Metaverse 2.0: The Informational, Social and Cognitive Heart ...
Metaverse 2.0 The Informational, Social, and Cognitive Heart of our Accelerating Future H+ Summit 2009 EON Irvine, CA John Smart, President, Acceleration Studies Foundation Slides: accelerating.org/slides.html [email_address]
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) <ul><li>Dynamic, Inspiring Private University, </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative Programs, </li></ul><ul><li>Tech-Focused, Accelaware </li></ul><ul><li>Tempe/Phoenix, AZ </li></ul><ul><li>1400 Students </li></ul><ul><li>Mission: To educate students in the fields of advancing technology to become innovators of the future . </li></ul><ul><li>14 Bachelors Degrees </li></ul><ul><li>3 MS Degrees: Technology Studies, Emerging Tech, </li></ul><ul><li>Artificial Life Programming </li></ul>
Foresight Development (TCH 110) A Required Undergrad Foresight Course at UAT <ul><li>Foresight Development is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Futures Studies Education plus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Foresight Skills Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Course Description: </li></ul><ul><li>Foresight is the act of looking to the future. This course teaches better global, business and personal foresight to better enjoy and manage your own future. We will explore the big picture history of accelerating change from universal, historical and technological perspectives, as well as identifying global trends that are affecting individuals, society, businesses and governments. Additionally, the course will examine how organizations make bets on the future and gives the student a chance to explore career prospects in a variety of fields. Finally, discussion of how biology, psychology, community and culture help and hinder personal thinking about the future will be discussed. We will articulate and explain the four fundamental foresight processes: innovating the future (creative development of products and services); planning the future (developing shared goals and processes); profiting in the future (achieving measurable positive results, including environmental, social, and economic benefits); and predicting the future (trend identification and analysis). Assignments will be personalized to your own foresight goals, and will include brief readings, brief writing, discussions, debates, visuals, film, podcasts and games. </li></ul>
Classifying Transformative Tech: The NISCB Tech Pentad <ul><li>Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno ( NBIC ) convergence was a good start, but it overlooks Social convergence. The NISCB pentad fixes that, and arranges these systems “fastest first”, from most rapidly to least rapidly complexifying: </li></ul><ul><li>N anotech </li></ul><ul><li>I nfotech </li></ul><ul><li>S ociotech </li></ul><ul><li>C ognotech </li></ul><ul><li>B iotech </li></ul><ul><li>NI is the “trans” and SCB the “humanism” in trans humanism . We have moral responsibilities for all tech, but they differ in their intrinsic rates of complexification, and in their relation to the self. </li></ul><ul><li>We directly experience SCB change as part of our biological identities, and externally experience NI change, which we create and discover. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the three techs we directly experience, SC are the easiest to change (our social choices and relations, our thoughts, emotions, attitudes). </li></ul><ul><li>This is why SC is the heart of humanism . What we care most about. </li></ul><ul><li>We are most essentially social-cognitive creatures, using all our tech to “niche construct” our planet, like beavers, termites, or bees. </li></ul>See Cascio, Jamais. 2009. The Singularity and Society . Fast Company .
STEEP to STEEPS to STEEPSOP to SNISCBEEPSOP: Developing an Accelaware Set of Foresight Categories <ul><li>S cience (Theoretical, Applied, Prof., Sci. Ed, Sci. Policy) </li></ul><ul><li>Tech – N ano & Macrotech </li></ul><ul><li>Tech – I nfotech </li></ul><ul><li>Tech – S ociotech </li></ul><ul><li>Tech – C ognotech </li></ul><ul><li>Tech – B iotech </li></ul><ul><li>E nvironment (Sustainability, Resources, Impacts, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>E conomics (Capitalism, Biz-Law, 3BL Accounting, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>P olitics (Military, Security, Policy, Non-Biz Law, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>S ociety (Culture, Media, Education, Religion, Art, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>O rganizational (Entrepreneurship, Mgmt, Org Dev, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>P ersonal (Relationship, Career, Family, Spirituality, etc.) </li></ul>All 12 categories are important to foresight development and change management. The first three , S cience, N anotech, and I nfotech, seem to be “universal pulls” toward accelerating complexification. All the rest are enablers, shapers, or blocks to that acceleration. Scan with them all to see the big picture.
NISCB Tech - In Detail Nanotech and Macrotech “ Nano”: Macroengineering, Microengineering & Nanoengineering, Physics, Chemistry, Energy, Resources, Agric., Cleantech, Manufacturing, Space… “The leading edge of all Macrotech is Nano tech. (Physical effic. or density incr.)” Infotech “ AI” (Narrow and General Artificial Intelligence): Computing, Networks, Databases, Sensors, Automated Robotics, Conversational Interface, Cybertwins, Underground Automated Highway Systems… Sociotech “ IA” (Intelligence Amplification): Tech+Policy with Quantifiable Positive Sum Benefits for Society: Clothing, Democratic Capitalism, Subsidized Solar, Social Networks, P2P Media, iTV/Personalized Ed, Valuecosm … Cognotech “ Mind”: Neuropsych (dev. psych, Ed. tech, behav. economics, expert performance), Psychiatry, Neuropharm, Meditation, Crit. Thinking, Brain Games, Consc. Monitoring, Symbiont Networks, New Age Hooey/Placebo Effects … Biotech “ Body”: Medicine, Public Health, Nutrition and Diet, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Genetics, Mol. Bio, Prosthetics, Implants…
Beware NIB, Our Transhumanist Community’s Historical Bias Nanotech Infotech Biotech stories are “Not In Balance”! <ul><li>We transhumanists love thinking about NIB , three techs on the "extremes" of the NI SC B pentad: </li></ul><ul><li>We love the molecular assembler , nanofabber and nanobot visions of N anotech. </li></ul><ul><li>We love general artificial intelligence (AI) (vs. intelligence amplification (IA)) in I nfotech. </li></ul><ul><li>We love genetic engineering , neuropharmacology , and superlongevity in B iotech. </li></ul><ul><li>But these are all seriously oversold and likely to be persistent underperformers for the next 20-30 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Assemblers are hard! Drexler (2004) is now thinking vacuum phase ( Drexler vs. Smalley debate ) because we don’t have a clue how to do them in liquid. Even though that’s what cells do, and supramolecular synthetic chemistry is what we’d want (e.g., an organometallic soup as feedstock for a fab). The elephant in the room is the entropy accumulation problem. Until we figure out bio-inspired, error-correcting systems, nanotech can’t develop much past materials science. Read David Berube, Nano-Hype , 2005, + Blog and Richard Jones, Soft Machines , 2008 + Blog . </li></ul><ul><li>Nanobots? We don’t even have serious microfluidics or labs on a chip yet. Nanofabbers? Nanofabrication is a collection of capital- and skill-intensive chip industry and lab bench R&D processes. Let’s be honest. We don’t even have low-cost prototyping or low-volume macro manufacturing options yet, much less micro- or nanomanufacturing. Let’s focus on growing the DIY / Maker / Open Source / Open Innovation / Open Science communities, and helping maker labs like TechShop (founded 2006) or Noisebridge (2008) overcome the many blocks (liability, financial, marketing, political) to spreading beyond n=1. </li></ul><ul><li>General AI is a conundrum inside several enigmas. We don’t understand the brain yet (memory, learning, consciousness), let alone have a good idea how to make an artificial one. Let’s crack LTP, signaling, neural synchronization, and a host of other juicy mysteries in neuroscience before we meow about building “ Cat Brains .” More reality, please! Read Dennis Bray, Wetware , 2009 to appreciate all the nonlinear and emergent computation in just a single cell . Read Moshe Sipper, Machine Nature , 2002 to get a sense of the bio-inspiration and parallelism our hardware will need before it can bootstrap to higher functions. Barely even on the 30 year horizon, in my opinion. </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic engineering in humans? Humbug, unless you’ve got a single gene disease. We aren’t even sure about it in our foods. Read Denise Caruso, Intervention , 2006. Neuropharmacology? All drugs, including SSRI’s are global, top-down tech that burns out ( excitotoxicity , as in meth brain ) your delicate, bottom-up regulated brain. A little burnout may be therapeutic, but it’s still degradation, not enhancement. Longevity past 120? Not unless you can magically stop cellular entropy in dozens of pathways (no nanobots available, sorry). Let’s get serious about getting people to 120 instead , with veganism , optimal nutrition, methionine restriction , big lowering of HbA1c and inflammation . Dirt cheap blood tests, implants. All our “silver bullets,” like resveratrol, are just silver bb’s (mild positive effects, and only in the right dosage). Major dietary and lifestyle improvements will happen only in the age of p2p media , symbiont networks , cybertwins , and implantable telemetry (quantified metabolic self) . So let’s make these happen now! </li></ul><ul><li>We have to get back to the IA story in Sociotech , and neuropsych in Cognotech , the "heart" of the NI SC B pentad, to understand the major social issues and the many disruptive (and profitable!) near-term advances ahead. </li></ul>
Jim Dator’s Four Futures: Each Have Value They Also Represent Four Classic Political Dialogs <ul><li>Key Images/Stories/Policies With Respect to Change </li></ul>Dator, Jim. 1979. Perspectives in Cross-Cultural Psychology, Academic Press. <ul><li>Rig ht wing </li></ul><ul><li>Continuation (Economic Issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Limits & Discipline </li></ul><ul><li>(Social Issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Le ft wing </li></ul><ul><li>Continuation (Social Issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Limits & Discipline (Economic Issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Up wing </li></ul><ul><li>Transformation (Selective Issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Down wing </li></ul><ul><li>Decline & Collapse (Selective Issues) </li></ul>
World Economic Performance GDP Per Capita in Western Europe, 1000 – 1999 A.D. This curve looks quite smooth on a macroscopic scale. Note the “knee of the curve” occurs circa 1850, at the Industrial Revolution.
Kevin Kelly is Accelaware 1995 What Technology Wants 2010 Kevin’s Blog. Read it.
Accelerating Change is Broadly Ignored By the Scientific Community, Except for Tech Learning Curves <ul><li>Learning/Experience/Performance Curves (Moore’s Law, etc.) show accelerating exponential or power-law increases in capacity or efficiency over time. We’ve known about them since the 1930’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Santa Fe Inst has started the first online open PCDB </li></ul><ul><li>(2008, PCDB.SantaFe.edu). Such data sets are critically important to understanding accelerating tech change and convergence. The SFI PCDB has a very small amount of NSF funding at present. Feel free to donate! </li></ul><ul><li>I think accelerating change has been ignored so long because: </li></ul><ul><li>It looks too much like “progress,” a forbidden word in science, as we have no “universal” theory of values or complexity. Yet. </li></ul><ul><li>It looks suspiciously like (smooth, hierarchical, predictable) complexity development , when the only dynamic that complexity scientists are presently willing to discuss is (noisy, branching, unpredictable) complexity evolution . </li></ul><ul><li>A few physicists do see parts of development (e.g., 2 nd law of thermo (hierarchical decay), or Chaisson’s free energy work (hierarchical acceleration). But we all know physicists are crazy . </li></ul>
‘ Search Basins’ and ‘Portal Pathways’: Developmental Portal Pathways Must Exist Crutchfield, J.P. 2001. When Evolution is Revolution: Origins of Innovation. In: Crutchfield, J.P. and Schuster, P. (eds.), Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Interplay of Selection, Neutrality, Accident and Function . <ul><li>Key Research Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Are portals/bottlenecks that lead to increasing complexity plentiful or rare? </li></ul><ul><li>Are such portals/bottlenecks sequence-dependent or randomly traversible? </li></ul><ul><li>Are such portals convergent, divergent, or non-vergent (as depicted here)? </li></ul>
Portal Pathway for Complex Chemical Evo Devo – Carbon Chemistry <ul><li>Carbon is the only way forward to complex (living ) chemistry. Boron and Silicon no longer considered viable enough to form autocatalytic cycles in liquid phase. </li></ul><ul><li>Note that four of six most common elements in life chemistry (CHNOPS), and both of the great oxidizers, oxygen, and sulfur, are formed in the small, third generation (Population I) stars like our Sun </li></ul>Genesis of Chemical Elements
Portal Pathway for Cells – Lipids and RNA <ul><li>Lipids and RNA may be the only way from organic chemistry to cells! </li></ul><ul><li>RNA, lipids/cell membranes, and protein precursors (amino acids) all form spontaneously in Earth’s chemistry (and precursors form on meteorites). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nucleobases (AGCT/U) form from cyanide, acetylene and water. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sugars form from alkali and formaldehyde </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phosphates are released from schreibersite in meteorites (“solar system assist”), and (a little) from (modern) volcanic vents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sutherland et. al., mixing sugar and nucleobase precursors and phosphate got 2-aminooxazole (partial sugar, partial nucleobase) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure to intense solar UV in shallow water (“solar system assist”) destroys the incorrect forms of nucleobases, leaving behind C and U. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RNA is today the only known heteropolymer (of 10M species!) that can both reproduce itself and catalyze 3D (protein) construction (ribozymes) </li></ul><ul><li>RNA later learned to store itself more permanently as DNA (RNA World Hypothesis), but DNA may not be the only more stable nucleic acid. </li></ul>Alonzo Ricardo and Jack Szostak. Life on Earth, Scientific American , Sept 2009. Matthew W. Powner, Beatrice Gerland & John D. Sutherland. Synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides in prebiotically plausible conditions, Nature V. 460 May 13, 2009.
Evolutionary Convergence to the Superorganism? The stunningly niche-dominant social insects <ul><li>Why are only 2% of the 900,000 insect species social insects? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does this 2% weigh more than the mass of all other insects combined (and is even 80% of all animal biomass in the Amazon rainforest)? </li></ul><ul><li>Escalation of power/mass/intelligence in competition ( Evolution and Escalation , Vermeij) </li></ul><ul><li>Eusocial species use both social and individual levels of computation ( Lucifer Principle , Bloom). </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive exclusion once the social computation niche is occupied. </li></ul><ul><li>Do social insects cause most insect extinctions (invasion theory) </li></ul><ul><li>Are humans now doing the same thing as the social insects before us? </li></ul>
The IA-AI Convergence of ‘Metahumanity,’ a Human-Machine Superorganism Stock, Greg. 1994. Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism . Biologist William Wheeler, 1937: Termites, bees, ants, and other social animals are parts of “superorganisms.” Increasingly, they can’t be understood apart from the environmental structures their genetics and memetics compel them to construct. Their developmental endpoint: an integrated cell-organism- supercolony.
Teilhard on Technological Acceleration: “Cephalization” / “Planetization” of Earth "No one can deny that a network (a world network) of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven at ever increasing speed which envelops and constantly penetrates more deeply within each of us. With every day that passes it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think otherwise than collectively." “ Finite Sphericity + Acceleration = Phase Transition” Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. 1945. The Planetisation of Mankind. The Future of Man , Image, 2004. —— 1955. The Phenomenon of Man , Harper & Row.
The Metaverse <ul><li>The Metaverse is Neal Stephenson's ( Snow Crash , 1992) incisive term for a world where the virtual and digital intimately pervades, encapsulates, and ultimately surpasses physical reality . </li></ul><ul><li>As adults, we run novel simulations of reality in our heads, in virtual space, far more than we engage in novel activities in physical space. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Life simulates massively, cuts once.” </li></ul><ul><li>Our computers are rapidly learning to do the same , with huge implications for the future. While its 3D aspects are the first that come to mind, the Metaverse includes all the 1, 2, 2.5, and 3D digital platforms we use on our global Participatory Web, as we collectively prime it to take the next big leap in its intelligence (to the semantic web). </li></ul><ul><li>These platforms include search (Google, Wolfram Alpha, Bing), telephony (iPhone, Android, Google Voice), static and mobile social networking (Facebook, Loopt), microblogging (Twitter), collaboration environments (Google Wave), videoconferencing (Skype Video), games and virtual worlds (XBox Live, Second Life), mirror worlds (Google Earth), avatars (Miis, MyCyberTwin), lifelogging (MyLifeBits), and augmented reality (QR codes, Wikitude). </li></ul><ul><li>Collectively, these services are much more a story of human intelligence amplification (IA, Sociotech) than of artificial intelligence (AI, Infotech), which, though it improves itself at a faster marginal rate, has seen much more limited impact on society to date. (Smart, J. et.al. 2007. MetaverseRoadmap.org ) </li></ul>
From the Metaverse to Metahumanity: Evolutionary Development of the Web <ul><li>Web 1.0: Read Mainly (Graphical UI) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0: Read/Write/Play (Participatory, Social UI) </li></ul><ul><li>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Web 3.0: Semantic (Cyber/Lobbytwins, Valuecosm, CI) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 4.0: Intelligent (Planetization, Global Brain, NUI Social Singularity/Metathinking/Metahumanity) </li></ul><ul><li>We are climbing the hierarchies of the web, via design, use, feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>This is, by far, the largest and most meaningful complexity construction process that human society has ever engaged in. </li></ul><ul><li>As biologicals, this may also be our last great job description . </li></ul><ul><li>Are you doing your job? Are you on social networks, on a smartphone, on the cloud (G-office), on open source software, yelping, blogging, tweeting, commenting, and helping to build the global semantic map? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you subsidizing metaverse innovation (rather than convenience) with your time, energy, and dollars? Are you a pioneer? Pioneers take arrows in their backs. They are tough sons of bitches with vision . </li></ul>Miemis, Venessa. 2009. A Metathinking Manifesto . Emergentbydesign.com Smart, John et. al. 2007. Metaverse Roadmap (to 2025) . MetaverseRoadmap.org Metaverse 1.0 Metaverse 2.0
Consciousness as Neural Synchronization: From the Cybertwin to the Cyberself <ul><li>Neural synchronization , the phase-synched oscillation of populations of neurons in both near and non-adjacent brain regions is an emergent phenomenon of action potentials and feedback. Scholars, including Francis Crick, Christof Koch, J.A. Scott Kelso and others have long proposed neural synch as the “language” of feature binding ( neural binding, architectonics ), the substrate where autonomous and integrated thoughts make our highest-order perception , attention , and consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>Laura Colgin has recently found a two state Gamma Oscillation Switch in rat hippocampus: “This switch mechanism points to superfast routing [10 to 100 ms, which is much faster than the 300+ ms speed of consciousness] as a general mode of information handling in the brain. The classical view has been that signaling inside the [mammalian] brain is hardwired, subject to change only by modification of connections between neurons. We believe that the gamma switch is a general principle of the brain , employed throughout the brain to enhance interregional communication.” She speculates that one of these oscillations, slow gamma (25-50 Hz), reads memories from neural stores, and the second, fast gamma (65-140 Hz), encodes working memory (present perceptions) . Thus these two oscillations , together with other supporting processes, may be the physical substrate of our highest unconscious and conscious thought and perception. </li></ul><ul><li>What does Neural Synch Imply for the Long-Term Future of the Cybertwin? </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine future brain implants capable of neural synchronization with external artificial neurons, in both of these states. This gives you the ability to not only have external thinking prosthetics (a neural cybertwin) but even to shift your consciousness (memories and perceptions) between your biological and cyber components. You now have not just a cybertwin, but a cyber self , a self that is both an extension and to some extent a copy of you . When your bioself dies, it will feel to your cyberself like change, not death. You will have uninterrupted consciousness! </li></ul>How the Brain Filters out Distracting Thoughts to Focus on a Single Bit of Info . ScienceDaily, 11.23.09 Colgin et. al. Frequency of gamma oscillations routes flow of info. in the hippocampus. Nature , 2009; 462 (7271):353. Laura Colgin, Kavli Inst. Postdoc
Advent of the Cybertwin, Circa 2020: The Biggest Single Change We May See In our Lifetimes! <ul><li>Consider the implications for: </li></ul><ul><li>Subculture Diversity and Representation (goes up) </li></ul><ul><li>Global Comm and Collab (minimal language barrier) </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Divide (disappears) </li></ul><ul><li>Accountablity of Powerful Actors (goes up) </li></ul><ul><li>Data Security and Privacy (gets worse, then better) </li></ul><ul><li>Crime and Fraud (gets worse, then better) </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations Manipulation (worse, then better) </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation Systems and Transparency (much better) </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-Economic-Political Democracy ( must improve) </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting (How early can kids have CT’s?) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Empowerment (20% of us?) </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment and Dependency (80% of us?) </li></ul>
Symbiont Networks: A Post 2015 Emergence? <ul><li>When we have an early Metaverse 2.0 , lifelogs , and pervasive broadband connectivity , we can expect… </li></ul><ul><li>150 (Dunbar number) of our kids most cognitively diverse (Page 2008) friends permissioned into their lifestreams, 24/7. </li></ul><ul><li>A reputation and reciprocity collaboration system that keeps everyone contributing to the symbiont (no free riders). </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful new group learning and expert performance, with symbionts seriously outperforming unconnected individuals . Always having 150 “lifelines” who know you, in any situation. </li></ul><ul><li>New cultural protocols, symbionts must be temporarily turned off for job interviews, tests, private moments, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>Serious behavioral modification (juveniles, criminals, mentally ill) and performance enhancement. </li></ul><ul><li>Fantastic new subcultural diversity (transhumanist symbionts, Amish symbionts, etc.) </li></ul>Page, Scott. 2008. The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies , Princeton U. Press.
What are the bottlenecks (sci-tech deficits, social-econ-political blocks) to accelerating progress? <ul><li>“ As fast as tech moves, people move at the same slow, cautious pace they always did. If anything, people have gotten more cautious, more afraid of change, more skeptical, more cynical.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Dean Kamen , 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>[To create a global innovation economy] should we be doubling the speed [of computers] or doubling the numbers of people who have access to information? – Dean Kamen , 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>And also doubling the… </li></ul><ul><li>Educational content in open-access databases? </li></ul><ul><li>Sophistication of free cloud-based education systems? </li></ul><ul><li>Funded competitions (HS on up) for new ideas products solutions? </li></ul><ul><li>(Immigrant and endemic) scientists, engineers, and students? </li></ul><ul><li>Critical, rational, and normative thinking programs? </li></ul><ul><li>Social, economic and political models, data, and policy analyses? </li></ul><ul><li>Triple bottom line (financial, social, envir) accounting uses? </li></ul>See Brigis, Alvis. 2008. The Social Will to Accelerate . Memebox.com .
Network with Your Favorite Foresight Affinity Groups Do More Of It this Year! http://futurecamp.ning.com Join us for a week of future salons, talks, and hanging out in BRC! Ping [email_address] for an invite, tell us about your foresight interests and activities. Social network of foresight students, educators, researchers, employers, alums, and advocates. FERNweb.org Attend our Foresight Careers conference! Membership organization, magazine, conference. Membership org, e-news, conference. WFSF.org Start a free public Future Salon! Now in 15 cities globally. FutureSalon.com Membership org, e-news, conference. Profuturists.org
Appendix (Can’t Cover This Today, But Transhumanists Should Keep This in Mind…)
Bio vs. Tech, or Monkey vs. Robot You know you wanna watch this .
The Limits of Top-Down Control: Engineering Smartness is Very Hard to Do <ul><li>“ Doogie Howser” Mouse. Extra copies of NMDA receptor 2B (NR2B) improved long term potentiation (LTP). They had better memories but were more neurotic (sensitive to pain). </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence breeding in hunting dogs, horses, and other domestics has had very little effect vs. wildtype animals (“dumb” Pointer vs. Wild Dog). </li></ul><ul><li>All neuropharmacology always has a strong dose response and receptor downregulation, and it all causes long-term damage. Some of this damage is adaptive (anxiolytics, antidepressants, etc.) </li></ul>Domestic Pointer African Wild Dog
The Limits of Top-Down Control: Growth Genes and Antagonistic Plieotropy <ul><li>Clip a promotor for a growth hormone gene into … </li></ul><ul><li>a frog and you will get a bigger frog </li></ul><ul><li>a mouse and you get a bigger mouse with growth dysregulation , including cancer </li></ul><ul><li>a pig and you get the same-sized pig with acromegaly (bone growth problems) and arthritis . </li></ul><ul><li>More complex organisms have more evolutionary but fewer developmental differentiation abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>A lot more legacy code, a lot less flexibility! </li></ul>Xenopus laevis Mus musculus Sus domesticus
Human Development and and the Juvenile State <ul><li>To make our “Great Leap Forward” (human civilization) humans went backwards developmentally (certain development genes turned off or slowed down, juvenile skull, hairlessness, etc.) in comparison to our two closest cousins (common and bonobo chimpanzees). </li></ul><ul><li>Humans vs. other primates are more juvenile (babylike), more altricial (helpless at birth), more dependent on imprinting (from culture and tech) and more precocial (larger brains at birth). </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons: </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic development had to go backward to bring greater intelligence to the planet. </li></ul><ul><li>Since then it is cultural development (social ideas and tech) that takes humans forward. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose carefully the ideas and technologies you are imprinting during your juvenile state! </li></ul>
Limits to Biocomplexity: Declining Marginal Adaptation from Genetic Differentiation <ul><li>Only so much complexity can develop “on top” of DNA! </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis: The further out one gets from the first living cell, the less developmental freedom remains (legacy code/path dependency). </li></ul><ul><li>Are humans near the end of the genetic line? Consider: </li></ul><ul><li>We went developmentally “backward” (heterochrony) to emerge </li></ul><ul><li>We emerged not due to incremental changes in variety of genes, but instead due to a rare punctuated change in a tiny number of brain genes 4-6 million years ago ( HAR sequences ) that improved our nongenetic (language) abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Since then, brain-expressed genes in humans clearly follow a terminal differentiation dynamic. As Wang et al. (2006) Bakewell et al. (2007) and others report, evolutionary change in human brain-expressed genes has slowed down both in absolute terms and relative to chimps since our split six million years ago. </li></ul>Smart, John 2001. Limits to Biology: Performance Limitations on Natural and Engineered Biological Systems. http://www.accelerationwatch.com/biotech.html Wang, Hurng-Yi et al. 2006. Rate of Evolution in Brain-Expressed Genes in Humans and Other Primates, PLoS Biology 5(2):e13 Bakewell, Margaret A. et al. 2007. More genes underwent positive selection in chimp evol. than in human evol. PNAS 4.17.2007.