Technology advances at exponential rate. From the first stone lances and hammers thousands of years before us. To the agricultural revolution, gun powder, the scientific method, modern medicine, the industrial revolution, the internet, cell phones, Bitcoin and, perhaps within our life time, general AI.
General AI presents the possibility of creating beings smarter than us which in turn can create beings that are smarted than them. Launching technological acceleration beyond the gravity well of human comprehension.
This is "the singularity". Soon -many believe- we will begin to merge with technology as part human part robotic androids, our bodies and capabilities will be fully customizable. In many ways our codependence with smart phones has already transformed us. But there's a lot further we could go.
This potential synthesis of man and machine raises some fascinating questions and paints some moving pictures. Some very disturbing.
What if with the click of a button, you could install an app on your brain that allowed you to see with 10, 100, or a thousand times more detail? You could observe the details of the moon's craters without telescopes and visit distant planets without space ships.
What if with the snap of your fingers or the click of a thought, you could expand your auditory capacity to listen to a water drop slide off a stalactite and splash upon a pond in a cave never seen before?
What if you could toggle x-ray vision, or better yet see sound, and hear colors? You might walk into a room and hear a symphony composed by room designers or go for a walk at the park and have nature’s chaotic beauty sing to you!
A kaleidoscope of greens, yellows and blues as an orchestra playing in your ear.
And all of it within your full control.
What if you could turn it all off? ‘Snap’ there goes your sight, ‘snap’ no more lullabies, ‘snap’ you can no longer feel the music, like a lover underneath your skin.
‘Snap’ your imagination is gone.
But it is all still within your control.
Tell me, if you cannot hear, see, feel, remember or imagine. If you cannot think, what is left? Is there a you? An I?
Is our capacity to experience sensations and stimuli not dependent on stimuli it self? Can we truly say that there’s an ever-observing eye when nothing can be seen, when there is nothing but darkness?
‘Snap’ wake up.
You are your experience of the world, you are your feelings and your thoughts, your memories and giggles, your fears and your ambitions. You are what you feel, hear, see and imagine. You are what you have experienced, expect to experience and will experience. And so am I.
What if I share my experiences with you, and you share yours with me?
Yes that’s right, as experiential beings, we are not limited to our own senses. As you read this you are seeing what I’ve seen, you and I are connected through experience… in that sense and in this moment, we are one.
Our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, that old lady down the street. Anyone that shares their experience with you, and you with them, opens a channel for our consciousness and is a window to the sensual soul.
However, just like a mirage in the desert, people can lie and we can misinterpret.
This means that the honesty and transparency in our relationships is just as important as the health of our eyes and ears.
Just as you are weary of shiny welding lights, loud sounds and ghastly smells, be also weary of those that bore you, those that kill your creativity, those that shake your relaxation with unease, those that seem invested in your distress.
Those who get in the way of your enjoyment and fulfillment in life are like viruses affecting your eyes: they might leave you blind.
Thus, let us see each other as portals to longevity, and embrace our connective potential. Two honest, open and connected people might as well double our life spans, as we can live through each other’s eyes.
Let us realize that robotic androids or not, we have the potential to see the whole world and all it has to offer by living and connecting with those who have also live, because we are connection.
(Originally written in 2013.)