Mantra of modern times, which most of us are apparently unconscious of, seems to be that media, machines and medicines have a dominant role in man’s life and role of his mind may diminish! Various forms of media (social, TV to print), machines and medicines (3Ms) have taken a place next to only divine and being incrementally developed and designed to influence/control human mind!! Ironically, you are using your mind to do it only to lose control on very same mind!!!
What does this trend mean to all of us?
How Media, Machines and Medicines (3Ms) are redefining our life!
Past 20 years or so have seen exponential and explosive growth of 3Ms. Strides made in these 3 fields have armed us with voluminous data/information, vast connections with known or unknown people in every nook and corner of world, variety of means to communicate and express our views, enormous computational and analytical abilities and extraordinary diagnostics and medical treatment of most ailments. Advancements made are really remarkable!
Silently but solidly, 3Ms have and would redefine most aspects of our lives. These have crept in our routine like a duck entering into water and most of us are either oblivious of the same or have not even tried to figure out what it means to us and our future.
With no bias, let us objectively understand how past 20 years have redefined us:
- Human touch has been largely replaced by screen/key touch.
Look around at airports, public or private places; more than 80% of people are busy with their mobile phones or notebooks. A very small percentage of people are engaged in conversation.
- Our life style and slang have undergone a sea change. Physical values are more predominant than moral values.
- Qualitative aspects have been steadily losing to quantities, when it comes to information/data, friendship, relationships, communication etc.
- We spend more time in virtual world than in real one.
- We rely now more on external monitoring and controls of all sorts of our body functions than internal understanding and management.
Already, we have several wearable electronic devices for above and several more are on their way. There is no data on what happens to human mind and body, if such devices malfunction.
- Images and texts are incrementally clouding our ideas and thoughts.
- Media is shaping our perceptions; machines and medicines are shadowing our personality.
- Machine calculations and analysis have perished our mental math and analytical abilities and short cut to medicines has cut short our natural body immune system!
Predictions for how things would reshape in next 30 years
Several organizations are working hard to crack new dimensions in fields related to 3Ms. Leading scientists and technologists are predicting and promising to reshape human life in next 30 years. The most notable among them is Director of Engineering at Google Inc. Ray Kurzweil, who is also a well-known inventor and futurist. Here below are the projections:
- In 2020s – Most diseases would disappear from our planet. Nano bots would become smarter than medicines and normal human eating would be replaced by Nano systems!
Driverless cars would take over the roads.
- In 2030s – Virtual reality would start to look real. We would be able to upload our mind/consciousness.
- In 2040s – Non-biological intelligence would become billion times stronger than biological intelligence.
- Around 2045 – We would be able to link neocortex of our mind, where our intelligence in believed to reside, to synthetic neocortex in the cloud and enhance its power billion times!
Intensive R&D for above is being carried out in the back drop of few hard realities. No one or science seems to know – where does mind reside in our brain/body; what is consciousness; a disease free world would mean much longer life span (How long – 100 years, more or endless?), in that case what happens to social and ecological balances; what can we accomplish by billion or even million times more intelligence and to what level we want to push our life eventually?
Technological and scientific advancements have been leaving trail of unanswered questions:
- By and large, primary agenda of those funding such R&D and advancements is to gain power, popularity and/or profit through business under pretext of improving quality of life and creating new opportunities.
How far it is prudent to undertake such activities, whose prime movers are power and profit but implications are overwhelmingly social, psychological and environmental?
Gullibility of public to exotic dreams and devices offer excellent market to businessmen and politicians. Is it not being exploited with no consideration to moral and ethical values?
- How few minds could decide and develop something to be put in public domain, which can potentially impact few million minds?
- Should the blue print of scientific and technological advancements for public domain not debated and deciphered by a larger group of thinkers and scholars, after evaluating all side or after effects?
- How can we tinker with nature and mind, without understanding what these are and how do they function?
Blatant truth is that science is riddled with fundamental puzzles and paradoxes and does not know what is space, time and life!
- One suspects that we are in a vicious cycle of solving a problem only to create another!
Is direction for new developments right?
So, one thing is very certain – 3Ms have deeply influenced our mind and we have mindlessly compromised our originality and consciousness! It is high time that we become very mindful of what 3Ms can do or undo!!