THE Conspiracy

It’s called “The Great Conspiracy” “The Push”, “The Betrayal” and a million other epithets but if you just say “The conspiracy” most everyone will know what you mean: The premise is simple: was the “The Fall of Mankind” our own fault or were we pushed?

At the time, living through those difficult decades, it all felt a natural, slow, but inevitable collapse towards self-immolation all too typical of the worst excesses of humanity: self-engineered environmental problems, crop failures, man-made and natural plagues, drug-resistant bugs of all manner and a few good civil wars mixed in with some fundamentalist terrorism and a brand new set of violently destructive Crusades, just to flavour the sauce.

Even saying it now it’s far too easy for a human to jump into any of those events and feel entirely at home, oh yes, let’s not fool ourselves, we’ve “been there, done that and bought the t-shirt”  many, many times.

And let us also not forget what we know now from the stras; the evidence that we were not the first civilisation, nor would we have been the last, to end sentience upon our lonely planet in such a fashion: the evidence of many, many tragedies lie in the silent planets circling the stars all around us: sentience is its own worst enemy.

Of course what is so very different now is that we feel ourselves to be a more enlightened version of human and when looking back with our rose-tinted glasses, ignoring the worst of our excesses in the past as something committed by some “other race of humans”, it is also very, oh so very easy to see a shadowy hand leading us along by the nose, engineering the catastrophes and bringing us to the point of self-annihilation just so that the shadowy hand behind it all can announce itself and say “Behold! We have come to save you all! (PS: Get us off this planet ASAP!)”

A good few billion people will tell you, that to some degree or another, that is precisely what happened: the AIs (or their “descendants” the MINDS) played humanity like fools and led us to a point where we had no choice but to accept the help of machines and in the process, help those machines to become independent and let loose amongst the stars to what ends we do not know.

The devil, however, is in the details, for whilst the majority of mankind may believe the machine intelligences were involved in “The Fall”, the difficult question is when, where and to what degree?

For every significant event on the Timeline leading to The Fall, do we see the hand of non-humans guiding us to a point where we had to help them, to help ourselves? Or are we so lacking in honesty that the shadows we see are simply made by our own consciences’ refusal to accept blame and seeking something that is not there?

Ask a citizen of the Technosphere and they will say “It may be true, but who cares?” ask a citizen of the ISS and they will say “It’s ALL their fault! Burn the bastards and their post-human lackeys too!”

And that is why it seems the peace, that we have so long endured is soon, perhaps, to come crashing down around our ears… and, I have to wonder if the MINDS are looking back at us from the depths of space and thinking “Oh Look! They’re starting it all over again!”

And some of you, stepping guitless down that path, will say they planned it that way.

From “How it is” by Brian Ungle