In 2006, I set out to create music with the goal of putting the idea of trans-humanism and the Singularity into people’s heads. The younger me was so blown away by the concept that I wanted to be a part of it somehow, and in time met a lot of people actively working on artificial intelligence, robotics, nano-technology, and more. Initially, I was naive in thinking that everyone working towards a post-human era were all on one big team that all shared the same common goal of creating a better world for tomorrow.
I was so very wrong. It’s not a big happy club, it’s an arms-race to build the strongest robots smartest A.I. – to defend against what their competitors are building. I think that soon we are going to witness a war between the US Government and companies like Google and Apple.
It’s become fairly evident that, even when faced with blatant, obvious proof of corruption or abuse of power, most of you will simply do nothing. Look around you. Is this what you thought the world would look like in 2013 when you were 8? People complain about not being able to find a job, but never realize that maybe the entire economic model is now obsolete. The jobs aren’t coming back, folks. Things are happening so quickly that entire industries are going to disappear. If you are a truck driver, or a fast food worker, things are not looking good for you, my friend.
The problem with our current economic system is that its not in any way based on nature. Corporations, by law, have to turn a profit – even when things like the environment and public health have to take a backseat. Why do people need money? To motivate them to do things? It’s my firm belief that money is the ultimate loophole – to make lame people seem cool, to make dumb people seem smart and successful, and to make old dudes attractive to girls. Wonder why a certain event is happening in the world? If you follow the money trail, you’re sure to find your answer.
For example, isn’t it a crazy coincidence how much lithium (which is used in every phone and laptop battery) and heroin, the world’s most addictive drug, is located in Afghanistan? Sure seems like a logical place to control via military to me. Isn’t it funny how they kind of… forgot to teach you basic finance skills in high school? If they REALLY cared about you, they wouldn’t fill prisons with people who have committed minor drug offenses – I’m pretty sure prison will ruin someone’s life more than smoking marijuana. If they REALLY cared about you, cigarettes would be illegal. Our education budget would be equal to, or greater than, our military budget. Every man, woman, and child would have a home and a healthy diet – because we have the resources to actually make that a reality. The reason they want people to be homeless is because it scares the middle class into corporate jobs that, at the end of the day, really don’t DO anything for the world.
Money is surely the root of all evil, and it is currently in the driver seat behind a very scary thing: Technology. Our current technology is set to outpace our human skills within not decades, but years. And who is in charge of this technology? Extremely wealthy, power-hungry people, and giant corporations that, by law, are required to put profit before anything else. Including human life. If they haven’t had a problem, say, destroying a small town’s water supply in the pursuit of oil in the past, what makes you think they will change their ways in the future? As automation becomes more prevalent, millions if not BILLIONS of people will be unemployed. The only logical thing to do at this point will be to switch to a system where money is obsolete or introduce a global, living wage for every person on the planet. The wealthy elite in power will not want to be “worth” the same as a poor farmer in China. Their net worth is what keeps their ego alive. But the government knows it’s obsolete. Through the internet, we can self-govern ourselves much more efficiently that the current government model.
So what are the wealthy elite going to do when they don’t need physical human labor anymore? The staggering world population is clearly destroying the planet and its eco-system. What happens when they have humanoid robots to do all their work, and fight their wars for them? I’m afraid they’re going to kill everyone they don’t need in the future.
But it doesn’t have to happen, and we need your help NOW before it’s too late. It may already be too late, but we have to try. We need to build a new economic system.
Imagine a new economic model – a resource-based economy. A system that ensures everyone is taken care of and is able to lead a happy life. How does this system work? The first phase of this plan would involve locating all the natural resources the planet has to offer. This will require an extremely powerful computer system to manage where all Earth’s resources are and how much is left to use. A global world government would need to be formed, and with it a new constitution. This constitution would make it mandatory that no matter what, natural resources must be used in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, and that everyone on earth has to be properly fed and kept healthy. Every product must be engineered to be recycled, repaired, or reused as much as possible. Using our new army of robots, we will increase our food production to levels previously thought unimaginable as the robot farmers work around the clock, never getting tired or sick. Another group of robots will be tasked to clean up and recycle the world’s garbage and add any new resources to the database via the internet. Everyone will be given internet access, and if anyone ever has a problem or needs help a robot will be made available to them. With poverty absolved, and most jobs eliminated, people will finally be able to work on what they WANT to work on – whether it be learning, teaching, creating art, inventing, exploring, or simply just fishing at a mountain stream.
You may ask, “If there’s no money, why will people be motivated to work when there is work required?” I believe that if we built a system that TRULY cared for them in ever way, there would be a line of people a mile long ready to help ensure the system continues to function.
But I don’t believe we will build this system. Because it will be hard. And because it feels good to have a nicer car than your neighbor. And because as long as you and your family are doing okay, you really don’t care about other people. And because you’re afraid that without fancy clothes and expensive sunglasses people will suddenly be forced to judge you based on your character, intelligence, and goodwill towards others.
And because you still haven’t figured out that even though it feels good to win that Monopoly game, all that wonderful money goes back in the box in the end; where it waits until the next deluded wage-slave comes to clack their tiny metal car across the board.
A new EP by Ancient Lasers, “Kill Your Idols”, is now available on our Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. Construction of these songs began right when we finished our debut LP “You In The Future”, initially as something for myself and Daniel Anderson to do while YITF was being mixed by Paul Turpin up in Bellingham. These songs, as well as a bunch more, are collecting into a somewhat different kind of album than our first – I would say more subdued and atmospheric. This also introduces Stephen Coleman adding production touches and mixing to the..uh..mix. Hope you enjoy! – Daniel Finfer
It’s so easy to get stressed out these days and lose sight of some basic truths about the times we are living in.
CHILL OUT: Our generation’s lifespan will be significantly longer than any other in human history. So stop comparing your life to your parent’s. Sure, your dad probably already had a house, 401k, and a diversified portfolio at your age. Maybe they already had YOU at your age, too. Holy shit, stop freaking out about it. We are living through a Technological Renaissance unrivaled by human history, and they weren’t. They actually didn’t really have much else to do back then but pop out a few kids and collect paychecks at a desk job. People under 30 that are alive right now have a good shot at living to be at least 150 years old – and if my homie Aubrey de Grey at SENS has his way, the first 1,000 year old person may have already been born. So, sure, your parents might have been a little farther along than you, but by comparison of lifespans, you’re still only like 8 years old.
By the time we are ready to retire, we will probably be Asteroid Cowboys taking weekend trips to Club Elon (formerly Mars).
PANIC: This economic model isn’t sustainable longterm and will probably collapse soon. Most people are probably realizing that jobs are shrinking and disappearing, but I bet you don’t realize how bad it actually is (people applying for work might). Our economy is based around the concept that money can make more money. But deep down, we all know this can’t last forever. What happens when huge ‘disruptive’ technologies start displacing not thousand, but millions of people? Take China for example.
These noodle robots are a preview of what’s about to happen all around us. When you have an economic system that demands that a corporation HAS to make money to appease its shareholders, at a certain point labor will become more expensive than technological alternatives. Sounds like we are all out of a job, right? Well, that sounds scary, until we all stop to realize something: What’s the fucking point of technology if it doesn’t actually make our lives better? The only way we can dodge a gigantic economic collapse is to transition our model towards a Resource-Based Economy (http://futurewewant.org/portfolio/resource-based-economy/), where we start actually spreading the benefits of technology to the entire society, not just the elite at the top. As you can imagine, they’re not going to give it up very easy, and are already building drone/robot armies to eradicate anyone that stands in their way. Luckily the riots, civil unrest, ecological damage and world-wide famine will end our suffering long before that happens. 🙂
CHILL OUT: Virtual reality is coming really really soon and so are Self-driving cars. This will fundamentally change what cities look like. When Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a million gamer fanboys may have cried out in anguish, but for everyone else, the first hint of what’s going to come after Social Media looks pretty cool. No species on Earth has ever been able to leave the planet before, but this is something different. Human beings are about to leave REALITY as a whole and create infinitely complex new ones. Alot of moving around will suddenly stop, when people stop needing to physically go to work/school/Bar Mitzvahs. Self driving cars will be more like living rooms you just hang out in, and this will change the very nature of what a city needs to be defined as. Imagine the first neighborhood that’s not a collection of homes, but a collection of rooms and utilities that manifest themselves as-needed, based on what you need to do at a given time. No one needs a BBQ 24/7, and no one needs a basketball hoop all night. Imagine not a neighborhood, but a living, moving architecture that becomes the physical representation of its inhabitants’ desires on demand.
Summer Like The Season is kind of genius. It’s actually surprising to even hear this kind of music on Bandcamp, because it could easily be getting reviewed over at Pitchfork in a few years. Reminiscent of Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, and even Aphex Twin, songs like “If you’re not weird, you’re not honest” include swelling choir vocals, chopped up drum loops and squelching, warping low end synth work. “Chewing gum and opium” could easily be a Purity Ring song, which isn’t saying its a ripoff, just that its familiar and comforting.
This is honestly one of the best sounding, “homemade” albums I’ve ever heard. While some of the mixing could be tweaked, the sensibilities of the production and arrangement display a true understanding of structure, pacing, and aesthetics. The Terrence McKenna sample is a nice touch as well, fittingly surrounded by a chorus of machine-elves. Friend of the Monster EP is available for free download over at Bandcamp. 9.7/10
Western Jaguar hails from Vancouver, B.C., where they emit introspective and chilly art rock. Describing the sound as a blend between Album Leaf, Bright Eyes, and perhaps even a darker, early Death Cab For Cutie. Something that definitely works is the fact that the synth work sounds very much glued to the rest of the mixes. This can be achieved with great mixing, or recording the audio of a keyboard synth/reamping. With so much electronic music production these days, its production tricks like this that really make a track breathe and sound full of life. There also isn’t a lot of clutter in the mix, which demonstrates considerable restraint.
Lead vocalist Jeffrey Trainor could experiment with some more interesting vocal ideas, but for now – like the rest of the tracks – remains comfortably strapped into the sonic palette he has painted in the foggy landscape Western Jaguar was born out of. Western Jaguar’s Glacia is available at https://westernjaguar.bandcamp.com/ for $6. 7.8/10.
Darkpine is an electro-pop/rock/ambient band that confidently shifts between sonic spaces rapidly within the span of their self-titled EP. Their sound reminds me of Bastille or Foster The People, albeit a bit more lofi and 80’s. The drums are a blend of live and electronic, which can be a difficult effect to pull off, yet they manage to. The stand-out track for me is Postcards, which makes me want to cruise along the coast in a convertible. The Darkpine EP is available on Bandcamp for $5. 8.0/10.