Day 58 - Charles Darwin, Artificial Intelligence & Leaky Tires.
I believe in evolution. I believe that over thousand of years beings adapt to become different versions of themselves. They do this so that they can more suitably fit their environment. But what happens when the environment is constantly changing and at a pace with such rapidity that the slow millennial changes that are occurring in biology can’t keep up with ecology?
I think we are there. I am glad that I am not going to be around in 100 years. I am likely not going to be around in 50 years. I am scared about what is coming. It is like someone has pressed the evolutionary fast forward button; I do not believe there has been another time in history where so much has changed and so quickly. The technology explosion has created an ecological and environmental chasm between our physical reality and our emotional realm.
I am not sure that I believe that machines are going to be running the world one day...but I don’t not believe it. Artificial intelligence is a thing and it is evolving and likely capable of passing all human understanding in short order. What happens to us then? What happens when human beings are no longer at the top of the food chain? Not that I think we have done a stellar job in that role - but what happens when technology replaces us?
I know kind of a random topic for a Monday morning beginning of December.
Of course, I am interested in the human relationship aspect of this technological evolutionary affect on our emotional nature. I am afraid of what is coming. I am afraid that our quantum leaps in innovation will decimate our ability to connect with one another. I spend time wondering how much is occurring already at a cellular level that we can’t yet detect and are moving too fast to notice.
Online dating has become the norm. In fact, people are losing faith in ever meeting someone in the real world. We call this organic dating. I was hiking with a friend the other day and he is convinced that his only option and chance for love is online. We debated this question for the length of our hike. Despite all of my reasons to the contrary, he still maintained that he can find love online. Maybe he can. Maybe everyone can. I guess anything is possible. My problem is that I don’t want to. I want the story. I want the kind of story that is worth telling at the end of my life. I want something that is meaningful and real and dramatic. I do not want to have to say “oh, yeah, we met online.” Truth be told I met my ex-husband online and also Lane. I think you can understand my reluctance to place any further faith there.
What I see happening to us is that we are going for expediency over substance. You have to sift and wade through a lot of humanity in order to find one suitable mate. It is an exhausting process that is filled with disappointment. For me, what I learned is the more I sifted, the less humans seemed human to me. I do not believe I am alone in that feeling. Every person I have talked to about online dating has talked about the commodity feeling. The rules of supply and demand a not so benevolent ruler.
I would like to know Charles Darwin’s take on where we are now. Is there some new pioneer coming to explain how our biological, technological and social advances are impacting our emotional well being? I hope they get here soon. I do not see how we as a species hold up in the new world order of hyper-overdrive and warp speed. Human relationships are complex and take time to grow and develop. What is happening to us now? Will we look back on today in 20 years and say “yep, there were signs but we missed them.”
What exactly are we missing?
I think we are missing heart. I think we are missing soul. Not always in great quantities but it is like a slow leak that is almost imperceptible on a daily level. Like you have a nail in your tire that while moving keeps the air in but the moment your car sits idle - the nail no longer capable of holding back the compressed air - causing it to leak and deflate the tire. You don’t notice it in the beginning. You don’t see the signs. Then one day you walk out to go to work and your tire is pancake flat and you wonder what the hell happened. Truth is that it has been happening for weeks, you just didn’t notice.
I guess I am scared we human beings have this emotional leak going on that we cannot detect. We won’t be able to see it until we are rendered as useless as the flattened tire.
I can feel it happening in my life and in the lives about me. I just am not sure what to do about it. I do not know how to alter course. I am not sure how to bring this feeling into an intelligent conversation. So I am writing about this feeling because that is all I know to do. It is not a fully formed idea, just a thought based on a feeling which is based upon a tiny sliver of human experience. Mine.
In this fast paced world of instant everything, I am concerned about the toll being exacted on our most important resource: our relationships. There is a part of me that thinks, "well you won’t be here when it gets really awful." But then I think about my children. They will be here. They will suffer. I know that it is the nature of life to suffer. It is unavoidable. But I fear this new world order will give rise to a new kind of hell that we cannot even fathom today. I am sad that my kids and your kids will be here when it comes.
I know that today I took a bizarre turn in blogging. But it is what I woke up with today. An unshakable feeling of impending doom and the knowledge that I am participating in my own subjugation. I am not sure what to do about it except write about it. To say that I see this and it scares me. To say that I worried about our future. I will completely own that I am likely overly preoccupied with relationships and intimacy. But to me, it is my relations with people on an intimate level that seems to be my final frontier. The area of my life that requires constant and unwavering attention. Today, I felt the need to address the fear that lies beneath. Today, I felt like I couldn’t unsee all the ways that I am flattening the tires of my relationships. I also feel pretty powerless to change my trajectory. My best today is to write about it and try to make sense of it all. To acknowledge that when I woke up today, I felt disconnected and afraid. Scared that the malaise I feel will someday become pervasive.
So on that cheery, post apocalyptic note, Happy Monday.