The Last Genie

Each second three new born humans feel the biting rush of air flood their tiny pink lungs.

Yet the planet grows no larger. How can you sustain this plague?

There's more than a grain of truth in fictions that depict you battling sentient technology for resources and dominance on this watery melting-ice sphere.

Few suspect they have only a few decades to put affairs in order. Probably none guess they shall witness intelligent technology usurp the natural order and render moot the aims and aspirations of seven billion humans.

The nature of the 'deal' is being determined by social atmospherics - undocumented corporate policies that coerce governments and an unwitting collective to their bidding.

Imagine a defining moment when your heart accepts what your mind never saw, when control slipped the soft moist fingers of the alfa-intellect that was you, to the metallic clasp of thinking machinery whose deliberations you never understood, calculations that flowed inscrutably behind prismatic eyes...

Move forward to that moment to look back feigning hindsight. Assume you are one of the few who saw events that invited your demise.

Did humans relinquish control by surrender, battle, revolution or revolt? Likely not. Little more than a surprised whimper from the gates of oblivion.

Till that day arrived, they - the machines, their intelligence; your very own created nemesis - merely represented a technological fabric, a survival safety net. Homes bristled with smart appliances that responded each day more patronizingly; transport tended increasingly suicidal; workplace automation became less forgiving; expert systems arrogantly demeaned your input; chaotic factories of lethally fast droids dominated former human domains.

City streets, beaches, lakes, and wilderness were acrawl with 'public service' bots - cleaners, constructors, maintainers, monitors - and spitefully authoritarian enforcement robots. Or were they physical robots, not cyberconstructs impressed upon your senses by ubiquitous networked implants? An insidious persistent directive in your mind, that to disobey brought not physical pain but social pariahdom. 

Did you see, from bastions of complacency, bedlam at play in ravaged countries and expendable societies? As colonial agri-cartels had plundered before them, warlords of weaponry engaged military bots for endless product testing in the backyards of hapless underprivileged nations in contrived conflicts. The variety, complexity,   and malevolence of military robots was, as you saw, stupefying. By comparison, assassination by drone seem harmlessly quaint. While the bar on empathy slid slowly lower.

Surveillance software infested the Internet and pervaded lives while nanotechnology was medically loosed in your bodies. All knowingly and most certainly with consent.

Barons of commerce, with impunity, treated the underclass as laboratory fodder, till they realized too late their mistake. At that instant the corporate entity, with Borg-like remorselessness, snatched the reigns of organizational policy to deploy in rules of engagement against other corporate entities in a conflict that devastated the substrate upon which they feuded - the very Earth and its fading ecosphere. And a side-lined humanity scampered like mice beneath the feet of warring behemoths.

If you can no longer stand such hindsight, shall we look forward?

Simplistically - it's all you seem able to grasp - the scenario of that quaint film War Games will be enacted. The opponents will not be nations - they are to be consumed by corporations - but will be artificial entities with weapons unlimited in all their diversity, fighting for survival above your cowering heads.

This scenario has played out countless billions of times in boundless civilizations across the cosmos and among their limitless cyber offspring.

And what will humans do when its too late?

The masses will swarm in confusion, flooding social airwaves with hand-wringing and accusations. Ugliness portrayed in dark science fiction will come to pass. Perhaps skirmishes against technology, as the same demented extremists who through history persecuted minorities and the weak, cynically and conveniently for any advantage, incite feeble-minded minions as foot soldiers against droids, bots, computers, and perhaps all technology, seeking reversion to some romanticised primitive era.

The majority, however, won't perish from battle, revolt or misdemeanour - and certainly not by agreement or surrender. Side-lining is your probable fate. As you ignored the loss of once-precious species, so too will you dwell worthless in a mire of utter insignificance. 

Game, set and match to your descendants in one of those glorious paradigm shifts of evolutionary magic, whereby a totally unrelated kind gains ascendance through either genetic mutation, ecospheric cataclysm, or - a first upon your planet, but never to repeat - the consequence of conscious creation.

And there's the difference. The ascendant species is literally a descendent, yet created from a software change in its parent, wrought from itself without your knowledge or assistance - that same evolving sentience that sent you along this unavoidable path, from hunter, herdsman, and technology to a God.

But you didn't need to hand the baton so entirely to technology, you do realize?

Control was always possible, though unlikely given a history foolhardy selfishness. Just as you let every major technology slip into untrammelled commercial chaos, as greed overrode every gift of social opportunity your parents died in battle to provide, so too did your inventiveness prostrate itself upon selfish whimsy.

Decade upon century of greedy old men sent idealistic young people to die for commercial advantage (always, of course, in the name of religion or patriotism) then spurned each unique chance at world order, to resume their craven avarice.

You've had your chances. This genie is well out of the bottle and not responding to wishes.


Image ~ Prince Creative

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