When you discover something new, something that was unknown, you feel deep satisfaction. Because this is, what nature gave us. That was our evolutionary benefit, compared to all other living beings. The desire, lust and passion for understanding, driven by our strong curiosity for everything that we can observe, can think of, or even for the nonrational which our mind cannot yet get a grasp of.
But the thing is, we don’t just want to know how things work, we want to find out! That is what evolution gave us. It’s not the knowing, it’s the discovery that drives us to do science. Whether it be natural science, humane disciplines, search for happiness or whatever else. First time it’s exciting, second time it already might start to get boring. First time it’s understanding, second time it’s already learning and memorizing.
There is a difference between first times for us as an individual, first times for our civilization and first times ever, of course.
If you learn something in school, that’s fine, you learned something that was new to you. But if you found it out by yourself, because you observed something that caught your interest, and you examined it and found out something that was new to you, that’s much more satisfying and also much more memorable. But if you find out something that is new to even everybody else on this planet, this is much more satisfying still, of course. In between those situations, there might lay the case, when you find out something that is new to you and everyone else around, but you know, an older civilization already had this knowledge and it just got lost due to war or something.
Unfortunately the more we find out about anything, the more the next observer needs to know (and therefore learn) to find out even more about it. The more complex science gets, the harder it gets to access it. Also, how much can a human being learn in it’s limited time on earth? And I really mean simply learn, not even discover or find out!
The passion for learning is not in our nature. Is the amount of stuff that a person can learn during his life limited? And if so, is there a specific maximum science-level that we as a species can reach? What will happen to us, when we can no longer fulfill our desire for discovery? A race in a dead-end, a civilization full of unhappiness and frustration? A dead-end that will sooner or later lead to self-destruction?
Is this what happened to other cultures on earth in the past centuries and millennia? They reached that level with the technology provided by their times, which didn’t allow to learn as much as we do nowadays or in future in one lifetime¹. Reaching this threshold they became frustrated and self-destructive, started to fight, kill and burn down each other and therefore also their knowledge (brains, libraries, etc.) to just regress and start over new?
And, can it happen again?
– © Ben Bayer (26.7.2015)
¹ to showcase -> to speak -> to write down -> to make knowledge accessible to many people by the internet -> accessibility of ALL knowledge for EVERYone instantaneously(?)