vendredi 3 avril 2009

EnlightenNext Magazine : What It Means to Be Human

What It Means to Be Human

These days, everyone is talking about the potentially devastating effects that climate change and the economic crisis may have on society. But according to Washington Post reporter Joel Garreau, whom we interviewed for the upcoming issue ofEnlightenNext, there's an evolutionary X factor that most pundits fail to account for when making their linear predictions about what the future has in store:

I think that there is a third enormous driver of change in addition to the economic crisis and climate crisis, which is the advancement of human enhancement. There is a curve plotting exponential change called Moore's Law, and the way it is frequently stated is that the amount of computer firepower that you can buy for a dollar will double every eighteen months for as far as the eye can see.... A single iPhone today, for example, has more computer firepower than did the entire North American Air Defense Command back in 1965.

Well, the significance of this, in terms of culture, values and society, is that for the first time our technologies are increasingly aimed inward—at modifying our minds, memories, metabolisms, personalities, and our kids. We're about to become the first species to genuinely take control of who we are as an organism, to take control of our own evolution, not in some distant science-fiction future but right now, on our watch. And that, I would argue, is going to have a potentially greater impact on society than either the economic crisis or climate change, because we're talking about fundamentally changing what it means to be human.

To listen to our interview with Garreau, click here 


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