Friday, March 9, 2012

Digital-Evolution.. we may not grow webbed feet, but we are changing.

".. as I personally have coined this new phrase, in an effort to give something so significant, a name; "

Almost an impossible task I suspect, to provide in a few paragraphs the complexities of a presently occurring phenomenon that has been virtually overlooked, yet at the most basic levels is altering our species irreversibly. 

You may note that I have not hyper linked term “Digital-Evolution” to Wikipedia, or any other web address to assist in understanding or even providing a definition... as I personally have coined this new phrase, in an effort to give something so significant, a name; 

dig·i·tal ev·o·lu·tion
1. Relating to the foundational changes to the human species, resulting from technological social collaboration.
2. Slow gradual genetic change during successive generations, as a result of natural selection from the effects global electronic communication, resulting in the development of new altered species. 

Admittedly a very dramatic statement that without awareness, there is for the first time in our history, a non-natural even that is changing who we are who we are as a species. Through the development of man, we have created and utilized TOOLS that have changed our lives (wheels,electricity, transportation, printing press etc.) – all tools that have made our lives easier, more enjoyable, more productive. I concur that it is debatable if medical advances, education, increased longevity, have altered our evolution – and if indeed these do affect how we change as a species, I think we can agree that these are naturally occurring evolutionary steps. 

What is this non-natural event? It seems to minimize this effect by simplifying it down to one word, but in essence, the Internet is changing man. A large portion of how we use the internet, is much like all of Mans other inventions, a tool. Increasing work productivity, and making life easier and more enjoyable.

However, our immediate access to information, from our laptop computers, to handheld digital devices change who we are, not just how we do things. The populous is overwhelmed with methods to collaborate and communicate whenever and wherever we are. We are now well beyond tools to communicate with one another, we have tools that permit sharing of every aspect of our lives. It is unnecessary to list examples of these new innovations, it is only necessary to observe the younger generation, heads down as they punch away at keypads as they go about their everyday activities.

Digging to the appropriate levels to explain this concept, would easily result in a several hundred page thesis, full of analysis, statistics, and testing. Not something at this point I have the resourses to complete, so instead, I offer the opportunity for you to consider a few questions/observations (below) to draw some of your own beliefs. I ask, in this exercise, to look beyond the individual statements, and look beyond the simple accepted facts, and explore the much larger cause and effect;

1. Does the fact that at minimum and growing that 30% of couples meet on line have any effect on our evolution? Consider nature’s way of improving the species buy instinctively matching men and women to produce viable, improved offspring.

2. Can the anonymity of social interaction, potentially cause a devolution on our morals, stepping us back centuries, back to the basic instincts of man. Consider marital breakups resulting from Internet Social Activities, Illegal activities, deviant pornography, cyber bullying.

3. Is the omnipresence of being connected change what is considered the strongest, in the theory of survival of the strongest? Does it change the definition of what is the strongest? How, again, does this affect procreation.

4. Does the effective erasing of borders, geography, and providing worldwide awareness between cultures change the regionalization of religion, culture, and economics have an impact of how we evolve?

5. The younger generation has, within a span of a decade, completely altered how they communicate with each other. Having a whole entire generation fundamentally change their behaviour within a ten year span, have any species changing effect?

Only five questions to consider, I surmise there are hundreds that can be included on this list, and I welcome you to add if you wish.

Virtually every news story of the day, has a component of the new digital world to it, everything from natural disasters (tracking survivors, forecasting the event etc), to labour disputes (economic change due to the new methods we do business), to entertainment, to politics, to healthcare, to.. on and on. We need only hear the news, and consider the root cause and effect. The world has changed. We are changing as a result.

To understand the species changing, Digital-Evolution, we must step back from each individual event that we experience or are informed of daily, and we can see, that at the macro scale.. I propose, is changing or even reverting us back to a changed species. It is something that no tool that man has ever developed has done. Is this for the good or for the bad? I say neither; it is just the way it is.

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