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One possible future for humanity [Sep. 2nd, 2008|02:18 am]
Wise Tits
wise_tits
[d_h_belmont]
Don't laugh at me yet... A lot of this was inspired by a fascinating program on PBS, the name of the program, I've forgotten, but certain terms and ideas are definitely borrowed from it.

The internet is probably the most important invention of our time because of the way it's connected the world. So much of our personal lives are now wrapped up in it. This community is one of countless examples. This PBS program came up with a number of ideas, one of them included a "world wide mind", where all minds are connected, which would mean that if you wanted to *know* anything, it could be retrieved from the W.M.M. (pronounced Whim). Suppose that also included the experience of others, too, so all the years spent learning how to do anything could be instantly processed. Imagine how far humanity could go, and imagine with a connection like that, we would all be connected so intimately, I think it would instantly become damn near impossible to try to fight and kill one another anymore. Ideas rapidly bouncing off of other ideas, within a few years of the activiation of this WMM, maybe less, the world would become drastically different. I could see our lives being pushed further and deeper into the virtual world to the point where we become fully interconnected with it. It sounds stupid, like something straight out of bad science fiction writing, but I don't think I've said anything that makes no sense or can't be elaborated or justified so far. I could see this intergration going so deep, we start having virtual children, which would mean that humanity would, depending on how you look at it, evolve into a fully technological species, or go extinct. Either way, I could see some form of artificial intellegence being the next big step in the evolution of man. Now I'm not talking about a big giant virtual world, where everything is just like what it is now, but in some mental holodeck, no no no! With the power of billions of minds slowly integrating into one giant super intellegence, I think we could make quick and rapid evolutions, reaching levels of intellegence and understanding and comprehension that are inpercievable at present. Free of an organic physical form, we would be able to leave Earth and travel across the universe or beyond if we wanted to, growing and learning about things we never would have reached from home. Our brains work because of the environment we live in an how we adapted to it millions of years ago. Despite how smart we think we are, we still act mostly like animals because of eons of conditioning. That conditioning would finally be eliminated and we, if you would still call this super intellegence a "we", would probably transcend those limitations.

Okay, it's late, and the thoughts are probably not coming out as clearly as I want them to. I hope this makes some sense. Maybe I should start at the beginning.

Suppose there is a need (food), and a man, we'll call him Adam, creates a thing to meet that need (a farm). He makes crops, and over several years, he comes up with ideas to improve the crop. Suppose Adam has access to books on farming that have advice on how to improve said crops. He takes some of the best ideas there and they work to his advantage. Now, Adam has internet, and he has millions of articles at his fingertips, and he finds something esoteric from across the world on how to really make the crops grow, and he uses that to his advantage and the crops are even better and he now has a new medium to distribute those goods. With WMM, Adam can now *know* all the experiences of all the farmers in the world (or those who are attached to this mind connection), and from it, he can take the knowledge of the best farmer in the world and match his output. All these minds taking ideas from one another will generate newer and better ideas that will almost instantly be available. With newer and better ideas coming out instantly, flowing out- exploding out like gas from a pressurized tank, it wouldn't be long before you get to really far out ideas. Using all the accumulated knowledge from countless scientists bouncing ideas off of eachother, someone across the globe creates a "pattern replicator", like the food replicators seen on Star Trek, and a doctor, getting ideas from other doctors, biologists, what not, creates a way for humans to act as plants and get energy through photosynthesis. Minds would speak to each other with such harmony, free of the clumsiness of language, spoken and written.

It sounds scary and unpleasant, but I find the idea exciting, because of the heights a mind could reach utilizing the power of billions of minds, and the knowledge from humanity's cream of the crop, and the knowledge from great minds that otherwise would have gone unnoticed, all available and accessible, free for others to amend and improve and augment upon. I think if people found this experience unpleasant, the WMM would instantly collapse, or be reduced to something less significant. I think there would be this moment of extreme shock in some as surely their perceptions on the world, their life, their loved ones, would be drastically altered instantly. I'd think the best ideas for happiness would surface and be utilitzed, and I can't see how there could be disagreements inside this unified brain because all the reasoning and logic for any position would be laid bare for all to process. Everyone's perspectives and bias would be understood by everyone because it now sits in their brain, too.

And I have to wonder if all this knowledge exchange would fill up a brain's memory capacity. I suppose that would be one of the times that new memories would be written into a supercomputer that would house all our personalities and memories and everything else that makes us who we are. When we "die", I think there would be enough information and data on a person to essentially keep something congruent to them around for the life of the supercomputer, something to continue to contribute and add to whatever society would look like at this point. Children would probably start to exist solely in the computer, especially if this computer left Earth and did not arrive at any other Earth like setting. It seems that it would only be a matter of time before the organic side, that which was what we were at the start of WMM, would become obsolete and become extinct, and this unity would continue to evolve, possibly to a state where physical constraints as we know it no longer apply.

I wish the WMM existed now because so much of this idea just WILL NOT convert to words or drawings, partially because it deals with ideas that are supposed to be unlike anything we've ever experienced before... but maybe someone out there is capable making that conversion. Surely one in six billion would get what I'm saying and be literate and have a broad enough vocabulary to make that conversion for me. Heh.

It is three in the morning now. I better end this here.
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Comments:
From: d_h_belmont
2008-09-03 11:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Why does this sound familiar...

I think human nature itself would be changed with such a connection. To be so intimately connected to one another would be rather disarming. How could we fight someone when we will know their pain? How can we be angry at someone when we can fully understand their motivations for doing wrong? If we look at large scale wars, one way to rally up the troops is to convince the other side is the spawn of satan. To be connected to their minds, you'd see the other side has families like you do, believes in the same general morals and thoughts of right and wrong, and so forth.

Human nature as we know it would clash with this device, but what I am trying to say is that human nature itself would change into something not like us.

As to the Borg, since it's brought up, I loved the concept when it was first introduced in "Q Who?", but each subsequent epsiode (and movie), the concept of the Borg became less and less original and more of a filler material for Star Trek stories. By the time the chronologically last story about the Borg ended (Voyager's "End Game") they were little more than just lame bad guys. Anybody remember the Putty Patrol from Power Rangers? They were on par with THOSE guys.

But back to the subject of the World Wide Mind, I think it's all too easy to compare something like this to the Borg or Terminator or something else that terrifying and horrible. I think of the Vulcan IDIC from Star Trek. The IDIC stands for "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations", I can only imagine the achievements man could make with an infinite combination of the all the minds in the world. We all have something within us that's unique, sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's buried deeply and never gets fully utilized. Sure, we could argue that "Oh, what if someone creates a weapon that kills us all?", but why not argue how we can end poverty and world hunger? How would we be able to be apathetic every again when we would feel the pain of all the injustice in the world? Apathy is a major problem in the world today. We have the means to take care of so many problems, but we just don't give a shit. Most of the times, people will only take notice of an issue if it affects them... with a connection like this, it will.
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