The Dangers of Hubris
We find ourselves, today, in a most peculiar situation, and a very dangerous one. To the “conquest of space” through the technologies of space that allow for the reshaping of space, we are now pursuing the conquest of time, through technologies of control of time and evolution — biotechnology, genetic engineering, and so on. Into this mix of technologies of space and of time, if we also add psychotechnologies — that is, technologies of psychological and social management and control — we have a very menacing correlation of developments. In effect, “we” are in the position to shape and reshape what we call “reality” at will.
We are claiming for ourselves powers over space, time, and reality that were formerly reserved only for God or the gods, and for that reason, too, I find some types of present research into neurology and consciousness quite disturbing in its motives and rationales.
So, I’ld like you to think about that for a moment — this ability to shape and reshape what we conventionally understand as “reality” at will. That is, in many respects, the ideal of Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society. And this correlation of technologies has the potential to make every dystopian film made recently look tame.
We are increasingly confused about the meaning of “real” and of what is actually independent and autonomous from ourselves and our own activities. The “Anthropocene” is a case in point. The “Poppy meme” discussed in a few earlier posts is another. We are fast becoming completely disoriented in relation to what we mean by “reality”. And there is also a great deal of attendant psychic inflation or intoxication with this “discovery”, as it were, that we can shape and reshape reality in any which way we choose (eg Kurzweil seems to me a prime example). “Geo-engineering”, which scares a lot of sensible people itself, also looks tame in comparison.
Goethe’s tale of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice becomes quite meaningful. Or “who unhinged the Earth from its Sun”, as Nietzsche once put it.
Something to watch for in 2018 –an intensifying confusion about what is real.
Its brinksmanship. Where is this leading?