Restrain the impulses of freedom... Are we ready for the future?

Restrain the impulses of freedom... Are we ready for the future?
Opinion

13 June, 13:03
Алина Витухновская
Писатель
The other day I watched a video from Shanghai. There is some horror there. A drone flies across the Chinese skies and warns people to "restrain impulses of freedom and stay at home".

This happened after, in violation of the anti-COVID measures, the residents of the city of 20 million took to their balconies to protest the harsh anti-COVID measures of the authorities.

Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer

They sang some semi-revolutionary song there. It's okay. But from the same Shanghai, they send a video where people locked in their apartments, thousands go out onto the balconies and shout at the whole city. They just scream because they can't bear to stay at home. It reminds me of some bad horror movie about a city overrun by zombies. And to watch it, really, I admit, it is hard.

This is happening today and so far, formally, the reason for such behavior of the authorities is concern for the health of the nation. But who knows what such curious and so monstrous social experiments are actually connected with. Practice has shown that drive people into holes or don’t drive them - COVID lives according to some of its own rules and quarantine is not always an option. What we see these days in Shanghai is the fast-paced future. Our step towards the "matrix" of advanced artificial intelligence. And whether a person will live well in the age of highly developed technologies is a rather controversial issue.

Let's remember the year 1988. If you were told that in 2022 you would, like the heroes of science fiction films, make calls not from heavy phones connected to the telephone network, but from anywhere and that if you wish, you could see a person living several thousand kilometers away from you via video link, you such an interlocutor would be advised to consult a psychiatrist.

However, here it is 2022 - with the Internet, a cloud, the possibilities of which are comparable only with the divine, the ability to create chat bots based on the voice of a deceased person, experiments (quite successful) on the teleportation of subatomic particles. And all this is a reality and does not cause any surprise. Most people are not even ready to analyze what happened to us, how over the past 20 years we have advanced in science more than, perhaps, over the previous 500. Yuval Noah Harari said about this that the modern world offers us a huge number of different opportunities and it is not necessary to understand the textile industry in order to be able to fasten the fly on trousers. That is, we simply prefer not to think about the nature of the changes that are taking place in the modern world, what they lead to. Yes, and there would not be enough time to understand everything. But still, the more modern we understand about ourselves, the better.

The Russian visionary and economist Igor Didenko in the 2020 bestseller “The Uncrown of Creation. Everything you are afraid to know about the future” is written that the layman, most likely, is completely unprepared for this “bright and joyful” future. The term “Non-Venets”, as the venerable public probably already guessed, means a person with all his emotions, weakness, religiosity (not to be confused with spirituality) and other attributes that prevent him from becoming a superbeing, whose abilities will help get a ticket to the future. All of us, the higher primates, have something to fear, because without changing, without becoming more flexible and technically savvy, we will not be able to survive in this future. According to Didenko, the world of the future does not represent the world that is familiar to us, human understanding. Rather, it is a locomotive rushing uncontrollably forward at supersonic speed, and we have only one choice - to rush along with it or jump off it, but both will be a choice rather than a conscious one, but an emotional one.

Time is moving forward so rapidly that it is completely impossible to keep up with it, or, even more so, to realize it. Let me tell you how I see it. The townsfolk right now (I repeat, if it's not too late) have a choice. You have to work hard in order to accumulate the necessary amount for a more or less comfortable old age by a certain age, because in ten years there will be no such opportunity. Most likely, most of us will have to work until our last breath, because of the money we earn, we will not even have the opportunity to save for a rainy day, because by about 2040 for everything, absolutely for everything, as in the Black Mirror series, will need to pay. The world will turn into a huge Asian market, which will be controlled by 0.1% of people, in whose hands huge resources will be concentrated, primarily digital ones. It is these people who will become those Goldensterns and Rosencrants described in one of Pelevin's last novels. While all of humanity will fight for life and a piece of bread, they will sit on their virtual thrones, prolong life indefinitely, improve the body's settings with the help of biotechnology. Pelevin, it seems, also does not see anything good for humanity in the next 50 years, although he described all this in the usual allegorical style.

Let's go back to the beginning of the text and again and remember the year of commercials 1988. Go outside, look at people, find a gadget in your hands, without which you cannot take a step, and draw a conclusion. You can still make it to the future. And all we can do for this is to work. Much and frantically.

At the same time, the future should not be feared, it must be accepted as it is, Didenko believes, and prepare for it. And what's the point of being afraid of what hasn't happened yet? Indeed, despite the predictions of even the most prominent minds, for example, a nuclear conflict may occur.

But back to the future. As Didenko vividly describes, it is largely predetermined by climate, demography, as well as the economy, technology, that is, in my understanding, the stage of development at which society is now. This, probably, is the super-sense of many economic works of recent times: it is impossible to try to change the future, little depends on the ordinary person, and even on the elite. The world civilization has approached its natural limits of extensive growth - as it turns out, it really cannot go into space - there are no affordable, economically viable technologies, and if there is no economic growth, then there is no capitalism with its consumer society. There is only a "society of stability" - and this, in fact, is neo-feudalism, which has been talked about so much lately, the "New Middle Ages". But we will not see this, as I hope.

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