Elon Musk wants to Swiss cheese the ground beneath our feet. Another genius wants to grow humans in plastic bags. Zuckerman thinks it best if we never have a moment to ourselves. No, technology isn’t saving us, it’s driving us to the brink of extinction, and madness.
Let’s start with the tunnels, aka, the hyperloop. Like many of the ideas technology is foisting upon us, it has its good points. Ever been to a drive-up bank that has the tubes where you put your cash or signed check into a little can and the can is whisked to the teller a hundred feet away? Kinda like that, but with people. The tube is big, underground and has most of the air pumped out of it, creating a vacuum so there is very little air resistance to slow things down. The can is big enough for you to get in, along with your chipmunk friends. and has it’s own motor, or magnetic levitation, so you can whoosh from San Fran to La La land in less time than you can eat half a small box of Junior Mints. Not counting the hurdles a project like Musk’s Hyperloop would face, such as tunneling, right of way, material costs, and the mere fact that nature abhors a vacuum, for these are all questions the techheads, attorneys and engineering wonks thrive on, what is the real problem with the whole concept behind the thing? The proponents can counter those tech objections faster than Zig Ziglar can put a pen in your hand. The thing being overlooked, the point that makes technology and science insane, and out to git you, is that it is concentrating on details and missing the big picture.
Do we really need to get anywhere? And fast?
Scientists have been able to grow lambs in an artificial womb, or plastic bag, and say humans could be next. Have you seen how many plastic bags there are? They are everywhere. You bring your groceries home in them and throw your trash away neatly packed inside one. You may keep your nuts and bolts neatly organized with one and cook your dinner in another. A plastic bag dancing in a whirlwind caused inspired a famous director. Plastic bags from birth to burial. They adorn trees and shrubs in the far reaches of the wilderness, windblown, itinerant, ubiquitous. If we could grow people inside them, at the same scale wouldn’t people be just as trashy?
Do we really need that many people?
Mark Zuckerman showed up at some strangers house for dinner the other day. And he really tucked in, dang near ate the whole meatloaf himself and scarcely left enough ice cream for the kids to have some. Mark wants to be everywhere, all the time doing everything, to everyone, everyhow. He sends us emails and instant messages, videos and pictures. He knows everything about us, or friends, our pets names, where we live, what we do for fun, how big our bank account is. We know so very little about him. And yet there he is, at the door begging dinner, patting the dogs head and eating most of the meatloaf. Mark, Mark, limits man, limits.
Do we really need to be that connected?