'Wired' founder on Chinese creativity
With freedom, humans as a creation would be different from other creations. He or she would be free to think and do. Of course, it does not say that other creations do not have any freedom at all. Some creations do have some freedom. For example, some creatures can choose when to hop and when to fly. But humans apparently have much more freedom.
The issue for us is that different thinkings and doings would entail different outcomes. Humans and the world they inhabit would be faced with a variety of possibilities. Some think this suite of creative possibilities is good for humanity. Others think differently.
Humans even have the freedom to doubt whether they were created and to deny they were creations. Despite all this, the creator still endowed humans with freedom. In Kelly’s eyes, humans should follow their creator’s example by doing creation themselves.
For those who are not familiar with Kelly’s ideas, the thoughts above could sound strange or even incredible. But those responses - and any others - would be understandable. This variety of ideas just shows the freedom of human beings. On the other hand, Kelly’s ideas, while unique, are not alone. They appear to have benefited from a long tradition of creativity.
ACCUMULATING A TRADITION OF CREATIVITY
The idea that humans imitate their creator in creating things could be found long ago in Europe where a series of scientific and technological revolutions took place over recent centuries. One notable instance is Charles Babbage (1791-1871), considered a "father of the computer".
In an article entitled “God Is the Machine” for the December 2002 issue of Wired, Kelly mentioned Babbage. He wrote, the English inventor “saw the world as one gigantic instantiation of a calculating machine, hammered out of brass by God. He argued that in this heavenly computer universe, miracles were accomplished by divinely altering the rules of computation. Even miracles were logical bits, manipulated by God.”
Throughout the revolutions to which Babbage contributed, to endow the creations with more freedom is a common goal. The more automatic the creation is, the more creative the creation could become. To a considerable extent, the continuous emergence of new tools since the Industrial Revolution is a result of the progress of automation. An ever growing network of automation is connecting up numerous aspects of global life.
A seemingly unnecessary concern is the question of whether the growing automatic creations will rebel against their creators? For technology thinkers like Kelly, this rebellion is certainly possible. It is perhaps the inevitable price a creative being would have to pay. From the Bible, Kelly sees a creator who inevitably has embraced uncertainty the creativity brought.
In the Bible, the creator of human beings resolved the problem of hostility by resorting to a way well beyond the imagination of humanity. The creator humbled himself “being made in human likeness”, was crucified by the humans he created, and rose from the dead. Then he appeared to humans showing he was their creator and redeemer and anyone who believed in him would be reborn in him and stay with him forever.