The Global Revolution

Yesterday, there was a sad story in Reuters about ultra marathoner, Micah True, who died while out on a 12 mile road run in New Mexico. It won’t make front page headlines.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with global revolution? Plenty!

The knowledge of his demise is a metaphor for the instant information juggernaut that has changed humanity for all time. We have become “The Borg“! Resistance is futile.

Allow me to explain…

Micah True

Ultra-marathoner Micah True

Anything about runners in the news generally attracts my attention.

Not an ultra-marathoner, I used to be a jock! I attended college on a track and cross country scholarship. I ran 10s of thousands of miles over many years and consider myself knowledgeable about running in general and famous runners in particular.

The Reuter’s story reminds me of Jim Fixx who, during the rise of the running craze of the 1970s and 80s, wrote a definitive book that popularize running and its health benefits.

Fixx’s book is called, “The Complete Book of Running”.

The connection between Fixx and True is they both died while out running a workout.

Fixx died of a heart attack. The scuttlebutt in the running community was that Fixx was just a jogger… NOT a real runner. A REAL runner, we reasoned, pays attention to their body and would NEVER have ignored signs that could lead to a heart attack like Fixx did.

Years later, famous marathoner, Alberto Salazar, whose running credentials are beyond question, also had a sudden heart attack while on a workout. He was in top physical shape, too! His incredible conditioning and quick action by his running partner Galen Rupp was credited for his survival.

Perhaps, I thought, Micah True had a heart attack, too.

The Borg!

Borg Spacecraft from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation

Still puzzled?

I’d never heard of “celebrity” ultra-marathoner Micah True. Perhaps, as a runner, I should have known him, but didn’t.

This is what I found on Wikipedia: Micah True

Micah True’s mysterious demise is today’s news story – I just saw it this morning –  yet it is already recorded and fully documented in Wikipedia, the Internet’s encyclopedia.

That is remarkable! No wonder Encyclopedia Britannica has ceased publication.

Wikipedia is an open source knowledge base. Anyone can contribute to it. Everyone on Earth can enter new data or correct existing information. I know, I have contributed and corrected myself.

In the Star Trek TV series there was an evil alien civilization called “The Borg”. Their strength and power came from the fact that all knowledge learned by one individual was incorporated into a collective consciousness instantly shared with everyone else in the Borg civilization.

The Borg grew by going from planet to planet and assimilating their beings knowledge into their own consciousness; thereby becoming smarter and stronger before moving on to their next victim.

Wikipedia is not far removed from the Borg. Everyone contributes to the knowledge base and everyone has instant access to it through the Internet.

Conclusions

Before the late 20th century, humans were a world culture of thinking, but isolated, individuals who interacted, or not, with those around them.

The Internet has changed all that in a fundamental way. Today, we are transitioning into the Borg.

Instead of being independent individuals who interact, we are interactive individuals integrated within a collective whole.

It’ll drive great accomplishment and knowledge growth used for good beyond our wildest dreams.

As we’ve already seen with the Arab Spring and other social movements,  the Internet is also the source of great power. Its growing stronger every day as trillions of data elements get added to the collective consciousness.

With that, the rise of the Internet sews the seeds of global revolution.

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About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Apr 1, 2012, in culture, Internet, Life, Micah True, musings, news, Opinion, Politics, technology, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Fasinating topic. Single celled organisms used to be the primary form of life on Earth. Human beings are made of billions of single cells that work to carry out their own life functions and serve a function for the whole. Could it be that humans will be one nothing more cells within a highly networked super organism? Or am I just letting my imagination run wild?

    • As a technology, the Internet affects humanity in a profoundly different way than any other. It combines instant global access to vast amounts of data with incredible computing power.

      Unlike the invention of fire; or the wheel; or the printing press; or electricity; or the telephone; or cars; or high-speed travel; or The Bomb; or global communications; or space travel…
      The Internet is an empowering technology for intellect beyond anything that has ever existed before.

      The Net expands the human mind… and that is what separates humans from all other organisms.

  2. My doctor once said that doing four things reduced your chances greatly of having a heart attack: good genes, eat well, walk or move 1-2 miles a day, use the stairs. He said that studies showed that these 3 latter things reduced the chance of heart disease by around 60%. I do not recall the number any longer. Strenuous exercise helps too, but is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Running might only take that 60% to 80%. He thought high-impact sports like running while short term was a good thing for folks in their 20-40s, it would hit hard with joint issues int he 50s, so he steered me clear of it. He liked biking, swimming etc. As for those runners, I think it is just pure chance, and not the running. Your idea of human knowledge expanding like Borg is interesting. I hope the revolution is not of a evil Borg kind.

    • Funny you should bring up the topic.
      By running daily, ‘eating well’ is a natural outcome of exercise. The human organism is a marvelous machine. It knows what it needs and craves it when you run regularly. You never have to think about it. Most of the time you don’t have to use the stairs to get more exercise, either. 🙂

      Good genes, or rather the lack thereof, was my downfall… but that is a story for another day.

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