”[F]or it is a certainty that radical technologies create new definitions of old terms, and that this process takes place without our being fully conscious of it. Thus, it is insidious and dangerous, quite different from the process whereby technologies introduce new terms to the language. […] [T]echnology imperiously commandeers our most important terminology. It redefines “freedom,” “truth,” “intelligence,” “fact,” “wisdom,” “memory,” “history,” – all the words we live by. And it does not pause to tell us. And we do not pause to ask.”
–Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
As you read, consider the following:
You’ve probably never heard our voices, and yet you read our words in your homes on the east coast of the United States, on the beaches of California, a coffee shop in Baghdad, or on a plane making its way out of Tokyo International Airport. No matter where you are, an opportunity exists for you get receive the information encoded in this text.
Our technology makes all this possible – over thousands of years our capacity to receive and transmit this world building information has grown, and as a species we have hit a watershed of innovation that has yet to slow, and indeed, appears to be speeding up. Today, innovation and creation are measured in months or years, not centuries. Technology has become more complex in the past one hundred years than the previous two thousand. We’ve gone from thinking flight was impossible to landing robots on other planets, from tribe storytellers to international databases, and from pheromones to a billion spoken words broken into visual signals, organised into zeroes and ones, and transmitted across the world.
While these advances represent the amazing ability of Homo sapiens to adapt to our environment, there is also a danger present of using these technologies to stifle the sanctity of the individual. For example, technologies such as trains created to move heavy loads across countries have been used to deliver food to those who are hungry, as well as to move weapons with the intention of doing violence. With industrialization has come both progress and environmental disasters. With every step forward, there are those who seek to move humanity towards a different path – one that is rife with destruction and ultimately, a premature abortion of the dream to live happily in peace.
This is the duality of man – we can be creators and destroyers. We are not rational – nonetheless we have survived, and we are thriving in Darwin’s model. Homo sapiens have outstripped every other species on this planet using our technologies, physical manifestations of our intelligence and our knowledge. These technologies are used with purpose, whether that purpose is good or evil is dependent on the perspective and the goals of the user. In many ways, this site is about this purpose, and others. For instance:
- The purpose of our existence and our ability to think
- The purpose of technology and civilization
- The purpose of the individual to act as a catalyst for change in the universe
In addition to discussing these questions, our goal is to outline a way of viewing the world in a proactive and positive manner. As long as there is ignorance and evil pervading our world society, then this message is one that needs to continue to be repeated and reinforced to change the way society shapes the individual consciousness. The alterative is our own destruction. The goal of this book is to provide a philosophical foundation in which the power to change the future is put back in the hands of whom it belongs – each person on this planet. The future does not belong to a person or a government or a majority. It belongs to us all.
As individuals, we have the ability to take control, to steer the ship of our civilization towards the tropical shores of enlightenment, and to learn from the natives we find on her shores. We have already conquered, and nothing positive has come from it. Damaging other ways of life, human or extraterrestrial, has no positive value. With our technology, and, I anticipate, future technologies, we will have the choice to begin the cycle again, or we can break out and evolve into something completely different – a very human, very compassionate race of learners and students, gathering data and using resources wisely. Right now, we have the ability to change culture through individual action. We should change the global culture; beat our swords back into plowshares, and turn our nuclear weapons into clean energy and one person at a time set the world right.
As a global culture, we are racing towards The Brink – whether it is the edge of a wondrous frontier or a plummet towards our own destruction is your choice to make. Our actions make our decisions for us. The path is at our feet.