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Opportunities for pan African Black excellence at the event horizon of the Singularity

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

The novel coronavirus, colloquially known as the “‘rona”, is a devastating ordeal that we are all experiencing together on this planet. Will it be for better or for worse, is a question I think many people are asking. Optimists may see the benefits, including improvements in our air quality, our renewing environment, and a decrease in vehicular accidents, which in the future will surely affect our health care system, most likely for the better. A pessimist may look at the situation and say this is an opportunity for the government to control citizens, that the wage gap and unemployment will increase, and that we will all end up with a chip in our hand when they complete and administer the vaccine by force. As a futurist, I can comfortably say that both can be true...if we allow it.



What is the “Singularity”?

For the uninitiated, the Singularity is the theoretical point at which technology and information begin to grow exponentially, such that it becomes incomprehensible to the human mind, forcing us to either meld with machines or be ruled by them. Essentially, the plot of every Black mirror episode. Long gone is the pace of our ancestors, where technology and culture remain more or less the same for hundreds of years. Now, with new discoveries weekly, technology and social ideas will toss us around like we are in the spin cycle. Soon we will have to accept and take in new information minute to minute, as we are pulled closer to the center of the Singularity. A frightening idea, but also one filled with benefits, including longer lifespans, healthier lives, space travel, and abundance. This is the “catch 22” of the Singularity, the double-edged sword. As much as it can benefit you it can destroy you. Once again our world mirrors the plot of every Black mirror episode, this episode possible titled “‘rona”.

Afrofuturism

What does this have to do with people of the pan-African diaspora? Everything. Almost all of our social and personal lives are ruled by the availability of technology, which can cut in both directions. For every time technology helps us and makes the world more democratic (i.e. Black twitter, or even DNA testing, which shows all humans are one race with no significant difference), it also creates a world where everyone can be spied on, tracked, oppressed, and targeted with misleading propaganda. So, what to do with this double-edged sword? The secret of the Singularity is choice, as we have the power to direct the Singularity. Even if we can never prevent it from occurring, we can guide it in a specific direction. White supremacy has directed the Singularity for the past 600 years at minimum, creating a world filled with issues, so if we do not take control of the Singularity now, we may be doomed to a world of racism, segregation, misinformation and pain.

What is the solution? As I see it, “‘rona” has presented a unique opportunity. Racism has been the cornerstone of capitalism, since its inception over 600 years ago. Without separating people into distinct groups, of which some are considered valuable and others expendable, capitalism can't function. All of the lies that we have been sold about capitalism have been revealed through the COVID-19 pandemic. If wealthy white males don't take advantage of available cheap labor, then no one will have money. If we stop the Ayn Rand-ian capitalist then we will all starve and die. If you don't work for a company then you’re a drag on the system, and money, fame and power are the only goals all humans should strive for. “‘rona” has shown how untrue these ideas are. The biggest and largest companies are going bankrupt, firing people and demonstrating how few contributions they make to human society. Money, the Holy Grail of civilization, is looking more and more like an “IOU” that isn't worth death for essential workers forced to risk everything for a simple paycheck. The idea that we shouldn't pay for universal health care is looking increasingly absurd. For years, the idea of having a universal basic income was ridiculed for being expensive and impractical, yet here we are with our President, Donald “the Cheeto” in Chief himself, issuing a universal basic income, the pinnacle of Republican hypocrisy and irony.


The Solution

In my opinion, government really only serves one purpose: to do together what no one citizen can do alone. For all practical matters this isn't the case. Governments often take advantage, sending resources to people who don’t need them, and taking from those who do. I am suggesting a new, radical view of government, one in which the aim of the government is not to control citizens, but to work towards the public good. If we direct the Singularity, we can create a world where technology meets all of our basic needs while the rest of our time can be dedicated to improving the society at large, counter to our current society, where fame, money, and personal wealth are the driving factors because money is a necessity. We could have a society where our most important members aren't artists and people who create useless commodities, but are scientists, inventors and thinkers. In this speculative society, people of the African diaspora can overthrow the chains of capitalism and greed.


 
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