I’ve just watched a video on television that curdled my blood. Its title is Millennial Year. With the bombast of a titanic revelation, it spreads the good news: Humanity has the potential to attain perfection with the aid of a chip implant for everyone on earth.
Although the video’s authors do not attempt to explain the process of extrasensory mind-to-mind communication they assume that the process exists. Since thought itself is far from being thoroughly understood and having experienced telepathy personally, I accept their assumption. But I abhor the video’s appalling message.
Early in the video, we see a swarm of bees. That serves to set the scene for the message. Then, in order to soften the negative impact of the message, the authors introduce us to the venerable Michio Kaku who cheerfully reinforces the virtues of Swarm Intelligence. Ah!…hence the busy bees at work!
There is no mention that bees communicate their needs by dances, buzzes, and chemicals, not telepathy. Bees have done that for 130 million years. We are also shown swarms of birds and fish as two other examples of Swarm Intelligence. The same is true of mammals, including latecomers, human beings.
Regrettably, the video is totally in tune with the tone of current society. It absurdly extolls the eagerly anticipated chip’s ability to provide a dinner group with ‘telepathic’ communication while they are eating. We see actors at the table awkwardly enhancing their telepathic skills with facial expressions while chewing food (multitasking); the chip would also provide faster communication than spoken language (this satisfies today’s obsession for speed); the video is slick. It is filled with clichés, e.g., the use of The Blue Danube as background music in one of the scenes. Apparently, the pretentious film, titled 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to have amateur writers join the flock of Kubrick admirers (auteurs are on the rise).
Having seen the video only once, I am not certain about the order of its content. But its message is absolutely clear. I’m shocked by its blatant endorsement of Swarm Intelligence, Collective Intelligence, and Hive Mind. Even its authors sensed that those terms would not sit well with some of us. Anticipating our contempt for North Korean absolute conformity, they soften those terms with a colossal euphemism, eDemocracy, the heinous concept of a chip-based ‘human Internet’ consisting of 8 billion people thinking about solutions to human problems through billions of Nano chips.
But what about the collective thought of the Hive Mind? Wouldn’t it at best be average? According to the authors, that’s not a problem: all we need do for the perfection of humanity is “shed ego, self, and individuality!” No comment.
[Note: I wrote a whimsical science fiction article for this web site in April 27, 2016, titled One and subtitled A Fiction Soon to be Real. Now, I’m saddened to know that my subtext was somewhat prescient.]