Friday, October 1, 2010

Give Me A Break or I'll Crack Up. Now I Know Why.

I've been reading "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil (published in 2005) ... ... "singularity" being that point in human history where human and non-human intelligence merge.

As Kurzweil sees it, we are in the beginning of Epoch 5, within six epochs of human history. This is the Epoch where everything accelerates exponentially. For example, as Kurzweil sees it, "We won't experience one hundred years of technological advance in the 21st century; we will witness on the order of twenty thousand years of progress."

Kurzweil's book talks about the "canonical milestones," clusters of 28 significant events in human history identified by physicist and complexity theorist Theodore Modis. He notes that two of these milestones -- order and complexity -- are growing exponentially.

I'm not sure where the "order" comes in. Everything seems chaotic to me, so I need to keep reading.  But  I totally understand the reality of what I've been sensing and feeling for the past 8 or 9 months: Namely, human beings are having a difficult time dealing with this acceleration of complexity milestone. In short, the pressure to "keep up" with ever faster and more complicated change is making human beings crazy.

Oh ... in researching the book, I just learned that The Singularity Is Near has been made into a movie currently traveling the indy circuits. Put me first in line for that one! This is amazing and life-altering stuff. Mind-bending, yes.. but worth ever twist and turn.

So, if that's the problem, what's the solution? My first guess is that we need to simplify and downsize (physical clutter can't help with this overwhelmed psyche, despite the assbackwards approach that a lot of people seem to be adopting via hoarding). On  the other hand, we need to make technology our partner here (I mean, that's the idea, right).

I'm thinking, I'm thinking ...