When Did We Become Human?

Some humans are really bad at being human

I know this topic is rarely to be discussed in an open public nowadays. It seems we only tend to talk about or discuss the “external” variables, such as technology, global warming, climate change, economic crisis, poverty, pandemic, and so on. Otherwise, we rarely talk or discuss the “internal” variables where one of them is human itself.

It also relates to the question of how are we running a business. We only focus on and consider how to find investors, get the cheapest resource and sell at the highest price, how get clients, and so on. We often forgot about the fundamental things, which is our company, such as its vision and mission, the ontological meaning of our business, our identities, our business model, and so on.

My question is, when is the last time you questioned yourself? It is like, “What do I want”, “What are my achievements in the last year”, “Things I want to achieve before 2023”, “Is it the life that I truly wanted to live”, and so on. Well, for me, the scariest question about self-reflection are “As long as I live, have I done good things?

I think the notion of “good things” is not only about our achievements, our skills that have unlocked, the money that we produce, our Ph.D. degree, and the list can go on but I’m pretty sure you all got my points. It doesn’t matter how clever, smart, rich, beautiful, and handsome you are, but what you do to nature is.

Well, currently, it can not be denied that we are living in a digital era where everything is fast. This ‘fast’ then, indirectly affects our subconscious to do all things quickly. Therefore, it become a new characteristic of the people of the 21st century. We tend to care about ourselves, we don’t want a long process, we don’t give a fuck about others, and we got easily to be distracted. It is more fun to surf your social media rather than surfing the streets, seeing a lot of people that are not lucky as you who can listen to Joji on Spotify on your Macbook Air M1, on the warm bed with a hot cappuccino but still, you sigh about your mental health because your boss. Fuck, what’s wrong with this world?

Indeed, we are the only creatures in this world who has ratio and logic. We can cultivate information into technology. We can crack nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles through mechanical quantum. We are creature that can divide cancer cells. And the list can go on. However, what we did so far, especially since the renaissance, do we really good creatures?

Well, to answer this question, we have to talk about the definition of humanity itself, and to be honest, I’m a post-humanist. I gain this perspective from Dr. Ferrando (New York University lecturer). How does, post-humanism address the notion of the human is an open frame? According to post-humanism, we cannot think of the human as an open frame only to the future. For instance post-human according to the trans-humanism approach, the emergence of technology, cyborg, and so on.

It’s not only to the future, it’s not only through the present but also to the past. Then, the next question is “When did we become human?” Because we are going to understand two different approaches the fact that the human itself is a cultural notion and also a historical one. So, according to post-humanism, not every human being is defined as human. For instance, you can think of the history of slavery, and how some humans were considered less than human. There are many other cases for instance the history of sexism, ethnocentrism, disability, and so on.

Some humans have been considered more human than others. Then we’re going to address post-anthropocentrism. So this deconstruction of the human is not only done from an inner frame, says not only the human is many. But, it is also approached from a frame that comes from the definition of the human itself.

The notion of humanity itself has been defined through the known human and usually this separation is playing, being given an exceptional is to the human. So, we are human because we are not non-human animals. But, this separation was not neutral. We were considered superior because of this division anthropocentrism placing the human at the very top and of course, as some religious connection here, we can think of the day of the human is created in the image of God, for instance, according to different religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

I’m pretty sure that we all know currently, our nature and environment are unstable, because of the cost of this modernity. We rise by lifting others. Ah, and congratulations, we are succeeded in reducing our big enemies such as plague, war, and famine. Nowadays, more people die because of being full rather than starving. Currently, McDonald’s is more scary rather than Al-Qaeda and ISIS. More people are committed to suicide rather than killed.

One word, unique. That’s my personal opinion about humans. We solve the problems and then create another in the upcoming days. Is life really a cycle? Nah, I believe in a utopian world in the future. It is also the topic of my final thesis. We are unique because we know something wrong but we pretend everything is fine. We are talking about them, who starving on the side of the railroad at Tanah Abang on a fancy dining table. We are talking about the marginal groups in Papua, in a stately and luxurious government building. Obviously, some humans are really bad at being human.

Open your God damn eyes. Indeed, being human is a given. But, keeping our humanity is a choice. Selamat malam, and have a great day folks…

Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow. random house, 2016.

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