Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Transcendence revisited

See this prior post, and the prior post linked therein. I just re-watched the movie last night. I'm still convinced it is a metaphor for the emerging collaborative commons a la Rifkin, with the Internet of Things being a key. The plain old internet has already transformed our human neurology. Our individual consciousness has always been socially conditioned, which is even more the case now through computer tech and instantaneous world-wide communication. Implanting chips in brains for a more direct connection is really not that far off.

Rifkin documented not only 3-D printing but it's bio-medical applications, including printing human body parts. Enhancing the human body with nano-tech is not really all that far off either. This is the next phase of human evolution, human-machine hybrids a la the Borg. But as the movie made clear, an individual retains his autonomy and unlike the Borg is not controlled or surpassed by the hive mind. This form of autonomous individuals working collaboratively together via tech connections already exists and works quite well. Taking the tech to the next level can also take us to that next level.

Yes, it doesn't necessarily have to go well by doing so. There is certainly the potential for the 'system' to go awry, to be used for nefarious purposes. The big fear in the movies is that there would be a dominant individual artificial intelligence, like that of Depp's character, directing the show and thus it would be a computer totalitarianism that debased humans as drones for its ultimate and insidious purposes. But that's exactly the opposite of what happened in the movie, with the AI only operating to connect and serve humanity. Again, a metaphor for the fears of the sort of rampant individualism of capitalism against socialism, or God forbid, communism.

But the seeds of the collaborative commons, like in the movie, have been implanted in human society. And largely so due to the very nature of the internet's distributed and autonomous nodes that work together collectively. The paradigm is here and like the movie it is now omnipresent via the internet and will continue to evolve. Also like the movie, the only way to now destroy it is to destroy the internet itself. Of if not that, to completely control and limit its use like the agenda of the capitalist ISPs. Fortunately, millions of us autonomous individuals socially networked have take up the battle for net neutrality. We know that it is the key issue to implementing the next wave of human evolution in the collaborative commons. A postmetaphysical transcendence indeed.

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