Posted by: zyxo | February 4, 2009

“E”-volution


Moore's Law, The Fifth Paradigm.
Image via Wikipedia

Is all this tech evolution good or bad ? Frankly I do not care.

In an excellent post David Brin writes a good discussion on this matter.

It is not my purpose to reproduce his discussion, nor to give a summary of it. I advise you to read it yourself.

Here, I just want to give my personal point of view.

The e-volution is there and it is inevitable. People are and have allways been curious and innovative, otherwise whe would not have become what we are. From childhood on we try anything further, more, higher, deeper and only stop when it hurts too much. We try, even if there is no advantage whatsoever. The sheer fact of experiencing something new is ample reward. And so we evolved.
But like allways is and has been, it is an evolution with two speeds. There allways have been the have’s and the have not’s, those who knew and those who did not, the warriors and the farmers defending themselves with shovels and sticks, the traders, merchants and the poor people, the scientists and the grey mob, the e-geeks and the e-ilitterates.
But that has never been a problem. What once was something weird, unusual, silly or whatever you call it, definitely becomes mainstream and everybody uses it. Think of domesticate mammals, boats, cars, flying, TV, cell phones, the internet, brain implants, robots …

Even if something new seems useless at first, the fact that a lot of people find it interesting or fun enough is fertile ground for new commercial applications so that it becomes self-supporting.

How far can this e-volution go ?
E-volution is at the meme level. Memes are processed in our brains and hence, unlike Moore’s law, there is an upper limit to this processing capacity. To upgrade our brain takes evolution at the physical level, which means evolutionary — a lot of — time.
Unless we execute the detailed processing outside our brains in computer/software combinations that outperforms human brain capacity. Or inside our artificially upgraded brains (implants of all sorts).
Both are likely to occur in a relatively near future, so nothing will stop this sort of reversed first entropy law of evolution.

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