The Arc of Humanity; A.I. Capture edition

New Year’s Day eve, eve. Let’s wrap up the decade in its last 30 or so hours of calendar life with an observation or two. Or three. Or maybe it’ll be one observation with many sub-areas. Or sub-sub areas. And maybe an aside or two. Perhaps a digression here and there. Off on a few tangents. Or who the hell cares as long as I can render it as a narrative with thematic threads that hold the piece together. We live, methinks, in rather chaotic, disjointed, divisive and confusing times. Thus, I defer to the current fractured, contemporary, ethos in this regard, and this blog post is simply a reflection of the intensity of our times, particularly in the U.S. of A., (but, let’s face it, globally in many instances). But see, I already digress from whatever thematic thread does or doesn’t exist to even hold this first paragraph together. If you follow my drift, that is. Dig it? Hey, gimme a break, at least I’m trying to offer up some thought on life-at-large headed into a new decade, one that may be new but may not be an improvement on the aforementioned allusions to current fissures and fractures in the infrastructures that serve our psychic abilities to hold steady, see the path beneath our feet and glean enough ambient light to not completely fall into a manhole of which some doofus, lawless punks have irrresponsibly appropriated the cover, and then shot out the street lights, inviting a plunge into muck and mire. I mean, what is the problem with some people who would do such things? These people need to be eliminated. What is their problem, I ask you? I mean, damn, are we not all members of the same species? Are we not intrinsically wired to be respectful of one another? To cooperate with one another for the common good? To live in peace, and harmony, and to love one another and…

…Zeldar, from Zardoz, reporting back to Zardoz Command, coordinated galatic longitude -06.5399, latitude -75. 93557, anistropy plus or minus 4.888.345.912234, Ophiuchus constellation, quadrent SQ3, and Bayer/Flamsteed marker 65, brightest neighbor star being Rasalhague (2.08m), bordering constellations Hercules, Serpens, Libra, Scorpiusand Aquila. A.I. transport again has cognito enshrounded while for the fourth time exploring Moutain Sphere, seeking any intelligent form of life. Zeldar has strongly objected to being again assigned this task, having already termed Sphere language as essentially “gibberish” based on collective data filtered through our A.I. linguistic analytic models informed via comparing several hundred thousand A.I. linguist captures from other galaxies, all of which have been deemed acceptable intergalactic co-inhabitants. Moutain Sphere is another thing altogether, Zeldar feels, and in a downward sloping baseline. But A.I. command refuses to accept that life forms on Moutain Sphere are–as my reports insist– intrinsically fearful, easily angered or whose default sentient conscious condition is a confusion of hostility, ferocity, suspicion and a distinct inclination to kill one another and destroy their Mountain Sphere in the process. Zeldar, however, being an obidient Zardozian sworn to seek out other life forms for study, follows his A.I. directive, regardless of his transmissions back to Zardoz Command. So yet here is Zeldar, with another attempt to connect with these Sphere creatures, as previously noted now in the midst of a so-called Sixth Mass Extinction. Further study thus proceeds, and I have just intercepted some form of communication, the language of which again seems to be rendered mostly in gibberish. The intercept comes not from the less populated areas of this Sphere, but a more active area. The intercept has been analyzed and conclusively designated the means of transmission coming from a primitive type computer. It sounds to be an attempt at analysis and comprehension of some ethos and an apparent approaching “new year” and new “decade” and how the transmittor thinks of such a point in time as it applies to Shere creature. Moutain Sphere is approximately 4.5 billion years in age. Sphere creatures apart from those that bark, screech, wail or snort have gibberish tongue to distinguish them from other Sphere life forms. Also, A.I. analysis of this this transmission has been confirmed not to be from any A.I. form (like me, Zeldar), but from one of the Sphere inhabitants. Unsurpisingly, the transmission seems embedded with previously noted sentient consciousness projecting fear, suspicion, anger and latent, if not overt, agressive intent. Zardoz picking up more of transmission…

…so are we not taught in kindergarten for chrissakes, to share and care for one another? I mean, how have things become so out of whack? How did up become down, and right become wrong, bad become good, logic become illiogic, love become hate? And why can’t the Bears draft a decent quarterback? Maybe we aren’t all “wired” for good.

Some professor from Yale runs what is called the Human Nature Lab, and has written a book entitled Blueprint: the Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society. The professor opines that the “arc of our evolutionary history is long but that it bends toward goodness”. Oddly, in the same publication in which this man and his academic work are noted, there are long articles about the “heinous violence” taking place in Mexico, high school students filing a class action lawsuit arguing that the state of Rhode Island violates the students’ constitutional rights by leaving many of them “without key essential skills to exercise such basic civic responsibilities as voting or jury duty”. Another article documents the persecution of LGBTQ advocates in the country of Tunisia; a story about an 88 year-old survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August of 1945, conflicts in Asia, Africa, as well as the seemingly sinister relationship between Russia and the United States regarding our upcoming 2020 national election; Madrid’s need for “bolder (and younger) climate answers”, and near the edition’s final pages, ironically it invokes the publication’s constant striving to “find dignity and credible hope amid despair.”

Good luck with that!

Another publication recently reported on the incredibly expensive cost of prescription drugs (in the U.S.) and how some people have to choose between paying for their medications or buying food. Another article documented how the level of student debt in the U.S. has created degrees of stress for some students that drive them to suicide. Recent articles have pointed out the trillions of dollars spent on the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan with no end in sight of our clearly futile objectives there. Oh, and just this past weekend a man with a machete attacked observers of the Jewish Hanukkah, while another person walked into a church in Texas and shot and killed two parishioners before being shot dead himself. Last week, at a PARTY in Chicago, thirteen people were shot, the supreme irony being that the party was in commeration of someone else who was killed, leaving a local Reverend to state (the obvious) that “too often guns are used to express pain, anger and frustration”. Ya think?

Speaking of chuches and religious gatherings and mindless attacks of the past few days, there was also this headlined story in a national publication: After praying for a miracle. family of 2-year old girl now plan memorial. Make of THAT what you will.

And so back to that Yale professor who professes that humanity’s arc bends toward goodness. He runs that Human Nature Lab” right? Sounds scientific but in the long history of the world, especially the part that includes the evolution of our human species, there is clear evidence that more often than not we bend toward badness, not goodness. The first waring factions of humans took place in Mesopotamia in 2700 BCE, between Sumar and Elam. It is recorded that the victors “carried away as spoils the weapons of Elam”. In the ensuing 4,720 years what, may I ask, has changed? And Elam is one thing. They certainly didn’t have the atomic bomb, which to refer back to the Japanese survivor of the A-bomb that incinerated about 100,000 people in Hiroshima in 1945, the article notes that in 1954, the U.S. tested the Castle Bravo nuclear bomb–estimated to be 1,000 times more powerful than the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Whatever sticks and stones may have been in the arsenals of Suma and Elam, we now have tens of thousands of replicant Castle Bravo badassses spread around the world. Tick, tick, tick...

So, as 2020 approaches, and with current events (and historical ones) as noted as a barometer of human behavior, I’m struggling to feel optimisitic about the future. But maybe we humans can get our shit wired and get rid of the cretins, creeps, conspirators and corrupted officials who seem to be the straws that stir the toxic drink that engenders a whole damn lot of bad in our modern world. One thing is for sure: if we don’t find a way to not traffic in fear-mongering, xenophobia, racism, scapegoating and the rest, the use of violence as a means of conflict management could mean 2020 “arcs” toward endgame, rather the start of anything much good at all. So party hardy, folks as New Year arrives (but leave the, machetes, glocks and AK’s behind) because if the past is prelude for the future, you might not look forward to 2021.

That’s my opinion, and feel free to argue the arc is bending toward good. Good luck trying, given even scores of high schoolers are rising up angry and telling us more chronoligically gifted homo sapiens, to stop being stupid and help us with our futures!

* * * * * * *

Transmission capture complete.

Zeldar now has mixed A.I. “feelings” about Moutain Sphere creatures. The captured transmission is rather disturbing, but it at least is only negligibly less gibberish-laden. Zardoz Command likely will seek other captured Sphere speak and attempt to assign at least some rudimentory level of intelligence to this place. Zeldar now wondering what is meant by “drafting a quarterback”? A.I. linguistic interpreation synthesizer indicates quarterback to be a person who can “lead”. Zardoz concludes, by a few quantum bits of memory, there may be some intelligence on Moutain Sphere after all, and it would appear to have a great and global need for the designated quarterback species, which A.I. synthesizer computes as a being possessed of positive so-called “leadership” skills. Much “drafting intelligence” urgently needed.

Zeldar signing off. This Mountain Sphere is compromising A.I circuitry. Enshrounded as my cognito has been on my several visits here, I no longer feel it would ever be a good idea to approximate their appearance. If they could “see” me, they’d have a high probability of wanting to destroy me. Zeldar not stupid. Enshrounded I shall remain.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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3 Responses to The Arc of Humanity; A.I. Capture edition

  1. “‘But A.I. command refuses to accept that life forms on Moutain Sphere are–as my reports insist– intrinsically fearful, easily angered or whose default sentient conscious condition is a confusion of hostility, ferocity, suspicion and a distinct inclination to kill one another and destroy their Mountain Sphere in the process.”
    I’d report that life forms on Moutain sphere are very hostile, violent and suspicious. Why else would we now be building a Space Force to eliminate all aliens who might wish to come to this planet and disturb the little peace that exists here? Here’s to the Great King Trump for whom we all should bow. [B.S.] We are entering a new decade. Some rudimentary intelligence would be desired.

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  2. The irony of this new year’s celebration is indeed unmistakable even to this Earthling, as the powerful few continue to threaten even the near-term future of life forms on this planet, including humanity, by ramping up industries that are fundamentally destroying the life sustaining features of planet Earth.

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  3. FDR wanted a second Bill of Rights. How many of these rights have been won? Happy 2020. What a shame that he died before being able to implement all of these rights. They are as far from the GOP as anything can get.
    …………………………………
    In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

    Among these are:

    The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
    The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
    The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
    The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
    The right of every family to a decent home;
    The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
    The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
    The right to a good education.
    All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

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