Which would you prefer: Studying and learning the traditional way, or being able to upload information instantly into your brain (like the Matrix) and have complete command of the topic with the push of a button?
What would it be like if we could instantly upload massive amounts of information like the characters in the Matrix?
As I watched the Matrix, and saw how Neo was able to upload Jujitsu and Kung fu and fight like a master instantly upon the upload, the notion of instant knowledge has been a quiet fascination of mine.
How do we know that we actually know something? We think about it and the knowledge is readily available. For example, think about all the things you know about how to use your phone and then, pick up a device that you are not familiar with, and everything feels foreign. I am a Mac and iPhone person, when I pick up an Android or Windows machine, I feel awkward and lost and frustrated. So I have asked myself what would that feel like to suddenly have instant expertise at something you knew nothing about a minute prior. What does that reality shift feel like?
Are we more inclined to notice the paradigm shift? If we take a class and we learn something over a defined period of time the knowledge has time to settle in and resonate with each phase of the learning process. This creates neural pathways that help a person bridge the rest of their mind into that knowledge in more meaningful ways. Later in the movie, Neo needs to learn how to fly a specific helicopter and in a second, he is ready and capable.
It makes me ponder what the human brain is really capable of holding in readily accessible information storage. Could we take a Matrix platform and suddenly add the mastery of 20 topics in the course of a day? What would we feel like at the end of that experience? Would we be exhausted from the uploads, or would it feel like everything else we already know. Information on tap, ready to use when our needs dictate?
What would that do to humanity? The special nature of being in the audience watching a virtuoso on an instrument would become commonplace, if everyone could upload a program and instantly play guitar like David Gilmore. If there were thousands of actors who could instantly fill a role, would we be as impressed, or would it be as commonplace as a slice of bread?
If humanity had these capabilities, would our evolutionary pathway escalate into territories currently unimaginable if everyone could upload a Hawking or Einstein program and be fluent in quantum physics?
Would a painting by Picasso make any difference if your friend’s mom was knocking those out every day in-between picking up the kids from school? Or would the knowledge of how to paint a Picassoesque painting make someone capable of having the feelings within that drive such a form of art?
Knowledge and highly advanced individuals bring such a joy and breath of fresh air to life. If this were to be instantly democratized, would we lose one of the greatest joys in life, or would that take us into new regions of individuality that we are not able to visualize at this stage of growth.
Instant knowledge is separate from physical ability. So even with a Matrix upload on basketball, it will still take the strength and agility and talent to be a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods.
I like watching the balance between knowledge v. talent. Knowing how to do something, does not necessarily make someone great at it. It would just make them know what to do. So perhaps Neo can fly a helicopter or fight like a martial arts master, but could he write Beethoven’s 9th symphony? Could he ultimately evoke the skills of a master that require feeling, passion and personal influence?
If the opportunity existed, I would certainly upload a class. I do it currently using Audible books, but I have to believe that getting it permanently installed would be a transformative chapter in human history.