A report from 2009, from KnowledgeWorks called 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning caught my attention. It identifies six major drivers of change that might unleash a wild world of learning quite unlike any system of schooling we’ve ever experienced. What I’m finding is that it’s increasingly a story-driven game that places students at the center of their learning experience, much like an MMORPG. In any case, the singularity is one narrative I imagine will drastically alter what it means to be a student interfacing with a world undergoing ecological and economic shifts.
In the section called Altered Bodies we’re reminded that neuroscientists have begun to design neuro-enhancements that might soon provide “customized learning experiences” that push the boundaries of ethics and cognitive rights. Learners are forecast to have “more and more options for modifying their minds and bodies in support of peak performance even as they navigate increasing levels of bio-distress.” I’m reminded of what H.G. Wells would say is urgently needed to prevent our own extinction, “the evolution of a new more powerful type of man.”
In 2007, Gerald Celente, who is a leading expert about trends, suggested that blogs and other social media will be transcended and will lead to the formation of Techno Tribalism. He described it on his web site as follows:
“The tribes of the world are uniting. Tied together by the arteries of the information superhighway, citizens of common dreams and common causes are forming human bonds that transcend national borders, religious beliefs and political ideologies. Still in its youth and growing with unbound vitality, the exploding Internet is unleashing powers to the people that will change the way the world is run … and who will run it.
“Bigger than blogs and more influential than the social networks, TechnoTribes will rally masses with calls for action when rights are violated, lives threatened and/or change is needed. Distrusting of politicians and critical of their leadership skills, the egalitarian tribes will unite those who share civic interests, follow moral codes and believe in universal truths.”
“Positive, negative, good or bad, more people are going to unite their voices over the Internet in forming these techno tribes in ways we’ve never seen before.”
Noubel describes a holoptical space that is attained through an “artificially reconstituted reality involving modeled representations of the Whole.” Participants who engage this Whole are said to be experiencing “Holopticism” which allows them to adjust actions and coordinate. Each user is provided “artificially synthesized information” which lends a “point of view” and fits their situation. He suggests there is a feedback loop that “works like a mirror between the individual level and the collective one.”
Noubel further clarifies the state of Holopticism:
“Holopticism is a natural quality of original collective intelligence (OCI). OCI is possible only in holoptical environments, in other words in physical spaces in which our natural senses can access the totality of what happens.”
He envisions that Holoptical communities will evolve toward “self-reflexion, self-actualization, higher consciousness and a high capacity to cohere in the being and the doing.” He mentions their potential to become a global wisdom driven organizations.
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 ourtechnologically-extended minds.“
Wildcat2030 suggests that information overload is destabilizing our minds allowing for the emergence of the hyperconnected mind. He speaks of our increase in fluid intelligence: “the ability to find meaning in confusion … solve new problems … draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge” (wikipedia). More importantly, we can “find meaning in confusion”.
A “hyperconnected narrative” is needed, Wildcat2030 adds, “to re-appraise the context of our worldviews”. Our states of minds shaped by narratives which contain “stories within stories”. Through these stories our minds intertwine into “larger framework of co-adaptive consensual adhocracies”. We experience freedom when enmeshed in the coherent and integrated flow space of hyperconnectivity. Our hyper-intelligence helps us think more critically, denying the “rigidity of the Neolitihic mind system”, yet with empathy.
Jason Liszkiewicz from re-configure.org tells us that “we are the most advanced technology” and that societies are “supercomputers”. He suggests the public needs a “system of world simulation” in which participants can earn “social currency credits” from their mobile devices by engaging in large-scale problem solving and global brainstorming. A form of virtual reality could begin to influence reality, as individuals “collaborate, create, and reinvent” their communities.