Human Progress Is a Myth

2013. április 7. 12:57
John Gray
Vice

Phones are getting better, smaller and cheaper all the time. In terms of technology, there's a continuous transformation of our actual everyday life. That gives people the sense that there is change in civilisation.

„– Isn't the belief that everything will get better and that the world is now moving towards a blessed end-state kind of schizophrenic, in the sense that we've actually been living in a deep crisis since the 1970s?

The rapid movement in technological advancements creates a phantom of progress. Phones are getting better, smaller and cheaper all the time. In terms of technology, there's a continuous transformation of our actual everyday life. That gives people the sense that there is change in civilisation. But, in many ways, things are getting worse. In the UK, incomes have fallen and living standards are getting worse.

And advances in technology don't mean that things are necessarily getting better in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, absolutely. Technological progress is double-edged. The internet, for example, has more or less destroyed privacy. Anything you do leaves an electronic trace.

Some people even want their mind to be transferred into the Internet to be digitally immortal.

That's kind of moving in a way, but also utterly absurd. Even if it was possible to upload your whole mind on to a computer, it wouldn't be you.

There seems to be a wide misunderstanding of what it means to be yourself.

Yes. You haven't chosen to be the self that you are. You're irreplaceable. You're a singularity. We are who we are because of the lives that we have. And that involves having a body, being born and dying.”

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