RE: Singularity Blindness

Date: Tue Oct 23 2001 - 11:29:13 MDT

Frederick Mann wrote:

>Has anyone discussed the possibility that most
humans are "culturally conditioned" to experience
and expect change as linear, rather than exponential?<

>Could most human brains even to some extent be
hard-wired with linear expectations?<

We have discussed at length the inability of individuals and society to multi-track thinking, and, most significantly, the general and particular inability of most people to adapt fluidly to change.

The cultural conditioning that promote hurdles to change stem from tribal living patterns most easily recognized in geographical family lineage reflecting basic sources of revenue. To shake the basic sources of revenue has been a societal no-no. The memetic engineering responsible for encouraging stasis stems from a proud advantage of holding firm to one's values, no matter the cost. However ironic this sounds, basic sources of revenue and proclaiming stasis no-matter-the-cost have historically feed off one another because doing so (supporting the ways things were) makes for a very proud society
But what is missing in this core mind-set is that values fluctuate. Few people throughout history and culture have been players in the hurdle-hustle. We are perpetually reminded of these names over the eons as models of adventure, challenge, ambition and courage. But they are not the norm because society needs and depends on its heroes and heroines more than it recognizes its need for change. ďLet the other person take the challenge just so long as I am able to harvest my crop and be satisfied with the simple life.Ē

More currently and with the advent of the 1960s and the looming generations of people becoming the creative, artistic, adventurous many, the metaphoric hurdle began weakening at its arches.

Mass media and a voice for the liberty of ingenuity became vogue in the 1970s. It seemed that everyone was a writer, musician, painter, poet, construction worker who designed their lifestyles according to their values rather than societyís values. But itís difficult to be daring. Itís easier to make a mark and then settle by passing the baton to the next generational start-up who has a bit more energized nature to kick up the dust.

Culture is conditioned to perform based on both societal imprinting and genetic coding. While our hormones are revved up, we tend to take more chances and hump any hurtle that comes along. When we mature into middle age (a fluctuating term, but in this instance meant to refer to 20th century definition) and our bodies are whispering caution to our habits, we tend to shrug off bits and pieces of our radical nature. We have to. We canít keep up with our former selves. We want and need more comfort and stability to survive in light of the disease ridden landscapes ahead. We wish for the speeding up of medical and scientific breakthroughs. We long for an extra spurt of energy to make it happen. We see that life passes by quickly and are haunted by what could have been if we had known earlier in our youth what we now know. It takes a hell of a lot of internal push to keep in step with the mental ripeness that desires change and adheres to flexible thinking. For some of us, it is an ingrained second natur
e. For others it is an expensive luxury.

Today, culture is holding down its skirt as the winds of change rush by. Focusing in on a close up, culture is wistfully smiling at its panties reflecting our inhibitions come clean. Just skim across the covers in the magazine racks and you will see the cultural symbol of spread legs and bare chests. What does this really mean? It means that we do want to get real in the rapidly increasing technosavvyworld.

Our brains are hard-wired to survive. Our ears, eyes, nose and mouth are like portholes to the universe and our bodies take us from one place to the next. If it is in our brainís best interest to exist in a linear grid or an exponential rapid expansion it will adapt. But it does not have to be one or the other. Perhaps it is a sign of a mentally evolving world to choose and use whichever method is most appropriate and interchange them when necessary.


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