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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Is There an Off-Ramp for Civilization?

Our high-tech civilization is like an ageing man in full denial of his mortality. It is eating his children just to live a day longer, rather than admitting that its craving for immortality is founded on nothing more than magical thinking. In its firm belief that technology can save it, it is constantly looking for “solutions” on the predicament of its death, actively poisoning its kin with chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive waste from mining and production. Is there a last chance for it change course?

Photo by Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash

very civilization is built around a set of unquestionable beliefs, with a considerable number of them dealing with death itself. Although many devout followers of modernity claim that they are fully aware of their mortality, deep inside they are still in denial. There is no end to the row of books, articles and publications on how singularity will come, how we will upload our consciousness into the cloud, how AI will take care of us and ultimately: how our digital technology will eventually make our souls immortal (1) once our bodies are gone.

According to this belief system, we will eventually free ourselves from the muddy reality of our biological origin, full of bacteria, viruses, illness and misery. The road to this modernist Nirvana starts with growing food in sterile steel and glass halls under artificial LED light, and elongating our lifespans with gene therapy — and if death does come for one before we get there, then there are plenty of options for a cryogenic afterlife in a nice and shiny metal tube.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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