Volume 22 Issue 4
Something or someone pushed the go-fast button and here we are living in a world racing toward a new world at incomparable velocity. What is this new world? It is a redesigned world-culture based upon artificially supplied intelligence and perhaps even artificially supplied life (virtual, second-life), pleasure and relationships. It is a vast and far-reaching vision. It is powerful and likely unstoppable. In the process we may cease to be us. The primary tool is the computer, which will, through exponential growth, exceed mans own combined intelligence within 26 years based on the projections of Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore as explained in Moores Law.
Todays average low-end computer calculates at roughly 10 to the 11th (1011) or a hundred billion calculations per second. Scientists approximate that the level of pattern recognition necessary to tell Grandfather from Grandmother or distinguish the sound of hoofbeats from the sound of falling rain requires the brain to calculate at speeds of roughly 10 to the 16th (1016) cycles per second, or 10 million billion calculations per second. Using these figures as a baseline and projecting forward using Moores law, the average $1,000 laptop should be computing at the rate of the human brain in fewer than fifteen years. Fast-forward another twenty-three years, and the average $1,000 laptop is performing 100 million billion billion calculations (1026) per second which would be equivalent to all the brains of the entire human race. (Abundance: The future is better than you think, Kotler & Diamandis, 2012).
This has broad implications, especially when coupled with Kurzweils idea of singularity: computers and human cells interacting and becoming trans-human or enhanced with artificial intelligence. At the moment, the new world creators are scientists and corporate entrepreneurs. They forge ahead, but in trepidation, knowing that it is impossible to predict the magnitude of their own innovations. In the recently published book Abundance quoted above, Diamandis and Kotler carefully express concern, if not outright fear, of launching into such unknown, irreversible territory. They quote Marc Goodman, chief criminologist of the Cybercrime Research Institute. Goodman explains that our growing dependence upon technology has created a fading line between us and reality.
We believe what the computer tells us. We read our email through computer screens; we speak to friends and family on Facebook; doctors administer medicines based upon what a computer tells them the medical lab results are; traffic tickets are issued based upon what cameras tell us a license plate says; we pay for items at stores based upon a total provided by a computer; we elect governments as a result of electronic voting systems. But the problem with all this intermediated life is that it can be spoofed. Its really easy to falsify what is seen on our computer screens. The more we disconnect from the physical and drive toward the digital, the more we lose the ability to tell the real from the fake. Ultimately, bad actors (whether criminals, terrorists, or rogue governments) will have the ability to exploit this trust.
The big issue becomes the what if scenario of corruption. Throughout time, technology and weaponry has always found its way into the hands of evil men. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Korn all illustrate the crushing blows that evil has brought to humanity, even in modern times.
We have reached a great crossroads and the decision has been made to plow forward. There is no yellow caution flag in sight; we will go, and go fast! And despite the unpredictable outcomes, the conclusion of Kotler and Diamandis is that the world will be better once the scientists have created and established a technologically augmented utopia. But, there are no guarantees.
Against this backdrop stands the church. The church of the last days, pitted against corruption, false ideology and seductive spirits. We are in a war against the carnal and we cannot afford to be ignorant of Satans devices. It is no time to fall in love with the world. The world is our adversary and we are instructed of God to guard against its allure and enticements (1 John 2:12-29). The church cannot approach even one new morning as an uninformed, un-anointed, uncalled, or unaware people. Our children sit in the balance and every decision we make determines whether we stand in opposition to the world or yield in solidarity to the world. Will we choose holiness? Will we choose separation? Will we choose essentiality of the Holy Ghost? Will we choose to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of the Word of God? Will we heed the Bibles caution to resist the world? Will we count the cost of our lust for inclusion and acceptance? Or, will we merely reach for the go-fast button that launches us into an unknown territory of compromise? Like millions sitting in front of computer screens living virtual second lives, will we be lulled into participating in a form of virtual religion apart from the move of the Spirit and ultimately lose the ability to tell real from fake (2 Timothy 3:5)?
Make no mistake, this may appear on the surface to be another chapter in the age-old war between young versus old, tradition versus modernity, or a mere resistance to changing methodology. If Satan keeps us fighting that war, he will win. Because, while we stay locked in superficiality the world will stay focused on the big issue — the complex seduction of the mind (1 John 2:26). The real battle is the mind of God versus the mind of the world. God anoints us, John says, not because we do not know the truth but because we do know the truth and we know there is an anti-Christ. We are born by word and spirit to fight in a war about life and death (Proverbs 8:36). Speak the alternative word. Confront the emptiness of this world. Be strong. What we do matters because it will propel us either toward God or toward the world. Our decisions, the decisions being made all around us are propelling us in one direction or the other FAST!
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).