“In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m only left with one option. I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.” -The Martian
Our society tends to glamorize and reward science, technology, and mental prowess. Technofetishism and idolization of tech billionaires is a thing. They are the ones that get to play with the cool toys, wield influence and power, and get the cool hot girls, after they ditch their first wives. It seems that we believe that we can innovate our way out of all of the Earth’s problems with technology. We are building passenger spaceships to Mars, gene-editing software, laboratory cultured meat, brain-machine-interfaces, artificial general intelligences, decentralized autonomous governance systems, self-driving vehicles, robot drone armies, and exponential weapons, at breakneck speeds.
It seems reckless and irresponsible.
Exponential technology exponentially magnifies mental dysfunction.
In the hunter gatherer days, a mentally ill murderer could probably kill a few people before the warriors of a tribe could stop him.
The great kings, dictators, and murderers of history could rally armies of millions and kill tens of millions.
Today, a single mad person or a small team of motivated psychopaths can cause great mayhem with off-the-shelf tools. Slaughtbots is a portrayal of a future that is already possible today. Poor political leadership in a time of geopolitical instability has always been a threat, and Internet algorithms optimized for profit are magnifying division and strife.
Stewart Brand says,
With the psychedelic renaissance, we have tools to address spiritual sickness. I was speaking with a friend, and we discussed how the Work is not always pleasant.
She said, “You cannot go around the Darkness. You have go through it to reach the Light.” I replied, “Right, if you try to go around, you go in a circle and end up where you started.”
The science and clinical data shows that psychedelics and plant medicines have great promise. However, the healing journey always starts and ends with Spirit.
I read "Technofetishism" as "technofascism." Fitting.