When I was learning to fly, I can remember how complex and sophisticated that little 2 place Cessna 150 trainer seemed as I sat looking at all of the instruments, gauges, and switches. But, later, as I graduated to the cavernous, 4 place Cessna 172, I was then embarrassed at how I had struggled with the child’s play of that first little plane. Surely, this 172 was the be-all, end-all of the general aviation world.
And, indeed, that was true. Well – it was true until I went to check out in a Piper 235 with retractable landing gear, a constant speed prop, an autopilot, and a GPS navigation system. And then, I knew for sure that I had finally arrived at the ultimate aviation experience. It could not possibly get any bigger or more sophisticated than this. And, that was, indeed, true – until…
Since those early aviation object lessons, I have discovered that it is actually typical of human beings to experience life, itself, in the same way as I did those airplanes – and for precisely the same reason – our naivety. In other words, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing today is as big and important as it gets. Well – until tomorrow, when yesterday is again dwarfed by today’s new level of bigness and sophistication.
So, in our brave new world, we have watched digital swallow analog. We have seen computers morph into multiple forms and become progressively faster, more sophisticated, and bigger – even as they slide into ever smaller cases and drag us in after them. And now, we stand in the very foyer of an AI World. And, again we think, “Surely, this is it, life’s final form of “Big and Sophisticated.” But, as always, it is not.