Bill Muehlenberg | Caldronpool.com
It is often the case that writers of science fiction and various filmmakers can sometimes be much more savvy, aware and perceptive about the dangers that we face than our politicians, leaders and elites. Indeed, often it is our politicians, leaders and elites who ARE the danger. Sometimes novelists and even Hollywood can shine a clear and penetrating light on their nefarious agendas and designs.
Sci-Fi writers from long ago have sounded the alarm about how science and technology can go awry. Instead of being a major help to humanity, they can often become a major threat to it. One thinks of earlier writers such as H. G. Wells of course, or more recent authors such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury and A. E. van Vogt.
Recent films have also asked hard questions about where our technologies and elites are taking us, and about our post-human future – perhaps even our anti-human future. (A film will soon be needed on the transhumanist and globalist agendas of sinister schemers such as Schwab, Harari, the WEF and the Great Reset.)
But some of the films that warned us about the way things are heading would include these:
- Soylent Green (1973)
- Blade Runner (1982)
- Gattaca (1997)
- The Sixth Day (2000)
- AI (2001)
- I, Robot (2004)
- The Island (2005)
- Elysium (2013)
- Replicas (2018)
And of course, one can mention the six Terminator films by James Cameron:
- The Terminator (1984)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
- Terminator Salvation (2009)
- Terminator Genisys (2015)
- Terminator Dark Fate (2019)
Speaking of Cameron, I was interested to see this in the news just the other day:
Oscar-winning Canadian filmmaker James Cameron says he agrees with experts in the artificial intelligence field that advancements in the technology pose a serious risk to humanity. Cameron, who’s been critically acclaimed for his films “Titanic” and “Avatar,” among others, is in Ottawa Tuesday to launch a Canadian Geographic exhibit about his feats of deep-sea exploration.
He also directed and co-wrote the 1984 science fiction action film “Terminator,” about a cyborg assassin, and was asked by CTV News about his thoughts on recent predictions about the future of AI. Many of the so-called godfathers of AI have recently issued warnings about the need to regulate the rapidly advancing technology before it poses a larger threat to humanity. “I absolutely share their concern,” Cameron told CTV News Chief Political Correspondent Vassy Kapelos in a Canadian exclusive interview ahead of a conversation with his long-time mentor Dr. Joe MacInnis Tuesday.
“I warned you guys in 1984, and you didn’t listen,” he said. Cameron said it’s important to evaluate who is developing the technology, and whether they’re doing it for profit — “teaching greed” — or for defence, what he called “teaching paranoia.”
“I think the weaponization of AI is the biggest danger,” he said. “I think that we will get into the equivalent of a nuclear arms race with AI, and if we don’t build it, the other guys are for sure going to build it, and so then it’ll escalate. You could imagine an AI in a combat theatre, the whole thing just being fought by the computers at a speed humans can no longer intercede, and you have no ability to deescalate.”
Some of my readers are much more well-versed in science fiction than I am. But let me mention just one very useful book on these matters. All the Sci-Fi writers I mentioned above – and others – are nicely covered in one of the 22 recommended volumes I recently listed on AI, transhumanism and related matters. It is found here.
The author and book is John Wright, Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth. (Wisecraft, 2019). There is plenty to like about this 360-page book, but let me just feature a few brief quotes. He opens his book with these words:
I am intensely skeptical of Transhumanist ambitions. Much as I admire their intermediate goals of increasing human lifespan or human comfort through medical technology, their long term goals cause me reservations, or even revulsion. Allow me to explain using the most indirect means possible: by discussing fantasy stories.
Anyone who does not sense or suspect that modernity is missing something, something important that once we had and now is lost, has no heart for High Fantasy and no taste for it.
I don’t regard this statement as controversial. To me it seems not worth discussing that the present age differs from the past. The only question worth discussing is the nature of the differences, and, by extension, the nature of the future the present trends will tend to create.
What is wrong with the world? Where are we heading?
Are we heading toward the higher peak of the superhuman, or to a subhuman abyss? If I may be permitted a drollery, let me phrase it this way: shall our children be the Slans of A.E. van Vogt, or the Morlocks of H.G. Wells?…
Readers of science fiction have an advantage of perspective over readers who limit themselves to mainstream books, namely, that any works taking place in a year as yet unborn, or in a world as yet unknown, must concentrate their attention on those things we take for granted; because in worlds to come they may indeed no longer be taken for granted, nor exist at all.
The science fiction reader, as if from the vantage point of some shining skyscraper of the future, can look back through time to this our present, and see what we here might not.
Throughout the book he not only quotes and refers to Sci-Fi authors, but also draws upon the likes of Chesterton, Tolkien, Lewis, Ayn Rand and others. He examines history, theology and philosophy among other things, and offers wise commentary along the way. He closes his opening chapter with these words:
Postmodernism, which rejects the concept of one overarching explanation for reality, is explicitly Occultic: the truth is hidden and never can be known…. They say truth is private, partial, relative, ineffable. That disease causes the madness of nihilism. They say truth is not truth.
The rise of science and technology did not cause this disease, but the prestige of science aggravated it, because theology and philosophy cannot be reduced to algorithms, nor can skeptics willing to bow to the results of an experiment be persuaded to bow to virtues, powers and principalities they cannot see….
Transhumanism, beyond its near-term goals of improving human life through medicine and expanded human life span, has a long-term goal of abolishing human mortality. This is a worldly doctrine carried to an extreme.
Immortal humans would be devils, since we would decay in our sins over the centuries, becoming ever more selfish and arrogant. Ah, but another long-term goal of transhumanism is to eliminate human sin and selfishness through technological manipulations of whatever bodies or housings our thought happens to occupy in the days after the Singularity. The Transhumanists, with childlike faith, merely assume the technology to redact, edit, program and condition human thoughts and personalities one day will exist, and we can turn our leaden souls to gold.
The problem of who would program whom, and who conditions the conditioners, can only be solved by reversion to the Cultic frame of mind. Simplistic absolutes are the only things the Thought Police can impose on the human cattle. Sinners, themselves, their ability to envision, much less create sinless epigones, is no greater than the ability of men and women now, here in this era, to raise perfect children. We cannot even picture what such Perfect People would be like, unless we picture a simplistic caricature: the John Galt of the Libertines, or the New Man of the Marxists.
The Perfect People would, of course, assuming anyone survived the perfection operations and the surrounding wars and genocides, still retain the mind-conditioning technology. Now there are only two possible options: first, they would retain enough of their human nature to be discontent with life. Seeking contentment, and not finding it in perfection, they must of course turn to what I call Occultism, the search for hidden things that cannot be put into words. By the mere process of trial and error, some other form of being will eventually be created, perhaps intelligent, perhaps self-aware, but not human in any sense that we mean the word.
The second option is that the Perfect People would not retain their human nature. Creatures without souls but with intellect capable of free will are devils. The only thing they can do is destroy. At that point, eventually, the great anarchy will reign, and the only thing these heirs to the once-great human race will find to occupy their immortal and endless and meaningless time is discovering ways to destroy themselves and each other.
That is why I am skeptical of the Transhumanist ambitions.
If all that has gone over the heads of some readers, perhaps this might be easier to digest. One meme I spotted online today said this: “Humans doing the hard jobs on minimum wage while the robots write poetry and paint is not the future I wanted.”