Then another important person – central, in fact, to the whole story – who read the Executive Summary, and wondered about the solution proffered, and even the code. Was there really a code?
This was Rachel’s story. Hers is a rollercoaster.
Written as you are writing your own story.
To the extent you allow others – who, and why - to write your story, is your human right and privilege. A choice you make.
So, to what extent do you allow yourself to write your own story?
Is your story a rollercoaster? Do you want it to be? Could you cope if it was?
The extent, if at all, you weave the invitations of this novel into the already rich tapestry of your life is yet another choice you make.
To the extent you allow others to write their own story, that is your human responsibility. Rights and responsibilities are the obverse and reverse sides of the same coin: the coin of being human.
Whether you or not you really have the free will, the free choice, you think you do is much a part your story as it is of Rachel’s.
If you thought, or hoped, Rachel, or anyone else for the matter, have YOUR answers, tut tut. Rachel does not provide the deus ex machine for you, though you might for yourself.
Create “Who I am”, today, tomorrow, and each day thereafter. Remember :
Life is not about discovering who you are. Life is about creating who you are.
- George Bernard Shaw
Here is how you might start.
What trade winds might be blowing
Here are some that are blowing
A. Would you:
1. Look at some insoluble problems of the past, and see how it was solved – e.g. look at the 13 Paradigm shifts in the introduction? Does any one of them in particular grab your attention, and, if so, find out how it was solved;
2. Examine some gap you think currently exists to see if it really does exist, or has been filled?
3. If the gap not yet filled, then follow the efforts to fill it, and maybe even contribute?
B. Would you follow through on some issue and see where that leads you? Six examples suggest themselves readily:
- The growing awareness of the power of babies’ brains is somewhat mind-boggling in itself, and will be an area of fruitful and fascinating revelations over the years. What might you learn if you partake in that voyage of discovery? You could follow through the Talk With Me Baby programme – its rationale, development, implementation and evaluation.
- The growing awareness of the intelligence and consciousness of animals, bridging the hitherto yawning chasm between humans and animals, may lead to partnerships of which we have never dreamt with our fellow evolutionary travelling companions. What might you discover if you embark on this path as it is revealed over time?
The Amboseli Elephant Project may be particularly illustrative of how blurred are the human and mammal boundaries. Elephants have twice as many sense receptors than dogs do.
That search might make you an amateur ethologist – what would your teachers from school days say of you now as an ethologist?
3. Follow through the Human Mind Project. The enormity of the task they have set themselves may yet to dawn on them. All the more exciting.
4. Immerse yourself in the unfolding tale of mirror neurons – are they as powerful, as formative, as their prophets proclaim?
5. If you like being a bit scared, then follow the growth of AI. This is an extraordinary world where science fiction is becoming science fact. The implications will not be in our lifetime – but, perhaps we are allowing it to be of the future, and can have some input.
should we – just let unfold what unfolds as part of humanity’s journey?
For example, molecular gastronomy, which replicates the food dispenser on The Enterprise from Star Trek. You will recall that the dispenser dispense chemically made food that tastes like the real thing. Such is real today -chemical food that has the same – or improved! - nutritional value. Who would have thought?
6. Look at the history unknown to you. What do you know of South America? Of the individual counties, why does Brazil, with roughly half the landmass of South America [Brazil is larger than Australia] and roughly half of the South American population, speak Portuguese while the other countries speak Spanish? How many colonies did Simon Bolivar free from the Spanish? Was he the greatest general in history?
What do you know of Africa - does Burkina Faso really exist as a country? What is its history?
All do involve preparation, research, diligence, as well as being there ‘for the long haul’ if you really want to be fascinated, and to understand.
C. Are you – taking the definition of transhumanist as the Commission did Chapter 16,
1. A committed transhumanist;
2. A half- hearted transhumanist;
3. A not-at-all transhumanist [very unlikely];
4. A closet transhumanist.
How to throw off the bowlines to set your sails?
No matter how many others you may have join you, or you join them, ultimately it is a solo journey, even when the implementation needs a champion team.
The crew as part of the solo odyssey.
A. Your book club/family/circle of friends
(i) All can read and discuss this novel – and maybe read and discuss how each of you might re - write the Executive Summary.
(ii) If you are bold enough to undertake any of this task [either read and discuss, or to write] as a group, then
(a) How good a listener would you be?
(b) How dogmatic your views?
(c) How amenable to change are you – and why? Would group-pressure-dazzle-of-a-dominant affect you?
(d) How would your friends feel about your views?
(e) How would your family feel about your views?
(f) From whom might you seek guidance, and from what disciplines
Convention and habit?
What you already know?
What you ‘just know and feel’?
Religious/ Spiritual advisers of whatever ilk – from one who is not of your ilk?
social scientists, sociobiologists, psychiatrists, neuro-scientists, psycho-therapists, psychologists, cognitive scientists? [Are these the least likely people to who you would turn?]
B. What would be the starting points of any discussions? Would it be the Euthyphro dilemma of Plato as outlined by Rachel in Chpt 9 – not a bad one to start? Or the question she posed in Chpt 14 of how would your life be if there was incontrovertible proof there was no god, and never has been?
Answers to them, then need to be carefully thought through. The questions were restated in modern terms by Belle in Chpt 7 when she asked did the brain have different lobes to enable ‘spiritual practice’ or did the ‘spiritual practice’ cause the differently- structured frontal lobes.
The real gap between the two sets of questions, though, is that Belle’s is rooted in the real world – those physical differences are real and can be measured, while Plato’s is part of the mind-game exercise.
Solo set sail now
A. What would you say are the universal human traits inherent in our nature/genes/genome? The E of the equation.
B. Would you reflect on the time you ‘dodged a bullet’? A narrow miss in the car? An illness that passed and was not severe as it might have been? Been a bit lost but you came out of it – with or without assistance?
C. What long-lasting effect has there been in you when you realise how narrow was the ‘dodge’?
D. Where would you be TODAY if you had not dodged the bullet?
E. Has there been some good lucky event that has shaped your life?
Has it all be merited and deserved, and so no more than your entitlement? Nay, indeed, looking at others, less than you deserve?
Was that good lucky event as transformative as it SO seemed at the time, in retrospect, really so?
F. Is the challenge to you to take on a new intellectual pursuit – maybe one of which you had never thought – the decipherment of the code for you?
How much do you unfurl the sails
Up to you.
Go for it
1. The exhilarating one
2. Half-hearted “so what?”.
If you are adventurous, why not do what people did in ancient time- Romans would open Vergil’s Aeneid, let their finger randomly pick a selection, then follow it though.
You could do similarly.
With finger poised over this novel – close your eyes, let your finger wander, then stop, and see what you make of the selected page.
With finger poised over the Trade Winds – close your eyes, let your finger wander, then stop, and follow through on that book.
3. Full hearted ‘so what?
After all, if you have any religion/spiritual faith, then the vast majority of humanity, past, present and future, have not shared it, and many believe you will suffer eternal damnation because you are an unbeliever.
Even more so if you have no religion/spiritual faith.
But, you live and cope with that directed at you, so, what the heck does any of this matter?
What difference does it make if you do nothing and just meander along as you do, and have, and remain comfortable with the status quo and what you now know and have been brought up in?
4. Any combination of the above.
WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU.
Explore. Dream. Discover
As e-mc2 is energy = mass multiplied by the speed of light squared, what is E=AM2 for you?
You can all complete, for you, the meaning of A, and of M, and double power of M, to get to your own definition of E.
Surely, if you have come this far, a moment to do that is justified. And that is a secret, just for you.
If you are a person of faith, are you eager for ‘scientific evidence’ that support your faith, when the absence of such evidence makes no difference?
Bit like Brian in Monty Python’s Life of Brian – work it out for yourself. You don’t have to believe anyone – Nullius in Verba indeed..
The key, though, is to work out for yourself – not for your spouse, your children, any loved ones, any community or any society. They each have to work it out for themselves.
The damage comes from inflicting your views and your meanings onto others.
- While you do any of this, will the kids still want 3 meals a day and spending money? You will remain the ‘PARENTS’ BANK and absorbed in everyday life
- Are you aware of the breadth of the way in which the world-view had changed so much DURING YOUR ADULTHOOD or LIFETIME?
- Are you aware of the changes being made now - hopefully, the novel has alerted you to some.
I am interested and have read, but am still amazed at what is happening ‘out there’ and the mass of material – just mind- boggling. Had you ever heard of the Virtual Physiological Human, and will it make you a transhumanist?
- Has your world-view kept pace with the actual real world out there?
- Can you imagine how the world might have been different? How it might have been shaped differently – what have been your own ‘Battle(s) of Marathon’?
- Slavery actually does not work economically, nor do wars, nor does sex and racial discrimination. People thought they did, but events have proved them wrong. They could not imagine a different world – OUR WORLD NOW!
How creative can you be, to first of all imagine a different world – not easy.
Does it ever seem to you that your life is somewhat pre-programmed – the career you have seems now to have been from a narrow band of what was acceptable to others?
- who you married?
- in what location and in what house you live?
- how you live on a day-to-day basis? The inevitable peaks and troughs not as meaningful as they seemed at the time?
- what job you have?
Whatever. That is the past. What of your future life – do you really have the freedom of choice that you think, or do the shackles inextricably bind you?
You may be happy to be so bound.
You may want to think through the many layers of each word, as well as the sentence as a whole, of this sentence: Do I have the freedom of choice, really, to live from now on the life I really want to live.
Be happy, cause happiness, spread happiness, and live life to the full – though you might opine: Is a full 7-millilitre glass any less full than a full 14-millilitre glass, or a full 14-millilitre glass any less full than a full 21-millilitre glass, or a full 21-millilitre glass any less full than a full 28-millilitre glass, and so on ad infinitum?
Afford everyone else – especially the ones you love most – that same privilege. Be there to view their top of the world when they are there; be there to catch them when they realise the view is not always so clear from up there; be there to guide and cajole, but never to coerce.
Tis their lives to live, not for you to live for them.
You can send your E=AM2 chapter to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is any interest in publishing the best of them, so chosen by me in my absolute notopenfordebateforappealforcorrespondenceinanymediumincludingtelepathysodonoteventhinkaboutit discretion all shall be done.
Look to the disappearing shore and sing out loud
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye
Cheerio, here I go, on my way
Park, Phil/Parr-Davies, Harry