WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
What do you think when you watch the news? Are you wondering why the fabric of our American society appears to be unraveling? Did you know there are predictions that our American society might collapse into a totalitarian state in just 20 to 30 years? There are also predictions of a colony on Mars in that same period. Experts say that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be more intelligent than all humans combined by then. Are you supposed to take any of these predictions seriously? Are you thinking about how soon 20 to 30 years is?
We are about to experience something profound. We are about to transform what it means to be “human” in mind and body as we merge with our technology. This transformation has already begun. But what if our society collapses? Will a totalitarian regime use advancing AI technology to suppress and control us? Or will technology help us save our free society, go to the stars and awaken the universe? Do you know how to plan your life considering such possibilities?
Ideas are crucially important. They determine the direction of a person’s life and the fate of entire societies. They will soon determine the future of our society. How do I convince you that by letting others do the vital thinking for you, you are putting your own life and your children’s lives at risk?
The intellectuals in a society are not always right. Ideas promoted by scholars led Europe out of the Dark Ages to the Renaissance and Enlightenment. But later, intellectuals in Europe caused their societies to accept Nazism and Communism. What if today’s scholars are wrong? How do we identify “good” ideas versus “bad” ideas? How will we know if we do not think for ourselves?
Professors in the universities promote specific ideas to their students who will become scientists, engineers, businessmen and politicians. In this new technological age, these people will embed those ideas in the smart AI technology around us. They will eventually build these ideas into the technology within us (brain-machine interfaces). AI systems are already beginning to replace humans in the administration of our society’s institutions. If we do not take control of our thinking, we might soon lose the ability to think for ourselves.
Even when you have the time to contemplate such big ideas, it is difficult to know where to begin. It is easier to leave the thinking about big ideas to professionals in religion, philosophy, education, business, government and science. You get bits and pieces of what those professionals and other commentators think via the media—but you are not sure that you can trust the media who seem to have an agenda. The ideas presented often conflict, and you have no way to know which is true. So, you go along with society’s mainstream flow and live your daily life as best you can—hoping for a good outcome. You do occasionally worry about the big ideas and wonder if there is something you should be doing?
Considering important ideas and resolving them in your mind enables you to set your life with purpose instead of blindly reacting to your daily grind circumstances. It allows you to enjoy every value in life more deeply—productive work, romantic love, friendships, recreation, art and more. It enables you to live the fullest, most exciting and enjoyable life possible as an intelligent human.
Technology is going to force change upon all of us, opening an array of opportunities. Now is the ideal time for you to reset your life by thinking and rediscovering your values—the things that awaken your passions. New goals can challenge you to be the best person you can be. The first step is to learn how your thinking directs the course of your life. Once you know how it works, you can control it and make your life go where you want.
Each of us is an explorer, and our life is an adventure. We are traveling over new territory (time), and we will make discoveries along the way. An explorer must be able to navigate—to steer a course toward a destination or purpose. First, an explorer must orient himself to his existing situation or environment. He must know what the “map” looks like, and he must find his place on the map by considering observed facts or principles. Then, he can choose the course that he will take. Suppose the explorer does not know his present position, or worse, does not have a destination, purpose, or principles to guide him. In that case, he is doomed to either remain in the same dull spot or travel in random circles until he dies.
Unlike a two-dimensional paper map, the “map” for humans has multiple dimensions or coordinates defining our present position. Each dimension represents a line of evolution from one place to another, and we are presently somewhere along each line. These dimensions and orienting coordinates include cosmology, biology, philosophy, knowledge, technology, society and happiness. The matching questions are:
Where am I right now along the dimension of…
the evolution of the cosmos?
the evolution of humans?
the evolution of my ability to “think?”
the evolution of my knowledge of how the universe works?
the evolution of technology?
the evolution of society?
the evolution of my happiness?
By observing facts and principles in each of these dimensions, we can find our place on the “map.” Then we can choose our destination or purpose and set the course for the adventure that is our life. I will provide the “map” and the facts and principles that apply in each dimension. As we go into the uncharted and uncertain future, we must remain aware of these enduring universal principles based on Laws of Reality.
Reality and evolution provided us the ability to “think” as our unique method of survival. We think about things at many levels. Some thoughts are “concrete,” such as, “That thing I see moving on the rock is an amoeba.” Some thoughts are “abstract,” such as, “I think I am in love with Ann.” To be true, all thoughts, concrete and abstract, must be connected to reality.
It is possible to connect big abstract ideas such as freedom, integrity, honesty, justice and love directly to reality. It is also possible to have errors in one’s thinking somewhere along the chain of ideas between observable reality and the higher abstract ideas. You were not born automatically knowing how to connect abstract concepts to reality—how to “reason.” It is a skill you must develop. It is not complicated. You never had a reason to focus on it in this way because schools do not consistently teach it. They teach it in the sciences, but not when it comes to abstract ideas in the humanities. We are going to do this together step by step.
Future technology, especially Artificial Intelligence, is the ideal subject because we must explore how human thinking works before considering the possibility of a thinking machine. We can use AI as a mirror to see ourselves. It will show us how ideas promoted by the scholars and accepted by the general population today will be disastrous for us tomorrow if AI systems (or someday, AI entities) accelerate and amplify those ideas.
If you rely on your observations and thinking to connect your abstract ideas to reality, you will become one of the New Intellectuals our society desperately needs. I will point out things that I see and how they might be connected in cause-and-effect relationships back to reality. You will consider what you see and form your own conclusions—not the random, unevaluated, and conflicting ideas put into your mind by others many years ago. You will focus on the essentials and cut through all the distractions. You will decide for yourself what you accept as true (real).
To be able to guide your life, you must learn how the world works. I will describe what I call The Six Critical Processes. These six cause a cascade of derivative processes and explain everything that we see in our society and our personal lives. These processes are driven by the Laws of Reality including man’s nature. As principles, they enable you to understand the world around you and guide your life confidently.
The Six Critical Processes are:
[Excerpt from the book, "INTELLOPY: Survival and Happiness in a Collapsing Society with Advancing Technology" by JJ Kelly https://intellopy.com/ ]