All over the world, nations are in turmoil, and the condition seems to be spreading like wildfire. Some attribute it to the increasing availability of communications networks, some attribute it to Bin Ladin, while others hail the doom of 2012. Whatever the reasons, people seem swept in the currents of change, I think because of the dormant dissatisfaction that we all have suppressed for so long, seeing no alternative but to live out our days on this planet as lowly, walking, talking apes. Now we see science creating invisible particles, cybernetic limbs, and even life. We obsess about progress with a plethora of superhero movies, and our craving for something more is re-awakened to the point that it rattles our teeth.

 

But I fear our impatience may be our undoing. Indeed we are in an era of change, but while technology surges forward, humans are stuck on the delusional philosophies that allowed them to have hope in a formerly hopeless existence. My life has dedicated itself to making human philosophy compatible with human progress, and I see a handful of others attempting the same, but we may already be too late. What will happen when one of these countries in uprise throws out its government and acquires a cache of nuclear warheads and biological weaponry, without any accountability for its use? Bolivia is approaching a year without government, and Libya looks to be headed in the same direction. Not the most advanced countries, but I suspect there will be more to follow.

 

I want to encourage all of you not to become part of the hysteria that accompanies these fights for "freedom," even when you may agree with the motives and the ends. Be a rock in the storm, that all mankind may weather it out. You may not think your single voice matters much, but words and attitudes spread, as is evident from from all the craziness you can see on the news. Be patient and we will get there; to a place where individuals have true freedom, a freedom that does not threaten that of others. Slow your roll, my friends, slow your roll.

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Comment by R K Sudan on February 27, 2011 at 7:46am

What is more worrying is that the current turmoil is in countries dominated by one religion – Islam, which is least compatible with the concept of democracy. Suddenly everyone has started crying democracy from their roof tops. Worse, those leading the so called revolution are flowing with the tide without having a model of democracy in their minds. Some countries are better ruled by dictators and autocrats. Why are we after it that there is only democracy and that too of one kind, as the ideal form of governance?

 

Since we have built nuclear weapons, there is likelihood of their use one time or other. Any one with such arsenal in hand can turn mad. However, a devastating scenario more dangerous than the armed conflicts and political turmoil is fast developing in the field of economics. While rich are becoming richer the poor are already starving. Economies in developing and underdeveloped countries stand already mortgaged slyly with a few who have monopolized resources, technology and means of distribution in this world. A change, and fast, is needed there too.

Comment by John Camilli on February 24, 2011 at 10:37pm

We have to let go of individuality, ego and desire. We must become a collective conscious, so that we are as loathe to harm each other as we are to harm ourselves. We must stop trying to protect our property rights and intellectual rights and national boundaries. Stop trying to make a profit and hoard for a rainy day. Of course those things are still necessary for survival right now, but as science cures each of these ailments, we must be ready to let go of our defenses of them at the drop of a hat, or we will be like the soldiers stuck on islands during the 2nd world war, still fighting to the death for a cause that no longer matters. Unlike those soldiers, our rifles will soon become death stars of one type or another, and merely being in the frame of mind that allows us to pull the trigger will be enough to whipe ourselves of the face of the planet.

Comment by John Camilli on February 24, 2011 at 10:28pm

There's a key difference in this period of history that makes it scarrier to me. If you looked at worst-case scenerios for all of human history leading up to now, there's nothing humans could have done to whipe out all life on earth. Before nuclear weapons, no way, but even with nuclear weapons, humans still could not have whiped everything out. There would be lots and lots of casualties if nuclear holocaust happened, but once the structures and people capable of launching them were destroyed (and those certainly would be the first targets) there would still be some life limping on to survive. Even enough humans would have likely survived, radiation poisoning and all, to be able to carry on our race. But now it's different.

 

Now we have advanced biological warfare, drone soldiers, and soon we will have grey goo. For those of you not familiar with the term, grey goo is nano-scopic robotics capable of self-reproduction. Like bacteria, even a small number of these nanobots could reproduce to insurmountable multitudes much faster than anyone could do anything to stop them. And there simply is no protection against something that can attack you at the atomic level.

 

You may be skeptical about something like that being feasible yet, but you'd be sorely mistaken. Look up nanomotes if you think I'm spouting science fiction: this shit is real! We don't have them on the nano-scale yet, but we have made them as small as a grain of rice, and we have also begun re-engineering existing bacteria to do our bidding (like the oil-eating microbes that are doing a so-so job of cleaning up the gulf, or the cloud-dwelling microbes we can manipulate to make rain).

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on February 24, 2011 at 8:55pm

But John your vision may be a chimera.

You cant make an omelette without breaking some shells. History is largely have nots fighting to get some.

If you are arguing that entrenched governments are safer than reform governments you are correct in some instances. But Iran is a nuclear disaster waiting to happen. So it is hard to believe destabilization does not enhance security in that case. But I agree that many of the middle eastern countries could become more dangerous to the outside world post-revolution.

I dont think our attitude or musings on the topic will have any impact on the outcome.

The unfortunate thing is that when a people is so sickly religious that there public morality is utterly contrived no good will come from the change. Even if they end up with a nominally secular government it will still be backwards.

In the here and now the change mankind needs is atheism and rational ethics. Easy to conceptualize tough to implement. Maybe there is a transcendent stage to follow. Who can say?

Comment by Steve on February 24, 2011 at 8:31pm
After the high there is always the crash. When the party ends someone must clean up. It is easier to rally for freedom but much harder to rally for the responsibility that it implies. The French revolution took a nasty turn as did the Iranian Revolution. Russia has fallen back into a corrupt totalitarian state. People forget that the formation of the United States was a messy affair with  the unresolved issues of slavery. So while I am happy that these folks have the opportunity to forge their own future democratic states there are many pitfalls to be avoided.
Comment by Daniel Smith on February 24, 2011 at 8:26pm

"Indeed we are in an era of change, but while technology surges forward, humans are stuck on the delusional philosophies that allowed them to have hope in a formerly hopeless existence."

 

All eras are eras of change. While it is natural for us to think our time has some special significance, If one takes a step back it loses a great deal of its specialness. Our time is unique, just like all the others. 

 

Let's hope that the current round of revolutions (interesting word, revolution) helps those in revolt live the lives they wish to live. Let's also hope that theocracy doesn't end up as the default organizing principle.....

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