The 100,000 Year Project.
The goal? Human survival for starters? Not that we deserve it. Part of the goal is to somehow ennoble our species enough that we do deserve to survive. Not fucking up the planet more than we have might be a start.
I know. I know. George Carlin is right.
The planet doesn't need to be saved. The Earth wanted plastic. And maybe now we are done.
If you like your cake without sprinkles, take the sprinkles off, and you still have plenty of cake and frosting. Those sprinkles are multicellular life. All the animals and plants including us. We should save ourselves first. Learn to behave like adults, like, well, not like the We Are Wall Street asshole, who, honestly, makes the idea of a project for developing a vaster-than-empires-and-more-slow hypercomputer that can upload a human mind, and then torture the uploaded mind in a surrealistic virtual Hell, kind of like the splatter genre of Superjail, sounds like not such a bad waste of taxpayer monies.
In any case, we are, as a species, approaching or already at a force of nature. We move as much earth as a quarter of all the Earth's rivers. We use more than 30% of the fresh water resources. As just one example, we have deforested 16% of the Amazon basin in a mere 30 years. As fire ants go, we're doing pretty good at disturbing habitats. If we want to survive as a species, we need to work on our domestic habits.
Problem: I don't know about you, but too often, I get absorbed into my life and start to think the whole fucking universe revolves around me, when, in fact, even the the briefest check outside my tiny little head would reveal that there's a hardly even a trace of a virtual particle to my existence. And that's not even counting the wasted time. Me? I can't go much more than twenty minutes without getting distracted by something. When you work it out, that twenty minute granularity comes out to just a little over 1% OF A DAY. Twenty minutes out of 100,000 years is .0000000380518 percent.
That doesn't even mean anything to me. I don't think there is even a term for 100,000 years. Centumillenium? In any case, what I'm saying here is, if someone gonna get this project going, it will have to be someone with a lot of patience - in other words, someone female.
(Have we had any female saviors? And no need to sacrifice them. No. Maybe we should try it out, because, The White Goddess notwithstanding, I don't think we've ever had a female centric culture outside the immortal obsession for pussy. I'm not saying we should have a female run culture, because we all know they are even more vicious than men. I'm saying maybe we try out a less pastoral horses and bronze swords basis for civilization).
But wait a minute. There are cave paintings that span at least 50,000 years, with handprints five thousand years apart. You telling me we can't start a tradition that our ancestors kept going for half the project length?
Another problem: Religion. Look, it's not religion per se that is the problem. That's one of my beefs with that bonehead Richard Dawkins. It's not religion. It's the ideological abuse that's the problem. Religion is neither necessary nor sufficient for shitty behaviors of people against each other. If we can figure out some system of fidelity, some way that the message and the goal can avoid mission creep, we might stand a chance at coming up with a strong and robust, self-correcting philosophy, or a heuristic, or an aesthetic, that can last 100,000 years.
In that area? Um. I got nothing. Save the Barbarian Aesthetic. Regardless of whether you Believe or not, you can still hold things sacred. You don't need to believe in God. But you do need to get back to the Indo-European root of belief: leubh-, which is loving, caring, and desiring all at once. And coveting. And holding things sacred.
Stil another problem: Lifestyle changes. I suspect, in order to get everyone over the hump, some people will live less lavishly, others much , much more so, and probably, at the start a little Hobbesian persuasion will be in order. But if it means a free Harvard or Stanford or technical education via tablets to all of the world's youth, unlocking the potential of all those brains, I don't see how that can be a bad thing.