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Homo Evolutis
Juan Enriquez on Upgrading Us
© 2013 James LaFond
Charles just turned me on to something called Ted Talks, a series of micro documentaries which I am about to put a link up to on our network. The episode I just viewed is essentially about my chosen subject. Violence and aggression happens to be what I am known for writing about. Most of my writing, however, falls into the realm of science fiction and has one unifying theme: the implications of human evolution, most notably self-evolution. What might a world be like in which you can copy your body, download your thoughts, upload the thoughts of an ancestor, custom-build the child of your choice, and perhaps copyright the brat?
Juan spends just over 15 minutes laying out the case that our human brain is undergoing an evolutionary upgrade. He points out that nearly all of life has been extinguished on earth five different times; there have been 29 previous upgrades of the human being; autism has increased 78% in less than a decade; 8 versions of mankind once coexisted on planet earth; that we might soon find some politically and ethically volatile secrets locked in our DNA; and that there is only .004% difference in genetic code between humans and Neanderthals.
Possible reasons for this are cited as numbering 4:
1. Fast food [my Harm City pick]
2. Sexy geeks [I seem to have trouble locating my harem of genius-babes just now, but I assure you they exist.]
3. TMI [That we are splitting into ‘super-smart’ and ‘super-crazy’ branches of humanity. Since this does imply the villains of the future may become progressively more interesting, I, as a writer, prefer this option.]
4. Chemicals [universally preferred by tree-huggers and superhero geeks I suppose]
People that have been paying attention have suspected this for a while. It is nice to see it presented with such concise lucidity. I have one note of caution to make; if causal option ‘3’ is the culprit than we are vastly outnumbered by crazy idiots and—Ozzie Osborne is now our God!
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Charles Meisling     Oct 25, 2013

Is it too much to believe in all 4? Despite my tree-hugging background, I've got to believe that data is the primary culprit, pushing the limits of a brain currently calibrated for much less duty. "Future Shock" is what Alvin Toffler called it in the 1970s. Too much too quickly. Under what other method of duress, or environmental cue, does cerebral evolution take place, than life in a society requiring an order of measure greater, of intellectual involvement? This, we can measure against what we know from a well documented last-couple-of-hundred-years, and easily conclude that cognitive pressures are now at their most challenging. It's too bad that evidence of transitional 'difficulties' from long past, is probably infinitely more elusive than finding a hominid skull in the ground ...
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