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Peter Diamandis: We're Living as Emperors and Kings Would Have Lived 100 Years Ago

April 18, 2012, 12:00 AM
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What's the Big Idea?

 Is technology humanizing? For Peter Diamandis, a technology optimist and the author of the new bestseller, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, the answer is a resounding yes. "We’re living as emperors and kings would have lived 100 years ago and we take it for granted," he tells Big Think. 

In other words, while we don't always realize it we are better connected, healthier and more secure than any generation before us. 

Watch the video here:

What's the Significance?

Consider the following. 

We're more connected than ever before. And we are able to document and share -- whether on Youtube or Skype or Facebook -- in ways previously unimagined in the past. This has the effect of bringing us closer together, and erases the many divisions that unnecessarily divided people in the past. 

Why, for instance, did people in the Middle Ages kill and torture each other with such little compunction? They didn't see each other as human, Diamandis argues.

Today, on the other hand, "we are at the most peaceful time of human history ever." Why are homicide rates down 100 fold from the Middle Ages? Diamandis asks. It is because technology enables us to see just how close we are connected to one another. Diamandis tells Big Think:

I was at a friend’s wedding and we were having a conversation about our genomes and we went on 23andMe and we looked at our maternal origin in terms of where our mitochondrial DNA came from and it turned out that he’s Syrian, I'm Greek, but our maternal DNA came from the same region of the world and it was like you’re a brother from another mother and we had this very fascinating connection that we never had because the fact was we shared some distant genetic traits that brought us together in a way that I might not ever have expected.  So that connection was a very heartfelt, powerful one.



From life-saving apps to cutting-edge military defense, Humanizing Technology will explore and expand the boundaries of what it means to be human, today and far into the future. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

 

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