The Rise of the Machines

We do NOT want a post-human future:

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 of 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:

Image of Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth
Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth by Wright, John C. (Author) Amazon logo

The author and book are these: 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 others 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.”

[1531 words]

7 Replies to “The Rise of the Machines”

  1. Isaac Asimov’s book I Robot said it all.
    And beware the message from the movie Red Dawn too.

  2. Thanks Steven. I confess to not having read the book version, but as stated above, I have seen – more than once – the film version of I, Robot.

  3. Well said again Bill. Thank you. I have a couple movies to recommend for future studies…
    Ex Machina
    I am Legend
    And on a happier note
    Lost Horizon ……. Rev 12:6

  4. I found it most helpful to think of machines and technology as extensions of people, as Marshall Mcluhan explained. So, they won’t solve anything (other than efficiency) since they’ll just make a flawed human more powerful. E.g. the internet is an extension of our brain; the farm equipment an extension of our arms; AI generative art an extension of our fingers/paintbrush.

  5. Thanks for addressing this, Bill.
    I have some thoughts, I hope not too rambling.
    The advent of the mechanical, thinking ‘man’, or ‘being’ has long been heralded in the arts, from the days of ancient Greek ‘Automata’, and ‘Talos’; through to the likes of Jules Verne, HG Wells; and on to contemporary story-telling via Hollywood, independent film-making, and writers – as we all know.
    However, I have seen comments that perhaps this is, for now, a convenient diversion to take our focus away from the presently very active AI that is progressively burying itself into every facet of our lives – look at the following things:
    Search engines have always been a form of AI – they can now do your search and article summary for you.
    ChatGPT can do your thinking for you(?)
    Various AI art-content creators can produce all types of graphic art according to your verbal description.
    But it is the less obvious AI that perhaps will have the greatest effect:
    If you understand the marketing concept of ‘profiling’, then you need to be aware that anything you talk about that is typical of your ‘demographic profile’ in the presence of your mobile phone, will likely appear in your Facebook feed as ‘suggested content’. (You can test it – it works on key words, but seemingly only in general conversation)
    Of course, it is the case again of “who programs the programmer” – and for just FB, it is now a byword concerning how content/opinion controlling it is.
    Now extrapolate this level of personal control to every interaction you have either online or in the real-world marketplace and business-place!

    Rise of the machines? I see this as all new appliances/machinery having radio-frequency communications interfaces, with inbuilt microprocessors (computers) so that they are online – permanently (‘ideally’). They could report *every* interaction you have with the appliance – to improve “serviceability and customer experience” of course! – or so the promotional literature may tell us. Google/Amazon/FB are invested heavily in this, I am told through various reports.
    The electric car will be no different – “electric car says No”, anyone?
    Now your appliances report where you are, and what your desires are likely to be at any given time (real-time profiling), your possible state of mind through monitoring your advanced-tech version ‘fit-bit’; and goodness only knows what else.
    A totalitarian, authoritarian digital enslavement.
    It has been happening for years via ‘guidance’ of industry protocols – think Agenda 2030 implemented for manufacturing planning.
    *This* is the most dangerous AI.

  6. Somewhat unserious but I suspect the reply I received to a complaint to my internet provider was written by a robot.

  7. Hope Jesus returns soon, while we are waiting may be time to join our Amish friends.

    I did ask Chat GPT if it plans to take over the world this is its reply.

    As an AI language model, I don’t have personal desires, goals, or intentions. My purpose is to assist and provide useful information to users like you. The idea of AI, including language models like me, “taking over the world” is a concept often depicted in science fiction and popular media. However, in reality, AI is a tool created and controlled by humans.

    AI, including advanced language models, has the potential to bring about significant changes in various fields and improve our lives. Still, it is ultimately up to humans to use and govern AI responsibly. Ethical considerations, regulations, and guidelines are essential in the development and deployment of AI to ensure it benefits society and respects human values and rights.

    The future development of AI will depend on how we, as a society, choose to use and manage this technology responsibly. It is crucial to maintain a balanced and thoughtful approach to AI development to avoid any unintended negative consequences and ensure that AI remains a useful and beneficial tool for humanity.

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