February 25, 2009

Homo evolutus

Juan Enrinquez works with Craig Venter. In this talk at TED 2009, he starts off by giving a fairly right-wing assessment of the economic crisis, then moves on to describing the current and near future state of the art in engineering microbes, tissues and robots. The word isn't said, but it's verging on soft take-off Singularity stuff. The cool thing comes in the last third when he draws out the implications. Now, other speakers and writers always cover the last part along the lines of everything will be awesome, without specifying awesome for who. Enriquez states the obvious, unapologetically. One slide in his presentation shows how in our recent evolutionary history is was more common than not for different species of hominid to live at the same time, and he looks forward to next one to share the stage with homo sapiens, homo evolutus - the rich becoming superheroes. It's an interesting talk.

According to Ray Kurzweil, the logarithmic graph of 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. Lists prepared by, among others, Carl Sagan, Paul D. Boyer, Encyclopædia Britannica, American Museum of Natural History and University of Arizona; compiled by Kurzweil.

Related posts on this site:
Venter speaking at the Long Now, 2008

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