He would wait for mankind in 2050? What to cook their children?

To the extent that, as increasing the pace of change, changing the very idea of the man, his essence, his cognitive structures. Forget programming is the best skill that is worth learning from children, it’s a reinvention. “Reinventing the wheel”. What will the next 30 years for mankind? What can we expect in 2050?

Part one: change is the only constant

Humanity is faced with revolution, all our old stories are crumbling and no new to replace them does not appear. How do we prepare ourselves and our children to the world of such unprecedented transformations and radical uncertainty? A child born today will be thirty years in 2050. If all goes well, he will live to the year 2100, and maybe will remain an active citizen in the 22nd century. What to teach a child to survive and flourish in the world of 2050 or 22 century? What skills would you need to get the job, understand what is happening around it and groped his way in the maze of life?

Unfortunately, no one knows what will the world in 2050, let alone 2100. We can’t answer these questions. Of course, people have never been able to accurately predict the future. But today it is harder to do than ever, because as soon as the technology will allow us to change bodies, brains and minds of people, we have nothing we can be sure that even that previously seemed immutable and eternal.

A thousand years ago, in 1018, had a lot of things in the future, what people did not know, but they were confident that basic features of human society will be unchanged. If you lived in China 1018, you wouldn’t know that by 1050 the Empire of Sleep will fall, kitana invaded from the North, and the plague will kill millions of people. But you would know that in 1050 the majority of people will still grow rice and do the yarn, the rulers would rule over the people, men will dominate over women, life expectancy was around 40 years, and the human body will remain the same. Therefore, in 1018 poor Chinese parents taught their children how to grow a risk or to spin silk, and the rich parents are taught how to read Confucius, to write beautifully or to fight on horseback, and girls taught to be modest and helpful. Obviously, in 1050 these skills were still required.

In contrast, today we have no idea how it will look in China or the rest of the world in 2050. We don’t know what people will earn a living, will function as the army and bureaucrats, what are the gender relations. Some people are likely to live much longer than today, and the human body itself will undergo unprecedented changes because of bioengineering and brain-computer interfaces. A large part of what children learn today will not make sense to 2050.

Currently, too many schools are engaged in a grimace of information. In the past it made sense because the information was scattered and even the slow trickle of information is carefully censored. If you lived in a small provincial town in Mexico in the year 1800, it would be hard to learn more about the larger world. Radio, television, Newspapers or public libraries did not exist. Even if you were educated and gained access to private library, it was possible to read only novels and religious literature. The Spanish Empire carefully censored all the texts, which were printed on its territory, and miss very few from the outside. The same thing would happen if you lived in Russia, India, Turkey or China. When there was a modern school that he taught everyone to read and write, and given basic knowledge about the geography, history and biology, it was a significant improvement.

In contrast, in the 21st century, we are drowning in huge volumes of information that even the censors did not try to block. Instead they are busy spreading misinformation or distraction us irrelevant details. If you lived in a provincial Mexican town and you had a smartphone, you would spend many lives just by reading Wikipedia, watching TED talks and online courses. No government can hide from you information that he does not like. On the other hand, people are very easily fooled. People from all over the world one click away from information on the bombing Aleppo or melting glaciers in the Arctic, but too many controversial moments to choose what to believe.

In such a world, the last thing the teacher should give his students more information. Its too much. Instead, people need the ability to comprehend information, to tell the difference between important and unimportant, and, above all, to combine pieces of information into a coherent picture of the world.

In truth, this was the ideal of a Western liberal education for centuries, but still many Western schools rather weakly corresponded to him. Teachers allow themselves to train to interpret the data instead to encourage students to “think for themselves”. Because of the fear of the authoritarianism of the liberal school felt a special dread of large narratives. They assumed that as long as we give students a lot of data and setting freedom, students will create their own picture of the world, and even if this generation won’t be able to synthesize all the data in a consistent and meaningful history of the world, will have plenty of time to create a good synthesis in the future. Now we’ve run out of time. The decisions we will make in the next few decades will change the future of life itself, and we will be able to make these decisions based only on our current view of the world. If this generation can not make a coherent picture of the cosmos, the future life will be decided randomly.

Part two: the temperature is rising

In addition to information most of the schools pay too much attention to providing pupils with a set of pre-defined skills such as the solution of the differential equation, writing computer code in C++, the definition of chemical elements in vitro, or the translation from the Chinese. But we have no idea about what the world will look like and the job market in 2050, so we don’t know what specific skills people will need. We can force children to write in C++ or speak the Chinese language and discover that by 2050 AI can be programmed BY much better people, and the new Google Translate can cope with better to transfer any person.

What are we to teach? Many experts in the field of education believe that students must develop the “four To”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration (that is, to learn to work together) and creativity (i.e. creativity). The most important is the ability to cope with change, to learn new things and to maintain composure in emergency situations. To keep pace with the world in the year 2050, you will need not only to invent new ideas and products — you will have to reinvent and rethink himself over and over again.

As the pace of changes grow over time, changing not only the economy but also the very meaning of “being human”. In 1848 the “Communist Manifesto” declared that “everything solid melts into air.” Marx and Engels, however, was mainly thinking about the social and economic structures. By the year 2048 physical and cognitive structures also will melt in the air — in the clouds of data bits.

In 1848, millions of people lost their jobs on farms and went to the big cities to work in factories. But getting to the big city, they don’t have to change your floors or add a sixth sense. And if they have found work in some textile factory, they could expect to remain in this profession for the rest of my life.

By the year 2048, people may encounter with the migration to cyberspace, floating gender identity and sensitive to new experiences that give computer implants. If they find work and meaning in the development of modern fashion in three-dimensional game in virtual reality ten years from not only this profession, but all jobs require the same level of artistic creativity, you can just move to AI. Therefore, in 25 you will represent yourself on a Dating site as “a twenty-five year old heterosexual woman, who lives in London and works in a fashion store.” In 35 years you’ll be “gender does not determine personality, which is a refinement of the age, neokorticalnah activity which mostly takes place in the virtual world of the “New cosmos”, and the purpose of life is creativity in the field of fashion, which dared no designer to this.” In 45 years as the definition for Dating and self-determination will be different. You only have to wait until the algorithm find (or create) the perfect pair. Regarding the creation of fashionable designs, algorithms so you surpass that your dubious achievements of past years can only be to make people laugh. And still, 45 years you have ahead will be many decades of radical changes.

Please don’t take this scenario seriously. No one can predict the specific changes that await us. Any specific scenario will be in the milk. If someone were to describe to you the world of mid-21st century, and it would be absolutely fantastic, it’s likely to be true. But if someone were to describe to you the world of mid-21st century and it won’t sound fantastic — it would definitely be a lie. We don’t know details, but just know: change is inevitable.

Such profound changes may well transform the basic structure of life, making the short duration of its feature. Since ancient times life was divided into two halves: the period of study, followed by a period of work. In the first part of life you have accumulated information, developed skills, put a picture of the world and created a stable person. Even if you are 15 years old spend most of the day working on the family rice field, you learn: how to cultivate rice, how to build relationships with the greedy merchants out of the big city and solve problems with other villagers. In the second part of your life you rely on the knowledge and skills to navigate the world, to earn a livelihood and contribute to society. Of course, even in 50 years you continue to learn new things about rice, about the merchants and about the conflicts, but it’s all minor changes in the well-honed skills.

By the mid-21st century the acceleration of change coupled with increased life expectancy will make this traditional model obsolete. Life is bursting at the seams and between the different periods of life will be less and less duration. “Who am I?” becomes very common and important question.

Most likely this is due to the huge stress. Change is almost always stressful, and after a certain age most people just don’t like change. When you 15 years, your whole life changes. Your body grows, your mind develops, your relationships deepen. Everything is in motion, everything is new. You invent yourself. Most teenagers it’s scary, but at the same time and exciting. Before you open new horizons, you are ready to conquer the world. You prefer stability. You’ve invested in your skills, your career personality and the picture of the world that you don’t want to start all over again. The harder you work on something, the harder it is to quit and do something else. You can enjoy a new experience and minor changes, but most people in their 50s don’t want deeply to change his identity.

There are neurobiological reasons. Although the adult brain is more flexible and changeable than was once considered, he’s still not as malleable as the brain of a teenager. Reconnection of neurons and synapses weave — damn hard work. But in the 21st century you are unlikely to afford stability. If you try to cling to some stable personality, work or picture of the world, you risk being left behind. Given that life expectancy will increase, you may have to spend many decades in the role of an ignorant ancient man. To staying fit — not only economically, but also socially — you will need the ability to constantly learn and reinvent themselves, especially at such a young age is 50 years.

Since all of the strange will become the new norm, your past experience, and past experience of all mankind will become less reliable guides. People, as individuals and humanity as a whole, will increasingly have to deal with things that previously have never experienced. Such as a Superintelligent machine, the design of the body, algorithms for manipulating your emotions, rapid climatic disasters and the need to change professions every ten years. What to do when hit in a completely unexpected situation? How to act when you flush the flow of information and there is absolutely no way to absorb and perform? How to live in a world in which deep uncertainty — not a bug, but a feature?

To survive and prosper in such a world will require flexibility of mind and great reserves of emotional balance. You have to constantly face the unknown and abandon what you know well. Unfortunately, children’s education, greeting the unknown and maintaining their emotional balance — much harder than to teach them physics or the causes of the First world war. You can’t learn flexibility of thinking by reading a book or listening to a lecture. Teachers themselves do not have enough mental flexibility that will require 21st century because they are a product of the old education system.

The industrial revolution bequeathed to us the theory of the conveyor. In the city center there is a large concrete building that is divided into a plurality of identical rooms, each of which are desks and chairs. To call you enter one of those rooms with 30 other children born in one year with you. Each hour includes adults and begin to speak. They pay for this government. One of them talks about the shape of the Earth, the other about the past of a person, the third on the human body. On this model you can laugh all you want, and almost everyone will agree that regardless of the past achievements of man, they are no longer relevant. But we have no other alternative. Especially that could be implemented in a rural area of Mexico.

Part three: hacking people

The best advice I could give 15-year-old stuck in an old school somewhere in Mexico, India or Alabama: do not rely on adults too much. Most of them are thinking straight, but does not understand the world. Previously, adults could rely on, because they knew the world, and the world slowly changed. But the 21st century will be different. Due to the increasing pace of change you can never be sure what you’re trying to tell you adults: the eternal wisdom or outdated prejudice.

On what can we rely on then? On the technology? But it is even more risky bet. Technology can be of great help, but also gain too much power over your life, you become a hostage to this agenda. Thousands of years ago humans invented agriculture, but this technology has enriched a tiny elite to enslave the majority. Many people worked day and night, carrying buckets of water and picking corn in the hot sun. It can happen to you.

In technology there is nothing wrong. If you know what you want from life, technology to help you with this. But if you don’t know what you want from life, technology is the easiest way to create your goals for you and take control of your life. Moreover, technology better understand people and the sooner you serve them, not they you. Saw all those zombies that roam the streets, cleave to the face of smartphones? I think they control technology or technology control them?

Can you then trust yourself? With the improvement of biotechnology and machine learning to manipulate profound emotions and desires of people are becoming simpler, and to follow my heart more dangerous than ever. When Coca-Cola, Amazon, Baidu or the government knows which strings of your soul to pull, if you can keep the difference between itself and the result of their marketing expertise?

To succeed in this difficult task, you will need to work very hard to get to know your operating system. Know who you are and what you want from life. This, of course, relatively old advice: know thyself. For thousands of years, philosophers and prophets called people to know themselves. But in the 21st century, this Council will become more relevant than ever, because unlike the days of Lao Tzu and Socrates, today you have serious opponents. Coca-Cola, Amazon, Baidu and the government is trying to crack. Not your smartphone, computer and Bank account — they want to hack your organic operating system. You probably heard that we live in an era of hackers of computers, but this is only half the truth. We live in an era of hacking people.

Algorithms are watching you. They watch where you go, what you buy, with someone. Soon they will be watching your steps, your breath and heartbeat. They rely on big data and machine learning to get to know you better and better. And as soon as these algorithms get to know you better than you know yourself, they can take control of you and manipulate you and you do not even know. You will live in “the Matrix” or in “Truman Show”. Your identity will be limited by the algorithms that are controlling you.

Of course, you can be happy giving all powers to the algorithms and trusting them to decide something for you and for the rest of the world. If so, relax and enjoy the ride. You don’t need to do anything. The algorithms will take care of everything. If you want to keep control of his personal existence and future life, you need to move faster than the algorithms than the Amazon and the government, and to know himself before they do. Leave all illusions behind. They are very heavy.

Materials Wired

Are you ready to teach my children, what will I need? Tell us in our chat in Telegram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *