Atlantis, Ancient Technology and the Dissolusioned Technocratic Impulse

Many of the conspiracy theories involving Atlantis focus on it as a technological utopia, whether that technology had a terrestrial or alien source, it is the archetypical futurists paradise, the only exception being, it is in the past. One of the most interesting things about the people who seem to be most invested in these theories is not necessarily the way in which their sense of pattern recognition is working in overdrive, but how fervently it demonstrates the continuing belief in the power of technology to influence human life for the better.

This image of Atlantis is so influential in part because it takes advantage of the powerful pull of origin myths combined with a technocratic disillusionment with the state of the present world. Rather than giving up its faith in technological progress’ ability to make our lives better, this impulse instead project the future golden age into the past. Some of the engineers and scientists who have fallen under its sway describe Egyptian pyramids as huge, industrial energy projects. After all, they reason, why else would the Egyptians invest so much effort in create them? But this ignores the entire basis of the ancient Egyptian belief structure, in which monumentality, memory and the symbolic meanings associated with them were alone enough of a motivation to create and prepare the final resting place of the Pharaoh.

Disillusioned technocrats are not the only ones with a vested interest in ancient advanced technology and Atlantis, to be sure, but it is always quite telling, the ways in which we project ourselves, our hopes and fears, first onto the future, and if that seems too murky and desolate a place, then we turn to the past, in some ways, just as the Ancients themselves.

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