Why humanity destroyed itself


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/10/why-humanity-destroyediitself.html


#2

Typo in the title.


#3

Give us time. The “be wary of new things because they might kill you” instinct had probably ~500 Million years to develop.

It has only been relatively recently that the alternative might be more beneficial to life.

But at this point in time, even though we have had massive trade programs for thousands of years, we are more connected and more aware of others than at any time in history. It isn’t all good, and it isn’t complete, but one used to live and die and only really know of the small space of land they occupied. Now we are sharing globally and it will only get more and more interconnected as we go.


#4

Not really - “the architecture of the human brain” is what you make of it. Humans are simply the technology of the previous generation of humans.


#5

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.”

—E. O. Wilson


#6

Ohhh. . . humanity won’t destroy itself, it will just evolve (or devolve) into something akin to an ape-like hyena, a carnivorous cannibalistic scavenger that roams the wasteland in packs seeking food.

"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death. "


#7

So it’s our own hubris… such as thinking we have any idea what it is that dooms us.


#8

Of course it’s difficult to envision evolution giving rise to any other kind of mind but the jerry-built machinery we have between our ears, whether in aliens or our successors. Any such creature getting judgemental about our failings would be setting themselves up for the nemesis that follows such hubris. Would an intelligent cockroach not have its own instincts to battle against?


#10

Oh that wicked reptilian brain. Lucky aliens, who will have evolved from… nothing, I suppose. They will be Spocklike in their passion for reason.


#11

I see you have been watching “Wandering Pines”


#12

Sorry, no clue.


#13

My expectation is that technology will soon reach a point where we’re able to guide our own evolution through cybernetics, genetic engineering, etc. That dynamic will feed back on itself as the first generation of augmented humans influence the direction of future augmentation, so that it becomes really important who makes the first steps and why.

My pet theory for why aliens haven’t contacted us is that a species simply isn’t worth talking to until they’ve taken this step. Not only does it allow a species to achieve the advanced intelligence necessary to become their peers, but it represents a first step into “adulthood.” The species is no longer a slave to the happenstance of biological evolution, but can choose what kind of organism(s) it wants to be, what reward system will govern its consciousness, and so on.

Or, we’ll blow ourselves up. This is why we’re not hearing a lot of radio signals coming from space. In a very short time, species which reach our current level of technology either destroy themselves, or reach a technological singularity that renders them godlike. There are no Star Trek-style spacefarers out there (or, if they are, they look more like the Borg than the Federation).


#14

Spoiler: this is the plot of the show.


#15

Unfortunately, time isn’t on our side. We’ve almost blown ourselves up how many times now?


#16

Well, I may never see the show, but if you’re gonna type spoilers . . . blur it out.

:wink:


#17

They forgot about the love of five-dimensional future human beings for their distant ancestors!


#18

####Failing boingboing.net releases flawed so-called video. Humans first! This video is insectoid and illegal extraterrestrial alien propaganda. Sad!


#19

it will just evolve (or devolve) into something akin to an ape-like hyena, a carnivorous cannibalistic scavenger that roams the wasteland in packs seeking food.

So basically the Sovereign Citizen movement?


#20

It is comforting somehow to see that the alien is, apparently, a mammal. Or has some kind of crazy pleasure buttons on its chest.


#21

[quote=“Haystack, post:13, topic:94806”]My expectation is that technology will soon reach a point where we’re able to guide our own evolution through cybernetics, genetic engineering, etc. That dynamic will feed back on itself as the first generation of augmented humans influence the direction of future augmentation, so that it becomes really important who makes the first steps and why.
[/quote]I reckon that first generation of augmented humans is going to need a lot of tribalism and short-term thinking if it’s not going to get swiftly wiped out by the rest of the non-augmented ones. And they’ll need plenty of wishful thinking just to get started.