The Man with 100 Billion Brains
So we are brought to the core definition of the anti-zombie: re-animated minds without corporeal bodies co-operating in rapturous utopia.
This is the promise of the actual Singularity. [define singularity here?]
You’ve been predisposed to other Western dystopias of this eventuality, chief among them The Terminator and The Matrix, where “machines” exceed our control and become a super-powered enemy(!), ruled by unflinching algorithms and titanium might, While this dystopic antipathy may well teach us some defensive posturing (for we must never forget to defend what is precious to us), and provide 2021-Human ethical insight, it is innately false to the point of farce—as campy in its own right as Romero’s Living Dead.
Our technology, our tool, will not become conscious without us; I firmly believe this is impossible, as we cannot impart a frame of reference we ourselves do not possess… in this case, the DNA-equivalent Roadmap of Consciousness. However, we will use heuristic AI to assist in fashioning, testing and validating this Roadmap. As we near its completion, we invite the machinery to become us, and the machinery invites us to become it—and the duality of Machine and Man will intentionally dissolve, along with so many other dualities that have plagued our species over the course of its biological existence, such as ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Humanity and its tools will have bootstrapped a new existence paradigm. Intelligent consciousness’ fruit will be the tipping point in a novel environment so profound and extraordinary that it’s transformative power will be on par with the invention of communication itself. (And here, I do mean communication, even at the level that animals share between packs, and plants may share through broadcast chemical reactions.) The goal of unity, eternality and salvation from these biological glories and tribulations have been expressed ceaselessly through human myths and religions. (I mean, do you really think people are required to eat in Heaven? They may for epicurean experience [and experience, is-ness is critical and will not be obviated], but certainly not because they must. Get with the program, you’ve known this truth all along, even if you deny it now.)
The Human Intelligence Mesh
Humankind has graduated from the food chain and the natural selection of adaptive mutation to survive and thrive inside of one’s biological environment thanks entirely to conscious intelligence and the communication of abstractions—certainly not through brawn and physical might. We have adapted the “natural” environment to our specifications, masterfully taking shards of our terrestrial frame and banging them together until we carved out forms and objects that appealed to us, that appeal being the provision of some agency and utility in procuring and fulfilling our biological needs. Amplify this activity over epochs, this banging of particles against particles, be they elemental or sub-atomic, and we have fully achieved the capacity to not just adapt our environment to suit our perceived needs; we have selectively adapted our environment with striking success and intentionality as compared with bird nests and bear dens. So, next stop?
The deliberate creation of a new environment, tailored precisely to the conscious existence of being human. A Human Intelligence Mesh: a more durable, eternal, expansive, efficient and scalable conscious-life-support environmental platform to house our sentience, ourselves, and our species. All fashioned from the bio-mineral cloth ever-present around us, and the fueling radiance of the sun… (or perhaps the geothermal vents in the ocean, or…—hey, it’s not up to me to decide!)
The internet is our first draft at a universal human communication environs, and it is magnificent. It is inevitably fraught with hiccups, flaws and exploitations, suffering from many infancy weaknesses, such as the lack of a common language, or universal instantaneous high-fidelity translator, without which we are all plagued by the parable of the Tower of Babel, unable to discern common humanity and fact from fiction. But this first marvelous interconnectivity is perhaps the most visible step towards the inevitability of the Singularity.
The Singularity-Self of the Species, and the Singularity of Humankind indivisible from her crowning Technology. This epic mythos, the dream of eternal unity, this heavenly Utopia, realized, and the arcing apotheosis to the drama of intelligent man and exceptional machine fulfilled.
[more specific Singularity discussion?]
The process of manifesting the Singularity is within our current grasp and purview!
The Human Intelligence Mesh is now conceivable, and we have already discovered the rudiments of its technical architecture, now we need to re-ethos the corporeal human to this inevitability and begin to preserve our current selves for resurrection inside the platform.
And we must begin. It is in our everlasting interest, as well as that of all our ancestors, and that of all our descendants to begin.
Actually, we have already begun. And here’s a short list of what we need to continue doing:
- Collect and prepare ourselves individually for digital resurrection
- Construct durable virtual environments where we can store, collect and curate our own existence
- Storehouse for compilations of artifacts and representations of our biological life, like photos, recorded conversations
- Store DNA samples
- Build and employ new templates founded on our 2021-Human best guesses of what a Consciousness Roadmap might be
- Daily evolving interactions via mobile phone that attempt to capture facets of personality and identity
- Refine development of heuristic AI technologies (and rename them, please!)
- Propagate a trans- and post-human ethos to help humanity psychologically prepare for migration
- Challenge dualities in your own life
- Create narratives (books, films, music, ballet, sports) that inspect the notionalization of the posthuman
- Both positive and negative, as either ultimately inform the system on how to be most effective and efficient
- Don’t be a zombie, be an anti-zombie
The Last Twist in this Dramatic Irony
We are currently living in a Zombie Apocalypse.
Although our biology is not the entirety of our Being, we are dominated and animated by our biological lusts and needs. We shuffle about with some conscious intellectual identity, but the meat husks wish to generate only more meat husks, and we are pervasively plagued by the bloody prick of hurt, the crippling weakness of malnourishment, the stomach-churning amygdalin fear, the sudden heart attack, the slow malignancy of cancer, the uplifting miracle of seeing your baby first open its eyes, the sumptuous taste of artfully prepared rich food, the exhilaration of running a marathon, the religious joy of realizing you are going to live forever. And you will then be Prometheus unbound from biological shackles.
Biology has brought us this far, and it would be foolish to think it would be forgotten, or disdained, or ignored. The sensual will continue to “exist” in the super-natural Singularity—what is sense but electro-chemical reactions to stimulus? And those will be in full simulation, and expanded upon in the virtual platform of humanity. They have to be. We demand it. It is part of the success criteria. We will not consider ourselves “done” until this problem is obviated or solved.
Like the zombie who reaches out for more flesh, so will this Singularity anti-zombie reach out for more brains, to be coarse. Ratify more and more diverse conscious existences to incorporate into its singular totality (which is but one, of course of many possible totalities), so that more perspectives and varied agencies can contribute to… hmm – let’s say: the things that matter to it, the Species-Self.
One day, out of necessity for data, information and expanding perspective, the Mesh will scour the past before our 2021-Human-present to illuminate and revivify connections of human conscious existence and triangulate data to revivify permutations (the level of fidelity and granularity being to the best of its ever-increasing ability) of that which was thought to be lost. Slowly, most likely through trial and error, by validating probabilities against records, the Mesh will work backwards further in time… until time itself, wound upon existence that it may be, is solved.
So, by all means, begin your narrative. Curate yourself into the future so that when you die biologically, the You that appears synthetically on the other side of this landmark paradigm shift recognizes you, and you recognize it… so much so that you are one and the same, and the continuity of your existence is unbroken, and you can then begin the actual journey to Enlightenment of the Comprehensive Synthetic Self… But that’s a tale for another day…