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#458904 - 08/25/11 10:03 PM Triumph of the Ego Through The Will.
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
Good evening ladies and gentleman. I have just recently watched the documentary Transcedent Man by best selling author Ray Kurzweil. I did enjoy this film but it also opened up a lot of questions about the future.

The film explores the six epochs of evolution. They are as follows:

Epoch 1. Physics and chemistry
Epoch 2. Biology
Epoch 3. Brains
Epoch 4. Technology
Epoch 5. Merger of Technology
Epoch 6. The Universe Wakes Up

I am fascinated with the idea of our biological system merging with technology. Ray Kurzweil explains that when we begin to merge with technology tasks that seemed impossible will then become quite simple as we transcend beyond our biological makeup. All of this sounds quite interesting and great. I do have a question and would be interested in what others think.

We have a sense of gratification through our accomplishments. It gives us purpose and it gives us meaning to our lives. So what happens when the tasks of today become so simple that they aren't challenging anymore? How then does one build their sense of ego gratification? Will the then new discovered issues out weight the technology we develop? I am not so sure but I do look forward to the mysteries of this being explored.


Edited by Unknown (08/25/11 11:29 PM)
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#458913 - 08/26/11 01:43 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Pablovilla Offline



Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 267
Loc: Victorville, California
Originally Posted By: Unknown
Good evening ladies and gentleman. I have just recently watched the documentary Transcedent Man by best selling author Ray Kurzweil. I did enjoy this film but it also opened up a lot of questions about the future.

The film explores the six epochs of evolution. They are as follows:

Epoch 1. Physics and chemistry
Epoch 2. Biology
Epoch 3. Brains
Epoch 4. Technology
Epoch 5. Merger of Technology
Epoch 6. The Universe Wakes Up

I am fascinated with the idea of our biological system merging with technology. Ray Kurzweil explains that when we begin to merge with technology tasks that seemed impossible will then become quite simple as we transcend beyond our biological makeup. All of this sounds quite interesting and great. I do have a question and would be interested in what others think.

We have a sense of gratification through our accomplishments. It gives us purpose and it gives us meaning to our lives. So what happens when the tasks of today become so simple that they aren't challenging anymore? How then does one build their sense of ego gratification? Will the then new discovered issues out weight the technology we develop? I am not so sure but I do look forward to the mysteries of this being explored.


So far those ideas about connecting with our electronic devices is very basic, we can control remote devices with some training. However transfering our thoughts and ideas or even what makes us who we are to a device, or being able to access data with our minds off of drives I can see is a long way off.

The reason that I say this is simple, no two people use exactly the same patterns in our mind for the same thoughts. I will use one part of the brain for an idea, where you will use a different part of your mind to express the same idea. This has been shown with MRI brain mapping. If there were a simple interface that could be setup and the mind trained from an early age to interact with a I/O matrix, there is some hope, but the translation is a problem. Electronically it is a easy thing to build the interface, but getting the mind and the firmware of the device to communicate is the hard part.

One of the many interesting things along the lines is a third arm controlled by such an interface, it has been done with monkeys and even human subjects, same with artificial hearing and sight. But the computer interface is more of a challenge.

As for getting bored, I'm already there. The only real challenge that I have is the time available, or money. I find Robotics, CNC, and even programming not to difficult, and the more I learn and work with the easier things get. I'm so bored at times, things that people have a hard time with, I get asked, take a look at it and can see the answer, be it wiring, or even hardware. When I was in jr high I was programming in FORTRAN at a college level, TV's are just toys, the most difficult things are getting the documentation and parts for most anything.

I know that if the UFO's that these crazy people keep talking about were actually real I would not be bored for a while figuring it out. There are ways using what is known in physics to generate lift using magnets and electromagnetic fields. This has been done with saltwater on a small scale, and was even part of the movie Red October. The only part holding us back is generating a strong enough magnetic field, as a superconductor looses superconductivity when exposed to strong magnetic fields.

The way I see our technology is that we have a long way to go, as we have not even figured out what mater is, or even how a mind actually works, or what about our brain allows us to be able to think and solve problems in a very short time that takes hours of computer time for the simplest thing to a human with patterns in pictures.


There was another book not too long ago called Physics of the improbable, we have already done so of the things such as a plasma window.


Edited by paul_r (08/26/11 01:46 AM)
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#458915 - 08/26/11 03:45 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Originally Posted By: Unknown
We have a sense of gratification through our accomplishments. It gives us purpose and it gives us meaning to our lives. So what happens when the tasks of today become so simple that they aren't challenging anymore?


You may be interested in reading "Industrial Society and Its Future". Kaczynski addresses this in detail.
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#458929 - 08/26/11 07:15 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
AdamBomb Offline


Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 75
It seems very likely the new discoveries will out weight the technology we develop. In the sense of ego gratification, I think as conscious beings, we will adapt to whatever new comes into this world. I also think we would adapt much better than our previous generations because we are more open-minded and maybe even less sentimental about things.
My father won't bother with computers and technology, he would rather mail stuff out because it is just what he used to doing. My generation, on the other hand, is the generation M for multi-tasking. Time is money with us and whatever makes things more convenient and faster (which saves time) is better. Life is just way too short, we already waste a third of our lives on sleep.
I think we can get ego gratification by simply learning to adapt to the future better off than our predecessors. I at least would get a sense of pride from that.

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#458937 - 08/26/11 09:47 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Shade]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8930
This question of boredom/advanced technology needs to be broken into two entirely separate parts.

1. What "boredom effect" might occur for humans generally?

2. Would I, specifically, become bored?

The answer to the first is hypothetical and speculative.

The answer to the second is that as I as an individual have a commitment to never be bored regardless of the level of technology present or absent... in other words, put me in a Paleolithic environment, and I will not be bored, put me in a Spielberg end-of-movie AI environment, and I will not be bored.

I regard the state of "being bored" as a catastrophic failure of intelligence and character - the meta-milieu it occurs in is irrelevant.

In fact I consider myself one of those who will help to create that Star Trekkie future anyway.

Bring it on baby!

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#458938 - 08/26/11 09:51 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Hawkface Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 07/09/01
Posts: 846
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Where does ego gratification come from? In the evolved mind it must come from the discovery and conquering of new technology. As mundane tasks are relegated to obsolescence by new technology, doors are opened to the next level of human evolution.
An earlier poster mentioned they were bored. Bored? How can you be bored when there is so much left to do? Time travel, matter transmutation, harnessing global conciousness, eternal life, light speed travel, extraterresstrial contact - the list goes on and and. And that's just my limited 21st century mind coming up with that list. As these new doors are opened and bravely walked through, there will always be new doors appearing before us.
Another interesting aspect is how our reward systems are still based on ancient biological needs that no longer apply in our modern society. Ego gratification used to come from hunting and killing your food and reproducing at every opportunity. Our bodies and brains are still designed for that and there tends to be a great dissatisfaction in many people because we no longer do that.
Perhaps one day we won't feel so disconnected from each other and we will reach the next level of human conciousness.

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#458940 - 08/26/11 10:03 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11651
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Unknown
The film explores the six epochs of evolution.

Actually, most of those things have nothing to do with "evolution". Evolution is a biological science, and it's confusing when it's used to mean other things within a talk about science. Though this is hardly the first time Kurzweil has abused the term.

Quote:
So what happens when the tasks of today become so simple that they aren't challenging anymore? How then does one build their sense of ego gratification?

These same questions were asked 50 years ago, and another 50 years before that. As far as human history is concerned, I think it's worth keeping in mind that the whole concept of leisure time is relatively new. You can't exactly develop a hobby when you're spending your whole day doing work to survive. But over the years we've gotten more and more technology to cut down on the time needed for the mundane stuff.

As for finding challenges, I've already seen what most people will do when they have the free time. Video games give people ego fulfillment via a false sense of accomplishment. TV gives people the suspense and drama that they want. And the internet of course gives everybody a voice. People could instead choose to spend their time developing a skill or acquiring knowledge about some subject, but they don't. They do hours of that other sort of stuff instead.
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#458941 - 08/26/11 10:13 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Bill_M]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8930
Originally Posted By: Bill_M
...


I agree with every word.

My "problem" is somehow finding the time management discipline to develop and explore the possibly-too-many interests I already have, and fending off developing too many new ones that further complicate the first problem.

Oh, and what is a "video game"?

wink

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#458954 - 08/26/11 12:54 PM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Quaark]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11651
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Daark
My "problem" is somehow finding the time management discipline to develop and explore the possibly-too-many interests I already have, and fending off developing too many new ones that further complicate the first problem.

I've found that for every successful project I've done, there are probably dozens of ones that crashed. I'm beginning to think that this really high miss-to-hit ratio is also the norm for people whose work I admire.

Quote:
Oh, and what is a "video game"? wink

A completely non-constructive indulgence which I personally binge on a few weeks at a time, then stop for several months. It's like how some other people use alcohol, only without the vomit and DUIs! Though one motto I strive to keep in mind is "This month, I don't want my only new accomplishment to be reaching level 30 of this video game."
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http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
New hour every week. Download the mp3 now!

http://www.aplaceformystuff.org: Tales of Combat Clutter and other Adventures

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#458956 - 08/26/11 01:02 PM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Bill_M]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8930
Originally Posted By: Bill_M
Originally Posted By: Daark
My "problem" is somehow finding the time management discipline to develop and explore the possibly-too-many interests I already have, and fending off developing too many new ones that further complicate the first problem.

I've found that for every successful project I've done, there are probably dozens of ones that crashed. I'm beginning to think that this really high miss-to-hit ratio is also the norm for people whose work I admire.

Quote:
Oh, and what is a "video game"? wink

A completely non-constructive indulgence which I personally binge on a few weeks at a time, then stop for several months. It's like how some other people use alcohol, only without the vomit and DUIs! Though one motto I strive to keep in mind is "This month, I don't want my only new accomplishment to be reaching level 30 of this video game."


Yep, kinda the same but with different interests. A studio album, a book, several websites, becoming a fashion photog, starting new businesses, studying stuff that'll never make me a dime, etc.

"It's like how some other people use alcohol, only without the vomit and DUIs!"

My version is downloading and listening to noir crime/detective radio shows from 1948 to 1958.

Very satisfying knowing that out of seven billion people I am probably the only one in the world listening to that episode at that moment, as opposed to knowing that 25,000,000 fans are listening to Lady GagMe's latest hit at the same time and feeling similar feelings.

With the song of course being about "being unique".

grin

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#458986 - 08/26/11 08:03 PM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Quaark]
HellofallHells Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 3524
Quote:
My version is downloading and listening to noir crime/detective radio shows from 1948 to 1958.


Oh yeah, baby! Which reminds me, I'm due for another episode of "The Saint". coopdevil
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#458988 - 08/26/11 09:06 PM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Liberterius Offline


Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 241
In regards to boredom or human laziness, and failure to satisfy the ego in the face of increased automation;

Think about how much more automated and linked-up with machines our lives are now compared to a hundred, even fifty years ago.

Are we really any more bored than people in industrial Western countries back then, because we have less material labor to do?

I say, let machines do all my boring work; leave pleasure, development of creative skills, and human interaction to me in my greatly increased free time. We'll always find new creative ways, often USING the new technology we can't even imagine yet to satisfy our egos.

If all else fails, we can have holodecks and robot sex slaves. wink

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#458997 - 08/27/11 12:39 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10774
Loc: England
Ah, yes. Ray Kurzwell's predictions of a technological utopia.

Here's my prediction. (This is the potted version, but I have much more):


Everything will eventually come down to the lowest common denominator. By 2040 the great, starving unwashed will have reached plague proportions and will subsequently deplete all funds available that would otherwise be used for the advancement of the human race.

Any funds that are available will be ploughed into a massive nuclear war will all but reduce the developed world to rubble.

The cryogenic fridges will be gone. In fact there will be very little left. the surviving members of the human race will be split into two camps. Those scavaging around in a the post-nuclear wasteland and those eeking out an existence in underground bunkers.

It will be the year 3000 before humans as a species are able to begin properly organising themselves into any semblance of normalty as we know it today.

Communities will eventually begin to form again and they will vow to never again build technology for the purpose of death and destruction.

Then, someone somewhere, will again experiment with atoms...


I think this scenario is far more likely than Kurzwell's bullshit idea that we won't have human bodies in 100 years and will move, wraithlike, through a virtual reality, our minds uploaded onto storage chips as pieces of electronic data.

Though it does make for fascinating reading, earning Kurzwell a buck or two.

Sensationalism is always more profitable than reality.

Even if Kurzwell is correct about us existing only as data - even then man will wage war on other men. The war would simply be deleting blocks of other data. But it's highly unlikely he will be correct on this one. Real bombs will see to that, real poverty will see to that, real religions and its mass of followers will see to that.

As I like to say, the harsh blade of reality cuts through bullshit - every time. Or, in other words - if you get hit round the back of the swede with a house brick, it aint never gonna feel like a marshmallow.

Don't start me on Kurzwell and his twaddle. grin
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#459014 - 08/27/11 07:21 AM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Bill_M]
$lesk Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 10/29/02
Posts: 2318
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Bill_M
Originally Posted By: Daark
My "problem" is somehow finding the time management discipline to develop and explore the possibly-too-many interests I already have, and fending off developing too many new ones that further complicate the first problem.

I've found that for every successful project I've done, there are probably dozens of ones that crashed. I'm beginning to think that this really high miss-to-hit ratio is also the norm for people whose work I admire.


I cannot agree more, and I have just recently decided to specialise my studies, so as to not be all over the place. Now I just have to decide which of my many interests I should specialise in.
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#459047 - 08/27/11 05:29 PM Re: Triumph of the Ego Through The Will. [Re: Unknown]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
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Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 7000
Loc: Pre-Apocalypolis
Hmm...More technological advances...more boredom. Perhaps simplistic, but I believe that is the kernel of what you are getting at. I haven't been around too long; but, there have been a fairly large number technological advances during my life. I don't think I've been less bored than now.

A simple experiment...switch your electric power to on...less boredom. Turn your power to off...more boredom. To paraphrase Frankenstein's monter...technology gooood.
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