The story of involuntary oblivion: a Tragedy

Part 1 — Featuring humanity and it’s eager participants.

Oscar Petrov
5 min readApr 7, 2021

“Imprisoned in our cave, [and] with our backs to the light, we can only watch the shadows on the wall.”

— Plato, Allegory of the Cave

The nature of reality is seldom considered in the lives of most. Often distorted by humans in various forms of biases — a result of past occurrences and future dispositions — reality often finds itself taking up many forms to delineate what are, in actuality, unique subjective realities. But that begs the question: Is there not one reality that trumps them all? Does there not exist a reality that is fundamentally more real than its illusory counterparts?

In its purest form, reality must be understood through the context by which an event or experience takes place, but that which is devoid from, and uncorrupted by, subjective influence (i.e., characterized by notion, emotion, or sensation). Thus, reality may be understood as merely what is. This holistic view of the world in which we live in is supported by one of the foundational axioms of quantum mechanics, which states that there is no such thing as empty space.

By this rationale, it would seem that such a non-convoluted concept — leaving our emotions out of things — would be so simple for humans to put into practice. However, as we all know, this is far from the case.

One of the prime essences of human beings is the ability to characterize, describe, and analogize, but it is such tools of descriptive thinking which inherently corrupt the true nature of the world we live in, the thing being observed, the happening taking place. In other words, by assigning labels to things in our daily lives — black or white, good or bad, beautiful or ugly — we are doing none other than digging ourselves deeper within a hole of misconception and deception to merely ease our ways. For it is easier to function in a society that lives off of the imposition of man-made confines, and this is, fundamentally, one of the primordial characteristics of the human condition.

By defining certainty in a world of uncertainty, we are able to analyze and overcome patterned happenings, even if that means we must operate within a finite, constructed reality of truth. And while this leads to progress in the short-term, the overwhelming emphasis and reliance on many of these patterned happenings — upon which the term assumption is derived — could be profoundly misleading.

For example, upon the assumption that an apple will return to your hand after throwing it up into the sky, one naturally encounters problems when the Apple fails to return back to the ground that one instance; for it would be rather peculiar if the apple, suddenly, began accelerating from the Earth’s atmosphere, like a rocket ship hurtling into space.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that exact phenomenon — not upon observing an apple, of course, but several galaxies “redshifting” — ultimately leading us to discover what was a universe of expansionary nature when it was otherwise thought to be contractionary, as Newton’s Law of Gravitation supposed.

Backpedaling to the pertinence of humans, it has been prevalent throughout history that humans tend to naturally simplify things. Whether that be language, emotions, or even spectrums of infinite complexity (i.e., in the case of wavelengths of light, or color) — we as humans naturally evolve to make things easier for ourselves and consequently, this results in a loss of meaning.

This predilection towards oversimplification is perhaps a consequence of progress, a tendency for us to overcome the physical realities that hold us back by what are deemed the “old ways.”

The unfortunate truth for most of us, though, is that we may be setting ourselves up for disaster — and this may be argued to be the result of an incompatibility of the human race to discount our futures, effectively. In other words, we humans are governed by a predisposition to think about how events influence us today, rather then what may be tomorrow. To the meager perspective of humans, it’s as if our future selves are timelessly distant, hazed from our present selves.

As emergent properties such as artificial intelligence (AI) come into deeper ubiquity, it may soon be realized that our tendency to oversimplify may give AI the upper hand over us. Already reigning supremely in computation and communication, a lack of due diligence may allow these mechanistic machines to overtake humans in a synergetic glory; not because such a merger was compulsory, but because humans may collectively take it upon themselves to sacrifice their personal autonomy if it means becoming physically and intellectually enhanced.

Until then, there is little to be done to prevent such a radical change. Ultimately, humans may find themselves falling into one of two categories. The first category of people are those who will embody a life of blissful ignorance, either acceptingly, or unwillingly. These members have either accepted that which is naturally inevitable — which, at its core, is the reality that humans will synergize with machines on a mass scale — or they are unaware that they are unaware of what is to happen. The second group may find itself attempting to reject that which is — unbeknownst or not, to them — to come. As such, it is likely that a loss of personal autonomy may appear distasteful to their idealistic pleasures of life. They may, consequently, find themselves taking solace in a life of seclusion, be it a mental or even physical estrangement from society.

If any of the aforementioned prepositions seemed in the slightest to be extreme, it may be of worth noting the dualistic perspectives regarding AI-human synergy: Proponents of AI’s convergence with humans will often argue that such an event is merely a means of enhancing human autonomy that will open doors to newer capabilities. Opponents, however, may interpret the synergy as a diversion of dependence from the human, in which the AI becomes an added, responsible part of the individual’s lifestyle.

All that can be urged then, by a reader with a propensity to overanalyze, is that you take it upon yourself to burden yourself with understanding. For there is nothing greater than a refusal to seek, which most detracts from the fundamentalism of humans. Take it upon yourself to see the light, and it just might save you.



Oscar Petrov

A curious manifestation of billions of exploding neurons. I like to think about brains + the universe. Also passionate about ethics, philosophy + human rights.