Peak Novelty – Some Indicators
The novelty theory of the late Terrence McKenna is a mainstay of 2012 discussions. McKenna allegedly arrived at a Nov 2012 date prior to learning of the Long Count calendar. He proposed a singularity of infinite complexity in 2012, at which point anything and everything imaginable will occur simultaneously. The methodology is interesting, but not scientific given that previous peaks of novelty were determined using his own personal and cultural biases.
However, if McKenna was correct, we can expect to see a lot of movement in certain areas leading up to late 2012. These areas would involve the building blocks where man and machine and can rapidly innovate. Here’s some news from today that is food for thought:
- Artificial Animals – Researchers say they have created the first ever animal with artificial information in its genetic code. The technique, they say, could give biologists “atom-by-atom control” over the molecules in living organisms. It won’t be long before scientists are building living animals, of their own design, in petri dishes.
- Anti-Virus Drug – Not a drug that kills a particular virus, but one that kills them all. It is being tested on animals.
- Gene Therapy Cures Cancer – Two of three patients dying of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) appear cured and a third is in partial remission after infusions of genetically engineered T cells.
Other areas which are showing rapid increases in innovation are:
- Alternative / Renewable Energy – I predict we will have virtually free solar energy within 20 years
- Robotics – Advances are being made in every direction, and when someone merges all the innovations, we’ll have a walking, talking, thinking robot
- Self-repair systems – Where a structure or machine has the ability to fix itself
- Remote and Automated Warfare – No humans in battle
- Semantic Web – soon software will crawl the web and make decisions…
While none of these things on their own will create singularity, we are on the cusp of a number of advances that collectively could.
This week’s roller-coaster share market ride could be a symptom of change becoming the norm.