Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Hyper-Evolution of Self-Evolution

This post was inspired by Space Collective -
one of the most fascinating websites I have seen in recent years.

The following is an excerpt from a post by rene entitled,
"SpaceCollective’s Grand Narrative."

"According to Kahle [Brewster Kahle runs the Internet Archive], there are roughly 26 million books in the library of congress, the largest print library in the world. This may seem like a lot of books, but in the digital age it doesn’t represent that many data. On the web, for example, an equivalent amount of information as is printed in the total number of books is posted online every two months.

When you consider that at the moment it takes one person a year to scan 3000 books, it means that all 26 million titles can be scanned by the population of Detroit in the course of one long weekend. In terms of computer storage the entire content of a book on average takes up only one megabyte. Twenty six million megabytes translates into 26 terabytes, which can easily be stored in a box that comfortably fits on one small shelf.

Thus, the Wisdom of the Ages which was once verbally passed on from one campfire to the next, then copied in long hand, published in print and now made available online, is bound to lose some of its mythical aura, just like Paul Brooks’ [neurologist and author of Into the Silent Land] speculations about the detrimental impact the mapping of our brains might have on the sacred myth of our selfhood and souls."

The Hyper-Evolution of Knowledge

This Space Collective posting makes it abundantly clear that the amount of information at the fingertips of anyone with internet access far surpasses the capacity of even the most exhaustive house of knowledge planted in physical-reality.

In fact, this ever-growing power of cyber-reality has thrust mankind into a kind of epistemological overdrive, what one could call, The Hyper-Evolution of Knowledge. For there is now a very real possibility for anyone at any time and in almost anyplace to know virtually anything he or she so desires. And as access and usage spread, more and more people are fulfilling this Grand Potential.

This is a quantum leap in human evolution.

Such premises entail the only limitation remaining between human beings and mass superintelligence as the circumscriptions of our imaginations. Giving credence to the idea that the human imagination appears unbounded, it seems fair to say we are already in a period one could call the Hyper-Evolution of Self-Evolution (though this is just the beginning).

Questions of Consequence

This Hyper-Evolution of Self-Evolution is set to shatter the bones and frames of everyone and everything we know today.

This is good because to exceed one's own expectations of themselves as well as the human race, to propel each other to even greater glories, past perceptions/inclinations/realities must be dispelled. Old and decrepit branches of the Tree of Man must break off for the trunk to support the crown as it extends into the heavens.

But will we become mired in billions of terabytes of data, losing sight of the blade of grass in the prairie - will each piece of information become less important as the pool of knowledge floods the human world?

Or will the average person become capable of understanding more about that blade of grass in a matter of minutes, than even the great Walt Whitman himself was able to comprise in an entire lifetime of brillance (see Leaves of Grass)?

The Question Answering Itself?

Interestingly, as man's greatest tool, the Internet brims with galaxies of data that address this very phase in human evolution. And so, the understanding required for mankind to maximize the potential of this evolutionary upswing is likely to come from the very thing that triggered the evolutionary upswing.

In a sense, the Internet seems to provide both the question and the answer - both the challenge and the resolution.


In conclusion, as we hyperspeed into a world where human advancement will grow by leaps and bounds at an ever-increasing pace, transforming everything known, we remain as we have, self-evolving creatures limited only by our minds.

See the full post Space Collective post here.

See an updated version of this post here.

No comments: