Bracing against the wind  

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The End of Technological Innovation

Throughout history, there existed island civilizations. Over time, they would become dominated by one culture, and one government. Universally, these cultures experienced an end of technological innovation. People living under the emperor of Japan were encouraged to become experts within their areas, and to know their place in society. Movement within society was all but impossible. Architects of new technologies were demonized. This is similar to what happened in Hawaii, and is even similar to what occurred in North America with Native Americans.

Universally, tradition was viewed as more important than new ideas, and ritual more important than creativity.

The frightening thing about the current global political situation is that we have a single dominant world power - the USA. Just like the emperor of Japan, we will allow other countries to maintain sovereignty - but we will not allow them to violate their own borders (wage war upon each other). Just like the Native Americans, the United States will begin exalt ritual and tradition and suppress innovation and creativity.

Is there any way out of this political and social box?

Transhumanism is the answer. Even in island cultures, personal excellence and personal growth were encouraged. Transhumanism allows for personal growth beyond the confines of our current physical form.

I suspect that there is a race going on. If the technologies that enable transhumanism take hold before technological innovation calcifies, it will allow the human race to continue to mature without the end of innovation. If not, then we may see a very large and ritualized society under the control of conservative regimes that use social and political manipulation to remain "on top" - of an unchanging and stagnating planet.

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