It appears that I was not far off in my predictions when I said we are headed for a world of enforced conformity, or perhaps a better description would be "hell on Earth by consensus." I said in the welcome to this website that I created it to promote creativity, to rail against the chains of conventional thought.
I realize now that I should have tempered that statement. Imagination should have no limits, true, but what we choose to make real from our imaginings should, must, be constrained by our common sense and conscience, or it will bring us to ruin.
Take genetic engineering, for example. I need not belabor the arguments regarding safety, or the fact that all the studies the FDA cites are funded by the industry itself; that information is easily available elsewhere. The extreme danger of this technology should be self evident anyway. The process, either the old gene gun methods or the CRISPR technique, crams ten million years of evolution into ten minutes in a test tube. Anyone who claims they can accurately predict how that brand new organism will interact with our environment is either a liar or an idiot.
We've already experienced the Starlink corn debacle, which cost U.S. farmers millions. There are still many nations which don't accept U.S. corn exports because of the other Bt varieties grown here, which can't be effectively segregated from non-GMO varieties, since corn is wind pollinated. Then there's the GMO rapeseed mess in Canada, which has created an expensive weed problem. Populations of these herbicide resistant strains have also been found in the U.S.. Now, we have black market GM plants showing up, which means Pandora's box is wide open. It begs the question, how long will it be before you'll be forced into having your kid's genes tweaked if you want them to have any chance of competing in this brave new world?
If we have engineered petunias showing up from unknown labs, engineered humans can't be far behind, the law be damned. The Herd (my new and simpler name for the vast majority of humanity) will embrace designer babies, without ever considering the real danger that we will lose what it is to be human. They will charge mindlessly ahead, keep up with the Joneses style, dragging anyone who wants their children to have a life with them, like a bad remake of Gattaca. Just as they embraced smart phones, those little televisors we all now carry with us, continuing to reward corporations that have violated our trust and our human dignity repeatedly. Just as they will embrace autonomous vehicles.
Whatever benefits are touted, the main point we should be focused on, is that the completely networked, interconnected transportation grid of self driving vehicles being touted by everyone from Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to Google, can and will be used to control our movements. Stopping a protest, suppressing a public gathering, rigging an election, even making individuals disappear, becomes a matter of selectively tweaking the system. Do we want our cars telling us where and when we can travel? Or driving us to a detention center for requesting a destination that some bureaucrat has decided is suspicious, for whatever reason? I don't, but The Herd, not surprisingly, appears to be buying all the positive hype, and they will do what they always do, stampede to the next shiny new thing. Which means those of us who want nothing to do with the damned things will be regulated into them, sooner or later.
In every technical field I can think of, everyone is too busy with the question "can we", while not once addressing the first question they should be asking, "should we?" The path we're on leads to a cliff, and we're headed for it at a dead run. I guess all those survivalist gloom and doom types have a good point.
I am, and have always been, unafraid to voice my opinions. In fact I believe everyone needs to vent now and then, and we all have a God given right to do so. I despise willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, and take a perhaps perverse pleasure in puncturing the politically correct proclamations of those who have anointed themselves as our betters. I could be described as a contrarian and a bit of a curmudgeon, having now reached an age at which those labels no longer sound odd. Not everything I'll address here will be controversial. In fact, I would rather keep that sort of thing somewhat limited (and it should surprise no one that I probably won't succeed in doing so). We already have our fill of whining talking heads on the 'net. However, if you are easily offended or thin skinned, you might want to skip this blog. You have been warned.