Re: accelerating evolution

Lawrence H. de Bivort (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:40:09 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:40:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Lawrence H. de Bivort" <>
Subject: Re: accelerating evolution
In-Reply-To: <>

On Thu, 17 Jun 1999, Bill Benzon wrote:

>50,000 years ago: speech
>5000 years ago: writing
>500 years ago: printing
>50 years ago: computing
>So, what did happen 5 years ago? And why the order of magnitude effect?


If there is such an effect, it might be because of exponential increase in
the number of connections among people made possible by the technology.
Speech can only between people in proximity to each other -- say 50 feet.
Writing connects people over time, but only those people to whom the
writing is shown. Printing encourages mass distribution and makes it
difficult to limit who will have access to the material. Computers allow
great quantities of data to be manipulated and stored, thus encouraging
new ways of thinking and bringing people together on the basis of the new
capabilities afforded by the computer. The Internet takes the capabilities
of the computer and makes virtually universal access possible. (As
printing is to writing, so the Net is to computers.)

Does this track your thinking, Bill?

Lawrence de Bivort
The Memetics Group

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