WE'RE LIVING IN A GOLDEN AGE, BUT HUMANITY MIGHT GO EXTINCT

by LOSTBOYEVSKY

supported by
/

about

“People think the world’s getting worse, and we see that on the left and the right, and we see that in other countries. People think the world is getting worse… That’s the perception. What’s actually happening is our information about what’s wrong in the world is getting better. A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you’d never even hear about it. Now there’s an incident halfway around the globe and we not only hear about it, we experience it.”

— Ray Kurzweil

“Because of accelerating technological progress, humankind may be rapidly approaching a critical phase in its career. In addition to well-known threats such as nuclear holocaust, the prospects of radically transforming technologies like nanotech systems and machine intelligence present us with unprecedented opportunities and risks. Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges... While we have had long exposure to various personal, local, and endurable global hazards, this paper analyzes a recently emerging category: that of existential risks. These are threats that could cause our extinction or destroy the potential of Earth-originating intelligent life. Some of these threats are relatively well known while others, including some of the gravest, have gone almost unrecognized. Existential risks have a cluster of features that make ordinary risk management ineffective.”

— Nick Bostrom, Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards

“Making life interplanetary, and then interstellar, enables creation to generate untold wonders over potentially trillions of years. We have no idea how long human life could last, if we can get it off this one fragile, risk-filled, tiny sphere into the ocean of darkness and light above our heads, and into every nook and cranny of the observable sphere. We owe all the potential futures that could emerge from our present the possibility of existence, and to accomplish this, we must go not only into space, but eventually, by any means found necessary, into the stars.”

— Vinay Gupta

=====

This song is in many ways a rap rendition of this essay I wrote: www.refinethemind.com/global-progress-11-charts-world-is-getting-better/

=====

VOCALS: LOSTBOYEVSKY
BEAT: egoid — soundcloud.com/egoid
MIX: LOSTBOYEVSKY

LYRICS:

aspiring Übermensch in a big data panopticon
scrolling through Twitter thinking, "damn, this epoch is odd"
while billions of humans still believe they can talk to God
i'm contemplating Berlin's dichotomy of fox and hedgehog
reading Venkatesh Rao in Bangladesh now
feeling future nauseous listening to Spankmaster, wow
i'm breaking smart while making art
taking part in effective altruism, combining head and heart
i'm eating grey pills while software eats the world
contemplating Phenomenology of Perception, Husserl
absolute belief is the death of intelligence
your tribal affiliations make your thinking irrelevant
it's all confirmation bias and motivated reasoning
you derps should probably read more LessWrong and Meaningness
plus Slate Star Codex and Ribbonfarm
admit your own uncertainty; it will diminish harm
and render your estimation of universe more accurate
reality is ambiguous, word to David Chapman
i hit the volcano vape then read wikipedia
pages on the dunning-kruger effect and mcluhan's theory of media
broadcasting live from a cottage in bulgaria
let's build some eco-cities and eradicate malaria

most peaceful and prosperous period of history
but humanity might go extinct

you buy products to signal tribe memberships
i try to save the world on some last airbender shit
while chugging beers in the blogosphere
viewing relationships as mirrors and, uh, dodging fear
type of ape to get swept away by both cheer and tears
even though Buddha knows that means I'll suffer here
but like Niezsche said, despair and joy grow together
find me engaging in BDSM, minus the leather
plus practicing other types of rituals; Sarah Perry's
essay on the consciousness monoculture is a rare read
i stare d-e-a-t-h in the countenance
then casually hurl through sky to other continents
the dominant global monoculture sure has its convolutions
but I'm not convinced we need a violent revolution
i mean, like, I'm down for a renaissance
we need to address ecocide and existential risk and stuff
but your anger at the quote unquote system is sorta misplaced
friend, this is the most peaceful period of human history
Better Angels of Our Nature, shoutout Stephen Pinker
personally I'd like much of our civilization to linger
things seem so fucked not because it's all broken
but because you now have a billion times more info, kid
your newsfeed shows you a steady stream of tragedies
and you assume the world is now unprecedentedly nasty
when really we've seen colossal declines in violence and poverty
we may actually get everyone past that first level of Maslow's hierarchy
you compare our reality with your idealized fantasy
and in doing so you commit the Nirvana fallacy
no political or economic system is ever utopian
the belief in a perfect system led to Hitler and Stalin
there are more ways to break complex systems than improve them
so it's some degree of gradualism for the win
please simply consider the virtues of pragmatism
and the idea that modern civilization is actually pretty bitchin'
a bulwark against Hobbes' war of all against all
and it gave us iPods, running water, science, electricity y'all
consider for a moment how fucking great all that shit is
and you want to tear it down and live totally primitive?
nah, not me, too much love for the Internet
i'll live in an off-grid cabin customized with modern tech
or maybe a tiny home or a hexayurt
on my Carl Sagan shit, cherishing this sexy Earth

instructions for humanity
must preserve species' sanity

yes, there's still much in the world we ought to change
but if you're hearing this, know you've got it pretty great
appreciate that shit and give back to make things more swell
donate to the causes recommended by GiveWell
read Nick Bostrom's exceptional thoughts and stuff
support the world-saving projects of Elon Musk
look into RegenVillages and Cool Earth
explore 80,000 Hours and Vinay Gupta's work
escape your filter bubbles; question all the things
circumvent politics where possible; self-reliance is king
live minimalistically, compassionately, sustainably
read Robert Anton Wilson to make sure your brain is free
all things are in flux so maybe practice non-resistance
above all, enjoy this life, friend: affirm existence

credits

released March 8, 2017

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feed for this artist

about

LOSTBOYEVSKY Villa Las Estrellas, Antarctica

ambiguity // amor fati

contact / help

Contact LOSTBOYEVSKY

Streaming and
Download help