Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brain Overload

Soph Laugh

Overheating (Hyperthermia) is an elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. In economics, overheating occurs when an economy's productive capacity is unable to keep pace with growing aggregate demand (the whole enchilada). 

Given our present technological trajectory toward the mergence of the vast knowledge stored in our brains (and bodies) with man-made devices that have a vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability, we can presume that the issue of overheating will arise. 

Overheating was my son's primary concern today when we discussed what would happen if our species took an evolutionary leap forward? and became a human-machine civilization. 

"Mom, we'll need to find a way to cool ourselves down just like we do with our computers. When our computers put out more heat than what their components, like the processor, can handle, they shut down."

Figuratively speaking, my son has been hardwired to the computer since he was 8 months old and transferred a Scooby Doo icon from a video game onto his desktop background. He "beat" all his sister's games at 3 years old and by 9 years of age he was already teaching himself HTML code and beating high school students in online gaming. He now manages servers, edits his own films, creates virtual worlds in sandbox indie games, and is teaching himself 3D animation. His dexterity with a computer is uncanny; it's as if the computer's essence is the same essence pulsing through his veins. The rate in which he processes computer information is astronomical. 

Without going into more specific detail on his computer prowess, let's just say that my son lives and breathes computers. So, it's natural that when we spoke about how in the future we would merge the biological body with technological components he naturally thought of the issue of overheating. 

His suggestion places him in a special category beyond his exponentially growing intelligence. His thinking places him in the Age of Transition. The only thing in life he's seen as a constant is the evolution of technology. For him it's not a theory, it's an immutable fact. 

Historically, evolution took a really, really, really long time to happen, so it basically went unseen. However, for kids born in the late 90s and early 2000s (and forward), technological evolution is a constant they've experienced since infancy. 

Whether they remember big desktops, Disney on VHS, the first generation DS, the introduction of the PSP, the release of the iPod, Wii Sports, Call of Duty on XBox 360, the bulky iPad, the controversial iPad mini... they have experienced first-hand how fast technology advances, how quickly updates become available, how much more power is held in the next generation release. 

Compared to the billions of years it took humans to evolve, computers have made the same equivalent evolutionary leap in only 14 years. Imagine exponentially what the next 14 years might bring...

How do you convince his generation that there's value in studying and rote memorization exercises when he knows that within a few short years he'll be able to download any piece of information he wants into his brain. And that at some point, all of society will be wireless, receiving constant updates as society advances toward global enlightenment...

Welcome to the table discussions in our home. Epistemological discussions on the nature of being, watching Minority Report and forever since discussing the concepts of free will and determination, and then, Fun Fridays, where we purposely reject the constructs of Western Society and go instead to a museum to experience the beauty of art before spending the rest of the day reading, relaxing, enjoying films, discussing the nature of human ingenuity, and creating our own artwork because just we are inspired to do so.  

Overheating, as we concluded this afternoon at lunch, might just a challenge we will someday have to overcome in the experience known as human-machine life. 

Now, what we really need to be thinking about is where we're going to put the fan! 

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