Restoring A World Out of Balance


by Tom Bunzel, The Pulse:

Is our expansive evolution in technological advancement a wrong turn for humanity? Or has it evolved without our consciousness keeping up to steward it effectively?

One of my first really disquieting insights about the planet and the pace of change came when I saw the film “World Out of Balance” or “Koyaanisqatsi” in the 1980’s.

The concept behind the film was that Nature has an exquisite balance between various forces, and that’s when I first thought about the likelihood of the existence of a higher intelligence.


The film was jarring because it showed dramatically, now 40 plus years ago, the havoc that was wreaked by technology not just on the environment, but how human technology was literally putting the world out of balance – a harmony that was naturally sustained prior to human intervention.

Computers Introduced Me to Rapid Change

At that time, I just getting interested in computer graphics and I encountered “Moore’s Law”, which refers to the observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.

That meant that processing power doubled in the same span of time, allowing graphics, for example, to go from color, to 3D, to 3D with texture mapping and other effects, and on and on.

One example of this was the original movie Jurassic Park, which was made with 3D models of dinosaurs having their wire frames “texture mapped” – covered with skin and then animated on a Silicon Graphics work station.  The processing power required to render these images quickly enough for a 30 frames per second film was staggering.

I just Googled the company.  As I suspected they are extinct like the dinosaurs; and the process I described above now happens on a phone, or on a website, and films are using artificial intelligence to fool audiences.

As I began writing about digital video and animation, and attended conferences, I found myself on a carousel of a continual need to adapt to change, and “upgrade” my system to keep up with the latest advancements.

It worked for me for a while and I enjoyed integrating solutions based on a creative understanding of what was coming out, but eventually, I realized that I could no longer keep up.

I had to take a break from the relentless pressure, which I did, and ended my tech writing career.

It was around that time I was reading Eckhart Tolle, and learning how the Ego, the voice in my head, always wants MORE.

The Continued Acceleration of Change

Moore’s law for integrated circuits was only the beginning, of course.  We now have the promise of quantum computing and the reality of artificial intelligence, which both have the potential to put the world as we knew it even more out of balance.

When we consider our human conditioning, the wider the gap between one’s childhood where one “learns the ropes” and perhaps conforms for one’s safety and one’s adulthood — when everything has changed creates intense discomfort relative to the gap in years.

For a dinosaur like me the continual need to “download the app” is stressful.  For my friends’ grandchildren it’s just part of being alive.

Peter Russell, in his new book “Forgiving Humanity” uses a sobering term – Exponential Change – as he describes how rapid changes in technology first affected agrarian culture, increased dramatically with the industrial revolution and accelerated again with the advent of computer technology and integrated circuits.

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