Thursday, May 29, 2008
Three TED Talks on Changing the World
Loss of Self:
Stroke of Insight
Becoming Modern Buddhas
Playing God to make a "better" world:
Craig Venter's Vision for the Future
View all and decide for yourself. According to two of Robert McNamara's lessons in his book and the documentary, The Fog of War, there's something beyond one self and rationality will not save us, I believe that creativity and imagination tinged and tempered by logic and reason may be the saving graces of humanity. A synergistic synthesis of our two inner minds combining into a loving, compassionate whole with a concrete selfless purpose might be one modern definition of nirvana.
Venter's vision is breathtaking and he already has the components to build a biotech industry version 2.0. His technology will eventually allow us to fix climate change, seed Mars and possibly Venus with life (assuming we can get around the scale problems). We now have the ability to seed the Universe with life. Assuming we find habitable planets and nanotechnology progresses fast enough, in the next 100 years, we could possibly shoot microscopic sized ships at near light speeds containing the knowledge and ability to synthesize and build humans and animals once they land on another world. It's far out, but it's within the possible and others have already thought of the above scenario. One must remember that life changes a world. The planet used to have a carbon dioxide/nitrogen atmosphere. Photosynthesis made this an oxygen world, but it took billions of years. We, however, need wisdom in the application of this technology since knowledge is fundamentally amoral and its application can be used for good or ill.
Maybe I should have labeled this entry right brain versus left brain. Don't fear Venter's vision. Humanity can already engineer more virulent and elegant bioweapons, albeit more crudely than Venter, using present techniques (read about immune mimicry and other nasty visions).
A Superhighway of Bliss
Labels: On Being Human
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