Many learned folk are under the impression that we as a civilized species are going through a great transformation. In fact, all throughout history, various civilizations and individuals have foretold that it would be right about now that humans beings would do or die. The Mayan calendar, the Hopi, Nostradamus, Lao Tzu. Some would even argue Jesus and Mohammed and many more all point to this moment, as the Great Revelation in which humanity resolves itself or suffers a great trauma.
One easily notices how rapidly technology is developing around the world now. Life is moving toward something quite fast compared to other periods of history. You know that many children do not learn how to write in cursive at school anymore? Because everything in the academic setting should be typed, and with currency going electronic, our official handwriting system is outdated.
I couldn’t research in a library like I can on my laptop, where I can access materials from around the world. The library has gone mobile. The company that publishes Encyclopedia Britannica announced yesterday that they are ending the print edition in favor of the all digital version. We can carry the entire body of our knowledge in our pocket.
You think your phone and the iPad are cool now? Please click the picture below.
They project that the technology will be cheap enough to be feasible for public consumption in about a decade. This tech will give you a mobile device that you can fold up like a yoga mat (or a dollar bill if a cell phone maybe?) and throw over your shoulder. You like your quad-core processor? Most computers including your phone, have between 2-16 core processors. This computer currently has 256, and a scientist recently squeezed 1000 cores into a processing unit. These are giant leaps forward.
But it doesn’t end with behavior. Physical Anthropologists have noted that our brains are getting smaller. Competing hypotheses suggest that as our technology becomes more sophisticated, and we reliant upon it, that this loss of brain mass is a loss of intelligence; although this may loss of brain mass may be attributed to a biological restructuring. Consider that as technology becomes more advanced, it becomes smaller, uses less energy, and computes more effectively. Our brains today typically consume 1/3 of total energy consumption. A smaller, lighter weight brain, consuming less energy with more complex series of neuron networks leaves a caloric surplus. Of course, most of us (myself included) in industrialized societies already carry our caloric surplus around with us. So why can’t we use this surplus to break into the next stage of evolution?
We do not have a challenge to overcome. Or do we?