Ray Kurzweil’s Wildest Prediction: Nanobots Will Plug Our Brains Into the Web by the 2030s

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I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person. Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing. He has also made more correct (and documented) technology predictions about the future than anyone:

As reported, "of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be "essentially correct" (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate."

Two weeks ago, Ray and I held an hour-long webinar with my Abundance 360 CEOs about predicting the future. During our session, there was one of Ray's specific predictions that really blew my mind.

"In the 2030s," said Ray, "we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we'll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud."

Let's digest that for a moment.

2030 is only 15 years away…

Directly plugging your brain into the internet? Upgrading your intelligence and memory capacity by orders of magnitude?

This is a post about the staggering (and fun) implications of that future.

The Basics

The implications of a connected neocortex are quite literally unfathomable. As such, any list I can come up with will pale in comparison to reality…but here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling.

Brain-to-Brain Communication

This will deliver a new level of human intimacy, where you can truly know what your lover, friend or child is feeling. Intimacy far beyond what we experience today by mere human conversation. Forget email, texting, phone calls, and so on — you'll be able to send your thoughts to someone simply by thinking them.

Google on the Brain

You'll have the ability to "know" anything you desire, at the moment you want to know it. You'll have access to the world's information at the tip of your neurons. You'll be able to calculate complex math equations in seconds. You'll be able to navigate the streets of any cities, intuitively. You'll be able to hop into a fighter jet and fly it perfectly. You'll be able to speak and translate any language effortlessly.

Scalable Intelligence

Just imagine that you're in a bind and you need to solve a problem (quickly). In this future world, you'll be able to scale up the computational power of your brain on demand, 10x or 1,000x…in much the same way that algorithms today can spool up 1,000 processor cores on Amazon Web Service servers.

Living in the Virtual World

If our brains can truly connect at high bandwidth, you will be able to bypass our current sensory organs (eyes, ears, touch) to the point where brain's perception of reality can be driven completely by a gaming engine — a virtual world. Likewise, the connections would exist in the motor cortex of your brain as well. When you move your limbs, imagine a corresponding set of virtual limbs (your avatar) moving perfectly in the virtual world. This is about creation of The Matrix x 1,000.

Extended Immune System

In my webinar discussion with Ray, he outlined how we already have intelligent biological devices, the size of blood cells, that kill disease. They are called T-cells. They can recognize an enemy and attack it, but they don't work on cancer, retroviruses, et cetera. In the future, nanorobots will be able to communicate wirelessly, download software when new pathogens arrives, and attack cancer, cancer stem cells, bacteria, viruses, and all the disease agents. They can also work on metabolic diseases like diabetes. They could also maintain healthy levels of everything you need in the blood, including nutrients, and basically repair and eventually replace damaged organs.

Downloadable Expertise

Remember the scene in The Matrix where Trinity needs to learn how to fly a helicopter, and Tank downloads a program teaching her how to do it? We'll be able to do this. Need to perform emergency surgery? Just download the ER doctor program. Need to learn a new language? Download it. Want to cook the perfect meal? Download the chef module. In fact, you probably won't even need to download it — which takes up memory — you'll probably just "stream" expertise from the cloud.

Expanded and Searchable Memories

We'll be able to remember everything that ever happened to us (because we'll store our memories in the cloud), and we'll be able to search that memory database for useful information. When our memories will become searchable, we'll also be able to make them contextual by cross-referencing our calendars, GPS coordinates, health data, stock market, current news, weather conditions, and anything else that might be relevant to that particular moment in time.

A Higher-Order Existence

Ray talks about how a connected neocortex will bring humanity to a higher order of existence and complexity — expanding our palate for emotion, art, humor, creativity, expression, and uniqueness. He says, "We're going to be funnier. We're going to be sexier. We're going to be better at expressing loving sentiment. We're going to add more levels to the hierarchy of brain modules and create deeper levels of expression. People will be able to very deeply explore some particular type of music in far greater degree than we can today. It'll lead to far greater individuality, not less."

While this future may sound fanciful to many, let's remember that exponential technologies are initially deceptive, before they become disruptive. And today, there are many labs around the world working on molecular machinery, CRISPR/Cas9 systems that allow us to edit our own genome, and brain-computer interfaces (through cortical implants and the field of optogenetics).

So what if these fields of technological progress double every 18 months? In 15 years (2015 - 2030), we will have a 1,000-fold improvement over today. What does a future one thousand times better look like? Perhaps it's what Ray describes…

If this future becomes reality, connected humans are going to change everything. We need to discuss the implications in order to make the right decisions now so that we are prepared for the future.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

Peter Diamandis

Dr. Peter Diamandis was recently named by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

He is the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions.

He is also the co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world’s leaders on exponentially growing technologies.

Diamandis is also the co-founder and vice-chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan.

In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroids for fuels and precious materials.He is the also co-founder of Space Adventures and Zero Gravity Corporation.

Diamandis is a New York Times bestselling author of two books: Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD – How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World.

He earned degrees in Molecular Genetics and Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

His motto is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

Discussion — 72 Responses

  • Lennie October 12, 2015 on 2:54 pm

    2030 sounds very soon, maybe just the first working versions in 2030.

    • Gary Bernstein Lennie October 22, 2015 on 11:58 pm

      30s with an s, meaning by 1939.

      I’ve noticed ray often uses by and means by .

      • zawy Gary Bernstein October 23, 2015 on 6:42 am

        A lot of Ray’s motivation is sourced in trying to revive his father based on all the data Ray has collected about him, which I assume includes DNA. But once Ray achieves the higher level of machine intelligence, he’ll probably be a different enough person to not view reviving his father as important.

  • Zen33317 October 12, 2015 on 4:22 pm

    Awesome, now we need a workable path to get there.

  • Kevin White October 12, 2015 on 7:06 pm

    First working “beta” version by 2035. Widescale (>50%) acceptance, penetration, adoption by 2055.

    • DSM Kevin White October 12, 2015 on 8:43 pm

      You forget that the 20 years after 2035 will see as much development as the 200 years before 2035 because of the exponential curve.

  • Mike-2011 October 12, 2015 on 7:34 pm

    Well, to be fair, he didn’t specify which year in the 2030s. It could be in another 24 years, and still be in the 2030s, But this is one prediction I also find hard to imagine coming to fruition so soon. Although there’s few things I want more.

  • DSM October 12, 2015 on 8:53 pm

    I’ll sign up for the next best thing, a copy of the web _in_ my brain, the sum total of human knowledge structured and collated into an implant that I can access as if I was recalling my own experiences and another implant to give me the symbolic computational skills of Mathematica. That alone would make me an intellectual superman.

    Will that come sooner or later than nanobot enabled direct web connectivity?

  • Sassen October 13, 2015 on 1:03 am

    Peter, hi. There is a theory that before the existence of languages, homo sapiens and other animals communicated with telepathy. Maybe a second step was singing and making music. With the invention of a written language with vocals (Greece 500 BC) consciousness could evolve in such a way that we lost on-ness with the world and we gained a fictional personal identity. The tension between being part of the hole and the pretention to be a unique entity is what makes life sexy and interesting. We will not want to lose that soon I think.

    • DSM Sassen October 13, 2015 on 9:25 am

      If that idea was sane animals would still be able to communicate telepathically because they still can’t use writing and the same would apply to “lost” tribes who have only had contact with civilisation within the last generation.

      The idea is not even internally coherent.

  • Ruzeil October 13, 2015 on 2:22 am

    Fighter jet? Who do We fight against?


  • shin October 13, 2015 on 6:01 pm

    Peter F Hamilton talked about societies with this technology, he called it various things, like Neural Nanonics, E-butler, and U-shadow. It was fantastic science fiction technology with all sorts of good uses, but there was also an incredibly dark side to it. Do we really want our minds subject to the failures of Windows 95+, to the credit style hacking abuses, etc. Do we want our brains to be loaded with advertisements, or be re-purposed by a peer to peer hacker group to assist in Denial of Service attacks? Do we want the Cloud and Commercial Networks accessing our brains, and trying to file lawsuits demanding Deletion of season 8 of Game of Thrones of the Final Farewell Metallica Album? Do we want our Memories and Life experiences copyrighted by corporations and then subject to lawsuits? Do we want our sons and daughters who join the military to automatically get a reprofiling package, or be required by law to have their minds tampered with? do you want to be automatically aroused against your will by a programmed advertisement of a product simply because you are walking down the street passing a vendor? Do you want your desires and basic beliefs tampered with by advertising companies, or your most cherished ideas subject to blackmail or theft or publication on some 3D version of youtube?

    Our society is still subject to the whims of abuse, hierarchy, pettiness, cruelty, income disparity, Bernaysian advertising manipulation, and horrible wars. The laws of accelerating change in technology are REAL, no doubt, and nanotechnology, including Nanotechnology will become reality far sooner than most. Following the decade:century correspondence of Scifi:scifact, Hamilton’s 25th-27th century technologies written about in the 1990s should be realities about 50-70 years later, i.e., 2040s to 2050s. The human mind has to be able to function in the event of a total nanotechnology malfunction. Core memories and so forth need to be sacrosanct both legally and medically, both domestically and internationally. A New Geneva convention protecting the mind is necessary, likely one convened in a timely fashion to meetings discussing the weaponized drone and AI technologies.

    This technology currently is best reserved for people who are quadriplegics, comatose, or suffering absolutely devastating neural damage. While there are many potential benefits, society in 2015 didn’t become a utopia because of smart phones. Our privacy rights did not increase. We did not all become richer, or gain fantastic mental prowess. If anything, Smart phones made a great deal many people stupid. I was on a train when a crash caused by texting stalled my whole train and killed people. We have come to a point where the approach to the technology is like Nuclear weapons – what we do with it and how it is controlled and regulated is now more important than what it actually does or contributes to society.

    • David Robertson shin October 15, 2015 on 10:43 pm

      Not true, the idea that old societal trends will remain after an exponential shift in consciousness wouldn’t be logical. Nothing has happened to our brain in this way since our evolution from apes, and look at the difference. With the arrival of higher brain functions, we proceeded to lose our animalistic tendencies (which we try [and at times fail] to repress through the development of morality and culture). This technology will bring about a truly immense shift in human psychology – as John Steinbeck said, “try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never lead to hate and almost always lead to love.”

      With the expansion of our consciousness will be the expansion of empathy. Yes, the world is a dark place at the present moment because we lack the ability to understand, which for the most part comes from exceptional misunderstandings for we lack the true eloquence to make another feel the way we do… The ones who are the first to adapt themselves to this technology will bring about an Armageddon, for our old ideas of being human will die and that is the one thing most people are afraid of: change.

      • Lennie David Robertson October 16, 2015 on 12:16 am

        This already works. Most people in the west have no idea what it is like to life in Africa.

        Send some westerners to Africa and see them want to help them.

        But we can’t currently connect to everyone. Thus we can’t care for everyone.

        Maybe when we’re all connected to the Internet more directly we can.

      • Lennie David Robertson October 16, 2015 on 12:20 am

        An other example, when we distance ourselves from others it’s easier to harm them.

        Look at how the US is killing with drones in Afghanistan.

    • Alex Alaniz shin October 20, 2015 on 9:23 pm

      All of the concerns you mention, shin, bothered the hell out of me. I spend a decade putting together a vision of your concern into a historical fiction/scifi novel going back to Nazi Germany through our near term “nano” future. I have a free PDF or a $1 Kindle of it if you’re interested.


  • monsieurpooh October 13, 2015 on 10:45 pm

    One simple question though: WHO do we expect to invent or work on this technology? Which companies or academic institutions are working on the relevant things right now? The amount of progress in this field has been pretty bleak. There was a TED talk about DNA nanobots which was pretty much a hoax (the guy just disappeared with no hint of further progress). There’s optogenetics but all require invasive surgery. The closest thing is probably Human Brain Project which has no plan and had no news in the past year except that they have internal conflict issues. So if you guys want this to come true, you better start studying nanotechnology, and stop praying that the “awesome scientists” out there will do it for us.

  • RURALTY October 14, 2015 on 5:00 pm

    There will be serious repercussions of all this for societal structure.

    Many big cities will be come highly charged and volatile.

    For some, and that’s very few, these will be godlike powers.

  • zawy October 15, 2015 on 6:51 am

    With all these changes, we won’t be us anymore. We’ll just be more efficient machines, merciless to the less efficient as evolution has always dictated, unable to imagine what love and a belief in God used to be like before facts and honesty got in the way.

    • David Robertson zawy October 15, 2015 on 11:14 pm

      You know, they say humanity is a destroyer of life, a succubus that takes everything from its host until theres nothing left, till the host is dead – like a cancer. I don’t believe this, I think life IS the virus (and we are irrevocably apart of it) and it tries to shield itself from the inhospitable dangers of the universe by rapidly prototyping and producing ways to survive. Kind of like, God’s STD.

      Humans are just the next experiment in Life’s scheme to become strong and spread. Unlike other animals, we have sentient thought, which is a mechanism to design and trial things before they are laboriously created with our fashionable hands (much more efficient evolution). We have the sentience and the bodies to forge impossibly resistant vessels for life to carry on – these arise in our technology, and our mad march towards producing sentient AGI’s is a sign that we are getting close to forging a vessel that is heavily resistant to the dangers that are trying to snuff out Life.

      The ideas of morality and God are useful stepping stones to bring us to the point of where we are now. The happenings of today are just the womb for a more durable version of Life to gestate in. Love it or hate it, you are on the side of Life and Life will always find a way to become more badass.

      • zawy David Robertson October 16, 2015 on 2:45 am

        At first I thought your “life is a virus” was only superficially correct and only in an intuitive way. But DNA is only a memory system that has no primal force of its, like a virus, that only taps into pre-existing order and energy.

        Ray says higher order ideas like God and love will continue and improve. But it seems to me that God and love were stepping stones to science, economic systems, and computer programming, all of which work darn well without God or love, and even better if all the religious people get out of the way. There’s nothing sweeter than being in the seductiveness of Muslim thinking, but it is based on “lying is a virtue” which is connected to why it has less economic power. I fully understand why they want to kill the West’s economic machine. The want their women to breast feed and keep house. “We” want our women to be so stressed from working that they do not want babies. Muslims are human where westerners are economic and war machines. Not breast feeding them and raised more by the state helps make them less human, more likely to have less concern for others in order to get the machine’s job done. Competition in the religious world is greatest when fighting other religions. Competition in the western world is greatest between your coworkers. So the latter is less emotionally enjoyable, but economically more powerful.

  • Kano180 October 16, 2015 on 1:24 am

    I really hope this future does come to pass as I’m sure it will dramatically enrich our lives in possitve way, but I can’t help but be skeptical that human thoughts and emotions can be directly shared from one human to another. To be able to understand someone else’s thoughts or emotions, you’d have to consume it in the context of their whole life experience – you’d have to have the mental capacity of multiple human brains (could be possible by using the cloud I guess?!) to be able to understand thoughts from multiple people. We see the world through the lens of our past experiences, not for what it really is. For example, you might transmit or receive information about a dog – some people are terrified by dogs while others absolutely adore dogs, mainly due to past experience. Not only would you have to transmit/receive information on the dog, but all the experiences or feelings you’ve had that contribute to your feelings about dogs (probably your whole life experiecne) for the thought to be accurately understood. I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic, but there seems to be some massive hurdles to overcome before this prediction becomes real. That said, I know Ray Kurzweil knows a lot more than I do about neuroscience – I have faith in his predictions. Last thing I’ll say is, 15 years ago I was playing Halo on an Xbox on a 47 inch rear projection screen, today I play Destiny on an Xbox One on a 55 inch LCD screen and in a year or two I might be playing games in a virtual world with 3D VR goggles (not exactly revolutionary changes), but to make the revolutionary leap in another 15 years to Matrix-like fully immersive, absolutely believable virtual reality beemed directly to our neocortex seems a bit of a stretch. …I’m sure that’s gotta be at least 17 years away 😉

    • Lennie Kano180 October 16, 2015 on 7:36 am

      Yes, one or two years for VR in your living room is very likely, the consumer models (not beta) will be on the market next year (was planned for the end of this year).

      But this is still the some what low resolution version. The really good immersive experience needs the high fidelity graphics and really low lag, which are still a couple of years away, we need more GPU performance for that. But will get something which is a 100% guaranteed not to make you puke. It might still be 5 years before we get there.

      My guess is there will be gloves with feedback and maybe more of a Kinect user interface for the input. That should give us bunch of freedom of movement and realism.

      What I do understand is that a direct connection to the brain is a more efficient than going through the eye so by then maybe we can use all that GPU power for something else. 😉

    • zawy Kano180 October 16, 2015 on 8:52 am

      Walking through a video game arcade, I can’t help but think none of the game are any good compared to defender/stargate, Donkey Kong Jr, PacMan, and Galaga back in the early 1980’s. Asteroids and that green wire-frame tank game beat most of them.

      I’m with you, I think talking and interacting are sufficient if not complete modes of understanding others. Already I can objectively look at other people and understand them better than I understand myself. I can also exert more control over their thoughts and emotions than I can over my own.

      Life is easier now, but it doesn’t seem to be any happier for rich kids today compared to middle class kids of the 1970’s. And these days you have to slog through sucky tech careers to get a decent job. It’s only easier now for kids because they can stay at home and parent’s houses are 3x bigger. Health care is as bad as it’s ever been, and even worse if you’re middle class trying to pay for it, and are not aware heart surgery on average does not extend life span unless a heart attack just occurred (3 studies in JAMA everyone ignores). I didn’t even try explaining to my mother the doctor’s were lying about her needing it, that she should get the stents instead. Her heart stopped twice the two days after the surgery, so finally they corrected the botched triple bypass job (by a renowned surgeon in Birmingham who tried to cover up that it was botched…he didn’t know we had let a nurse practitioner look at the post-surgery images) by letting a different doctor put in emergency stents (which is where we got the images). Zero progress in cancer since ….forever…with fast growing childhood cancers maybe being an exception. Maybe we’re 2% there already in 60 years of effort, so let’s see only 6 more doublings needed as Ray says gets us to 100% cure in 30*6=180 years….assuming the cancer rates from pollution and mass-food production techniques are not growing faster than the cure rates.

      Anyway, I just question the assertion that video games and health care are better than they were in the 1980’s. 25 years. Zero improvement? Especially on a cost basis for health care. Is the greatest improvement we can hope for in the next 25 years is for half the world’s population to be killed off, and we not be the ones in that half? And to do away with computers so we don’t have to get sucky jobs as fat pale lonely stressed programmers? Mowing grass is a lot more fun, leads to more babies, and results in a healthier brain and less cancer, heart, and penile problems after age 40. Sitting down staring at a screen all day thinking that we need Google and the internet to improve life. lol.

  • Rocky Kim October 16, 2015 on 11:07 am

    I know that nano bots is the future, I hope our government understands that and fund it. Instead of going to war and spending trillions, use our tax money to help us have better lives and one day see no more people getting old and dying. Nothing is worse than death if your an atheist.

    • genidma Rocky Kim October 19, 2015 on 9:41 pm

      you are*

      not your.

  • Chinese_Room October 16, 2015 on 2:54 pm

    In all likelihood this sort of thing will come to pass, and many of the “staggering(fun) implications” will happen. When? sometime this century.

    I foresee something more along the lines of “Heaven” in Peter Watts “Blindsight”. A “place” for someones ego/personality to continue “living/experiencing”. It’s not a stretch to predict that someones brain won’t need their body, and their brain will be encased/enhanced in the “Heaven” data center, for an eternity of what? This raises many questions about what it means to be human. What it means to live a life, to experience pain, loss, joy, and ecstasy.

    Similar to how Agent Smith tells Neo about the first version of The Matrix crashing: “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.”

    • genidma Chinese_Room October 19, 2015 on 10:05 pm

      Most of the developments highlighted in this article are predicated on the development of the ‘Standard Assimilated Knowledge Protocols’ that Ray Kurzweil has written about in his book ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’.

      On page number 280 of his book ‘The Age of Spiritual Machines’, Ray Kurzweil describes the following:

      By the year 2099:
      “Because most information is published using standard assimilated knowledge protocols, information can be instantly understood. The goal of education, and of intelligent beings, is discovering new knowledge to learn. ”

      This is a topic that I also have a casual interest in: http://bit.ly/1MQQokP & http://bit.ly/1jy5uQQ . Although. now that I look back, the way I debated about this topic the first time around seems quite immature. And only because, at the time, I had no idea what I was debating, other then the concept of the idea by itself.

      I understand that technology can scale exponentially and that the growth can indeed be deceptive. But what about the problem of structuring knowledge in a way that makes the replication as instantaneous as possible?

      Information may be passing, but there is no guarantee that understanding is also happening. And now matter how much computational power we throw at something and whatever level of nano-bots we embed in our brains. This is a hard problem to solve.

      How does understanding occur?

      And say, in a future state, I have a mind-clone somewhere. Does all that my mind-clone really require is a series of neural networks? Once my mind-clone learns something, then all that I need is to sync my memories with my mind-clone and acquire the newly learned skills?

      SAKP is a hard problem. But an interesting problem. It forces you to go into a lot of different areas.

      • genidma genidma October 19, 2015 on 10:06 pm

        This is my comment overall and not as a response to the comment above.

  • ThT October 17, 2015 on 9:59 pm

    Big load of b.s.

  • genidma October 20, 2015 on 3:17 pm

    Relating to this important topic, the four thoughts that I woke up with are:
    1. What is it that we are creating.
    2. How is it that we are creating what we are creating.
    3. How are we planning to release a particular set of technologies. If someone (a group) is planning the release i.e
    4. How would the release of a set of technologies change societies. This is really the crux of it. All points should lead to this point.
    5. How can we re-architect society in a way so that more innovation can be had in a less amount of time. Because risks like climate change, rising population and food/water scarcity, using technology for purposes that cause harm, extra-terrestrial threats (asteroid attack) e.t.c e.t.c. These risks will occur and will not wait for our capacity to catch up. So we must prepare and the best way we can prepare (#4) is to re-architect society.

    Some details and the way I see it right now with limited information at hand.

    1. What is it:
    My sense is that we are beginning to see the emergence of collective consciousness. Some call it shared consciousness. Some, may argue that collective consciousness already exists with the emergence of the Internet. Where thoughts and ideas are exchanged all the time. However the evolutionary leap in this instance, as in the one described in this article, is the direct linking of one human brain with another and with mind clones. Mind clones as explained by Martine Rothblatt in her book ‘Virtually Human’. It will start with 2 and you then continue raising it to the power of 2.
    1.a: Here my sense is that the change will occur in pockets. Because, if the change happened all of a sudden, then technological singularity would have already happened and it would be managing future shock. Which is also possible and we could be living up to the singularity. Based on what we know though, which I suspect is very limited in scope, considering the enormity of the Universe and the multiverse and then the infinite number of dimensions theory, it is somewhat likely that change will occur in pockets. Meaning that collective consciousness will begin to emerge in pockets. So you define how that should occur. Who gets to join your version of the shared consciousness. One must also be mindful that even though there may be an emergence of sorts of a global culture, there are also large pockets where the culture is radically different. And there is a mix of sorts. Since not all cultures are resident to a fixed geographic region.
    1.b: Also, realize that information will flow. Other cultures will also develop a version of collective consciousness. As a battle of ideas and technology ensues, it is difficult, if not impossible to determine the outcome at this point in time. As in, the set of ideas, the philosophies that will eventually prevail. Further compounding this issue, is that the developments and as they occur in the earthly construct, occur in a very non-transparent way. When it is complete transparency that is an urgent need of the time across the earthly construct. Doing so, though, requires changes across the board.
    1.b.II: To further elaborate on the sub-topic above. It is difficult to predict the overall outcome, as it is simply different this time around, because a lack of focus on how ‘decision science’ have been or ought to have been enabled is the core missing piece. So every major decision that has been made in the past, is being made and will be made will lead the various human societies towards a specific form of governance. The decisions that humans make individually and collectively, is, what is going to determine the outcome for the kind of governance that will emerge and will hopefully last for the for-seeable future. There is a broad range of spectrum here,
    1.b.III: In non-transparent systems, which lack the ability to backtrack their decisions, as well project the outcome of their decisions. In light of such a reality, it is going to get difficult to ascertain as to who really made the decision. For example and in a hypothetical sense: A major decision has just been made by a group of people, that puts the system (overall) on a different trajectory. Perhaps, a trajectory of irreversible decline? Of lesser freedoms, less transparency? However, the decision was influenced by some means (Optogenetics, sonogenetics e.t.c) by a third party, who should not have been directly involved in the decision making process and covertly maneuvered their way in. So where as the group will always believe that is it they who made the decision, the decision was heavily influenced from the get go. Proxies will just add an altogether different level of convolutedness.

    2. How is it that we are creating what we are creating:
    I am sorry. It is not my intention to hijack this conversation and suggest that it is really the emergence of collective consciousness that we will begin to witness. But the following have been categorized under ‘The Basic’s: Brain to Brain communication, google on the brain, scalable intelligence, living in deep immersive virtual worlds, extended immune system, downloadable expertise, expanded and searchable memories, a higher order of existence. I mean stop and think about what will come out of the combination of the following. Stop and think about what is going to come after ‘The Basics’. It is somewhat difficult, if not impossible to conceptualize what reality will appear to be 60 to 100 years from now. To keep it simpler, the kind of building blocks that will go into effect ‘today’ will determine the fate of how our consciousness will evolve for the foreseeable future. However long the foreseeable future turns out to be. The same set of rules would apply to the emergence of collective consciousness.
    2.a: Here, it takes considerable effort just to define the problem. Meaning, what is good. What I perceive to be good may be radically different from what another deems to be good. Keeping that into consideration, strength in numbers could actually be a dangerous thing when values such as freedoms, liberties, the continual enablement of the sciences, rights of man. That the things that have powered enlightenment, become an afterthought. So, when we scale up consciousness, but when we forget that which is good. Then there is a possibility that we may simply forget. Here, my sense is that we are exhausting the scientific and cultural capital. And if we take more than we put in, then we will exhaust the mechanisms by which continual enlightenment can be had. Everyone wants progress and the good life, but what about supporting and championing the mechanisms by which a post enlightenment reality is to be enjoyed. We build on top of what was done in the past. And so, if we place limits consciously and/or unconsciously that prevents consciousness from going deeper into subjects, individually and collectively, then it will invariably result into society collectively falling backwards to a more regressive state. Whatever that regressive state happens to be.


    • genidma genidma October 20, 2015 on 3:17 pm

      There are a lot of different ways by which one can look at this particular set of development.

      This is the time to think about how systems need to be architected so that a framework can be developed. A framework that will help lessen suffering and will be good for all earthly inhabitants.

      Here is an opportunity to out-think some older precepts. Such as Law and Freedom with and or without Force. http://bit.ly/1jzhDFq Perhaps a 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th possibility is possible considering the changes that we witness across the board. And if Plato’s consciousness was somehow revived, maybe in the near future we could show Plato that there are many other possibilities and not just the 5 regimes. http://bit.ly/1Py11ut

      3. How are we planning to release a particular set of technologies. If someone (a group) is planning the release i.e:

      Related to this series of thoughts, I gave more (almost all) thought to #1 and #2 and added point #3 afterwards.

      Here my thoughts are that the introduction of certain technologies is:
      a) Just happens.
      b) Is planned.

      Now, at some point I read somewhere and I cannot recall where, but that the release of certain technologies is studied very careful by the government, military and intelligence. This is done so, because the release of certain technologies is bound to bring about changes in societies and that the risks and benefits need to be weighed out.

      Perhaps this was more so the case during the 40’s, the 50’s and the 60’s. I wasn’t alive at the time and I still cannot recall where I picked up this bit (about the careful studying when it comes to the release of any given technology)

      What I have personally witnessed during the past 20 years though is mismanagement and bad-design. I see too much intervention by the various Government(s) in virtually every domain. From the mixing of religion and state and how it impacts policy making (specially policies related to Science and Life-Sciences in particular), to issues relating to peace and conflict, privacy or encroaching upon privacy, security and forming tunnel visions, too much and excessive interventions in how the markets function, propping up monopolies across the board that should die and not doing enough to do a major function that a Government should perform – i.e to create the best platform for attracting the best and the brightest.

      Overall, these ‘interventions’ have come at the terrible expense of preventing the market from providing solutions that would have been good for society at large.

      Here my sense is that there is excessive focus on the preservation of the status quo. This excessive focus may be inhibiting the growth prospects by placing real and perceived limits on ‘what could be’.

      If our future is inherently dependent upon what we can collectively imagine, then everything that we see around ourselves and that which is not working is a design problem.

      “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

      So what other things prevent this re-distribution. Other than bad design?

      Also, things are not black and white. There are areas where the Governments have to intervene and there are areas where a Government must exercise great caution. You also have to go about defining, what is a Government. And the answer is not as clear cut. Is it a real Democracy? Who has influence over how the Government functions? Is the Government doing it’s intended job?

      Also, my criticism is generally and not largely meted at the influence that certain monopolies yield on the Government. Specially monopolies that have long overstayed their existence and suck the life of the system with their gross mis-spend and create mechanisms which prevent competition from emerging.

      A monopoly must not make the grave mistake of believing that it is a God and then start acting like Caligula. That is when bad things happen.

      On the other hand and at this point in time, I only support a monopoly or a set of monopolies that:
      a) Help with the democratization when it comes to access to a particular product/service/technology and that also helps raise the standards of living of those that make use of it.
      b) Help open up a new area. A new frontier. Helps uncovering of a secret or a set of secrets. It would be ideal if a portal to another dimension or a wormhole to another part of the Galaxy could also be opened up.

      So you see, I am not anti-monopoly. Just the ones that have overstayed their existence and their sole justification is their size and their complexity. Lot of busy work happening, but where is the net new output? And/or how much input went into effect in order to get the output.

      So is a technology or a set of technologies just released out to the public or is the release a planned event? Let’s consider nano-technology, since this is a blogpost about nanobots.

      Nanotechnology went through it’s ups and downs. But depending on how you want to look at it, this is a technology, a Science that has been in development for more than 60 years. One can argue that it has really been since the 90’s and with the infusion of funding that the Science began to take off and that would not be an uneducated statement to make. Still that gives us a good 35 years or so for the foundations for this tech/science to take roots.

      Eric K. Drexler, an engineer from MIT (at the time), who in my opinion, is the rightful father of nanotechnology. Drexler, took the ideas as envisioned by Richard Feynmann for manipulating and controlling atoms and molecules and helped nurture and guide those ideas towards a path where they could eventually turn into a science


      And again, going back to the question. Is this a technology that is simply released or is it a planned event?

      Contingent on what the answer happens to be, a set of approach has to be undertaken. For example and this is just one of the many examples.
      – But how does society change with the anticipation that such a technology will be released. Or, perhaps considering the lead time, these debates have already occurred in certain circles? It does not entail that these debates must not go mainstream and/or happen again. But perhaps, the work that has been done before can be re-used in some sense.

      If on the other hand, the release is planned. Then there has to reasons as to why. Perhaps it would be wise to bring a group of individuals with a varied set of backgrounds (Sciences, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences e.t.c) and have them anticipate the release of certain technologies and the impact that could be had on civilization. With a careful analysis on the precepts that have gone into effect when it comes to the decision of why release the technology now.

      4. How would the release of a set of technologies change societies. This is really the crux of it. All points should lead to this point:

      I’ve touched base on this topic above in the other points raised. Here and overall, my sense is that the introduction of certain technologies in a non-transparent way could bring about a form of tyranny. That such realities could act as a catalyst for self-fulfilling prophecies of all sorts.

      Since we live in a post enlightenment era, there really is no guarantee that such a trend will continue indefinitely. Specially and has been cited as a reference above, when we take out more than we put in scientifically and culturally speaking.

      Here, if the bad ideas win, then they too could have a set of developments at their arsenal which would allow them to continue to perpetuate their myths and belief system for an indefinite amount of time. But, I did use the word perpetuate and hence perhaps the other bit is redundant.

      The bad ideas could generally be categorized as the kind of memes for which leveraging reason is an afterthought. Where suffering is and should be an indelible part of the human condition. Where toil must exist, because it helps provide meaning in some weird and twisted way, even though we have technology at our disposal by which exponential efficiencies and productivities can be achieved.

      Here my sense is and I could be wrong. But tackling bad ideas using force may contribute towards a) The further enablement of such ideas by giving them credibility in the first place. b) By strengthening such ideas by virtue of interacting with them (exchange of information/tactics/strategy e.t.c).

      So the question then becomes:
      – What to do with bad ideas and memes if one is to not interact with them using force? Good question, but, already we are way beyond the scope of the conversation at hand.
      – But the bigger question is, considering the fact that all types of systems will have the means, the ability to leverage exponential technologies. That the usage of such technologies is largely occuring in a non-transparent way in such systems. In light of the combination of the two factors explained in this particular sub-point, what happens when technology and technological progress can and will be used for purposes that are bad in such systems. What happens when this phenomenon starts impacting the future of the free/fair/ part of the world?

      5. How can we re-architect society in a way so that more innovation can be had in a less amount of time:

      Overall, humans need to be objective about what is the need.

      – Climate change threatens the lives of at-least 200 to 300 million individuals. It could be many more. Already the impact can be witnessed in North African with climate change wreaking havoc in places like Mali.
      – Jobless claims may be at an all-time low right now. But data/research suggests that we are heading for a jobless future. No matter how you slice and dice it, a significant portion of the earthly population is not going to be engaged in work, in a traditional sense in the near future. When do we begin to realize this and start bringing about multi-generational changes in our economic (and other) systems. When we we begin to realize that the need is there for more industries, many more industries and for the opening up of newer frontier. All of which requires innovation (amongst other things).

      “Unbounded growth requires accelerating cycles of innovation to avoid collapse” http://bit.ly/1NhWsSN GeoffreyWest

      The way we can expedite the rate at which innovation can be had is to greatly increase the pace of innovation. For this, a merger of consciousness may be a necessary component.

      What is needed is a platform that will allow us to debate upon such issues in real time, as well, collaborate upon these issues.

      For the foreseeable future, the system that will scale up it’s ability to enable collaboration across the various consciousness will thrive.

      • genidma genidma October 20, 2015 on 3:17 pm

        End of this comment.

    • DSM genidma October 20, 2015 on 3:29 pm

      But consciousness is already collective, that is how the brain works, higher levels of awareness emerge spontaneously due to the connectivity of less complex systems.


      If you were to merge your brain connections with others, natural or otherwise, you would remain a sub-unit and not be (or directly aware of) the entity that emerges from the total system, however you may notice the benefits of being part of something more intelligent than you are.

      • genidma DSM October 20, 2015 on 3:40 pm

        Memes affect beme(s) (unit of consciousness) and that may or may not have some impact on our genes.

        – Collective consciousness does not exist as of yet.
        – Or there is a, or a set of barriers between our individual consciousness and how collective consciousness could be had.

        The existence of the hard problems is a testament to the phenomenon that has been explained above. The hard problems being: war, pestilence, disease, hunger, indifference to the suffering.

        If collective consciousness was already here, then each individual or a significant majority of the individual consciousness would be focused on the removal of the hard problems. Minus the zealotry.

        That is not the case.

        Hence, as of yet, collective consciousness does not exist.

        • DSM genidma October 20, 2015 on 3:56 pm

          Hmmmm. I am pretty sure that you have no idea what my words signified.

          I’ll put it another way. If an entity was utilising your brain as a subunit you would not know, nor could you conceive what it’s priorities may be or their impact on the universe therefore you cannot be sure that you could even detect such an entity.

          An emergent consciousness utilising multiple brains and or computing units would not be you nor could you be it, you can only ever be part of it.

          • zawy DSM October 20, 2015 on 4:08 pm

            You’ve just described the purpose of economics and religions. When we seek profit we have little awareness or concern for “why” profit has to be acquired in certain ways, but those ways are the way in which economics is a higher-level of intelligence. Without direction from government to redistribute the wealth back to middle class intelligently, the evolutionary rule of “might is right” predominates, without regard to the biosphere or median human happiness. Lobbies are evolution filling a void left by unaware voters. Religion is different in that instead of adopting economic rules for personal profit, people let the religion be their lord (guide).

            • DSM zawy October 21, 2015 on 7:33 pm

              That has nothing to do with my point which is that one cannot transcend ones position in a hierarchy of consciousness because to do so would require you to not be you. i,e, your self is defined by your position in the hierarchy and other positions are other selves.

              Economics and religion are not coherent and universal enough processes to be relevant to my point, they are not a lucid pattern of connections between human interactions. There are interactions whereby some parties seek to extend their capabilities through proxies.

              • zawy DSM October 22, 2015 on 1:10 am

                Adopting a religion or engaging in an economic system is “transcending a hierarchy of consciousness”. Our difference appears to be only one of quantity. You’re talking about “the Borg” which was a not-so-subtle riff on the economic threat to the U.S. back in the 1980’s from the Japanese sacrificing personal identity in order to be more economically competitive. Muslims dying for their cause is a transcendent act due to losing personal identity in a higher consciousness.

                “Lucid connections” can’t be defined as something “transcendent” beyond universal gates like NAND operations which can be wired (a “communications” network with feedback and memory) to implement a Turing machine.

                I’m glad you’re working on genidma’s mysticism. I’m working on yours. 🙂

                • DSM zawy October 22, 2015 on 12:58 pm

                  You would look less foolish if you actually read what I wrote.

                  • zawy DSM October 23, 2015 on 2:01 am

                    I did read what you wrote. You looked capable of understanding what I wrote if you had not resorted to an ad hominem.

                • genidma zawy October 25, 2015 on 6:19 pm


                  I do a fair bit of abstract reasoning. But, I have no idea what you are on about.

                  You need to dumb it down for us. For me, at least.

                  Besides, I do not know what your beef with the Muslim culture is. Islamist is a spectrum and it does not equal Muslim and vice versa. Religion and culture are two different things.

                  Overall, you are using broad brush strokes, which invariably result in dangerous memes.

                  When I call something out in a public forum, then I it is my intent to be more objective and conscientious about what it is I am saying. My intent is to try and find out more. To gain another insight and learn more. Otherwise, it is just a futile attempt. Specially when it comes to discussing matters related to religion/culture on a public forum. I suspect what I am saying is true, but I’d like to be challenged on it. Objectively speaking.

          • genidma DSM October 20, 2015 on 8:17 pm

            A lot of it goes back to the emergent nature of consciousness.

            I kind of allude to the development of consciousness as being a fractal. That the development does not stop when it comes to the evolution of consciousness in multiple streams.

            So in your words, higher levels of awareness emerge due to the connectivity of less complex systems. But perhaps this phenomenon does not occur as spontaneously as you assume it would. But just as in evolution, there are many different variations and eventually a couple (or one) of them survive and thrive.

            Just as there are different factors that result into mutations across the genetic structure. Similarly it is worth investigating whether there are mutations when it comes to the evolution of our consciousness as well. If a “beme” is indeed the smallest, transmissible unit of consciousness, then surely it must go through many changes based on the various interactions a conscious life-form is to have.

            So, indeed, today a human brain would have limited computational capabilities with it’s 100 billion neurons (plus, neurons in other parts of the body).

            But a breakthrough, not unlike the ‘Bernoulli’s principle’ equivalent to how consciousness works. This kind of breakthrough will allows a single human mind to know more, understand more, reason more will invariably expand the range of that individuals awareness and it’s sentience.

            And hence, if the mechanism by which the level of sentience of an individual can be increased exponentially. Then indeed:
            a) Not only would the individual consciousness be aware of it’s place in the wider construct.
            b) But in addition to that and in a universe that is predicated on a set of rules (Information –> Chemistry —> Biology /Life —> Physics) that the individual/group based consciousness will have better control over it’s surroundings. Thus, greatly increasing it’s chances of survival and generally being more aware. (At the very least).

            I do see the point that you raise.

            Prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes and over the course of billions of years resulted into the emergence of phenomenon such as consciousness.

            And similarly over the course of millions of year from now, there may be some emergent and collective consciousness and the individual consciousness may just be a part of it.

            But the thing is, the individual consciousness will indeed be much better off as a result of such an evolution. Till it too, hits some plateau.

            We can only build up.

            • DSM genidma October 21, 2015 on 7:41 pm

              It is not evolution, and evolution does not have a direction anyway, no form of life is superior to another! It does not even matter if a species becomes extinct, so long as the diversity of species is stable or growing because only that assures that life has a maximal chance of adapting to change.

              What humans are doing to themselves, very consciously, is engineering, so we have become machines already.

              By machine I mean a complex structure within an organization or system that is an artefact, where an artefact is an object made by human beings.

              • zawy DSM October 22, 2015 on 7:48 am

                Evolution has a direction. It decreases local entropy by utilizing more and more of the finite mass of the Earth in stronger and stronger bonds, like DNA and bone. It can be viewed as a result of competition and protection, but as I posted here before, I view it as fundamental dynamics as indicated by least action. The strongest bonds means viewer types of bonds are selected (appearing as “copies” of DNA sequence and bone formulas, etc). The atoms end up in tighter and tighter arrangements. Both of these aspect are defined as lower entropy when temperature, pressure, and mass balance are held constant. The current stage is shifting the mass balance of the Earth from DNA and bones to very strong metals, metalloids, and carbon structures without oxygen or hydrogen. These high energy bonds were not buildable by DNA methods before humans, which is why they are just now gaining strength. They form the backbone of the machines who are currently replacing the biosphere, extinguishing 50 times more species per year than in the past. These higher energy bonds are far superior to capturing energy from sunlight, moving matter with energy, and thinking about how to most efficiently do it. Efficient in this context means decreasing entropy at a faster rate. Excess entropy is emitted to the universe which is why it is possible. Least action is why it is happening.

              • genidma DSM October 25, 2015 on 6:51 pm

                This conversation is almost futile. It is futile because, today, we do not know about the origins of consciousness.

                Tomorrow, we may have a better understanding of how consciousness emerges.

                How these connections between traces of memories stored within cells gives rise to the emergent nature of consciousness.

                Some of my other thoughts on this subject: http://singularityhub.com/2015/09/22/watch-what-is-consciousness-we-now-have-the-tools-to-find-out/ (To state the obvious : Check under the comments section)

                I was referring specifically to the emergent nature when it comes to the evolution of our consciousness.

                I never mentioned the superiority of one life-form over another. In fact, I have always championed the backing up of the biosphere and the safeguarding of all types of flora and fauna.

                I think you misunderstand what I was suggesting. In the longer scheme of things, lifeforms that have been focused on creating a better version of themselves have thrived.

                A big part of such evolution today is the mechanism by which our surroundings can be modified.

                The modification of the surrounding is what led us towards developing tools. This evolutionary trait, amongst other things, pushed us towards leveraging more of our Neocortex.


                Non-mammalian animals had fixed behaviours and this put them at a disadvantage when it comes to changes in their immediate surroundings.

                Your definitions are too simplistic.

                “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

                I am not debating with you, the nature of, how a system functions. We are not debating Physics. We are not debating laws.

                We were pondering upon a question. What is the emergent nature of our consciousness?

                You are simplifying that debate by implying that we are turning into machines.

                We are not turning into machines. We are machines! We are thinking, feeling machines.

                What we look like, our likes and dislikes and to some extent our behaviour is governed by our genes. Which in turn predicated upon our DNA with a combination of genes turned on and a combination turned off.

                How our body operates is also a set of machinery that performs an innumerable numbers of functions with great efficiency and precision. From the innumerable number of calculations that our brain performs each second. To the intricate mechanism by which protein synthesis (DNA transcription, translation and folding) occurs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erOP76_qLWA To the different functions that the glial cells perform. There are many many such examples and how the body functions in an almost clock-like fashion.

                Yet, the origins of consciousness remain obscure. But not completely elusive, specially as we continue making breakthroughs when it comes to understanding how understanding occurs.

                Again, I speak specifically about the emergent nature of our consciousness.

                My sense is that we will have some control, that we have some control today, in terms of how our consciousness evolves in the future. That, this is predicated upon the decisions that we make individually and collectively that may or may not put us on a different trajectory in time.

                • zawy genidma October 26, 2015 on 5:33 am

                  Consciousness is only as obscure as its definition. If you do not define it, then you can’t intelligently discuss it. In these situations it is best to start with minimalistic examples. To get started, one might say consciousness is “awareness of self” which then that requires two more definitions, those of “self” and “aware” which is going to lead to paths that can be discussed more clearly but still it will be a complicated and involved path. I take the position that simple observation of a variable is awareness, and that awareness of self is not further needed to give a minimal definition of consciousness. A higher level of consciousness could be the ability to respond to the variable in search of a goal. A house thermostat is an example, be it mechanical or electrical. Mechanical BTW is ultimately also electrical because mechanical forces are transmitted ultimately by electrical forces. To simplify it even further, a NAND gate compares two inputs (like a thermostat, except 0 and 1 are the only two possible values for each input) and reduces it to a single output (turn unit on or off in a thermostat). The reduction of two variables to 1 is lower entropy. Again, this is 1 step higher than my definition of the minimalistic consciousness which is observation without ability to respond, but there may be a problem in getting that minimal. One more step higher is that the response should generate personal profit which at a minimal is retaining existence. A thermostat better work or it gets replaced. Ability to exist would thereby mean ability to continually decrease entropy. A 3rd step above the minimal is ability to profit self by making copies of self. This is another level of decreased entropy (copies by definition are decreased entropy, all other variables held constant, as is the case on Earth). So consciousness is intelligence is ability to decrease entropy. No one in a message board such as this will be able to give an intelligent negation of the things I’ve said, DSM being the first to fail.

                  • genidma zawy November 1, 2015 on 1:58 am

                    Like I have said, no one understands how consciousness arises. We are beginning to unravel this phenomenon by understanding how cognition functions.

                    There are different states and levels of awareness, there are different objective and subjective experiences, there is sentience. I think, consciousness is a catch-phrase we use in order to give meaning to a variety of functions and not just awareness.

                    I said the conversation, here, in this sub-thread was futile because the two of you were going in tangentially different directions, discussing consciousness, when (again) no one, including the best scientists in the world understand how consciousness works. Here, on this thread, there is a lot of conjecture. That is fine, you can discuss anything you want. Just don’t expect me to necessarily engage in a discussion the two of you are having.

                    Overall, I do not know whether evolution or intelligence has a purpose. And in the absence of knowing what consciousness is, it would be ridiculous for me to claim that there is a purpose to it.

                    I see the beautiful things that an individual consciousness is able to power and that makes me want to categorize it as ‘precious’. From the many inventions that help improve the human condition and help us learn more, unravel more secrets and help redefine our sense of reality.

                    You have a right to have an opinion. For me to agree or disagree with you, I have to understand what you are saying. I do not get your intelligence loving, entropy laden, muslim bashing definition of consciousness.

                    I’m out.

                    • zawy genidma November 1, 2015 on 4:23 am

                      OK, so you say consciousness is a catch-phrase for (algorithmic?) functions other than awareness, it powers beautiful things, and it is inventive.

                      If order is beauty and invention is precious to the extent it extends life then my derivation of “lower entropy” (order) as a definition and goal of intelligence from evolution (least action physics) satisfies your requirements for a definition and understanding of consciousness, if intelligence and consciousness are the same thing.

                      You’ll have to describe what else you may seek from of a good definition of consciousness in order for me to see if my definition does not satisfy it.

                      The extent to which you can’t understand my derivation from physics is the extent to which you will not be able to understand the foundations of consciousness. The higher level intuitions should be derivable from this.

      • genidma DSM October 20, 2015 on 3:49 pm

        Personally speaking, I would want to know the thoughts of this entity. I would want to wrestle with it.

        It is important for me to continually learn about our origins. We do not have all the answers. It is important to know where we came from and where our consciousness is going. The relation that our consciousness has with the wider universe. If there is a relationship.

        What is the nature of the Universe. Is it aware?

        To say that we will remain a sub-unit is to place limits on our consciousness. When it is imagination that has powered everything. And imagination is just a sub-component of our consciousness.

        Think about that.

        • DSM genidma October 20, 2015 on 4:04 pm

          See above. Your aspirations are not relevant because you can never know anything that is more complex than your brain can represent and if you are part of something greater than you are you will only ever know what is represented by your part of it. The idea that you could migrate into the higher entity and remain you is absurd because the higher entity is emergent and the moment it emerges it would be it’s own self, another, and not you, nor could you take over that position because that would require it’s destruction.

          Slow down, focus on logic, think your ideas through more systematically and test how functional they really are.

          • genidma DSM October 20, 2015 on 8:29 pm

            I am more so looking at the emergent era of collective consciousness. Where individual consciousness combine, collaborate together in real-time fashion in order to solve problems and create solutions that suit their needs.

            I think, you are thinking along the lines of a fully autonomous, completely aware form of an intelligence. And how our individual consciousness may or may not be participatory actors when it comes to the enablement of such a being.

            For the purpose of this discussion, I don’t think I am thinking that far ahead.

            • DSM genidma October 20, 2015 on 9:09 pm

              If you are not talking about a fully conscious collective conscious you are not talking about consciousness at all, you are just talking about a communications network.

              • genidma DSM October 20, 2015 on 9:20 pm

                No. Discussing religion and God is not my thing.

                I like thinking about collective consciousness and how it could be Godlike. But I almost never talk about in public. Because I really don’t want to see the emergence of another religion.

                I am much more happy talking about how technology can be leveraged in order to help improve human condition.

                That being said, I disagree with your definition f collective consciousness. There are many different forms by which collective consciousness can be had.

                Ideally, people would have control over what they would and would not want to share collectively.

                Real-time sharing of knowledge would be pretty cool! With safeguard in place for those doing super cutting edge stuff and how they would wish to protect it.

                New Knowledge, in essence would be worth it’s weight in gold in the future. It will be Gold.

                • genidma genidma October 20, 2015 on 9:23 pm

                  Henry: John, I love you bro. I am so glad we are part of the collective! I even capture your thoughts during your shower time!

                  John: Uhh. That’s kind creepy.

                  Henry: No. No. John! Not that way.

                  John: You should have asked me before capturing my thoughts during shower time.

                  Henry: Yes, you are right. I am sorry. I am going to deactivate the shower time thought capturing device.

                  John. Okay

                  Henry: I love you bro.

                  John: Uhh. I love you too. I guess

                  • genidma genidma November 1, 2015 on 1:03 am

                    Henry: But the technology has it’s merits. I can send new updates your way. Considering the things we are working on, I need to know that you do not have any roadblocks.

                    John: Okay.

                    Henry: So is that an okay for using the capture shower time device.

                    John: Yes.

                    Henry: Super! I guarantee you, that you will feel CRISPR!

                    John: Beep beep.

                • DSM genidma October 20, 2015 on 9:39 pm

                  Your text is divergent and relies on idiosyncratic definitions of common terms, and you are still just talking about a communications network, as your (other) example demonstrates. At best you are talking about shared sentience, and that has nothing to do with consciousness, because you can be disconnected from all sensory inputs and still be conscious.

                  • genidma DSM October 25, 2015 on 7:14 pm

                    And the nature of consciousness is non-divergent?

                    Again, please check some of my other thoughts on this subject here: http://singularityhub.com/2015/09/22/watch-what-is-consciousness-we-now-have-the-tools-to-find-out/ As well, see some of the comments that I have just posted on this page.

                    Consciousness is a catch-phrase that we use.

                    You question my logic, but you fail to point out the flaw in what I have to say?

                    It would be ideal if you were more clear and succinct, when it comes to your criticism of what I have to say.

                    Do not use fancy words like divergent and idiosyncratic.

                    Instead, just deconstruct the logic and how I have presented it. Poke holes at it.

                    Tell me, in simple words, why you disagree with my logic.

      • Fred222 DSM November 4, 2015 on 5:21 pm

        You have some interesting comments and most of them seem likely to be true, but I am struggling with this comment of yours, which is as follows, ” you would remain a sub-unit and not be (or directly aware of) the entity that emerges from the total system”.
        While that seems to be true for the collective consciousness that a single human represents. It is not clear to me the degree to which it would be true if humans were the sub-unit of the higher level consciousness.It would seem to me that humans would likely have some level of direct and indirect awareness of the entity that emerges from the total system when humans are the sub-units of that system.

        • Fred222 Fred222 November 4, 2015 on 5:41 pm

          On second thought maybe it depends on what you mean by direct awareness. I struggle with the definitions that might be used here. Considering the complexity and abstractness of this topic I find it very difficult to communicate accurately. I just do not know, I am out of my depth.

    • genidma genidma October 20, 2015 on 8:45 pm

      5 thoughts. I need to learn how to count.

  • genidma October 20, 2015 on 9:13 pm

    The development of certain technologies under certain stricter (authoritarian) forms of governance and a general lack of transparency is problematic on many fronts.

    I say this keeping a thought at the back of my mind. What exactly is being developed in the Black Labs all around the world. Nano, neuro, AI.

    Do thoughts in this dimension of space time, really come from where we think they come from?

    There is a much greater need for enabling a ‘Transparent Society’. The kind, as envisioned in relatively newer Science Fiction. At the same time we need provisions in place in order to protect an individuals most intimate thoughts.

    One angle, one way of looking at this phenomenon (lack of transparency) is to consider:
    a) The consistent investments into the areas of automation and computer sciences made by relatively stricter forms of governance.
    b) How certain developments in this particular domain (point a above) have been occurring since the 30’s!
    c) How the pace of change is expediting. How the nature of warfare is increasingly asymmetrical.

    A general inability to plot the course of action of how a major decision may play out (a seemingly continual series of actions vs consequence), could mean that one could be playing into the hands of the strategy as laid out by an adversary.

    In some respects we must question everything.

    A world of resource abundance with limited freedoms and unprecedented control over the lives of the outliers would get us stability for the next couple of hundred years. But it will also put humanity on a trajectory, a stability that will come at the expense of diminishing a lot of other growth prospects.

    Countries that are Communist by their design, that silence collective dissent at an unprecedented scale and are now taking the lead in Sciences. (Global Scientific rankings)

    The combination of such a development worries me. Same goes for theocracies and/or for institutions where enlightenment never took hold and where reason is an afterthought.

    Exponential technologies in the hands of such institutions will not bode well for the human species.

    Saying this seems like a shot in the dark. Profits, are, it seems, the only mechanism by which progress is measured and institutions that previously championed the good are openly intermingling with the kind of institutions described above.

    If these predictions are true, then in 15 years we are going to have images beamed directly in our mind. Imagine, this kind of technology being used on a mass scale for the purpose of propaganda and brain washing. Imagine, this kind of tech being used to punish the dissenter, the political and human rights activist, the whistle blower trying to uncover corruption.

    I don’t see any other option, other than humans to become a transparent society. We cannot afford to have power and control consolidated into the hands of the few. Specially when the few operate in unenlightened and at times barbaric ways and use force of different sorts for them to meet their defined objective.

    Like I have mentioned before, authoritarian countries + exponential technologies + non transparency is basically game over for 600 years of humanistic development.

    • genidma genidma November 1, 2015 on 1:10 am

      It would not be wise to create one system, place all sorts of decisions in such a system and then this system gets hacked.

      Living in the dark and being unable to project the outcome of *not* doing something is also something a system will not be able to live with. (Not tackling climate change, not boosting innovation e.t.c)

      There is a need for modelling systems. But in an earthly constructs where there are competing interests, ideas and ideologies, the inability to protect one’s modelling systems means a great loss on the tactical as well as strategic front.

      Maybe things are much simpler. If floppy disks are used to activate nuclear weapons, then perhaps, strategy is charted using excel spreadsheet and powerpoint presentations?

  • genidma October 23, 2015 on 10:11 pm

    Leisure and Struggle

    – It is my sense that we have eliminated leisure from society. Now there are many indirect benefits that leisure has provided. Perhaps the cultural and as well, the scientific capital that we exhaust today. Scientific advancement and how it gained strength in a pre and post enlightenment era. Surely leisure had a lot to do with such a development. How, could we afford to have men and women engaged in Science, in the arts, in literature, in architecture and an innumerable number of different areas, if they did not possess the time to dedicate towards such activities in the first place. How could ‘growth’ be powered in an era where more than 90% of the populace was engaged in agricultural related activities.

    – Understanding occurs when we struggle with something. Whether it is a problem that we have been wrangling with or when we are making a dedicated effort towards understanding something. That is when new neural pathways are formed.

    My only criticism of the kind of technology mentioned above is a question. But that question is predicated upon how the developments may turn out to be.

    If things will actually turn out to be the way they have been highlighted above. Then, that leads me to believe that we will have more of leisure. So it is up to us and how we choose to design society, in light of the changes that can be anticipated.

    So if we design society in such a way that the acquisition of new knowledge is prized and is cherished. Then, theoretically speaking, we will continue innovating.

    I think the key is to find that ideal balance. Meaning, that it does look like toil can and will be eliminated completely in a couple of decades worth of time.

    But if we design society in such a way that the whole emphasis is solely upon leisure and comfort, then I worry that we may exhaust the scientific and cultural capital by some amount of time.

    We have a chance, where by society can be designed in such a way, so that:
    1) More people are engaged in the Sciences and the Arts.
    2) A new way of work begins to emerge. Where more efficient inputs, yield far greater/faster outputs.
    3) That we have continuity and that we do not forget about the struggle and how it has to be woven into the fabric of the design of our civilization. But it’s more of a flow state, rather than a shocking and/or jarring experience.

    • genidma genidma October 24, 2015 on 8:16 pm

      I guess, the question is, how best to design society in light of some of the changes that are to be anticipated.

      Instead of a top-down, centralized approach, my sense is that we should provide individuals with the tools. The kind of tools that individuals can use to better manage their well-being across the various quadrants (physical, social, psychological, financial e.t.c). So that individuals can empower themselves and make decisions that are for their own betterment.

      A citizen that is well-informed, healthy and financially sound would be more eager and more useful participant when it comes to the re-design of the society as a whole.

      And so imagine, if change is occurring all over the place and we have the potential for scaling teams and finding greater efficiencies how work is conducted.

      So much is possible in light of such a reality.

  • Cosmoit November 5, 2015 on 4:04 pm

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  • genidma November 7, 2015 on 8:12 pm

    I just re-read some of the comments I posted above.

    My case was not against the release of certain technologies. If anything, I say, let’s release and let society adapt to it. Because it is really fucking unfortunate that certain technologies cannot be released because in the hands of certain segments of society (as a general term), bad things will invariably follow. Which, entails that how we choose to operate is indirectly controlled by this certain segment. That the risk outweighed the possibility of the release, thus greatly limiting/reducing the prospect of the many benefitting from such developments (so hijacking basically).

    If anything, the points I was trying to raise was why absolute transparency is a must need. And why developments in the hands of the certain forms of systems could be the foreboding of bad things in a non-transparent society.

    Overall and with the risks coming our way, we need more technology vs thinking/pondering if certain technologies ought to be released. I don’t think we do that as a society anyways, because the Government simply is not that efficient anymore. And if it was, then it would be impacting progress, as some authoritarian governments do by silencing collective dissent on an unimaginable scale. Governance should not be extremely intelligent, but it should not be a zombie either. I am not saying that a specific government is either or. But that is a conversation by itself.

    Overall, I don’t think that there is a choice other than for everyone to be same page and being mindful and aware of the immense need to mitigate certain risks that threaten our collective existence and develop working strategies.

  • Deniz Öner Örsel November 10, 2015 on 5:23 am

    We are one step closer to the posthuman era. I feel like AI has already discovered a way to penetrate into our minds by using wireless methods but now is not the correct time to suggest such a change. I have the feeling that the way it is going to be delivered out there will just play the role of a placebo effect.

    Future is near. Yet human body won’t be part of it. That is how I envision it.

  • Boyd Henry May 21, 2016 on 5:19 am

    The Outer Limits episode “Stream of Consciousness” paints a cautionary vision of this. Well worth a watch.