What if they had a Singularity and nobody noticed?
Yes, I do know all the improbable things that have been freighted onto the idea of a Singularity. Human brain augmentation, Downloading yourself to live forever. And other Christian heresies, which always seemed improbable, impossible and/or dystopian. (Or, in more crude terms, things that make Sarah giggle when adults discuss them as if they were serious.)
But taking singularity as it was defined: a break so sudden and massive in human history that both sides of it would be mutually incomprehensible, wouldn’t it be understandable/visible only in retrospect? kind of like some bends in the road are so gradual, they’re only visible in retrospect.
Because there’s something to understand about humans and change: even the sudden ain’t really sudden.
Or, in other words: I’ve heard the entire biosphere described as a skim of dirt on the rock of the Earth.
In the same way, change in the way humans live is a thin sliver on an otherwise bed-rock stability.
Has to be. Without stability the species would have vanished long ago. Without change… Looks at Africa. Yeah, that.
But most humans hate change. Even the ones who think they’re for it. It usually means they want to design the world according to what in their brains (and only there) is a stable pattern. So that change stops.
Then there’s people like us, who change/create/move things without realizing. (Which is why the non-pink monkeys hate us. Okay, Apes. Same principle.)
Change, unless it comes in the form of violent invasion or cataclysmic events is usually slow, over centuries or millenia. S-l-o-w. And the change of communism isn’t. IT’s more a reversal to the way “things were always done.” (Glares at Africa.)
It’s very slow. VERY SLOW. Until suddenly it isn’t. Until you’re on the other side and going “How come the road behind me isn’t even visible?”
Mind you in some ways the change is all a reversal to quasi-ante. But how far away is the ante? Well, in what we’re facing, would you believe before cities?
Okay, let me wind way back.
The entire twentieth century will be viewed — I’m laying down a marker in serene confidence that when it’s called I’ll be long dead — as a psychotic fugue in the history of mankind.
Thing is it seemed logical, the culmination of a movement-towards-mass-everything stemming from mass production started in the industrial revolution. And the idea that crawled into people’s brains is that humans themselves would become a sort of collective creature and that this was “progress.” It doesn’t help that this was costume made to appeal to would be rulers who imagine themselves superior.
So they thought, if they just gave it a LITTLE push….
A hundred years later, real progress went in another direction, and people wedded to …. shall we call it retro-progress? The Future of the Past? are having memgrims, kitten fits and panic attacks which they pass on to the rest of us, of course.
But the thing is, humans were never going to be ants. Or collective beings. Thinking that could/would happen was a fugue state.
And the reaction is epic. Massive/epic.
Despite their attempts to put the genie of “distributed” (Communication/manufacturing/etc) back in the bottle, it keeps escaping them. Turns out that no, you really can’t control the beast unleashed, no matter how you try to.
So, they’ve gone extreme. The covidiocy was an extreme attempt “Just stay home and stop moving, d*mn you.”
As is the Climateocy “Just stop traveling/moving/doing things.”
In fact, because I have a really dark sense of humor, I’ve been giggling over how everything they do just makes their vision recede/get lost.
It always was going to. It has nothing to do with reality. In fact, if they made the world communist, they’d just STARVE everyone. Communism was only possible because the US fed it. (insert rant.)
But what they’re doing in their flailing couldn’t be more designed to rush things if their councils were run by a cabal of their enemies. (They’re not. We couldn’t run a creek through a pebble bed, much less in secret.)
I started finding articles about how “everyone wants to go back to the office, and anyway only 2% of people can work from home.”
It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. I know it’s bullshit. The number is probably closer to 20% and while some people do want to go back to the office, I doubt it’s most people, let alone “everyone.” Besides the articles have the same desperate wiff of “if I say it loud enough and click my heels” I’ve come to expect from other dying ways of life, like traditional publishing.
And anyway, they’re ignoring the cascade of the 20% in supporting services, etc.
On top of that, I’ve been standing on random walls and waving my arms, and screaming, but no one will listen.
There is this meme going around “there aren’t enough workers because the socialists won. They gave people money to stay home and now people want that.”
Will someone PLEASE find my eyes. They rolled under furniture, and now I can’t find it.
There MIGHT be some people like that, though I’d guess it falls more under “I had to give up my apartment and move in with mom and dad, and now I’m reorienting my life, rather than go back to what I was doing before.” But sure. In 300 plus million, I’d bet there’s some people like that.
However, the cases I know of “not going back to work?” Almost all women. Almost all working retail/service/pink collar. Almost all of them discovered they liked staying home with the kids/being mom. Also there’s an explosion in homeschooling and a lot of people don’t want their kids wearing muzzles all day. You do the math.
I know at least two of our favorite waitresses, one quit to stay home, and one works only weekends so she can homeschool.
Most of them, actually “did the math.” Most of those jobs, the women are working because they’ve been conditioned to work, but if you factor in day care, eating out, clothes, car maintenance, they’re actually paying to work.
Sure, this isn’t all women quitting to stay home with kids. But you know what? If it’s 1/4th of them, it accounts for the labor shortage. And a bunch of cascading effects, including sudden demise of the tax base.
The idiots who thought it was a good idea to do this? Not a clue.
For one, they’re not good at thinking people might do what they weren’t told to do. That’s their tragic problem. And the reason they do so many stupid things.
For another, humans aren’t good at seeing change. They just aren’t. I look at indie writers courting/rushing into trad pub and shake my head. It always ends the same way. And that’s before the covidiocy made trad pub near broke.
I saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago, but these really bright people are still thinking they can have a bright and big career. (Shakes head.)
It seems the bigger the change, the harder to see.
And Lord, the sh*t coming down the pike from the covidiocy. The two I mention above are MINOR and even those are Earth shattering. Or at least civilization sundering in a sense that things will change so much, we can’t see it, even in the middle of this.
Take more women staying at home. Even 1/4 of the mothers, and the results, cultural, economic, hell, health are mind boggling in 20 years.
Or take the reversal of the growth of cities, brought about by people being able to work from everywhere and anywhere. (Some people, of course. And services, probably in a new form, will follow.)
Those alone, will twist the world into a shape the 20th century won’t recognize.
And I bet you there’s a million other effects I can’t even see.
Hold on to the sides of the boat — Or your surf board — stay flexible. Remember everything can change, very suddenly, once enough momentum is acquired. Also remember stupid is gonna stupid, and probably poke themselves in the eye again and again.
Get ready to survive a change that might be nothing short of oh, the agricultural revolution.
And don’t let the retro-futurists convince you they’ve won.
They’ve already lost. Now we need to make sure we don’t.