Man has invented his doom…

Those of you who know me well know that I am a follower of the prophet Bob Dylan. He, of course, hates to be thought of in those terms, and I can entirely see his point vis-à-vis never intending that status for himself or wanting others to see him that way. As any devotee of the Old Testament can tell you, though, prophets are always reluctant. The initial response to the prophetic call (cf. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.) can be summarized as, “Whoa, hey, wait a minute, I think you’ve got the wrong guy.”

The marker of prophethood is really more the quality of the revelation that demands to be expressed through the prophet rather than the prophet’s giving assent to bear that message. In that sense, I will go ahead and consider Dylan a prophet, and will proceed to cite one of the passages from his 1983 song “License to Kill”:

Man has invented his doom,The first step was touching the moon.

I always found this refrain to be particularly evocative. It brings to mind a consistent theme in classical apocalyptic literature, that a fundamental rearrangement in human affairs is at hand, and that it is augured in by signs in the heavens. It also features one of the motifs of post-modern apocalypticism, that our own technological overreaching is responsible for the setting the final sequence of events in motion.

This is more or less what I think is already occurring: between advances in computers, human-machine interactions and genetic engineering, the seeds are being laid for the creation of a post-human state that will fundamentally change our existence as we know it. Before the end of the century, we will give birth to (or become (or both, simultaneously)) a new species that will exceed us. Our “doom”, if not necessarily in the sense of destruction, then in the sense of “destined end”. And new beginning…

So, inspired by Dylan and in honor of the recent end of Battlestar Galactica, which itself explored this idea of the consequences of a technological apotheosis and riffed off of Dylan, I’d like to share some links I’ve collected from the first quarter of this year that perhaps show our future, even now, taking form:

Brain-computer interface for gaming http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/08/Futureofgaming/index.html

Quantum releportation over 1 meter distance http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122141137.htm

Breakthrough makes human cloning more likely http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/human-clones-ap.html

FDA approves first drugs from genetically altered animals http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090206/ap_on_he_me/gene_drug_altered_animals

Contact lens TV http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/121134

Picture overview of robot developments http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/robots.html#photo26

Man sees with bionic eye http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7919645.stm

Quick charging batteries could revolutionize world http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/12/mits-quick-charging-batteries-could-revolutionize-the-world-ma/

Brain Scans Can Read Minds http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090313/sc_livescience/brainscanscanreadmemories

Sugar-coated nanoparticles find hidden tumors http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/03/30/nanoparticles-cancer.html

Robot scientists can think for themselves http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090402/sc_nm/us_science_robots

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3 thoughts on “Man has invented his doom…

  1. Anonymous

    China and Russia put the blame on some screwed up experiments of US for the earthquake that happened in Haiti.
    Chinese and Russian Military scientists, these reports say, are concurring with Canadian researcher, and former Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, who in a very disturbing video released from his Japanese offices to the American public, details how the United States attacked China by the firing of a 90 Million Volt Shockwave from the Americans High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facilities in Alaska
    If we can recollect a previous news when US blamed Russia for the earthquake in Georgio. What do you guys think? Is it really possible to create an earthquake by humans?
    I came across this [url=http://universalages.com/hot-news/what-happened-in-haiti-is-it-related-to-haarp/]article about Haiti Earthquake[/url] in some blog it seems very interesting, but conspiracy theories have always been there.

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