If change and adaptation have been a constant all along, whence this sudden urgency about a changing “us”? Why not see the digital revolution as just the latest wave of technology, no less a boon than steam power or electricity and hardly an occasion for a top-to-bottom reconsideration of all things human?
Change may be constant, but the gradations are hugely variable, with degree at some point shading into kind. Consider that the transformations of the human to date have all been dictated by social shifts, inventions and responses to various natural givens: modifications of circumstance, in short. We have adapted over these long millennia to the organization of agriculture, the standardization of time, the growth of cities, the harnessing of electricity, the arrival of the automobile and airplane and mass-scale birth control, to name just a few developments. But the cyber-revolution is bringing about a different magnitude of change, one that marks a massive discontinuity. Indeed, the aforementioned Pre-Digital Man has more in common with his counterpart in the agora than he will with a Digital Native of the year 2050. By this I refer not to cultural or social references but to core phenomenological understandings. I mean perceptions of the most fundamental terms of reality: the natural givens, the pre-virtual presence of fellow humans, the premises of social relationships.
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