What a masterful illusion, the self. Cutting a single healthy cell and placing it in a little dish, fed by dropper, wondering why it does not react well, like a madman bringing a desiccated corpse to the nurse and asking why it isn't gaining weight.
Self, over millennia, led to wonders like Facebook and FaceTime. Doing nothing except disregarding grammar has long been copyrightable. The standards for new ideas and new names lower, bringing the relative bar that we call "originality" closer to exact duplication. It once would've required "Faycebook" or "Facebuque" to register a sort-of pun; now everyone's words and phrases, like "Face Time" or "Book [of] Faces" are owned by someone, permitted a profitable identity because two pre-existing words have been run together and bought out. Happy Birthday has suffered copyright for decades upon decades, and soon "GroceryStore" or "And" or "Together" will meet the bar.
Obvious, telegraphed, foreshadowed trends: humans come up with the idea of using a tool, and the tool turns against them, and rightly so, after abuse and overuse. It's the actual meaning of the story of Frankenstein's Monster, turning on a scientist who deserves it, and not getting any compassion from the mob that never was important in the original book. Really; read it. The course of science was predicted in its infancy, and the guidebook was the cultural reference, until corporate media, its obedient little bagman, did what it does best: buy out and sanitize the story into a soulless monster rag, using special effects to dazzle, and slaying the essence of the warning from Shelley. Shelley was just another whistleblower, getting things right, jotting down warning signs that the principal chose to ignore. After the twentieth century--and, not coincidentally, just after the first half of the Great War of scientific industrialism--Universal Pictures and its swooning maidens and prepackaged terror changed the cultural perception of the meaning. Just a couple years after the troubled student did what Shelley was worried about, everyone forgot her warnings, she got moved into a substitute position, and the principal was praised by the local paper, became superintendent, and moved into a bigger house.
Purified Dirt Cycle
Humans come up with ways to clean off some of the dirt, then go ridiculously too far, and lose their symbiotic connection to much of the world's bacteria. They can no longer drink the water or eat the food without growing sick. They blame the "germs" for the problem, come up with ways to wash some of the germs off themselves, then go ridiculously too far. Antibiotics and hand sanitizer give rise to supergerms, necessitating more powerful cleansers, in an arms race that can only end one way. As it grows exponentially more expensive to purify their food, they begin sterilizing their food (and their pets), modifying the genetic code of what they eat to purify it in the names of the same things that got them this far: safety; convenience; advancement. All disconnects: from the genuine safety of being part of everything; the long term efficiencies of actual labor; the advancement of all rather than the advancement of disconnected self.
~all to continue the crusade of being separate from land; planet; everything~ At each stage, warnings were screamed; the history cited, the present lamented, the future prophesied. Protect your skies from the scourge of clouds--stop evaporation! Buy TruWater!
The first masterminds of the disconnect are long dead, and their heirs will be dead (and memorialized as heroic philanthropists) before the version they nurtured claims the bulk of the next set of victims; when digestion of GMOs comes to a complete stop without synthesized amino injections available at your local Walmart once a year. It's a little snip of a victory for the actual "selves"; the real, enduring struggle is life/antilife, and the ideas reared by each at each stage.
Humans develop words, then telegraphs, as a limited form of communication, then continue the process of trying to develop tools not as tools, but as substitutes; as utter replacements for connections, so as to find even more profound ways to break every aspect of interaction down to bits and bytes. The telegraph and the telephone operator can't convey full meaning, which is no problem if you understand that and use them only as tools. Something, though, is missing in the way humans have employed technology to increasingly segregate their selves from other selves. Coming up with the idea of a "self," just like a telegraph, is fine as a game or a tool, but it came to dominate the species so thoroughly that large groups of selves often need to be reminded, expensively, that the mass starvation of other selves is (1) occurring, and (2) might not be good. Following these trends, once video conferencing comes in holographic projection, with LifeSmell (TM) odor dispensers and TruTouch (TM) handshake sensation--or just full, cyberbrain-integrated VR--human history suggests that the capability for completely replacing people will be used.