[ From the Archives of 365 ]
“Within fifty years, humans are going to be cross-engineered with machine and technology. We are going to become neo-human being type… half-human, half machine. But even if we don’t go that far, I think we will be able to have the processing power of computers within us.”
It’s so random how I run into people. And never knowing exactly what we will be talking about, there have been many unpredicted topics unveiled, and today proves to be a first.
At initial impression, a future prediction is put forth that seems as if pulled from the plot of a sci-fi film. But upon further examination, there are grounds to support the views of one of today’s very articulate new friends, Jorge, who with his girlfriend, Cindy, have accepted my reach-out as I depart from picking-up my daughter from her art school.
It’s very hot, but that does not stall us from taking time out of our schedules to grab the shade of an alley palm tree for a summer’s day chat away from the direct heat of the afternoon sun.
At first, both Jorge and Cindy share universal wisdoms that have been a constant all the way through 365.
Jorge: “It’s really important to follow your passion. And to be brave enough to leave whatever it is that is not making you happy. To go and find whatever it is you need to do. You know that one old adage,‘You don’t work a day in your life because you love what you are doing.’
“I’ve left jobs that I’ve had… in cubicles and stuff like that… and I’m following my passion.
“I’ve also heard from a few other friends, ‘Find something you love doing, even if at times it is not that fun doing it.’”
Cindy: “Do not focus on the negative, and just continue life in the positive. And accept any struggles in your life. They will help you. You will learn from them.”
All good council, and all words that we can never hear enough of.
Now to Jorge’s forecast: “Within fifty years, humans are going to be cross-engineered with machine and technology. We are going to become neo-human being type… half-human, half machine. But even if we don’t go that far, I think we will be able to have the processing power of computers within us.”
A dramatic proposal, one that shakes the literal foundation of many a faith or ignites critical bounce back from many a person.
But all through 365, I have campaigned for the development of a listening ear in all of us. And in doing so, the acceptance of the compassion required to not ignore, or react to, any one person’s outlook.
“Do not focus on the negative, and just continue life in the positive. And accept any struggles in your life. They will help you. You will learn from them.”
And in that same respect for Jorge, I do my due diligence. Two hours of Google search, reading scans of an endless list of references (some legit, other not so intriguing). I could have read for hours more, but in support of my very patient family, I must step away from the Google suck that is beginning to paralyze my physical self. Today, this is close enough to the virtual world for me.
What I uncover is the general label to the category of research on the matter of the brain, “Neuroscience.” The subcategory, “Brain Computer Interface.”
I know, the premise of living in a world of Avatars is a wild proposition. One that I must admit, frightens me a little.
But, for the sake of discussion, let’s step back a few hundred steps in asking, “Can computers exist in the heads of man, and if so, what would be the effect?”
The answer can be hailed up as a most modern aid to the loss of hearing. Namely, the Cochlear implant, a device that changed the life of teacher and writer, Michael Chorost, who after the implant of such a machine authored, Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human (Houghton Mifflin, 2005).
I dig a little deeper into exploring yet another new scientific theory, “Controlled Human Evolution”–a big topic at a vast list of yearly conferences that attracts many a great scientific mind.
Again, I am uncertain of my acceptance of a man-altered being or of manipulating Mother Nature, but after uncovering the huge financial and resource investment in such science, it would be ignorant of me to quickly dismiss the premise that Jorge has presented.
Jorge envisions what society would be like with the technology he predicts, “There will be no more having to touch anything, we’ll be able to think it and send it to anyone—like an email. Kind of like a thought, but we’ll be able to send it anywhere around the world. A much more centered collective conscience where we can all think and absorb from one another.
“Hopefully, it will be a good thing. I know there are bad people, and they always end up hacking or doing bad things… some sort of virus or something… but hopefully, if we can control that, I think that will be our next level of consciousness, and we’ll be able to leave this state of mind. Maybe even go into a virtual world, and to change our looks on a daily basis. As long as we can embrace it in a positive light, it would be a good thing for us. And once we get past having to live off money, and eliminate all the greed… maybe we’ll be living off a bartering system.”
Cindy comments, “Humanity will not really exist because of greed. This world is fascinated with money too much. And I think it’s going to damage us as humans.”
Jorge wraps the discussion with a positive mind-set on the capacity of society, “I think we all have something inside us, where even if we don’t speak it to one another, we have some kind of a spiritual connection. Whatever it is that you believe in, there is something that binds us together.
“And if we all think positively, all that springs out to everyone else is good. Contrasting, when people start thinking negatively, everyone starts thinking negatively. Some may challenge me on that… and I don’t buy it. We need to think the positive stuff.”
Jorge, Cindy, you have definitely brought our attention to a very new topic. A pleasure having a sunny chat with you. Your points are thought-provoking.
Regardless of our opinions, science will continue to push the boundaries of our imagination, and in the words of Albert Einstein, “Nothing is Impossible.”