Age of the cyborg

A guy named Yuval Harai hosted at discussion session at Intelligence Squared yesterday. By the time I got to hear of it, the event was sold out. A disappointment, as this sounds like one interesting guy.

His premise is that we have already begun merging with computers, our reality is already no longer what it was, what it has been for the last 10,000 years.

Read Yuval’s Harai’s recent interview with the Guardian – simply fascinating.

Our future in the hands of the social and digital media giants

For example, this:

‘Only now, the decisions are being taken by “a small international caste of business people, entrepreneurs and engineers”. Governments have become “managers”, he says. They have no vision, “whereas meet the people in Google, in Facebook, they have tremendous visions about the future, about overcoming death, living for ever, merging humans with computers. I do find it worrying that the basis of the future, not only of humankind, the future of life, is now in the hands of a very small group of entrepreneurs.”’

Me too. The likes of Facebook (let’s say), should not have more information about the British public than the Government, but my concern is that they may do – and companies such as these do not have the elected and moral obligation to look after people that governments have. They could do whatever they wanted with their data. And we’re giving it to them by the truckload.

Meditation

This, also, is significant:

“I suddenly had a tool to scientifically observe directly my mind… and I realised I had no idea who I really was. I had this fictional story in my head but the connection between that and my reality was rather tenuous.”

The need to still and control the mind is important, nowadays more than ever. Reality is not an obvious path and it’s easy to get pulled this way and that by emotions. Mindfulness is not something preached by many of the world’s religions, but maybe the Buddhists have it right –  it should be.