Small Screen Quarantine – AI and Transhumanism (2018)

I’m pretty certain that at least to some degree, when SpaceX/Telsa titan Elon Musk called Artificial Intelligence the greatest existential threat to mankind, he was being provocative. He did later qualify that as a warning that development was out of control (government control? moral control?) and it was something we’d better get a handle on before it got a handle on us. Or rather the wrong people got a handle on it first. On the other hand, I believe when Jim Nichols, the creator behind this Op-ed masquerading as a documentary says it, he is 100% for real. He’s thrown everything at this diabolical conspiracy. There are the origins of the 17th century Illuminati, and the specious connection to the academic/science elite at Western universities today. There are mad scientists. There are dictators. There is Kabbalist black magic (thinly veiled anti-Semitism) and essentially what amounts in his mind to a Luciferian plot to destroy mankind to punish God for casting him out of Heaven.


So why is this worth watching? Because firstly his carefully edited source material is all from the pro-AI camp and despite that much of it is taken out of context, it’s really fascinating. It’s seed material for so many discussions, and or film/literature projects. It also includes a concept that I’ve batted about for a while, that the best thing that can come out of seeing just how human we can make a machine, is possibly discovering more of exactly what it is that makes us human.


I’m not a scientist, nor a philosopher. I wouldn’t really say I’m in the pro or con camp, but where any of my trepidations lie has fuck all to do with mythology of any derivation. I actually believe that like any other tool or technology, it will be used for great benefit AND nefarious purposes. For example, you can stab a person to death with a screwdriver but screwdrivers sure to make a lot of things easier, don’t they?

And I will always believe that the greatest existential threat to mankind is mankind. If there is some dystopian future, I see it more like Mad Max than the Matrix. And what proof do I have of this? Shit man, we are living in a dystopian present. I watched a video of a policeman crushing a black man’s windpipe with his knee on the man’s neck. It’s not like this is an isolated case of institutional violence. Then last night when people took to the streets to protest the killing, the police sprayed them with rubber bullets. For the record, rubber bullets are like getting hit by a ball peen hammer. Think about that.

Think about the propaganda war against the media. Then think about why it’s so easy to discredit the media.

Think about Big Pharma and how they’re protected by the government. Think about the world’s most villainous polluters and how they’re protected.

AI and robots are the least of our concerns.

But backing up off the rant, I think this Op-ed is interesting because in just under an hour it covers a lot of ground. The foundation of a huge portion of our science fiction is right in there. It’s a good primer. There are a good number of reference points for quite a few films I’ve seen in recent years. Jim Nichols might be a crackpot, but he’s got a great imagination. His paranoia puts a lot into perspective for me.

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