TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development


This conversation is closed.

REVISING OUR HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ON A DIFFERENT SCALE. Can we augment our own perceptions and improve our mentality (not technology) ?

In this modern age of technology that allows any of us to communicate almost instantly worldwide we understand each other no better than millennia ago.
We do experience the laws of our own limitations in perceiving but commonly do not admit them. Can we augment our own perceptions and improve our mentality (not technology) for to exist within the natural world more intelligently?

Lets remember that no living creature can fly out of its own mind to observe the world "objectively", as it is.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 27 2011: In the modern world, we have the luxury of pursuing knowledge at a high rate. Because of the internet, you have near infinite access to journals, wikipedia pages, and google searches for any given topic.

    Therefore, it can be concluded that our collective intelligence as a global civilization has increased exponentially over the course of our human history. We are now more equipped to tackle big problems and attain better solutions because of avenues such as the internet.

    If we gave more prominence to academia and not the entertainment industry, we would, in theory, have an exponential increase in the collective intelligence of our world. However, it's more "fun" to watch "Keeping up with the Kardashians" than learn how our economy works at even the basic scale or actually understand some of the concepts in Physics or any other academic subject. I am not bashing our culture, but just pointing out the consequences of making our culture more Academically or intellectually oriented.

    A utopia novel I would actually read would be about such a society. A society in which academia and intellectualism are more favored culturally than more bland entertainment. That would be actually interesting to study...
    • thumb
      Jul 27 2011: Thank you for your reply, Raj. Let me re-phrase MY QUESTION - can we evolve our minds and bodies, or say, our intelligence, while we keep isolating ourselves from the rest of the real living world, while our "knowing" about our environment and ourselves based on some "info" and "data" and limited experience we have within our artificial man-made society?
      • Jul 28 2011: Interesting prompt...

        They have done Psychological studies on humans that have been imprisoned from all normal human life. These humans have been restricted of the tpyical stimuli that are imposed onto us everyday like the noise of cars, tvs, etc. It was found that without language, they weren't able to develop the intelligence to match their age. It seemed as though their mental capacities were limited to that of a child. So in that respect, if we are isolated from various stimuli and deprived of language, the development of out intelligence can be hampered to a high degree.
        Just wanted to throw that out there as a reference point if needed...

        I think we can evolve our mind and bodies, but perhaps only to a certain extent. I think the bloom of our collective intelligence as a society in the modern era has been greatly dependent on the fluid transfer of information to the masses. If we take that variable out then maybe our progress as a society may be hampered. However, if we construct this society such that intellectualism is considered to a high degree, then we may maximize our chances of evolving our minds and bodies. If a society is based upon the philosophy of pursuing knowledge, then I believe that society will be prosperous in evolving its minds and bodies.
        • thumb
          Jul 29 2011: Not only we, humans, go crazy in isolation from nature, (whether we are educated or not), but no birds, or mice, or monkeys can "normally" live in a cage. They suffer in many ways, ultimately confusing myriads of nearsighted researchers who still do not understand that they cannot collect any truthful data, if it is based on watching and experimenting on caged animals. Many of us become "caged animals" in our postmodern artificial society. This man-made environment provokes all kinds of extreme behavior, including mass-psychosis "driving" our economy, arts, crime, depression and physical illnesses. I believe that we should find an intelligent "proportion" in our mode of living. I mean we cannot survive in real wilderness, as we are, but we can find some better ways to co-exist with the real living world.

          We are born naked, and for millions of years we haven't developed any feathers or furs. We stay unprotected without our artificial clothing. We cannot see, or fly as birds do, and unlike other animals we cannot find faraway destinations without compasses. We cannot run as fast as jaguars and instead of running we use cars. We cannot communicate instantly as the whole natural world does, therefore we build phones and computers. Though as we now use our devices we still cannot understand each other any better. I do not see much of our "superior intelligence" compared with the highly intuitive, fantastically "equipped" animal world. I see that as human animals, we are actually handicapped creatures, who prefer to Replace this Natural process of adapting to environmental change, by producing our artificial tools, devices and technological toys. We do not comprehend what we really do, because we keep suppressing our nature-given intuition.

          We prefer to imitate, what we see in nature, and build our own artificial environment, isolated from nature. I'm thinking what can be done to balance our artificial isolation?
        • thumb
          Jul 29 2011: I like the way you think, Raj.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.