At the end of H.G. Wells’ Outlines of History, he speaks about the “rise of the machines” and their ability to allay the toils of men, granting them more leisure for scientific products, art, and other harmonious progressive pursuits. Education will become universal, and a better world will ensue. Wells was, to be fair, spot on with many of his sci-fi predictions. One can’t but notice that this article confirms his claims from The Time Machine concerning the devolution into “stunted pig-goblin creatures” to quote Alex Jones, likened to the Morlocks, while the elites will become like the Eloi.
However, the rise of the machines has been wilder than even Wells could have imagined, and will probably not be the universal utopia Outlines imagines, but something closer to the dystopia of The Time Machine. In fact, we have reached the point where A.I. is nearing the ability of what we see in many science fiction films and novels, yet I agree with the affirmation of Douglas Hofstadter in Godel, Escher, Bach that we will not achieve self-awareness. Even if this did occur, there is no certain test to determine the existence of “self-awareness,” and the modern scientists who argue to no end against the soul or mind must also take their dogma of the inability to “prove consciousness” and apply it to the golem. On their basis, you could no more prove one than the other. So the reductionists who think consciousness is merely matter have no problem identifying humans as “more complex” computers (like Daniel Dennett). Nevermind that they are all guilty of the naturalistic fallacy.
In effect, this is a Prometheus situation, and is precisely the goal the occultists, alchemists and “scientists” have sought for millennia. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda of the “new atheists” and sciencey labcoaters: the real secret is that the mysteries are real. Granted, many of the “Illuminists” are of an atheistic and rationalist bent (and the actual Illuminati were Enlightenment rationalists), but there is a definite esotericism behind the creation of the golem. Atheism itself can become a form superstition, as I’ve written many times on this blog. I want to make clear, though, that I’m not anti-technology, nor am I saying I disagree with these goals. Clearly the Enlightenment thinkers were right–in fact, some of them are central to the mathematics behind all this, as well as to religion and metaphysics and esoterism, such as Leibniz. Newton, too, was an esotericist, and other examples can be given such as Nikola Tesla and Wolfgang Pauli.
Leibniz also features somewhat prominently in my old debate partner’s new book, Anatomizing Divinity: Studies in Science, Esotericism and Political Theology. James sent me an early copy of this a couple of years ago, and it’s excellent. An audio interview on the GnosticMedia podcast can be found here, and I highly recommend it. I highly recommend the book. What he discusses is the direct association of alchemy with its spiritual meaning, which was never meant to be divorced from the work done in the lab. This is still the case, he argues, as a divorce of the techne from the telos is what prognosticates our doom. We end up with Oppenheimer’s warning of becoming Shiva, destroyer of worlds. Kelley is right to think the origin of Greece’s alchemy is Egypt I believe, too. This is explained well in the works of Egyptologist Wim van den Dungen.
Another reason Leibniz is relevant to these questions is divine exemplarism. Google has a plan to have objects mapped into a real-time matrix-style model of the actual world. It is likely that there already exists a real-time map that records many events, but the goal would be to shoot for ever-closer omniscience (though this is of course impossible). This would be done presumably by RFID chips in some nano-form being sprayed or somehow distributed so as to attach to as many objects as possible. This would all then be integrated into Google and the Skynet satellites, presumably. You would then have a real-time tracking and recording of a majority of the phenomena that acutally occured. The project is even hinted at being the “Mind of God.”
Now, I argue that this would be totally impossible, unless divine exemplarism were true. Here we are, as humans, mapping the real world onto virtual matrices using algorithms. These algorithms must match up to, or refer to, actual phenomena and our symbols must have some real, essential association with the objects of experience, or else this would be impossible. But we know from the trivium and quadrivium this is not impossible, because the world is actually highly structured, all the way down to the tiniest particle, even to the point of existence itself being constituted in a binary form, where there is existence and non-existence, being and non-being, I and O. This the Egyptians figured out. So when reality is mapped onto a computer, it is mapped according to the same structure the objects of the world actually possess.
I don’t think it’s an accident that the Egyptians and the Kabbalists held to a form of divine exemplarism, and that is essentially the basis for Leibniz’s system, too, in regard to his monadology. However, we should agree with Kelley that Leibniz, and the western Christian conceptual scheme of the Trinity is one which makes God a Being similar to the created coninuum, forcing God into being a kind of technology to be mirrored and manipulated. Or more precisely, what happened was the Western doctrine of the Trinity, bound up as it became with alchemy and the primal trinity, became identified with the created trinities exhibited in creation. This is what the esotericists of the western tradition have done, believing since Augustine and Plotinus that the One is a monad from which all things sprung in a emanational, mirrored fashion. In this scheme, God eventually loses personhood and becomes an amorphous, absolute blob of “pure Being in itself,” so the Western Catholic scheme goes.
And so, based on this kind of meaningful, ordered world, you can construct a model virtual world. The Pentagon and DARPA have known this for decades, and it was DARPA from which the web arose. What is fascinating about this is that the Terminator concept of Skynet is based on the Pentagon plan for a fully integrated satellite/net system, which then interlocks all these, including chipped, tracked and traced humans, as the 1997 Army War College report declassified. That report is showing you Skynet, with its interlocking control grid, and on top of that there were plans using virtual reality and tanks, that would then also be interlocked with the Skynet grid. So you basically have a combination of the Terminator, Total Recall and the Matrix. For example, Skynet is described as follows:
“The new system enables UK forces to make use of next-generation weapons systems, such as the recently introduced Reaper drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are deployed over Afghanistan but are remotely piloted by RAF personnel in the US. Their near real-time video passes through Skynet.” (BBC)
The Army’s present system is not self-aware, but is a form of A.I., and the goal is to make the drones all unmanned and A.I., hooked into the Google/Skynet hive. The Army’s site reports:
“ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., Nov. 7, 2011 — U.S. Army engineers will discuss the results of their efforts to enable a self-aware, decision-making network during the Military Communications Conference 2011, Nov. 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, has developed cognitive wireless networking capabilities that employ network-wide learning and reasoning algorithms that share information that enable nodes to make decisions.
CERDEC engineers hope that the results of their Cognitive Algorithm & Network Design Experiment, or CANDE, will enable easier network maintenance, reduce human decision-making requirements, increase network lifetime, transfer data with less delay, and reduce energy consumption — all of which result in a higher degree of network performance on the battlefield.
The algorithm looks at the delay estimation to all source destination pairs and then determines which route has the best bandwidth or least traffic before transmitting data. The algorithm then updates itself on a periodic basis and learns from past experience not to take certain paths,” Graff said.” (Army.mil)
Just as with the British model, the goal is an A.I. robot drone army: literally what the Terminator is based on. Wired reported in 2003 that DARPA was working on a program to track, trace, profile and store everything individuals did, called at the time “LifeLog.” This program looks strangely like Facebook itself, but the entire web is actually DARPA’s tracking and tracing spy grid. Notice how this too is linked into satellites–i.e, Skynet. This was simply the public announcement of what had already been happening.
“The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read.
All of this — and more — would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual’s health.
This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to “trace the ‘threads’ of an individual’s life,” to see exactly how a relationship or events developed, according to a briefing from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, LifeLog’s sponsor.” (Wired)
This really puts things into perspective and makes the present world-system irrational and irrelevant. That is why there is an entire breakaway civilization of advanced technology, just like Ayn Rand described in Colorado in Atlas Shrugged. The news tells you about Jay-Z and other nonsense, while alchemists are building a “Mind of God” robot army. In this video, futurist Ray Kurzweil discusses Leibniz, exemplarism, pattern reading and recognition, and I am adding, consider how this is very similar to divine exemplarism.
Enlightenment liberalism will continue on for many decades to be sure, but I think Spengler and others are correct that it actually died a long time ago and is in a state of gradual death. An entirely new reality is emerging that will end up vindicating Rene Guenon:
“Modern man is in a state of decline, the Kali Yuga is reaching a crescendo and the scientific/technological culture that he has created has stolen the mysticism from his soul and replaced it with consumerism and materialism. The most fashionable spiritual fads represent “lowest common denominator” movements which move the wallet rather than the mind and which accustom people to “counter initiatic” values. The esoteric traditions themselves have become isolated from their traditional exoteric “homes” and in isolation have become morally bankrupt and full of false promise. Guénon argued quite prophetically that in the Kali Yuga even the language and terminology of the Mysteries would be lost. Today this is undoubtedly so, concepts such as Karma, Soul, Magic, Alchemy, Hermeticism, occultism (we could continue indefinitely), have been countermanded and used in ways contrary to their transcendent nature. For modern man to survive the tumultuous upheavals that are occurring and will accelerate as we head into the future, he must regain his soul and in Guénon’s view, rediscover the vital esoteric traditions that are staring him in the face. There is no need for new fads, movements, nor to travel to foreign and exotic places, within our own heritage(s) is a life changing tradition if only we can rediscover it.” (source)
The techy stuff will continue to dominate, and the mystics of this flavor were right. DNA–the discovery of the human genome is arguably the most important discovery ever made, and demonstrates the complete error of the Enlightenment empiricists and their tabula rasa. It means man is not a creature who can be fixed by proper education and social programs because at his innermost being because his flaws are inherent in his very being. But all leftist denials of objective reality, of genetics, of the better and best will collapse because it is a philosophy of self-destruction. The fundamental nature of reality is spoken word and symbol.
General Petraeus just mentioned publicly what is the essence of this article. Wired reports that every day “smart” gadgets and appliances wil be fitted. But this is all old news, actually. Power cords themselves, being based on the same binary system as the computer, can track and discover data, as the BBC reports and as the NSA has known for a long time.
But as this blog often analyzes, much of what is in Hollywood is purposefully placed there as a signifier of what actually exists and is already in place. So you can simply use a high frequency sonar in cellphones to “image all of Gotham,” while massive supercomputers map the information onto virtual planes – the 3d map mentioned above.