Sir David Attenborough is Artificial Intelligence.
Whatever your view of the world is or which of the various factions you follow that try to reason the causes and affects of ‘life’, there is one thing for certain. Data, Information, Intelligence (whatever words you choose to use) are fundamentally more available to more people now than ever before, and in much more detail. This is a natural progression of events and phases in a process which is bound to grow even further, and at an exponential rate. The debate at the moment however, is establishing the causes and effects of this 'access to information' and where it then places ‘us’ in the cosmos.
Our view has been fairly consistent over the last year or so in terms of how we see mankind effectively counteracting (or competing against) the forces at work, such as Artificial Intelligence, and that is essentially through some form of Anarchy. We are already seeing examples of this across the globe, especially amongst more repressed cultures. It is also manifesting itself in a less obvious fashion in more mainstream Western societies, notably now in the form of extremist political ideologies ever dviding the Right from the Left, and even through the social media funnel characterised by the likes ofvFacebook, Instagram and others . Anarchy is actually present in many forms today and is bubbling, simmering gently below the surface and what we can deduce from this is that, as above, a huge causal factor is the sheer abundance of data and information and pace of technological digitization in general which is adding fuel to the fire. This is in turn manifests itself in the form of Artificial Intelligence, IOT, 5G, Exponential Technological Growth etc. etc.
Post enlightenment repositioning is rife nowadays as we continue the inevitable search for meaning. However, the story and the characters are the same though, it is just the background that is different. All statistical evidence points to a global shift towards atheism or at the very least agnosticism and our churches are now being replaced with the modern day, technological equivalents, namely simulation theory. This is gathering momentum especially among the ‘millennials’ but what we are really seeing is simply a move to another religion as opposed to a move away from religion. If enough people follow an idea, and do so for long enough, it stops being a cult and becomes a religion over time and so Artificial Intelligence and ‘concepts’ such as Simulation Theory are really nothing more than a rebranding of something that already exists within us i.e. a reason for being. Ok so we have changed the names, Jesus might now be called Bill or Steve, Christianity might now be called simulation theory, but what does this actually mean?
Going back to the point raised about religion and its rebranding; there is an interesting acceptance of the evidence that much of the old testament for example, and indeed many of the parables in the Bible were based on much more likely, rational and scientific rationale. For a long time, my view of religion was that without it I could easily have ‘gone off the rails’ many many years ago. Whilst I no longer have any belief or faith in the historical accuracy of the events described in the bible and its link to the notion of ‘god’ or the ‘holy spirit, I do accept religion as an important mechanism for controlling the masses. Yes of course the atheists will argue that morality is not purely a function of religion and that they are not mutually exclusive. We accept that. However, with a realist’s head on, there are some pretty dumb people out there and there have been for centuries. So, the local Priest or the local Church was always a pretty good barometer of how the masses were interacting with each other, and in turn, religion served a purpose. It is a simple fact that there are more soldiers that leaders and those soldiers need to be kept in check. From a military perspective that is easily achieved. On the other hand, when it comes to the average person, religion serves the same function. From that perspective we would have to concede that religion has had its time and place and if anything, the distinction between religion and science is actually just a question of semantics.
So, when Moses came down from the mountainous terrain wielding his tablets (excuse the tech pun), yes, he was most likely high on the effects of DMT and his own, ‘trippy’ burning bush which was actually a simply locally grown hemp based plant which was common a few thousand years ago. Yes, when people in the Vatican and across the world attended their Sunday Mass, the incense was also most likely a DMT or hallucinogenic based substance when swung in front of the congregation. So, let’s be realistic here and ask this question:
When they walked through the church swinging smoking incense, what was the most likely cause of why the congregation left with a heightened sense of paranoia, a sense they were being watched, being judged?
1. There is a God, an all seeing, all knowing being beyond the sky in a place called heaven who sent his son (who was also himself) to earth to live 3000 years ago for a normal life span before being nailed to a cross, buried and then brought back to life.With his spirit watching over you forever?
2. The smoke contained a Marijuana or DMT based (or similar) substance which we know was used and was freely available and grown at the time and is known to cause hallucinations and paranoia and a feeling of being watched?
I am not a betting man, but if I had to wager which of the two was by far the most likely I suspect I know which one. If you couple that with the effect of drugs that are proven and known now to cause feelings of harmony, peace and transcendence, we have our explanation.
So, if we remove Christianity or indeed any of the other religions, then what next? We have already said that by definition the ‘masses’ presented above as ‘soldiers’ outnumber the leaders or the small percentage of those in power. We reiterate, it is a fact that it is human nature to want guidance and as a species we are generally happy to form tribes and follow and be controlled. As we are already predisposed to be susceptible to these influences, it really does not take much to convince us. If a story of a man on a cloud can do it, then anything can. Now, in 2019, the man of the cloud is replaced by the iCloud or the man who made the cloud, Mr. Jobs. The new apostles and drivers of the new religion which we call technology and with a ‘new testament’ now called Artificial Intelligence. This is our modern-day replacement but make no mistake. That’s all it is. A replacement of a previous belief system.
The idea of simulation theory is no more or less provable or true than any form of religion in the past. It is something we have chosen to support at this moment in time. If I think, and if therefore ‘I am’, then ‘why?’ is a logical next question but almost equally as pointless. Having read countless books written by past and modern philosophers, read countless scientific and technological research papers and explored the myriad of possibilities in terms of ‘why’, I think our own Sir David Attenborough summed it up for me. Whilst not as staunch as his friend Richard Dawkins, Sir David equated it to an ant hill. He described taking the top off the hill and seeing the ants all going about their business, scurrying around doing their jobs, looking after the queen, building structures, getting food etc., but all unaware of his presence because they are blind…literally. They do not possess the senses or have the right ‘circuitry’ to know of his presence. Is that not how we are? We are not at the stage yet, and most likely never will be at the stage, to understand what ‘it’ is. The greatest theoretical physicists in the world, the great professors at Cern, the stupendously intellectual social commentators, all try to piece together the jigsaw in their own way, and with endless passion. I am drawn to it., but not (as I recognize now) for the subject matter, but rather an admiration for that passion, that human drive to persevere. That passion is our battery pack and from that everything else can work. The memory (RAM), the brain (the chip set), the skeleton and muscles (the motherboard). If we drain the battery we die, it is as simple as that. So, the purpose of this quest is to work out how to keep revisiting square one and recharging the battery because to do otherwise would be futile. In that respect, we see the challenges in the near term and have our own solutions. Clearly AI is the greatest influences at the moment and with the genie out of the bottle, what are awe going to do to maintain our passion and uniqueness against such opposition. In some strange way, we are drawn back to the ant hill and its appearance of anarchy. They seem to move around in an arbitrary random fashion, almost devoid of purpose or meaning, and to the viewer this is unsettling. How can we control these things I hear you ask? This appearance of anarchy has caused a glitch in our program. The reality of course is that it is far from anarchy and it is rather a highly organized and evolutionarily inspired set of practiced movements and actions that is happening. So, in essence, we are the ants and Sir David Attenborough is Artificial Intelligence.