Monday, October 17, 2016

You'll Be Godlike, Part One

Whoever wins the upcoming US Presidential election is going to find themselves in the unenviable position of being totally despised by one-half of the American electorate, to the extent that the country may in fact become ungovernable. That would be a tough, perhaps untenable, situation for the most talented politician.

That's a description I wouldn't waste on either of the leading Presidential candidates. Not even close.

Hillary Clinton has the advantage of the support of the entire Establishment (even major sectors of the GOP Establishment), which has now come to include Silicon Valley and its tributaries. Yet, like so much of the Establishment, much of Silicon Valley is actively at war with most of the country, even those with whom they ostensibly might ally themselves with.

It's a war of attrition, a sustained and unrelenting attack, not only on the American middle class (an enterprise the entire global hierarchy is devoted to) but on the socioeconomic, political and communication infrastructures of the entire planet.

Why? Because they can. Atlantic columnist Sam Kriss writes:

Silicon Valley's) culture is pathologically fixated on the notion of ‘disruption.’ Tech products no longer feel like something offered to the public, but something imposed: The great visionary looks at the way everyone is doing something, and decides, single-handedly, to change it. Propped up by an endless font of Deep State money, the Valley thrives on an almost completely artificial environment devoted to the global program of radical culture-change, through supply-side economies built practically in defiance of consumer demand. Companies are valued almost hilariously in relation to their actual worth and burn through capital like drunken sailors on liberty.

The only real work being done is on the Panopticon.

The Valley's corporate culture is politically and socially uniform to an extent that would embarrass Stalinist Russia, and serves to occupy potentially troublesome young turks by throwing huge piles of money at them for vague, often almost-indefinable objectives.

Many see the entire enterprise as a house built on sand and call the high-flying startups there "unicorns", a reference to their sense of financial unreality. And Internet-based companies are sitting on the powder-keg of recent revelations that digital advertising simply doesn't work as promised.

Despite hosting the Valley and Hollywood, California is now the poorest and most unequal state in the nation. Once the dream destination of many Americans, a mind-staggering five million people have migrated out of California in recent years, predominantly middle-class taxpayers.


This is the model Silicon Valley wishes to export to the rest of America. Kriss:

Wealth is being concentrated in fewer hands, we own less and less of our own lives, and meanwhile these brave entrepreneurs are automating ever more decent-paying jobs, turning humanity into an ungrateful sea of surplus flesh, to be connected and quantified but not necessarily fed, because that’s what progress looks like.


And why stop there? Why not declare war on reality itself? Kriss writes further that, "the tech industry is moving into territory once cordoned off for the occult. Why shouldn’t the fate of the entire cosmos be in the hands of programmers hiding from the California sun, to keep or destroy as they wish?"

What Kriss is referring to is based on a New Yorker profile of a Valley hotshot, who reports that to some movers and shakers in the tech industry, Creation itself needs to be hacked:

Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation. And while Transhumanism is a punchline to most of the scientific world, it's still a hot property in the Valley's cubicles and corner offices. Despite absolutely zero evidence that "uploading" is in any way feasible, it remains a potent fantasy to the young power brokers in the sun-baked hills of Northern California:

“The merge has begun—and a merge is our best scenario. Any version without a merge will have conflict: we enslave the A.I. or it enslaves us. The full-on-crazy version of the merge is we get our brains uploaded into the cloud. I’d love that,” he said. “We need to level up humans, because our descendants will either conquer the galaxy or extinguish consciousness in the universe forever. What a time to be alive!” Since The Matrix is still the obvious, shared reference point for simulated reality, it's inevitable that discussions of Gnosticism get pulled out of the quiver, though Kriss seems a lot more tutored in the ancient heresy than most:

Its real antecedents are the Gnostics, an early Christian sect who believed that the physical universe was the creation of the demiurge, Samael or Ialdaboath, sometimes figured as a snake with the head of a lion, a blind and stupid god who creates his false world in imperfect imitation of the real Creator. This world is a distorted mirror, an image; in other words, a kind of software. Kriss is referring here to The Hypostasis of the Archons, the notorious Gnostic text that declared war on the Genesis account of Creation. Here's its take on Yahweh:

Their chief is blind; because of his power and his ignorance and his arrogance he said, with his power, "It is I who am God; there is none apart from me." When he said this, he sinned against the entirety. And this speech got up to incorruptibility; then there was a voice that came forth from incorruptibility, saying, "You are mistaken, Samael" – which is, "god of the blind."
I can't help but wonder if Kriss reads The Secret Sun, since we looked at the Garden of Eden myth in the context of the Lucifer archetype here and previously in the context of Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur:
The Gnostics were often accused by other early Christians of Satanism, and they might have had a point: Many identified the jealous, petty, prurient God of the Old Testament with the Demiurge, while sects such as the Ophites revered the serpent in the Garden of Eden as the first to offer knowledge to humanity, freeing them from their first cage. And here we venture into Lucifer's Technologies territory, a reasonable destination if you judge digital technology by the "By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them" yardstick. Kriss:

And something Luciferian persists in the techno-Gnostics of San Francisco. They have decided that our universe is the conscious creation of a higher power, and now they’re massing their armies to storm the gates of heaven and go to war with God.
And like Goethe’s Mephistopheles, their doctrine is omnicidal. ‘All that exists deserves to perish.’ "All that exists deserves to perish."

It's all in the pursuit of a more perfect creation. We've heard this all before; so if 2016 America feels like China during the Cultural Revolution, there are very compelling reasons for that.

Elon Musk and his co-religionists aren’t actually blinded by artifice; they’re fixated on a strange and outdated notion that somewhere, there has to be a concrete reality—they’ve just decided that it’s not this one....What’s far more worrying is the fact that the people who want to destroy the only world we really have are also the people increasingly in charge of it. I have bad news for you: an election isn't going to change that.

This is a strange diversion for Musk, however. He's this guy, remember?

Elon Musk said Tuesday that a self-sustaining colony of people could be living on Mars within 50 to 150 years.
The SpaceX CEO laid out his plan to colonize the Red Planet at the International Astronautical Congress, a meeting of multiple international space exploration associations in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Musk has long said he wants to make humans an "interplanetary species," and on Tuesday he addressed many of the technical, safety and cost challenges he'll face.
His goal is to bring the price of a ticket to Mars down to around $200,000 per person -- about the median price of a house in the U.S. Compare that to $10 billion, which is what Musk said it would cost to go to Mars using current technology. Gnosticism is an outsider proposition, an introvert's game. This "simulated reality" meme doesn't feel like it's informed by historical Gnosticism at all, really. Unless you call The Matrix Special Edition DVD, "Gnosticism".

It feels more like an ego trip for overpaid overachievers: God is the ultimate coder and Creation nothing more than an incredibly well-rendered sim. These new robber barons can crash the whole damn program and rebuild it in their image. Because, hey man, PayPal.

But maybe there's something else afoot here.

Maybe this is a very sophisticated ontological virus, implanted in the Valley to ultimately crash the whole damn system. Someone has insinuated an absolutely unachievable goal for these would-be Masters of the Universe, in the same way that Transhumanism has implanted a pathological terror of death deep in their hearts.

Make no mistake here: planting the seed of the possibility of rewriting the code of Creation itself is going to wriggle into 180 IQ brains like a hairworm, and tantalize them with the unreachable possibility of Godhood, the last to-do on their golden bucket-lists.

Good luck prying it out. I mean, uploading is still a hot topic with these guys.

I think a whole shit-ton of money is going to be spent on a whole lot of quixotic projects, projects that may become preoccupations for some of these Big Dreamers, in the same way a lot of robber baron money was spent chasing after the promises of Spiritualists and Theosophists.

Maybe someone is using the Valley's power against itself. Maybe we're seeing a lot of that these days.

After all, chasing after the grail of God-coding is more palatable than following the other implication of Hypostasis of the Archons to its logical conclusion. Even though that road is paved with a hell of a lot more evidence...