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    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
     (156.1)
    i love this concept, swiped from a Buddhist detective in Bangkok 8: "There will be a massive shift in power in the middle of the 21st century, caused not by war or economics but by a subtle alteration in consciousness. The new age of biotechnology will require a highly developed intuition which operates outside of logic, and the internal destruction of Western society will have reached such a pass that most of [its] resources will be concentrated on managing loonies... The peoples of Southeast Asia, who have never been poisoned by logical thought, will find themselves in the driver's seat. It will be like old times, if your timeline stretches back a few thousand years."

    which culture's brains will be best equipped to handle cyborgs and downloadable consciousness?
    • CommentAuthorMusiM
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
     (156.2)
    I think of downloadable content straight to a person's brain and such (i.e. smart pills) and I can't help but think about how much of a bitch it would be to work at the tech support call center for that. I mean what direction would it go? Would it be, "no sir, the word @#$&#@%^ is not included in the Russian language, there was an error in the data download". Or would it be something more like accidental viagra mixed with a bad computer fan and a missing pixel in your eye.

    Yeah I know that's not exactly what you were hoping to talk about but eh, close enough.
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      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
     (156.3)
    which culture's brains will be best equipped to handle cyborgs and downloadable consciousness?

    Gamers, for a start. Well, anyone who uses a HUD on a regular basis. People who are used to taking in information in a non-linear fashion, by instinct as much as logic.
    • CommentAuthorcragum
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
     (156.4)
    @vespers
    lol. that doesn't bode well for anybody, gamer or otherwise. such a solid blend of illusion with reality would cause some major problems, and the twitchy training HUDs in games provide doesn't exactly lend itself well to being at the forefront of such a situation.
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      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
     (156.5)
    Who would you rather have, then? If instinct is gonna be important, as was said, but you don't want that twitch twitch in the situation, whose instincts DO you want?
  1.  (156.6)
    I figure the guys this should be tested out on are people who already spend a lot of time in an altered state of consciousness. People who can keep it together while stoned. Then you might try people who are able to keep a TV, a radio, and a video game all going at the same time and see how they end up with it. As Robb was quoting in the first post, it really might just take an intuitive leap to be able to deal with it, so it might just be down to those who have the best natural ability to handle new shit.
  2.  (156.7)
    The Japanese are animists. They believe that not just humans and animals but places and objects can possess Kami.

    Hence, for example, memorial temples where peopel can honor heir favorite defunct software and hardware.

    They'll have very little trouble adapting to AI.

    (Yeah, I know this is old hat - Gibson made the case a decade or more back in<em> Idoru</em>.)

    You have to wonder if other societies with animist traditions might also adapt readily and leapfrog the west.

    China will do well for the simple reason that they are throwing massive resources at producing more scientists and engineers than the rest of the world combined.
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      CommentAuthorhyim
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
     (156.8)
    I remember Joe campbell saying the gods of the western world were all personal, outside of the universe as individuals, whereas in the orient the gods were much more elemental, existence incarnated.
    maybe that's why Japan is more preoccupied with building an ecosystem of machines thriving all around them like fauna, whereas we are obsessed with the advent of an ultimate artificial intelligence.
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      CommentAuthorGnosus
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
     (156.9)
    "Culture" is an ever-changing flow of ideas, and it is constantally in flux. I'm not sure that these next steps (AI) will be sudden and unfathomable. to say that one culture will have any type of advantage over any other is making a distinction based on an illusion of a "steady state" of culture. I was raised knowing what a computer was, my father wasen't, and thus I integrate into technology easier than him. My cousins 4 year old taught himself to read by typing in web addresses, technology has played a central role in this youngest generation since a pre-linguistic state. I think people will be ready to make the next step when the time comes. "When the student is ready, the master appears".
    • CommentAuthorRedwynd
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
     (156.10)
    By the time biotechnology, as we who anticipate it in the William Gibson/Shirow Masamune sense see it, arrives, it will be too primitive for those of us discussing it right now to have to "integrate" it. It will happen to us as it happened only ten years ago: a new, interesting and suddenly fashionable technology will (sometimes not so) slowly become more and more prevalent, until it is ubiquitous in certain, if not many, parts of the world.

    Shouldn't the question really be: "Once this technology has taken it's place in the world, how to we retrofit society to fit the technology?" Because that is what will be required, just as it is happening now. The difference between then and now is that currently, if we unplug, an existence of one type or another can be had, whereas when these types of technology cross over into real-space, the psychological effect is going to be much more profound and inescapable.

    But to answer the original question, I do not think that any culture currently established will be able of completely "handling" biotech, just as no culture is completely "handling" the internet as it stands now. Western cultures are mourning the decline of their "moral institutions" and thereby attempting some rejection of the cultural evolution, and Eastern cultures, to cite Kosmopolit, are attempting to use their Animist traditions to cope with the same change.

    However, children who grow up surrounded by the idea of these technologies, will find it normal and natural, and will be the first of the true "adapters".
    • CommentAuthorPlakat
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2007 edited
     (156.11)
    That's really interesting, Redwynd, and if you track back in history it makes a lot of sense that it would go down like this. I think it really is every generation's curse that they can't handle the fruit of their exploits. There may be pioneers and geniuses amongst them that come up with ideas and inventions, but it's really not until the whole society can grasp these ideas and inventions that they really become meaningful and can be taken to the next levels.