As I had mentioned in The Rise of Intuition, the biggest advancement we’ll see in the next five to fifteen years will not be in biotechnology, cloud computing, medical treatments, alternative energy, personal computing devices or any other tangible technology. It will be in understanding ourselves as human beings.
Technology and new research methodologies are fueling this revolution. In these previous posts, I highlighted what these methodologies are showing about what influences us:
- Eloquence Trumps Honesty in Trust & Likeability Wars
- Information You Know Is Wrong Still Influences You
- Rude More Powerful than Respectful
- Bin He of University of Minnesota (more)
- Martin Dresler of Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich (more)
- Jack Gallant of University of California, Berkeley (more)
- Francisco Pereira of Princeton University (more)
While the readings are crude today, work is rapidly progressing. Remember the medical tricorder Doctor McCoy used in Star Trek to scan bodies? Even as fantastic as that was, Spock still had to read minds via a mind meld. Now, imagine if McCoy had a brain tricorder capable of reading thoughts.
These technological advances are going to revolutionize our understanding of how we work. Early returns show an increasing amount of complex brain activity occurring on a subconscious level beyond the classical reflexive functions. This will directly challenge our concept of free will (more) as I have written earlier.
Amazingly, this revolution is silently flying under our radars and continuously fails to garner the hype of the other advancements I mentioned. Of course, this may be fitting since the revolution will likely uncover many thoughts and emotions that live outside of our consciousness.