Re: primative transhumans

Max M (
Mon, 1 Feb 1999 11:14:40 +0100

From: Spike Jones <>

>several days ago someone (who?) made the astute observation
>that one who uses computers might in some sense be considered
>the first step in the evolution of a transhuman, since ze would
>exend zis natural abilities by technological means.

Our productivity is directly dependant of our technology. Technology in my terminology consist of both hardware and methods. If we improve either, we get a better productivity.

The interresting thing comes when you realise that the methods are not entirely in the human domain. After a while when you know them, you can implement them in software/hardware. Thus you have a much improved technology.

I am a firm believer that The productivity of a person is like this:

the persons skills * the technology he uses = The persons productivity

A carpenter with a hammer might be able to hammer in 10 nails a minute. The same worker with a nailgun might be able to hammer in 100 nails a minute.

This effect is especially interresting when we notice that for all of us working with computers there is an exponential growth in the power of our tools.

At one time or another this will influence every kind of bussines we know of. Whenever there is some kind of method that can be implemented in soft/hard-ware it will be done around the time when the computers are powerfull enough to handle them. Right now this is happening to the music industry, in a few years it will happen to Television and soon thereafter it will happen to the moviebussines. The debate about MP3 going on right now will soon be about movies.

A lot of jobs will dissapear when the technology reaches the right levels. The bank teller is allready on the way out. A lot of people in the public sector answer telephones and tells people something they find on their computer systems. They are in effect hired to read up loud from a computer screen! This will naturally be automated.

For many jobs it is possible to predict pretty precisely when it will happen if Moore's law will hold up.

For the rest of us working with computers, the hard part is deciding the amount of time that we should spend producing things vs. the amount of time we should use learning new stuff. (If I work hard at my current job I will get a quick bonus here and now and be considderd productive. But in the "long" run I will fall behind technological. If instead of working hard I use my work time learning new stuff, I will be even more productive in the future and will be worth more in the long run. This way I can get an even bigger salary when I find a new job because my current company is unsatisfied with my productivity :-) )

A curious side effect: Anyone claiming that you don't have to learn computers now because they will soon be much simpler is really missing the point. It might be easier to do a single task in the future, but you will be expected to be able to do many more tasks. So actually it will probably be even harder to use computers in the future as you a required to know and understand many more fields of labour.

Kind regards

# Max M Rasmussen,   New Media Director   Denmark
# Private  
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