- Vitalik Buterin and the Indian mystic, Sadhguru recently had a conversation via a virtual call, hosted by the reState Foundation.
- This virtual talk was about the relationship between technology and human consciousness.
- Technology can be used as a potent tool in promoting trust and cooperation among humans.
The 21st century has no doubt been one of the most significant eras of human ingenuity. Technology from several fields like AI, space travel, blockchains, and medicine have emerged or have been improved on over the last two decades.
So much so, that it becomes difficult sometimes, to keep up with the latest tech trends and stay on top of the news.
This boom in technological advancements has sparked conversations about where all of this leaves humanity. What exactly is our role in a world where space travel, medical breakthroughs and discoveries happen almost every day?
The co-founder and creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, and the head of the Isha Foundation, the Indian mystic, Sadhguru, had a conversation about the relationship between technology and human consciousness sometime on April 25, in a virtual talk hosted by the reState Foundation.
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In this conversation, the two intellectual elites got together to discuss how technology and human awareness might develop hand-in-hand in the future.
Technology, World Peace and Human Identity
Sadhguru opened the conversation by stating that he is in fact, profoundly interested in technology because in his experience, the human body is a “machine” in and of itself.
When asked if technology is “neutral”, Buterin mentioned that Blockchain technology for example, while focused on trustless systems, is actually focused on assisting various groups of individuals in coming together with mutual trust, and to work over great distances on many various types of projects.
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He mentioned that people should not see themselves as part of any one group, as this tends to create room for conflict.
He says instead, that people should see themselves as a combination of all of the different groups that they are part of.
Buterin says that this may be the key to a more peaceful world, compared to the single-identity approach that we are used to.
Corroborating Buterin’s views on the issue, Sadhguru mentioned that since humans are social creatures, the need to belong to a “group” accounts for a large portion of human blockages (conflict).
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The yogi claimed that because of this need for self-identification, intelligence over “protecting and defending the identity” of that group is forfeited.
Buterin commented, saying that the role of technology is to bridge that gap and create tools that make it easier for people to see these similarities among one another.
Technology’s Neutrality And Bringing Humans Together
Buterin said that technology may be classified into “social technology” and “physical technology” while emphasizing the fact that almost every kind of technology is social.
He cited AI as an example and the way that they are trained by several units of data that have been put on the internet by other humans. By this, an AI like ChatGPT can be classified as an aggregate of several human efforts.
Buterin emphasized how new and emerging technology like GPT makes it simpler for individuals to recognize complex identities and establish connections with one another.
Mentioning that while new technology won’t be able to solve all human issues, he went on to explain that agreements and conflicts in the field might lead to “realized collaboration” and educational possibilities if properly managed.
He says that the more that we can turn agreements into actual, realized cooperation, and turn disagreements into learning opportunities instead of active conflict, that might be something humanity can benefit from.
On the issue of whether technology can truly be neutral, Sadhguru put a question forward, and asked “Is there any human being who is truly neutral”?
In the Yogi’s opinion, no human is truly neutral. He says that because of this, it might be hard to achieve anything man-made that is “perfectly neutral”.
Buterin, commenting on the issue, mentioned that neutrality is interesting because even blockchains with their high levels of security and decentralization, find it difficult to be neutral.
This is because these blockchains have to pick between ‘high priority” transactions and which will get processed before the other.
Judging by this, “neutrality” might be a hard nut to crack.
Sadhguru mentioned in the later stages of the conversation that humans are the highest level of intelligence on the planet. He went further to ask why instead of functioning “consciously”, humans still function ‘unconsciously”.
He says that the main challenge in this day and age is to teach people, using technology, how to switch from their compulsive ways of doing things.
Sadhguru went further to urge the audience to remember that people are the “highest level of technology”.
He said that by doing this, we may enhance the way we engage with technologies as they continue to shape our daily lives and global systems.
The key to blockchain’s deployment as a tool for deeper knowledge and expanding human awareness, according to both speakers, is its right use.
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