The (Evolutionary) Great Leap Forward

Around 40,000 years ago something changed. Something fundamental, something that defined us as a species. We started to make tools, multi purpose stone tools, wooden tools and permanent habitats. We began to take control, as a species, or our environment, to shape the things around us to enrich our lives. Tools, living spaces, agriculture all started to come together and made us unique among the animal kingdom, shaping our own destinies, improvements that get carried forward each subsequent generations.

No-one knows what started this change, though it is a subject of heated debate –

With each passing generation it has gathered pace. The invention of the wheel. Pyrotechnics. Writing, printing, combustion engines, medicine, electronics, the internet. It is a like a snowball, gaining speed, size and momentum across the ages, with the bottom never in sight.

Someone in their 60’s recently said to me how the world is all going to pot, extremists, politicians, etc, etc, and how they were glad to have lived in the era their have, that it was probably THE best time, that things are now on declining, getting worse with each passing year. I suspect that people in their twilight years have been saying the same thing for thousands of years!

Yes, some things are bad. Politicians aren’t trustworthy. Terrible things are done in the name of god. There is famine. Injustice. Global warming. And a thousand other fears. Fears that the media hype as far as possible. It sells. And seems to satisfy an aspect of what we want and need.

And yet we are on the cusp. The snowball is still rolling faster, growing larger.

Genetic experiments bring us closer to healing disease, to extending human lifespans, perhaps even indefinitely.

And beyond that, of enhancing us, our genetic code, making a new breed of human.

Technology and modern life bring more comfort, more openness that ever before. And the prospect of interfacing with that technology, directly, through neuron (wet) connections to computer systems and information is almost here. Ask any blind man that has benefited from camera connections directly feeding into their optic nerve. Or the paraplegics who can control a computer and robotic arms with just the power of their minds.

The age of a few controlling the masses may be closer to ending than you think. Information is a great leveller.

We do need to be vigilant, to ensure that the few don’t use these advances to tighten their control on the masses.

The future isn’t yet written. It is uncertain. You write it. You make of it what you will.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *