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Forward march! It is the beginning of an ending. A fin de siècle of the solitarian human venture. Rebirth, renew, reroute. The crux of a digital darkness is a black swan much to the detriment of humanity. The combination of natural and unnatural causes obliterating a civilization is quite possible. Scientists and researchers worldwide have been studying patterns and evidence of future timelines and predicaments. Exponential advances in digital technology in all aspects of human livelihood including health, education, communication, economic and socio-economic, political and geopolitical developments have undoubtedly accelerated the degree of dependency. In this, an image of a digital darkness becomes utterly harrowing. But the essence of life is all about the yin and yang and the balancing of each. As much as crises create disasters, they also give rise to opportunities. So, as we depict the intimidating digital darkness, it is wise that we take some time to focus on the possible opportunities that may be hidden in the bleak shadows.

Technological advancement in the 21st century has yet to reach its pinnacle. The rise of machines and their sophistication are constantly enhanced. The best is not good enough. Contenders would always want to be better, to have the upper hand, and to clinch the hit button. Even if the sky is the limit, shouldn’t we practice caution and set realistic limitations to our desires? Looking at crises through the lens of trichotomic interactions among human, nature, and technology, we can suggest that the nucleus of major issues lies in the regrettable imbalance among them. Human activities in pursuit of economic development, social advancement and political obsessions, will soon enough augur human survival defenseless, and will perhaps push the world towards a precipice. To restore equilibrium, we must truly understand the catastrophic consequences brought on by unsustainable patterns in human pursuits and ingenuity.

The phenomenon of quantum entanglement is directly and inversely proportional to the vicious circle of our interconnectedness. We need to change the way we interact not only between humans but also with nature and technology. As the system of humanity, we emanate a meaningful existence from our interaction with the other systems. Every single accrual of undesired events relates to our ways of reasoning, living, producing, and satisfying our needs for subsistence, dominance, acceptance, affluence and indulgence. If a digital darkness should befall, are we not reduced to nothingness?

In the quandaries of crises, human nature unfolds in profound ways. There will be winners and losers, predators and prey. Disruptive forces are constantly lurking in the dark, ready to pounce on unwary, and therefore unprepared tribes. Sound solutions to issues crippling the fundamentals of humanity will have to be researched and developed. An ancient Chinese proverb noted, “Let him who tied the bell on the tiger, take it off”, which simply means, the responsibility to resolve a problem should fall on the person who created it. Among the tripartite, humans comprise of the only system capable of inciting a plethora of complexities unto nature, unto technology and unto themselves. Deployment of complex technology that are capitalized towards infringement on the ecological space of other nations or other species that result in adversities and violence must be negated. Perhaps, it is through the retribution of digital darkness that our veils of ignorance and arrogance are lifted.

Causal effects are now more apparent and happening more quickly. To act upon rebalancing the interactions within the Magna Mater, the reconstruction of a new narrative is critical. To yield the light from the dark will require us to redefine our patterns of activity. Through adversities and conundrum, we must seek the microvita of artistry. In a digital darkness’s profound destruction, lay the innate reparative visuals for symbiotic growth and development, which may include efforts in humanizing technology, controlling pace of material consumption, reducing hazardous emissions, exploring alternative energy resources, improving environmental purification capacities, and rebuilding substantial circular economic model. Most importantly, a digital darkness would be imperative in redressing the equilibrium in actuating a radical shift in our ways of thinking and decision-making.

In this era of rapid digital intelligence, a realistic vision suggests that we should employ technological nature as an addition to actual nature, not as its substitute. In this tug of survival, the causa finalis must be of collective serendipity. The probability of a ghastly future due to a digital darkness must be mitigated as early as at the conception of invention and innovation phases. Human progress is a cycle of the rise and fall, of the waxing and waning of life. A digital darkness would be critical in igniting our senses on crucial areas concerning humanity and ecology that may have eluded us in our overwhelming thirst for supreme technological capacities. Lest we forget that natural and unnatural forces behold cascading effects to our very existence. A digital divide widens inequalities and accelerates deprivation of subsistence. Inequality of provisions prospers one and dehumanize another. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Oppression drives violence and violence procreates dissolution of societies and social trust. Anarchies lead to disorganization causing stagnant economic growth and truncated livelihoods and social well-being. The alter ego of some developed nations would be to recover and conquer. For the beneficiaries, the benefactors can neither be revered nor reviled. What meaningful lessons learned can help us in the future as we analyse and challenge these assumptions?

Equally, a digital darkness would be significant in reminding us that human, nature and technology are clustered as a single unit of factor. Available resources must be strategized towards a thriving yet peaceful future for all. Human, nature and technology must co-create a utopian image of co-evolution of which ‘no one’ is defeated. To achieve the desired, we must anticipate the preferred. More often than not, the usual post-crisis rue is the remorse of ‘what ifs’. Preemptive measures may save us from severe catastrophes and lead us to better optimisation of technology towards more tenable outcomes. Digital crisis preparedness must be at the forefront. The foresight of a digital darkness may invigorate novel solutions and would render opportunities to re-examine current systemic processes and strategies within our capabilities and capacities.

If there were ever a time to act, it is now. A digital darkness would be paramount in foreshadowing concrete depictions of disastrous effects when we lose sight of the big picture of global harmony in pursuit of short-term anthropocentric voracity of economic and political ends. The means of great change are at our fingertips. Betwixt the worrying past and the wired future, we must insure that no new bells are hung on the tiger!

© Fazidah Ithnin 2021

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