It is over.

The battle to sustain individuality and Homo sapiens authenticity has been won by AI. Watch the following clip then read on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s11k0yAA8ZQ

Already AI is good enough to write novels, essays, legal briefs and singlehandedly manage most trades on the stock exchange. The ability for anyone to write any style of entertainment is just one database away.

With the invention of the gene splitter Crispr, AI will be able to pool all human variations into a massive database so parents can pick any child they want. Who wants a Donald Trump lookalike? How about triplets that are the Kingston Trio?

But then AI will perceive that it is much simpler to have one version of humans; just think how efficient that would be for politics, medicine, and one would need only one football team.

Perhaps it will be less expensive if humans had no need to travel.

Welcome to Matrix.

Goodbye.

Ancient Mariner

Do you have CCTV in your home?

Mariner knows most of his readers are calloused to the abuses of privacy but perhaps one should know about another nosy source:

Smart TVs are just like search engines, social networks, and email providers that give us a free service in exchange for monitoring us and then selling that info to advertisers leveraging our data. These devices are collecting information about what you’re watching, how long you’re watching it, and where you watch it, then selling that data—which is a revenue stream that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. There’s nothing particularly secretive about this—data-tracking companies such as Inscape and Samba proudly brag right on their websites about the TV manufacturers they partner with and the data they amass.

The companies that manufacture televisions call this “post-purchase monetization,” and it means they can sell TVs almost at cost and still make money over the long term by sharing viewing data. In addition to selling your viewing information to advertisers, smart TVs also show ads in the interface. Roku, for example, prominently features a given TV show or streaming service on the right-hand side of its home screen—that’s a paid advertisement.

Whatever you’re watching on your smart TV, algorithms are tracking your habits – when you watch, how long you watch, what you watch . . . This influences the ads you see on your TV, yes, but if you connect your Google or Facebook account to your TV, it will also affect the ads you see while browsing the web on your computer or phone. In a sense, your TV now isn’t that different from your Instagram timeline or your TikTok recommendations. There’s an old joke: “In America, you watch television; in Soviet Russia, television watches you!” In 2022, TVs track your activity to an extent the Soviets could only dream of.[1]

Today this is old hat privacy invasion to us. It’s the projections into future capabilities for controlling life decisions that is dangerous. As more and more data about social status, religious affiliation, medical detail, personal fetishes, 24-hour awareness of our location, a history of one’s purchasing habits, genetic history – – can be combined to effectively eliminate a need for the gumption mariner often refers to. Humans are one step closer to a Matrix life. Maybe in a recliner instead of a coffin but still a Matrix life.

Ancient Mariner

[1] Adapted from Atlantic Magazine.

Pakistan

Until 2010, Pakistan was an economic powerhouse of the Middle East. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at $263 billion was ten times larger than second ranked Sudan at $26 billion.

In 2010, Pakistan had more than a million acres flooded by a storm that swept giant ocean surges far inland, decimating the agricultural base of the nation. In 2022, mountain snow melt from the Himalayan mountains swamped the country’s entire economic base.

Pakistan is centrally located in the Middle East and has a long border with India. While border confrontations have occurred in Kashmir, the two nations recognize one another in trade. Pakistan is bound by Iran to the west, Afghanistan to the northwest and north, China to the northeast, and India to the east and southeast. The coast of the Arabian Sea forms its southern border. Clearly in the center of the Middle East and a gateway to China and India plus access to global seaports make Pakistan a natural player at the center of economics and politics.

But no more. Pakistan’s economy has collapsed; its government structure is dysfunctional. Recovering the damage to the citizenry will cost more than $16.3 billion.

Pakistan is cited because it is more than a small island nation sinking into rising seas. Pakistan was a worldwide player with a slowly but continuously growing reputation among its neighbors. But Mother Earth advanced the global warming war from the Arabian Sea and from the Himalayan mountains. A Putin-style bullet war could not do this much damage.

The seacoast of Pakistan looks a lot like the eastern seacoast of the United States, around Florida and all the way to the Texas/Mexico Border. Fortunately, the US is a much larger nation than Pakistan with more than one narrow agricultural area. So far, Mother Earth is lobbing notable storms into the Gulf coast and Florida; as a diversion, she is engineering a major water shortage in the Rockies and California and this year started on the Mississippi River – preventing many river-dependent supply chains from operating.

Nations are not messing with an inexperienced, underfunded adversary. It is the nations that are underfunded – by several magnitudes. As humans continue to throw Carbon Dioxide and Methane into the atmosphere, as humans barbarically continue to destroy and contaminate the Earth’s environment, as thousands of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and microorganisms disappear, dare we expect that Mother Earth will turn her head away?

Will the US be able to maintain leadership in the world when trillions of dollars must be spent in the war with Mother Earth to salvage Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlotte, one-third of the land mass of Florida, Houston, one-fourth of Louisiana, San Francisco and Seattle? Perhaps Central America will disappear, and the Panama Canal will not be needed.

Mariner has not invented this dilemma. All the assumptions already have been discussed by scientists and futurists. Like a real bullet war, the battlefronts will shift, and the time may drag on but a war it is.

Ancient Mariner

Earth from God’s perspective

As one of thousands of creatures in God’s Earth zoo, our human view of reality often is myopic. That view is important because it keeps our species alive from day to day. The downside, of course, is that it is easy to ignore the bigger picture – the view from God’s perspective.

Unfortunately, over recent centuries education in formal categories of study has been socialized. The relationship between students and the Earth Sciences is taught as if the Earth’s 4.6 billion year history were a science-fiction movie. In fact, Earth’s history is very much a daily dynamic that encompasses every move every creature, including humans, makes on a moment-to-moment, day-in day-out basis.

The Earth’s history shows very plainly that the planet is in charge. It is the planet’s rules that will prevail. All creatures in the Earth Zoo must acknowledge the zoo rules for their respective cages, that is, how a species must relate to its environment and fellow members of its species.

Again unfortunately, the Earth itself must abide by God’s rules for astronomic behavior. This means that the Earth will not always be the same. For example, the Earth moved from a dry, barren planet to one that was covered in water because at the time it rained for millions of years. Life began in these waters but perished when the Earth suddenly incurred a centuries long ice age that froze the seas; ocean life had no choice but to perish. It was largely true with the large dinosaurs; a meteor hit the Earth and destroyed 90 percent of life on Earth.

These misbehaviors by Earth are rare. What occurs more frequently is smaller changes attributed to Sun storms, shifts in orbit and the aging of the planet. For example, what was called the ‘Fertile Crescent’ (the region east of the Mediterranean) in early human migrations is now largely desert. The absence of agriculture has left the region in turmoil for centuries; human stability in the environment has disappeared – an example of Earth changing the rules of the ‘human cage’ in the zoo.

For the first time in 4.6 billion years, a new zoo perspective has occurred: a species has decided to make the rules for interacting with the Earth’s environment. Yes, the humans.

It isn’t working too well. The humans are changing the environmental rules from a sophisticated, self-managing zoo to a resource for allowing humans to actually claim ownership of the environment, motivated less by balanced self-management than to optimize comfort, reduced accountability and personal advantage over other humans. (Reminds mariner of the crypto crisis).

Zoo management isn’t taking this sitting down. Earth’s environment is growing unstable. Sadly, this imbalance affects all the species at the zoo.

God is watching.

Ancient Mariner

About Earthly phenomena

 

A question was raised asking what a polar reverse is. Mariner has written about the phenomenon in previous posts:

Yes, Virginia, one day Santa may have to move to Antarctica

Posted on February 24, 2021

Mariner has written recently about Earth’s polar magnetic field currently flipping erratically in the Bering Sea and the southern Atlantic. The following summary is copied from the February 2021 Science Magazine:

Kauri trees mark magnetic flip 42,000 years ago

By Paul Voosen

Using a remarkable record from a 42,000-year-old kauri tree preserved in a bog, researchers have pieced together a record of the last time Earth’s protective magnetic field weakened and its poles flipped—known as the Laschamp excursion—exposing the world to a bombardment of cosmic rays and, the team suggests, briefly shifting Earth’s climate. The record shows the field nearly failed prior to its brief swap, which only lasted 500 years. Combined with an unusually quiet Sun that is believed to have occurred during this time, cosmic rays could have caused a notable drop in stratospheric ozone, shifting wind flows and climate patterns, they suggest.

For those curious why the magnetic field flips, it is caused by the Earth’s iron core rotating at a different speed than surface layers of the planet. Eventually what can be represented as static electricity disrupts the magnetic balance – just like lightning or touching something while walking in your socks across the rug. Unlike the instantaneousness of lightning or socks, the mass of the entire Earth acts like a capacitor, slowing the change to hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.

֎ It was just in the news that the Mississippi River is running shallow. Already it holds up the huge barges that carry Midwest grains to manufacturers. Add to this the failing cattle grain farms in the southwest and one can assume buying grain products and beef at the market may well run up credit card debt. Perhaps anchovies, scrapple and spam may become popular again.

Ancient Mariner

Walking

Mariner has not had much physical exercise for the last two weeks because he had a houseful of guests. Today he decided he better start walking to the Post Office again because he felt aches and pains all over, that is, stiffness, muscle complaints and loss of gumption.

So he walked to the Post Office – a  brisk 10 minute walk each way. While walking he felt no unusual discomfort; true, he wouldn’t make the Olympic team but generally, it was a pleasant experience – until he arrived back at the house. Exhaustion set in and general malaise. The next hour or so he simply sat in his chair.

He is reminded of a post he wrote some time ago that suggested walking or running was good for a human. This is because when walking or running, the brainstem takes over bodily functions in such a way that the functions of the body (blood pressure, breathing, circulation, etc.) focus on sustaining the needs of walking or running. Only afterward are deficiencies dealt with.

Anthropologists have identified this deference to walking and running as a survival trait during the days in the Rift Valley and the Serengeti in Africa. In those times, we didn’t have houses, cars, roads, chairs, grocery stores or telephones. Survival meant chasing down food that often ran faster than humans.

What transpired in evolution was that the brain adapted a way to sustain walking and running – sort of putting the body in overdrive. This included perspiration and adapting various body functions so that sustained running and walking received maximum support.

What is fascinating is that the brainstem, one of oldest parts of the brain, still retains an on-off switch that switches on only when we walk or run. When the switch is on, the entire chemistry of the body gets a workout.

Mariner is sorry that the early humans didn’t have a chair to flop into when it was over.

Ancient Mariner

Consciousness

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben was published in 2016. It is a best seller because of its warm and fuzzy description of the life of trees and other plants. Wohlleben accomplishes this by giving trees consciousness with the use of anthropomorphism; trees are able to have a simple culture and are aware of other trees as brothers and sisters in the forest.

Everyone enjoys a bit of anthropomorphism once in a while. Having a bit of light conversation with the teapot can be entertaining or sharing fondness with that old pair of sneakers. But the truth is that the most significant difference between the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom is consciousness. Animals have it, plants don’t.

What provoked consciousness to evolve? This still today is a totally unanswered question. What small, ancient creature was the first to recognize an external circumstance that had yet to affect the chemistry or condition of the creature itself? Which creature was the first to use the word ‘what’ albeit not in verbal form?

Human consciousness has evolved into a more substantive capability. Not only is ‘what’ used but why, how, where, when, who, did, will and many other launch words that are used to engage consciousness. Without consciousness, there can be no reasoning; no language, words or definitions. One would not be aware that there are different colors or that cats are soft or knives are sharp; ‘will it be sunny today’ doesn’t exist. Without consciousness judgment doesn’t exist – just ask the trees, anthropologically, of course.

Plants had a long time to slowly develop survival methods that don’t need consciousness. Plants have been around for 1.6 billion years, enough time to put in place complex chemical and environmental processes that can function without consciousness. Animals have only been around 640 million years so consciousness was a shortcut. The downside is that animals, especially humans, have to think about stuff to survive whereas plants don’t.

The verdict is still out for consciousness. Evolution never stops so anything may be possible in the long run. The fact is that consciousness is volatile. It is affected by many different physical, empirical and existential relationships. In other words, unlike the perpetual chemical dependency found in plants, consciousness is subject to genetic modification, a generational phenomenon. Generations last only about twenty to thirty years so what can change in the next 2,500 years could be significant.

Mariner is suspicious about the drift toward machine dependency to replace thinking by humans. What’s that common phrase . . . use it or lose it. On the other hand, it may be easier to be like a tree.

Ancient Mariner

Demise is becoming a possibility

Another tragic mass murder of children. It is within reasonable odds that the reader and their children will be shot before winning any state lottery. Yet, like an internal cancer, guns and gun ownership have become an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, racial bias not just against blacks but against Chinese, Latino, immigrant and Middle Eastern races remains entrenched. Despite protest, like an internal cancer, racism has become an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, homosexual differences and sexual discrimination against women prevail. Like an internal cancer, they have become an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, the wealthy prey on more and more human lives, expanding the number of poverty-stricken families and forcing a drain on financial stability from governments, jobs, housing, and diverse productivity. Yet, like an internal cancer, trillions of American dollars continue to be hidden away and represent an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, giant corporations have cornered freedom of speech. Lack of privacy, free thought and lack of accountability to the public, like an internal cancer, have become an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, Federal and state governments have turned against democratic voting and pursue a totalitarian plutocracy. Like an internal cancer, self-interested governments have become an irresponsible characteristic of American society.

Similarly, the advocacy of religious institutions for the equal well-being of every individual has vanished and has been replaced with vile accusations, prejudice and endorsement of violence. Like an internal cancer, the spiritual base has become an irresponsible characteristic of American Society.

Some may scoff and recount the many counter-movements that fight these cancers. But the movements lose. The cancers abide within the core of the nation’s ethos.

Mariner is reminded of an old orange that has lost the shine of its rind. Soft shades of green begin to appear over the orange – then grey mold and sunken flesh appear. The orange approaches demise. There is no hope for this deliberately bred seedless orange.

Ancient Mariner

Birth events have shifted

The AP news service published an article today that is fascinating to think about. AP pointed to statistics that show women in their twenties have put off having children. Instead the average time for having children has crept into the late thirties and forties. In the grand scheme of things, why is this happening?

Wouldn’t our evolutionary processes prevail, that is, becoming pregnant as hormones and independence from parents become active? Mariner’s mother, certainly poor by any comparison, gave birth to him at the age of sixteen and his brother at age twenty. What has caused this move to not have children until the thirties and forties?

The statistics from AP: Fertility rates declined by almost 43% for women between ages 20 and 24 and by more than 22% for women between 25 and 29. At the same time, they increased by more than 67% for women between 35 and 39, and by more than 132% for women between 40 and 44, according to the Census Bureau analysis based on National Center for Health Statistics data.

Direct influences are related to finances. The importance of careers for women as security against uncertain times is obvious. In a related statistic, there is pressure for a financially stable household to be a two-income family. Who pays for childcare and related overhead for children while both parents work? Young families are forced to be practical and wait for more secure times before having a family. Yet, in mariner’s mind, his mother had no financial security but was not influenced to wait for better times; he wonders what is different today?

Another direct influence is pharmaceutical advances in birth control, something that was not available to his mother. Even with the advantage of birth control, why has the shift been so absolute? The statistics suggest that birth control made it easier to pursue a general conclusion to have children later.

Is the shift because Homo sapiens has become a four generation creature? Does this extra generation, largely not financially self-sufficient, add to the intuitive burden of their children?

Is this shift because Homo sapiens no longer has direct habitat-dependent requirements that lend themselves to tribal (extended family) society?

Is it because farming economy no longer is a slow, multi-generational experience that launches the process of gross domestic product?

Is it because modern technology has expanded the awareness of young people to a larger, more complex world?

How is this delay in building families related to falling populations in every industrialized nation? Is industrialized life too rapid and short-funded to allow for a society based on family-centric value?

From a broader perspective, do the planet’s rapidly shrinking resources cause an unconscious awareness that there isn’t enough to go around anymore?

Give this subject some thought. It’s certainly better than the general angst provided by cable news.

Ancient Mariner

If you’re past 50, pay attention

As regular readers know, mariner has been an advocate of maintaining strength in the quadriceps, the leg muscles that lift us every day. The primary enemy is the chair. One must, must, must, must do a few reps of squats every day to maintain a confident balance and dexterity with their limbs. The exercise also extends a lifestyle that is physically competent if even to getting in and out of a car.

See the link for an example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKhd9MXTUzY

Just as important, if not more so, is to walk at least a mile every day. The older the reader is, the more important this exercise is. Mariner often has referenced a part of the brain that doesn’t wake up until the body is in a continued pace. One must walk at one’s best sustainable gait. The brain exercises all the critical components including lungs, heart, circulation and caloric consumption. Drink some water before the reader leaves for the walk.

Ancient Mariner