I have just finished reading (oh, yes, yet another book !) something that really stirred my psyche !

So many insights ! So many dots connected in such a profound way. About humanity. Our never-ending quest for more. But the book also proposed a new way of imagining the future.

As William Gibson once said : The future is already here. It is just not distributed evenly !

Which book ?

La société émergente du XXI e siècle., by Michel Cartier and Jon Husband

Amazing book by the way.

It dawned on me that the four steps of human evolution of consciousness or awareness are all based on technology.

But also on the will to use these technologies voluntarily.

Looking back on human history one can see quantum leaps in consciousness link to the advent of four technologies :

  1. Writing : going from oral history and knowledge to a perennial knowledge.
  2. Printing : going from a narrow distribution of knowledge to a widely distributed one
  3. Waves, radio and television : taking the words from paper directly to the mind through the ears and eyes. Thereby introducing the concept of mass media and uniformity of knowledge…and the danger of propaganda and brainwashing !
  4. The Web : the emancipation of knowledge, allowing anyone to choose and select out of …everything !

Information is now available to anyone, anywhere, any time.

Information will soon become the new capital.

Whereas the capitalist system promoted possession, the new system will provide access of all to all.

But then, as with any evolution, not anybody will benefit from it.

Capital has always been available to those willing to sacrifice effort and time to earn it.

Similarly, the plethora of information will benefit most those will to organise it and make sense of it.

Look at the four steps of evolution and see if YOU are making the most of it…

Writing :

Writing is an invaluable activity to promote thinking. Do you write regularly ? Do you journal ? Do you blog? Do you share your work via your favorite social network ? Do you participate in discussion groups ?

Writing forces you to think deeply. Writing frequently will open up doors of unexploited potential. The more you will write, the easier it will become !

Do you write ?

Printing or rather using it i.e. READING !

These has never been as much paper as today ! Electronic paper is now becoming more popular. Kindle, Ipad and the Phablet (what an horrible name but then Tabphone would be even worse !) are now common devices. Do you read ? Not only the 140 characters of microblogging of SMS messages but long winded articles and books. Books offer deep knowledge of a few topics. Read 50 books on any topics and you automatically become and expert at it !

Do you read and reflect on your reading ?

Do you read everyday ?

Books are almost free compared to other type of hobbies. Library, physical or virtual, allows everyone to access to a world of knowledge. Reading is a single-tasking process……when you read, you …READ! A wonderful world opens up in your mind and let you wander for a while on a very intimate and private journey. Opinions will emerge. Values will crystallize.

The wave revolution : Radio and television and then some…

The mobile devices now accessible to all allow anyone to listen and watch more than ever before. I watch training videos at the gym while on the stationary bicycle. I switch to audio (podcast or training mp3) while doing weight lifting. Oh, don’t worry, I also listen to music…a lot !! And I do watch a few series, not only training videos !

But think about it…

What if you were to trade 1-2 hours a week of “Lost” or a reality TV show for 1-2 hours of lectures on a passion of yours, any passion… Blues guitar playing, history or the sexual habit of jelly fish in the Mozambique channel between Beira and Toliara. Think of the impact of 100 hours of education on this topic on your career.

And for the daring and adventurous think MOOC, SOOC or COOC !

Do you wave ?

And lastly the Web.

Ah the Web! In his 1984 novel William Gibson exposes the cyberspace, a virtual world where people would roam and interact. We are close to a nexus. Nowadays, it is not possible to think of a world without the global information network that has become the Web. A huge mass of information is now available ! Too much information for any human being. And since it is so recent, most of us have not yet developed the filters required to use this information wisely. Some individuals have developed whole careers helping other people through the Web. Legions of mobile applications are now available to sort through this mess. More applications that anybody could imagine using in a lifetime in fact !

The Web has brought us back to a very human level of interaction : the personal network. Although the networks are now virtual, the relationship is not very different than the one existing between correspondants a few decades ago. The Web simply accelerates the exchanges. The networks are only a little (!) bit larger, wider and more global ! But the basic function of the networks remains : trust-based interactions.

Using the virtual network properly will supply the necessary filters to sift thorough the enormous amount of information now available.

Some will use this wisely and end up winners. Some will simply watch and not participate. Some will not be aware of it all.

This is the parade analogy.

  • Some just watch and enjoy.
  • Some are in the parade and contribute.
  • Some have thought about the parade and manage to make it happen.
  • And some do not even know there is a parade.

So it is with human evolution.

Four steps of human evolution.

Are you aware of what is occurring now ?

Are you simply watching ?

Are you contributing ?

Or are you involved in the next steps and thinking and learning out loud ?


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