The future enters into us in order to transform itself in us long before it happens.
—Rainer Maria Rilke1
Computers started out as large, remote machines in air-conditioned rooms tended by white-coated technicians. They moved onto our desks, then under our arms, and now into our pockets. Soon we'll routinely put them inside our bodies and brains. By the 2030s we will become more non-biological than biological. By the 2040s nonbiological intelligence will be billions of times more capable than our biological intelligence.
Humans invented writing about 5,000 years ago, and around the same time, they gathered in cities, thus giving birth to the ideas of as well as the realities of both civilization and history. Through documented knowledge that grew progressively from generation to generation, waves of invention spread steadily around the globe from city to city. As various civilizations grew, they recorded their greatest ideas and events, and so began the journey toward the modern world.
In Egypt, on the other hand, the mythical figure Thoth was credited with the invention of writing. He also served as a mediating power between good and evil and served the gods as their scribe. Not long after the Egyptians began writing, across the globe another mythical figure, Fu Hsi, became the first sovereign ...