Ever get the feeling that things may be slipping through the cracks right behind your back? That the future somehow continues sidling into place all around us with increasingly surreptitious speed?
Nevermind. There's too much to do. Gotta visit the bank machine before going shopping and using the new self check-out tellers at Wal-Mart. Then it's off to the computer video-kiosk downtown to order your movies for next week. Don't forget to text message Bob on your way to remind him to email Joey before Sunday. Good thing you got the kids the newest PlayStation - they'll be glued to that for the next two weeks, leaving you free to catch all of your shows without interruption.
How did all of this start? Besides the T.V, where was all of this technology ten years ago?
In the field of computer technology, there is a little thing called Moore's Law that states, in layman's terms, that the processing capabilities of the basic computer chip have been increasing exponentially every eighteen months since their inception. This will, by around the year 2017, result in hyper-intelligent machines that are atoms thick.
On average, most humans in the 'modern' world now spend much more of their time relating to machines than other human beings, even if they may be using those machines as a medium to reach others. We are becoming increasingly dependent on them without even pausing to realize it. Remember Y2K? Yeah, people were scared. In every aspect of our lives now, we need the machines to function, and it only continues to snowball.
Nanotechnology is merely years away. The human genome has now been completely - if roughy - mapped, providing us with the very blueprints to human evolution. Synthetic Biology has just recently emerged, handing scientists the one trump card nature still held: the power to create life from scratch. And for those in the field of Artifical Intelligence, they are now locked in a desperate race against Moore's Law, to create a 'friendly A.I' before time runs out. They've only got one chance.
Everything is going to change, very soon. It already is. In the last decade we've seen the beginnings of a massive paradigm shift in - in the words of Raymond Kurzweil, futurist, inventor and author - "the nature of work, human learning, government, warfare, the arts, and our concepts of ourselves."
Immortality is becoming a reality - quantum physics has shown us this. It will simply, eventually be up to those who choose to go one way or the other - if we make it that far. There are numerous possible pitfalls along the way, of cataclysmic proportions. It is, in my mind, the most important issue facing us as a species to date, and barely anyone seems to be aware of it.
There is so much involved with all of this - so many different angles to be considered, arguments to be counted, that it's nearly impossible to know where to stand. But it's real, and it's happenning. We, every one of us, need to take a look at the bigger picture and decide how we feel about it, and where we fit in.