Who is really changing the world?
This is something that we all need to think about. Each of us is going to become increasingly more powerful as the decades ahead unfold. In fact, compared to our ancestors, we already have superhuman capacities. What was once considered magic or sci-fi is now an everyday part of our reality.
One of the challenges for humanity is determining what is truly important. Many tend to focus upon the here and now, not realizing, to the truly visionary, it is of little significance. Instead, we need to raise up our thinking.
Elon Musk is a man who generates a great deal of passion as well as controversy. It seems people fall in one of two camps with him: love him or hate him.
Regardless of what camp one is in, there is one thing that cannot be debated: the guy is a big thinker who is willing to take on enormous projects. Whether this is the best path for humanity to take will vary among individuals, the overall theme is to tackle massive issues in an effort to alter our future.
Compare this with the common tendency to create a new application. Here too, we see the focus of the last 15 years. Highly talented programmers got involved in creating the latest and greatest application, which became popular, and made them rich. Yet, when we think about it, did it really change humanity?
Consider WeChat. This is in the news these days. A powerful product that has an enormous following. It is more popular than most other messenging programs. Nevertheless, if the world did not have WeChat, would things be worse off?
How do you envision the world in two decades? What about 4? If you are young enough, what do you see by the end of this century?
These are questions that help remove us from the small perspective we presently are holding. If the Singularity is truly only a few decades away, as many predict, is the Presidential election really that important? In fact, is either candidate even remotely aware of how to prepare the country for that outcome?
The answer is obviously no. Yet, for the next couple months, emotions on both sides will be high.
Of course, while people are focusing upon that, artificial intelligence systems are becoming more powerful. This will only enhance the mega-technology companies that develop them. Is it any wonder that Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are growing at amazing rates?
Ultimately, some of these companies can be part of the massive shift going forward. But again, are these platforms really in the best interest of humanity's evolution forward? We are now on the cutting edge of some very powerful stuff. Thus, to rely upon the likes of guys like Zuckerberg might not be in any of our best interest.
We tend to underestimate what technology can do in the long-term. This is especially clouded by the fact that life today is not much different than it was at the turn of the century. This does not mean that advancement wasn't made. It does however, reveal that, other than the smartphone, life is still very similar.
That is going to change. The next two decades will see us leave the technological nadir that comes every cycle, at least from a societal point of view. For those old enough, look back at the chance in life from 1980 to 2000. It was remarkably different.
We will see a similar replay of that, only this time, on steroids. The next 20 years will see technological progress similar to the last 50 (or maybe even 100). Could we be doing mind uploads by 2040? Some seem to think so.
Whatever is going to take place, it is important that we, as a whole, think of moonshots. Not everything is about money and the making of a buck. Certainly, we will be mired in a monetary system for a number of decades to go. However, for those with future vision, it is easy to see a time when money is no longer necessary. With carbon nanofactories creating what is needed, what purpose does money serve?
Hang on kids, things are going to start moving very quickly in comparison to what happened in the past.
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