The Road To Singularity: Potential Annihilation, Utopian Visions, Will Liberty Prevail?
It is up to us to decide our future. Do we want to deny our humanity? Or do we wish to embrace it? The transhumanists choose to deny it. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
by Daniel Taylor
“Dreams of the far future destiny of man were dragging up from its shallow and unquiet grave the old dream of man as god…” – C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 1945
In 1945, George Orwell, famous for his stunningly accurate portrayal of a future police state in 1984, commented on prominent author C. S. Lewis’ book That Hideous Strength. Hideous Strength revolves around the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments (NICE) and the organization’s plot to seize control of all life. Orwell’s commentary was published in the Manchester Evening News in 1945 with the headline “THE SCIENTISTS TAKE OVER.” Orwell wrote,
“All superfluous life is to be wiped out, all natural forces tamed, the common people are to be used as slaves and vivisection subjects by the ruling caste of scientists, who even see their way to conferring immortal life upon themselves. Man, in short, is to storm the heavens and overthrow the gods, or even to become a god himself.
There is nothing outrageously improbable in such a conspiracy. Indeed, at a moment when a single atomic bomb – of a type already pronounced “obsolete” – has just blown probably three hundred thousand people to fragments, it sounds all too topical. Plenty of people in our age do entertain the monstrous dreams of power that Mr. Lewis attributes to his characters, and we are within sight of the time when such dreams will be realisable.”
Do we live in an age when these dreams of power could become a reality? Lewis and Orwell have been proven very accurate in their portrayals of the future 70 years ago. Much of the momentum for the scientific developments that would create these formerly fantastical technologies began in the lifetimes of both Lewis and Orwell. They witnessed the rise of the science of molecular biology, initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation and other tax-exempt foundations who were interested in finding out how the human body operates, with an eye toward better controlling society. The eugenics and social control paradigms that sprung from this foundation sparked scientific revolution in the early 20th century are still in play today among the intelligentsia of western society.
Vannevar Bush became the first Science Advisor to the United States government during World War II under President Franklin Roosevelt. Bush played a vital role in the creation of what we know today as the Military Industrial Complex. Specifically, the method of scientific research of this gargantuan organization – beginning with the Office of Scientific Research and Development – was devised by Vannevar.
The roots of the internet can be traced to Bush’s ideas in 1945. The forerunner to the computer itself can also be attributed to his early designs. From 1935 to 1946 the Rockefeller Foundation funded Vannevar Bush’s development of the mechanical differential analyzer at MIT for a total of $230,500. This device, along with the Hollerith machine, is considered to be one of the forerunners of the desktop computer that we all know and use today.
Scientific developments and new technologies are often spun as beneficial things for humanity, and in fact many of them are. We need to remember that while each development brings power to mankind, it also gives power to some men over other men. As Orwell said, “There is nothing improbable” about such desires for power.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his 1961 farewell speech “…in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.”