Welcome Sisters, welcome Brothers, and welcome to all the others, also..All three super kingdoms of life...Howdy!
Today I ask you to consider the question, "What form of life, if any, will replace humans in the future?"
Change is inevitable. Only its form is in question. If the human race is hell bent to destroy the very features of its home planet that keep it alive, as it appears, whatever replaces us must be able to survive in the new ecosystem or lack thereof. Climate change caused by humans will eventually create the evolutionary filter that will remove us from this planet's future. The ratio of scientists, that accept human generated climate change ,to those that don't... is roughly 400 to 1, at a minimum and rising. If you remove the scientists whose research is funded by energy corporations from the count, the ratio becomes ridiculously large.
In fact...The fraction of scientists, who do not accept human generated climate change, is far less than the fraction of people in the general population who are mentally delusional. They may be crazy, but they aren't stupid.
So what now?
In the 20's and 30's of the last century, science and the industrial age converged to create a monumental acceleration in the creation of machinery. The possibility of artificial intelligence dawned on several scientists as a future reality instead of mere fantasy. Science Fiction writings exploded with the gravest self conceived threat to humanity yet...The Robot!
Humans immediately wallowed in a new fear...that of being replaced. Replaced by something human like, but not. Fantasy writers explored the questions of whether a machine could ever have emotions, and, like religious writers, they also explored not just whether humans possessed a "soul" but whether a machine could be produced of such complexity that it too could possess such a thing. If so, Possessing a soul, would such a machine be actually alive? Would it be superior to human kind? Would it have god's favor?
Fears abounded...consolations did not.
Today we have all sorts of artificial intelligence (though the natural kind seems to be waning). I am fond of telling the story of the memory banks in the electronic switching systems I worked on back in the 70's. Sixteen thousand bits of memory were contained in a bank that stood eight feet high, twelve feet wide, and that had its own airconditioning system. Today, my coffeemaker has more processing power than Georgia Tech did then. The complex workings of my digital camera were unthinkable, and the memory it contains in the black box I hold in my hand would have required several city blocks of climate controlled buildings less than thirty five years ago...But, even so...my camera is not very smart! It does exactly what I tell it to...it has no emotion of its own...no "soul."
There are entities that appear to the observer to mimic humans in awareness but these things will not replace us. The real threat is far graver than the cute puppie robot or the fearful battlebot of cartoon. The realization of those things is so far in the future as to be completely discountable. Nothing to be afraid of there. No, we need not fear future evils...Our real enemy is now among us.
We were warned by the great World war II General and Republican President, Dwight David Eisenhower. "Fear the Military Industrial Complex!" he said....And we did not listen!
"Society" is an evolved thing..a function of evolutionary modifications of the human hippocampus, a small cluster of cells in a portion of the brain permits humans to accept group dynamics. If it is damaged, by stroke for instance, the poor human cannot understand societies. The formation of bonds and work groups greater than the individual is impossible. The human can not comprehend political parties, unions, garden clubs, or religion.
Yes, religion can be surgically removed from a human being. Fascinating, eh?
But we do have this group of cells and we do have organizations and societies. We have political parties and nations. We have armies and wars. We used to think we would all die from the ultimate war, and this is still possible. More so now than in the past because of the lack of control of nuclear arms.
War may kill us all but it will not replace us. What will, is a monstrosity of our own creation...No, not a robot...something far worse...something that also has no "soul"...no conscience...only the insatiable primal drive to devour resources and grow. it is the embodiment of greed, A cancer that is the child of humanity known as the "Corporation."
The evils that may be attributed to Corporate greed are among the greatest the world as known. International corporations brought slavery to America. The great German financial and industrial corporations gave rise to
Adolph Hitler. But not only did the German Banks and corporations back Hitler, so did any number of transnational corporations, including those controlled by Prescott Bush...grandfather of the current President. Hitler had promised a "New World Order" to the leaders of these corporations involving these leaders as the prime members of a new world aristocracy. Those who controlled these corporations would control the world and the world would be bent to their service. War, slavery, genocide, all repugnant to the conscience of a moral human, would now simply be tools relegated to the service of transnational corporations, controlled by the aristocracy.
Adolph Hitler is a tragic sidebar in the true ultimate war for human existance. Hitler was permitted to exist as a servant of corporations. He had delusional ideas of just who would serve whom, however, and the ensuing war destroyed the infrastructure of the Trans National corporations as much as it did Hitler himself.
A short period of idealistic revival in America followed the end of World War II, but was quashed by the use of fear generated by the cold war. Corporations created the "Arms Race" out of this fear. They have no conscience...only greed.
Today, the New World Order consists of these same trans-national corporations and those who controll them. They are the energy companies, the arms companies, the mining companies, among others, and the great financial institutions, including those controlling the World Bank.
I could go on. The history is abundant and frightening. What keeps me awake in the night is the realization that these same corporations are nearly complete in their takeover of the American Constitution, the highest law of our country. The law that protects the people of his great nation from the government of this great nation.
Why do I say all this? it is because it has come down to the last moment in the fight to save America. John Roberts was not nominated to the Supreme Court because he was anti-abortion, pro-life, or supported religious teaching in public schools. he was nominated because he was pro-Corporation! John Roberts supports legal language that says...
"A Corporation is a person."
So does Harriet Miers.
Long after the legal drama of Karl Rove's indictment for treason and the naming of George W. Bush as an unindicted co-conspirator has played out...What will remain is the Supreme Court legacy that will give corporations paramount right to become the replacement for humanity.
Consider the possibility that a corporation, owned by foreign investors, will have all the rights of citizenship in the United States of America. More so, in fact, since it would have neither the obligations of a person, nor the built in restraints that make us civilized.
I do not know if humans have a soul. I do know that most of us have a conscience. I also know for a fact, that Corporations have neither.
If you aren't afraid enough already...here's a nice piece to read...
John Dean was Richard Nixon's lawyer and was convicted of conspriracy during Watergate. He has the most reasoned play by play of where we are now with Tom DeLay's indictments. this is a good and balanced read:
White House Council