“Humanity 8.0”: A Podcast

Announcing Humanity 8.0: A Podcast
Host: Dr. Ahmed Bouzid,
CEO, Witlingo

To listen to the first eight episodes of “Humanity 8.0”, please go here:

The Humanity 8.0 Podcast: Audio Only

The Humanity 8.0 Podcast: Video

If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please email me at: ahmed.bouzid@gmail.com

Image credit: Humanity 8.0 logo

When a few days ago I emailed SERRC’s Executive Editor, Jim Collier, someone I admire for all that he has done and continues to do for this wonderful publication, that I am launching “Humanity 8.0,” a new podcast about our Post-Truth present and our Transhuman future, his reaction was, first, “Happy to do it—yes,” but then he asked the perfectly fair and reasonable question: “We’re at 8 now?”

This of course made me smile and then laugh. Yes! What the heck! Eight already?

So, first, let me explain why I picked the number eight.

The Deleuzian that I am, and therefore someone unafraid to create something new whenever possible and let come what may, I looked around and discovered that, as far as waves of technological innovation were concerned, the consensus was that we have had anywhere between five to seven of them.[1],[2],[3] And yet, for some reason, as far as “Humanity” is concerned—a concept I will posit here and let people have at it—the consensus seems to be that all along those waves of innovation, humanity has remained more or less constant, stuck at a version 1.0, with perhaps some minor releases here and there, and that at best, perhaps, we are only now starting to move on towards a new version, with a major upgrade afoot to something that can be called 2.0.[4]

As someone who, with the passage of time, I have come to increasingly appreciate the exciting possibilities of applying  a phenomenological looking glass upon ourselves, as well as—as I mentioned—a student of Deleuze, and someone who believes that change and difference are the fundamental meaning churning and parsing machines, I wanted to make the point, through the title of the podcast, that with each major technological innovation, a whole new humanity emerges—a big version of humanity, of ways of being and thinking about ourselves, incommensurable almost compared to its previous versions, and that as things stand, if we want to talk about versioning Humanity, we might as well put it at its eight iteration.

So what are these iterations?

Before I list them, let me state that when I talk about “technology” I am not referring to just the technical gadgetry or hardware/software tools that we use to get on with our day (cars, smartphones, air conditioning, VR goggles, etc.), but also techniques, such as agriculture and architectural design, and institutions, such as the State, the Church, the University, and social movements, such as monotheism and environmentalism.  I consider these to be tools created by human beings to solve concrete problems, and hence as much part of our technology portfolio as anything conventionally understood as a “technology.”

And now onto the eight versions of humanity:

Version 1.0—From the start through settled agriculture, when the human experience became one of being settled, grounded, literally, and where one could talk about planning, storing, guarding what one stores, sharing, exchanging, became things that one did as a matter of daily life.

Version 2.0—The birth of monotheism and the central State: The emergence of top down, arboreal morality, coiled up with an arboreal, top down governing arrangement. The 2.0 human became a creature and subject to the ire and pleasure of an overseeing, lording moral entity, and at the same time subject to the rules of an overseeing state.

Version 3.0—The birth of the University: Knowledge as something that can be reliably sought by the layperson; knowledge that can be preserved and passed on to future humanities.

Version 4.0—The birth of Science: The world is now knowable, explainable, predictable where it can be predicted, and the human being can expect future humans to know more, plan more, and predict more accurately.

Version 5.0—The Industrial Age: Humans can create goods to be enjoyed by a much larger number of human beings than in previous humanities.  Yes, there will always be those who will enjoy things that nearly no one else will enjoy, but many of the comforts that used to be affordable by only the wealthy can now be enjoyed by the common man and woman.  With this shrinking of the gap between the haves and have nots, a similar shrinking of difference between the haves and have nots as human beings also occurred.

Version 6.0—The Electric Age: This is the age where magical things started to happen: the radio, medical instruments, the telephone, the television, and where distances were shrunk eliminated: I can pick up the phone and speak to anyone in the world in real time.  Magic that could be explained now filled our world.

Version 7.0—The Information Age: This is our current age, during which we are in front of our laptops, or, otherwise, on our smartphones when whe are not in front of our laptops, or both at the same time, for most of our waking moments.

Version 8.0—What is quickly emerging as the new way of being, characterized by two dimensions, as least: Post-Truth, by which I mean, the loss of an organizing epistemological authority that can arbitrate truth claims, big and small, and Transhumanism: the accelerated adoption of cutting edge technology to radically improve (at least this is what is claimed by those who are aggressively innovating in that dimension) the human condition.

[1] Abbott, Carl. 1997. “The Fifth Wave?” Origins August. https://origins.osu.edu/fifth-wave?language_content_entity=en.

[2] Silvaa, Glessia and Di Serio, Luiz Carlos. 2016. “The Sixth Wave of Innovation: Are We Ready?” ScienceDirect May. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1809203916300171.

[3] Oleto Associates. 2020. “Sailing 7 Waves of Computing Innovations for Maximum Business Impact.” January. https://oleto.com/perspectives/sailing-7-waves-of-computing-innovations-for-maximum-business-impact/.

[4] Fuller, Steve. 2011. Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future. Palgrave Macmillan.

Categories: Comments

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply