Mankind as Captives of their Concept

 What is surprising is,whatever you forecast,the truth is always underrated. Even the most extreme forecast lags behind the reality. (Negroponte)

 Today,unprecedentedly great leaps have occurred in technology, which has made it possible for us to realize the great ideal of leaping to immortals. However,no corresponding great leap has ever occurred in people’s thinking and ideology.

 Technology always walks ahead of ideology. Before a new idea has time to come into being, a new technology has already begun to roar like an angry wave flapping the coast.

 Technological revolution is changing our life:Today’s house has almost become the world of all kinds of household electrical appliances: at the door is installed the electronic bell and the monitoring video camera;In the guest chamber is a tv set and a VCD set;In the study are the computer, telephone and facsimile equipment;In the bedroom are the cordless telephone and air conditioner;In the kitchen are the electronic rice cooker, electronic oven and microwave oven;In the toilet, we have the electronic closestool and shower… The newly-born Internet has connected thousands upon thousands of households together, and the electrification and electronics-oriented revolution have put us into a mythic world unthinkable to the ancients. Automobiles are galloping on the cobweb-like dense highways, high-speed trains are dashing on the vast land, 10,000-ton steamships are sailing in the boundless see, skymasters are flying in the immensurable sky, and we can reach any place in the world in an instant. All kinds of modern means of transport are playing a measureless role in mankind’s expansion of activity space, in saving of time and in raising of work efficiency. The human society is no longer developing at the walking speed, and mankind’s life changing speed has reached a very surprising level.

 Today,we have ushered in another technological revolution that is even greater and even more profound, bringing about shocking changes to everything:A single gene can extend the life-time of a drosophila by one or several times, and so can mankind’s gene in future. Sometime in the future,when we inject an elixir pill or a longevity gene into the human body, it may rejuvenate the body that used to be considered to be sure to grow old and die soon. Scientists can also use the new and complete heart or liver cultivated by the stem cell technology, thus, we may repair, replace any “part” of the human body at will, and, by adjusting our telomeres, we may get the right to set our life clock backwards. All activities on the earth and all the temporal and spatial variations of the earth environment may be loaded into the computer, the computer chip will be as cheap and rich as draft paper, piling up around mankind, you may talk to any tool or electric appliance and all of them can give wise answers like the “Snow White” in the fairy tale

 All those are just a few examples, and the more stirring revolutions will come next. Bill Gates said in his Future Speed per Hour, people often overestimate things to happen in the coming two years, and underrate the development trend of the coming decade. When you are galloping forward by riding the wind of technology, the distance between fantasy and reality has become very vague in fact, maybe there is only one sheet of paper in between. When interviewed by the reporter, Negroponte stressed repeatedly: “What is surprising is,whatever you forecast,the truth is always underrated. Even the most extreme forecast lags behind the reality.”

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