Continued from: Catch – 22, Drown The Ship of Theseus
James Ephraim Lovelock, one of the most profound scientists of the world, futurist, environmentalist, and post-humanist thinker, who propounded the theory, of Gaia, now 102 years old and still going, lives not in vain. His theory of Gaia gave us a new vision of Earth and its atmosphere and how it maintains its equilibrium. He has said that Homo Sapiens, the most powerful organism on earth, with its intelligence and competence, is also humbled by the restraints of nature. He busted our vanity. We cannot do everything, we cannot know everything. Our destiny is to remain enfolded in the grandeur of the quasi-organism that is on the planet Earth. Whether we like it or not we remain a meagre part of something much bigger than ourselves.
Yuval Noah Harari, yet another profound philosopher, historian, and visionary, not even half the age of Lovelock, reiterates this cataclysmic catch, in his epoch-making, revolutionary, and completely novel perspective of looking at the history of humankind and in his prophetic vision of history of tomorrow. He apprehends sapiens will soon disappear, the Artificial Intelligence will cripple the Natural Intelligence called Homo Sapiens within centuries or maybe even in decades, the species that imagines and believes that it rules the earth, the species that invented god, the species that invented civilization, society and state, the species that invented thought, action and idea, the species that invented law, anarchy, crime, punishment, human rights and morality, the species that invented its own destroyer and its own destruction. His statement, ‘History began when humans invented gods – and will end when humans become gods,’ is apocalyptic.
Somehow, this reminds us, albeit in a different epistemological context, that Francis Fukuyama had coined the phrase ‘The End Of History And The Last Man’ as nomenclature to his influential and thought-provoking book by the same name. Anyway, it speaks on a different plane.
We compete in the production of nuclear weapons that we can never use. We make them to win a war and rule over the rest while using it will not only leave any winners at all, it will leave no one on this earth at all. Same with biological weapons, be it sonic bombs or be it self-mutating virus. But see, on the contrary, we have learnt that Nada-Brahma killed Apasmara and Chamunda-Kali killed Raktabeej. Then we know of Shiva’s intervention to stop the over-destruction beyond fulfillment. Or should we say like, as Einstein forecasted, if there is any fourth world war it will be fought with sticks and stones?
We gain power with a promise for a better tomorrow, and tomorrow we use this power to sublimate all promises. Today our hearts don’t melt in compassion. Today our evils don’t vapourize at confessions. Today the ego of power and the power of ego has brought us on Trishanku’s other heaven. What is there at the horizon, at the finishing point of the race for superpower? Extinction of the species Homo sapiens, the human race? Apocalypse?
Is this how we welcome circa 2022? Picture Credit: 1. The Pacific Village 2. Hopewell Partners