I want my Dark Future.
All my life I’ve been watching movies and television shows heralding a dark, polluted, dystopian future where apartment buildings reach into a scorched sky, and can only be accessed by flying cars. I don’t know what the hold-up is. The Evangelicals have been rooting for the Rapture ever since Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, and every year since they’ve been like Linus in the Pumpkin Patch, waiting eagerly for the Great Pumpkin of the Apocalypse. And in the interim, faithful that the end is nigh, we’ve given up on a preserving anything for future generations.
The Native Americans made all of their decisions based on their effect on the seventh generation. While the Native Americans were many things, efficient they were not. I blame a lack of bibles. In the new millennium, we’ve managed to trim all of that generational pork and now we base all of our decisions on just one generation: Ours.
Our Evangelical optimism in the coming rapture has resulted in a pervasive pessimism in everything that isn’t aware of the coming rapture like trees, whales, ring-tailed lemurs, Hindus, etc. Of course we don’t care about sewage in the river; God will be here soon to do much worse to the planet. So why not exploit every remaining resource in these waning days? If you’re not worried about the security deposit, go ahead and trash the joint. I think it’s called “holding dominion over nature.”
So if we’re going to go, let’s go out with a grenade. Perhaps you’re thinking: “But that sounds kind of inconvenient and very unpleasant.” Not to worry; the Morphine of Consumerism will protect us. Shop, Consume and Destroy. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die…maybe. Okay, the next day then.
You know, all this environmental devastation is really God’s fault. He’s the one who’s not holding up His end of the bargain. We’re sitting here, waiting with our bags packed, new tennis shoes and a Whitman’s Sampler for St. Peter, but the Golden Escalator isn’t running.
While we’re waiting, if we’re going to stick firecrackers into frogs, I say let’s get off the fence. As long as the Universe is our personal playground, let’s experiment. And I’m not talking about sending another digging robot to plop down on Mars, like a toddler in a sandbox, to look for ice. Seriously? Ice? We don’t have enough ice underneath all those polar bears?
Instead of searching for potential life beyond ours and the ethical questions that accompany it, let’s be proactive; let’s get the artificial intelligence guys in here. Let’s build two robots with the best artificial intelligence with which we can equip them. Let’s also give them baby robot making parts. Then, let’s blast them to the moon and watch what happens. That’s an experiment I would gladly spend 386 Million in tax dollars for. I want to watch them multiply. I want to watch them learn. I want to watch the first Robot/Human summit on my Samsung Optical Cortex Microchip, and I want to see it go horribly wrong. I want Logan’s Run! I want Independence Day! I want The Terminator! I want The Matrix! I want Blade Runner! Let’s get visceral! If the Four Horsemen are slacking off, having a picnic somewhere, let’s pony up and be our own Death Jockeys! What are we waiting for? Don’t we have Faith?