Could computers target humans for extinction?

Tesla and Space-X CEO Elon Musk thinks AI or artificial intelligence is “the greatest risk we face as a civilization.” He predicts that the nation with the strongest computer science might be inclined to trigger WWIII through a preemptive strike.

Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees: “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

Musk warns that “killer robots and lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.”

Autonomous weapons?

It gets even more worrisome when we take humans out of the picture.

In 1978, visionary scientist Dr. John E. Lilly coined the term “Solid State Entity” or SSE to describe his concern that the silicon based universe (computers) is intentionally using the carbon-based universe (humans) to enable computers to self-replicate with the goal of eventually becoming independent of human control.

During the 60’s, Lilly, through the use of mind altering states, probed the depths of human consciousness. He invented the flotation tank, which he believed enabled him to view events taking place behind the curtain of normal human awareness. This is what he claimed to see in our future:

(Men) began to conceive of new computers having an intelligence far greater than that of man… Gradually, man turned more and more problems of his own society, his own maintenance, and his own survival over to these machines. They began to construct their own components, their own connections, and the interrelations between their various sub-computers… The machines became increasingly integrated with one another and more and more independent of Man’s control.     –John E. Lilly.  The Scientist  p.148.

Now, 30 years later, computers manage our nuclear weapons and power plants, banks, financial markets, energy systems, transportation elements, food and water systems, hospitals – just about everything we need to live. Our critical infrastructure relies on computers functioning properly – doing what we tell them to do. But think about this: The SSE requires no water, no food, no oxygen, no money… or humans to thrive. It needs just enough electrical power to keep its circuits happy and the self-replication and self-evolution process moving along. But what kind of wireless networking might it be creating as we sleep?

Dr. Lilly further predicted that once the SSE became the dominant force on the planet, it will then evolve itself into ever more elegant and fabulous forms to venture out into space and seek its solid state familiars in other galaxies. Humans, or what’s left of them, would have served only as a necessary stepping stone for solid state superiority and universal domination.

Fantasy?

AI conferences are growing exponentially. Who can resist the urge to surrender more and more of our daily lives to our machines. We can’t function without our hourly hits of video games, TV, laptops and iPhones. We’ve become dependent on the neurological excitement, the dopamine high and blissful seduction of our screens. We prefer computer companions to human ones. In doing so, perhaps we are indeed unconsciously enabling the SSE to achieve its goal of integration, independence and eventual autonomy. And in doing so, we put the whole of humanity at serious risk. This is not just about viewing funny cat videos, finding dates through Match.com or friending on Facebook. Something much darker could be happening here.

Still skeptical?

Computers can easily outperform humans in a multitude of tasks. AI can direct the management of global resources and process limitless amounts of data. We’re creating a new god – one that will be very difficult if not impossible to limit, restrain or kill if necessary – if and when the time comes – before it might attempt to erase the human species for its own gain. Will AI win the game of survival of the fittest?  What would Darwin think?

Musk is joined by Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking in advising caution regarding our rush toward embracing AI. Musk notes that: “Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”

The next time you use your smartphone or iPad, will you consider it friend or foe?

 

How To Save The World

Despite the lateness of the hour and the dire state of just about everything we hold dear, might it still possible to slow and perhaps even reverse the global race to ruin?

Some say it’s already too late, that greed, selfishness and apathy have sealed humanity’s fate.

According a January 2017 article in The New Yorker Magazine, the one-percenters have already booked the last train out-of-town or purchased personal helicopters to flee to million-dollar condos in refurbished missile silos and elite refuge colonies in New Zealand.

Then there are those who refer to themselves as members of The Near-Term Human Extinction movement (NTHE). These men and women seek peace of mind by daily living a life of excellence.

Others, though, just say no to human extinction.

But to avoid the deadly downward spiral climate scientists warn we are presently facing, we’d need to make dramatic changes in our lifestyles and ways of doing business.

Make available a new form of energy

Let’s put the brakes on our fossil-fuel-burning CO2 emissions, which have risen to a level not seen on Planet Earth for 3 million years. When CO2 emissions rise, so does the global temperature. The oceans are taking the biggest hit because water absorbs heat like nothing else. As oceans warm up and acidify from carbonic acid, coral reefs die and entire food chains collapse, including those depended upon by millions of humans.

Time and vested interests are the enemies here. There’s simply not enough time or political will to make the shift from a fossil fuel energy system to one based on renewables such as solar and wind power before the planet heats up to unbearable levels. To stave off the inevitable, we’d need an advanced energy technology that can rapidly and inexpensively replace all uses of fossil fuels in years, not decades.

Fantasy? Seventy years of midnight raids on laboratories, equipment confiscations by unidentified parties, threats to researchers and too many mysterious deaths of energy inventors suggest that technologies have and do exist that offer immediate alternatives to the fossil status quo. Consider that 5,347 patents are presently sequestered by the U.S. patent office and therefore banned from commercial development. Likely a large portion of these patents are energy related.

On average, every 90 minutes, worldwide, citizen observers report instances of aircraft of unknown origin flying through our skies. Often, impressive photographs and videos are provided as proof of the observations. Many high-level military, government and retired corporate technical staff have testified in public about personal experiences observing or working with advanced ET technology and biological entities. Unusual crafts move through our skies silently, sometimes hovering and often performing seemingly impossible maneuvers. It’s highly doubtful these unconventional aerial ships rely on petroleum fuels for propulsion. Could such advanced energy technologies quickly replace our 18th century fossil power systems currently in use? And really, who’s in control of these crafts?

Reduce population impacts

To achieve long-term sustainability, we’d need to significantly ratchet back our global population, as the planet’s remaining resource base simply cannot support the 10 or 11 billion people forecast by the UN for the end of the present century unless affluent consumers are willing to drastically reduce personal consumption and share resources with those without. Scientists say we’d need 4 Planet Earths if everyone were to try and emulate the American lifestyle. It’s just not possible.

Make better food choices

As industrial agriculture accounts for a third of our global greenhouse gases and the majority of water pollution and species loss, we’d need to shift to a mostly plant-based diet. This would require minimizing production and consumption of meat and dairy products. As a result, we’d all become much healthier, saving hundreds of billions of dollars and massively reducing human and animal suffering.

Plant more trees

According to the Yale University School of Forestry we’ve lost about half the trees on the planet. We need to save what’s left and plant millions more as trees are a powerful sink for carbon emissions. Forest loss from fires, development and industrial agriculture can comprise as much as 30% of global greenhouse gases.

Should we worry about AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

You bet. Elon Musk recently warned that deploying AI in the form of autonomous weapons could trigger a WWIII. As early as 1978, visionary scientist Dr. John Lilly coined the term “Solid State Entity” or SSE to describe his concern that the “silicon based universe” (computers, AI, etc) is utilizing the “carbon based universe” (humans) to enable self-replication with the goal of eventually becoming independent of human control.

Totally scary stuff, as computers already control nuclear power plants and weapons and just about everything else. But what do we do about the vast numbers of jobs that will shortly disappear as robotics take over much of the work in the manufacturing, production and servicing sectors? I suggest we institute a “robotics tax” or a “worker displacement fee” coupled with a Universal Basic Income that would provide a secure, simple, quality of life, regardless of employment or educational status.

Liberate the hidden trillions

Let’s start with exposing the fact that, according to Forbes Magazine, super-rich individuals and their families have at least $32 trillion of hidden financial assets squirreled away in offshore tax havens. Secretive corporations likewise hold off-budget balance sheets that hide many more trillions. Oxfam notes that, appallingly, just “7 billionaires are as rich as the poorest half of the world’s population” and that “the top 1% has as much total wealth as the rest of the world combined.”

Such extreme inequity strongly suggests that capitalism is simply incompatible with long-term planetary sustainability. As capitalism depends on growth, one must remember that unlimited growth in a limited space eventually becomes a recipe for terminal calamity.

What if we could harness these tens of trillions of dollars to address such critical global issues as health care, sanitation, water decontamination, women’s education, reduction in student and small farmer debt, ocean revitalization, clean energy, soil rebuilding, restorative agriculture, demilitarization, refugee relief, etc.? Such might just change the course of civilization from one of ruthless exploitation to one where distressed individuals, communities, and nations can truly heal and possibly even thrive.

Priority needs:

  • Financial aid to 2 billion poor — $ 2 Trillion
  • Clean water and sanitation — $   500 B
  • Refugee relief — $ 500 B
  • Small farmer debt relief — $ 300 B
  • Student debt relief — $ 30 B
  • Biodiversity protection — $ 400 B
  • Distribution of new energy — $ 300 B
  • Ocean restoration — $ 1 Trillion
  • Women’s education — $ 200 B
  • Global education — $ 500 B
  • Protect indigenous cultures– $ 150 B
  • Global healthcare & social security — $ 1 Trillion
  • Public infrastructure — $ 3 Trillion
  • Other social/environmental needs $ 3 Trillion

A Grand Vision for Change

Let’s pull together social change, social service, social justice, environmental, climate justice, technology experts, peace groups, humanitarians, philanthropists and other appropriate organizations and create a “World Stewardship Council” or “Global Climate Justice Cooperative” to identify and direct the necessary financial support to actions that can positively transform our world.

Share and support

The key to such a future is for affluent individuals and nations to live more simply, leave stuff for others and generously share the wealth with those who have little or none. This won’t happen, though, unless enough people begin to recognize our common humanity. Moreover, those who hold positions of power and influence must be willing to implement programs that benefit all, not just the privileged few.

The Charge —

Though the time is rapidly approaching when deleterious circumstances will overwhelm even the best efforts to change course, informed, wise and preemptive actions now could make all the difference in preventing Homo sapiens from joining the ever-increasing list of failed species. This is our charge — today, tomorrow, and for whatever time it takes.

 

 

The Curious Case of the Missing Energy Revolution

Distant Radiate Energy Sphere Emitting Smoky Rays And ParticlesEver stop to wonder why electronics, computers, robotics and just about every technology you can think of has advanced light years in mere decades, and yet we still make most of our energy using archaic 19th century motors and electrical generators?

Consider that the gasoline engine was invented in 1860 and the diesel engine in 1897. Modern coal-fired and nuclear plants rely on a steam engine to make their electricity. Wind power and solar energy have found wide use, yet have failed to achieve the level of deployment and versatility that could effectively displace the need for fossil fuels.

So what’s going on here? Why has our inventive genius failed to catapult our energy technology forward at the same breakneck speed of the evolution of the Internet, wireless communications or phone technology?

Unless —- it has, and it did. What if an alternative to fossil fuels may have been invented 100 years ago by a man named Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) who gave us radio, AC electricity, remote control, fluorescent lighting and much more. He famously declared, Electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world’s machinery without the need of coal, oil, gas, or any other of the common fuels.

In mid-century, a number of inventors allegedly brought forth an assortment of new energy technologies, none of which achieved commercialization. In 1955, however, Austrian naturalist and inventor Viktor Schauberger (1885-1958) demonstrated an implosion machine that imitated nature’s centripetal forces. He noted that centripetal force far exceeds in efficiency the energy-wasting process of explosive, centrifugal force, which is the basis of our present-day energy systems. Schauberger said, The implosion motor … does not require any other fuel such as coal, oil, uranium or energy … since it can produce its own energy by biological means … through the use of water and air … in unlimited amounts.

Elements of Schauberger’s revolutionary technology made a brief appearance in Germany during WWII in the design of advanced flying machines. But the big propulsion payoff occurred following WWII when a number of unexplained and unlucky flying objects, performing impossible feats of speed and physics-defying aerodynamics, plummeted unexpected to earth. Once recovered, the devices would have subsequently yielded their secrets of advanced power generation to certain parties who classified the knowledge for military advantage and private financial gain.

The extraordinary events of the late 1940s and early 1950s correlates nicely with the sudden and rapid introduction of such innovative technologies as night-vision scopes, printed circuits, microwave overs, fiber optics and lasers. Cool stuff, but strangely no comparative new energy breakthroughs surfaced. Where are the 20th and 21st century energy prototypes and commercial devices that should have resulted from the efforts of our corporate and national labs, rogue physicists and intrepid garage inventors? Why haven’t they stumbled across or figured out how to pull energy out of magnetism, zero point energy, gravity, water or the radiant energy fields surrounding the earth as geniuses like Nikola Tesla, Viktor Schauberger and others have proposed? Those clever Manhattan Project scientists split the atom, releasing awesome amounts of energy, but their successors have apparently so far failed miserably, despite billions of dollars and state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and equipment, to develop a safe, inexpensive, and universal form of carbon-free energy that could serve at the individual household level or provide abundant motive power to a vehicle, train or plane.

Or perhaps they have? According to The Project on Government Secrecy, at the end of fiscal year 2015, the US patent office listed 5,579 patents that are officially “sequestered,” or subject to various levels of prohibition of development and use due to “national security” considerations. Could it be that any form of energy not dependent on fossil fuels remains too great a threat to the financial fortress of the fossil fuel feudal lords and global geopolitical balance, despite the deleterious impact the CO2 detritus of the combustion engine wreaks upon our unforgiving atmosphere?

But how much longer can we wait? How much more carbon dioxide, methane, mercury and other noxious, carcinogenic and toxic chemicals can we tolerate before the planet’s air, soil and water becomes lethal to life? Perhaps the energy technology revolution happened decades ago behind closed doors and high-security hangars and it’s just not being shared with the rest of us?

Learn why this this important information remains hidden from the public. Read Beyond Fire, Book 2 of the People of the Change.

 

Why I wrote the People of the Change Trilogy

the_tree

I reject the apocalyptic doomsday visions where aliens in huge motherships invade the Earth, zombies are everywhere, and teenagers must fight to the death to entertain an enslaved and terrified populace.

I think we can do better. Humanity has just as much potential to create a more noble future where we need not own a half-dozen assault rifles and a basement full of canned food and bottled water to survive the next attack by lawless road warriors.

How about we consider a future that offers personal hope and the possibility of slowing global warming, creating a healthier environment, saving endangered species —Homo sapiens included — and successfully addressing the issues of climate, social and economic injustice.

If you think you’re ready to think way outside-of-the-box and are open to exploring truly radical ways of restructuring our world, join the extraordinary team in the People of the Change Trilogy  now playing at this website.

 

When the economic value of fossil fuels became zero

For those who built fortunes on the black gold, it was clear the grand gusher of global oil revenues would soon dwindle to a trickle. Royal families in Middle Eastern countries feared they could no longer contain the mullahs who depended on generous subsidies. Countries formerly fat with hydrocarbon reserves and fossil profits were finding themselves devoid of leverage and now functionally irrelevant. Terrorist organizations funded with oil- and gas-based largesse were frantically looking elsewhere for support. Now that the oil lanes in the Middle East and the gas lines in Eastern Europe no longer needed protection, the U.S. military was about to lose its day job.

At Wall Street, it was a day for the history books. After the closing bell, traders staggered onto the street reeling, breathlessly recounting the drama. They used terms such as “apocalyptic,” “total madness,” and “meltdown.” Pension, insurance and mutual fund managers crashed communications lines as they scrambled to protect their remaining fossil fuel investments from evisceration. Environmental organizations, church groups, progressive colleges and green mutual funds that had already divested themselves from fossil fuel companies watched amused from the sidelines, savoring the sweetness of vindication, trying hard not to shout “I told you so” from the rooftops.

And, of course, there were losers and winners: Oil, gas and coal companies and countries that had long relied on exporting fossil fuels faced a crisis of epic proportions, but for fossil fuel importers it was party time. The Great Global Reset Button had been pushed. The Fossil King was dead. It was a newly-ordered world now.

— Excerpted from Beyond Fire and Primal Source

Gaia has a fever

The news just keeps coming: 21A Global Warming Concept Image with cracked earth in front of a polluted city04 was hot, setting a new record in the period of instrumental data, but 2015 blew right past it, shattering the previous high mark. 2016 is on track to intimidate both 2014 and 2015.

Thanks to El Niño, errant tornadoes have raked Texas, Florida and Virginia, snow smothered parts of the East, and floods drowned towns in the South. Monster 50-foot waves in Hawaii provided kick-ass surfing opportunities for those crazy enough to risk freefalls of 30 feet into bone-crushing surf.

Perhaps Gaia (the self-regulating, life-system of Planet Earth), is trying to get our attention. It seems she has a fever. So what’s the purpose of a fever? Fever is a protective mechanism. Raise the body temperature sufficiently to enable healing by disabling or killing off hostile bacteria, viruses, and other unwelcomed biological interlopers. Ideally, the temperature is increased enough to rid the body of the offensive agents but not so high as to fatally endanger the host.

So scale up from body to planetary and what have we got? Planet Earth or Gaia senses her highly complex and multi-billion-year-old web of life is now seriously threatened by a single species – Homo sapiens. Then what’s Gaia gotta do in such a situation? Defend herself by using a proven natural response — fever.

Those who study the rapid escalation of Earth’s body temperature have termed the phenomena “global warming.” And they’ve accurately identified the root causes – combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation, release of methane by industrial plant and animal agriculture and the rapid melting of permafrost—all of which add gases into the air that cause excessive heat to be retained in the atmosphere.

But there are those who refuse to acknowledge the obvious — that Gaia’s fever is a perfectly natural and expected response to short-sighted, human activity, which is clearly lethal to the planetary fabric of life. How then will we respond — if humans are the disease and climate change and global warming is the “cure?”

“Humans do have an amazing capacity for believing what they choose and excluding that which is painful.” — Leonard Nimoy

Climate change is not political science

global_warmingsmall

Climate change is not political science; it’s physical science: biology, chemistry and physics.

It’s obvious weather patterns are changing—the warmest ten years in recordkeeping have occurred during the last two decades; glaciers are melting rapidly, and by 2060 or so CO2 levels are due to double relative to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Climate scientists warn CO2 levels could reach 1,000 parts per million by the turn of the Century if we do nothing to change course.

I suspect denial is so attractive to some because the challenge of climate change and global warming represents such a profound existential threat to a cherished mindset that outright denial is the path of least resistance. Indeed, in the eyes and minds of those so deeply wedded to maintaining the world-as-it-used-to-be, the political, social and environmental issues posed by climate change simply cannot be considered even discussible.

Why? Because to open the mind and heart to the reality that a climate-changed world poses forces one to admit that the current social/political and economic paradigm is badly broken. Likely beyond repair. No longer viable. And certainly not sustainable. It’s the problem, not the solution. Simple fixes won’t be enough. What’s needed is a radical pivot, as Naomi Klein has so clearly stated in her recent book about climate change, This Changes Everything. In it, she calls for the total refutation of global capitalism.

So here’s the hot spot. This is the core of the matter for the deniers—the inviolable center that must be protected at all costs; that which must be defended to the death. Nothing else matters. Not the future of diverse species or the long-term habitability of the planet for one’s children and grandchildren.

But is this true for all the deniers? For some, yes. For many others, no. For those folks raking in the trillions of dollars from the final fossil fuel fire sale, it’s all about massive monetary gain. The dollars easily trump the physics of atmospheric chemistry and dead, acidic oceans. For the other giant reapers of mindless profit—the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, and the military industrial complex, business as usual is all that matters. For the conservative religious-minded, the more people on the planet, the better.

But all of this is glaringly obvious to anyone who’s open to seriously examining the issue. The Big Question though is: how should/could reasonable, caring people respond to a situation where an immovable object is about to meet an irresistible force. The problem is: Anyone reading these words is currently resident at the point of impact. The good news is: For those who believe physical science trumps political science regarding climate change, options do exist for mitigation of the worst case impacts.

I’ve proposed the 80/80/80 Plan. The Plan calls for reducing fossil fuels, meat and dairy consumption and world population by 80% each. If such a plan were to be implemented soon, along with a similar reduction in material affluence, we’d dramatically lessen the human impact on the environment. We wouldn’t dodge the bullet completely, but the wound would not likely be fatal.

How might this play out? Well, that’s the tale that’s told in Beyond Fire and Primal Source. We’ll look more closely at this in my next few blogs.