Jan 12, 2016

Chimps to Chumps to Champs

In the delightful comedy Big Bang Theory, the Sheldon character tries to explain how important it is for him to meet Steven Hawking: “Imagine that you lived on a planet populated by dogs in which you were the only human. And then you heard about another human. Wouldn’t you want to meet him?” When his associate takes offense, he reframes his dilemma: “Imagine that you lived on a planet populated by chimps…. 
A few eons ago humans and chimpanzees evolved from a common ancestor. As some archeologists imagine it, an especially intelligent female, often labeled Eve, split from her primate tribe to form a small community of extremely clever members that preferred to walk upright and to communicate abstract concepts by means of a rudimentary language. She and her contemporaries developed oily skin that enabled them to live near the sea, a super large brain, and an opposable thumb that made it possible to handle complex tools. Her offspring ultimately evolved into the modern humans we know today. 
So let’s imagine that a few Eves, along with their Adams, are beginning to branch off from the family tree. They would probably be brilliant individuals, prone to exploring complex realities and to gather in tribes and organizations that were less prone to aggressive dominance. Their gentle natures would enable them to work and play together in highly sophisticated games designed to create astonishing new toys and tools. 
As the pace of change picks up, tough-guy warlords would reluctantly begin to hand over the reins of leadership to their brilliant cousins. All of society would benefit from the algorithms of this elite troupe. There would likely be friction and a certain amount of violence as the humans opposed to change and transformation would fight desperately to maintain their grip on power. Therefore, the new species would gather in elite business communities and accept a variety of labels to make them less threatening to the masses. 
Imagine that some of these new players would focus on mechanical technology or new forms of science, while others would gravitate to finer systems of leadership through collaboration. They would enjoy discovering advanced systems of human dynamics that would both baffle and benefit all of society. You could easily see how weapons would become obsolete and how vast capital, human, and natural resources would be allocated to eradicate slavery, war and incarceration. 
You can allow your imagination to run free, envisioning all sorts of new productive enterprises and harmonious partnerships. Within a couple of generations the rough and tumble humans would begin to emulate their brilliant cousins, transforming the values and dissipative structures that would evolve even faster than the humans that created them. 
Perhaps this is only fantasy. Or perhaps there are invisible changes that are already rocking our industrial, educational, and social conventions. It would be my pleasure to hear from you and to contemplate your observations related to this topic.