The world is changing. Radically. And I don't know where it's going to end.

Seswynn

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I believe that we are living in the most pivotal century of human history yet. I believe that at the end of the century, what being a human is like will have undergone a more radical change than any other revolution in our history (yes, even the agricultural one). That is, if we even survive this century, which is an if of reasonable size.

It's estimated that psychologically modern humans came into existence about 50k years ago. At that point, you could probably kidnap a baby from that time and have them integrate pretty well into our modern society. Hell, even before that point you could probably have someone raised under the same circumstances adapt relatively well. Which is kind of weird to think about. People back then more or less tolerated all kinds of things that would horrify almost anyone today, such as slavery, marital rape, rape in general, brutal executions, human sacrifice, etc. Not to say that those things don't happen today; it's more like they've been swept under the rug. But ask virtually anyone today about their opinion about those subjects, and chances are they'd react with emphatic opposition. And yet, some eerie similarities shine through as well, sometimes amusing, sometimes touching. People told crude jokes, wrote even cruder graffiti, sent heartfelt letters to their loved ones, complained about a local business scamming them. This mix of the mundanely familiar and the shocking can be strange, kind of funny even. The more we change, the more we stay the same.

But that's not the point of this post. No, the point is that that might all be going away in our lifetimes.

The strongest common thread between us and our ancestors is arguably our more or less shared genetics and neural/general anatomy and physiology. Anyone alive today has more or less the same brain and the same body as a roman from 2000 years ago, or even a hunter-gatherer from our most ancient parts of our history as homo sapiens. Thanks to the emerging technologies of genetic modification, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence, all that is likely to change. Any attempt to block genetic and/or cybernetic modification of humans on ethical or some other grounds is likely to fail miserably, as any entity that tries to do so has a massive advantage to gain. Super soldiers that easily get stronger than any natural human that only needs to be fed some kind of cheap nutrient paste. People that have a high resistance to the damaging effects of drugs and other chemicals. Hyper-fertile people who can just pump out babies nonstop. This could perhaps even reach the extreme of the Tleilaxu women from Dune, which are females who have been genetically modified to the point where they're basically just massive wombs, with any other human part of them having been stripped away.

These would be bizarre enough. But I haven't even touched on the ways that our brain could be fucked with. Even something as "simple" as increasing the speed at which signals are sent in our brains would have massive repercussions on one's psyche. They'd probably experience everything happening far more slowly than we were ever meant to experience, which could be a pretty horrific form of torture on its own. You might not exactly get to recreate the experience of the Jaunt, but you could get pretty damn close. Of course, you could theoretically account for this by, say, making them ultra-patient. Make it so that they could handle a subjective eternity of being locked in a dark box. While we're at it, we could make people be able to handle a lot of other things most find unpleasant or even unbearable. People who would unquestioningly work in dangerous conditions without pay, possibly even being incapable of considering escape or striking or whatever. Hell, you could probably get them to enjoy it, as well.

Yes, this already sort of exists in the form of brainwashing. But it isn't easy. You really have to break someone, convince them that they have no chance of ever experiencing even a shred of dignity outside of your occasional acts of mercy. And even then, it isn't always reliable. Slave revolts have happened. People underestimate the craftiness of the desperate. Glimpses of an outside appear, no matter how hard any given elite tries to suppress them. With the right understanding of how to modify the human brain, you could theoretically have the perfect drone right out of the box, or gestation chamber, or clone vat. Again, unimaginable advantages for anyone willing to seize them.

And AI is a whole other thing. An AI is likely to be far more alien to us in behavior than an actual alien would be. An alien would probably have arisen in similar basic conditions to us. They would need to eat, reproduce, and all the other things that get your genes passed along in the darwinian game. An AI, on the other hand, would be bound to no such restrictions. It would likely not have any of the hallmarks of a psychology that developed in an evolutionary environment, because obviously, it had not evolved. It has no need for food, no desire for sex or companionship, unless we had programmed those things into it. That's another thing. A lot of modern programs that we call AIs are a bit of a black box. A lot of them were made via neural nets, where they learn how to perform a function based on the given inputs. It would be difficult to know how it knows what to do, even if you could look at its internal code. I suppose, in a way, that means that it did evolve, just not under any "environment" that we were in. Who knows what sorts of things a true AI might do utilizing a system of logic that we do not understand? Would we be in for the singularity? Would we be somehow integrated into the system, or exist like a kind of pest, hiding in the cracks that some vastly higher intelligence of our own making overlooks or does not care to check? Or would we be allowed to exist at all?

Even besides those factors, we're in for a doozy of a century. Surveillance getting more common and more sophisticated. Wealth inequality is reaching levels we haven't seen in a long time. People are getting fed up with the current system and are becoming increasingly open to alternatives. Discussion of the possibility of civil war in the US has become mainstream. Old religious systems have lost much of their grip on the world, and nobody's sure what exactly will replace them. And above all those issues is climate change. At this point, it's going to happen. Mitigation is the name of the game now. And even then, a lot of the response to it has been far more tepid than it needs to be. There will be mass migrations of people seeking better conditions to live and farm. You thought the Syrian refugee crisis was bad? Much worse is coming. As the icecaps melt, it will release gases trapped in the ice such as methane, which will speed up the process greatly. Not to mention that without a fuckton of ice to reflect sunlight back into space, the earth will absorb even more heat. And with the melting ice will come preserved bacteria and viruses, the likes of which we had not been exposed to for thousands of years. Worst case scenario, our entire species could get ravaged like the indigenous populations of the americas were ravaged by smallpox. By several different diseases. At the same time.

Oh, and I'd like to mention that we still have a few nukes kicking around. Just saying.

There's also the possibility of some mass spiritual awakening of some kind, but I honestly don't know enough about the esoteric and the spiritual world to make any definitive predictions there. Still, no matter which way you slice it, we're living in interesting times, and we're on the brink of living in even more interesting times.

In spite of what I just said, I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad to be alive right now. It's bittersweet, to be honest. I came into being and into maturity at the same time that the only form of intelligent life we know of for sure developed the internet, a repository of most of the knowledge of our species, and may live to see it all taken away. I'm glad to have even had the opportunity to see all the things that I have, even the darker, even despicable sides of humanity. I'm glad to have seen seen weird and wonderful things, to have met people I otherwise would have never known, to have learned things I likely would not have come across otherwise. Have a nice life, y'all.
 
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We only have a few years tops to change the course. In 2030, society will either be horrendously enslaved or we will have our freedom and working towards a better world.

Brainwashing the hordes is not hard... it's easy, I could do it to the smoothbrains I know very easily without even introducing technological aids.

I personally don't know how this will pan out, but looking around... we are fucked.
 
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lobster45

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I really enjoyed reading this--I found what you wrote to be incredibly honest without being pedantic or corny.

And I agree with a lot of the sentiment, especially the last few ending passages. It's always been difficult to be alive, but this stage of the modern era is throwing a lot at everyone, especially younger people who have to learn how to cope with massive psycho-physical changes that are taking place all across the world, sometimes all at once, in what could only be called mythic proportions. We're all charging off the gunboats and into a metaphysical Normandy unparalleled.

But I do have hope, I really do. I just can't shake the feeling that things are gonna be okay.

So it's nice to hear that other people are going through the same kind of things. Thanks for writing this, it kind of means a lot.
 
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We are approaching a time when wealthy elites will no longer have to rely on mass human populations to work anymore with the advent of incredible sophisticated automation technologies. If we continue to progress at this rapid rate as we are currently seeing, there is possibly a technology we will see within our life time that is capable of surpassing any known feat a human can do. Whether this be through biological, mechanical, or digital means, it will most certainly spell the end of any need for human labor.
 
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This was a very interesting and enjoyable read! You've hit upon many vital plexuses the inhabitants of this planet face breathless and disoriented from the warning blows and those more fell to come.

The more I learn about Google and it's long history of developing AI alongside with the CIA - we're talking after 9/11 - and the unreal influence they have in international politics, not to mention the shroud of secrecy their newest AI technology skulk behind, I believe it's a natural and proper reaction not to feel excited with the 'progress of technology' but rather an ominous feeling of alienation and distrust with what's to happen.
The fact remains that given super sophisticated AI, not even their demiurge-like programmers can control them, and a weapon without the strings and breaks of control benefits nobody. But there will always be a few madhatters who think this isn't the case and get so intoxicated from their megalomania and greed that they end up setting up a calamitous series of events.

Let's hope AI's won't take over the world, or if they, let's pull those plugs, ruin the wiring, and stash them away in some crypt.
 

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Of course we know where it ends. history will show you.

it ends in blood. it ends in gettysburg, it ends with guillotines, it ends with socialists shooting themselves in their bunkers.

the question is when will we get to that ending and how bad will it be before we get there
 

sicsicksicks

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I think that "dark ages" in human history are inevitable and basically part of the natural process. If youre from a "western aligned" country (ie the USA and it's satellites) we just had a golden age and are going back into strife. This is not doom and gloom literal armageddon this is just a normal part of history and I think there will indeed be blood in this coming age but overall by historical standards it will be on the "mild" side (wont make it any less bad from on the ground but still). Asia and maybe even the former eastern bloc could end up experiencing more of a golden age even if just from their perspective but Asia will defninitely have some kind of cold war ish division for a time with China unless the CCP falls apart. I think that the federal governments in North America both the USA and Canadian confederation alike will be seen as unnecessary overarching governments over what should be independent countries free to run themselves more efficiently and more in line with what the actual people in them want out of society and the straight line border doesnt help this. Separatism is inevitible though I think it will actually be peaceful a peaceful conclusion to what will be a scare over the possibility of violent happenings. Of course the now countries of North America will not be isolated with walls between eachother they will interact with eachother on different levels that suit them and probably end up being more efficient and less intrusive. You can have a small country with a big government true but you cant have a big country without a big government. I think in the end we will choose the former over having a big "country". The ex USSR (and from that ex Russian empire) has a lot of hard work to do but I think anyone who says it wont rise in some form is foolish. Wont be commies though really in practice or name in fact they could be more along the line of Mosely type fascists with a form of collectivism but on a national rather than just class basis even if they do co opt the hammer and sickle as a national symbol.

Human society as in the psyche of it still hasnt recovered from the shock the industrial age had and now weve entered a new era in human history that will likely be even more impactful. Humans have a lot of natural leftover instincts that influence us in ways we dont even think about and human societies are thus organic maintained by a certain balance and common agreement on things. Basically societies are ultimately just a bunch of accepted practices etc of interaction that allow multiple humans to basically just live around people they didnt really know and just accept that they will not be attacked even if they are holding something of value that the other individual really needs even to survive possibly. Multiple people can now work together on things they could never achieve alone. Having been in both extremely high trust and extremely low trust places you can really feel that there is something more than enforcement and "law" that hold a society together. For some its the land itself, for others blood for others some kind of "actual" higher being and through history its usually been a mixture.

The scary part? For all of our scientific and engineering prowess we never seriously considered investigating how this all works on a biological/evolutionary level because for most people its just a taken for granted thing. The greatest environmental disaster of the Industrial Revolution could end up being with the biological human ourselves.

As stupid as this statement sounds maybe I think the only salvation could be the internet. For the first time ever we have a window to ideas themselves attached to no physical identity to be whether they are good or bad ideas that can only be challenged and judged completely of themselves and there are a lot of ideas and pieces of information out there now easily accessible and people to talk to that there would never have been before. The problems in society now are mostly insustrial age all the internet has done is by it's nature exposed problems more as well as provided a new ground for them to play out in. The concept of an "internet" now is inevitable and I think by the next millennia the calendar system year count will be based around before internet and after internet. Even if we entered a literal second dark age there would still be some form of internet (also airplanes I think but thats a subject for another day).

All of the "I was born in the wrong generation" cringe aside I really wonder sometimes why fate or whatever bunch of actions that took place before my birth put me here at this time. It feels like were living in a future history book.
 
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algo

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Interesting topic. I think you left a big thing out of the text and it is next generation of people who has lived with Social Media all their lifes. Their opinions are based from Social Media, they get dopamine from it, are addicted to it. In the end this will reduce social skills to lower levels than ever seen and polarize the social climate even more in West.
@sicsicksicks said well that there will be new "cold-war". The truth is; it is already here. China ( and Russia in some sense ) will be the next big problems that west will have. They push their propaganda already to west and have become more aggressive on it in last 5 years. China is slaving Africa with their debt-system. There will be a lot of different things that will happen in next year.
 
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Merzcat

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Nothing is happening, its all just a virtual reality humanity has been brainwashed into.
You know the deal, black nobility, secret societies, international jewry and all the other entities pushing forth this wave the OP has gone about.
What needs to happen is for this civilization to crumble, for all the institutions and forces behind our enslavement to be eradicate and for the rebirth of mankind.
Their web of control is too strong though, beyond the advanced tech and bio weapons they have at their disposal can you even imagine taking on the military and npcs they have on their side.
I'm hoping people all over the world rise at the same time and take on their occupied nations and purge their countries of traitors and evil force.
If nothing happens humanity will descend into an even deeper state of enslavement.
 
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Deepwaterjew

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this view, although pessimistic in social aspect, is optimmist in the techonlogical sense (tech quality will go up), but why does no one account for the collapse, the biggest blessing people that think like us would get? the idea of a future without an exponential tech graph is swept under the rug, people that think resources are infinite make it like that, but resources aren't infinite. I'm not going Greta thunberg on your ass today (she is a puppet and whoever follows her is a dumbass), because we heard uncle ted's theory of ecological collapse, but let's think socially. The bronze age may had collapsed because of hotter climate, but that wasn't the cause of cities burning to the ground, of kingdoms crashing into dust, that was because of their own people, or sea people, or mountain people (so many people) or flatlands people. If a big country (USA or hell, Canada) or an important group of countries (The EU or the Korea/japan/china enclave) collapsed, the whole global supply chain would break, meaning no more synth dystopia nightmares for a while

How much of a while? Virtually infinite. Given no alien meetup happens, the now empty mines that could start again the industrial revolution would, you know, be fucking empty, niet, we would plunder into an eternal pre-industrial global future so no more crazy womb abominations, no more wacky climate change (whole world ending climate change), probably the biggest death rate in human History, and we would be stuck here, on earth, never getting back to the moon.

so, agora road users, what do you want?
 
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There is also the fact that as much as we talk about how tech is improving, every tech you own gets exponentially worse usetimes even when the tech inside is better. This is soo visible on cars and computer programs. Windows 10 is programmed in a way that mid/low end computers just don't even run it while high end computers run it extremely inefficiently. To see how bad windows 10 runs my a linux machine with 10 browser tab runs with less resource than it did with idle on windows. I am not even talking about hardware as you can probably feel how fragile some laptops, (especially macs) are made. A 14 years old thinkpad is more reliable than 3 yr old mac despite both of them being the work laptop of their time.

In carspace it is even worse. Soo many megane 3's window regulator(the thing that moves the car's windows) have a lifetime of about 5 years while there are many cars from 2000's that have fully working automatic window regulators. I am not even talking about electronic horribleness on modern car's. If for some reason the current between the brain and battery dies for more than a second brain might just die. A 1+ ton metal machine that can go 200+ KM/H shouldn't be this fragile.

Corporations are pushing the subscription for everything and it ruins the society faster than it ruins the environment. I don't want my child to live their life without owning anything. How will people be happy when nothing they do matters in their life, they will have to work without breaks because everything they own will malfunction or finish subscription in a year, they will work harder and longer than robots because corporations will replace them with robots if they don't, corporations won't let them be friends with each other because a group of people can unionize.
 
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There is also the fact that as much as we talk about how tech is improving, every tech you own gets exponentially worse usetimes even when the tech inside is better. This is soo visible on cars and computer programs. Windows 10 is programmed in a way that mid/low end computers just don't even run it while high end computers run it extremely inefficiently. To see how bad windows 10 runs my a linux machine with 10 browser tab runs with less resource than it did with idle on windows. I am not even talking about hardware as you can probably feel how fragile some laptops, (especially macs) are made. A 14 years old thinkpad is more reliable than 3 yr old mac despite both of them being the work laptop of their time.

In carspace it is even worse. Soo many megane 3's window regulator(the thing that moves the car's windows) have a lifetime of about 5 years while there are many cars from 2000's that have fully working automatic window regulators. I am not even talking about electronic horribleness on modern car's. If for some reason the current between the brain and battery dies for more than a second brain might just die. A 1+ ton metal machine that can go 200+ KM/H shouldn't be this fragile.

Corporations are pushing the subscription for everything and it ruins the society faster than it ruins the environment. I don't want my child to live their life without owning anything. How will people be happy when nothing they do matters in their life, they will have to work without breaks because everything they own will malfunction or finish subscription in a year, they will work harder and longer than robots because corporations will replace them with robots if they don't, corporations won't let them be friends with each other because a group of people can unionize.
I love everything you've written

Technology is there to grab by the balls and make it do your bidding. The vast majority of the average person's experience with a computer can be replicated on dirt-cheap hardware with free and open source software. Support is where the trouble starts with most of this type of tech, though

Apple simplifies things. Cloud storage, syncing text messages and video calls between devices, and even the device's clipboard. It's these little features that add up to a better experience, and people are "unfortunately" willing to pay for that experience. What most people use thousands of dollars worth of Apple tech to accomplish can be done for a couple hundred dollars worth of tech and a basic understanding of Linux

But, how many people even here actually use Linux? Its shortcomings are obvious, but it's not because of this or that distro being easier or more difficult to use; the experience in its entirety is different and not as streamlined as Windows or macOS. I ran Arch Linux as my daily-driver for ~1.5 years, never booting to Windows to do anything at all, until I got the itch to work on music in my DAW and play games. It's just not the same. Maybe it will be one day, but it isn't now. FL Studio saw the demand for a macOS port and spent the time and money to make one, but not for Linux. And yeah, I'm aware of M$'s "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategies from the days gone by, and we're still feeling the effects of it today, but until more developers are willing to literally give away their knowledge, time, and experience for free to bring support for more of these types of "niche" applications (games, DAWs, etc.), Linux users are going to have to make due. I am personally optimistic about the future of Linux and free and open-source software, but again, it's not there yet

The same can be said about cars and subscription models. I have many friends who are more than capable of supporting their own vehicle and pinpointing the problem and deciding on their own what fix is appropriate depending on budget and advantages/disadvantages of each possible solution; I am absolutely not that person. And sometimes after someone like me gets fucked by a repair shop, the idea of getting fucked by Tesla's own "walled garden" of sorts doesn't sound so bad. I will still continue avoiding Tesla like the plague, but I can't say that there isn't some merit to buying a vehicle that can only be worked on by people who are trained specifically to work on that one brand of vehicle. And, as we've seen, that can be abused as well... :/

Subscription models are a rough one for sure. I don't currently use any media subscription services (except DDS.wmv's monthly :p), but can you really blame people for wanting to pay $10/mo for all the music they can listen to? Or for access to thousands of movies and TV shows? etc. etc.

I'm in the process of moving and I gotta say, transporting these vinyl records, my speakers, my turntables... I wouldn't trade away the experience of putting on and listening to a vinyl, or trade away the experience of actually "owning" this music, but can you really blame people? I think if I sold all of my vinyl at market prices, I could pay for enough Spotify access for the rest of my life, you know? And this shit is heavy, and really annoying to transport

I don't really have too much of a point to my response except to try and give a different perspective to what you wrote. I love collecting and listening to vinyl. I love hosting my own media server, almost entirely lossless, full of hundreds of vapor albums and thousands of others, with complete control over how the whole thing runs. I specifically bought a vehicle that I knew would be easy to work on for repair shops (or potentially myself if I ever wanted to try it!). I detest Tesla and Apple and any company with a "walled garden," closed-off ecosystem; or, any company with anti-repair practices for that matter. I'm typing this on my ThinkPad that I bought specifically because of its repairability. It hurt when I removed Arch for Windows on this thing, and it still bothers me when my PC boots to Arch by default and I'm reminded that I used to be #AllAboutThatFOSSLife. But, I don't think it's reasonable for people to take the same path I have. Some people think Tesla vehicles are cool, Apple products are easy to use, ThinkPads are ugly, Linux is too hard or doesn't support what they want, and subscription models are a cheap way to get access to heaps of media. I don't blame them. Go back to the 80s and describe Spotify to anyone who describes themselves as enjoying music and listen to their reaction; I've met these people, and they're satisfied to spend the money an over overpriced, shit-tier speaker system that they put around their house and blast 80s hits whenever they have company. They don't want to think about these decisions, they just want to have a few beers with friends, whereas I imagine that people like us would prefer to geek out over eachother's setups or rare vinyl finds or whatever; maybe I should only speak for myself :)

We live in the easiest time there has ever been on earth for human beings. The majority of the people on this forum and the people you interact with regularly are in the top 1% of the world in terms of yearly income, or at least will be within a few years of starting their careers. And of course, I think the vast majority of us have the freedom to decide between Tesla or not, Apple or not, Spotify or not, Windows or not. I certainly worry about "tech stuff" that I don't have any control over, like my privacy online or even ordering a cheeseburger in a brick and mortar restaurant, and I think we should always strive to work towards something better, but things could be a lot worse; OP recognizes this, but I didn't engage with any of his/her points since this post is getting too long as-is :)
 
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Seswynn

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this view, although pessimistic in social aspect, is optimistic in the technological sense (tech quality will go up), but why does no one account for the collapse, the biggest blessing people that think like us would get? the idea of a future without an exponential tech graph is swept under the rug, people that think resources are infinite make it like that, but resources aren't infinite. I'm not going Greta thunberg on your ass today (she is a puppet and whoever follows her is a dumbass), because we heard uncle ted's theory of ecological collapse, but let's think socially. The bronze age may had collapsed because of hotter climate, but that wasn't the cause of cities burning to the ground, of kingdoms crashing into dust, that was because of their own people, or sea people, or mountain people (so many people) or flatlands people. If a big country (USA or hell, Canada) or an important group of countries (The EU or the Korea/japan/china enclave) collapsed, the whole global supply chain would break, meaning no more synth dystopia nightmares for a while

How much of a while? Virtually infinite. Given no alien meetup happens, the now empty mines that could start again the industrial revolution would, you know, be fucking empty, niet, we would plunder into an eternal pre-industrial global future so no more crazy womb abominations, no more wacky climate change (whole world ending climate change), probably the biggest death rate in human History, and we would be stuck here, on earth, never getting back to the moon.

so, agora road users, what do you want?
I have considered the possibility of social collapse, and in fact alluded to that briefly in one of my closing paragraphs. However, the reason why I didn't really go too deeply into that is because, frankly, I'm unsure of how likely such a thing is in this day and age.

The interconnection of almost every human on earth these days has brought about a curious contradiction. It is now easier than ever to find people who hold beliefs outside of the norm, and may even be labelled as dangerous by their local authority, such as communists, anarchists, fascists, primitivists, all the various flavors of the above, and more. If you were an egoist back in, I don't know, the 70's, good luck finding someone else like you, or hell, finding someone who knew what the hell you were talking about. Sure, egoism is still kind of obscure, but now learning everything you need to know about the subject is no longer any further away than a few keystrokes on your preferred search engine.

However, to use a metaphor that has become rather common, the internet has turned into a kind of panopticon. We always know that all our actions are being watched to varying extent, whether that be where we lurk, what we react to, who we associate with what we post, what we look up, and even our keystrokes sometimes. All that will change the behavior of anyone who doesn't want to end up on some watchlist. Most people have a lot to lose, such as families, friends, possessions, social standing. There are ways to reduce the amount that you're being watched, of course, but even these can be slightly stigmatized, and some will decry people that use these methods as being paranoid at best, and being guilty of something heinous at worst.

Surveillance is nothing new, of course. Societies have long employed the use of spies to keep an eye on individuals that they are suspicious of, whether that be dissidents, heretics, or spies from other places. The difference is is that we're getting much better at it. Security cameras are now everywhere, recording everything they can within their field of vision at all times. Money transfer is increasingly using less and less cash, and most cryptos aren't all that they're cracked up to be in terms of privacy (and few are using cryptocurrency as medium of exchange, anyway). Hell, we've even gotten people to set up things that can be used for surveillance by outside entities by themselves, entirely voluntarily. Stuff like baby monitors, "smart home" stuff like Alexa, etc.

To be clear, I don't think that companies like Amazon, Google, and all those other big tech companies are intentionally trying to set up a 1984-esque police state. I just don't think that they care. Come to think of it, I tend to suspect that's the case with most entities jeopardizing our future at the moment. I don't believe in some evil cabal of people at the very top, pulling at civilization's strings in order to make everything worse just for the hell of it. I just think it's a lot of very powerful people working towards their short-term gain, everything else be damned.

As for your point about resource depletion causing us to be unable to sustain an industrial level of technology and beyond? I'm not counting on that. Not because I don't believe that we'll invent free energy or replicators or anything like that, but because there are far more resources out there than many people think. Currently, we only have access to the resources of our planet's crust, which is by far the thinnest layer of our planet. Below that is the mantle, and access to that layer alone would probably grant us enough raw materials and energy to catapult us into a post-scarcity society. At that point, the issue is taking care of the heat load. And the amount of energy that would be available to us would be increased by orders of magnitude if we colonized the rest of the solar system. Don't even get me started on the possibilities of starlifting. With all that being said, if we were to regress technologically, something which I think is very unlikely, we probably would be unable to return to an industrial society. After all, we've used up most of the low-hanging fruit, and all that coal and oil in the world sure as hell ain't coming back soon enough for another industrial civilization to emerge before the sun bakes all life on this planet to death. Humanity would be restricted to a pre-industrial level of tech at most, and likely regressing back to a medieval one later down the road.

What do I want? Honestly, I don't know for certain. Trying to force a particular thing to happen tends to have nasty consequences down the line. No plan survives contact with reality, after all. Just ask Mao how well the great leap forward worked out. I think that it's ultimately a moot point to discuss what ideology I would like implemented in the world, as we tend to get emotionally invested in the idea that this particular system will solve all of our problems, or at least, make for a far world than the one we have now. I think that the pieces will fall where they may, and the eventual endpoint of humanity can only be sped up or slowed down, barring something extraordinary happening. Where that endpoint is, I don't know, and more to the point, I don't think anybody knows. I personally won't deny that I trend pessimistic, but of course, I'm certainly open to the possibility that I'm wrong.
 
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I believe that we are living in the most pivotal century of human history yet. I believe that at the end of the century, what being a human is like will have undergone a more radical change than any other revolution in our history (yes, even the agricultural one). That is, if we even survive this century, which is an if of reasonable size.

It's estimated that psychologically modern humans came into existence about 50k years ago. At that point, you could probably kidnap a baby from that time and have them integrate pretty well into our modern society. Hell, even before that point you could probably have someone raised under the same circumstances adapt relatively well. Which is kind of weird to think about. People back then more or less tolerated all kinds of things that would horrify almost anyone today, such as slavery, marital rape, rape in general, brutal executions, human sacrifice, etc. Not to say that those things don't happen today; it's more like they've been swept under the rug. But ask virtually anyone today about their opinion about those subjects, and chances are they'd react with emphatic opposition. And yet, some eerie similarities shine through as well, sometimes amusing, sometimes touching. People told crude jokes, wrote even cruder graffiti, sent heartfelt letters to their loved ones, complained about a local business scamming them. This mix of the mundanely familiar and the shocking can be strange, kind of funny even. The more we change, the more we stay the same.

But that's not the point of this post. No, the point is that that might all be going away in our lifetimes.

The strongest common thread between us and our ancestors is arguably our more or less shared genetics and neural/general anatomy and physiology. Anyone alive today has more or less the same brain and the same body as a roman from 2000 years ago, or even a hunter-gatherer from our most ancient parts of our history as homo sapiens. Thanks to the emerging technologies of genetic modification, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence, all that is likely to change. Any attempt to block genetic and/or cybernetic modification of humans on ethical or some other grounds is likely to fail miserably, as any entity that tries to do so has a massive advantage to gain. Super soldiers that easily get stronger than any natural human that only needs to be fed some kind of cheap nutrient paste. People that have a high resistance to the damaging effects of drugs and other chemicals. Hyper-fertile people who can just pump out babies nonstop. This could perhaps even reach the extreme of the Tleilaxu women from Dune, which are females who have been genetically modified to the point where they're basically just massive wombs, with any other human part of them having been stripped away.

These would be bizarre enough. But I haven't even touched on the ways that our brain could be fucked with. Even something as "simple" as increasing the speed at which signals are sent in our brains would have massive repercussions on one's psyche. They'd probably experience everything happening far more slowly than we were ever meant to experience, which could be a pretty horrific form of torture on its own. You might not exactly get to recreate the experience of the Jaunt, but you could get pretty damn close. Of course, you could theoretically account for this by, say, making them ultra-patient. Make it so that they could handle a subjective eternity of being locked in a dark box. While we're at it, we could make people be able to handle a lot of other things most find unpleasant or even unbearable. People who would unquestioningly work in dangerous conditions without pay, possibly even being incapable of considering escape or striking or whatever. Hell, you could probably get them to enjoy it, as well.

Yes, this already sort of exists in the form of brainwashing. But it isn't easy. You really have to break someone, convince them that they have no chance of ever experiencing even a shred of dignity outside of your occasional acts of mercy. And even then, it isn't always reliable. Slave revolts have happened. People underestimate the craftiness of the desperate. Glimpses of an outside appear, no matter how hard any given elite tries to suppress them. With the right understanding of how to modify the human brain, you could theoretically have the perfect drone right out of the box, or gestation chamber, or clone vat. Again, unimaginable advantages for anyone willing to seize them.

And AI is a whole other thing. An AI is likely to be far more alien to us in behavior than an actual alien would be. An alien would probably have arisen in similar basic conditions to us. They would need to eat, reproduce, and all the other things that get your genes passed along in the darwinian game. An AI, on the other hand, would be bound to no such restrictions. It would likely not have any of the hallmarks of a psychology that developed in an evolutionary environment, because obviously, it had not evolved. It has no need for food, no desire for sex or companionship, unless we had programmed those things into it. That's another thing. A lot of modern programs that we call AIs are a bit of a black box. A lot of them were made via neural nets, where they learn how to perform a function based on the given inputs. It would be difficult to know how it knows what to do, even if you could look at its internal code. I suppose, in a way, that means that it did evolve, just not under any "environment" that we were in. Who knows what sorts of things a true AI might do utilizing a system of logic that we do not understand? Would we be in for the singularity? Would we be somehow integrated into the system, or exist like a kind of pest, hiding in the cracks that some vastly higher intelligence of our own making overlooks or does not care to check? Or would we be allowed to exist at all?

Even besides those factors, we're in for a doozy of a century. Surveillance getting more common and more sophisticated. Wealth inequality is reaching levels we haven't seen in a long time. People are getting fed up with the current system and are becoming increasingly open to alternatives. Discussion of the possibility of civil war in the US has become mainstream. Old religious systems have lost much of their grip on the world, and nobody's sure what exactly will replace them. And above all those issues is climate change. At this point, it's going to happen. Mitigation is the name of the game now. And even then, a lot of the response to it has been far more tepid than it needs to be. There will be mass migrations of people seeking better conditions to live and farm. You thought the Syrian refugee crisis was bad? Much worse is coming. As the icecaps melt, it will release gases trapped in the ice such as methane, which will speed up the process greatly. Not to mention that without a fuckton of ice to reflect sunlight back into space, the earth will absorb even more heat. And with the melting ice will come preserved bacteria and viruses, the likes of which we had not been exposed to for thousands of years. Worst case scenario, our entire species could get ravaged like the indigenous populations of the americas were ravaged by smallpox. By several different diseases. At the same time.

Oh, and I'd like to mention that we still have a few nukes kicking around. Just saying.

There's also the possibility of some mass spiritual awakening of some kind, but I honestly don't know enough about the esoteric and the spiritual world to make any definitive predictions there. Still, no matter which way you slice it, we're living in interesting times, and we're on the brink of living in even more interesting times.

In spite of what I just said, I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad to be alive right now. It's bittersweet, to be honest. I came into being and into maturity at the same time that the only form of intelligent life we know of for sure developed the internet, a repository of most of the knowledge of our species, and may live to see it all taken away. I'm glad to have even had the opportunity to see all the things that I have, even the darker, even despicable sides of humanity. I'm glad to have seen seen weird and wonderful things, to have met people I otherwise would have never known, to have learned things I likely would not have come across otherwise. Have a nice life, y'all.

there was a handful of jews tripping balls like 2000 years ago who wrote it all down, there should be no mystery
 

reynad5150

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I truly believe the fact that we are talking about this means that we, the population at large are beginning to understand that we are in the midst of a battle. Between good and evil doesn't even really describe the two sides fighting the battle.

For instance, the majority of the young population does not watch regular television, the brainwashing through operation mockingbird has little effect. The only people you still see in that paradigm are Generation X'rs and Boomers thinking this is a Republican vs. Democrat. I would venture a guess that 99% of the people who post here know this. I cannot account for the glowies that venture to boards such as this and interact with us.

When someone's entire worldview gets cracked in two like the General Lee just drove through it, you are going to see one of two reactions, depression and sadness or Extreme bitter Anger towards those who they deem evil. Not because they showed them a different way of thinking. They have just been so conditioned to think one way that the pathways in their brains designed for counter thought have not been utilized in so long they immediately go to base instinct (see NPC Meme: Not solipsism. There isn't a diagnosed condition for the NPC meme yet.) And run back to their echo chamber on Social Media to look for re-enforcement that they are right without every having to look at what you said.

The devaluation of human life, whether that be on film or opinion articles is also telling. The religious paradigm that built the United States is being chipped away at daily. Dependency on a governing body to provide food and shelter. "Science" becoming the new religion.

Know that if we continue down this road, we will not survive as a country. Balkanization and the fall of Rome aren't a pipe dream and far fetched. It's inevitable.

As someone who is in the military, i'm terrified of how this all shakes out.

I have no answers or solutions, these are just thoughtful observations on the current state of The United States.
 
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I truly believe the fact that we are talking about this means that we, the population at large are beginning to understand that we are in the midst of a battle. Between good and evil doesn't even really describe the two sides fighting the battle.

For instance, the majority of the young population does not watch regular television, the brainwashing through operation mockingbird has little effect. The only people you still see in that paradigm are Generation X'rs and Boomers thinking this is a Republican vs. Democrat. I would venture a guess that 99% of the people who post here know this. I cannot account for the glowies that venture to boards such as this and interact with us.

When someone's entire worldview gets cracked in two like the General Lee just drove through it, you are going to see one of two reactions, depression and sadness or Extreme bitter Anger towards those who they deem evil. Not because they showed them a different way of thinking. They have just been so conditioned to think one way that the pathways in their brains designed for counter thought have not been utilized in so long they immediately go to base instinct (see NPC Meme: Not solipsism. There isn't a diagnosed condition for the NPC meme yet.) And run back to their echo chamber on Social Media to look for re-enforcement that they are right without every having to look at what you said.

The devaluation of human life, whether that be on film or opinion articles is also telling. The religious paradigm that built the United States is being chipped away at daily. Dependency on a governing body to provide food and shelter. "Science" becoming the new religion.

Know that if we continue down this road, we will not survive as a country. Balkanization and the fall of Rome aren't a pipe dream and far fetched. It's inevitable.

As someone who is in the military, i'm terrified of how this all shakes out.

I have no answers or solutions, these are just thoughtful observations on the current state of The United States.
I wholeheartedly agree about "science" (i.e. luciferian secular humanism) becoming the new religion of the world, and while it is not surprising to see, it is troubling. Haven't you noticed that whenever a headline uses the term "experts say", people just accept it- no matter how ridiculous the claim is? It's almost as if people have stopped trying to think at all- they just accept the words of these unnamed "experts" like its the word of God. Pair that with the technology worship and satanic cosmic-space alien fantasy that has entrapped the public, and we've got pagan Rome all over again. Heck, we've already got the debauchery and decadence part down. When's Nero II gonna roll up on this scene and formally establish the Noahide laws?
 
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reynad5150

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I wholeheartedly agree about "science" (i.e. luciferian secular humanism) becoming the new religion of the world, and while it is not surprising to see, it is troubling. Haven't you noticed that whenever a headline uses the term "experts say", people just accept it- no matter how ridiculous the claim is? It's almost as if people have stopped trying to think at all- they just accept the words of these unnamed "experts" like its the word of God. Pair that with the technology worship and satanic cosmic-space alien fantasy that has entrapped the public, and we've got pagan Rome all over again. Heck, we've already got the debauchery and decadence part down. When's Nero II gonna roll up on this scene and formally establish the Noahide laws?

The non-critical thinking is what scares me the most. Blind trust in an authoritarian governing body is how Europe was destroyed by the EU and UN. "I guess I can put the word Expert is whatever I write and people will just take it as fact.

It's also amusing to me how the 3 letter agencies said Aliens exist in no uncertain terms and we were collectively went "Meh, so what? Where's my gibs?"

Truly interesting times we live in.
 
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