Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has declared the groundbreaking news recently. With a device the laboratory is working on and a brain implant that will stir the visual cortex and optic nerve, blind people would be able to see the basic shapes; these eyes are called bionic eyes. “It will enable someone who is completely blind to see edges of tables and footpath in a coarse, dot-typed matrix, enough to give them mobility and connect them to their loved ones,” said Professor Mark Armstrong, the director of Bluesky Design Group. (Pike) For sure, exponential development in technology is blurring the boundary of impossibility. In Radical Evolution, the readers can observe two diverging ideas with the side worshipping this development and trying to let people approach the sphere of the God with it -Heaven Scenario- and another side urging the demolition of humanity and pessimistic future -Hell Scenario-. I would like to identify more humanistic scenario, which is the Prevail Scenario. People who have not read the book will fall into a flutter by the word Prevail Scenario. Unlike two previous scenarios that predestinate the future, “uncertainty suffuses the Prevail Scenario.” (Garreau 196) Humans, in the Prevail Scenario, become the main subject who will decide the future with changing technology. In this scenario, people will not measure the techonological development itself. Rather, the mass will observe the co-evolution in their society, made by their hands. The nation will adopt positive improvement in technology for themselves, and relinquish negative influences for themselves.
I confirm this scenario as it is very sincere with the future. It lets people ponder about their dazzling potential and prospects. James P. Carse, the emeritus director and professor at NYU, describes his idea called ‘Finite and Infinite Games.’ Carse says, “A finite game is played for the purpose of
winning, an infinte game for the purpose of continuing the play.” (Garreau 197) Both the Heaven Scenario and Hell Scenario are finite games. However, the Prevail Scenario opens the possiblity for the future; it is an infinite game, enjoying being surprised. I agree with it. As Gurreau mentions, “Prevail’s trick is that it embraces uncertainty.” It displays a faith that the ragged human convoy of divergent perceptions, piqued honor, posturing, insecurity and humor will wend its way to glory. (209) No embedded designation or fate exists by technology. People choose the best option for theirselves. By this scenario, many will assume their destinations valuable with more serious attitudes.
Also, mankind is an owner of his or her life in this scenario. The Heaven Scenario and Hell Scenario have a prerequisite that ‘technology dominates and decides the future.’ This is putting cart before the horse. In the Prevail Scenario, human grabs the helm for the evolution, and human determines which technology should be preserved or abandoned. R. Buckminster Fuller pinpoints the gist; “we are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” (Garreau 234) Despite the influx of novel technologies, man will be the end, not the means.
Another attractive point of the Prevail Scenario is that it emphasizes the participation of collective people, not a few superhumans. Christine L. Peterson, the founder and president of the Foresight Institute, says “The goal is peaceful coexistence among traditional humans, augmented humans and machine-based intelligence. We come up with checks and balances. We always protect weaker members of society against those who want to push them around.” (Garreau 246) If the supermajority of the society is lethargic to the radical evolution and the only few enhanced try to change the world, the consequence may be the failed states with a lot of complaints. The new is routinely created not by individual geniuses, as mythology might have it, but by faceless teams of ordinary people, as Don E. Kash pointed out. (Garreau 251) On the other hand, when a great number of people co-evolve with their volitions, everyone can be superposed peacefully with a win-win technology. Transcendence is social, not solitary. (Garreau 224)
The world is such a magnitude society with 7 billion population. Selecting some technologies that would be helpful for the world and forsaking some skills that would harm the world would be controversial. It can be the disequilibrium of the scenario. A representative illustration is the dispute between North Korea and other nations, discussing the nuclear weapons. A slew of countries and organizations including United Nations Security Council offer North Korea to terminate and prevent the use of those weapons, but North Korea do not want to give this technology up. North Korean ambassador in Washington, Sin Son Ho said “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will never give up its nuclear deterrent unless the United States fundamentally and irreversibly abandons its hostile policy and nuclear threat towards the DPRK and dissolves the UN Command.” (Atlas) Miscommunication can be the obstacle for predominance of developed technology. Simultaneously, however, that is the reason why politics and diplomacy exist, and politicians and diplomats exist. Furthermore, as the Prevail Scenario enhances the great number of people, various opinions would be converged by plenty of communications, conversations, and compromises.
Source: ‘Radical Evolution’ and ‘More Than Human’: The Incredibles, NY Times
In 1914, Herbert George Wells says “Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century they did not see it.” He added, 6 years later, human history as becoming more and more a race between education and catastrophe. (Garreau 109) To be balanced between these two opposite concepts, the Prevail
Scenario succeed in practical ways to slow negative changes and accelerate positive changes, according to Garreau. (225) The Prevail is the most appropriate attitude of absorbing the radical evolution for sure.
Key Figures: Joel Garreau, James P. Carse, R. Buckminster Fuller, Christine L. Peterson, Don E. Kash, Herbert George Wells
Pike, Ben. “Wireless bionic eye created by Monash University.” News.com.au. News Limited Network, 08 Jun. 2013. Web. 22 Jun 2013.
In-text reference: (Pike)
Garreau, Joel. Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies–and What It Means to Be Human. Paperback ed. New York: Broadway, 2006. Print.
In-text reference: (Garreau 196), (Garreau 197), (209), (Garreau 234), (Garreau 246), (Garreau 251), (Garreau 224), (Garreau 109), (225)
Atlas, Terry. “North Korea says no nuclear disarmament without a treaty.” Livemint & THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. HT Media, 22 Jun. 2013. Web. 22 Jun 2013. In-text reference: (Atlas)