• Eugen
    Absolutely all the inventions so far, no matter how sophisticated, serve directly or indirectly to ancient desires, almost instinctive. Although the world abounds with new inventions, there is nothing new under the sun at the level of desires.

    Any technology has 2 phases:

    1. Breakthrough - the invention of the device that satisfies the desire
    2. Evolution - in the sense of perfecting the respective technology

    1. If there is a finite set of desires, when they will be fulfilled, the only thing left is perfecting.

    2. Improving existing technologies may seem like an argument for the endless potential of evolution, as perfection cannot be achieved. But this can only be a mirage, because once the goals are reached at an acceptable level, improvement becomes nonsense. Is a battery that lasts 1 million years more evolved than a battery with a 500.000 years autonomy?
    Let's take the example of instantaneous distant communication, the old desire since the world:
    Maximum goal: telepathic communication, maybe even at the level of senses and emotions. Suppose that in the future this device will be invented, and this big step has been made, then follows the improvement that means:
    - not to bother
    - not to affect health
    - to have a battery that requires very rare charging
    - others

    After all this reaches an acceptable level, the technology as a whole has achieved both its main goal (satisfaction of desire) and secondary goals (satisfaction in optimal conditions).

    1. Will technological evolution make us have new desires that our current brain cannot imagine?

    2. Will the world over 10,000 years old be much more evolved than today's world, but about as evolved as the one 1 trillion years ahead ?
  • hypericin
    Technology will stop the day that humanity does.

    Even if desires are ancient and unchanging, they are filtered through cultures, which are not.

    But even more important, technology doesn't happen in isolation, it exists in an environment. And environments are always changing, often as the result of technology itself.

    Much of the technology of the last 200 years evolved around breakthroughs surrounding the extraction and utilization of massive energy resource, fossil fuels, which were previously exploited only in minor ways. As this resource depletes, and as it effects the environment in ways that are inimical to life, new technology will have to develop to exploit new energy resources if we are to maintain even our present state of development.

    These new technologies, if can even be developed, will in turn undoubtedly affect the world in ways that will have to be remedied with more technologies. And so on.

    As this happens, biological technologies of terrifying complexity and cleverness are ceaselessly being developed, to exploit the food energy so much technology has been devoted to producing.

    I.E. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/science/coronavirus-genome-bad-news-wrapped-in-protein.html

    To combat, technologies of equal cleverness, such as vaccines, have to be endlessly developed, along with the technologies for producing and deploying them en masse.

    It is a technological arms race, much like actual arms races, which are also technological arms races. Millitary technology is developed in the milieu of competitors military technology. If successful, it then reshapes or disrupts that milieu, and so creates a new one, in which new technology is in turn developed. There is no end to such a process, except annihilation.
  • Eugen
    Technology will stop the day that humanity does.hypericin
    - Agree, but I was talking about the evolution of technology, not the technology itself.

    What you say about the environment and culture is perfectly true. It's just that, as I mentiond, technologies are based on a finite set of ancient ideas, and so far neither culture nor the environment have brought completely new desires, but rather have managed to model ideas according to their characteristics (I am talking about the environment and culture).

    When all the (possible) desires of cave-man are fulfilled and brought to an optimal level, the culture and the environment will only have the capacity to diversify, and diversity can be considered evolution only up to a point.
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.