Sunday, January 07, 2007

Andrew Sullivan and Robert Wright on on the future of humanity


I enjoyed your discussion with Robert Wright on BloggingheadsTV. I also enjoy your blog.

For what it is worth, I disagree with your comments about human evolution. Here is a ding-a-link to the (as you would say) money quote:

"The pace of human technological advance is so [much] greater than the pace of human evolutionary advance."

True, but might your perspective on this whole issue change if you considered technology as an extension of human evolution? Isn't that what it is? And isn't it evolving at an accelerating rate?

Another relevant thought relates to the impact the internet is having on human society. The accelerating interconnectedness of humanity is riding that same technological curve and is also not dependent on the old fashioned pace of human biological evolution.

There is certainly more of a linked-up, global community of thought leaders today because of the internet than there was ten years ago or 100 or 1000...isn't there? Doesn't that (and its likely continuing growth on top of new technologies) impact your perspective on this issue? It sure gives me some optimism.

As Ray Kurzweil continually points out, we humans have a tendency to view technological change, e.g., as if it is happening on a linear scale because that is how we perceive it. He argues that this perspective against the reality of accelerating technological advancement (as computers, e.g., build better computers) leads to underestimating the impact of these advances.

Just wanted to share my perspective.


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