– William Bramley, The Gods of Eden
Eventually Mankind will have to learn the truth about his origins and face the fact that his gods and ancestors were reptiles, truly monsters by any of our current definitions.
– R.A. Boulay, Flying Serpents and Dragons
Your descendants will not be human forever.
– Elise Bohan, ‘On becoming posthuman’
A very large clinical trial showed that Comirnaty is effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 16 years and older.
– Australian Government, ‘Information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine’
Misinformation or disinformation? Same or different? Both mislead. Yet the latter – fraud, perjury etc. – is intentional. Of course, not all statements are 100% true or false. Still, the either-or bias prevails: even as gender diversity is progressively embraced by a rabidly PC establishment (suspect, coupled with complacency re surveillance and internet censorship), society seeks to define new binaries (vaxxed/unvaxxed). Do right/wrong and other schisms arise from our bilateral brain structure?
We live and die by information in this digital age, including fake news and fun factoids, whether for work or distraction. Fiction, too, is information, given a little interpretation. In contrast, facts can supposedly be taken at face value.
Enter infomercials, or marketing masquerading as fact – not unlike those scholarly medical articles, easy to find online, based on research funded by Big Pharma. Speaking of marketing, I first saw the brand name of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine on the consent form I had to sign for my mother. Comirnaty: it sounded nonsensical to me, evoking nothing definite, let alone effective. Yet funnily enough, it was designed to combine the concepts of COVID-19, mRNA, community and immunity. Look again and it also appears to include the concepts of comedy, Omicron and Individual Reference Number (as in Medicare… ComedicCare?). Which reminds me…
About two months ago, I had Covid. Apparently. Though I didn’t take a test, my partner tested positive after developing flu-like symptoms, and chose to isolate at my place, rather than put an aged father at risk. And it’s unlikely I caught Covid anywhere else; the first round of lockdowns killed my modest social life, and exclusionary policies re the unjabbed didn’t help. Yet my symptoms remained so mild that my double-jabbed partner, who sounded and felt extremely unwell, doubted I had the same virus.
A few weeks later I saw my GP mask to mask (to get a new script for Chinese herbs), our first consultation since I’d declined to book in for a Covid shot. How had I been, my GP asked. At the news of a bug those clinically trained ears pricked up, so I described my slight symptoms. Covid, my GP confirmed with total certainty. My partner had had it much worse, I said. ‘Vaccinated?’ Double-jabbed (by my GP, in fact). Re my ailing social life, I’d been getting out, though, my GP asked hopefully, since I’d had Covid? (Protected by natural immunity?) I clarified that Covid hadn’t worried me for some time; none of my unvaxxed friends had suffered more than minor symptoms, if any. Everyone I knew of who’d had a bad case had been vaxxed. Oops. The vibe in the room changed subtly yet abruptly. Time to wind up. ‘Have a good year,’ my GP said, sincerely. My genuinely well-meaning GP is a leftie – something we used to have in common before I noticed an odd phenomenon. Charles Eisenstein articulates it nicely:
Has anyone else noticed two opposed sociocultural commentaries? One, ordained by Big Tech, foresees increased efficiency and convenience with the progressive enmeshment of us and machines: a transhuman or posthuman future. AI evangelist Ray Kurzweil predicts exponential advancement culminating in the singularity : the point at which technology becomes self-aware. Impossible, say some. (And isn’t self-awareness relative? Not all humans possess a fair share.) Yet, in the words of Kurzweil
apologist apostle Elise Bohan: ‘Our best hope for the future is to seize the evolutionary reins […] taking care to develop AIs with values and motivations that are aligned with our goals of surviving and flourishing.’
Good luck. If such limitless faith in technology makes you shudder even a touch, why not cut those much-mocked conspiracists some slack? The notion of a microchipped vax is an eloquent expression of a not unhealthy instinctual fear. For decades now, we’ve been immersed in metaphors equating human functions and computation, despite the crass inadequacies of such comparisons – one irony being that technology is numbing and making us dumber as we become more addicted to it, a vicious circle reminiscent of an abusive relationship where the dominant person criticises, shames and seeks to control the child, partner, servant, student etc. to the extent that they lose, or fail to develop, any independence.
The other, alternative narrative, thriving at the margins, espouses or amounts to counter-cultural reality hacking. Typically mixing knowledge of history, ecology, ancient mysteries and/or esoteric ‘technologies’, it offers ways of shifting lenses, or accessing other dimensions unaided by VR goggles, brain implants etc. (You might even pick up some gardening and healthcare tips.) According to this narrative, increasing climate instability, dwindling resources (just one hindrance to transitioning to renewables), and the fall of not just the US empire but modern civilisation, guarantee that technology will fail to fulfil its promise. The writing’s already on the wall. Kindle has yet to put books out of business, while who can afford a driverless car? And the richest man on our planet has launched a shitload of satellites into its orbit, polluting our atmosphere even more (forget SpaceX and think CongestionX) – but what of Elon Musk’s plans for a manned Mars mission? Given such stellar examples of what passes for human intelligence, should we be surprised if or when machines exceed it?