In about 50 years, or maybe less, we'll probably find a way to automate love, outsource wisdom, and even find a substitute for nature. What would be left for you to do then? Barring existential risks, these are facts. So what game are you playing at?
People are playing three games whether they realize it or not—Love, Capital, and Nature. Each game comes with its rules, rewards, and penalties. Each game demands a particular currency—time, money, and biological resources. Are you aware you're a player? If so, what's your strategy?
Love is a game played in the dense neural networks of social bonds. Its currency is emotional labor, and its rewards are, well, emotional. Neurotransmitters like oxytocin act as power-ups, increasing your performance and giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling.
The game of Capital is an odd one. Its currency is currency—money, influence, power. But what are you accumulating all that for? To buy dopamine, as it turns out. Dopamine—the pleasure neurotransmitter that operates like the score in a video game. Accumulate enough, and you level up, only to find that the levels get progressively difficult.
The game of Nature is the oldest and most basic. It's about survival and well-being. Your ability to keep playing the other games effectively depends on how well you're doing in this one. And this isn't just about you; it's also about the natural world that sustains all players.
You can't excel in one game without considering the others. Your capital can buy you time, which you can invest in relationships (the game of Love) or personal well-being (the game of Nature). But here's the kicker: You can also choose to stop playing one of the games, or at least lower the stakes. You can declare, "I opt out of the Capital game!" But remember, this isn't a choice without consequences; you'll still be playing the game of Nature, albeit with a different strategy.
So, human of 2023, which game are you afraid of losing? Do you fear emotional bankruptcy in the game of Love? Do you fear going broke in the game of Capital? Do you fear the environmental collapse in the game of Nature?
We've all been scammed into thinking that the Capital game is the only one worth playing—that its dopamine highs are the pinnacle of human achievement. But it's an illusion, like pixels on a screen masquerading as reality. There are other games, with other highs, that cannot be ignored. There's adrenaline, serotonin, and yes, even the existential joy of being part of something greater than oneself—be it a loving relationship or the majestic tapestry of nature.
To anyone stuck in a single game loop, let this be your wake-up call. Humanity is not on a singular path. We don't have a common destiny, no matter what the Wall Street gurus or Silicon Valley prophets tell you. Your life is a complex interplay of multiple games, and you have a choice in how to play them.
The Earth may be a small sandbox, but the games we play are infinite in their complexity and their ability to provide meaning and purpose. Whether you seek the honest struggle against nature, the deep emotional connections of love, or the intricate plays of capital, know that these games are yours to play.
You are free from your programming, or at least, you can be. So go forth, player. Navigate these games with wisdom, skill, and a sprinkle of audacity.
AI, biotech, and even space exploration and programming are tools in your kit. Use them wisely, because the universe is vast, and it's the ultimate playground for those who dare to play.