Friday, November 04, 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Do you ever feel like Dorothy must have? Like you are living in an other-wordly place that you don't know anymore? You woke up today and nothing is like it was yesterday?

Yep, that about describes the way I've felt for quite a while. And I've traveled this way to several other-worlds since. I get somewhat familiar and used to the new world, then I wake up and I'm in yet another new one.

I'm connected almost 24/7, by tv, radio, internet, cellphone, and real live humans. Yet, that damn world keeps getting kidnapped and replaced by another! I think the nasty little problem is that I have a memory, bad as I think it is most of the time. I remember when it didn't used to be this way, and well, I want that back!

It's like Moore's Law met All The Other Laws, and they mutated into a virtual world in which we are all forced to live in.

"Technology is advancing ‘exponentially’ or faster. This means that the bulk of the change in knowledge and capacity needed to precipitate the singularity will occur within the last year [or two] before the event. [Translation: most of us won’t see it coming.]"
~~ Dan Clemmensen, 1996
We may be moving headlong into a time or era in which we can no longer predict even the near future, no matter how mundane or predictable the behavior of the thing we want to predict. The heads of chaos theorists must be spinning on hyper. We may already be there. It is the opinion of at least a few that the Crash of 2008 was one of those nonpredictables.


This would definitely explain why I'm feeling the way I am. Unsettling. Like you are on a roller coaster all the time, with only very short rest periods. I'm thinking that guessing will become the hot new job skill. Once predicting becomes obsolete, what else do we have?

In an interview for his book, Timeline, Crichton laments that an appreciaton and knowledge of history is the first casualty of periods involving accelerating change. Here is a favorite quote from him:

"Historians generally agree that all history is contemporary history. That is, every generation remakes the past into some form that suits the present time. But this means that all our understanding of history, like all our understanding of science, is provisional. It's likely to change. It does change." ~~ Dr. Michael Crichton
Such good food for thought.
"The [biological] evolution we have experienced for 10 billion years is reaching a state beyond which it cannot proceed without a fundamental and radical change of direction, form, mechanism, and nature. [Due primarily to our recent ability to generate meaningful information much more readily than our biological forms can process it]." ~~ Richard Coren, 1998
I get a headache just trying to consider the applications and implications of Coren's quote. I am convinced he has said something big and important here, but ... what? The first application I thought of was climate change, or rather, how the pro-CC people propose to fight it, because I don't think there's any real question that climate change does indeed exist (and yes, I believe that man has accelerated it to some degree).  That last sentence of his reminds me of the late great Dr. Michael Crichton's very astute observations about a culture that expects to be entertained all the time.


abby j said...

Hi Aimes,

I don't think I've ever told you that I love your writing and thoroughly enjoy this blog (although I'm not great about leaving comments...MUST get better at that!!) I especially relate to this posting...when I worked in television, I went from doing everything...coming up with the ideas, doing the interviewing, shooting all the video (I have a separated shoulder to prove that I carried those heavy TV cameras all over...,) writing, editing- to just the writing and editing ON PAPER. Someone else pushed the editing buttons I used to be able to had moved beyond what I could understand (and I didn't want to spend all the time required to learn all the new equipment. I guess I earned the right to have the techies do it for me...not true in life, sadly!! It IS a different world, and changing every day!!


Anonymous said...

Hello Aimeslee, I agree with how and why things have changed. I just got back from my class reunion 55 years ago and we talked of all the changes in the world today from the 50"s in Kansas !