The authors of “The Runaway Species” argue that Picasso’s solitary process and the teamwork involved in the rescue of Apollo 13 both relied on the same “cognitive routines” that produce novel ideas. (Astronaut photo courtesy of NASA.)

A Composer and a Neuroscientist Walk into a Bar …

Michael Hawley
Oct 26, 2017 · 6 min read

Historians of the future will look back on this moment as the abrupt end of the beginning.

What this mind-boggling backdrop ultimately means for the evolution of our species — and for whatever we value in human creativity — is anyone’s guess. Here’s one fear: mass global media swamps diversity, wiping out regional differences, eliminating intellectual variation that was crucial to our behavioral evolution. On this point, Brandt and Eagleman offer a favorite Ben Franklin quip: “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” But won’t that be the ultimate effect of mass media saturation? Especially if (or when) machine creativity outstrips human creativity?

Monet at Giverny at age 59 (left) and at age 82 (right).

NEO.LIFE

Making sense of the Neobiological Revolution.

Michael Hawley

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NEO.LIFE

NEO.LIFE

Making sense of the Neobiological Revolution.