Thoughts on the future of human evolution
Here is the text and slideshare of a lecture I gave in ECCO research group seminar at the free university of Brussels on November 4th 2009.
The Noetic perspective (from Greek: noetikos- mental; nous– mind) identifies the [human] mind as the nexus of the future evolution of humanity. At present, human evolution is a mental process rather than biological or technological process.
The Noetic model describes mind as a relation generating complex system arising as a product of biological evolution and manifesting certain defining characteristics such as systemic closure, self reference, plasticity, etc. This model aims to integrate a systemic view with the mental constructs of the subjective plane. According to the Noetic model, human identity is a dynamic constructive process that brings forth the human observer as the subject of its perceptive and mental states. This process is identified as mind. Images and narratives are the elements encompassing the experiential and mental aspects of the identity process as they appear to the human observer.
The idea of mind as the theater of evolutionary processes is further explored: Mind as a complex system can essentially be disassociated from the historical conditions of its emergence; therefore it is virtually unbound in its evolutionary potential. This has deep implications on the understanding of human nature and the human condition. Finally, the ideas of openness and freedom beyond utility are proposed as futuristic directives of consciously guided evolution of mind.
Read the lecture text here: Thoughts on the future of human evolution (pdf)
The Way We Are Free – Thoughts about the problem of free will
Modern understanding of determinism collides head on with our experience of free will and leaves little place for it if any as a real phenomenon. This article proposes a new reconciliation between free will and determinism. It traces the experience of choice to an epistemic gap inherent in mental processes due to them being based on physically realized computational processes. This gap weakens the grasp of determinism and allows for an effective kind of freedom. A new meaning of freedom is explored and shown to resolve the fundamental riddles of free will, or at least going a long way towards that end. Freedom as arising from the epistemic gap is no longer a mysterious property of an agent but rather a dynamic property of a wider state of affairs involving the agent, the distribution of computational resources and information flow. Some implications of the way that we are free and how it might be influenced by future technology are briefly discussed.
Read the rest here: The way we are free (pdf)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides over 1800 online courses fully & freely online available. I’ve selected some courses that sound quite intruiging.
I was able to limit myself to 33 courses from ‘Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences’ department. Main topics are technology, science, (new) media, the future, philosophy and ethics. Full course descriptions are included.
I carefully selected a few of the utmost important texts on the history & future of technology, computers, internet etc… I consider all of them must-read material when it comes to the evolution of technology, computers, internet. Furthermore, they’re all texts that are fully & freely available online (really, just click the links).
I present them to you in a chronological order with either a short abstract or a relevant quote that will give you an idea on the content of each paper.