I haven’t blogged in a while, mostly because I’ve been busy writing the sequel to eHuman Dawn. It seems I can’t write two things at once, or at least, I don’t believe I can. The sequel has been exciting to create and while I’m pleased to announce the first draft is finished, the final product is far from complete. Now comes the time for editing and rewriting, for pulling out scenes, adding new ones and reshaping worlds, as well as words.
While writing the second eHuman novel, a new thought began to circulate through my head:
“How do our beliefs shape the world as we know it?”
At the end of eHuman Dawn, the female lead, Dawn, announces that she’s about to take on a quest to search the world for humans--those who remained in the flesh after the rest of the population Jumped into eHuman bodies. (Sorry readers, if you haven’t read the book, this might not make sense. You can remedy that unfortunate situation by purchasing it at Amazon, using regular currency, or from me using Bitcoin! Just click the appropriate button above.)
Dawn believes that someone must have avoided the Great Shift, and she’s willing to give up the role of World Leader to pursue her goal of finding what’s left of carbon based humanity. Like the whisper of a grand conspiracy theory, Dawn’s belief sets the course for the rest of her life, taking her from the victorious, immortal eHuman world into the unknown, and because he believes in her, her beloved Adam follows.
Belief is defined as, “Trust, faith or confidence in someone or something” and in my opinion, is the driving force of human life as we know it. Once, we believed that the world was flat, until someone began to believe it might be round, and set out to prove the rest of us wrong.
Once we believed that illness was literally a curse, or the devil inside of us, and healthcare was practiced accordingly. With time, curious minds began to wonder, thus believe, that perhaps something else was causing the illness. Eventually a new way of curing disease was created, but it would take decades for enough people to believe in them before antibiotics were accepted as normal.
Belief guides the scientist to invest his time into finding a new solution. Belief guides the investor to give his money to a new technology. Belief guides the population to purchase and use the innovations at hand. Any marketer knows that the adoption of a product requires teaching the consumers why the product is important before they’ll buy into it.
Belief has driven men to war against others, and encouraged humans to destroy or continue practices that are harmful. Belief is the driver of all evolution and devolution. We believe in the “survival of the fittest” and therefore have created entire economic systems based on such a belief--money that rewards the “strong” and destroys the “weak.”
My eHuman novels deal with the intersection between belief, immortality, and technology. When people ask me, “Will AI destroy us?” I answer, “Only if we believe it necessary to destroy one another.” As long as we believe some of us are good, and others aren’t even human, then there’s a good chance our AI will behave the same way.
Other readers ask me, “Could we really live forever?” I answer, “Do you believe we can?” My dear Transhumanists, here is the crux of the issue--as long as we accept that an average lifespan of seventy-six is an achievement, we’ll never live forever. Hell, we won’t make it past one hundred. Before the government will invest in life extension technologies, we the people must believe it possible. We must believe the human being has only just begun it’s ascent, and that we’re at the point where we can indeed inherit our true potential as peoples of the Earth.
Of course, immortality isn’t appealing to everyone. That’s fine. I’d reckon though that most of you reading this would like to live as long as possible, and in health and wellness. If this is true, then the place to start is your belief. Seventy-six really isn’t that long. Why not expect to live to be one hundred? Why not believe that fifty is just the half way point, instead of the end of your life? Why not live as though you’ll be on this planet forever, even if no one you know personally has done it? How many decisions would be different if you believed you’d be here for a lot longer? What would you do now to live a more meaningful life? Would we, as a race, continue to destroy the environment if we believed we’d be around for a long, long time?
Whatever we believe in, we become. Whatever we believe in, we invest in. Whether it’s a government or an individual, the choices we make are based on our beliefs about ourselves, our world, and one another.
If we begin to believe that every human being is worthy, then our AI will do the same. Perhaps then our technology will serve us and help create a cleaner, greener, more prosperous world.
If we begin to believe that one hundred is the new seventy, perhaps it would be so. What if we age merely because we expect to age, whether consciously or not?
Well, that would be something, wouldn’t it?