Once self-copying memes had arisen, their own, much faster, kind of evolution took off. – Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Dominic Basulto imagines that digital devices are a kind of primordial soup in which “digital bits” of Big Data will propagate to the point where “they don’t need us anymore.” He speculates upon Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes:
Where things become both exciting and creepy is if the data replicators (data memes) become truly “selfish” and start to challenge the classic genetic replicators (genes). It’s not just that Big Data wants to become Bigger, it’s that it may eventually want to out-compete our genetic material.
Continue reading “Big Data will destroy you: Techno-jitters”
Wildcat senses we are on the edge of a Paleolithic Machine intelligence world. This description seems a kind of intuition or “ghostly sensation” that somewhere along the edges of reality an evolutionary age is dawning.
One could ask, are hyperconnected machines beginning to interweave with biological organisms through some kind of cybernetic evolution? Certainly this is possible, as we see smartphones acting as handheld appendages to their user’s brains. Bodies are beginning to engage gestures with the Kinect recognition technology. With Google Glasses, the interface into another world is seen merging with the mind.
Continue reading “Becoming cyborg with modern Paleo-machines”
Jason Silva’s essay on “Intertwingularity“, begins with a quote from Ted Nelson about the term he coined to express the complexity of interrelations in human knowledge.
“EVERYTHING IS DEEPLY INTERTWINGLED. In an important sense there are no “subjects” at all; there is only all knowledge, since the cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world simply cannot be divided up neatly…”
Silva draws a connection between Nelson’s notion of “all knowledge” to Teilhard De Chardin’s “noosphere”. He’s reminded of a presentation from Chris Anderson, curator of The TED Conference, who refers to the power of imagination and he world of ideas as a kind of “life form” which has “made possible the human progress of the last 50,000 years.” Anderson is enthusiastic about imagination as key to every evolutionary step forward through countless dead ends. Anderson looks to our brains as ecosystems for “a new kind of life”.
Silva stresses the importance of our species with a quote from futurist Ray Kurzweil who said:
“…It turns out that we are central, after all. Our ability to create models–virtual realities–in our brains, combined with our modest-looking thumbs, has been sufficient to usher in another form of evolution: technology. That development enabled the persistence of the accelerating pace that started with biological evolution. It will continue until the entire universe is at our fingertips.”
Silva’s essay fuses quotes about technology as an extension of evolution, so that we might be encouraged to “step out of the familiar.” For what he sees possible is a humanity becoming immortal as we are “amplified by our technologically-extended minds.“