Regarding the Apocalypse


Mariner’s alter ego Guru, responsible for wide ranging philosophical and futuristic insights, claimed in a recent post that the Apocalypse already has begun. There have been queries about definition.

From his safe house in Chicken Little’s hen house, mariner will lay out the timeline implied by Guru.

It all began innocently 2 million years ago when a new species evolved that had a growing brain. The species was Homo. 1 million years ago, Homo began splitting into variations. Many failed to sustain themselves and became extinct but a few with names like Neanderthal, Habilis, Australopithecus and Erectus survived into the age of humans. Together they would become Homo sapiens.

In those days, Homo had no choice but to live within the natural confines of their habitat. Living a plenteous life in an agreeable environment, a typical lifespan was about 40 years. Homo’s predators were meat eaters, infections and serious injury.

These characteristics are similar to the few indigenous tribes that still exist in remote areas of Africa and South America. These tribes to this day sustain themselves only with the restorative resources their environment provides.

About 10,000 years ago, Homo discovered how to grow more grain than he needed, hence the beginning of commerce by acquiring more grain than would be consumed by a local tribe. In a subtle way, this is the first abuse of the natural relationship between Homo and the environment.

Centuries roll by and Homo learns more ways to consume the environment beyond his natural relationship with nature. Homo extracted from nature other creatures like donkeys, horses, and wolves that would help expand the ability to acquire excessive amounts of Nature’s resources. Then Homo discovered iron, tin, lead and carbon-based energy. Now Homo could consume many times his need from Nature. Homo was consuming Nature faster than Nature could replenish itself.

This imbalance was the seed that has grown into the apocalypse we have today.

After I million years of living in accordance with the rules of Nature, in the last 1,000 years, Homo has trashed Nature; Homo has trashed the basic tribal society; Homo has trashed multiple generations that cohabit as a protective wall against difficult times. Homo quickly learned to ignore Nature and lived by the rule ‘If you can do it, do it’. He developed elaborate tools which, at every step, diminished the evolutionary potential of every Homo. For example, the use of coal and gasoline in the last 150 years has destroyed the security provided by extended family and tribe (town economy). Its method was to produce trains, automobiles, mechanized, oversized farms, superhighways and national and globally based industries.

In just 150 years the apocalypse gained speed. Isolated nuclear families became the norm – left defenseless without the human support of multiple generations and tribal support. Giant corporations became the norm, slowly eliminating local economies, local jobs and the existential satisfaction found in smaller towns and cities.

In the last 175 years, the apocalypse has shifted into a higher gear. 16,000 species are extinct because of Homo indifference. Around the world potable water is becoming scarce. Seafood from the oceans is 20 percent of what it was 100 years ago. And obviously the excess use of fossil fuel has launched serious changes in air quality and of the planet generally.

But in this century the chains are off. What easy transportation did to tribes, the Internet is doing to society. Communication technology makes war easier and more horrific; interpersonal skills and rewards are replaced by artificial behavior that dismisses 1 million years of evolutionary sophistication; privacy and security are fallacious assumptions.

Now a new age is upon us: artificial intelligence (AI). AI can emulate the entire reality of Homo. The final bridge to the apocalypse is that AI can reproduce itself. Who needs Homo?

Ancient Mariner


Check the sky – is it falling?

Mariner allowed Guru to offer a spontaneous thought about the state of things. Guru said, “Armageddon isn’t going to happen because there won’t be enough souls around for Jesus to bother coming back. However, the Apocalypse already has begun.”

Mariner has built a small apartment in Chicken Little’s hen house. He’ll be living there now. Amos has been put on leave.

Book to read: “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” by Stephen Hawking published 2018. Stephen Hawking is beyond reproach as one of history’s premiere theoretical physicists; he picked up where Einstein left off. He answers questions like:

Is there a God?

How did it all begin?

Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?

Will we survive on Earth?

And six other questions.

If the reader needs me, check the hen house.

Ancient Mariner

Does anyone have a plot line?


By Wiley:

Is it possible that our eager scientists are consumed by the phrase, “I do it because I can”? Is Homo sapiens ready for an automated lifestyle? Is the biosphere ready for Homo sapiens to have an automated lifestyle?

Scientists have created Xenobots, computer cells that can reproduce. Even Steven Hawking predicted this will be the demise of humanity.

Over the millennia, humans have learned to adapt to significant changes in the biosphere status quo; everything from ice ages to rocket ships and nuclear bombs. But each epoch was singular – just one at a time.

It isn’t the same today. There is AI, collapsing nationalism, global warming, social abuse, over-population and the waning of Adam Smith economics.

Can we Homos handle it?

Ancient Mariner

New signs

Bottom up power: [Politico] “The country’s 900 or so rural electric cooperatives serve remote rural customers and are member-driven, -owned and -controlled. Their nonprofit status has made it hard to make investments in low-carbon energy; unlike investor-owned utilities, they can’t go into debt or sell shares to pay for a solar farm. But getting them off of fossil fuels is essential to meeting climate goals.

Already five co-ops have either left or announced they will leave a major G&T (generation and transmission) called Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which covers parts of four Western states.”

This tendency is happening in Europe as well. Despite all the ‘effort’ to stop using fossil fuel, oil companies are making record profits. Even Biden is allowing a new oil-drilling operation in Alaska – talk about plutocracy!

Mariner often writes about collective cultures. Collectivism includes concepts like extended families, local government, local cooperatives, community rules for equality of life, etc. To one degree or another, terms for collectives include cooperative, clan, communist, commune, tribe and many other terms denoting a localized group. The image below captures the general spirit:

Just being a small group does not automatically grant goodness. There are many small groups bent on anything but sharing and survival of all – NIMBY is one of countless examples that demonstrate the conflict between collectivism and the imposing needs of a much larger population.

Having learned from many sources over many years, mariner knows Homo sapiens is a tribal species, along with most of its primate ancestors. In past posts, he has cited authors who said things like “The maximum number of individuals that can be familiar to a human is 150”, “The further a person gets from a direct relationship with the environment, the more abusive the relationship becomes” and recently, “I’m first if its fair for everyone”.

When he studies the development of western nations, and the unimaginable wealth that suddenly appeared on the American continents, mariner is reminded of a group of hoodlums during a riot who break into a store and steal all its goods. Such tactics work for the hoodlums if there is plenty to go around. Western Capitalism is the fastest way to reorganize wealth.

Today, however, there is not enough to go around. Capitalism has an idiosyncrasy that doesn’t work anymore: Grow or die.

Because the West has achieved such wonders and accomplishments – especially when the achievements provide convenience, collective terminology is not popular and its advantages often are discounted. It is this resistance that makes it good news to mariner that there is a breakaway of self-owned electric companies from large conglomerates. There are other appropriate concepts of management that will work better in these challenging times. Bigger may not be better.

There are many more sociological points of interest but mariner can become boring.

Ancient Mariner

Is Big Better?

The news from every quarter, whether conservative, liberal, science, democracy or dictatorship, it is the same: There isn’t enough to go around. An increasing number of nations are participating in or pontificating war as a path to sustain order. In both the East and the West, social mores are collapsing. The economies of wealthy nations are vulnerable. Hoarding behavior within plutocracies, corporatocracies, oligarchies and martial command nations prevail in global policy making. Yet the global number of homeless, starving and abused people is rising; small historical cultures are disappearing and conflict with the Earth’s biosphere grows more volatile.

Since 1980, the rate at which poor nations are collapsing has doubled, largely from the burden of climate change and the hoarding philosophy prevalent among all nations which in turn minimizes assistance.

The most frequent causes cited by public sources are unrealistic tax formulas, cultural abuse (woke, racism, Uyghurs, Moslems, on and on . . .), national cultures ignoring the needs of large populations, and antiquated judicial practices. A new one is artificial intelligence with its self-interest in managing public behavior for profit.

It occurs to mariner that the common denominator to all these dysfunctions is that they are controlled top-down. A simple contradiction would be democracy, a government that is managed by the individual citizen through local, state and federal elections – clearly a bottom-up philosophy today being managed by a plutocracy – a top-down philosophy that makes it so expensive for a local candidate to campaign that only national deep pockets can dictate who can run in local elections.

If one were to examine Earth’s evolution of every plant and animal, compressed into the instinct of every cell is a behavior that would be survival by bottom-up practices. In other words, survival of the fittest at SUSTAINING THE SPECIES. Opossums can only behave in a way that would be good for any opossum. Even the large flocks of birds, herds of cattle and swarms of fish all live in an equal but very personal state of survival: me first but only if it’s fair for the others. Of course, these creatures don’t reason this conclusion, it is in their genes.

Originally, sustaining the species was in the genes of the primates and likely still is but the thorn is the ability to reason, to perceive reality not bound by direct reality – not bound by a balance between the biosphere and physical dependence. Should we curse the first primate that conceived a tool not provided by nature? Of course not. However, should we curse the first primate who discovered how to grow more wheat than was needed and hoarded it? Perhaps, that was not an act to sustain the species.

It may be that the last structured society to sustain the evolutionary rule, ‘me first if it’s fair’, was the Chinese culture which existed around the beginning of the fifth century BCE. The period was before empire-building. It was a society of self-sufficient towns of about 250-1,000 people, likely all related in extended families. The economy was based on a collective style where everyone had a role in sustainability and no one went without.

The idea of a collective economy arose in Europe, if only briefly, with Anabaptist communism; there are remnants today in The United States and Europe but the overwhelming presence of modern commerce is too much to sustain pockets of collectivism. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there were numerous attempts at collectivism, the most notable being the Commune movement in the 1960s. A few sympathizers maintain that white man forced native Americans into an independent collective economy; recent news articles have addressed the invasion of commercial interests into Indian sources of locally sourced food, e.g., salmon.

֎ If, indeed, ‘top-down’ management is the issue, could we ever return to bottom-up? Not likely. It is very difficult to imagine what world order will look like in 100-150 years. There are so many substantive forces changing at the moment that it is easy to imagine an Armageddon catastrophe. Short of that, there are many presumably unmanageable situations that politics may not be able to manage. For example:

Population. Simply said, there are far too many humans on Earth to be supported by a natural ratio to Earth’s biosphere nor by any industrial or technological solution. The following quote is from the Smithsonian:

One can speculate that, at least in the United States and Europe, the worker rebellions are the beginning of a new politic.

Uncontrolled corporatism. The last time the Federal Government knew enough to tell corporations what to do was the generation in 1982 that forced Bell to split its empire into smaller independent companies. Before that, in 1911 Standard Oil was forced to split into 34 companies. Given the political power of Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc., not to mention weaponized Plutocratic political parties, it may not be possible to restore bottom-up economy.

Instant global communication. It is a marvel for anyone to log on to the internet and instantly acquire knowledge, news and ideas from around the globe. The nature of this instantaneousness is that there is no need to stop at a national border to show a visa; there is no need to have independent corporations operating in diverse nations of the world; there is no need for anyone to be loyal (AKA collective) to local markets when one can instantaneously purchase cheaper goods in Asia – no Silk Road needed. The most common evidence of this at the local level is the demise of storefronts. A nation’s borders may not mean much as commerce becomes global and can skirt or otherwise dominate national politics.

Global Warming. This is the big change. With the flick of her weather finger, Mother Earth can cause billions of dollars in property damage, increase homelessness, and disrupt government budgets. Further, she has demonstrated how easy it is to change agriculture to desert or a pleasant valley to a lava flow. Politics are irrelevant – no nation can own her or avoid her. Ask Pakistan.

Will there be Armageddon? You’ll have to prove it to mariner.

Ancient Mariner.


It is over.

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

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.


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

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

Let’s check in on the real news

In 4.5 billion years the Sun will fry the Earth destroying all living matter.

The Moon is drifting away from the Earth at the rate of 1.5 inches per year. Today the Moon circles the Earth about every 27 days; in 50 billion years the Moon will settle into a wider orbit that will require 47 days to circle the Earth. But then there’s the Sun’s interference at 4.5 billion years . . .

Current new studies show that the Americas are drifting away from Europe and Africa at a rate of 4 centimeters per year.

Can survival lessons be taken from the lifestyles of the oldest living things? The oldest Spruce tree is 9,550 years old; a variety of parsley living in the high deserts of Chile is 2,000 years old; stromatolites, a primitive moss/rock creature, lives 2,000 years. Hmmm, as a group they don’t seem to ask for much.

Mariner could continue to list news items showing patience, tenacity and long-term stability. It reminds him that in comparison the destructive, trashy, often incoherent Homo sapiens is like a one-panel cartoon versus a twenty volume encyclopedia. Perhaps it is best that humans live a short life span and will be extinct in less than 5 million years – given no asteroids, climate collapses or chemical destruction occur first. That leaves 4.495 billion years for the biosphere to recover.

If God had a Sunday newspaper, humanity would be on the comics page.

Ancient Mariner


Homo sapiens has become obsolete

Regular readers are familiar with the skepticism of alter ego Amos. In this new century, one beginning with a multitude of new and unchartered worries for mankind, Amos feels increasing depression as his fellow humans (AKA electorate) fail to grasp the enormity and perhaps the fatalistic nature of the times. The recent attack on the United States Capital was a misguided and virtually irrelevant gesture when global civilization is on the brink of collapse as the environment falters, global resources rapidly disappear, birth rates around the world approach zero growth and mankind’s own manufactured reality is decaying.

Now, there is hard evidence that Homo sapiens is about to be irrelevant and will disappear in short order. The following photograph is taken from the back cover of the January issue of The Economist. The small type says:

“Malicious AI created her picture, yet she has never been seen by a camera. It made her an online profile, yet she has never logged in. Malicious AI built her to attack you.”

The public today is worried about face recognition software. Poo. Who needs your face anymore when AI has a detailed description of your profile, health, driver license, family connections, friends and financial particulars – and can make a face made to order? Even more, a detailed copy of your whole existence sits in data bases that can emulate your probable real life experiences.

Now, AI doesn’t need your face or your body. AI can create a fictitious reality without using real human beings and can interlace you with others on Facebook, Twitter and E-Harmony. If you’re still around in a few years, you may have remarried and not even know it.

Consider the new AI world of business: AI creates a statistical version of a restaurant then populates it with statistical versions of humans. The finances look good on a digitized screen and AI will have to move bitcoins around in the fake economy to balance the database.

The next phase of human evolution will be complete. Living only as digitized energy, our progeny easily will be able to spread throughout the universe.

Ancient Mariner