Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Future Awaits

Prognosticators are talking
      Talking about a new humanity
            Just around the next bend in the road
Genetically-selected children
      So that no one need suffer
            The ravages of miscopied chromosomes
Or the judgment of a bully’s taunt
      For being too slow, too stupid, too ugly
            We simply won’t be those things anymore
            Because we won’t have to be
Computers interfacing with our minds
      Perhaps, even, in our minds
Already our lives are coiled tight
      Into narrow boxes of circuitry
      That we hold in our hands
            As they hold us, reflected
      Behind a touchscreen that allows for touch
            But remains, within, like us—untouched
Maybe even the end of mortality
      If unconquered science overcomes
            The clocks that tell our cells to die
            Because having things end is such a shame
      If we can keep them plodding on

This road to a self-modified future
            Filled with gloriously self-modified selves
      It strives to overcome old defects
            Of the pain-wracked, merciless reality
            Of being human
Comfort from disease
      Freedom from insufficiencies
            Networks that speak meaning
            Over the numb terror of individuality
      And victory over death
We’re an old program, human nature
      And we need an upgrade

The only thing is
      There’s been an upgrade out for awhile
      A patch hand-built by the programmer
            A new humanity
            Ready for download and installation
It’s the best of both worlds, really—
      Perfectly designed
      Flawlessly executed
            And free
It turns disease into a great arena
      For acts of courage and mighty mercy
            A multi-player, collaborative quest
            To produce the greatest virtues ever seen
It takes our insufficiencies
      And turns them into beauties
            The place where grace can meet us
            And be our all-sufficiency
No longer alone, it sets us down
      In the wild, beating center
            Of a network inflamed by reckless love
            Stretched over the whole earth
It takes death—that cold, gray dissolution
      And dismembers the old beast so completely
            That the whimper of its last approach
            Toward our beleaguered lives
      Is heard now as a shout of glory
      When death dies against the night

Not only that, this upgrade offers more
      Even more than the prognosticators
            Predict for technified humanity
      Fixes to the bugs that run too deep
            For scientific self-modification
This upgrade renders meaning
      Grace, beauty, truth, and light
      It teaches us how to be good
            And, what’s more, it makes us want
            That very goodness we’ve avoided
      But which we’ve longed for all our lives

Don’t wait—get your upgrade today
      Billions have already downloaded it
            And entered the new humanity
      It’s still on offer, so get it today

The future awaits