Koonagi

Koonagi's World

Personal Blog of Eric J. Kuhns

Have We Already Transcended Reality?

When you wake up in the morning, you become aware of your surroundings; this is your reality. Assuming you have all of your senses, or hopefully some of them, your experience in every moment is processed as such. The question remains though, have we already left our own bodies and reality?

I don't mean this completely in a philosophical sense, but more so in a technological one. I am also not necessarily taking a side (yet), as to if this is a bad thing or not. I also don't mean to go as far as Ray Kurzweil does when speaking of his version of the word 'singularity'. What I do mean to get across is this: Have we transcended the basic human idea of reality? My answer would be, yes, and we have for awhile.

A lot of items we have now are extensions of ourselves; improvements. We created tools first. The hammer was used as a substitute for our fist and the knife, a replacement for our teeth. Slowly through time, we abandoned a lot of our own evolved/attached tools and came up with our own. 

 Photo Courtesy of  felixonline.co.uk

Photo Courtesy of felixonline.co.uk

After we built the necessary tools for labor-type work, we sought to extend our minds beyond our skulls. To do this, we painted on cave walls and eventually went on to write on scrolls to extend the ideas in our head to present and future generations. This was the beginning of escaping reality.

To further this concept, imagination, which is what sets humans apart from other animals (or so we believe), is thought to be a kind of mental transcendence. This goes along with the paintings on the cave walls, the stories we write, the movies we produce, and so much more in the name of 'art'. 

According to Moore's Law (which is more of a trend, than a law):

Over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.

Imagine a piece of technology is placed in a box and the box is sealed. In this experiment, you can never open the box, but you can talk to the technology of today and it will answer you, though since it is current technology, it computes answers based off of an algorithm similar to Siri.

Here's the catch, even though this piece of technology is hidden in the box, as you talk to it year after year, Moore's 'Law' is still actively applied to the technology. So, with this in mind, the question is this: At what point will the technology begin answering questions, not based off of a programmers algorithm, but it's own, personal answers and thoughts from an evolved connected mind?

The answer? Well, we don't have one and that's the point. Inevitably, there will be a tipping point, but when this logic is applied to the 'real' world, the question becomes, "Will we notice when it does?" Or an idea that's just as fantastic, we have already made a reality-leap similar to this before, from all of the transitions listed above, as we evolved.

This article is more of a thought-provoking piece than anything else. Clearly, I can't definitively say whether or not we have truly transcended realities or even what that question proposes or implies, but sometimes it's fun just to get the mind moving in a direction like this, if indeed it's relevant at all. Personally, of course, I'd like to think that it is.