Both exciting and humbling

I am looking around at the people here with me at JFK airport, all of us waiting for our flights. Folks are sitting around, eating, chatting, looking at their phones, essentially waiting for the next thing to happen.

Watching this scene, some part of my mind is thinking about the fact that we have not, in any meaningful way, evolved biologically as a species in the 30,000 or so years since the Cro-Magnon era, when people were already creating the earliest known virtual realities, in the form of cave paintings.

On the one hand, we are rapidly evolving as a species in the sense that each generation is handing to the next ever new and exciting forms of technology-enabled virtual tools: Writing, agriculture, fast transportation, theater and cinema, computers, the Web, SmartPhones, wearables, and whatever comes after that, as marvelous as they may be, are all extrinsic to our essentially unchanged biological selves.

I find it significant that none of this is due to a biological shift. If you were to take a typical Cro-Magnon child and place her in a modern environment, she would be just as likely to thrive in today’s technologically evolved world as any child born into the 21st century.

To me, that is both exciting and humbling.

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