TED Conversations

Martin Schoen

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Human beings need one generation to adopt to new developments i.e. to show "significant evolution"

From a German perspective - Juan gives a very comprehensive and exciting picture of the human future. I think, in one point he is making a wrong assumption. Citing his thesis "human beings in our days have to digest more data in one day, than our ancestors got to process in a lifespan."
I think this is a fundamental error.
If a farmer in 1920 was walking over his fields (weat, corn) I would think, he was collecting and retreiving more data than ourselfes by surfing 1 hour in the internet. He was using his eyes, his brain, his nose, not to forget his intuition, feeling and experience to retrieve and process the "data".
One might say "quite nostalgic"?1 I think this is not a nostalgic view to our ancestors. Today without any doubt, we have far better ways to get much more information. The only thesis I wanted to dispute is the statement - in our days we have to digest 100 times more data than our parents. The right wording - we could digest / process 100 times more data, if the evolution would have made us fit for this task. It´s an historical / anthropologic / sociologic phenomenon, that major technologic developments affecting our behaviour and our daily mode of operation, do take one generation (25 years) until they are really adopted and settled in our daily life e.g. telefon, TV, handy, computer, cars, aircraft or internet. Internet - invented in the ´60ties and made commercially available to the public in 1974 it took until 2000, that the internet got to be a useful and commonly spread communication medium.
The sucess story of mobile handphones has a similar time axis. Commercially availabe in the 80ties (1975), did I (as executive) get my first handphone from my from my company in the 1997. Handphones for everybody (housewives, Kids) did not come up before 2002/2005. Quod erat demonstrandum.

progress indicator
  • thumb
    Sep 24 2012: Look in to history... how did they build the pyramids (and the like) all those years ago? look at the geometery, the precision, the sheer mass and scale. Did aliens do it? Where we somehow more advanced? I believe we where more intelligent before and the exsitence of money has over time distracted our full attention.

    With attention we can achieve more, look at what happened before and look at whats happening now, on a global scale. Look at what happens on an individual level when you give something your full attention and when you do not.

    We may have more data to process on a daily basis, but our attention is not focussed on it. If it where the whole world be logical. Our attention is always focussed on money since it was born in to civilisation.

    If we shift our attention to what is logical and look beyond money we will be able to use the data presented to us on a daily basis.

    • thumb
      Sep 24 2012: Reading your contributing carefully I just recognize. It seems that You are raising a subject (which is more to the point than my comment :-) )
      In German we have an expression "Achtsamkeit" - the translation might be "mindfulness". A term (I looked it up in Google) which is in our days quite related to psychological subjects, meditation an so on.
      But once it was a good German word with a lot of context ...diligence, empathy, situational correct behaviour, ability to listen and so on. I do not really know the context of mindfulness in Your language, or which attributes are connected to this word. I understand your comment describing a phenomenon, which is largely discussed in the German society particulalry in the context od education, primary school curricula / syllabus. All in all - I think you helped at least me, in getting one aspect to the point.
      I am new here and I do not know, whether this forum is meant to start dialogues/discussion as well, or just a collection of opinions of the participants - I will find out :-)
  • Sep 23 2012: "Citing his thesis "human beings in our days have to digest more data in one day, than our ancestors got to process in a lifespan."
    I think this is a fundamental error."

    Of course it is a fundemantal error: the world generates more data than before but most of it is useless and never analyzed and most of what remains is analyzed by computers and a small group of human specialists. Joe Sixpack doesn't have to analyze hundreds of times more information than his grandpa in order to survive.
    • thumb
      Sep 23 2012: Thanks John - I totally agree.... and I agree with Rhona. Its not the amount of information - the kids growing up need the right information. Which is not a million of kilobytes. Which is more related to culture, understanding and knowing to use the data to the better of the human beings. Not just learn to process Gigabytes. For that we are not designed (this is as u write "Computerintelligence"), and this will not contribute to our social or personal evolution!
  • Sep 23 2012: Human beings need to stop brainwashing children to repeat the negativity, the prejudices, etc. of their ancestors. Is it a coincidence that children grow up to hate the same people their parents hated? Sadly, as adults they believe their prejudices are arrived at through their own thinking and observations, totally unaware of the impact of their early childhood brainwashing.
    • thumb
      Sep 23 2012: I totally agree with your thesis. I can imagine that there are countries or regions where parents influence their kids with the parents prejudices or limited view to the world. However (again from a German perspective) the major problem I see is "parents do not educate at all anymore". This statement is based on the experience two friend of are telling me (they are teachers in the primary school).
      Coming back to my subject - parents are not going out with their kids, in a forest, or in the nature, or reading the newspapers to them (like my grandpa did) or explaining them how to handle the internet and the information giver there...etc andsoon. My thesis was - that the amount of data / information is not the "problem" - but the lack of caring and diligent education and parents. And in this point we agree I think.