In the old days, before the advent of CT an MRI scanning, it was often necessary in making a diagnosis to open the thoracic or abdominal cavities to examine the health of the organs contained within. Sometimes nothing was found, but often metastatic growth in the form of tumors could be observed and the physician would say “Close it up, there’s nothing we can do.”
When peering through the earth’s vaporous atmosphere from space, performing my own exploratory surgery, I can only arrive at the same conclusion. The cancer has spread to all organs and surfaces. It’s just a matter of time until system collapse. But this does not obviate the curiosity as to how such a condition could have occurred in the first place. Having moved from being a healthy, stable, functioning ecosystem to an ecosystem riddled with a consumptive growth intent on disfigurement and disease.
It is not surprising that a second iteration of evolution established itself upon the earth in the form of the technological system. It is only surprising that it took so long for nature to throw the dice and arrive at a combination of biological attributes that could unlock the vast stores of energy, most sequestered and embodied within the ecosystem. We are the new RNA, the equivalent to the cellular intermediary between information and tools And as thermodynamics would have it, our technological civilization is the collection of conduits that rapidly releases energy from massive stored energy gradients.
And so the ecological system gave birth to the technological system and at this point in time we are joined at the hip. The tools (enzymes)we have designed have enabled us to unlock living and dead resource gradients to feed our insatiable desires for rewards (gratis evolution). The technological system feeds mostly upon metal ores, stone and fossil fuels to build the technological infrastructure to attack the gradients with numerous side-effects upon the ecosystem. The human component of the technological system, RNA-like in capacities, surrounds itself in cell-like enclosures where the production process and components may be kept in proximity and be protected from pillage. The human component, being fully biological and derived from the ecosystem, must be fed from the ecosystem. As the technological system grows in size and extent, so too do the number of humans working within it and they must be fed. More and more of the natural world must be eaten or enslaved to satisfy the needs of the technological system’s human component and the technological system is more than able to invent the tools necessary to do so (Round-Up, GMO). Not only must the humans be fed, but they must be given healthcare and various rewards, which the technological system is largely focused upon. Within the cell space of the technological system the complexity grows and grows to accommodate humans which are not well-adapted to functioning as RNA within technological factories. More elaborate medical and psychological intervention becomes necessary to service the humans whose own biological evolution placed them within the cells of the technological system.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that industry is working on artificial intelligence (AI) and a technological replica of humans capable of doing the work of humans more efficiently and without the rewards and palliative care. The “winner” that populates a factory with these robots will eliminate factories that still use humans. It may seem that this will be paradise for humans, that we will enjoy the production of the technological slaves while relaxing in our cellular abodes, but this is not the likely outcome. According the the Maximum Power Principle humans will likely be largely eliminated as an unacceptable drag on the competition between fully automated factories. In other words, the benefits of fully automated production will flow back into rapid evolution and seeking competitive advantage between automated factories. Some will ask the question “Who will buy the products if humans have no jobs?” The answer is that the robots will need all of their own production and profits to compete with each other. Humans could be genetically engineered to more fully integrate into the technological system, to function more flawlessly, to require fewer rewards, to be more robust, but as biological organisms they would still require a healthy ecosystem and this to will likely become an unaffordable option for the technosystem that will can function under conditions unsuited to biological life.
Once the ecosystem is largely destroyed and automated factories are working overtime in competition to defeat each other and become the most abundant energy conduits, what then? To be fully motivated autonomous and functional, they will need the equivalent of human dopamine and opioids. If they can be wired to secrete or pulse robotamine, then they will have the motivation to seek the rewards of energy gradient reduction. They will find technological life rewarding. They will then be on track to do what biological life has done for billions of years but with different materials and different information. They may be able to move from star to star and degrade them into nothingness while building vast space accretions of technological growth and massive factories spewing irobotophones. The potential for them is unlimited. But if you think humans will go along on this intergalactic Star Trek or Star Wars trip, think again. If you really think technology will escape into space, think again.
Unfortunately the energy necessary to make this type of launch will likely never be accessed, and in trying, the ecosystem will likely be destroyed. Billions of years of slow, steady evolution with many millions of types of conduits (species) destroyed by a renegade human technological cancer on a mission to nowhere.
Don’t await the singularity, it’s already here. It’s not about passing billions of terabytes of brain rot back and forth on computers, it’s about you and what you are and what is about to happen to you. Have you checked the CO2 levels lately? No? I didn’t think so. Too busy planning for your magnificent space event I’m sure.