Skip to main content

International Anthem

Humanity is way better off right now than any other point in history.  Human suffering is at its lowest, economic growth is at all time best, technology is growing at the fastest rate ever, medical tech has more than doubled the average human lifespan in under 150 years; so on and so forth.

Of course not everything is merry, the Earth as a planet is suffering from our activities, moreover there are still wars, famines, dictators and genocides.  There's still a looming threat of nuclear annihilation and the guardians of The Bombs are crazy egomaniacs.

Interestingly, the concept of 'Country' seems to keep people from killing those within it en masse.  The criteria for me loving another person as a fellow 'Countryman' is quite quaint as well; he or she just has to be born in the same enclosed geographical area as me!  I automatically will be somehow related to that person under the flag of my country.  This sometimes results in Nationalism, which has worked quite well in the past in unifying a group of people.  Countries have ardent followers who vouch for the flag and its national anthem or song.  They sing it at sporting events.

People of one country tend to, for no fault of their own, dislike and many a times outright hate those from other nations.  That's what leads to wars.  20th century witnessed the horrors of World Wars.  What exactly makes people go to such lengths as being unrelentingly determined to wipe out the peoples of other country, either through a professional military or terrorism?  Nations are very effective unifying factors, and the major reason is the presence of an external threat. Most of humanity's achievements were borne out of fear and paranoia, like wars.  It was WW2 that made Turing develop his machines, that made Einstein propose nuclear weapons, that made almost all space tech possible during the Cold wars.  Most advanced tech had military applications first.  An external threat, either real or fictitiously created by the malicious leaders, fosters camaraderie and co-operation between people.

Extending this logic, is it possible that if Earth had a common external enemy, we could somehow get the otherwise warring factions under the flag of the Earth?  Can a common hatred or fear for an extra terrestrial threat unite the countries of the world?  I like to call it Internationalism.  I think that the best reason to colonize other planets is 'World peace'.  We should create a common enemy of the Earth and feed the fears of its people, just like leaders do in countries.  When we colonize other planets, there will be Earth Nationalism, just like countries have nationalists who vouch to kill those outside of it.  That's our best chance of World Peace.

History is a proof that sensational lies are believed more than mundane truths.  And it can be attributed to psychology and a host of biases; IT JUST WORKS.  Same can be applied and a hatred can be stoked for Martians or Keplerians.  We can ultimately aim for an International Anthem, under an international flag, which most earthlings will pledge to die for.  There will of course be the liberals who talk about peace between planets and crap, but that does not appeal to emotions and is downright boring.  No one would watch or want a peaceful Star Wars movie.  Nationalism, and the future Internationalism will appeal to the repressed emotions of oppression, even when there is none, just like it happens now.

Will colonizing other planets ultimately lead to unification of the world?  If so, we should be doing it asap.  I mean if the only way to bring international peace is to find an external enemy, we should colonize Mars as soon as possible.  Then spread propaganda against Martians.  This has worked very well here on Earth between nations, it ought to work with other planets.  Possibly a threat from Martians or Europans (not Europeans, mind you)  will spearhead co-operation across countries on Earth and help us reach Type 2 Civilization.  This will be the new, and accurately named, Space Race and we will have the true International Anthem.


Popular posts from this blog

Sad Facts of Life

Some physicists call philosophy a vestigial part of Science, but it has its own uses.  Philosophy deals with the aspects of human mind (of many things) that are not mathematically quantifiable (yet).  But philosophy has served its purpose well, for the human mind is neither unbiased nor logical.  Evolutionarily, being strictly logical & fair have no distinctive advantages.  Human mind is also very feeble and any uncertainty and discomfort throws it off-course.

One such facet to the feeble mind is denial.  Mind has its coping mechanism to deal with things it cannot change and cannot accept.  But facts, as it is their nature, don't give a damn.  It got me thinking of some realities that I don't like accepting or I have witnessed people doing so, but are true.

These are some things that occurred to me.  The list is not exhaustive and is very subjective.

1.  Irregardless is not a real word.  It came into mainstream simply due to overuse.  In fact, the whole English language i…

General AI, Singularity and Elon Musk's fears surrounding it

Elon Musk has been raising concerns around the exponential advent of AI in the past decade, and  boy has it been exponential!  Many companies now have a CAiO (Chief AI Officer) to bridge the gap between the front runners in AI (Google, Microsoft, OpenAI etc.) and themselves.  Many academics don't share Elon's concerns, and even ridicule him for his alarmist views.  The argument the academics provide is that the current stage of AI is a nascent one, and the best General AI is still dumber than a toddler.  They also claim that AI has been useful only in a specialized domains, like Self-Driving cars, playing chess and Go, analyzing heaps of unstructured data and getting insights etc.  So although AI is super useful in a narrow range, something that can drive a car 100 times better than humans is unlikely to produce a piece of Art.  This is correct, looking at the existing AI landscape.  But the academics are missing the far term view, on a range of 200+ years into future.
With A…