We Can’t Slow Down-We Never Could — COSPOLON

Steven Cleghorn
5 min readJan 28, 2024

It’s not all good. We need to be a bit more discerning.

Humans, like other animals, are survivors. Of course, all species of Hominids are extinct except ours. Homo Sapiens are by far the most innovative and productive species we know. However, even insects are innovative, given time to evolve. It depends on what we mean by innovative. Homo Sapiens are good at exploiting every resource. We do what we have to do to make things better for our group. We are competitive, passionate, brilliant, violent, creative and destructive. We are manipulative and easily manipulated.

Due to our unique way of communicating and learning, in a sense, we have always been artificially intelligent. We can’t explain the magic of consciousness, even though lots of us have tried to tell us what God thinks.

Depending on circumstances and where we grew up, we will have a specialized cultural worldview informing our actions. We will have beliefs, ideas, and feelings that animate our interactions and form our identity, and we will take all of this for granted.

Artificial General Intelligence already governs us. We all use machines and are part of a socioeconomic, cultural machine that we hardly notice. The legally coded, neoliberal, neocon, fossil capitalism with ubiquitous propaganda outlets and its military-industrial complex is a machine, and it’s already manipulating everyone from the top to the bottom of society. This ideologically out-of-control machine already manipulates everything on Earth.

We are also highly prone to delusion. Many of our leaders think they are in control of cybernetics, but they don’t even understand the concept.

In the Global North, we believe we have to move fast, get super busy, and be active most hours of the day. “Hey, West Wing Ivy League smart ass, walk with me while I finger my phone, and let’s talk about all the critical, earth-shattering things we need to do today. Would you like a glass of Kool-Aid?”

We know it all because we have read all the briefs and the snippets, watched the video clips, and listened to the popular, well-paid pundits and revolving-door think tankers. We know it all because we know what we know.

We don’t have time to slow down and think things through. If we are not busy posing as busy people, we feign wisdom by choosing not to think. “Why bother with any of it? There is nothing we can do about it anyway.”

We are trained pretenders looking for a path to an authentic life.

We can’t slow down and do things right. We can’t comprehend the risks we are taking because we won’t take the time to understand things holistically. We can’t open the black box and examine what’s in it because it’s invisible.

We are not prudent, patient, wise, considerate, coordinated, or concerned about doing things properly. We are incentivized by our addictions and making money to buy stuff, thinking this will make us happy and secure.

We don’t have any deeply held ideological or philosophic interests or convictions; we are intellectual tourists, dilettantes without commitments to higher values. The new Global North’s religion is anything that feels good.

We have been so worn down by super-stimuli that we can’t feel, so we can’t empathize. If we thought about the suffering of others, it might awaken us to our suffering, which can not be allowed to happen.

We are all manipulated by the machine. We are wallowing in so much noise and garbage that we can’t understand what we’re allowing ourselves to be driven into. Our way of life is predicated on taking insane risks so that our competitors, who are also taking insane risks, don’t get what we think we want before we get it.

A vast literature spans the length of civilization addressing all of this. These observations are so banal that it makes my teeth ache. My gut hurts because I can’t understand why we haven’t learned from our wisdom traditions or why we don’t practice those things that make us wise.

Why rush towards:

  • Hypersonic nuclear warhead delivery systems
  • Drones and autonomous weapons systems
  • Genome sequencing, cryo-electron microscopy, molecular cloning, reverse genetics, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and next-generation sequencing, CRISPR, Cas9
  • We need more energy (for what?)
  • Financialization, derivatives trading, MMT
  • GDP and on and on…

Nation-states with the resources rush on because we can’t allow our competitors to get there first. It’s like the Space Race (For All Mankind) on steroids. This pathological need for control is corrupting our deeper intelligence.

The Anglo-West or Global North seems willing to destroy everything if it can’t run everything.

If we all took a few months off, read good books, took walks, and talked with people in our communities, we might start to see how mad everything is these days.

I’d like to see three hundred million people in the Anglosphere boycott the system for a quarter. That might wake people up. We don’t need a violent revolution; we must stop participating in the artificial, generally unwise program for a while and give ourselves some time and space to imagine how things could be if we could all slow down and understand the broader implications of the lifestyle we have been trained to believe is natural and inevitable.

We don’t have to go back to the Stone Age; we can keep what is good for life on Earth, discard some of the things destroying habitat and life, and still have a dynamic, creative culture.

But to do this, we need to work on our global culture, and that’s hard to do. We need time, folks. The fast acts will destroy us.

Boycott the Rat Race! Tell your leaders we need to prepare for peace. Think about getting rid of all the things you don’t need. Focus on building lasting relationships. Collaborate with people in your community to create what you truly need. Share resources. Cultivate generosity of spirit. Listen deeply to each other. Appreciate the differences and recognize the similarities between yourself and others. Take care of yourself and others. Maintain your sense of humor. Learn from each other. Teach each other. Slow down, look around, and be thankful. Life is short.

Right, I know, platitudes, nothing but platitudes, how boring. Let’s get bored and reconsider what we must do to imagine what’s next. This thing of ours is coming to an end. It’s scary as hell to stop for a moment; it feels like if we do, we’ll sink to the bottom of the ocean and rot, but I fear that if lots of us don’t stop, we will blow up the whole thing.




Steven Cleghorn

I'm an autodidact, skeptic, raconteur, and a former producer at The Muse Films Ltd. in Hong Kong. I founded Globe Hackers Multimedia Ltd.