David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

You Shall Be as Gods: The Poetics of Technology

As Terence McKenna tells us, we are already magical creatures.

You Shall Be as Gods: The Poetics of Technology

We basically think our world into being and then we inhabit these condensations of our imagination, as Terence McKenna tells us.  We are already magical creatures.

Every time we make a telephone call we create techno-social wormholes that connect us with other minds, essentially electrified thoughts traveling at the speed of light.  I mean, we are, to me, god-like.  Certainly to the generations that came before us, if they could see the average person chatting on Facetime on their iPhone, they would say witchcraft, heresy.  

You should read Erik Davis’ book, TechGnosis, which talks about the relationship between technology and mysticism and magic and the idea that having created the gods we have effectively turned into them. 

And that's kind of exciting to me on multiple levels: metaphorically, poetically, but also the idea that we might actually use this technology to reengineer our biological substrate and turn ourselves into creatures that don't necessarily have to be victims of entropy is also a real realistically exciting possibility. 

So it’s not just that it’s poetic, but if it actually happens, it would be nice to be part of the generation that achieves that.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.

Big Think LIVE

Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.

Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Therapy app Talkspace mined user data for marketing insights, former employees allege

    A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.
    Technology & Innovation
    • In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
    • Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
    • It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
    Keep reading Show less
    Mind & Brain

    Viewing abstract art causes notable cognitive changes

    Viewing art that doesn't look like anything makes your brain take extra steps to try and get it.

    Scroll down to load more…