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Leslie Backkart

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Is our species past relevant to the technology of tomorrow?

In your opinion, is there any more to gain from learning more about our species, culture or social behaviors from past civilizations that would enable us to change or alter technology today? If yes, explain...

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Closing Statement from Leslie Backkart

Best point of understanding came from Mr Armstrong. Point of "distraction and profiteering" TRUTH! There is no benefit to the future of technology in the sands of Egypt or the dinosaur leg frozen in time. We have learned enough from our past to bring into our future. Now, let's end funding digging up the past. What a waste of money! Applause and cheers!

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    Mar 22 2013: Just that side of us that believes in the soul and other non-material elements of existence. I'm not advocating any one religion. When you do that, people start to get all emotive and upset. Insecure in their own beliefs, I guess.

    I'm advocating all of them. The trend towards thinking, speaking and acting like machines is getting a bit tired for me. I don't believe the next "generation" of "smart" devices has anything to offer other than distraction and profiteering.
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      Mar 22 2013: Think deeper, technology is not limited to simple devices nor social media. Widen the definition.... such as a space station or particle accelerator. (CERN) Now we defined real technology my friend! My purpose was just this. We spend millions wandering around the dead in deserts, excavating to study how we "once" lived, but we spend very little funding seeking what makes us alive. Are we saying there is nothing more to discover? (Yes, wise to avoid the subject of God(s)!) Lets just say what it really is, creation.

      Therefore, our looking around at the past, forever and a day, will not advance future technology in my opinion. Let's put our funding where it really counts. Who needs to know how the King once reigned and how many slaves he had and who his favorite woman was, etc.. Enough is enough on that subject and trying to understand the past social behavior of man. We know we had dinosaurs and ape-like hairy man with a bulging head, and he evolved. It will never prove a creation. It's not here to be found. It's out there!
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        Mar 22 2013: science finds whatever it sets out to look for. none of that stuff is relevant to me.

        you're still talking about toys. just big toys. none of the measuring of the universe carried out so devoutly by scienticians helps with coming to terms with the human experience.

        at best, it helps us pigeon-hole what we see and allows people to imagine that we have control/understanding of our plight.

        but the latest map of the universe looks cool.
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    Mar 20 2013: Yes, I think there is much to gain. Our past has an irrepressible habit of informing our present and future, but that often gets masked by technological quests that seem devoid of historical context, relative to our evolved human condition and a society we can truly call 'civilized'.

    An interesting conversation (just ended) hosted by Michael Rose about bullying and the possible links towards TV reality shows/children's behaviour, I'm sure has similar threads to your question:

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/17040/how_can_we_help_to_prevent_bul.html

    I tried to put some links up in that conversation about the anthropological work of Jared Diamond - but the conversation closed before I could do so. His excellent work in studying traditional societies in Papua New Guinea shows there is much we can learn from them about how we westerners bring our children up and how we treat older people in our society - and that happiness is not necessarily linked to sophisticated technology:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/11/traditional-family-values-without-smacking

    and:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jan/06/jared-diamond-tribal-life-anthropology

    If the technology of the future enhances civilization and the lives of end-users, then it has relevance. If it is used for any other insidious purpose such as social engineering, then it does not.

    Civilization should develop on a human framework - not a technological one. For that, science and technology should develop likewise if we are to evolve - rather than devolve into the redundant, underemployed subservience in an out-of-control technocracy.
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      Mar 21 2013: Thank you Mr. Mcdougall for your links and insight to technocracy!
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    Mar 20 2013: I find it interesting that it seems to work both ways. As we see a rise in technology we see our culture change. People around the world playing online games to solve problems and work collaboratively. Using twitter to update friends while staying distant. Online Avatars to make bold statements and have a persona to hide within. etc. As we analyze the past and learn about ourselves we are able to take the last several thousand years of society and hold it up to a new culture, set against a backdrop of technology. It might be interesting to see what attributes fade away, which become stronger, and which ones do not deviate.

    This might help us learn more about us, what is at our core, and help guide us to technology that will affect specific attributes. We certainly see collaboration in the gaming world on the level that it would have taken to build the pyramids, or the walls of Babylon. Online transparency curbs our social inhibitions, while avatars allow us to be less inhibited..... How did we do that in the past? Was it available? Is it new? I doubt it, but the technology has certainly made it a lot more obvious that those attributes exist in many of us.... and that is merely one example
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      Mar 21 2013: Like this Leo! I agree it would be interesting to see what attributes fade away, which become stronger, and which ones do not deviate Thank you for your insight on this matter.
  • Mar 20 2013: Yes it is and the ans. you have received so far have stated many good reasons why, but technology has yet to slow down the rise of greed. Throughout history, our very framework has seen the rise of greed and it continues to do so. There are many levels to greed but it is there in each of us. Can technology help us in that area of our lives? No idea!
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    Mar 20 2013: Absolutely.

    In my opinion we are a species of apes who have developed a second evolutionary channel. This second channel works by passing advantage to our offspring in ways other than through changes to our bodies. It is the cumulative effect of those changes, and the conditions needed to sustain their passing through generations, which has shaped our world.

    The technology of tomorrow will be shaped by that same process, so they more we understand the past the better our technology will be.

    This conversation is enabled by system of networked computers. The idea for the computer came from a mathematical problem set by a previous generation. This idea was made physical, in part using relays from telephone systems, so the idea of networking computers also has a history.

    The written language we are using has a history, and there seems to be evidence that the way we use language shapes the way we think about the world.

    The concept that sharing and discussing ideas also has a history. That history has many instances of conflict between openness to new ideas and sustaining the dominant culture.

    Our understanding of our own origins is sketchy to say the least. Who knows what insights we will gain by studying it more, and who knows where those insights will lead.
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      Mar 21 2013: Thank you for speaking out on the social behavior and your point is well made!
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    Mar 20 2013: Yes
    History teach us how to react on future occasions, How to not repeat our mistake and learn from others experiences.
    Lots of our problems are just differently shaped problems of pasts.
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    Mar 21 2013: neither are relevant to the other
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      Mar 21 2013: Struck my curiosity! Would you elaborate on your point of view.
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        Mar 21 2013: part of humanity's problem is our seeming desire to tie our past to our future. I can understand why people say things like "to know where you're going, you need to know where you came from", but I don't agree with it.

        aside from some obvious improvements brought about through our advancing technology, most modern tech is now part of the rampant consumerism raging through the global village and in fact, does little in the way of anything special other than "advance" convenience.

        now that I've given it some thought, I would answer your question by saying technology needs a spiritual element or at least help enable us to get in touch with our own identity. I'm not convinced there's an App for that. :)

        10 machines get better
        20 machines get better as one
        30 people go around
        40 and around
        50 goto 10
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          Mar 22 2013: What do you mean by spiritual element? Define your spiritual. Are you referring to creation?

          I don't think we could excavate anything from our past that would assist in altering the course or enhance the future of technology, nor prove our creation, at least not on this planet. Perhaps in the far reaches of the universe....but, surely not by digging up our past here.

          There is an App for that.... http://www.nasa.gov/connect/apps.html ;~)
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    Mar 21 2013: .
    .
    Yes!
    Because of our entire DNA is composed of past.