I have only one frustration with my life, its constant repetition.
Repetition comes in two forms. One, the repetition of daily activities. Two, the repeating cycles of life’s experiences.
My daily activities consist of rising fairly early, helping prepare the morning meal of one sunny side up egg, two pieces of toast with butter and strawberry jam, a bowl of mixed fruit and a green tea.
After breakfast, I shower and get dressed, etc.
As for the cycles of life: eventually I come across people I haven’t seen for years. After exchanging pleasantries, I notice that people don’t change. They’re pretty much the same as when I was with them twenty years earlier.
This has led me to believe that change in human behavior is mostly illusion.
People who lived one hundred, one thousand, maybe even one hundred thousand years ago have experienced the same things I experience.
For example, I’ve talked to my grandfather who was born in 1863 (I was three or four at the time). I converse with my seven year old granddaughter today, who if medical science has anything to do with it, will live well into the twenty second century. That covers parts of four centuries. That’s forty percent of one thousand years.
The three of us say the same things. We do the same things. There isn’t much difference, if any, between us. I know this, because I have directly experienced this.
To be a human is to do what humans do. Over time, there isn’t any significant difference in what we do. We do the same things.
With all this, I’ve searched for something that does change, which is closely connected
to human progress. There is only one thing that changes. It is the growth of technology.
According to MIT professor Ray Kurzweil, since the dawn of human existence, technology has been growing at an exponential rate.
That’s hard to imagine. Just think, if we take all the technological break throughs in digital devices in the last ten years, technology will grow ten times faster over the next ten years. And that will grow ten times faster the decade that follows that one.
I’m counting on Kurzweil being correct, because the only hope for a change in the redundancy of human behavior is tied to the explosive growth in technology. This will especially be the case in the field of biology.
Put one hundred more years on the average life of a human, and tie their brains to computers that processes information going back to the Big Bang, and quite possibly we’ll witness the birth in the evolution of a new species of humans. The founding director of the Life Sciences Project at the Harvard Business School, Juan Enriquez, calls this new human, Homo evolutis.
This is a species that thinks and acts and speaks and lives differently. This is a species that leap frogs the obvious and stretches boldly into the questions of survivability in a world and universe filled with the power to destroy our planet.
If I were alive at such a time, I assure you I wouldn’t be the least bit frustrated with the constant redundancy of a bygone species.