Perfect: ‘Hi-tech robot’ at Russia forum turns out to be man in suit . Right on time for your last SCIOPS of the year.

Last week I wrote to you that “Artificial Intelligence” is a marketing gimmick performed by the propaganda class.

This week, man in robot suit.

the robot suit has a light up face but looks pretty goofy

It’s like we’re at the circus, and I lean over and whisper “I bet that clown is a pervert,” and immediately two children drag a goat into the ring and the clown murders it and strips off his polka-dot onesie and starts making gentle love to the goat’s corpse. The question isn’t did they hear what I said? , it’s how long are we going to sit here and watch this?

It’s been a hell of a year. We’re in the dark night of the soul, as a species. We’re feeling the repercussions of our mad fossil-fuel binge: the storms, the fires, the extinctions.

We’re mourning the death of the Earth.

You know the idea of five stages of grief, denial and anger and so on? It’s a useful story, even if the evidence to support the theory is nil. And actually, the original theory was about the grief of the dying person , the gauntlet they must run between diagnosis and death.

But then, we are the ones dying. All of us.

Imagine you go to the doctor tomorrow and they give you eleven years to live. Til 2030.

Eleven years! That’s modern medicine for you, they can’t explain a hangover but they can tell you exactly when you’ll die.

“That’s great!” your friends say. “Eleven years, that’s like a lifetime!”

You look at them, with their 20-to-70-year expectancies, and you manufacture a smile.

First you
deny
2030 is a long time away, who knows what the doctors and scientists will have cooked up by then? Plus by then cryogenics will be cheap as dirt, and you can get froze til medicine can save you!
Then get
angry
This is bullshit! Who did this to me? Was it the fluoride in the water, the mold spores in the food, the industrial pollution in the air? (It was probably the industrial pollution in the air.)

Now bargain it out: surely there’s some amount of money that could solve this problem? We can buy the best doctors, the best lawyers, the best computers. I’ll sell the car, mortgage the house, indenture the kid, whatever it takes. I’ll make a deal with the Basilisk. Just a few more years.

If that doesn’t work, try a trip to depression ! A fantastically droll place, full of really interesting people with complicated emotional histories. Why not not get out of bed ever? What would be the point of eating food anyway? Eleven years. Barely enough time to say goodbye, really. Certainly not worth starting anything new, or changing any habits, or meeting anybody.

2030: eleven years. That’s how long we have to overhaul the entirety of industrial civilization. To limit the scale of climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we have to cut emissions in half. By 2030. That’s the best worst option. That’s a manageable catastrophe . If we let the planet get 2 degrees hotter, the consequences will be so bad that we’re unlikely to adapt.

Everyone’s at different stages of dealing with this. The heaving and thrashing of world politics is evidence enough. Deniers don’t want to hear about it, bargainers want to trade carbon derivatives. It doesn’t matter. The diagnosis is the same: earth death.

Maybe some few humans will survive the famine, the drought, the war, the robots, the booby traps, and the other survivors.

Maybe that last hope for humanity will be you and your people. Maybe you’ll be the lucky, the dogged few who make it to the finish line, all others be damned.

Then what?

Acceptance comes when you realize we’re all in it together. The world around, no matter what pigment or what language or what god, no matter what species, we’re staring death in the eyes as one. There’s no survival except the survival of all. If we lose one bioregion to desert, we lose every denizen of that land. If we lose one human, we lose every great meme they could have posted.

We have eleven years to learn how to work together. It’s a death sentence. It’s a lifetime.

Don’t hide from this, don’t cast blame, don’t haggle. Lean into it. Look your neighbor in the eye and know that your lives depend on each other. They’ve never let you die before. Why would they do it now?

There is no enemy. Corruption, capitalism, climate change: it’s all a man in a robot suit. We made this problem together. We can solve it together.

Most of all, don’t lose hope. Draw your family close, your friends, your animals and your robots. Bring them all under one roof. Stay warm, through the dark days, by holding each other with the deepest kindness. Know that your life, everyone’s life, depends on your capacity to love.

A better headline this month: Human beings shoot shiny sculpture into space just for art’s sake. Look for it glinting through the darkness, every ninety minutes or so, for the next few weeks.

the satellite looks like a cross with a giant shiny obelisk trailing behind it

We are the species that puts stars in the sky. We can do anything.

SCIOPS will return next year. Thank you, always, for reading.

– Max


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