Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

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SolarpunkFan
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Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-20 04:42pm

https://timeguide.wordpress.com/2017/06 ... -dark-age/
Eating an ice-cream and watching a squirrel on the feeder in our back garden makes me realize what a privileged life I lead. I have to work to pay the bills, but my work is not what my grandfather would have thought of as work, let alone my previous ancestors. Such a life is only possible because of the combined efforts of tens of thousands of preceding generations who struggled to make the world a slightly better place than they found it, meaning that with just a few years more effort, our generation has been able to create today’s world.

I appreciate the efforts of previous generations, rejoice in the start-point they left us, and try to play my small part in making it better still for those who follow. Next generations could continue such gains indefinitely, but that is not a certainty. Any generation can choose not to for whatever reasons. Analyzing the world and the direction of cultural evolution over recent years, I am no longer sure that the progress mankind has made to date is safe.

Futurists talk of weak signals, things that indicate change, but are too weak to be conclusive. The new dark age was a weak signal when I first wrote about it well over a decade ago. My more recent blog is already old: https://timeguide.wordpress.com/2011/05 ... t-century/

Although it’s a good while since I last wrote about it, recent happenings have made me even more convinced of it. Even as raw data, connectivity and computational power becomes ever more abundant, the quality of what most people believe to be knowledge is falling, with data and facts filtered and modified to fit agendas. Social compliance enforces adherence to strict codes of political correctness, with its high priests ever more powerful as the historical proven foundations of real progress are eroded and discarded. Indoctrination appears to have replaced education, with a generation locked in to an intellectual prison, unable to dare to think outside it, forbidden to deviate from the group-think on pain of exile. As their generation take control, I fear progress won over millennia will back-slide badly. They and their children will miss out on utopia because they are unable to see it, it is hidden from them.

A potentially wonderful future awaits millennials. Superb technology could give them a near utopia, but only if they allow it to happen. They pore scorn on those who have gone before them, and reject their culture and accumulated wisdom replacing it with little more than ideology, putting theoretical models and dogma in place of reality. Castles built on sand will rarely survive. The sheer momentum of modernist thinking ensures that we continue to develop for some time yet, but will gradually approach a peak. After that we will see slowdown of overall progress as scientific development continues, but with the results owned and understood by a tinier and tinier minority of humans and an increasing amount of AI, with the rest of society living in a word they barely understand, following whatever is currently the most fashionable trend on a random walk and gradually replacing modernity with a dark age world of superstition, anti-knowledge and inquisitors. As AI gradually replaces scientists and engineers in professional roles, even the elite will start to become less and less well-informed on reality or how things work, reliant on machines to keep it all going. When the machines fail due to solar flares or more likely, inter-AI tribal conflict, few people will even understand that they have become H G Wells’ Eloi. They will just wonder why things have stopped and look for someone to blame, or wonder if a god may want a sacrifice. Alternatively, future tribes might use advanced technologies they don’t understand to annihilate each other.

It will be a disappointing ending if it goes either route, especially with a wonderful future on offer nearby, if only they’d gone down a different path. Sadly, it is not only possible but increasingly likely. All the wonderful futures I and other futurists have talked about depend on the same thing, that we proceed according to modernist processes that we know work. A generation who has been taught that they are old-fashioned and rejected them will not be able to reap the rewards.

I’ll follow this blog with a slide set that illustrates the problem.
I'm not sure if I should worry about this, especially as the [PDF warning] slide set he made plus parts of the blog post strike me as yet another old person complaining about how Millennials ruined everything (or in this case, will ruin everything).

But at the same time I wonder... what if he's right?

I myself am a Millennial, but I have absolutely no idea how to help make things better. :?

EDIT: yeah, the guy seems like the usual reactionary type per a few of his posts.
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by K. A. Pital » 2017-06-20 04:57pm

Religion hasn't been a part of the Modern, with that capital M, for which the person holds probably well-meant respect. Its waning influence is a direct result of the Modern. A collapse of modern values coincides with the rise of cults, but the decline of traditional religion cannot be reversed by now. It does not even mean this is desireable, because cults are essentially the same anti-rationalist thing, except way younger.

So by his strange anti-secular notions one can guess he didn't study the cultural development in the XX century or two preceding ones very well.
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SolarpunkFan
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-20 05:14pm

K. A. Pital wrote:Religion hasn't been a part of the Modern, with that capital M, for which the person holds probably well-meant respect. Its waning influence is a direct result of the Modern. A collapse of modern values coincides with the rise of cults, but the decline of traditional religion cannot be reversed by now. It does not even mean this is desireable, because cults are essentially the same anti-rationalist thing, except way younger.

So by his strange anti-secular notions one can guess he didn't study the cultural development in the XX century or two preceding ones very well.
Indeed. Also, he seems to be an AGW denialist of the "there was a pause and we should wait for all the facts first".

Not getting much intelligence from this guy now. Sorry for posting this pap everyone.
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-06-20 05:58pm

Solarpunk, the key thing to remember is that any idiot can predict disaster. The bare fact that there is a disaster predicted in writing, in front of, you doesn't mean you have to take it seriously. You can afford to be selective.
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by Khaat » 2017-06-20 07:56pm

Dammit, Simon! I was going to tell him about my End Times GoFundMe! (except I haven't set it up yet!) :lol:
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by Caiaphas » 2017-06-21 11:31am

I swear, this entire thing is just one gigantic facepalm. Am I the only one thinking that he's just complaining about how millenials are increasingly taking control over their own lives instead of falling in line like good little lambs? I mean, just look at his premises.
Even as raw data, connectivity and computational power becomes ever more abundant, the quality of what most people believe to be knowledge is falling, with data and facts filtered and modified to fit agendas.
True enough, especially since this is an actual psychological issue. But correct me if I'm wrong, but that's literally also what's being done with every major corporation as the end goal of their data mining efforts, with every major government as a part of their educational agendas, with every one of those bastards in the petroleum and tobacco industries vis a vis climate change and tobacco not killing you, Fox, so on and so forth. I don't see a lot of millenials in decision-making positions there.
Social compliance enforces adherence to strict codes of political correctness, with its high priests ever more powerful as the historical proven foundations of real progress are eroded and discarded.
...there is zero connection between the first and second half of these sentences. I'm not a sociologist, but haven't all major steps forward in equity been brought about when it became socially unacceptable to hold certain views, since that's the basic driver of political action?
Indoctrination appears to have replaced education, with a generation locked in to an intellectual prison, unable to dare to think outside it, forbidden to deviate from the group-think on pain of exile.
...and your generation sets the educational agenda and is the one wielding the big stick ready to club anyone who works outside the accepted groupthink, pal, so what's your point? I really need to find that article where, IIRC, a Native American student got tossed out of her class because she dared to correct her professor on the history of how her people were treated historically.

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-21 01:44pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Solarpunk, the key thing to remember is that any idiot can predict disaster. The bare fact that there is a disaster predicted in writing, in front of, you doesn't mean you have to take it seriously. You can afford to be selective.
I know. I panicked and posted this the instant I saw this blog post instead of checking on his other posts too.

Impulsiveness is an issue I really need to work on. :oops:
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 02:25pm

Just ignore the "big words" and read this shit for a second:
the quality of what most people believe to be knowledge is falling, with data and facts filtered and modified to fit agendas. Social compliance enforces adherence to strict codes of political correctness, with its high priests ever more powerful as the historical proven foundations of real progress are eroded and discarded. Indoctrination appears to have replaced education, with a generation locked in to an intellectual prison, unable to dare to think outside it, forbidden to deviate from the group-think on pain of exile. As their generation take control, I fear progress won over millennia will back-slide badly. They and their children will miss out on utopia because they are unable to see it, it is hidden from them.
And then laugh yourself to death.

What a fucking asshole. The people currently "in charge" of disseminating all this bullshit "knowledge" and lacing it with political axe blades designed to eschew truth in an effort to indoctrinate? I'm sorry who or what generation of assholes actually run all these bullshit spraying machines? What age group?

"LOL NO THOU, FUCK MILLUNIALS!"

The PDF Powerpoint uses the term "Millennial Hippy" and says shit like "rejection of consumerism" and "Fact Resistant Idealism." Poe's Law in action, you can't make shit like this up. +1 Internet for you, I've been laughing fucking HARD at this.

Just.... just... holy shit, I can't stop laughing. Read Page 6 of this. Read the whole thing. GRAPHS, FIGURES. Bonus points: saying "no data is bad" while giving no data in your graphs.

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-21 04:01pm

TheFeniX wrote:sinp
Quite. I guess I'm either naive or stupid.

Most likely stupid. :banghead:
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 04:21pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
TheFeniX wrote:sinp
Quite. I guess I'm either naive or stupid.

Most likely stupid. :banghead:
Nah man, they get you by talking "smart" and using big words. It's like those scientists that troll others scientists by writing a bunch of long-worded tripe that makes no sense, but it "feels" right because "big words."

Here's a big red flag for future reference: anything that says "X generation did good things, but Y generation isn't taking advantage" or anything in the vein of "young people SCARE ME because they aren't exactly like my generation was when I view them through rose-tinted glasses" is likely bullshit. I recall reading an excerpt from some ancient Greek philosopher waxing poetic about how the new generation has no focus, too much free time, etc. I'm sure there's cave drawings somewhere of "Oog killing mammoth, while Oog Jr. is just chiseling a rock into a circle and that Oog fears for the future of mammoth bashing."

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by FireNexus » 2017-06-21 04:34pm

You can usually disregard the ideas of anyone who complains about "political correctness" and "indoctrination". That combination almost never comes from someone with a firm grasp on reality.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 06:20pm

I got beef with Political Correctness, but it's beef with specifics. Anytime I've run into someone who hates the idea, it almost always boils down to "I want to say whatever I want, whenever I want, without criminal or social consequences." And that's not even the part that really gets me. It's that they say shitty things in accordance with this idea, get called an asshole, then cry because SOMEONE ELSE responded in kind, and that's the worst thing ever.™

It's harder to catch from reading, but if you dig enough, it's not that hard to find the kind of person who equates their opinion with Freedom of Speech and dissenting opinions as "out of control PC."

For me though, I run into way too much. I try to steer the conversation this way if I can: "So, having people hate you for yelling the N-word at random black people? PC or not-PC?"

(ignoring the racist response, we got them in spades down here)
"No, that's just common human decency."

And then I just stare at them until they either get the irony or I can write them off as not worth the time.

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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-06-21 07:20pm

FireNexus wrote:You can usually disregard the ideas of anyone who complains about "political correctness" and "indoctrination". That combination almost never comes from someone with a firm grasp on reality.
I've encountered exceptions to that rule. People who really are talking about actual problems on the left, though most of them prefer NOT to use "political correctness" precisely because at this point everyone knows it's a right-wing dogwhistle for "gee I wish it were socially acceptable to abuse and belittle minorities like we used to."

But I can understand the logic of going with "guilty until proven innocent" in such cases, unless they have an excellent track record of being reasonable and fair-minded on other things.
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Re: Utopia scorned: The 21st Century Dark Age

Post by FireNexus » 2017-06-22 09:27am

I agree with the idea that there are exceptions. But it is almost always the logic used to dismiss without evidence a consensus which makes their philosophical position untenable.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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