Mr. Enriquez is right on, I think, in this TED presentation from (if the YouTube date is correct) February 17, 2009. The financial problems we see today are nothing in comparison with the wave of technological evolution that is coming. This wave – not if, but when it comes – will usher in the next era of human (should I say hominid?) evolution.
Bailing out technologies like automobile industries and insurance companies is a Go Nowhere proposition. Mr. Enriquez points out that venture startups represent .02% of GDP investment, but 17.8% of output. The things that we are desperately clinging to as “a way of life” today are already dead. We are just burning money.
Most people are blissfully unaware of the advances already made. Even now, Juan says that the ability to engineer microbes, tissues and robots will fundamentally alter the course of human evolution. MIT’s Registry of Standard Biological Parts is a kind of “Radio Shack for biology … go out and get your proteins, DNA…” with which you build not a motherboard or radio, but a living organism.
Technologies such as cochlear implants are discussed. With these, the deaf can hear, not as well as a non-deaf person – yet. So – in 10? 15? years? – will these be electronic devices still? Or a cell programmed to restore hearing? And will we advance this further to allow (hopefully on demand) listening to say, a bat? A whale? Someone 300 yards away?
So here it (we) come(s): Homo Evolutis. “Hominids that take direct and deliberate control over the evolution of their species … and others.” – Juan Enriquez.
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished … That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour
Well worth the 18 minutes (as are all the TED talks!):