Change is the only constant, continued…

In continuation with my last post, my thoughts find its way into further expressions……

By 2048, people might have to cope with migrations to cyberspace having new sensory experiences generated by computer implants. Within a decade perhaps all artistic creation may be taken over by AI. The world in the mid twenty- first century would sound like a science fiction ….. we cannot be sure of the specifics, but change will be the only certainty.

Such profound change may change the basic structure of life. From time immemorial life was divided into two parts, a period of learning followed by a period of working. The first phase dealt with accumulating information, developed skills, creating a window to world view and built a stable identity. The second phase of life dealt with the skills to navigate the world, earn a living and contribute to society. By middle of 21st century, a lot of this will change and ‘Who am I? ‘” will be more relevant than ever before. This feeling will also be accompanied with a certain amount of stress.

Change is almost always stressful and after certain age most people do not like to change. By the time one reaches mid- life, most people have given up the thought of change. People prefer stability and generally give up on the thought of conquering the world. By now most would have invested on skills, career, self- identity and world view that it becomes almost too difficult to start all over again. There are scientific reasons for this. Though the adult brain is more flexible, it is still less malleable than the teenage brain. Therefore, there is this need to constantly learn to reinvent oneself.

Humans as individuals and humankind as a whole will increasingly have to deal with things nobody ever encountered before , such as super intelligent machines, engineered bodies, algorithms that can manipulate your emotions with uncanny precision, and the need to change one’s profession every decade. The questions that often come to my mind are … What is the right thing to do while confronting a completely unprecedented situation? How should you act when you are flooded by enormous amounts of information and there is absolutely no way you can absorb and analyse it all? How to live in a world where profound uncertainty is a feature?

The only way to survive in such a world will be to develop a lot of mental flexibility and great levels of emotional balance. We may have to repeatedly let go of some of the best known and feel at home with the unknown. Teaching children to embrace the unknown is far more difficult than teaching them an equation in physics. Many a time, teachers themselves lack the mental flexibility that the 21st century demands, for they are themselves products of the old educational system.

More is yet to come…….Will continue and conclude soon.

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