He knew the all-mighty power of communication—used it imposingly well.  2) German unemployment helped him fuel an idea that the Jewish population was the leading cause to their ailments. 3) Once control measures were Firmly Entrenched—he unleashed an unseen replacement agenda of heinous proportions. 4) That nightmare didn’t happen overnight but rather: subversively snuck-up on the German mass.
ü  Today, far more than yesterday: powerful communication is bombarding us, overwhelming us. Back then, Hitler-rants not witnessed, were occasionally heard over scratchy airwaves or drifted down from the sky propaganda-bombing style. Today, propaganda-bombing works us over right in the comfort of our own homes—24/7 nonstop.
ü  Replacement is happening. The replacement kind we are experiencing can’t compare to the slaughter-replacement back then. Rather, this connection is about unemployment. Workforce replacement schemes are here in-full and—unemployment is the backdrop to heinous. 
ü  The monitoring of us is being subversively inserted into our society and that damn sure is—all about control. A new normal—the SS boys could only dream of.
ü  These current-day realities aren’t happening overnight but rather—sneaking up on us as well. That’s how conditioning works. 
          Human sacrifice was tossed off the chopping-blocks long ago; slavery auction-blocks finally but finally desisted. So today’s civility-norms aren’t much different than 70 years ago. I doubt the 1940’s German mass was hardly less civilized than we are but there will always be Jonestown-like quacks, artfully skilled in the power of communication, gifted at perversely manipulating masses. Unified—masses trump divide to conquer coercion. Disunited though, masses are as vulnerable to the power-crazed ilk of today as was Hitler’s German prey just yesterday until we stop forgetting what history so aptly reminds us not to. 
          Monitoring can and does provide societies preventive safety measures. However and most importantly: Firmly Entrenched real-time monitoring then compiled—sits ripe for total control.  We are being recklessly naïve to hope this world no longer has charismatic freaks who aren’t clever enough to get their aching hands on today’s ever-evolving, communicado and control power-tools. So, what are we doing about this? Well, not much but The Electronic Frontier Foundation, (EFF) is doing something for us. Their mission: defend free speech online and fight illegal surveillance. I donate to show my gratitude. The 2nd part of their mission-statement piques my skepticism though: to advocate for users and innovators to support freedom-enhancing technologies. Guess I automatically get suspicious anymore when enhanced gets attached to anything techno. Meanwhile, I really want to believe they are working for a pureform free experience so I’ll keep donating unless a misgiving lands. Please look them over to draw your own conclusions.

        We are The Techno-Testing Ground Era. We are the first humans to have a highly intelligent but non-breathing entity living with us. It is being fed our freedoms—our jobs. 
        During our times, we’ve seen technology advance while other jobs were created and because of this, I think we’ve been slow on the draw to make the dire exponential connection. That which was—no longer is. Here’s what is: workforces are now downsized at a rate faster than the techno-uses to keep us employed are hatched. Upgrade room isn’t here anymore. Computer technicians now stand in the unemployment line right alongside the millions of unskilled us. Send me out a lifeline ~MK. 
        To see exponential, just think of the many years Ma-Bell ruled the phone lines until one day, radio-packs came along. Soon, analog phones and then boom! The next day, cellphones hit the stores and by nightfall, palm-held everything’s burst on the scene! This is exponential and this is how job-eliminating technologies will advance more and more. Possibly, we’re still at the Ma-Bell stage  so we don’t yet see how scary this rate is yet; our sleepy over-fed techno-babe just awakening stage—gearing up for its next growth-spurt stage. 
        Experts can factor-in hypothetical market and new-job demands all they want but exponential means the human job-loss rate to machines goes something like this: ten years ago, X amount of jobs were gobbled up so double that for the next five years and double it yet again—right now. No matter which way well-paid mouthpieces slice or trivialize this connection, please look through all the mire by keeping these thoughts in the forefront: today isn’t Luddite-yesterday. Higher-thinking jobs are the booty so there’s scant upgrade room left—just downgrade room. When our unemployment gets spun as recession fallout having little to do with technology—don’t bite. When the spin flips over to assure us how technology will once again create lifelines—only this time sustain them—remember: Baby-G grows exceedingly fast at mimicking us simply because fat-assed rats are keeping fevered scientists all cranked-up!

Look harder dammit!  
        I look around and try to spot all the bad guys the necessity of monitoring and replacement schemes indicate a need for. I look at my coworkers and neighbors. I look up and down every main street of every town I visit. I watch people drive everywhere and this is what I see—regular people. Seedier or sunnier sides of town, low income or not doesn’t matter. We are shift workers coming and going, shopkeepers and store owners, students and parents. We are everyday people going about life behaving in all manner of citizenry without thought simply because—this is the natural state of today’s human. We behave this way naturallynot because someone’s watching, monitoring our every move, waiting to ticket and tally every misstep and misdemeanor living life throws us. 
        In today’s workforces, where the monitoring and replacement of workers is ahead of the main street next-stop, I see nearly every worker doing their job conscientiously and with pride—not hopelessly inept. These people are us. We are the ones out on the street practicing everyday citizenry; pausing our own harried life’s pace to pick up litter or to patiently assist someone even as our own tardy chime tick-tocks away. I see us from every societal facet coaching little leagues, volunteering from schools to fire departments, from churches to community chambers for cleanups and every manner of handups. There’s walkathons everywhere for every ailment and joggers who can scoop their dogs-doo while hardly missing their practicing-to-adapt beat but what I don’t see is a bunch of people who need monitored and replaced and yet—this is our reality. Why? 
        These are crucial observations for us to make. We work, grease the big commerce and governing wheels—we behave responsibly. As for our ruling cadre, it doesn’t matter whether they hail from corporate or bureaucratic circles: they are all voted upon to make ethical policies respectful of free societies. So if there’s such empirical evidence indicating we’re so damn inept and so suspect we warrant such regressive policies, then I’d like to point out there’s a glut of evidence indicating the same of them! You know we’ve got to find some way to bring some understanding here today ~MG.  We all need to remember our part of the bargain, look more appreciatively for our values and move responsibly forward—human forward. Who’s the goose? Who’s the gander?

Life—it’s about Choice.
          This writing endeavor got complicated because I decided to educate myself before I began. I only know a spittle more now and that includes a few new terms. Technophobia: fear of technology. Biophobia: fear of biology. Transhumanism: transforming the human condition with techno-enhancements. Existential risks: potentiality for near or total—human annihilation. 
          I now know what best describes me. I’m a technobiophobic. You’re one too if you aren’t really afraid of technology but rather—really afraid of replacing our bio-selves with the damn stuff! Just run a web-search using the term Existential Risks. You will find Superintelligence holds top billing in the anthropogenic (man-made) annihilation category. This cataclysmic potentiality isn’t one of those out of our hands catastrophes; it’s not like a Mega-Asteroid dropping in. So why are we being so mute about our fevered brethren’s array of cash cows that, uh—Hitler could only dream of? 
        Freer-than-ever and educated is—our undeniable reality. These anomalies are potent enough to change up the timeworn power dance but like any gift—comes choice. In this showdown, each of us will choose to capitalize or squander this gift and yet, this seems to be one more hard-to-make connection and my conclusion here—comes from you. When I ask the you’s about how you see our watch going down, nearly every response begins with they. They need to govern better, do business more ethically, educate our kids better. The list goes on—and on. If I peeled this whole series back to one message I most want to try and connect, it would be this: Life—it’s about choice. Each of us will find our way to absolutely every choice we make by first tapping compelled pulsing’s; belief, faith, desire—purpose. So in a republic/democracy running on capitalism—they—is us. And if we intend to redirect how we leave our watch—they—begins within.

                                                            Just Imagine.
                                Imagine all the people  ~ living life in peace ~JL. 
        Calmer times in past eras probably gave people a sense that finally—they were the fortunate ones to witness the days of peace and goodwill. I picture one of those calm-era days with me standing before a glorious dawn—cup of java in-hand. I see myself deeply breathe in the morning’s clean crispness as my grateful eye languishes upon the gently swaying, dew-twinkled stalks rolling upon hill after hill until halted by a majestic, emerald green forest back-splashed with pastels of a new day rising. A blessed sense descends. Newday hope—comes without bidding. 
        Damn, that was kind of poetic! Well anyway, stick with me. I’m trying to go somewhere and imaginations don’t come with an off-switch. So, just use yours to imagine yourself witnessing that same dawn. Try to feel a bit of that blessed sense. Notice that by way of auto-comparison, your imagination flashes a quick reminder about the struggles another mass endured—just so you could stand before that glorious rising.  And if you choose to let gratitude do its magic, that blessed sense transcends back to center.  It embraces you and with it, your family, township, and maybe the whole world as you know it. By comparison of all that you know, the mass that you are a part of is finally, the fortuitous ones to stand before the gates of what might just be—Nirvana. 
        Now, fast forward to right now. See how cool an imagination truly is! Anyway and in many ways, we truly are that fortuitous person you just envisioned. This is where I think fortuitous-us gets stuck. Our auto-comparison has been working overtime. For this worldly mass, all that we know, comes at us in a relentless torrent of graphic tragedies, a deluge even, and for many years now and it’s only going to get worse. This has got to be tripping up our collective psyche. To be the first, genuine worldly era to ever exist, came a trade I don’t believe we’ve had time to adjust to. However—we do know tuning-out isn’t working. So until verifiable proof gets here for backup, we could simply agree that it’s fair to say it sure aint easy to keep gratitude and hope in the forefront when pelted by such a relentless, hard-hitting, god-awful deluge. 
        These thoughts keep pinging at me. Somehow and quickly, we must push back hopeless, overwhelmed senses without turning away from our vigilant responsibilities. Before I resume our travels with Ray, I just want you to know these pinging’s underlie why I feel it’s important to reappraise what it actually means to be human, why I’ve elected to keep lyrics floating through this series and why I believe this series must run in a public continuance way. I’ve got this unshakable idea that overwhelmed senses will loosen their hold on us if we make a concerted effort together, to replace them with smooth sailing ones; like gratitude and compassion for instance. Senses that seem to just swell without bidding whenever we take one of those auto-comparative, hopeful imagination rides. So, top that Goliath.  

Learning to Soar.
        In the late 50’s and near the end of his life, Dr. Carl Jung wrote a book about the mass called—The Undiscovered Self. He was talking about us. TV was coming on the scene but I don’t think Dr. Jung could have known just how fast the techno-future getting here would be. It’s a small psycho-babble book about ourselves and worth reading. He expresses great concern for the future of man and wrote about the tragic perils he foresaw and said: “We must learn to move individually responsible—in a mass-minded way.” 
          I liken humanity’s progress to the span of a human lifecycle; our current maturity stage similar to that of fledglings preparing to soar in-unison. We aren’t yet ready for any self-rule version but young adulthood signals a change is in the air. And it’s obvious we’ve learned many lessons as measured in this past century’s civility. For instance, God is now loved more than feared. Nobody forces humans to be charitable and Americans are the most charitable humans on earth. Why? Yes, we can afford to be, or at least used to be, but many American’s donate and contribute of themselves in many ways, have little money, and don’t require acknowledgment of their compassion. I propose these indicators of change deserve a better examination. In fact, because of biology’s snail-pace like it has all the time in the world, we need to look harder for reasons that pureform humans are indeed worth keeping as we no longer have—all the time in the world. 
Adaptation occurs when patterns change. America is one big melting, pattern-changed pot. By fusing diverse ethnicity and education with the fact that it’s innate in humans to desire freedom; a luxury only recently experienced—is—a change-making pattern. Our almost without thinking behaviors—are—adaptation in-the-making. And because individual responsibility is being attended to by the majority—the next stage must then be to fuse mass-mindedness onto that. 
        When I watch a flock of bird’s inflight, I’m amazed at how they dip, flip and turn in-unison, all without crashing into each other. Its pure fluid poetry, in-motion. To fuse the I to US, maybe it’s as simple as taking one of those auto-comparison rides; to visualize we are fledglings preparing to soar. To fly where we are one ~LK. And while some still simmer with hostile teen-angst making the whole damn Human Experiment look hopeless, most of us are more mature. Without another oppressive revisit or some apocalyptic, throw it all away horrorhumans can still mature. We can still learn how to more peacefully, more responsibly—coexist.

Let Time be on our side.
        We can’t just passively accept we are forever hopeless or that we’ve maxed-out towards a more civilized existence. Truly, what would be the purpose of that? Of anything? Why bother to parent or build towards a better future? There’s sound reasoning in the novel idea of replacing the well-worn sheep persona with our current and actual state of being—The Undiscovered Self. 
        There’s some indications we are readying ourselves for this next growth spurt. We may need to stretch for signs but a thought is like an acorn; it can grow into a large Oak—it just needs planted and nurtured. Here’s some of my stretching. The vote for Change and Tea Party efforts are actually—unifying signs. The mass is beginning to use viral channels to provide stronger feedback about governing decisions but as yet, we are doing this factionally. However, replacement technology is here so factional unity needs expanded to embrace the whole damn team. 
        Here’s another indicator. Only yesterday, printed periodicals were certain the digital world would end their reign but yet, even young audiences are still buying many—affording their stay. Possibly, we are all searching for some cohesion to satiate what appealing soundbites tempt. It’s all about communication. Ground zero for communal us. 
        We have critics. They’ve concluded today’s American is disengaged because of decadence rot. That because of easy-living, we’ve become a cynical, me-me complacent era disinterested in where we are being led. The list goes on. So if we just glance at our collective snapshot, then it does bare the earmarks of truism. But if we peer closer; look at the individual you and me snapshots, then it’s clear to see we don’t go about our lives behaving irresponsibly! Can you see the real me? ~TW. We’re disengaged, no doubt about it. However, I’m contributing a damn long series hoping to help dislodge whatever ails us because I’m certain its roots stem from something running insidiously deeper than slapped-on shallow labels. Baby-G delivers one certainly: there are now two teams but only one is pureform. So if we’d simply bridge ourselves, then we still have time to affect how this showdown goes down.
        When I made the decision to begin this writing, I gathered up two years’ worth of notes, put a pile of CD’s in the turntable and thus began. Obviously, I love music. Right now I’m listening to a beautiful song pine away in the background; let time now be on our side ~RR. Publius & Co educated me on the role of government for a free humanity. Ray educated me on not only where this fevered cash-cow race is headed but also, that time is of essence. As for me, I root for the home team. I write because we’ve got two-minutes left on the clock and it’s the final quarter of an all or nothing showdown. Like David’s final pages left untold because we stupidly replaced ourselves before we got to see what soaring in-unison feels like. We are no angels but does that mean we can’t live our own lives? ~D. Yeah, we’re messy but not hopeless. Few angels, but few demons and that’s worth remembering too.

        The whole time I’m reading Ray’s book, I’m fully aware that such an incredibly smart guy is not overlooking some big ponderances that keep my fingers turning his pages. Sure enough, Ray addresses these 377 pages later but I’ve jumped ahead. I digress because I’m good at it. Here’s some pre-377 stuff.
        Currently, we are coming upon that stage III intelligence juncture; also called the biotechnology stage. This is not just competitive American ingenuity racing to be the 1st to open this Pandora’s Box. Because of this, Ray says: “There’s no turning back. If we impede scientific progress, it goes underground—to the wrong hands.” Well, I’d say progress which jeopardizes our very existence is already—in the wrong hands! So, cést la vie and back to history. I’ll keep picking on Hitler’s hands since his almost won the atom-splitting race; hands that already lost count of the Jewish death toll and a brain that was already awash with Aryan glory so we can be certain of what those hands would have done with atom-splitting.  With that said,  we’ve been told that dropping the A-bomb on Japan was good because it averted the continuance of a long bloodletting. Now I’m a big fan of many of our scientific brethren’s inventions but Hitler or not, I think splitting atoms was worth a moment’s pause to ask: just because we can—should we?    
        The total annihilation umbrella we’ve lived under for the past 70 years surely contributes one more modern-day psychic consequence: hope has been eroded. Apathy is just one horrific outcome of any war but that horrific war ushered in this total-annihilation concept and with a heavy burden comes a heavy price. Possibly, this consequence has added to today’s complacency tumor. For a time, we built bomb shelters and made backyard contingency plans and now, 70 years later—look at us. It’s as though we’ve accepted annihilation inevitability. We don’t make backyard contingency plans anymore. Also, since Hollywood has been providing us such a steady diet of apocalyptic messages for so long now, I wonder if any of us visualize a future not completely shattered; a future like the post-apocalyptic existence powerfully depicted from Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road.
        Annihilation acceptance for the superstitious-sky or Gods-grace falling crowds was once logical; especially with the likes of Genghis bearing down. But, times have changed. In an educated free state, pure apathy must be when a human loses a grasp on the pull-rope to a future that individually, each of us indeed matter. Faith in our own purpose. Now, we’re about to usher in another scientific marvel and this time all of us need to shout: just because we can—should we?

The Promise.
          Ray calls the juncture up ahead—The Promise or The Peril. He begins: “Technology was once very expensive and didn’t work very well. Now, it works very well and is relatively inexpensive. Soon, it will work exceedingly well and be nearly free.” One example comes to mind—Voice Recognition Software. I mentioned VRS earlier and I’ll mention it again. We’ve been subjected to VRS phone abuse for well over a decade and I’m not the only one who rages senselessly at a damn machine. And though my phone etiquette hasn’t improved—VRS has. So when Ray says technology constantly improves—VRS is a great example of this. I’m guessing we’ll soon succumb to human pretenders mimicking to us here on out unless of course—we quickly decide pureform is where it’s at.  
        More techno-upsides from Ray. “AIDS medicine is fairly cheap now which means 3rd world countries have a fighting chance. The Big www is already free, works great and allows education to reach every corner of the world.” I used a pacemaker example earlier; this amazes me—still. We now connect our heart to a doc via phone and doc not only listens but—can adjust our heart’s beat 1000 miles away. This actuality alone is worth its own techno-thriller! Anyway, this marvel is biotechnology. It is part of the soft-sell that will open Pandora’s Box—never to close. Humanity’s forwardness will take an exponential jump because this stage allows every biological human affliction a fighting chance. Bionic limbs were once just props for the Million Dollar Man and Woman. Not anymore. Brain malfunctions already get chip-boosters. World hunger could easily be alleviated if we all simply agreed that GMOs, (genetically modified organisms) were a good thing. FYI; GMO’s maybe aren’t—a good thing. Cancer and AIDS will soon be a thing of the past. Basically, our immune system will have non-bio helpers running around in our blood stream to enhance it. Great examples.  I couldn’t agree more. The list goes on and on but it’s critical to realize—this list is already here. 
        Here’s some more soft-sell. Nanotechnology is the next stage; already being concocted. This stuff is dubbed designer technology. We can live much longer, look younger, remember better—feel great! It’s also called designer technology because only the rich will be able to afford it in the beginning. Designer bio-stuff is incredibly enticing. I can’t think of any reason why most of us wouldn’t want to look younger, remember better—live longer! Reality-check footnote: middle-age and middle-class means nano-stuff won’t be affordable to us in our lifetime.
        Already overwhelmed and feeling hopeless about the future leaves most of us mumbling something about thank God we won’t be around. But, we are and so is the transhuman future. In another blink, we will begin to install many of these nano-parts into ourselves and why not? In Ray’s words: “The human body is a great place to lodge a computer. We already carry lots of computer gadgetries on us—why not in us? Why leave the computer stuck on the desk—immobile. The human form is already a walking program miracle—it’s just going to get enhanced!” We’re already being conditioned to connect this softly-purr’d word—enhanced—to any and all of today’s must-have gadgetries. I want something else to get me thru this semi-charmed life ~TEB.  

The Peril.
        By the time our grandkids can afford this stuff, wealthy elites will have a great big head start on creating yet another class of humans. Rich transcending humans will make today’s average appear caveman-like by comparison.  But!  Just because the mass is now relegated to the way back: won’t deter the frenetic race up front and the ensuing mess that will rage. A huge washout down the road will be: not only will a new, transcending super-elitist class emerge but—life’s frenzied race will need new rules. Others, (because the mass already lost out due to that rate and money stuff), will have so many non-bio parts in them, they’ll argue about who’s real and who’s not and where to draw the line. Ray says: “This will be a tricky area but probably hashed-out in litigation rather than legislated.” Ray says: “A mock Biocyberethics International Bar Association conference in 2003 already hashed-out this case in point.”    
        I’m emphasizing Biocyberethics, (Webster’s doesn’t know this term yet) International, and 2003, because this mock trial was already held 15 years ago—on an international scaleand powerheads already know it will be a litigated issue! Where have I been? I’ve been checking around and have yet to find anyone else who knew this stuff either. This is a good example of why we keep getting mistaken for sheep! At this stage, average us will still be around but for what I don’t want to fathom except my imagination won’t quit sending out visions of huge pens holding huge herds of starving, angry beasts. 
        The word Biocyberethics means ethics has something to do with it. Why is this human exclusive word—ethics—even being fused to no-emotion its like it’s the most natural thing to do? I wanna scream to the top of my lungs ~ what’s goin’ on? ~FNB. Ethics are derived from morals which in turn come from Societal Acceptance. Acceptance comes from conditioning. This is where ethics begin to change. While we still have some semblance of a democracy that our ethics derived from:  a sovereign nation where Freedom of Choice has most certainly affected us, indicates by Our Choice that ethics still matter! Ethics must continue to be our beacon for a Human forward, united trudge! Damn! What is going on? 
        While others argue about what’s real, Humanoid, and what’s not, Nanoid, Baby-G keeps right on gorging. Nanoid technology ushers in the real nightmare. The Invincible Super-Goliath. This bad boy will not only be able to self-correct but self-replicate: two outputs that up til now, were uniquely ours. The makings of a bio-baby requires nine months after the act of sex takes. We then spend, (probably more than we should) about 20 years coddling our creations before they soar. Prior to reading Ray’s reality I somehow thought, unlike Hollywood techno-thrillers, that humans would always make robots. Evidently, robots won’t need our help—creation shall be exponentially theirs.  To get the idea, just visualize the endless stream of cookie-cut Mr. Smiths in The Matrix.
        Remember, Ray predicts the future. He says: “Superintelligence could be here by late 2020 give or take a decade depending on how strong regulatory inconveniences are.” Regardless of how inconvenient some will find it, we must at least voice concern about where we’re being led—if not for all humanity then at least for our own progeny! I refuse to believe we are such a childish me-me era, so numbed, so complacent and cynical we’ll just throw it all away! What is getting the best - the best – the best of us? ~FF.
        Paradigm shifts are major changes in methods and intellectual processes to accomplish tasks; like writing and language. This is what Baby-G already does. We are at our very own pre-cursor, self-replacement, paradigm shift! Publius of Rome once pondered where are we going and so began a road map for the public, formed from the public, in the most republican liberty view for the times. Out of his ponderances came a senate and writs of conduct for society. Publius & Co. also pondered where we were going and made revisions for America’s modern-day road map. Out of this came a Constitution of the People for the People. Now, we are at another fork in the road and somehow I’ve found myself writing, begging us to ask of ourselves—how do we want our watch to go down?  I’m not a person of revered credentials capable of mapping-out the latest revisions but I’m certainly competent enough to shout this question. It’s a question All of us are qualified to shout! That’s the free-speech deal dammit!

Face it with Eyes Wide. 
        At least if we do this together it might not be as scary. I surely don’t foresee there’s enough Earthly room for pureform humans to peacefully coexist with Super-G and I’m not alone. Opposition to superintelligence spans every sector; scientists, sociologists, philosophers, the religious. Again, please look up Superintelligence. Folks wanting to slow this exponential nightmare down are speaking out. Advocates giddy about a transhuman future are speaking up. What are we doing? Are we really so invisible that no one hears what we say? ~JK. And the answer to this—lies in our silence. 
        It’s become sickeningly apparent to me that even advocates of superintelligence are well-aware: the potentiality of existential risks runs high for near total or total—human annihilation! This means us—our kids. This is one of four flaws I see in Ray’s fantastical. Ray uses measures indicating technology narrows the gap between rich and poor but I don’t see these measures offsetting the actuality of today’s ever-widening moneyed disparity. He skips over this divide; over its correlation to the very fast techno-pace he writes so much about. For our kids, this divide is going to boil down to a little too late and a dollar too short. I suspect Ray skims over this reality because he’s fully aware: the bridge from today onto transhuman tomorrow will not be peacefully breached. In today’s reality, our offspring will be like the 26 million Jewish and Russians of only 70 years ago. They—will be the fallout.  

        When I began this endeavor, I was just going to share what I’d learned and felt qualified to do that. But then I began to realize it didn’t really matter what I wrote if we weren’t engaged so I looked up the definition of rah-rah. You see, I’ve come to realize my real value in writing this is not to reiterate what qualified others have already expounded upon for years; why nearly every topic I’m pounding on is surely familiar to everyone. We all know there’s something scary about a future of Superintelligence. We all know powerful self-serving rats reside within every ruling cadre—always. Getting ourselves to engage by far eclipses some preaching to the choir need. It’d be better to think of this series as a really long rally. Resolve will grow when we all know the same damn cheer. 
        My agenda is to rally the whole team. Wanna join? There are many qualified experts and commentators that can add to these topics and I sure hope they do. We’ll need ones to rally us together—not apart, so be wary of cynics. Money buys many things including highly-polished mouthpieces. Billions have been invested to advance every imagined technology so if this series picks up momentum—it won’t roll without resistance. Powerful industries want to replace us, the whole computer industry and absolutely every other industry heavily invests in futuristic cash cows, our government is currently reveling in the use of our tax dollars to monitor us with the stuff and scientists don’t seem to know how to ask themselves: just because we can—should we? 
        Superintelligence is not the only future. Dr. Jung offered a viable, purposeful concept that embraces all humanity. These are the choices you and I will make for the human future—one way or the other. If we choose to steer humanity responsibly forward, we must first believe pureform humans are worth keeping and then back that up with some actual grit. Otherwise, staying stuck in status quo idle is also a choice. Enterprising rats look to capitalize on us behaving like sheep—always have. However, freer and educated is our indisputable state-of-being and patterns like that are definite game-changers. But first—belief precedes change.  So, it’s only a small leap of faith to believe that our current mass-maturity stage is that of young adults finding comfortable companionship in the individuals we are intended to be. With the grace of a final nudge, off we soar—looking to find the groove of unison. An imagination—priceless. And yeah, Goliath will never ever top that.

                                            Please open to that groove. 
                                    I could really use a wish right now ~B.O.B.

                                                  Sincerely, Publius.

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