April 23rd, 2011

Global Frequency

Will humanity ever be united?

I would like to think so. There's more that unites us than divides us and the increasingly ubiquitous nature of telecommunications binds us together more, even if travel is becoming expensive again. Of course, that greater communication also means clashes. It's like Douglas Adams' Babel Fish 'Caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation' - OK, well not quite, that accolade goes to religion, but the point is that with greater communication people get to hear about each other and memes clash.

Twenty, even ten or perhaps even five years ago, a religious nut setting fire to a Koran in Florida would not even be heard about by a religious nut in a Muslim state who then feels he has to up the ante by killing someone. Greater communication brings these memes and their zombies into conflict and they fight to see who wins. Unfortunately that means that two of the very worst memes humanity has managed to come up with - Christianity and Islam - are now embroiled in a war for meat-based processing power across cyberspace as much as meatspace. I'd refer you to the hilarious 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' as a prime example of one of the battlegrounds.

Eventually somebody will win and call me biased but I do tend to think that will, eventually, by secular, liberal, leftist, Western values. They've proven themselves to be resilient and desirable (ultimately it was the desire to be western, combined with economic issues, that collapsed the USSR) and also - at least in that incarnation - have some fact and rationality behind them. Sure, we have our own problems with lunatic memes like the American Tea Party or the UK's various NIMBY organisations and Daily Mail readers but things have, generally, been steadily improving bit by bit since The Enlightenment.

I'm optimistic that fact will win out eventually and, honestly, we're all in this together, like it or not. The facts tend to win out over desires in the end. Just ask a breatharian. If you can.