“Human Centrality. A common view is that science has consistently been correcting
our overly inflated view of our own significance. Stephen Jay Gould
said, “The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common
feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after
another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.”5
But it turns out that we are central, after all. Our ability to create models—
virtual realities—in our brains, combined with our modest-looking thumbs,
has been sufficient to usher in another form of evolution: technology. That
development enabled the persistence of the accelerating pace that started with
biological evolution. It will continue until the entire universe is at our fingertips.”
Ray Kurzweil, (2005) The Singularity is Near, Viking, ISBN: 0670033847
Retrieved on Sept. 18 from http://singularity.com/bookexcerpts.html
Kurzweil is constantly pushing the boundaries of what we are able to do as teachers and how we understand ourselves as human beings. For more about Ray Kurweil see http://www.kurzweilai.net/
I would tend to agree with Kurzweil, but I am not sure that “It will continue until the entire universe is at our fingertips.”. We are the first species to have arrived at a place where we could destroy ourselves in several ways.
This might be the ultimate loss, in the sense of losses that O’Donnell describes as being part and parcel of new technologies.
Annette, That’s one thing that I find so amazing about Kurzweil – his positive outlook towards all of this. I grew up with Brave New World and Farenheit 451, endless scenerarios about the fall of mankind and end of life as we know it. I agree with you about our being dangerously close to the final precipice but I want to believe in Kurzweil’s hopeful perspective.