The Hive Mind

I’m working through the stories I have so far for the Underdog Anthology. You folk are better writers than I expected, and probably better than you realised. I have some great ones here. Remember, this anthology closes on 31st May and while this one is a random collection, the next ones will be themed.

As for my own stuff, Panoptica is progressing. It does have all manner of chip implants in the characters but it does not have a hive mind. The people in the story are not ready for that – rather, those in control prefer that those under their control don’t know what they’re thinking.

As always, real life is overtaking me. There are people out there who seriously want everyone to be part of a hive mind.

The first ones will die. That’s inevitable with any radical new procedure. They’ll persevere and they’ll get there. Brain implants that link human minds will happen.

‘Eventually, this type of technology will allow us to be connected 24/7 to the internet and on social media,’ he told the DailyMail.com.

I can think of nothing more horrific. Every Facebook restaurant meal photo, every Twitter mention of a football match, every cat picture, every inane post on every crazy forum, all the time. No escape.

Worse, every thought in every head on the entire planet. It would be like trying to find a quiet spot at Glastonbury’s rock festival. While Motorhead are on one stage and Iron Maiden on another. All the time. A constant babble.

Until everyone gets in tune, and everyone thinks the same thoughts at the same time. All the cat pictures and food photos and birthday reminders will stop. It will happen because it will be the only way to stop the cacophony.

Then, as most humans do already, we will seek out those who are not in the hive mind and make them join us. Humans already do this, and have for many centuries, through religion and now even through atheism. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Drones won’t understand why some people don’t want to be assimilated. It is the perfect way to live. The only way to live.

‘The more connectivity we have, the more peaceful and prosperous our world will become,’ said Istvan. 

There it is. Why would you not want to be assimilated? Peace and prosperity. Oh, many will queue all night to be first to have an iBrain. Once they are assimilated they will assimilate others and the ball starts to roll…

‘People will electively start taking out one eyeball and putting in a robotic eye. It will allow us to see germs on each other and poisonous gases.’ 

He is describing, in detail, the Borg.

The Borg are not aliens from another world. Neither are the Cybermen, the logical next step after half-human Borg. They are us. Our future, if we let it happen. There are people on this world, right now, who want it to happen.

Sir Martin Rees, in the inset to that story, does not  name Cybermen or Borg. It might not do his credibility much good. Yet he can see it happening too. The Cybermen, the Borg, are the ambition of transhumanists and most of them will scoff and say it won’t be like that.

No forced assimilation? *cough* ISIS. They get involved in this sort of thing and you’ll have forced assimilation next day.

It doesn’t even have to be that radical. The Catholic Church would soon fall to the temptation of conversion by simply injecting nanobots. Or taking out the brain and putting it in a robot body. There are many groups who would delight in this technology and some, innocent now, who would be corrupted by it. The temptation to assimilate rather than persuade would be irresistible.

Zoltan Istvan is likely to be remembered – if any history is remembered at all – as the father of the Borg. The Borg lead naturally to the Cybermen. And although, in fiction, they are mortal enemies, the Cybermen lead ultimately to the purely utilitarian Daleks. Now beyond assimilation for the most part, the Daleks seek only to eradicate the impurities of the universe – that is, everyone who isn’t a Dalek. They have never said, and probably never considered, what they will do once their sole objective has been achieved. Probably travel back in time and do it again.

Isn’t that what radical Islam is trying to do, right now? Assimilate and eradicate? Can you honestly say that humanity could never become Dalek? We already have large groups who operate on Dalek, or at least Borg/Cyberman principles! All they need is access to Transhumanist technology and we are there.

Borg, Cybermen and Dalek are fiction, but they are fictions that came from human minds. Just as Brave New World and 1984 came from human minds. I don’t have religion myself but I think there might have been, and still are, prophets. I don’t mean any kind of supernatural power prophets. I mean people whose minds take cues and hints and put together a logical sequence that tells them what is most likely to happen next.

It might seem like magic because they might not even know they’re doing it. And maybe, just maybe, some of those with this ability are also story writers.

Orwell’s 1984 was a warning.

Perhaps Star Trek’s Borg were too.

 

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12 thoughts on “The Hive Mind

  1. There is a key quote from Mr Istvan:

    ‘We’re also dealing with the fact that there is probably 20 billion habitable planets out there. We’ve got to see ourselves in a very long form of evolution happening.

    Aside from the absurdity of calling a ‘probabl[e]’ situation a ‘fact’, especially when dealing with unknowns, and his bad grammar, evolution theory is, again, the villain of the piece.

    As our faith-based society becomes increasingly humanistic, evolution theory assumes an increasingly religious presence.

    I think that the widespread abandonment of hope in a perfect resurrection has led to the desire to want everything to be ‘perfect’ NOW – material goods, ‘happiness’, and a shot at ‘eternal life’ through technology or surgery, although the latter would need to involve very complex recoding of the genome and particularly the problems with telomere shortening, which produce ageing.

    You can probably blame the religion of evolution – ardent evolutionist, Prof. Michael Ruse, wrote, “Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.”

    What a substitute! Evolution was the religion of Mao and Stalin; the latter gave up his Christian belief after he read ‘The Origin Of Species’ and went on to have tens of millions of people murdered.

    Evolution makes man the ‘god’ and so we get crazy people who like to control others rising to the top.

    That’s possibly the real reason for the never-ending legislation in such areas as health and environmentalism – control freaks who are obsessed with ‘saving the planet’ and extending life for as long as possible (for those who ‘deserve’ it!) in the mistaken belief that death is the end.

    Now let’s see how this comment, shortened by necessity, gets red-arrowed on the Daily Mail…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” Or taking out the brain and putting it in a robot body. There are many groups who would delight in this technology and some, innocent now, who would be corrupted by it. The temptation to assimilate rather than persuade would be irresistible.”

    There is a science fiction author you might enjoy Leggy (and that fans of your horror might enjoy if they’re looking for a somewhat similarly unique twist in the science fiction genre): Greg Egan. Like you, his stories seem to have a unique “flavor” that runs through them even though each one, like yours, is wildly different in its own right.

    One of his collections, “Axiomatic,” has a story involving a future world where we’ve conquered the aging body, but were unable to do anything to substantially “fix” the aging brain. People would get older and dimmer and dimmer…. and eventually, maybe when they hit 100, or 125, or 150… just fade out pretty much altogether despite having bodies of 20 year-olds.

    So? What could be done? Ahhh… the answer: implant a little cybernetic device into the brain just after birth. A little supercomputer that would record and experience everything that the larger meat brain did, but also be learning how to fully interact with the body and its hormones and its emotions. And then… just when the human brain was pretty much at its peak — usually thought to be at some point in a person’s 20s — a delicate operation would be performed, scooping out the meat brain and allowing the person to continue, just as alive, just as “real,” and completely indistinguishable from the way they were before the operation…. excepth that they would never grow “dimmer”…. even if they lived for hundreds of years! The story of course goes into the moral and ethical quandaries and the question of whether the real person was still “alive” or if they had, in a sense, committed suicide when they allowed the meat brain to be scooped out with the equivalent of liposuction ( Brainosuction? LOL!) and replaced by the little cyberbrain.

    Scarily, not out of the question: Picture parents allowing little operations on their precious babes to ensure that their brains would never allow them to “enjoy” alcohol, nicotine, barbiturates, or even marijuana! Take it a step further to ensure they didn’t have a desire for sex until they were mature, and perhaps instill a respect for authority (simply to make sure they didn’t get killed at 8 years old crossing against a red light of course!) Blend in a love of reading (but only the “proper” sorts of materials… no commie claptrap allowed) and a sense of duty to family (and to The State, of course).

    What kind of parent would refuse to protect their precious child from all those possible destructive side-paths they might follow without the protection, eh?

    And smoking could well be the gateway that lets the horses out: just a wee little adjustment to the nicotine receptors….

    What could be the harm, eh?

    :/
    MJM

    Liked by 1 person

    • The early days and probably later Sci-fi shows were a bit wobbly although entertaining enough. My own opinion is that the Daleks are easily the best because they don’t have two arms and two legs etc. How did the guy who came up with them manage to get them so alien?
      The Borg are next. Their square space ships are excellent since any shape of spaceship works in a vacuum and doesn’t need aero shapes.
      Then the Aliens. The acid blood is a nice touch.
      The Cybermen are tricky because they have two legs and arms etc. but I’m sure at some point in all the years of Doctor Who they spewed frothy bubbles when they were damaged.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The fun comes not from doing this to humans, but when you start doing this sort of thing via a spot of genetic hacking to lower animals. Rats individually aren’t at all bright, but a clustered intelligence consisting of a meta-program running on the brains of all the rats in a certain area would be scarily bright. As a monster for sci-fi or for a computer game, it would be really quite fun to design.

    Imagine, for instance, a sort of far-future game where you are a pest controller. A city-state calls you in; they are having problems because two of the local rodent hive-minds have grown big enough to think that they can take over from those pesky humans, and are poised to do just that but only once they’ve settled which one is the boss of that city…

    Your tool of choice? Enhanced Jack Russell terriers; sort of Terminator meets small fluffy psychotic killer. Enhanced JRTs are insanely aggressive mini-tanks that live to kill and aren’t fussy about what they kill; not such a problem when you’ve got control over a radio link, but when you start broad-spectrum jamming to stop the rats’ hivemind from operating effectively, your terriers are going to be let off the leash to do whatever they feel like doing to anything that moves, which means the pest control job rapidly turns into a war zone.

    Such a game would rapidly turn into a balancing act; can you jam the rats sufficiently that the hivemind doesn’t get its act together enough to resist, whilst managing to keep the terriers from destroying the city (which will not get you paid for sorting out the rat problem).

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  4. Pingback: The Colossus of Roads Pt3 | Hugo's Probe

  5. Anything human mind can imagine is achievable.iBrain or the digital brains that will simulate human brains in internet will eventually be realized.However,people are really concerned about their privacy and mind control.They are justified to some extent.They are concerned their brains will be bombarded with unwanted data.But they forget one cannot be bombarded unless they are logged in.If you don’t log in,you’ll be definitely offline and the information will not access your brain.The issue of privacy and mind control is easily solved.The iBrain will play vital role in education,communication,recreation and relationships.Education wise,nobody will have to go through years of learning as data will be downloaded directly and instantly in the brain.It will be common to master numerous fields of knowledge and languages with ease.In communication,nobody will be lonely there after as they will be able to interact holographically with anybody anywhere at anytime.This will be especially fantastic to those who share common interests.In recreation,people will be enabled to digitally tour any place using brain alone.Imagine digitally traveling places of your fantasy in real-time.This will be made more realistic by the futuristic internet that would convey the five human senses.On relationships,the iBrain will enable couples to tune into the same frequency.Relationships often fall apart due to misunderstandings.iBrain will eliminate that.Imagine a situation where your partner can directly access your thoughts and know exactly what you feel or want.This will be the future digital marriages.But the right to access thoughts will be done after the spouses consents.If you opt for robotic spouses,you’ll be enabled to automatically access their thoughts.It will not be automatic for the biological robots though.The iBrain will eliminate any element of suspicion that usually haunts relationships.On the other hand,you’ll consent one or all biological robots to access your thoughts since polygamy will be legal.Don’t get mistaken and think robotic spouses will be synthetic sex slaves.No,they be exact human replicas who will have been programmed to love their calling.They will also have their own rights.On the downside of the iBrain,some individuals will have their conscious or iBrain exposed to the public.They will be the capital offenders.Making someone’s iBrain public will be the capital punishment of individuals who dare disrupt society.They will be denied privacy and exposed to uncensored ridicules including insults day and night.Lastly,all our iBrains will be subject to scrutiny by the thought bank supercomputer or HIVE.Few distinguished and respected leaders will possess the ability to access anybody’s iBrain.They are the genius leaders who would have earned their venerated place in society for contributing in it’s betterment.They will not be politicians or avaricious warlords but unpaid guides of the society.

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