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Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Can See Through You

To see through somebody, they need to be transparent. Since people aren’t physically transparent, we can only hope for mental transparency. Imagine if everyone’s mind was completely open to everyone else. There would be no secrets. Anyone who thought seriously about doing something harmful to someone else would soon find themselves being questioned by their peers as to their motivation.

Anyone thinking about starting a war to enrich their family, friends and themselves, would have some explaining to do. It sounds far-fetched and futuristic. Maybe it is, but here’s a time-line that could make you rethink that:

2013 – The first retinal heads-up computer display is developed
2016 – Retinal displays become commercially available
2019 – Experiments with biofeedback input devices allow thoughts to be used for computer input
2022 – The first available hands-free, human physiology integrated, computer input/output device is marketed
2025 – 70% of the population remains wired into the net all day long
2028 – New backup software allows us to backup any or all of our thoughts and memories to the net
2030 – Software allows us to share our thoughts and memories with anyone we’d like
2035 – People get more comfortable with the idea of sharing their thoughts directly with other people – the world starts to change

This may seem an aggressive timeline, but people are already working on the technologies involved and significant progress has been made. There’s no reason to believe that this timeline cannot be met. This means most of us will be around for these breakthroughs.

My attempt here is to show how technological breakthroughs incrementally move us in a direction which may be seen as scary as when taken all at once, but will be quite natural over the proper course of time. The end result is: we change forever. As our ability to share full sensory experiences emerges, we will naturally get more comfortable with the idea. Little by little, we will start to give away the privacy of our thoughts. We will discover that most people are not malicious and we can improve our relationships with everyone by sharing our thoughts more openly.

In time, maybe five years, maybe ten, we will begin to understand the true power of total transparency. It will no longer seem so daunting, but a natural improvement to society. Language barriers will fall as well. The realization that we all share the same basic motivations will bring us closer together. “Bad actors” will quickly be identified and treated for their psychological disorders. War, poverty and crime will be virtually wiped out.

We can dare to dream…

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