None of this is news. The viability of Representative Democracy has been in question since Plato, and probably for thousands of years before that. Science has always been a “look at me and my big brain” contest that led to shoddy methodologies and conclusions. And language has always just been a magic trick to convince yourself and others that truth can be wrung from the filthy dish cloth of reality by barking sounds and pointing.
But let me explain why I am excited to be living right now: it’s a time when the general public is starting to suspect that Democracy, Science, Language and yes even Money are not ground truths. They are skeins laid over the true power of the human brain and society, and we can remake them, craft them into anything we wish. That doubt of ground truth makes the public open to change, change we sorely need.
We are all connected, not by some mystical noosphere, but rather in reality, with computers in our pockets connected by an extremely reliable global network. At our disposal, finally, a way to extend our mental processing powers using AI.
It is time for the great flowering, the age of Computer Assisted Pragmatism.We don’t need to align on the exact methods and applications that will be built to further the next step in our personal and social evolutionary tale. In fact, using language to try to align everyone is not going to work. We just need to build the next phase and be willing to adapt to further the ultimate aim. It is that aim that we do need to align on.
For me, this alignment entails that we must agree that individual humans are Singletons, worthy of empathy, respect, and fair treatment. Technology (and yes, Money and Language and Government are technologies) built to further the Singleton Pattern is worthy. Other tech should be discarded as evil.
Which is why I do not reject the ultimate value of AI out of hand. Because it is very possible that the new world we will build cannot be negotiated without the extension of our consciousness, cognitive powers and Language (HAiL) using AI. AI that looks out for us, and protects us from folks who just don’t care about others, and will do their best to steal our shared futures.
So do not dispair sisters and brothers and non-binary friends. It took Representative Democracy over two thousand years to spread, Science a few hundred, and electronic intelligence almost a few dozen. It will still take time for us to thread new social structures around the bones of the old ones. But it is happening today, and right now there is a college undergraduate realizing what I realized in University: that all of the structures of thought and control that people take for granted are grand illusions.
The difference is, today that student is a comp sci major, and they have the power to build a platform to change the world.
Build. Build like the wind.
Image from The Guardian