Tomorrow I fly to California to discuss the all-important issue of how to chart a constructive future for information technology, even as we know we are at a crossroads right now which could determine the fate of humans forever. Not so easy to see a positive way forward under such tricky conditions... but we will see how the 5 new slides go (and the brief review of paradigms for AI and human organization).
At Quaker meeting this morning, as I meditated on this... only one person spoke, at the very end, about the flowers finally coming out and real spring emerging... and I quietly remembered
a recent conversation with the deer in our backyard who really wanted to eat all the beautiful new blossoms Luda had prepared, and to undo all her work....
I posted part of that conversation before. "But you are our friend," they said to me, not in words, but clear enough. So I projected an image of Charley the hunter, two houses down, and his request to be told when a new prey might appear. As the deer suddenly turned and ran away... it wondered: who are these false friends anyway?
So now the humans really want someone, like maybe Our Father in Heaven, to provide a new world, maybe only just as good as the US of the 1960's, full of flowers for us all to eat with terrible pains and conflicts a thing of the past...
And the sad thing is, I must say to the humans, as to the deer, "sorry. We cannot actually do that.
There will always be pain and struggle of one kind or another in your world, in any configuration sustainable for the long term. The pains may be of a different kind, as people fight for mates and reproduction and such instead of raw survival and domination, but the values and expectations w3ill always adapt in time... relatively quickly... maybe just a few centuries for some key effects... but very surely and not so long by our scale of life."
So what is left in that case?
Well, if we save all the deer and all the humans from total species annihilation, for example, either at the the hands of fatal H2S emissions from the oceans (and resulting new ozone hole depletion), or misuse of nuclear technology, or terminator stuff, or the like... is not life itself worth something? Hey, deer, wouldn't you vastly prefer your life to continue, such as it is and such as it always has been? And there is also, for you and for the humans, a great magic leap forward possible, not outside you like more flowers, but inside you, your own inner spiritual potential? Life and spirit, those are real enough... though for the spiritual potential, though we can help, you must give the main gift to yourself.
Life seems real to all of us, I hope, and I hope it is not perverted to be some silly slogan to strengthen a new generation of dishonest or cold and calculating priest kings. But spirit? I can imagine the deer asking "what good is spiritual progress when I live in this same old world?" Well, for you personally, you and those you feel for can live better... and we all have some future beyond the immediate struggles, potentially... and for old humans like me, it is a bigger part of the future choices.
Of course, we humans have brains which can look in the mirror like this (mirror neurons)... but for deer... well, we will see.
Preserving life, and enhancing/supporting spirit (not just belief in spirit which is not important in itself)... big enough challenges for all of us to try to assist. They are, again, the real bottom line here.
Best of luck,