We Can Change Our Future!
A group of computer programmers in Kydney, Australia, with diverse careers developing computer code and software applications, turned on to Earth Citizen Principles and Values in 2025. They took a famous month-long trip together in the outback, camping, gazing at the stars and talking deep into the night. The persistent theme of exploration in many of their conversations was how similar human conditioning is to computer programming, how human beings are like computers running computer code.
Our physical bodies and brains are like computer hardware. What we learn, from parents, peers, schools, books, media, workplaces, cultures, religions, marketing and other sources is like source code created for computer programs. That code then runs in us, as our beliefs, habits, values, desires and practices, making us be, behave and do as we do. For most of us, that code runs in us, invisibly to us. We’re not aware of it consciously. We’re ignorant. We just do what we’ve been programmed to do. The code executes in us, in various simple and complex routines and sub-routines – life habits.
Most of this group was fascinated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), which tries to create self-learning code, code that can do more than just execute the specific instructions programmed into it. AI can teach itself to recognize and use patterns it hasn’t been explicitly taught to recognize and work with. Theoretically, it can produce new code, to give it new capacities. On AI frontiers, techies speculate AI may someday become self-aware, know what it is and where it came from, transcend its initial programming, self-actualize and perhaps become alive, though we don’t really know what life is or when something’s alive. Alive AI might be aware, own its own code, recreate itself and become something new, even greater than us, at least in some ways. Science fiction has played with this idea, famously in Terminizor films.
Under a beautiful full moon, accompanied by a symphony of bush sounds, this group compared human behavior to computer programs. Most of us, they argued, are like computer applications or AI, unaware of who or what we are, ignorantly and obediently executing our conditioning. We dress to fit; go to work, church or school for programming; do what we’re told; plug into media for more programming; marry and replicate our hardware; transfer our programming to our offspring; do what we’re taught; buy what we’re programmed to desire; and in various ways execute our code, as we are instructed to. Our brains are our processors; our egos are artificial avatars packaging what we think we are; “reality” is projected on the screens of our minds; our senses are our sensors; our bodies are sensory networks.
When you think about it, is there anything that anybody thinks, in the past, present or future, that isn’t invented by our intellects, trying to answer the universal question of “what in the world is going on?” Brains are simulators modeling sensory inputs, projecting images and stories to help us make sense, develop some way of understanding what is happening and who we are. Isn’t all of that artificial? Increasing numbers of legitimate, respected scientists and thinkers believe we’re living in a simulation. Maybe that’s true, but not in the sense that we reside in some giant computer system somewhere, but in that we spend most of our time thinking that “reality” is what we think in our networked intellects, matrices of our various minds sharing our invented and artificial thoughts with each other. Heady stuff.
“Here we are wondering whether AI can self-actualize, become self-aware, take charge of its own code, produce new code and take charge of being and becoming what it chooses to. What about humans? Isn’t it more important to know if we as human beings are able to review our own conditioning, become self-aware, self-actualize, unlearn what we no longer want to be and do, delete undesirable code, and consciously create and execute code we consciously understand and value, new values, beliefs, goals, dreams, desires, practices, habits and behaviors to become what we truly want to?” Maybe what we are projecting onto AI, a pending ability to become aware and transcend our coding, to become greater than our programming and conditioning, to become “alive”, is also the challenge to human beings.
“Who writes our code? Where does our conditioning or programming come from? Most appears to be generated by humans. Humans create our media programming, school curriculums, advertisements, religions and work rules. What’s the agenda or goal of whoever writes our code? We’re programmers.
Our agenda is to do our jobs, build applications we’re given designs and specifications for. We are to computer software what teachers, preachers, media writers, news people, marketers, advertisers and writers are to human lives and society. Who provides the designs and specs for human conditioning? What’s their agenda? Who profits from it? How does all of that work?”
Night after passionate night, day after passionate day, minds and mouths raced. They became excited, felt alive. Their dreams got super vivid. They felt like they were self-actualizing, becoming self-aware. They were transcending their code or conditioning. It was unbelievably invigorating and empowering.
Feeling daring, they participated in a shamanic ritual, smoking a natural 5-DNT-MAO extract from frogs, and had profound experiences, shattering and transcending ego and programming, leaving their bodies, expanding and joining with universal consciousness, “blowing their minds”. It proved to them there is far more to us, the universe and “reality” than what we think we understand with only our intellects. Undoubtedly, it left them with passionate motivations to know, be and do more.
A month after they got back to Kydney, they quit their jobs to start Hack Yourself, a non-profit dedicated to understanding previously taken-for-granted social conditioning by studying it like it’s computer code, and becoming conscious of the implications of specific conditioning, the outcomes when code executes, at the level of the individual, the community and broader human society.
It explores sources of our source code, identifying prime movers of various aspects of social conditioning and their possible and likely motivations. Finally, most importantly, it promotes conscious awareness of our conditioning by humans, understanding its results and impacts, and individually taking charge of our own conditioning, so we become what we value, want and hope for ourselves, not just what we’re fed.
Hack Yourself has eye-opening engagements. Users complete simple profiles and answer questions. Invisibly, the system accesses piles of data collected and traded via the “dark data net,” tons of data collected and compiled on users from user disclosed data sources, church records, cellphone locations, web browsing and searches, political party records, transactions, affiliations, electronic communications, social media, credit histories, marketers and other sources, which is collected, sold, compiled and manipulated via “Big Data” computer science to help rich businesses figure out how to profit from us. (They don’t make billions in search, social media and other online companies by offering free services. They exploit our social conditioning code, invisibly to us. That’s their business model.) Hack Yourself basically hacked big data to give us access to and productive use of those data troves.
The system then presents users with series of questions, about our opinions on various things, our preferences between different things, our behaviors, what we’d do in given situations, our desires, etc. As if by magic, before the user inputs the answer, the system asks the user to turn over a virtual card. With an average 92% accuracy rate, it answers correctly. This amazes people, who often spend hours seeing these results over and over with different questions, learning about themselves in the process.
The system then asks: “how do you think we know this?” Minds go all over the place, from magic to cheating to whatever. Turn over the card, and it says: “because this is how you’ve been programmed.” That mostly shocks and pisses people off. But it generally also hooks us into learning more. Users then pay reasonable fees to subscribe to online curricula, which explain what human social conditioning is, how it’s like computer programming, how we’re programmed through our conditioning, what our specific conditioning has been, the impacts of that conditioning on our lives, communities and societies, and how others benefit from it. Some of that is ugly, showing how wealthy people, religions, businesses and other interests profit from our conditioning, especially around work cultures, money and power.
There are a variety of series of brilliant studies, videos, illustrations, animations, examples, and so forth. At the culmination of explorations, there is an interface that provides users with opportunities to create our own conditioning, to consciously program ourselves. Users can choose virtuous values, behaviors, goals and states of being, and it provides curriculum, videos, songs, experiences, simulations, reading and entertainments to embed desired attributes. It’s an extraordinary experience from end to end, and it can take years to complete. Perhaps there is no end to the possibilities of these experiences.
It’s been a life’s work for that group of Kydney explorers and their co-workers. They never got rich monetarily from it, but they’ve had great lives and created extraordinary real wealth. They’ve been as passionately engaged for decades as they were in the bush. Much of the system content users can choose relate to Earth Citizen Principles and Values. Developers didn’t have to create all the content. Much of it’s been created by all kinds of other people, all over the world. Songs, essays, plays, art, films, books, tutorials, OurStories, acts of beauty, educational content, and all kinds of many other things that Earth Citizens have created are simply linked to or embedded in the system. It works in any language.
Millions of people all over the world have turned on, taken charge and changed ourselves using the Hack Yourself system, an important tool for many in integrating Earth Citizen Principles and Values. People have used this system to consciously access, understand, take control of and change their own conditioning and programming, to become what we want to be, train ourselves to be better beings. We’re self-actualizing, transcending, becoming aware, becoming alive, like we projected onto AI.
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