Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kevin Kelly and Ken Wilber - Exploring the Technium

1a: Technology, Evolution, and God

The rest is here at the Integral Naked YouTube channel

Wired magazine's own "Senior Maverick" talks with Ken Wilber about some of the ideas behind Kevin's blog The Technium, which explores the various ways humanity defines and redefines itself through the interface of science, technology, culture, and consciousness.

As he describes in his blog, Technium is a word he coined "to designate the greater sphere of technology—one that goes beyond hardware to include culture, law, social institutions, and intellectual creations of all types. In short, the Technium is anything that springs from the human mind. It includes hard technology, but much else of human creation as well. I see this extended face of technology as a whole system with its own dynamics." The Technium exists at the interface between science, technology, culture, and consciousness, exploring the various ways humanity has defined and redefined itself through the ages. Within the Technium, technology is not regarded merely as the lifeless artifacts created by a particular species, but as a living matrix of innovation—the infusion of consciousness into inanimate matter, which in turn shapes our personal and cultural experience of the world.

The universe, we are told, is winding down. Nothing escapes the remorseless grasp of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics—and with each passing moment, our world, our solar system, indeed our entire galaxy slowly approaches its inevitable heat-death. But this is not the full story, for while the universe is winding down, it is also winding up, bringing forth new forms from old, adding new layers of complexity where there was once only an empty vacuum. It is what Alfred Whitehead called the "creative advance into novelty," referring to a distinct "tilt" of the universe toward more complexity, more significance, and more wholeness. From atoms, to molecules, to single-cell and multi-cellular organisms, to the reptilian brain, mammalian brain, and the human neocortex—the universe is abound with inexhaustible creativity, pushing deeper and wider towards its own limitless potential. Entropy and evolution: these two "arrows of time" exert their pull upon everything that ever is, was, and will be—one pulling us up toward the eternal light, the other pulling us down toward the infinite black....

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