Man and Machine

During the last few weeks, I’ve been reading more about abundance, the Singularity and other transformational concepts that are revealing themselves everyday. It’s been an ongoing project for my writing mapping out a path forward, but at the same time it’s helped me develop a better understanding of future investing and general research opportunities as well. One of the most interesting concepts that I’ve found is something that’s adopted a name of a physics phenomenon and made it its own –the Singularity.

In the past when I read a reference to the Singularity, the image of a black hole or the most recent Hollywood movie Interstellar sprang to mind. However, due to the enduring work of a growing number of futurists and transhumanists, the term Singularity is being associated more and more with a time, allegedly in the not so distant future, when man and machine merge. Given the increased attention to the recent studies, publishers are taking heed to be more specific with technology singularity and gravitational singularity, but for pop culture enthusiasts who never let the truth get in the way of a good story, the Cyborg narrative dominates the Singularity ink. Although both are interesting topics, the one that’s most likely to impact everyone reading this article is the technology singularity as it’s something that touches all aspects of our lives.

When I was in high school, the desktop computer prompted discussion about the beginning of the end as the computational power of computers would put people out of work giving life to the movement of man versus machine. Nowadays, after decades of society leveraging those computational powers to collaborate, perfect medicines, track health patterns, and extend life, the conversation has shifted to man and machine’s inevitable convergence and the impact on society. As with anything there are always opposing schools of thought. But isn’t the evolution of technology that cures disease and extends the average lifespan a good thing?

As we learned in school and are witnessing everyday through the increased networking available to us, Man is a social animal. And the evolution of technology has enabled that social animal to collaborate and engage in different and unique ways pushing evolution forward with every post and tweet. As we discovered over time that computers enhanced our learning experiences, extended our average lifespan, as well as making the post-industrial age one of the most beneficial times to be alive across the entire spectrum, let’s also take a glass half-full approach to identifying and embracing that automation and connectivity promotes collaboration and that is a good thing. These advances in our technologies are positive signs as advancements in civilization allow mankind to further extend lifespan, protect the environment and move closer to our innate desire to explore the universe.

Mankind’s return to exploration is inevitable. Whether it’s deep ocean exploration or further manned space exploration these technological advancements are necessary tools to bring us closer to our goals.

Early in the space program NASA commissioned studies about the rigor of extended time in space and impact on the human body, which coined the term cyborg and entered the imagination of tens of thousands of children around the world. What did it mean? When would it happen? How would it happen?

This post is not about advocating a race of cyborgs, but the acceptance that if mankind wants to continue along its natural path of exploration it’ll only be achievable by leveraging new technologies to protect our fragile human bodies from the rigors of space. The only question that remains is should we embrace what is running through our DNA and go with the flow, or fight the tide and wait until overcrowding and social scenarios force our hand to make the search for more living space mission critical.

The decoding of the human genome was a major step toward understanding what might be needed to take preventative measures to cure disease and extend life, which would be key in moving forward toward further space exploration. Through the advancements in synthesizing solutions, biological 3-D printing, and various forms of automation technology mankind is closer to solving the initial problems that would be encountered on a renewed exploration among the stars and bringing us closer to – the Singularity.

-J