Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Radical Evolution by Joel Garreau

From Radical Evolution by Joel Garreau.
[Imagine 15 years from now asking your daughter who is home from law school what her classmates are like.]
  • They have amazing thinking abilities. They're not only faster and more creative than anybody she's ever met, but faster and more creative than anybody she's ever imagined.

  • They have photographic memories and total recall. They can devour books in minutes.

  • They're beautiful, physically. Although they don't put much of a premium on exercise, their bodies are remarkably ripped.

  • They talk casually about living a very long time, perhaps being immortal. They're always discussing their "next lives." One fellow mentions how, after he makes his pile as a lawyer, he plans to be a glassblower, after which he wants to become a nanosurgeon.

  • One of her new friends fell while jogging, opening up a nasty gash on her knee. Your daughter freaked, ready to rush her to the hospital. But her friend just stared at the gaping wound, focusing her mind on it. Within minutes, it simply stopped bleeding.

  • This same friend has been vaccinated against pain. She never feels acute pain for long.

  • These new friends are always connected to each other, sharing their thoughts no matter how far apart, with no apparent gear. They call it "silent messaging." It almost seems like telepathy.

  • They have this odd habit of cocking their head in a certain way whenever they want to access information they don't yet have in their own skulls -- as if waiting for a delivery to arrive wirelessly. Which it does.

  • For a week or more at a time, they don't sleep. They joke about getting rid of the beds in their cramped dorm rooms, since they use them so rarely.


It’s been a long time since the earth has seen more than one kind of human walking around at the same time. About 25,000 years if you believe that Cro-Magnons were critters signi´Čücantly different from “behaviorally modern” Homo sapiens. About 50,000 years if your reading of the fossil evidence suggests you have to go back to the Neanderthals with their beetle brows and big teeth to discover an upright ape really different from us. The challenge of this book is that we may be heading into such a period again, in which we will start seeing creatures walk the Earth who are enhanced beyond recognition as traditional members of our species. We are beginning to see the outlines of such a divergence now.

1 comment:

a former student said...

If I had a daughter and she managed to grow up and get out of law school in 15 years, that would be a remarkable feat in itself.