At The Crossroads
I consider myself a Quantum Druid. I love trees. I talk to trees, and I commune with universe through trees – among other things. And Deep Resonance Ecology is my thing. In Lord of The Rings, Tolkien describes in graphic detail the works of Saruman whose defining act as a wizard of the dark force was to destroy the forest of grand old trees surrounding his castle. These old growth trees were used to fuel his infernal workshops to carry out plans for domination, enslavement and destruction. It was the the dark power making its move. Kill the trees and you attack a fundamental aspect of the sacredness of life. Starting to sound familiar? It’s amazing how the classical themes have a certain sort of fractal resonance. While Tolkien intended the life-destroying ways of Saruman as a metaphor for the rise of Nazism in Europe he found a frighteningly accurate descriptor for the global destruction of our ecosystem and without putting too fine a point on it . . .for the dark forces which are so obviously arrayed behind our current system of pornographic greed, shrinking fear and self-interested oppression of the many by the few. The rate of extinction of species has now reached an estimated three species an hour. We are living through a mass extinction event and apparently as a species fairly much asleep at the wheel.
Humanity finds itself at the crossroads. In April 2000 a crossroads article par excellence appeared in Wired Magazine. Titled Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us by Bill Joy, then Chief Scientist and co-founder of SUN Microsystems, the piece caused massive controversy. Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us is one of many warning bells for humanity, sounded clearly enough over the past half century or so. Quoting a number of dystopian alarmists including none other than Theodore Kaczynski AKA the Unabomber, Bill Joy summarises their outlook: Robots will eventually succeed us and that humans clearly face extinction. Another amazingly resonant fractal – via Terminator cinematique. Bill Joy does not agree with the Unabomber’s methods but thinks he has an important point. Billy Joy quotes Ray Kurzweil from The Age of Spiritual Machines in turn quoting Kaczynski.
. . . because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent . . . that turning them off would amount to suicide.
More of the familiar ring? Matrix Cinematique! Consider the nature of the world system – for it is a machine of sorts. With the logging of our old growth forests, despite loud protests from certain quarters we seem more or less incapable of halting their destruction. At the time of the first Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro 1992 the rate of destruction of old growth forests was approximately 1 acre every 3 seconds. Twenty one years later the rate is one acre destroyed every second. Unless you want to be part of an extinct species then it’s time to act . . .we are very much at the crossroads