In the long list of questions worth asking about the future there is a very real problem rarely spoken of in any but vague terms. And yet this very question is perhaps on of the most important our generation and future ones may ever broach. In a world where computers become advanced enough to become sentient and our own thoughts and those of others can combine into what could be considered a noosphere or singularity, at what point will it be appropriate to do so?
When a new consciousness comes into the world after most others are combined together into one single entity if doing so comes through technological means, when will it be appropriate to do so? The weighty decision of giving up individuality entirely and entering a vast strain of consciousness encompassing all people of Earth is a hard question to face, and doing so would require examining the very essence of what it means to be human.
How can the decision be made for another human being whether they should be absorbed into a greater consciousness? And when is this transition appropriate? For the purpose of this question we’ll try to approximate one of the more likely methods of mental singularity and how it could be achieved. In this scenario humanity exists in two forms. There are those who have chosen to bring their consciousness into the greater collective and exist in purely theoretical digital space through hooking into the system and those who exist purely or partially outside of the noosphere supporting it and supporting those who are within the system. These people naturally will continue to live and thrive and will therefore eventually father and mother a new generation of people – people who will be faced with a question most adults of our current generation are even unequipped to answer: would you temporarily or permanently lose your identity entirely and choose to become part of a greater collective consciousness?
It seems the simple answer is that everyone in the society will be given the choice for themselves to either enter into this collective experience of humanity and tap into the sea of memories and intellectual thoughts and knowledge. But the question becomes less simple when we consider that all thoughts and all emotions and experiences are not created equally. To experience the collective consciousness of humanity could in fact be quite detrimental to the psychological wellbeing and development of a child living in such a polarized society torn between the ultimate form of collectivism and then interacting in a world where individuality is valued.
And yet those living within the individualistic society will be pressured to create a standard or mandate to govern the single most difficult decision at the core of each spiritual being. How will the decision be made? When and under what criteria will a person be allowed to enter into the technological collective consciousness and interact with machines millions of years in advance of humans if they so choose? We like to think that only the wisest among us will be making decisions such as these, but this is a highly spiritual question that will almost certainly be asked of those technically minded individuals who made the system possible in the first place before it began evolving and recreating itself. And are we as human beings in general ever prepared for such a drastic transition as integrating with the greater consciousness of humanity?