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.

GW Bush leads in 2006 AP villain poll

Yes this is real.

Jason "Megatron" Burrows

I found this picture through stumbling upon at Flickr.

So apparently this guy legally changed his middle name to Megatron...hilarious.

Here Jason Megatron's caption:

It's official. My name has been changed from Jason Michael Burrows to Jason Megatron Burrows, effective today.

Here's the story of my trip to the courthouse:

The Judge came in about 15 minutes late & apologized, then said that she'd be hearing name changes first, The first lady got up & changed her last name to honor her birth family. Next, a family went up, and the mom & dad both said that their daughter would like her name changed to Jessica, so the judge signed that order.

Then it was my turn... I walked to the front, where she had me raise my right hand to swear that I would tell the truth, whole truth & nothing but the truth. She asked if my name change was to defraud creditors, I said no. She asked if it would be detrimental to anyone else, I said no. She Then asked if I was indeed changing my middle name to that of my childhood hero, I smiled & said "Yes Ma'am." She said, "Then I do order & decree that your name be changed from Jason Michael Burrows to Jason Megatron Burrows" with a HUGE grin. There were quite a few chuckles from the courtroom... I was handed the paperwork & I split. =)

The Fountain

I just watched Darren Aronofsky's masterful film "The Fountain."

This was my second viewing and I appreciated its depth considerably more this time around. Though optically sublime, on the first viewing of the film I left the theater somewhat puzzled, wondering what exactly was the primary assertion or epiphany.

Moreover, I think the first time I was so consumed by the unbelievably stunning cinematography that I had minimal mental capacity left for insight.

For cinematography, this film may be my top pick.

My Interpretation

Let me precursor any thoughts here by saying one of the most attractive parts of this film is it's interpretational multiplicity.

That said, I think it presents three roads to eternal salvation. In fact, the most common ones pursued by man, i.e., honor/bravery, pure faith, and modern science. However, I think it makes clear that the only legitimate road to the eternal life is through acceptance of death.

Once dead, one is free to be reborn.

Death is itself a piece, a division, a branch of the Tree of Life. And like any tree, some branches must eventually decay, break, and fall so that the trunk can remain healthy. Then, the tree is able to grow a new branch of life. The death of a branch is a small sacrifice for eternal existence of the tree.

When people pass away, their life energy released in death goes back into the Tree of Life and it is precisely that energy which produces new creations and beings.

According to the characters of The Fountain,

"Death is the road to awe."