Progress - maybe there isn’t such a thing

From the age of information hacking, ethical hacking, physiological hacking, and genetic hacking; we are now stepping into the world of Neurohacking. Apparently, this allows hacking of human consciousness so that we can ‘fix ourselves’ and hack ourselves to be more meaningful in the world.

To fix, there must be something that needs fixing and something that is currently broken. To start with, we were broken and so we needed progress to fix ourselves but progress still left us broken so now we need a fix, because a fix is progress. We are saying that all the progress that’s achieved in the last billion years has left us broken and we need a fix that miraculously makes everything meaningful. Neurohacking seems to be that fix, which takes us to the promised-land we are looking for, whatever it is. Someone once thought cocaine does the exact same thing. And it did take some people to the promised-land, whatever it is.

Short cuts and short cuts and so many short cuts, all in the name of human progress. However, Progress! What an incredible idea. Let’s try to break it down by backtracking.

- Our social dictionaries more or less agree that progress means “development towards an improved or more advanced condition.” - In terms of intellectual history, the idea of progress is “the idea that advances in technology, science, and social organization can produce an improvement in human condition”.

- The human condition is “the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality.” This is a very broad topic which has been and continues to be pondered and analyzed from many perspectives, including those of religion, philosophy, history, art, literature, anthropology, psychology, and biology.

- As a literary term, “the human condition” is typically used in the context of ambiguous subjects such as the meaning of life or moral concerns.

So, progress could mean an advancement or improvement in anything that is related to a human being. This means that the human being is at the center of everything and in relationship with the rest of the world, the needs and wants of a human being are of the highest priority. If a thought or an action is contributing towards the ‘advancement’ or ‘improvement’, it should be safe to understand that we are moving in the right direction. See the thing that confuses me is the usage of the key words like, advancement, improvement, and right direction. These are very subjective isn’t it? Advancement from whose perspective?, and right direction from what point of view?

Anyway, let’s forget the politics of it for a moment and come back to the basics.

There is a current state and that is the present. Progress is advancement to the current state. Technically, progress doesn’t exist, so, we need to create it. In order to create it, we need to destroy something. To be clear, all the necessary resources that are required to create something, only and only come from destruction of something.

The present has already destroyed the past, because the current present state is a result of destruction of the past, which once used to be present state. So we will now have to destroy the current present state to create progress. Once progress is created, the present state is overwritten with the progressed state. And then when the next advancement happens, the previous progressed state will be overwritten with a new improved state. And this process of overwriting and overriding continues and hence continuous destruction and creation so that the human progress continues. (Although in some cases, we try not to overwrite but add the new state to the current state, eventually we are much more successful in overwriting because to continuously create is too much to manage, overwhelming.)

Historically, the destruction and creation are not proportional. Unfortunately, we have to destroy too much to create too little and the more we want to create, even more must be destroyed. Because, advancement is subjective, most of the time, what’s being created will be realized as a mistake and since we have already overwritten the past state, there is no way to restore the past state. All we could do is to damage control. And btw, since damage control doesn’t exist, it has to be created. Since it has to be created, what’s once taught to be progress has to be destroyed, to create a little of the past state. The past state that was once overwritten by an advanced present state now will be overwritten with the improved or partially restored past- past state.

We aren’t really advancing anywhere isn’t it? We are standing exactly where we were standing. But, too much has been destroyed. Should we restore what’s been destroyed but that’s not progress. Progress is moving forward, advancement and improvement. Even if we counter argue and convince ourselves that to restore the past is progress, and to restore the destroyed past, we must create the restored past state and to do that there must be even more destruction and so we enter this inescapable conundrum.

Instead, in the name of human progress, let’s just colonize the planet Mars and then Jupiter and then the new earths NASA keep finding. After all, we must advance.


P.S – We are making plans of going to Mars. What if that’s where we actually came from? What if, we are the aliens that we desperately are looking for all over the space? What if, we are the only remaining living species on this last living planet in this universe? Oops!