This article is based on a keynote speech I delivered recently at 10X Biotech Conference in London. Video will follow.
Whenever we are talking about progress, we usually mean it in the context of life itself. Thus, I think it is important to start with a discussion on life.Life on this planet has appeared about 3.6 billion years ago. For 3 billion years it has been inhabited by single cell organisms. No one really knows how they came around. We can, however, conjecture that the life itself, a move from geology into biology, has been created as a way of preserving the Planet itself.
What has been the catalyst for geological form to move into biological one? How did that happen? We do not know.
But we do know why it has happened. The cooperation between these two systems has enabled the Planet to survive for billions of years. 3.6 billion years ago life has been created on Planet Earth to ensure progress and preservation of the Planet by the means of cooperation.
When photosynthetic bacteria developed, they slowly changed the planet’s atmosphere from one comprised of mostly carbon dioxide and nitrogen with trace amounts of oxygen to a more oxygen-rich one. It would be advisable for the readers to look at the works for James Lovelock, an independent British scientist, environmentalist, and futurist. His Gaia hypothesis, also known as the Gaia theory, Gaia paradigm, or the Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. Indeed, the oxygen, created by photosynthetic bacteria, assisted the development of the more complex eukaryotic cell and so the eventual rise of multicellular life which interacted with carbon dioxide slowly changing the composition of the atmosphere. Without that oxygen produced by the cells that learnt photosynthesis, there would also be no ozone layer filtering out damaging UV radiation. Earth today would not be liveable had life have not been created 3.6 billion years ago.
Thus, it is precisely the cooperation between inorganic and organic matter has led to the creation and self-reinforcement of life.
What happened 600 million years ago, then? How have single celled organisms evolved into multi-cellular ones? I will not endeavour to answer the question reserved for professional biologists. I think I do know why this has happened though. This evolution has been made as cooperation for the sake of further progress.
Through various trials and errors living creatures have discovered that the cells benefitted more from working together than they were from living alone. This transition has not been an act of charity or socialism. This evolution has been a result of a striving for survival and progress.
“Ratcheting mechanisms” are responsible for this slow but unstoppable evolution into multi-cellar life forms. The more a trait makes cells in a group mutually reliant, the more it serves as a ratchet. For instance, groups of cells may divide labour so that some cells grow one vital molecule while other cells grow a different essential compound.
Let’s jump 600 million years into the future and find ourselves at about 4 million years before today. This is an approximate time when primates and apes have branched out from a plethora of various complex organisms, inhabiting this Planet back then. We, humans, have evolved out of this very species. Homo erectus is an extinct species of human that lived between 2 million and 200,000 years ago. The move from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens (us) has happened 800,000 and 200,000 years ago. It must be noted that there existed dozens of various humanoid groups, and it is only Homo Species that has survived through eons. Why did they do better? Why are we drinking latte and reading The Economist while our biologically not so distant cousins are hanging out in Regents Park in cages?
The answer to this question “why” is the same as in two previous cases. Homo Sapiens has progressed and survived thanks to more advanced and sophisticated levels of cooperation.
Use of tools, barter trade, big game hunting, art, use of signs and language – all these have become a base from which the language, economy and overall human order has evolved.
We have discussed several examples of how cooperation has enabled the progress of life on our Planet so far. It is logical to conclude the next step in species development will also come from more elevated levels and types of cooperation. 6 years ago, I came up with the concept of a Universal Mind – next generation ultra-connected Internet where anyone willing could download information directly from the web without the need to type, search and waste your time. Equally, anyone willing could upload their knowledge into this common web. As of now, Neuralink is probably the closest tool to the realisation of this future.
Also, there is no reason to limit ourselves to our civilisation only. Next levels of cooperation might come from outside humanity. There can be cooperation with animals – the more we understand how their consciousness and communication works and the more we can learn from each other. Children of Time is a great sci fi book, explaining the interaction of Human and Arachnid civilisations. Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu gives a wonderful account of the stories of two different civilisations in the context of the universe – humanity and Trisolar civilisations. Indeed, if Cixin Liu’s theory of dark forest is proven wrong, – there is no reason to exclude the possibility of intergalactic cooperation for the advancement of both worlds.
We briefly covered our past and our potential future, and the role cooperation have and will play in the development and progress of life. What about our present?
How does the cooperation aspect work today? In the world torn between populists, nationalists, ultra-right, ultra-left, conspiracy theorists and resurging Nazism, plunging in what can be the worst economic recession since 1929. Cooperation in today’s world really does not look that encouraging. Truth is, – all these things existed throughout history. And all these things are present across all our societies.
Where does the modern problem lie on the Planetary scale today?
What is the biggest impediment to the next stage of humanity’s development?
What is the biggest obstacle to the cooperation, that have been the engine of progress for the last 3.6 billion years?
Answer is simple:
Democracy is an extremely inefficient form of government organisation. In democracies, you need to listen to so many people, consider everyone’s opinion to a certain degree, ensure people’s freedoms, desires etc.
Dictatorships offer a much more efficient form of government – a leader or an “elite” decides what is right and acceptable and society must abide by these norms. Simple, streamlined, coordinated, enforced.
What needs highlighting, however, is that while Dictatorships are much more efficient than democracies in many ways their main goal is not the progress of life and development of humanity. Their main and pretty much only goal is the preservation of their regime and power.
Dictatorships survive by creating so-called Narrative Realities & artificial barriers between humans – divide et impera. Dictatorships are good at allowing cooperation fostering the regime. But they will suppress any type of cooperation among its subjects that could allow them to unite and find inconsistencies in the fabric of Narrative Realities.
Sci fi is not fantasy or daydreaming – it is a disguised critique of the modern society using theoretical futures.
Let’s take a look at one of the most popular sci fi novel of modern times, – 1984:
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”
George Orwell – 1984
The principle allowing divide et impera is not sci fi or fantasy. It is a description of a perfect dictatorship. I will not comment on China, North Korea, and others. Specialising in the research of Russian authoritarian regime and having written my thesis on Russian Imperialism in 2013, predicting the upcoming war, I will take Russia as an example to break these principles apart:
War is Peace
Russian leadership and public are known to claim they have attacked Ukraine pre-emptively, as a protection. “They planned it first” – they say. “We invaded Ukraine to prevent WWIII” – they said.
Eternal State of War
The mission of perpetual war for a dictatorship is to justify psychological and physical control over their populations, to keep their people busy, fearful, and hateful towards the enemy. Every Dictatorship has an external enemy. This enemy might not know or care about the dictatorship. But there normally comes day a country finds out they were designated as an external enemy. This day came to America on the 11 of September 2001. This day arrived in Ukraine in the early morning of February 24th this year, – and every day since then.
Freedom is Slavery
You don’t need to watch Russian TV too long to understand an overarching message about their “opponents”, ideological enemies:
- Black people control the West
- Jews control the West
- Nazis control Ukraine
- Jewish Nazis control Ukraine
People in the West are enslaved to the woke agenda:
- Beating a partner is not allowed
- Beating gay people is not allowed
- Racist remarks are not allowed
Indeed, – absolute slavery, – in the eyes of Russians anyway…
Ignorance is Strength
Any oppressed nation is miserable by definition. A sweet pill of Greatness & Exceptionalism is usually employed to improve this eternal misery by giving it meaning. As soon as anyone hears the narrative of being great and being chosen – you should know: you are getting screwed.
In this context it is fascinating to hear numerous intercepted Russian communications:
- Mom, we are not saving anyone. We are killing and raping people, destroying their homes, – says a Russian soldier, killing in Ukraine
- No, you are a hero, you are doing great things, wait for more bullets, – is a usual mother’s response
Some even more horrendous discussions have been intercepted, where a soldier is complaining their units are leaving them and most of his fellow soldiers have been killed only to hear absolutely no compassion, but a resolute voice saying he should stand till the end, also inquiring if he has killed any Ukrainians at least
Indeed, Dictatorships are diametrically opposed to Science
- Science is ruled by Logic, Arguments, and the Ability to Change Your position when convincing arguments and proof is present
- Dictatorship is ruled by Absurdity and an Absolute Faith
The concepts in Narrative Realities are so twisted and so dynamic that the population is forced to seek re-enforcement and approval of the current “truth” by the Authority. If you want to survive in North Korea, China, or Russia – you need to look what the leader is saying and then repeat the same thing, you need to be always up to date as to what is acceptable in Narrative Reality these days.
Radio has been perfected by Nazis for spreading their Narrative. Television is perfected by Russians to spread theirs. No type of cooperation and unapproved creativity is allowed in modern Nazi Russia, as it can swiftly lead to questioning, creation of a counter-narrative and the de-throning of the leader.
Technology in Democracies and Dictatorships
Creative societies are the ones that come up with the radio, TV, Internet, personal computers, mobile phones, sharing economy, virtual reality, biotechnology, cloning, gene editing, – pretty much any world-changing technology. The destiny of dictatorships has always been limited to theft and adaptation of stolen technologies to their local markets.
Dictator societies, with small exceptions, have never came up with anything of value to the humanity as a whole. All they were ever capable of has been imitation and theft.
People’s suffering and tortures are a horrible by-product of dictatorial regimes. But the worst threat of dictatorial forms of government is the fact they constitute the key obstacle to any type of creative development, thus halting the progress of humanity as a whole!
Dictatorships constitute the biggest impediment to our mutual progress, the progress of humanity and the next evolutionary leap for humanity.
In the history of evolution – whenever a species has been presented with a significant obstacle it normally had two choices:
- Overcoming an Obstacle and Evolving Further
This exact conundrum is now presented to the whole of humanity. Either we allow the cancer of dictatorships to spread across the Planet, or we get rid of it once and for all.
To learn more on how we could use technology as a means of destroying Dictatorships please refer to my article How Metaverse Will Change Politics.
Be it becoming interplanetary species or solving human mortality, curing cancer and Alzheimer, solving climate change problem, -we, as humanity, cannot move to the next stage of our development while dictatorships are hampering this progress.
Be it the MetaVerse or some other innovation of the future, or the simple application of brute force and physical destruction – Forces of Freedom & the Humanity Enabling Technology Has to Defeat Forces of Oppression if we as humanity are to enable all members of our civilisation to benefit from cooperation and move to the next stage of our development