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"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Are We Turning into Machines?

Surely this isn't likely.  At least, not terribly.  I mean,  I accept that as organic beings - if you take a teleological perspective - we are wending our way along a Hegelian-style continuum of evolution - that is, probably.  Perhaps.  Then again,  perhaps not.  And whereabouts we are on that continuum, should such a thing exist, or be occurring, is a matter of pure conjecture.
Where does that leave us?  Sort of where we always were I suppose.
I don't think we're that far from the 'fish crawling out of swamp' stage really.  Well, so it seems if you look at social media.
We certainly use a lot of technology - our lives revolve around it now - and technology is increasingly involved in health care and in food production, so that we even ingest technology without knowing it.  The virtual web surrounds us and numbs us like the poisonous silvery threads of an enormous, crushing, stifling spider's web.  The harder you struggle, the more you kick, the harder it is to escape.  (Is that true?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps it just feels like that.)
One of the things that worries me most is that already there are no letters, no diaries with which secrets are shared, no accounts of daily life written in the watches of the night and hidden under pillows. Will there ever be political diaries again?  A Chris Mullin, a Tony Benn?  What about Byron and his Letters?  Nowadays he'd have an Instagram account and probably a leaked sex tape.  Everything's ephemeral - close your account and it's gone,  all gone, all bar that embarrassing photo you were tagged in on Facebook that just will never go away.
Perhaps as we age we will have failing parts of us replaced so that eventually we are completely mechanical, and just require to be 'maintained' and 'serviced'.  Hips, knees, kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs. Teeth.  Faces.  They do all this already, in some form or other.  So, semi-mechanical humanoids, yes, that I can envisage.   What about brains?  Will they be next?  And what about souls?  I think we all have those, and I'm quite sure you cannot manufacture a soul.  A machine may be able to 'think', but it cannot have a soul.
No, I don't think we''re 'turning into' into machines.  I'm not convinced that we're turning into anything, we're not evolving at all.  If we're doing anything, anything at all, we're spiralling downwards, the trajectory is downwards, earthwards, drilling into the dirt and knocking ourselves senseless on rocks.  We don't understand time never mind the infinite, and our place within it.  Our view of existence is limited,  we see only a fraction, like navigating through life via that steamed-up triangular window in the Apollo 13 space capsule.
What gives me hope is the organic world.
Nature doesn't like nasty machines.

Next post - Will there be an Apocalypse, and if so, after, will we still be able to buy cheese?

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