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Human Intelligence

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 11:46 PM
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I was reading a thread about the internet and modern day communication networks, and the rate at which new information can be shared or found. This got me thinking...it's only in the last couple of hundred years that we've really started to develop advanced technologies such as microprocessors and other electronic devices...there was a point where we went from having a very primitive understanding of physics and other sciences, then all of a sudden we were diving into completely unmapped territory at warp speed...the list of technical subjects I can study at present day, and the amount of sheer information one must learn to become an expert in any such technical field is extreme.

I mean, compared with 2 or 3 hundred years ago, we knew very little. I imagine a lot of the very first educational institutions, which appeared around the 1600's, would have had an extremely limited list of available subjects. I couldn't even begin to give you an estimate on how much knowledge we've acquired since then, but with the help of the internet and other things like phones, we have quickly shot from a very manageable amount of information, to a constant and uncontainable influx of new information, available to most people who need it. And that doesn't even take into consideration any top secret tech we don't know of.

So I guess my question is this...if we have been dealing with a very limited amount of information for so long, and then a sudden advancement like this happens, how do we posses the intelligence, memory, and overall cognitive ability required to understand and retain the ridiculous amount of information we intake throughout our lives. Were children as smart as today's children a few hundred years ago? But why did they need to be that smart if they weren't learning complex things like quantum mechanics and particle physics? Where did this inherent intelligence come from, can it be rationally explained? I think you all know what my theory is, so I'll end it here...




posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 
I think we've been in possession of advanced technologies since before we were homo sapiens sapiens. For example, the moment one of our ancestors held a sharp edged rock and discovered it could kill an animal more efficiently...the arms race began. From sharp rock to hand-axe and from there to spear points, scrapers, blades. These tools enabled steps to be made in other directions...we could now fashion clothes from pelts. These pelts allowed us to adapt to a wider spectrum of environments and make more discoveries.

From our comfortable lives in 2010, we can look back through the history books and websites and see how human progress has been 'syncopated.' It's always there, but runs to different beats and patterns....fast, fast, slow.

When the first printing presses kicked in during the 15th and 16th Century they set progress to a fast beat. Knowledge was shared and spread across the world. Old ideas were committed to paper and passed around. These books were cheaper, reproducible and allowed knowledge to creep slowly down the social classes. The Renaissance was one outcome of this diaspora of ideas. Political and scientific pamphlets reached Joe Public and scared the hell out of Church, State and Crown. Human discoveries led to more discoveries and technology was able to transform ever faster.

Fiber-optics are a good example of how myriad technological advances and new frontiers can come into existence. We can follow the history of fiber optics way back into the mid-19th Century. From the early demonstrations, we could argue that fiber optics have been instrumental in shaping the world we see around us. Surgery, fighter-jet cockpits, industry and the internet. Naturally, every application leads to more and more discoveries and cross-contamination of ideas.

What I'm trying to show, as briefly and clearly as possible, is that we've always had more knowledge than we immediately know what to do with. The success of the transmission of this knowledge is what leads to more and faster discoveries. From word of mouth to libraries and let's not forget our good old international postal service. Even radio and television!

The internet is the current frontier of the dispersal of ideas. Much like the printing press, it's making our present PTB fidget in the seats of power.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


most of the same information i have taken in is more than available to others via many mediums of communication that were not considered possible two or three hundred years ago.

i don't know everything, which should go without saying if we knew what it was we are all talking about.

i think existing future timelines that may or may not be aware of eachothers esistances are handing down information and technologies for sometimes various agendas. i think there are those among us who can decipher and make appliciable such communications.

in short, the technologies we have we have from more souces than the present and the past, and from more sources than "us".

this is my opiniion based upone what i have observed thus far, but i could be mistaken, but i may be wrong about being mistaken, but i might not be correct about being wrong about being mistaken, but i could be relying on flawed input concerning not being correct about being wrong about being mistaken......

jump on in, the water is fine. how deep is it? i don't know. leave your life preserver behind and come before you take any swimming lessons.....


some of my thoughts.

thanks Chaos,
et



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 02:04 AM
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This is why we are at the peak brain level,to much more will send us to overload,imagine taking all our current technology and showing someone from the middle ages, it would blow their mind.We cannot continue for much longer at this rate because we will forget how to live without having everything right at our grasp.Kids today although able to navigate all this tech are probably useless without their phones and computers , a lot of them seem weak and soft probably couldnt even change a car tyre let alone hunt and kill an animal for food.I think we are at the crossroads in history and all this tech will be our downfall.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Yeah...I understand the point you're getting at...but perhaps you missed my main point...if you went back a few hundred years and tried to teach people something like the C++ programming language, or some advanced chemistry equations...would people be mentally capable of digesting such complex theories and information, let alone expand on and add to those theories? Why would they posses such cognitive power if they've been dealing with simple tools from sharp rocks to knifes and spears...was the guy who invented the wheel considered a genius at the time? I simply can't see how humans have so easily adapted the ability to live so naturally in a complex modern society with advanced science and technology...it's almost as if we were made for it, or we've been here before...the transition and influx of new knowledge has been far too quick the last couple of hundred years, yet we've had absolutely no problem dealing with it, we send kids to school, and they learn what we teach them, but how is this so when only a few generations before the most complex technology might have been gunpowder, and even then I doubt many people really understood the chemistry behind it...

[edit on 17/7/10 by CHA0S]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 02:32 AM
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reply to post by 12voltz
 




Kids today although able to navigate all this tech are probably useless without their phones and computers , a lot of them seem weak and soft probably couldnt even change a car tyre let alone hunt and kill an animal for food.I think we are at the crossroads in history and all this tech will be our downfall.
Depends if you want to evolve with muscle or mind power I guess...yes, the "Greys", if they exists, are probably weak fragile beings with not much muscle tissue, but a huge brain must be in that huge head...whilst you change the tire physically, they could probably do it with their mind, and if not, they'd have an exceptionally easy method of doing it without needing physical strength...and I bet an army of "weak" Greys could easily destroy an army of our "strongest" men...



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:20 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 
No, I didn't miss the implications of your OP. I didn't address them directly as I felt the points in my post removed the implications in your post.

As humans are exposed to new ideas, they themselves begin to generate new ideas that lead to (connections) even more. It's an ever increasing process.

If we accept that an 'off-the-shelf' human created C++ or fiber optics, is there any need to doubt we are capable of generating our own ideas? Furthermore, we can see precursors in both fiber optics and C++. Both concepts were inspired by earlier, diverse concepts.

In this light, a human in the 5th century BC would be unable to understand C++, lacking all the connected knowledge. If they were taken as babies and raised in our world, they might not only understand it, but have the potential to create a new programming language.

It's quite early where I am, having to think about exponential growth of ideas and their sources is giving me a mild headache! I realise you're suggesting we've been given some 'help,' but I don't think it's an idea that holds up. We can clearly plot some of our technologies back through stages and precursors of the past. We can also chart some philosophical ideas back through to perhaps 40, 000 years ago.

If we side-step these points and direct the same questions at the suggested 'source' of our advances...what answer do we get? Think about it.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:31 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 




In this light, a human in the 5th century BC would be unable to understand C++, lacking all the connected knowledge. If they were taken as babies and raised in our world, they might not only understand it, but have the potential to create a new programming language.
Ok, and there in lies my point...anyone can agree that if humans of current day can understand things like C++, it must be completely possible for people from many hundreds of years ago, and even thousands of years ago to be able to learn it as well....because evolution simply doesn't take place that quick...we couldn't have become any smarter (well, not notably smarter), than our ancestors who hand washed clothes and hunted food themselves...

So, why is it necessary for a species that previously lived a very simple way of life, to posses the cognitive power required to understand complex programming algorithms or advanced chemistry equations? And so, then why is it possible for said species to evolve into an advanced society that teaches and utilizes all this advanced knowledge, and do it within the span of a few hundred years?

[edit on 17/7/10 by CHA0S]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:55 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


I've also thought of this. Asynchronous, almost free, world-wide communication indeed must have implications on society and world at large... But we have also remember that it is still a small percentage of people to whom Internet is available to.

Indeed, when observing people behaviour on Internet forum, one can see that they are in fact having great difficulties to fathom the information available. Take ATS for example. One cannot avoid the observation that as well as the valid information, also the invalid information has got new winds on their sails. Personally, Internet hasn't had such huge effect in my possibilities to accumulate information, for there has been always decent libraries around the places I've lived.

I guess it all comes down to individual types and how they live and react to the information available. Some will certainly lose their "heads", others will employ psychological defensives, rejecting the information and labeling it as "internet nonesense". Those with clear focus in their preferences will benefit vastly from the information.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what kind of effects new communication technologies like Internet will have in the future.

-v



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:56 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 
Have you thought about that last question I pointed out? It cuts to the heart of your speculation.


Ram

posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:56 AM
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It's clearly a HOAX..

It is alot of LED - Lights flying about..

cheers..



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 




If we side-step these points and direct the same questions at the suggested 'source' of our advances...what answer do we get? Think about it.


Maybe you'll want to spell it out for silly ol' me...
...sorry, I just don't quite understand what you mean...



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:17 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


"A very simple life" perhaps in one sense (if I were a caveman, I'd be insulted by that), but our ancestors were a little bit preoccupied using their brainpower just to survive. Keep in mind the evolution of the human brain's potential is different than the evolution of ideas and knowledge. They lived in small groups initially, but as the species thrived those small groups met other small groups. Exchange of ideas and technology happened where one person showed another how to craft a really cool clovis point, etc. This exchange of ideas continued (and continues to continue) having a snowball effect. As soon as our ancestors had time on their hands to produce art, they had leisure time to begin engaging in other occupations such as philosophy, rather than focusing their efforts and brain power on the struggle to survive.

I have no idea what C++ is, but I'm guessing you do. I'm also guessing that you are not significantly more evolved than I am for having knowledge of C++.

Your question as to "why" homo sapiens sapiens had from the very beginning the cognitive power that we use now for engaging in technological advancement and theoretical postulation: It was an advantage used to keep from getting eaten--they had no use for C++.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by Disinformation Man
 




Your question as to "why" homo sapiens sapiens had from the very beginning the cognitive power that we use now for engaging in technological advancement and theoretical postulation: It was an advantage used to keep from getting eaten
Hmmm, so I guess they drew quadratic equations in the sand to plot the trajectory of their spears, and find the perfect running motion to escape predators...I hardly think so...most of it would have been focused on instinct and practice to build technique, sure that takes a degree of intelligence, but it's different to critical thinking and problem solving...anyone can explain how a society advances (as you did), but you can't explain how we advanced so quickly with little time for our minds to catch up and do things in a fashion we'd never previously attempted...

PS - C++ is a programming language as previously explained.

[edit on 17/7/10 by CHA0S]

[edit on 17/7/10 by CHA0S]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:56 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


assuming we agree that we are descendants of the same species that existed 40,000 years ago, I find it interesting that you think they were acting mostly out of instinct, without any critical thinking or problem solving.



Originally posted by CHAOS
Where did this inherent intelligence come from, can it be rationally explained?


Perhaps it advanced so quickly that our minds still haven't caught up to be able to wrap our minds around to answer to your question.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Disinformation Man
 




I find it interesting that you think they were acting mostly out of instinct, without any critical thinking or problem solving.
I didn't say they were completely without it, they just didn't have such complex ideas and information to mess about with...things were "simpler" however you look at it, whether you think that's offensive or not...



Perhaps it advanced so quickly that our minds still haven't caught up to be able to wrap our minds around to answer to your question.
Touche.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 05:30 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


The "knowledge" that made our advanced technology possible has existed for 2000 years or more. I am meaning the maths, even physics and chemistry and so on. According to some philosphers, it required an change in perspective in human psychology to begin technological revolution.

One philosopher especially comes into my mind: G.H Von Wright, who argued in Humanism as an approach to Life that it was Christian religion that worked as a catylyst to begin technological revolution. Before that, nature was superior to man and to be respected; but due the christianity, man became superior to nature (as god commands man to rule nature and animals) and so the sufficient change was possible in human psychology in general that such rape of the nature became possible.

We have to acknowledge, that there has been marvellous devices of technology before industrial revolution and even in ancient past (even the theory of computer dates few hundreds year back or even more). But the mass production of modern times required large scale shift in beliefs, enabling man to control nature...

Of course, there may be aliens that gave us the technology, but to me it seems far fetched.

-v



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 


Wikipedia tells me that C++ has been around beginning in 1979 and this is the first time I've heard of it. You told me that its a programming language. I'm off to a good start! Now for me to be an expert at C++, what's required? For one, a lot of concepts I've never encountered. I'm not going to understand right away; potentially I might, but then again it might be a little out of my league. Would a primative be able to learn it? I'm going with the suggestion that we kidnap a baby from the 5th century BC and find out. If the kidnapping part isn't illegal I think he/she would be able to learn at par with other people; only difference would be that they're a little hairier.

As far as addressing your question regarding the speed in which knowledge has increased, the best I can suggest is exponential growth (though I'm not sure we can say intelligence has increased).



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 




We have to acknowledge, that there has been marvellous devices of technology before industrial revolution and even in ancient past (even the theory of computer dates few hundreds year back or even more). But the mass production of modern times required large scale shift in beliefs, enabling man to control nature...
There were marvelous devices...but compared to even the smallest particle accelerator on Earth, well, I wont draw any comparisons, but we can see there is a clear difference between what they knew back then and what we know today...in the most simple terms, my question is this:

If we've shifted over into this complex technological age of information so quickly, it can only be explained if we always had the cognitive function required to operate in such a fashion, and in fact you all agree a person taken from a few hundred years ago would be able to learn and understand the things we can today. So, then, can it be rationally explained that we previously possessed the cognitive ability required to do things we had yet to even do? Doesn't a species first have to adapt the right functions before it can complete a task, and why would it adapt those functions before it needed them?



Of course, there may be aliens that gave us the technology, but to me it seems far fetched.
That's not at all what I'm implying, though you may already understand that, I'm not sure. But what I am implying, is that humans are either an alien hybrid species, or we've previously advanced to such a technological stage and had to start over for some unknown reason...


EDIT: You can explain how society advances, or you can explain how nurturing and mentally simulating environments along with team work can produce great results...but we had a total shift in the blink of an eye, any individual member of a species is only mentally capable of so much, even with team work, and their ability will depend on a number of factors...yet humans seems to know no limit, our advancement increases at an exponential rate, and more to the point, we instantly became, and continue to become, capable of mind boggling feats on an individual and team level. A total shift has taken place as we've moved into a modern information driven society...yet it feels like we were always living like this, we have absolutely no trouble keeping pace, despite the fact schools didn't even exist a few generations ago...does that really make sense...how did we reach the stage where we were so easily able to learn these complex things and keep pace with our advancement in such a casual manner, why were we so smart when nothing in our lives required such intelligence...It's like when we hit the great turning point, we were already built for it...

[edit on 17/7/10 by CHA0S]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by CHA0S
 



Originally posted by CHA0S
You can explain how society advances, or you can explain how nurturing and mentally simulating environments along with team work can produce great results...but we had a total shift in the blink of an eye


I am not an expert with the history of technical advancements, but I've learned that much, that no single technical achievement appeared from nothing. Most of our inventions has a history that has led into the current state of affairs.

Altho you are correct that development from fire and steam based energy to nuclear energy, along with the breakthrough in physics happened in quite a pace, but nevertheless there are many explaining factors behind this rapid shift. One being the shift in our psychology, as explained briefly in my 2nd post. Another factor must be mass mediated printing and communication capability (printing press, radio, telegraphy). Then, as individual breakthroughs in physics and technology could be mass mediated to almost everyone who was interested, this pace really took a boost. Then quite soon followed capacity to mass produce stuff (due the increased energy harvesting).

I am not saying that this (conventional) theory is any better than yours - it merely makes more sense to myself. Also, I am not outruling the possibility which you seem to propose for I definately think that there are other highly advanced species out there somewhere. Neither I don't outrule the possibility that technological advancements we are experiencing right now is happening 1st time in history.

But still there is quite reasonable and traceable history available to explain the current situation even without taking account the possibilities you've proposed.

-v



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