Monday, 15 July 2013

Snowden-Assange Pre-Singularity Futility

The efforts of Assange and Snowden are admirable but I'm not convinced "enormous repercussions" (see comments) have occurred or will occur. People are too apathetic, too unaware, too oblivious, this is the problem, therefore hypothetically you could explain to voters how the USA-NSA-CIA are pumping mind-control drugs into the air and water supply, a revelation which would lead to a pretence of outrage and action to stop it, but in reality nothing would really change because people have become happy slaves, contented cattle, or maybe people were always this way.

Analogously, consider the end of the Truman Show where two security guards are cheering for Truman's rebellion. They don't really understand the rebellion, thus when Truman escapes, their sentiments are approximately: "Right, OK, what's on the other channel." They have no real awareness of what is happening, Truman does not profoundly change them, the horror of it, the decadence of society, it does not penetrate their unaware minds even if they show a pretence of support for Truman, thus they might grab another slice pizza or get a another cup of coffee but they will not wake up.

So considering the general state of typical human minds, the actions of Snowden and Assange are largely futile but due to the principle of brave action, which is undertaken regardless of success or failure, I applaud their actions. When Winston Smith begins writing his diary, he realises the futility of his actions because - he muses - if people understood his actions they wouldn't need his diary and those who don't understand the horror of 1984 will not understand his diary or any revolutionary diary no matter how it is written:

"How could you communicate with the future? It was impossible. Either the future would resemble the present in which case it would not listen to him, or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless."

Orwell, Winston Smith - 1984

Human stupidity is very deeply entrenched therefore anything less than a colossal intelligence explosion will be futile, which means the Singularity is the only hope for shaking people out of their intellectual malaise. If you want to comment, do so via the KurzweilAI Forum or via this G+ post.

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