Einstein’s great insight was that Newton’s “universal” laws of motion were incommensurate with Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, though both were accepted as irrefutable facts. The reason was that Newton’s theory relied on a single axiom, a single premise that was taken for granted without requiring further proof. That axiom was that time was a universal constant. Motion was relative and could be perceived differently by two observers, one stationary, the other moving (with respect to a given frame of reference); time could not. It was absolute. Maxwell’s theory relied on the speed of light as a universal constant. Both theories were supported by ample experimentation, but, as Einstein had shown, were mutually exclusive. Einstein proceeded to show that time, just like motion, was relative, while the speed of light was constant. Experiments failed, because they were performed at speeds that were an insignificant fraction of the speed of light. New experiments, performed at significant fractions of the speed of light proved Einstein right beyond doubt.
The burning question of our time is an analogous one: which one is the axiom, which one is the immutable constant; human nature, or the unfettered forward march of technology? This column will argue that just like constant time and constant speed of light, these concepts cannot coexist. The unbridled, axiomatic forward march of technological progress requires major adaptations, a revolution in fact, in human nature itself. If one assumes, as this column will do, that human nature is unchanging and in fact has not changed since the dawn of Homo Sapiens, then technological advance must be controlled and adapted to accommodate this unchanging, God-given nature of the Human Race.
Unfortunately, since the first industrial revolution in mid-19th century, accumulation of wealth and power has been tightly wound up with unbridled technological progress. The second industrial revolution that began in the 1960’s with the invention of the silicon-based semiconducting transistor by Gordon Moore (of the famous Moore’s Law), increased technology-based power and wealth accumulation by orders of magnitude. The combined financial resources controlled by top five Silicon Valley techno-oligarchs far exceed those of all but a small handful of sovereign countries and they wield this enormous power without being accountable to anyone. This creates a tremendous incentive for the promulgation of the viewpoint that is opposite to that of this column; the viewpoint that technological advance is inevitable in all its forms, even if and when it is directly harmful to human interests.
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Any attempt to convince humans to act against their best interest in supporting the premise of unavoidable technological advance requires the enslavement of the only part of the human race that still has any agency in the world today: the citizenry of the US and other Western democracies. Hence, techno-oligarchs have been employing, since the 1970’s, a trifecta approach to the destruction of the independent-thinking Westerner. First, they created a continuous sense of security crisis, both on the personal and the collective levels. Left-wing terrorism of the 1970’s headed up by the German Bader-Meinhoff gang, was replaced with attacks on international aviation by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). When that was defeated, radical Islam was conscripted to the cause and proved to be a much more successful and durable tool, resulting in decade-long wars with no end in sight and in constant threat to personal safety.
In addition to manufacturing a very real security threat via the active support by the techno-oligarchs of radical Islam, they introduced the hoax of impending environmental collapse. Their weapon of choice of course is the scientifically unfounded idea of man-made climate change. Recently however, this idea as a matter of religious dogma has suffered a few setbacks and is now in the process of being replaced by the idea that Planet Earth itself is unsafe and that the human race cannot survive without expansion into space. This insane idea (why were we just fine living on this planet for millennia?) is now being actively promoted by Elon Musk (who, of course, has a lock on space launch systems) and by whoever it is that programs the talking computer known as “Steven Hawking”.
Second, the concept of multiculturalism was introduced and promoted as the only morally sound choice. When humans cannot differentiate between their own and the other, a sense of deep existential unease sets in. When they are forbidden to express that unease or try to alleviate it at the risk of being branded racist and losing their livelihoods, this unease becomes a chronic condition. The forced mass-migration from Muslim countries to the West should be perceived as enemy forces rushing onto the beachhead built by multiculturalism. The introduction of Somali migrants into small Minnesota communities with disastrous effects on public health and safety is a prime example of this type of warfare.
Finally, techno-oligarchical elites have declared war on the most intimate and essential part of humanity – the human sexuality. Defying every known tenet of biology, they redefined human sexuality as a social construct, topping off the existential unease already created by lack of security and multiculturalism. The result is a bewildered, scared, confused, and ineffective Western population, one that is incapable of resisting the wealth and power accumulation by its unelected masters.
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Before I get branded a kooky conspiratorial theorist, let me emphasize that I do not believe in the existence of a world techno-oligarchical cabal that meets in secret and plots its nefarious deeds (though the Davos meeting may qualify). Rather, I simply believe that the techno-oligarchs of today, just like their predecessors in the railroad and oil business a hundred years ago act out of the most basic human impulses, that of maximizing their wealth and power. Their actions in the geopolitical arena appear synchronized because they are driven by the same impulses and because the achievement of their goals requires subservient and easily influenced electorates.
This subjugation project was nearly complete when Trump appeared on the scene. Trump is as unlikely a warrior for humanity as Moses was for the Israelites in the Book of Exodus. But he is what we have. He is what has emerged from the detritus of a battle almost hopelessly lost. He, to mix Biblical metaphors, is our David. Now that humanity has a champion, it only behooves our putative overlords to come up with one. That champion is Jeff Bezos. Bezos embodies the idea of unchecked technological advance; advance that is not only inimical to the interests of humanity as a side-effect, but in fact seeks to eliminate free-thinking individuals entirely as matter of design. Amazon, starting as a purveyor of “circus” (books), is now the purveyor of bread (literally and figuratively) as well. And yes, it is going to space!
So, are you going to be replaced by a robot? Here’s my answer, which I suspect may surprise a large portion of my readers: you are safe if you work with your hands (fisherman, driver, heavy equipment operator, welder, electrician, plumber, and even assembly worker). You are also safe if you are at the top of the professional ladder; big-law attorney, physician, R&D engineer, CPA. You are highly vulnerable if you are an unskilled manual worker (fast-food, maintenance), a service provider (receptionist, paralegal, administrative assistant, medical or law clerk), or finally a design (as opposed to research and development) engineer. I will provide the rationale for these assessments as well as further thoughts on the battle for supremacy between us humans and our techno-oligarchical masters in Part II of this column.
Image by Steve Jurvetson