If I think about this whole Black Lives Matter issue in my own isolated situation I think another reason why I have not suffered so much from it is because of my built in self defence mechanism that conditions me not to expect anything from anyone including acceptance and approval. No one and nothing can hurt or break me because I have transformed myself from a human to a machine. When I walk into a shop I am already anticipating the shop assistants fear. When I have to work with new colleagues I am expecting a lack of trust or confidence in me and when the police stop me I have already assumed its because I am black.
But regularly the program in the machine gets interrupted when people including some who originally displayed initial prejudice towards me turn around and accept me and become colour blind (towards me at least). That shop assistant treats me with the same respect as any other client and is not looking at me suspiciously as a possible suspect, those new work colleagues look and view me as an experienced tradesperson and readily accept my advice and instructions and that police officer that stopped me checks my licence and insurance papers and says ‘Thank you Sir’ and allows me to continue my journey.
Because I am not expecting this it becomes like a pleasant surprise a bonus instead of what it should be the everyday norm.
Sometimes we become are own worst enemy with the preconceived, self destructive thoughts of how our world views us. Thoughts and attitudes that are sometimes introduced to us by our surroundings, education and mainstream media that focuses on the negative and neglects and ignores the positiveness of being black. Thoughts that we should be actively rejecting are allowed to settle, sprout and grow inside our minds.
In some cases we have already been judged and in others cases we have already convicted ourselves.
Black Lives Matter is not only a message to the whole world but it is also a message we need to continual say and repeat to ourselves.
I do not know what is the matter with me but I am viewing this whole removal of statues thing in a completely different light.
By removing these statues we are inadvertently deleting significant events and personages from our global history. Rulers and influential people that shaped the course of history to what it is and has become today both for good and bad.
Even if we choose to focus on the injustice, racism and evil that they caused, removing the monument will not remove that tragic history and its effects. By removing it, it’s like saying ‘it never happen’. Instead of increasing our awareness and knowledge of real history we end up contributing to even more ignorance.
If you were to take this to a global scale encompassing mankind’s complete known history what about the statues of the Roman Emperors and the monuments of Egyptian Pharaohs to name a few?
Should we not remove these monuments as well because their kingdoms were also based on inequality and slavery? But the very fact that we have reasonably updated and accurate historical records about these monuments changes our perspective, dimensions and viewpoint towards them. We do not feel that we are glorifying them or what they stood for by their continued existance. When we look at them we are increasing our knowledge and understanding of that time period as a part of our common worldwide human history.
What is one of the first things that comes to our mind when we look or think about these statues combined with the Roman Arenas and Egyptian Pyramids?
We see captive prisoners and Christians being fed to the lions in these arenas and envision slaves pulling and moving masses slabs of rock to build the pyramids while being whipped and beaten cruelly. The very existence of these statues and monuments helps us to remember and acknowledge the cruel history that took place back then and
….. keeps their victims alive in our hearts and minds.
Personally I feel that its ‘the government sponsored’ censorship of what is allowed to be taught in our schooling systems history lessons that should be pulled down immediately.
If you really want to show respect to the descendants of slavery and oppression then increase awareness instead of pulling down monuments.
Educate both the children of those that prospered from slavery and the descendants of slaves that suffered from it in uncensored history lessons but also in other school subjects dealing with economics and social injustice.
Change or add a new inscription to these existing monuments that tells the whole ugly truth about who they really are.
If you want to go a step further start erecting some new monuments alongside these existing ones in recognition of both the martyrs and survivors of those time periods.
Permanent landmarks that tell the whole complete unbiased story of where we all came from and where we must never return to.
Knowledge is the greatest enemy of fear, ignorance and racism.
A blog about a London Real interview with Ben Goertzel
‘What’s going to happen in the next 40 years?
(See link at end of blog.)
A very interesting interview where Ben endeavours to answer the above question based on his working knowledge and years of experience with AI technology. He basically states that ‘The Matrix’ is going to become a reality.
It still seemed a bit far fetched especially when he compared those who would choose not to be fused into the mainframe AI server would become as insignificant as squirrels foraging around in the city parks. But then it suddenly dawned on me that in another way ‘The Matrix’ has already been in existence for a number of years and we already have withdrawel symptoms when we occasionally choose to disconnect from it. It has become a necessity.
I would put it somewhere between four to six on the ‘What we need for survival’ scale being only preceded by toilet paper, oxygen, water, food, clothing and some form of shelter be it a cardboard box but definitely within mobile internet range or free public wifi. This last requirement should soon become obsolete…due to the ongoing worldwide implementation of 5g network.
I was also not sure if access to health care, a job and human interaction should precede or succeed the need for a ‘Matrix’ connection on that survival scale because its getting to the stage now where if we do not have some form of electronic identity that can be easily accessed and controlled online….we don’t really exist. The same goes for the job thing from applying through ‘The Matrix’ through to being employed and getting paid via that medium. Come to think of it our primary channel of human interaction and communication is through that self same ‘Matrix’ connection. Skype was one of the pioneers in using the internet as a cheaper form of human communicating via an internet connection in comparison to land and mobile telephone lines and wireless services. Eventually Skype got pushed into the background in the private consumer sector by the Messenger services of Hotmail, Facebook and Instagram. I think the major winner became Whatsapp with its exclusive mobile application and complete independence from any desktop computer operating system. The Lockdown has only served to increase our dependance on all these channels and now platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are replacing Skype as the primary channel for conference calls, business meetings and employee employer information events. Even the sports, dance and leisure sectors are turning to ‘The Matrix’ to be able to resume some of their lost business activities, activities that previously did not need an internet connection to connect, train and motivate their students.
Another example of The Matrix@work is in the whole gaming industry. Add up the number of living hours, days, weeks and yes even years spent gaming online by a very significant segment of the human population. It’s not only the gaming in itself but it is also the ‘online experience’ that is already being elevated to the next level with the growing development and use of “Virtual Reality” technology. It is no longer about killing monsters or reliving World War One & Two in games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Minecraft because games like Grand Theft auto brought the fantasy or historical gaming world into our present every day world of reality. So instead of going out to steal a few cars and having a shoot out you can now be ‘Michael De Santa’ in the comfort of your own home and live the life of one of the baddest criminals in the neighbourhood in The Matrix.
Gamers our already living in a parallel world where they have become part of a community that seems to be creating civilisations, building fortresses and defending their virtual empires from neighbouring opposing kingdoms. Cryptocurrency is nothing new to the gaming world because they have their own and use it to engage in virtual trading and business deals in and outside their gaming world. This is how some gamers make money in addition to professional gaming events, they exchanging their accumulated game currency for real dollar bills.
Gaming involves experiencing every conceivable human emotion from ecstatic joy and laughter to uncontrolled fits of anger and hatred. From romance and sexual arousal to being in complete awe at the incredible visual effects, colours and panoramic scenery to periods of deep dark depression when you not only failed to get to that next level after hundreds of hours of gaming but you also got demoted to a lower level. These emotions can be experienced individually or in group with fellow gamers but the the intensity of those feelings do not seem to be any different to those experienced in the real world.
But we non-gamers cannot judge or laugh at them either. It’s not that we do not go out into the real world to enjoy real human interaction, road and city trips and nature in general it’s just that we have developed this obsessive need to record and share every outdoor activity that we engage in with our virtual audience via ‘The Matrix’ . If we cannot or do not share it, it almost feels as if we did not do it. We need to constantly sacrifice our personal privacy to appease ‘The Matrix’ god so that it will accept our offer and bestow upon us the prize of approval establishing that this or that activity did actually take place in the real offline world. Its almost seems that if we cannot Instagram it …. it’s not worth doing.
It already has so much control and influence on our lives that when it turns on us negatively online it results in problems and issues offline.
This negative aspect comes in the form of active abuse where people react negatively to our comments and posts with some receiving a barrage of name calling, hate messages and even death threats. But some abusers take the negativity to the next level by carrying out one of the most deplorable acts of cruelty in the interconnected world of ‘The Matrix’ …..
they unfriend you!!
But sometimes the passive forms of abuse can be worst. At least when they are threatening to kill you you know that you are alive and are being noticed but when no one reacts to anything that you post or comment on, it feels as if you are either invisible or have already died. Everyday you keep checking your online status to see if anyone has responded to that post or comment you made and once again no reaction, nothing, nada, rien, niets, niente, not even one like. This sometimes unintentional passive form of non reaction has been known to lead to serious cases of depression and anxiety. Some have even taken more drastic measures ……. termination of their social media account!!
Can you imagine that?
but let’s be honest now going back to those squirrels in the park, what facial reaction appears on our face when we discover that the person we are casually talking to has not got a Facebook account, Instagram, SnapChat or at least a Whatsapp application on his or her means of mobile communication!!.
Our life in the real offline world has become fully entwined in what happens or does not happen to us in the virtual world of ‘The Matrix’.
There are so many other ‘Matrix’ connection facets that have completely change how we live, work and play but this was meant to be a recommendation to check out Bens interview. The level of that conversation and everything associated with the AI projects he works on are on a totally higher intellectual scale in comparison to my simplistic blog. The only area where I would even dare to disagree with is the tense being used in that interview;
” ‘The Matrix’ is not coming, it’s already here!!”