TED Conversations

Stefan H. Farr


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Debate: Our culture isn't adapting to our rapidly progressing technology.

There is a lot of talk about the current economic crises. Projections, promises or just plain old confusion, everybody seems to have an opinion on when and how it will get resolved or on the contrary how it will not resolve, but rather bring about the end of us.

Personally, I believe that it "can" resolve, but not by traditional economic measures, because the cause of it is not purely economic in nature. I believe, that this crises stems from a profound conflict brought about by the increasing incompatibility of our cultural, social and economic values with the ever more advanced technological progress that we are accumulating. Our inability to culturally adapt to this rapid technological progress is like a dead weight that impedes our metamorphosis as a species altogether.

Consequently, I believe that the next giant leap in our evolution must be a cultural / spiritual / intellectual / social one and not a technological one. Technologically we are way beyond what we can culturally accommodate and so any more progress in this domain will only deepen the conflict rather than resolve it.

Thank you!


Closing Statement from Stefan H. Farr

It's been a pleasure reading your comments. Thank you very much everybody for the excellent insight.

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    Oct 23 2012: Well Stefan, I think you have posed THE CRUCIAL question - and thus; will the human race survive in any sort of sensible fashion? I have spent my life considering this question, and now, I think I can see the end game within the next generation or two. This is because of technology, as you say. This will deliver, in the next lurch of human ascent, from agriculture, animal power, steam, transistor, information...to the final push. All previous technical revolutions have managed to lever man's ability to 'produce much more efficiently'. But the next lurch will take most humans out of the loop - and this really does change everything - practically and therefore, consequently, culturally. As with all moments in time, historically and now, we are so 'up to our eyes' in solving immediate issues, we really cannot see further ahead easily. And therefore we fail to plan, the human race are poor long term planners anyway - but we are great at reacting - and will this lead us to nirvana?

    Perhaps a view from the future is the best way to understand what we really face (and its not pretty) see: Level 2 history notes Nov 25th 2199 (I hope it is thought provoking).



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