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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holding memories in a way that is indestructible

I do wholly agree with you that the technology metaphor is ill suited to illustrate the complexities of human consciousness. by Rich on Sat 19 May 2007 09:47 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Re: 'In Our Own Image: Humanity's Quest for Divinity via Technology,' by
Debashis Chowdhury by Debashis-C on Tue 22 May 2007 09:26 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Rich, RYD, Probably a bit of explanation is required - in the context of Technology as a tool for Humanity's aspirations as a civilization. One of the adjustments I have proposed for Mahashrama (over Ashrama), is that it can be applied to the human civilization as a whole. Ashrama works great for relatively small contiguous dwellings, where there can be a lot of personal interactions. Great seers like Sri Aurobindo were able to reach far and wide using their mental powers, but most of us must use technology (the phone, the internet) to communicate and interact with others.
For Mahashrama to apply to humanity, we must at some point start behaving like a connected organism - and the ability of technology to 'connect' will be key. The closer the connection gets to what a personal interaction looks like in the Ashrama scenario, the more effective we will be in our integration efforts.
Beyond connectivity (action at a distance), two more categories of 'amplifiers' can be defined, before we even talk about consciousness in machines. The next category is holding memories in a way that is essentially indestructible, and allowing a high degree of sharing and cross-pollination amongst the various constituents of humanity. Much of this is already happening, e.g. our current discussions on this forum. The third category is one of having our thought processes resident (and sharable) on the internet. We see some of this amongst collaborative work groups in companies, and the language is one of simulations and modelling of real life scenarios. Most of us are yet to experience this aspect of technology.
Food for thought - these capabilities will become available over time, but who will get to use it? If the people who care for creating a integrative experience for humanity do not track these changes, the pit-falls are two fold. One, we do not get to use this capablity to bring about a greater Mahashrama, sooner, for all humans. Second, this same technolgy, in the hands of commercial interests, can take on a Frankenstenian character. My mental picture from Macch Picchu still haunts me. Here were the ruins of a proud civilization, almost 10 million strong. The end was precipitated by a small contingent of Spaniards, about 160 men, armed with superior technology. For good or for bad, on technology we cannot be indifferent...

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