The changes that we observe around us are accelerating, and in a positive feedback loop the successive cycles feed on the previous ones’ effects. The source of these changes is technology, as application of the increased knowledge we have of the world around us. As individuals, and as societies we have demonstrated to be very capable of adapting to the changes of our environment, but this necessarily has limits. We can observe around us phenomena at all levels that in my opinion can be connected with the difficulties of adaptation: migrations and the challenges of fitting in, the diffusion of depression, varying interpretations of the values of the applications of thechnologies, etc.
I follow the concepts of the Technological Singularity together with others I follow and try to analyze their consequences, and I often stop to consider these issues. Yesterday I had the privilege of asking a question to sombebody who follows change as his profession, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
I asked him: “How can people find the right balance if their adaptability is stretched to its limits by technological progress evolving the rules of change?”
The Dalai Lama answered: “Technological progress has to serve humanity in its quest for happiness. It must not be the other way around, with humans enslaved to technology and money. The difference between humans and technology is that humans have feelings, and what I always say to my friends, is that our education systems have to teach the inner values of spirituality to the person.”
And at the end, like the crack of a whip he said: “I think that one day, the part of the brain which brings feelings should be removed, then we should be like robots, and ourselves become part machines. That would be good, actually. That would be super!” and he laughed…
Was he then joking? Or is the Dalai Lama a singularitarian transhumanist and he laughed so that those who were not ready could pretend and not take him seriously?