“I live on Facebook. Messenger is convenient, and all-inclusive; my friends are there, my salespeople are there. I run my life and my business off Facebook.” Indeed, whenever I sent Amarali a Facebook message to arrange our meeting, he responded within a minute. In his home, he sat in a swivel chair with his feet up and Facebook on the screen while he talked. The line between physical and online conservation was a blur. What appeared on his Facebook page became part of our conversation and I imagine our discourse nourished his feed.
Ali is a 42-year-old Iranian whose parents immigrated to the US when he was a child during the Revolution. He owns a pair of Hookah shops outside of Atlanta; “It’s something to do.” His real passions are raising his three-year-old son Jacob, mastering Brazilian Jujitsu as a means to better physical health after swelling beyond 200 pounds, and coming to terms with dual relationship blows: first Jacob’s mother, followed by a recent fiancé. “After the pity party I decided to make a change. First, I put Jacob in a marital arts class. Then I joined as well. I go to nine or ten classes a week.” To meet Ali today, you’d never guess he weighed so much or ever hosted a pity party. Though, when I asked him my question, it was clear the guy has spent quite a bit of time reflecting.
How will we live tomorrow?
“In what sense? Environmentalism? Socialism? World impact? How deep do you want me to get?
“Racism will disappear as people integrate. That will not be a problem. Racism is fueled by culture. Tolerance and social equality will prevail. Ethno-centric beliefs will evaporate as we integrate and assimilate. Education has to change. Better education leads to better social connections.
But the difference between corporate wealth and the poor has to change. The multi-billionaires own the world and there are people starving. There is no balance. Over generations there will be fewer people in the world and the standard of living will rise. There may be a time when there are only rich people left. In the meantime, the more people there are, and the more people who are on fringes, the more crazy people there will be who act out and instigate killing.
“If society wizens up, technology will be the currency of tomorrow.
“They’re doing something called neuroimaging. You can fly a drone with your mental process alone. When machines learn to read our minds, then they will be able to read our memories. Then they will read our personalities. We will be able to upload our essence on a disk.
“You know what a singularity is? If there’s an alien singularity in the universe, we could simply be existing in their thoughts. If we reach a singularity state, say we become a thousand times more intelligent than we are today, how much more complex will our dreams be? We could have dreams so complex we could envision our entire world in a dream. Perhaps we are nothing more than what is in their dreams? That’s what we call God.
“I don’t really know how we will live tomorrow. But it will get worse before it gets better.”