Monday, January 2, 2012


Yesterday I had but one short post. I spent Sunday doing what I usually do on Sundays, which was to watch football games on TV. Besides that, I watched Terminator 3 on YouTube. Yes, it is there, the entire movie.

I suppose I could critique the movie, but let's just say that it wasn't as good as the first two. By the way, I saw the movie not too long after its release, back in 2003. This was just a refresher. My opinion was just as I have given here, so the opinion of the movie didn't change. However, it did get me to thinking about the subject of machines, and how dependent we are on them.

The Terminator series is supposed to be something of a cautionary tale about this. But there is no reserve about what this increasing reliance upon machines could mean for humanity. To the contrary, it would seem that a large portion of the sentient class want this development. I think it is called transhumanism.

I haven't spent much time on the subject.  For those who have, this must be quite obvious.  I have mixed feelings about it.  Space colonization appears to be a part of transhumanism, but to me, it just seems to be a natural development.  I prefer natural developments as opposed to artificial ones.  That's the impression I have of transhumanism.  It is freakish and unnatural.

For example, why would anybody want to go live on Mars?  Could it be because of the same impulse that led the pioneers to settle America?  The old pioneers came to look for God, but also to escape the tyranny of the Old World.  If it were possible to go somewhere which has not be settled already, and make a new world based upon new ideas and greater freedom.  That would seem quite natural, but it may not be the only reason why someone may want to go off world.

However, I don't think going to Mars is necessary.  Humans can colonize the moon and then construct their own worlds in space with lunar materials.   You cold literally shape a new world from scratch.  But should this world be dominated by machines?  Or could it be a new world on a human scale?  An O'Neill colony would be about the size of a small town.  In space, it could have all the energy it could use.   The sun would power it and they could grow their own food.  There wouldn't be a need for much trade, but there could be something in which it could exchange with the Earth.  That would be energy.  There is so much of it in space, that it dwarfs whatever falls on the Earth's surface.  That was O'Neill's idea: to use the sun as an energy source and thus as an economic basis of his colony.

Each world could develop according to its own preferences.  Some could be just agricultural in nature with a modest trading component.  Others could continue looking for the "fountain of youth".  For me, I think such a notion is rather unnatural, as that would not be my preference.  But for others, this could hold an attraction.  The freedom of association carried to that level could result in any number of combinations of future development.

The unnaturalness of this continued desire for the unattainable is the thing that is most troublesome to me.  This quest for new and even more powerful machines to dominate, control, and run everything.  Is this really necessary?  Yet, it is also a part of the human condition for some of us to want to dominate and control the others.  But to what end and for what purpose?

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