“We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys” social philosopher Eric Hoffer
Did you know that the Romans used steam for mechanical toys? They had a ball that span itself round using steam. They also had temple doors that opened automatically using steam. The only reason they didn’t move on to using it to power carts and to begin to generate electricity was that they already had a source of energy that was renewable, efficient and could work huge complex machinery such as cranes. They had slaves.
I often wonder what we are missing because we are not playing with ideas as much as we play with the toys around us? What are we missing because we are so immovably wedded to the forms of energy we have built our civilisation on to date? And will future generations look back on our civilisation and consider us just as cruel and short-sighted as the Romans because we couldn’t see something amazing right in front of our eyes?
Players of I love bees (an ARG that was used to market Halo 2 a best selling game) talked afterwards of the game experience as being part of a hive mind, of being “wetware” through combining their intelligences via the social tools of the net to solve complex problems replicating the processing power of a computer. Are we missing something in this emerging game play that could take humanity to a new level?