Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Are we Ignoring the Tek-Mythologies of our Age?


- originally posted @ Future Conscience 

The world has shifted gears. A deep-seated and growing discontent has changed the political landscape. The lack of a coherent vision of the future from those in power – coupled with pathological attempts to manipulate public opinion – has significantly undermined any sense of trust placed in traditional authority.

This lack of vision is pervasive except, perhaps, in the world of technology. Here we see huge strides made with ambitious roadmaps laid out by industry leaders. From Elon Musk to Peter Thiel, Mark Zuckerberg to Jack Ma, alongside the founders of Google, Amazon and Microsoft, the new (exclusively male) techno-billionaire class are presenting a seemingly erudite view of what the future could bring. One filled with modern convenience, longevity, adventure and prosperity. A vision that is rarely shown or expressed from today’s politicians who struggle to speak with any certainty beyond the shortest of soundbites.

But there is a darker side to these newfound voices who speak for humanity, because we are handing our future to the highest bidder with little pause for thought about what the consequences might mean for the foundations of our very existence. Decisions made over the course of the next few decades will have an impact on the direction of human evolution itself as we merge with the technology that was once born of us, but is now ready to return back into its source.

Although we are desperately in need for some new sources of inspiration, shouldn’t we also be resisting the potentially disastrous ramifications of what corporate ownership will mean for this emerging horizon of humanity?

We are, collectively, allowing ourselves to be under the spell of those well placed to be overlords of our new, so-called utopian future. However, alongside this collective apathy there has also long been a strong thread of criticism and warning running through our artistic output. A techno-mythology created over the last century that is trying to articulate aspects of the human condition that are under threat through our never-ending search for progress and rudderless advancement.

Mythology communicates to us archetypal truths best displayed through the layered compositions of fiction, performance, art and music. When it comes to the emergence of mythology that is directly linked to technological advancement, it’s interesting to note that these truths tend to be tied to warnings of oppression and control more often than they are stories of redemption and liberation. They speak to us of the magnitude of what might be lost if we let go of our biological roots too easily and don’t try to maintain a deep-seated connection to what has – thus far, at least – made us truly human.

Mythology also talks to us about identity formation. These stories, imagery and the symbolism embedded within them encode a great deal of cultural wisdom into relatively short forms of expression. If we look at some of the techno-mythologies prevalent today, key themes keep emerging that are worth paying attention to...




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