What begins the Cybernetic Age in the Gaian Universe, and what sets Bartaemius on the path of unimaginable biological human evolution?
It begins with the Droid Wars triggered by Novatek’s AI-enabled killing machines causing damage in the battlefields. When defenses fail, these very machines set waste to more civilizations, destroy the re-established societies and leave humankind with little to live for, all over again. Novatek is a relic of the past. However, one man makes sure he gets all he wants and runs into hiding for creating what will be the only recourse left before mankind eliminates itself; the birth of the Eternus.
Let’s delve into the philosophy and thinking of the future – specifically, posthuman belief that borders on religious/spiritual belief (that is strictly beyond the secularism that exists in religions today). Posthumanists and spiritualists both believe man can transcend hatred, pain and suffering – via biotechnological singularity on one hand and spiritual transcendence on the other. Now, for humankind to essentially survive to the point of posthuman existence would mean they must unequivocally as a species value life and preserve it i.e. their energies must be invested in nurturing life. This is of paramount importance in terms of human evolution, guided or not.
Considering this as an achievable goal would validate all the life-affirming qualities that are inculcated by society and culture, and there would be an ideal to aspire to. These ideals were existent in an older society that was engaged in technologies that were more defensive than offensive in nature, simply because sustainable survival was more of a priority back then. The effort put into deriving primitive non-destructive technologies to run sectors like agriculture, produce etc. were much higher than weaponry. As the destructive capacities of man built up on an exponential scale in the centuries to come, the ideals started to diminish and the value of the posthuman was disregarded as a myth, or utter unscientific garbage even.
Reinstating the world’s faith in a posthuman future is the paramount task at Bartaemius’s disposal, even if he is only subconsciously aware that is the direct result of his work. His work is also deeply rooted in organic life, for he knows the perils of the cybernetic revolution being a part of that century. The point of singularity must be for humankind as a species, not AI, as it would only mean surrender to a new non-organic sentient species at the apex. The Eternus Project is ultimately born out of faith, which is odd for a scientific endeavour, but one must always remember that guided evolution is grounded in scientific roots. The purpose, drive and ethics that support this research are the only things built on faith. This gives us so much to play with Bart’s journey over three decades into the establishment of the Eternus as a species.
Also, this clears out why he’d divert resources into an abandoned program his grandfather built, a space exploratory pod known as Outreach. The Outreach Program had been launched into space for almost three centuries, and the data was accessed by Bart during the mid-stages of the Eternus Project as a counterfoil. What this data had was extremely promising insights – there was an abnormality that the pod had gone through; it had traversed through some type of slipstream and ventured into the far reaches and back, possibly in time too as the records age more than the launch dates. There were signs to prove that posthumanism is possible in a sentient silica-like culture who could be beings with time and space. The same pod ultimately establishes contact with the Keperthals at one point in the future, where our real-time story is being told.
Seeing that the wars would diminish resources and life further on the planet, the only recourse Bart sees is to accelerate the existing human potential to evolve into their posthuman selves who would uphold the ideals and values essential for survivability and co-existence. This in turn shapes how the Eternus as a species exist in the years to come when they finally stabilize and form societies that are truly utopian.
More on the social structures of the 31st century in posts to come.
<Image credits – ‘Technogandhi’ by Kalen Foster>