The Veneration of the Synthetic and the Demonization of Nature
Since the inventions of fire, the wheel and the spear tip, the measure of human progress has been human technological accomplishments. The more technologically capable a society happens to be, the more civilized and advanced it is deemed as being. By this standard, the Roman Empire in the First Century (the time of Christ) was the height of civilization at the time, because it was the most technologically advanced society in its day.
It is stating the obvious to point out that technology is enormously useful and powerful. The tools we create and manufacture empower us tremendously. Indeed, they enable human beings to conquer and dominate nature (to some degree), even to forge empires. Steve Jobs, the famous co-founder of Apple Computers, once cited an anecdote in which he insightfully observed that a human being on a bicycle can move faster even than a cheetah, the fastest moving land animal. Quite obviously, with the aid of technology, the human animal is able to exceed the limitations that nature has imposed upon the organism and literally attain a superhuman status.
But at what cost?
As technology continues to progress, it may be argued, humanity is actually regressing. While technology extends human faculties to an unfathomable extent, it also creates dependency, often leading to the attenuation of inherent human abilities. This may be demonstrated quite easily in any study of history or anthropology. For instance, with the inventions of writing and printing, the oral tradition, which was the primary means of conveying information in prehistoric times, took a nose-dive. However, the loss of the oral tradition resulted in a massive loss in the power of human memory. Because one could write things down and print them, one no longer needed to remember vast quantities of information. As such, that human ability, along with a variety of mnemonic skills, have been lost over time.
The development of agrarian societies resulted in a fundamental shift in the human diet – away from being primarily vegetables, proteins and some healthy fats to being primarily carbohydrates and sugar. As a result of that, we saw the introduction of a variety of physical ailments into the human population, which were largely missing in prehistoric times and, to this day, are still not seen in what we consider to be “primitive” societies. The shift in the human diet, away from what nature has provided, towards carcinogenic GMOs and synthetically manufactured fast foods, for example, has had devastating effects on the health of human populations.
The examples are endless. The invention and proliferation of television, has resulted in the widespread attenuation of reading skills, the loss of critical thinking and analytical skills and a tendency to accept authority without questioning it. The power of mass media hypnotically to control its audience and the blind acceptance of authority that it promotes have given rise to the widespread phenomenon of marginalizing alternative thinkers by labeling them as “conspiracy theorists.” In fact, this was a label that was popularized by the CIA in the 1960s as a psy-op to discredit speculation about the Kennedy assassination. It has been enormously successful as a means to discredit and marginalize most alternative ideas from popular discourse without allowing for any serious consideration of their merits (or demerits, as the case may be).
The development of urban society has resulted in the widespread loss of outdoor survival skills, the loss of the ability to live off the land, the loss of hunting, fishing and tracking skills, etc. It is said, in fact, that Native Americans grew their hair long because it gave them preternatural instincts which were invaluable when living in the wilderness – almost a sixth sense, as it were. The development of maps, compasses, GPS, etc. have resulted in the loss of innate human directional skills that are, to this day, demonstrated unerringly by tribals living in remote locations. And, of course, the rise of mass media and the internet have resulted in a devastating loss of attention span and the ability to focus, to the extent that attention deficit disorder is regarded as an ailment that certain physicians believe need to be treated with prescription pharmaceuticals!
Meanwhile, even as all this is happening all around us, often beyond our capacity to recognize it, there is a school of thought that continues to gain traction – namely one claiming that the future of human civilization lies in the merging of Man and Machine. The proponents of this ideology seem to suggest that the direction of human progress will lead human beings towards an increasingly synthetic, unnatural existence until, ultimately, nature is destroyed and man is an entirely synthetic organism, completely mechanized and merged with technology.
I believe that this thinking arises from a mechanistic view of life – one that understands human existence in purely material and biological terms and argues that the evolution of life is, essentially, a Darwinian process of natural selection by random chance. Following this train of thought, this faction of scientific materialists argues that the next step in evolution is for Man to merge with Machine, presumably because machinery extends human abilities beyond the perceived limitations of biology. It would appear that this mode of thinking despises the organic and the natural, equating advancement with the inorganic and the synthetic. It rejects the spiritual dimension of life – which, for example, may be achieved by meditation. Instead, this school of thought appears to revere the inorganic and the synthetic, perceiving it to be superior to the natural and organic.
This trend of thinking is, in my opinion, ultimately delusional and self-destructive. It leads to a path that is destructive both of nature and humanity and results in a technocracy and surveillance state that is at odds with and removed from nature and the organic. The inordinate credence given to this school of thought is most apparent, these days, in the proliferation of cellular technology. It is a fact that ambient EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation, often in the demonstrably hazardous microwave and millimeter wave frequency ranges, has increased a million-fold over the last 100 years of civilization. And yet, there has, to date, been no serious study of the health effects of EMFs. Instead, what we see is the widespread rollout of 5G cellular technology, which many experts have designated as hazardous to health and many enlightened societies have already taken steps to ban. Furthermore, we are increasingly seeing talk of the microchipping of human beings, which would clearly be supported by the 5G and “internet of things” infrastructure currently in development and rollout – with the connectivity of sensors being enabled by 5G connection speeds.
The question, in my opinion, is whether all of this will result in unprecedented levels of surveillance and invasion of privacy in our society. Will the merging of Man and Machine, enabled by 5G, sensors and microchips, ultimately lead to the utter destruction of human individuality and of what it means to be human? Will we all be turned into a society of microchipped zombies controlled by an overreaching state authority?
Is this a positive direction for human civilization to move towards? Shouldn’t technology advance in a way that enhances and supports human development and enhances nature instead of subjugating and destroying both? Wouldn’t it be preferable if technology facilitated the development of the human potential – of human physical, psychic and spiritual skills and abilities rather than promoting an over-dependence on external tools and technical implements? Should not human advancement and development be prioritized over blind technological progress – one that is, ultimately, dehumanizing and destructive of nature?
One hopes that, sooner or later, those who claim to be the intellectual leaders in our society will come around to exercising their intellect and actually asking these basic questions, instead of arguing for their political agenda of choice without regard for the consequences!