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Imagination Part 5

From our very origin humanity has been striving to unravel and unveil the grand design, the very scheme by which this vast Universe, and all within it, works, and the ingenuity by which it all begun, as well as where it is all evolving to. In this pursuit, as history has shown, we have wasted a lot of time seeing ourselves as unique, the center of it all, the ones around whom everything revolves.

If I had not mentioned, it is vital that I do: I am an atheist. This is not because, as a young lad, I was growing up under an oppressive and intolerant of religion, communism. It is because, due to my own thinking and reflections, at least thus far, I concluded that, to me, the magic of Creation is not the working of some humanoid being up in Heaven but a result of chemical reactions of a grand, universal scale. In other words, I do not believe in God. Instead, I feel that imagination is not exclusive to the human kind, but represents an outcome of a thinking process triggered by electric discharges occurring within our minds. In other words, it is an outcome of a chemical activity. I would not be surprised if, one day, humanity learns that we in fact share this ability with many other animals, plants and living matters. Hopefully we will be capable of the kind of open minds that are required to consider such a possibility, and then to respect it as equaled in significance to ours. For now, except of course for some scientists who have been probing this potential, in my view, we are not there yet. Some of us still believe that everything, including the Universe, is revolving around us, and we are a magical miracle made in the image of a supreme being. Such a power I could go along with, for chemical reactions can result in “mind-blowing” miracles. However, thus far, we have only acquired a skill to blow each other up, even the world. But this blog is not dedicated to religion. I will do my best to focus on the topic of imagination.

On one side of the infinite spectrum, imagination represents the Origin of it all. On the other side, it signifies the power to look into the future, which some gifted humans do have. In the case of the later, I am referring to the grand future in the concept and design of which human existence represent only a minuscule spec. Yet, by the power of our imagination and determination, we can now alter some of it. From our very origin humanity has been striving to unravel and unveil the grand design, the very scheme by which this vast Universe, and all within it, works, and the ingenuity by which it all begun, as well as where it is all evolving to. In this pursuit, as history has shown, we have wasted a lot of time seeing ourselves as unique, the center of it all, the ones around whom everything revolves. But now, that we have come to our senses, at least some of us, we have realized how insignificant we are in the vastness extending out there, and that our perception of reality might represent only one of numerous and parallel layers of realities shaping what is out there, and directly all around us. Humanity has posed for itself this vital assignment: to seek and discover the truth governing this complex puzzle, to cut through this Gordian knot. It is the power of imagination that will act as the very sward enabling us in distillation of the truth.

Now, I shall allow myself to oust some negativity out of my system, after all, I am the Creator of this blog... Clearly, as globalization brings us all closer together, the world is shrinking, and I am not talking of the physical aspects of it. It’s the instant exchange of information that plays a key role in this shrinking process. It is empowered by technology conceived thanks to the power of human imagination. This technology is transforming us into a vast commune of interconnected and assimilated cybernetic organisms. This power, as all others, can be used for good but also for no good. Even if not yet, but soon, according to some, in search of humanity’s advancement, cybernetic enhancement will begin to be infused into us, will become a thing of reality. While this may already be happening to a small extend, canvas for progress and expansion is vast. Some of us will become super-humans. Based on the past, we will not be able, or willing, to resist it. And so, I question, how will this impact humanity, social structure, politics, order by which our current world is governed? On one hand it could be amazing, it could enable us to use all of our mental and intellectual capabilities, while expanding the physical ones as well. Again, we do it already. On the other hand, potentials for misuse are truly mind-boggling. Just let your imagination fly!

Thanks to the awesome, instant communication, power of internet, and all the social domains within which we are now interacting, our humanity is becoming an interconnected collective. The new world is striving and starving for this connectivity, for empowering exchange offering instant information. Through this digital power, a kind of a new digital Universe of its own, we are now able to discover the world, or at least the world of knowledge about it. This is truly exciting, it is empowering to us, and those who have till now lived in the dark, never before able to access such a mighty opportunity for discovering the world at large. Yet, and maybe this is the cynic within me, such potentially can also be menacing. I shall now let my imagination drift, just a bit.

Remember the “Star Trek”, the television series which was such a hit and gained such a massive following? The grand concept and visions of it was created by the ingenious imagination of Gene Roddenberry. Recall the Borgs, the beings connected to the hive mind as a means of "achieving perfection"? Mission of their society, and I am now quoting from the Wikipedia, is to: “operate solely toward the fulfilling of one purpose: to add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to their own". This being done in pursuit of "perfection." The issuing little part of the description also offers an additional insight, it explicitly states that the: “resistance is futile”.

I truly did not appreciate Gene Roddenberry’s amazing foresight until reading a book dedicated to “Singularity”. It explored three potential associated scenarios for humanity’s future. Now, with my mind thus parted, I notice transformations occurring in our human hive. I observe the new generations growing up in the current, instantly inter-connected, ever shrinking in reality, yet expanding in cyberspace, vibrant world, and I wander. For most of them, including my own two beautiful daughters, the new ways, as the case was for us back in our past times, are the ways things are, the way they are meant to be. No question about it, no second thought. After all, and thanks to their parents, this is what they were born into, and now are growing up in. This is their reality and others just do not matter, or are a sign of an archaic past. They thrive in this latest ways. For them the instant communication is the way it just is, so why not use it to the outmost? They do it well. For them socialization via Internet, or other technologies, has become a norm.

These days young people meet, converse, have their first date, tantalize each other’s senses and minds, even experience foreplay, on Internet, or other forms of instant connectivity. Many of the young, and even not so young, find their partners digitally. As one does, so do others. For many of such privileges they are willing to pay, or lovingly pressure their parents to do so for them, this to enable them to fit in, to be “cool” or to be like the others, or to better compete against others.

Competition and related pressures are intense. We have become a society that is instantly, incessantly, invasively, inescapably, insentiently interconnected via Internet. Just imagine the day when interactivity, and related technologies, makes it all organically natural. Already all that is tactual and truly “real” is being overshadowed by the virtual and digital representations of it. We purchase more and more by looking at the digital version or description of things, instead of the need to get your hands on it, to touch it, to play with it, test it, see how it “feels”. We can even “put it on” digitally. To make ourselves unique, we can customize the things we thus buy. As it has been predicted by others, including those who have conceived of “Singularity”, the day when we are going to, or are able to upgrade, or enhance ourselves, or to customize our soon to be born babies, is near. If we look closely, I would agree with those who claim that we have already crossed that portal; we are in fact in it. Competition is intense, and so is the pressure to succeed, to be better, get ahead of the crowd, to stand out. This is not new, its part of our make up. The same is bound to be for our future generations. And so, to insure success of our children, to give them the best start possible, to empower their ability to compete, to overcome others, to be the best, the loving parents will do anything, everything, even if it means enhancing their offspring.

Before allowing the optimist take the better of me, I ask you to imagine how a truly powerful virus could bring our humanity to its knees. Imagine how incapable we would be without these new powers we have gained. What would happen then? What a startling canvas for imagination.

The future is amazing, it’s mind blowing, the possibilities of its ever accelerating evolution are astounding, but you can see it only if you open your mind to it and look, and then reflect. It is being conceived, molded, programed and disseminated by the few whose power of imagination far surpasses that of the vast majority. Everything in our lives has two sides, or faces or ends to itself, whether it's a stick, sword or a coin, so does our character, personality, emotions, love, ambition, everything; so does imagination and the way we use its infinite and irresistible power.