Have you noticed how rapidly technology is advancing? Five years ago, very few of the general population gave any thought to tablet computing. And today, the iPad and many other tablets are the preferred method of access to the Web. The web itself is just over twenty years old, and the PC revolution started in the early seventies. And shortly after that, cell phones burst on the scene. Can you imagine not having these devices? The dark ages for sure. How would we stay in touch with our friends and family? How could we look things up? How could we even live?
Look at not just the technological advances in and of themselves, but look at the space between these milestones. They get shorter and shorter.
In the last two years, amazing breakthroughs have been made in advancing technology and cybernetics. Powered exo-skeletons for people with physical disabilities or for military personnel; thought controlled devices that allow paraplegics the ability to control a mouse with their brains. Hell, they even make rabbit ears that you wear and wiggle with your mind. The Japanese are the furthest ahead in robotics, having released some very interesting devices.
Even more recently, they have managed to allow one animal to control the movements and decisions of another. Organic transistors have been produced and a certain type of organic chip is being worked on for implanting in the human brain. There is talk of boosting human intellect and merging the human mind with computers. Theories of direct mind to mind human communications have also been posited and are being worked on as we speak.
But what does this all mean for us? In his seminal paper, The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Global/Singularity/sing.html
Vinge describes such an accelerated evolution of technology in which advances happen so fast and furiously, we will hit a point where we will become Post-Human as he terms it. Beings with unlimited intelligence, merged AI and human intellects, even upload of human consciousness to computers so we would be aware for all eternity. He calls this post-human point the Singularity; the place where all previous understanding breaks down and things would be incomprehensible to the average person today.
It is coming. Many are in agreement that it will happen mid-twenty-first century or a few years before. Not much time at all. Ask yourself, should it be stopped? My answer to this is a resounding NO! This is part of the natural evolution of intelligence. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, A French Philosopher and Jesuit Priest held forth the belief that Man was evolving to become One with God. The Hindu philosophies express succinctly that we are on the Wheel of Life to learn lessons, grow, and ultimately return to the Godhead from which we sprang.
But look at the state of the world and the human species these days. Loss of freedom, incredible displays of violence and genocide, governments and businesses ignoring the welfare of nature and the common man in a rapacious campaign for material riches. Children starving and lacking the ability to educate themselves while a few miles away gated communities house the wealthy and educated. The rich get richer and the poor grow poorer and increase in number.
Is this the kind of mentality we wish to have as the template for the Post-Human future? I don’t know about you, but hell no on my part. When the Singularity hits the prevalent mentality will prevail. So what can be done?
Its time to take sides; time to touch on the spiritual side of things. Not the dogmatic religions that are in the media, but the philosophies of the Buddha, the actual teachings of the Christ and many eastern religions.
In opposition to this mentality, there are a few thousand people who could be considered enlightened. And they spread the teachings of love and compassion, tolerance and acceptance, to their students. And this is passed on to anyone who will heed their words. But the work is slow.
The future is coming. Join me. Let’s make it a beautiful one!