A while ago I was reading a comment on Slashdot that indicated that evolution in the human population no longer happens. This isn’t actually true as humans have continued to evolve albeit in subtle ways – BBC2 had a very good program about this a while back.
One difference is the increase of autism which although the cause isn’t known it is known that engineers tend to have autistic characteristics. The growth of technology has caused many geeks to work together thus forming relationships and having children whos’ genes include autistic characteristics from both parents. Rates of autism have been recorded as rising sharply in areas of the US with tech heavy populations.
That’s one way we are evolving but there may be another much worse one – we Geeks may evolve ourselves out of existence, and it’s all because of the computer.
Geeks are not exactly known for being the most social people, and when they are they tend to socialize with other geeks, who are for the most part males. This reduces the chances of forming sexual relationships and thus having children.
Ten years ago this wont have been such a problem, however now we can form our social circles on-line and the web allows us to easily find like minded people and form very specific groups. While this no doubt creates new opportunities for some sexual relationships but it also means many geeks will be sitting behind their computer instead of meeting potential partners. Extend this over several generations and the effect shall be geeks not multiplying and their numbers shall be in decline.
This could have an effect on society in general. If the numbers of tech savvy people drop too low an advanced technological civilisation could find itself in trouble, there’ll be plenty of technology but very few who understand it. There could be a minor reversal of the tren
however since people who understand technology will earn vast salaries and will thus more likely form relationships.
However there is a twist to this story – Technology created today by Geeks could lead to truly artificially intelligent systems, these systems will be able to understand technology and thus people who understand technology will be in less demand. The Geeks will have not
only created the technology to replace themselves but unknowingly made this very technology necessary.
About the author:
Nicholas Blachford is a Software Engineer / Architect from Northern Ireland but lives in Amsterdam, Holland. He is interested in Computer, Micorprocessors and all sorts of things generally techie. He’s written open source Audio
software on The Amiga and BeOS. Tonight he’s going to go out to a bar and try to meet some non-geeks.