“(Self) Portrait of a Hackable Animal” Chinese Ink on paper, framed and with non-reflective glass 82.4 x 74.6cm.
I am apparently now a “hackable animal” according to Yuval Noah Harari. Speaking at a conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos recently, the writer, philosopher and professor of history talks about what the future of the planet will look like. “This will be decided by the people who own the data.” Harari says, “Data is so important, especially biometric data, because we have reached the point where we can hack, not just computers, we can hack human beings and other organisms. Control of data might enable human elites to do something even more radical than just build digital dictatorships. By hacking organisms elites may gain the power to re-engineer the future of life itself. Because once you can hack something you can usually also engineer it.
“The whole idea of humans have this soul, this spirit, and freewill, that’s over. Freewill, that’s over. Today we have the technology to hack human beings on a massive scale. Everything is being digitalised. Everything is being monitored”.
If we blindly accept the future that Harari promises without question, we will be giving away the very thing that makes us human to the people who care the least about humanity itself.