So this a reprint… it was on my old blog.
To clarify for those of you confused my comments are indented and in italics. I never did get to publishing part two either. Hopefully this week.
I heard this talk on June 17 at the Cato Institute / The Economist Luncheon LIberty, Technology and Prosperity in San Francisco by Joel Garneau author of Radical Evolution.
Joel’s introduction was given by The Economist SF corespondent.
He has five hats the most interesting of those seemed to be a TROLL as in the norse mythological figure who hangs out in the woods and looks after the forest.
He is editor of the Washington Post Style section. Is a scenario planner at the Global Business Network. He also has a consulting firm the Garneau group – with him and his best sources. He also dabbles in Academia.
He has authored three books – The
Nine Nations of North America, Edge City – life on the new frontier and the topic of today’s talk Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies and what it means to be human.
We are at turning point in human history because of the fundamental changes in what it means to be human in the next 10-20-30 years. The change in the technologies we are working on today is that they are not focused outward on – fire, cloths,
They are focused inward on us – Modifying our minds, memory, metabolism our kids and what it means to be human.
These changes in science have significant political implications. They are changing VC’s have to look at the world.
When I heard this I mentally noted the oddity of it being the next statment. It sort of implied that there was a way in which their decisions had a profound effect on the future – and perhaps they do but should they have this big a power to shape it – how do we discuss and discern about these issues that affect the whole of society?
Their will be changes in cultures and values on our watch in real time. The future is being driven by the curve of accelerated change. How many people have heard of Moores Law – about 1/2 of the audience raised their hands. The data point on this is that normally only 10% of the audience does. We have had 29 doublings of computing since 1959 – that is 40,000,000 times.
This curve did not suddenly start out with the chip. We are in a third sort of evolution of what it means to be human. Darwin and chimps it took 8,000 years to get reading and writing.
Technosis is a great book to understand ‘writing’ as a technology that profoundly shaped culture.
To give perspective rail roads changed everything they touched and the number of miles of rail road miles was only 14 times.
In 1800 we started the industrial age an example of this curve is that in 1903 we had the first flight and 66 years later we were on the moon.
These changes are exponential and change all of society. This curve that we are riding – I don’t see where it levels off.
The limitations are – Quantum Mechanics – The Marketplace – Human ingenuity (he sees no limits to these three)
Finally our willingness to shape culture and values. I am interested in human relationship and love and lies.
WE ARE IN A TIME OF RADICAL EVOLUTION
We are charging the shape of what it is to be human.
Fleet of technology – affect how mind, memory and metabolism works.
I spent a year with DARPA Spent Year with DARPA. They see the week link in the war fighting machine as us – humans themselves. Lets meet the first telekinetic monkey who can move objects through her thoughts.
We hook her on computer games moving a cursor with a joyce stick.
Drill hole in head near motor quartex and put in a mesh of extremely fine Wires that connect with neurons.
See the patterns in the mind when operating the joyce stick
Disconnect the joyce stick.
Just use mind to move the cursor
Hook up robot arm that moves with cursor movements.
The defense reason that F22 is difficult to control with joyce stick. If you could control with mind <-> machine connenction. Feeding information into skull real time…blur line between made and born. That is the official reason we are doing this. The real reason is the guy who heads the lab has a daughter with ceribal palsy who can’t walk on her own and what if she could control machines with her thoughts that moved he legs? This is a dramatic change in what it means to be human.
The Berry Bonds – steroid controversy – is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what does it mean to be enhanced? – what are the social implications? Should he have an asterix next to his name because he is not the same type of human being as those who’s records he broke?
There will be people who are delighted to adopt these advances.
There will be NATURALS who are like todays vegetarians
The REST – for reasons of geography or economics are not enhanced and will envy and despise those who are. THIS HAS POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES.
What is driving this is GRIN – Genetics, Robotics, Information and Nanotechnology.
To be continued…