Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Science & Technology: Philosophy

"Since the beginnings of the technological juggernaut, the only consistent opposition has come from land-based native peoples. Rooted in an alternative view of the planet, Indians, islanders, and peoples of the North remain our most clear-minded critics. They are also our most direct victims. That technological society should ignore and suppress native voices is understandable, since to heed them would suggest we must fundamentally change our way of life. Instead, we say they must change. They decline to do so." Jerry Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred, 1991

Technology is a tool - neither positive or negative on it's own merits. Yet with technological progress, we create new potential for both constructive and destructive processes. What is the role of the 21st century enterprise in shaping, influencing, and facilitating the development and use of new tools and technologies?

"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha - which is to demean oneself."

Your response

Do you agree with this thesis?

"Molecular assemblers will bring a revolution without parallel since the development of ribosomes, the primitive assemblers in the cell. The resulting nanotechnology can help life spread beyond Earth - a step without parallel since life spread beyond the seas. It can help mind emerge in machines - a step without parallel since mind emerged in primates. And it can let our minds renew and remake our bodies - a step without parallel at all. . . Yet the principles of change that have applied to molecules, cells, beasts, minds, and machines should endure even in an age of biotechnology, nanomachines, and artificial minds. The same principles that have applied at seas, on land, and in the air should endure as we spread Earth's life toward the stars. Understanding the enduring principles of change will help us understand the potential for good and ill in the new technologies."
ENGINES OF CREATION: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology; K. Eric Drexler, Chris Peterson and Gayle Pergamit, 1986

Your response

Is this a scenario that could come about in the 21st century?

"The overall data processing capacity is doubling every three years and if this rate is maintained, the complexity of the world network could approach the order of magnitude of a human brain in the number of its interactive processes or connections. In biological terms it is not unreasonable to conclude that human beings might well be the Earth's way of gaining global consciousness."
UNKNOWN MAN: The Mysterious Birth of a New Species; Yatri, 1988

Your response

Do you believe that the fast growing world wide web will play a major role in humanity's transformation?

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