Storytelling has had a profound impact on the way societies were formed in the past and operate with myriad complexities in the present. As members of hunter-gatherer communities when our ancestors roamed around deep jungles in search of food, they wouldn’t have had a speckle of an idea about an era where favorite delicacies can be home-delivered with a few swipes on a device manufactured in hundreds and thousands at factories and distributed across the globe.
The Journey: Scavenger to the Master
In the timeline between scavenging food and procrastinating to eat home-delivered fast food, human beings have scored enormous success by creating coalitions, collaborating with other unknown hunter gatherer communities through non-existent boundaries of large swathe of jungle.
How did they collaborate and cooperate still remain a mystery. But the creation of modern-day complex society equipped with the power to colonize other planets should be the most astonishing success story of the milky way galaxy.
This success story is largely possible due to the ability of our species to collectively believe in imagined realities in a purposeless mystery land. Stories woven in imagination were told and spread across the communities to work toward a common purpose-to survive.
A few purpose driven information were created in imagination and shared across sparsely connected communities in contrast to zettabytes of data created and shared with least efforts across the globe with the help of the internet today.
The sense of purpose has shifted its focus from mere survival to gaining a god-like grandeur status to be the master of the universe.
Throughout this journey, human beings have meticulously gathered and analyzed information, deduced facts and differentiated them from superstitions to build the modern empire of Homo sapiens.
Will the Gods get into details? – The Data Deluge
Our species’ capability to generate and share information has grown multifold causing a deluge of data available for grasp. Eventually, this has resulted in a dispassionate approach towards accessing and analyzing information, the thought processes which were pivotal in building a world what today is.
Our power to pay attention to and analyze information is regressing as shown by a Microsoft research which finds that our current attention span is 8.25 seconds compared to a measure of 12 seconds in 2000.
A more shocking revelation is that our current attention span is less than that of a Goldfish – with an attention span of 9 seconds. In a hastily moving world that grows more complex, our expectations are to get quick answers.
This is an alarming evolutionary shift. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have created panic. Casually, our efforts are focused toward adapting to this abnormal change in behavior.
For instance, Google’s search engine result algorithms offer the queried information crisply, readily available, pleasing to our senses. Video answers that involve less brain activity are quick fixes.
Reading that requires an active brain to analyze and interpret information is taking a backseat. Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Stickiness Factor’ no more remains in its context.
Our growth has happened at an astronomical pace. The cobweb of imagined realities created are extremely complex that our brain couldn’t catch up speed. Consequently, our brains are rewired.
All along our journey, our brain gifted with analytical ability has been the most powerful weapon to create a vibrant world. As long as our brain remains active pondering, we are more human, and empathetic.
Recent developments in technology prepare AI chips to intrude the brain frontiers, making it one of the manufactured spare parts in a factory floor.
An AI equipped brain can be more analytic, but less ingenious. It could shine bright yet lackadaisical. It cannot match the brilliance of the genius that help us craft this world.
In our quest to become the Master of the Universe, we are unbecoming humans.
Is becoming God unbecoming human?
Image Source: HBR