I tend to get freaked out by things I don’t understand. By things that are bigger than me. I have a longstanding fearful relationship with space. When Google Earth came out I used to get freaked out when panning out to the image of the Earth. The thought of being on a planet, floating in space has always been too much for my tiny little brain. I often wonder whether I am alone in this. Perhaps I think too much. I’d be interested to hear of others with this… issue.
In his TED talk - Will our kids be a different species? - Juan Enriquez speaks of how our children and grandchildren may be a different species to us, much in the same way that Neanderthals are different to Homo-sapiens. This is an interesting theory - and was a very interesting talk - however this, too, makes me feel uneasy.
I feel some real discomfort with the idea that the rise in incidences of ADHD may show that the brain is ‘evolving’ to deal with the sheer amount of information that it now has to digest. From computer games, social networking, TV, advertising… Everything is so fast. We want everything now: food, information, music, films. Even when we relax we are not slowing down. Call me old, but TV programmes, films and games seem like they’re created for an ADHD generation. Concentration levels just can’t keep up, so we introduce recaps every few minutes, plenaries, reminders.
It feels like a sense of doom, that humans could now, essentially, become super-beings with super-fast brains. But this does not necessarily result in more intelligence. Nor more understanding. And certainly not higher levels of emotional intelligence.
I am no scientist, and I guess this shows by the fact that my own brain finds it difficult to fathom changes in genes: that a skin cell can be moulded into an organ by the ‘magic’ of science. Is this moral? I don’t know. It could save someone’s life. But then we enter the moral maze of how much humans should do to maintain life. It brings into question the survival of the fittest philosophy, resuscitation, euthanasia. It makes me wonder at which point we should say ‘no more’ to a life. At which point immortality becomes moral.
I guess that’s the complexity of being human. We can emotionally cling on to the humans we are, like a fond memory. We can move forward into a world of super-beings. But, at some point, the Earth will cease to be. I love big storms because it makes me realise just how small I am. How insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t freak me out at all. Aren’t humans complex..?
Picture courtesy of Sweetie187.