Re: accelerating evolution

t (Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be)
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 16:23:23 +0200

From: <Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 16:23:23 +0200
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: accelerating evolution

Bill Benzon wrote:

> Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be wrote:
>
> >
> > I am afraid I can't do so, also because I have problems in understanding the
> > question.. What do you want to learn? Could you explain again? I don't know
> > whether the following answers your question:When I look at the evolutionary rate
> > of knowledge increase, I only can observe how it increases - each time
> > exponentially - with
> > i) symbolic spoken language (since 200 000 years, my guess, based on
> > archeological findings of cultural artefacts, including the origin of burial
> > rituals, which indicate to me the possibility to think about the far away
> > future, something I can imagine only to happen when you have language),
> > ii) written language (since some 5 000 years ago, leading to pyramids, Greek
> > philosophers, ...),
> > iii) printed language (since some 500 years ago, at least in W. Europe (since
> > longer in China, but maybe they were hampered by the kind of symbols they use))
> > leading to science,
> > iv) electronic language: computers and Internet (let' say: since some 5 years
> > ago).
>
> Let's juggle the dates a bit. Let's assume that what you see 200,000 years ago is
> Merlin Donald's mimetic culture and the language they have isn't quite as
> sophisticated as any language we know. Let's say that language as we know it is
> about 50,000 years old. And let's push the computer back to 50 years ago (more or
> less when the digital computer was first built). That gives us major cultural epocs
> following one another at intervals that decrease by an order of magnitude:
>
> 50,000 years ago: speech
> 5000 years ago: writing
> 500 years ago: printing
> 50 years ago: computing

No problem if this looks nicer to you. But I don't want to pin me down on exact dates,
just the general idea to see how things keep going faster all of the time.

>
>
> So, what did happen 5 years ago?

The internet, the world wide web. Agreed? (yes it exists somewhat longer, but general
use is only since a few years: and what a terrible difference. I already cannot imagine
any longer how the world was before (only a few years ago, remember). Your and my ideas
would never have met, for instance).

And why the order of magnitude effect?

I am simply saying that things are going exponentially faster all of the time. Knowledge
is really exploding.

>
>
> --
> William Benzon
> Senior Scientist
> Meta4 Incorporated
> 33-41 Newark Street
> Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA
> voice: 201.656.0906
> fax: 201.656.0901
> home page: www.newsavanna.com/wlb/
>
> ===============================================================
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--
Mario Vaneechoutte
Department Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University Hospital
De Pintelaan 185
9000 GENT
Belgium
Phone: +32 9 240 36 92
Fax: +32 9 240 36 59

Mario.Vaneechoutte@rug.ac.be

=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit