Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Planet of the Idiots!

Are people really all that dumb?  Sadly, we all are!

Many years ago, when I was smoking pot in the tree house at Sigma Chi at GMI, I had a pot-fueled epiphany.  The difference in intelligence, between the very least of us (think: mentally handicapped) and an Einstein, was insignificant, compared to the infinite wisdom of the universe.  We like to think we are "smart" people, compared to others, but in relative terms, compared to the wisdom of the Gods, we are all equally as stupid.

A friend of mine, exhaling bong smoke, disagreed.  From his perspective, there were dumb people who did stupid shit, and then there were smart people who didn't.  And in retrospect, we both were right.

There are some folks (ironically, dumb folks) who think mankind has figured out all the answers.  We have all this technology!  We send rockets to the moon!  We are developing "AI" and will soon have self-aware computers!  Robots will do our bidding!  And any day now, medical science will discover the miracle of eternal life - after all, why should we have to die, right?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but ChatGPT isn't alive and never will be.  We can make machines that mimic human behavior - either verbal, visual, or physical.  Robots can dance and pick up things and sort them, but they are not alive, nor will they be anytime soon - like in 1000 years.  Yet, some folks (again, idiots) believe we are on the cusp of a "singularity" when artificial intelligence takes over and becomes alive.  Great premise for a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that's about it.

We are not Gods and are not about to become Gods, either. We're just smart monkeys who have figured out how to use fire and not much else.  We don't even have a working model for our economy.  We can't even control our own primal urges.  We can't even think straight.  We are not about to become immortals or invent self-aware robots.

Sorry, but it just ain't happening.

That's the problem with humans.  We just don't understand infinity.  We think infinity is a finite number and that if you multiple ∞ times two, you get 2∞.   2∞=∞ - not twice infinity.   On the other side of the coin, two times zero is zero.  And our level of intelligence, compared to the infinity of the universe, can be rounded down, easily, to zero. So the smartest of us on planet Earth is about as smart as the dumbest.  We are not much smarter than snails, or even amoebas - with which we share the same fundamental chemical structures.

So we are easily suckered into things like "eternal life" in heaven, without thinking what that really means.  It means you would have enough time - infinite time - to learn every language, every skill, every instrument, and meet ever person that ever lived (on every planet in the universe) and eventually know everything so that you would become a God yourself (sort of like Mormons!) which is, of course, blasphemy.

So idiots, who don't even understand how their phone works or even their car, think that we are smart enough to invent life itself, or cheat death.  It ain't happening.

But this sort of mentality illustrates why people are sucked into schemes by con artists, or believe in stupid things like Qanonsense or that Donald Trump is going to "save America!" (and hand it over to Russia, apparently).  We are a nation of dummies - a planet of idiots.

Most Americans can't even balance their bank account - and they carry a balance on their credit cards.  I know I did at one time, and I'm supposed to be "smart" according to my sixth-grade teacher.  The sad fact is, even Einstein was just a bag of chemicals, and while analytical, probably succumbed to emotional thinking sometimes - maybe many times.

And that's a smart guy.  Consider the idiot.  He's even more prone to emotional thinking, superstition, and tribalism.  And since his "tribe" tells him to "go forth and multiply" he does - making more idiots for the tribe to control and use.

I think, however, that it is a greater aspect of humanity that we dream of better things - creating robots and exploring space.  And recently, our hopes were raised by the prospect of great things in the future - exploring or even settling other planets and creating robots that would allow us all to live a life of ease.  But our hopes were dashed, it seems, when it turned out that these dreams - as well as those of a life powered by the sun and fed by electricity - were yet another drug-induced hallucination sold to us by yet another con-man trying to pickpocket us.

The sad fact is, the great majority of the world lives hand-to-mouth, and when you struggle to obtain sufficient caloric intake for the day, cozy ideas like "Democracy" or even "Civilization" are luxuries, not necessities.  It is only in wealthy Western countries that we can indulge the fantasy that the world is on the cusp of a new order.

I wrote before about living life on Mars - or indeed any form of extended space travel.  There would be no room for Democracy or even religion.  No Facebook or Twitter, either.  You could not run a space colony, where every breath of air was metered out and paid for.  And thus, you could not have space colonists who believe you could "pray for more air" or even vote for it.  There would be no room for Jesus or Qanon or any other form of fantasy life.  There would be no room for mental illness, either.

This is, of course, a sad realization, as it is clear that belief and fantasy are part-and-parcel of humanity.  We can't go to the moon without reading some scripture, if only for the audience back home.  And perhaps this belief of a "singularity" or colonizing Mars is indeed a new form of religion - based on fantasy and not fact.  People put their faith in Space Jesus and find their dreams dashed when he turns out to be a schmuck and con-man.  Better to put your faith in someone in a robe, long-dead, who won't disappoint you right away.

Of course, I have to include myself in this gaggle of morons we call humanity.  On more than one occasion, I have been baited, trolled, triggered, and abused - and allowed myself to be so.  I have fallen victim to thinking emotionally - a gut reaction every human being has.  We all react as a result of millions of years of evolution.  We distrust strangers or those who do not look and act and dress as ourselves.  Racism isn't some weird anomaly - it is the default mode of operation for humans.  Those who "loved thy neighbor" were cleansed from the gene pool ages ago.

Which gives us hope, I guess.  Because intellectually, we can rationalize that racism and prejudice and superstition and emotional thinking are wrong.  We can and do strive to be better people - well, at least some of us do.  Others wallow in their own crapulence and call it a calling from the Lord.

There is hope for humanity, provided we keep thinking and stop emoting.  And stop hoping and act.