An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Humanity’

Is Hate Human Nature?

Yeah, this isn’t going to be one of those uplifting posts, unlike my review of the film that I saw yesterday, The Amazing Spider-Man.  Good movie, by the way.  But as I was leaving the theater, there was something that caught my attention.  There was a guy, wearing shorts, out at the theater with his girlfriend.  They were a cute couple.  Here’s the interesting part – the guy had two fake legs!  Below the knee, both legs were prosthetic.  That is…awesome.  This guy walked perfectly.  You’d never know that he didn’t have real legs if he wasn’t wearing shorts.  He was rocking a movie with his girlfriend with his prosthetic legs, and having a good time.  Good for him.  It looked really cool.

At the same time that I was reflecting on how cool that was, a story by Source Fed caught my eye.  It told about a man with a cybernetic eye who was assaulted at McDonald’s in Paris.  This man needs this eye to see, and when the staff asked about it, he showed them documentation that it was a necessary prosthetic, and they seemed to be totally cool with it.  Problem was, they weren’t.  After sitting down with his family to eat, a bunch of employees came over to the table and accosted him about the cybernetic eye.  He showed them the documentation, but they ripped it up, and tried to rip the glasses off of his head.  Problem – they are fused to his skull.  So, they broke the glasses.

Unlucky for them, they were stupid enough to break the glasses, which means that the images that were seen by them were stored in the memory, instead of getting erased, as was what normally happened.  So, this guy uploaded all of the images onto his blog.  The reason he did this is because the French government is staying away from this, and McDonald’s won’t answer his calls.  At the very least, he should sue McDonald’s.  This hardware can’t be cheap, and they should have to pay for replacing it.

A lot of people have been speculating that this was the first cybernetic hate-crime.  I agree with Source Fed when I say that no, it isn’t.  It is merely a bunch of jerk employees who didn’t like their pictures being taken assaulting a man.  They should go to jail, and McDonald’s should be sued for damages, along with pain and suffering.  I am not one of those people who jumps on the “sue them” bandwagon, but in this case, it is 100% understandable.  These people did something wrong, now they need to pay for it.

But what does come to mind is interesting – will there be cybernetic hate-crimes someday?  The answer is obviously – yes.  The reason for this is simple.  People suck.  A lot.  It is part of human nature to jump to hate.  When people see something that they see and don’t understand, one of the first reactions is to hate it, fear it, or resent it for existing.  It’s not because of religion or because of social environment that people hate.  Granted, parents do teach hate to kids, and religion does teach a lot of hate.  That can’t be ignored.  But at the same time, the source for hatred comes from something much more primal than we give it credit for.

It is interesting to see people who want to believe that humanity has risen above its human nature the way that we do.  We are a species so convinced of our own superiority that we believe that we are better than the forces of nature that we both live with, and make us up.  But the fact is that we aren’t.  We are still controlled by our nature.  It is the reason that people are so retrograde.  We are a species controlled by emotion, unable to set aside personal agendas for a large cause.  You think that’s because of social climate?  No, it’s deeper, and the fact is that we are never going to get past it.  Not unless we can engineer people who don’t have these problems.  Lots of ethical and moral arguments associated with that.

This is a cautionary thought process for the liberals in America who are just sure that we are eventually going to overcome homophobia and racism in this country.  As we have seen, there is an ebb and flow to racism and hatred.  There was a time, once upon a time, where being openly gay wasn’t something to be ashamed of, and was celebrated as love.  Race was also a totally different issue.  Social evolution doesn’t mean social progress.  What is bigotry today could be totally bad tomorrow, and what is totally socially awful today could be in vogue tomorrow.

Hate is just one of the many reasons why humanity is its own worst enemy.  The simple fact is that it is much easier for people to simply hate and fear people than it is for people to love other people.  To accept and understand, that takes more effort than we like to admit.  To dismiss something as wrong and worthy of hate is easy.  And that’s the ultimate enemy of humanity – we are too lazy to try and learn and understand.  We are just too lazy.  For those who think that there is a bright star at the end of humanity’s tale, there isn’t.  You cannot save the world, and you cannot stop hatred.  If you want to try, good for you, but you are fighting windmills.  Sorry, but it’s true.

I wish I could hope for a better tomorrow for humanity.  I wish that I could say that we have some wonderful ending to our species.  I wish that I could believe that we will rise above what controls us.  But the fact is that it isn’t going to happen.  We are screwed, as a species.  The best that you can do is to make the most of your life, and stop fighting to change the world.

It is a doomed effort.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.  It’s just how it is.

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The Full Footprint of Humanity

When one looks at history, and how far the human race has come from the days when the problems of daily living, such as plowing a field and raising crops, and then one looks at where humanity is now, with our technological world that has connected every corner of this vast sphere, it is easy to see how this generation of youth is now the total amalgamation of human progress, the full footprint of our species.

The bulk of all innovation through the 20th Century was driven by humanity’s urge to make the tedious tasks of everyday living easier.  When electricity was able to be harnessed, the world grew.  The combustion engine made getting around the world no longer a long and laborious task, but now something that can be done within a day.  Bigger, more powerful engines, along with certain kinds of fuel, allowed the human race to be able to reach past the heavens.  It guided the hand of the human race to touch the very stars, and to begin to realize just how much there was that we do not understand.

With the endless expansive growth of technology, there has been a new growth in understanding of the entire universe, and just how small the human race actually is in direct comparison to all the things that exist in the universe.  Truly, when one thinks about just how large the universe is, the idea of our species each having a special place to exist in it is truly misguided.  In direct comparison to the universe, humanity doesn’t take up the most basic of percentage of space.  And now that science and technology has allowed us to escape the basic tedium of everyday life, humanity is starting to grow as a species, looking into the realm of the philosopher, the academic, the scientist.  We are beginning to become more than any previous generation ever believed we could be.

If the Founding Fathers of this nation could see where our species is now.  The globally connected market which, while it has some severe problems right now that need a lot of work, is a truly marvelous innovation.  The United States’ effort to stay out of global affairs during WWI and WWII are now made impossible by this global connection.  Of course, like any system, it is a double-edged sword.  Still, the founders would never have been able to see where our species is.  This is one of the reasons that when people say things like Jesse Ventura said, about how the Constitution should be “written in stone,” they are missing the point that Joe Pesci made in With Honors.

 Our “founding parents” were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn’t know everything. Sure, they’d make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them.”

The fact is that those who created this nation did realize that the Constitution needed to be looked at with a grain of salt, and people needed to be more open-minded.  That said, this country is dominated by the idea that those who started it knew exactly the truth about everything, and that the Constitution is a spectacularly perfect document.

But back to the idea of how far our species has come, there is one thing that has truly made this generation the symbol for all future generations – the internet.  Never before has a system of knowledge been given to us like the internet.  This has connected the entire world in a way that nobody of previous generations could have believed.

It used to be that a person could actuall obtain all the knowledge of the world that they lived in.  During the times of cavemen, the caveman or woman could learn about their whole world.  They knew about all the activities they had to do to live, and that was all.  All the knowledge that they were capable of having was there for them.  But now, the very idea that a person can achieve the level of knowledge that is even a fraction of a percentage of what our entire culture, which is now a global culture, has.  Another thing that internet has done is it has created a world without barriers.  There is no nation online.  There is no seperation of barriers there.  It is a place that is an open market for all people.  Truly, the world of the Federation has already been discovered.  In a recent video that Anonymous put out, they talked about this very concept.

Anonymous is simply ideas without origin.  May it be a phrase, a fad, a proverb, the concept of Anonymous has always existed.”

There has never, at any point in human history, been a connected world like this one.  Never has there been a vast labyrinth of interconnectedness that has made the suffering and prosperity come into focus like this generation has.

With the world changing so quickly these days, it is almost a little difficult to comprehend how something like religion, that has more or less been unchanged for the last 2,000 years, been able to continue.  When things that are only a few years old are now considered obsolete, how can something that has completely unchanging doctrine continue?  How can something that has been this same organization since the Dark Ages hardly change at all?  Truly, there almost seems to be an effort to this point.  Religion has always been deemed by the powerful as useful.

But regardless of issues like that, the fact is that this time, this day and age, is the greatest era of all the days of humanity.  The truly wonderful thing is that it is only beginning!  The sun is still just rising on the human race!  Who knows where we will be in 50 or 100 years.  It is almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around the fact that 100 years from now, the interconnectedness that we enjoy now may be viewed as a relic.

Science and technology are evolving at a more rapid rate now than at any other time in history.  It is an incredible time to be alive.  Those who are living with the inventions of this day and age sometimes forget that 100 years ago, or even 30 years ago, this was all the dreams of people who worked in basements.  But the internet has changed everything, for better and for always.  Facebook gave the human race a place to gather.  As Sean Parker said in The Social Network

We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!”

This creation that so many people take for granted, is the one thing that has made an entire generation the full footprint of the human race.  That is our generation.  Our time, is the culmination of all time, and that, I think, it an incredible thing.

Peace out,

Lefty

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