Issues and answers: Potential

Issues and answers: Part 2

Written by: Lee Sonogan


“When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there will be no limit to human potential.” – Jacque Fresco

Humans are capable of any thing. Just look how most technology you use today and see its origin and you will see over time we can improve in different ways. Unity is one of the most important ways to empower the average individual. With technology would be the second as it can be used in many different ways. Warehousing, creating, medicine, automation and so much more. I will get more into that later. Our technology and systems have gotten this far but, the people making all the decisions and laws limit our individual abilities and potential.

Potential of an individual is limited by money, debt, culture, and other effects that directly impact a person from being the best they possible can. In a world that seems to be struggling with irrelevant ideas and actions, human bodies and minds are continually pushed to their limits and beyond, breaking world records and defying beliefs about our capabilities. More than ever, modern medicine and technology continue to extend lifespans and conquer medical issues. With all this, has our improvement stopped or slowed? With scientific and technological advancements, will we eventually be able to surpass our limitations and achieve the impossible? And what will the consequences be if we do?

World-class athletes are constantly exceeding the perceived limitations of the human body, and breaking records. The men’s 100-meter sprint is a highly competitive race, with only fractions of seconds separating winners from losers. The record-holder of this race is considered the fastest man in the world. The current world record of 9.58 seconds is held by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. Stanford University’s Mark Denny studied the race data of greyhounds, racehorses, and humans from the 1920s to 2008 for answers. Denny’s research suggested that speeds improved up to a certain point before reaching a plateau and eventually stopping completely.

Though the human body functions in complex and miraculous ways, and is capable of many amazing things, there are limits to what even the most exceptional people can accomplish. For instance, the most basic requirements to sustaining human life are food, water, sleep, and air. Each of these is necessary to continue living. Though we often think of the body going into starvation mode after a few days without food, the human body can survive for extended periods without food. We become dehydrated after just a few days without water, and death is likely in the range of several days to a few weeks. But looking back into history, there is evidence of exceptions to these limits.

For example, Ram Bahadur Bomjon of Nepal, dubbed “Buddha Boy” spent 8 months meditating beneath a tree allegedly without food or water, accomplishing feats of “inedia,” or fasting, in 2005. Though these claims are unsubstantiated by science, there are other examples of people living without food. Prahlad Jani of India also called “Mataji” claims to have lived without food and water since 1940, which was confirmed by hospitals, but not in a peer-reviewed study. David Blaine – This endurance artist has set many records. In November 2000 he stayed in a box of ice for 63 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds in New York City’s Times Square. From September 5 to October 9, 2003 he was suspended in a transparent box over the river Thames in London and went without food for 44 days, surviving only on water.

The human brain is incredibly powerful and not yet fully understood. You only use about 10% percent of your intelligence in your brain. This is not exactly true, as brain scans have shown that humans use all parts of the brain, but some parts are more active than others. The brain contains 100,000 billion connections, so why can you not use the full capacity of your mind in all parts?  No one really knows for sure. Lord Martin Rees, President of The Royal Society on the limits of the brain: “A ‘true’ fundamental theory of the universe may exist but could be just too hard for human brains to grasp. Just as a fish may be barely aware of the medium in which it lives and swims, so the microstructure of empty space could be far too complex for unaided human brains,”.

“Some aspects of reality – a unified theory of physics or a full understanding of consciousness – might elude us simply because they’re beyond human brains, just as surely as Einstein’s ideas would baffle of chimpanzee,”. Alternatively, BBC science presenter Dr. Brian Cox gave his own opinion: “The idea that certain things are beyond us is quite a bleak one and history does show that we can eventually overcome the most difficult of problems,”.

IQ – or intelligence quotient, is a test used to assess intelligence, designed so that the average score is 100. The Flynn Effect shows that IQ scores have increased significantly on average since the 1930s. Tests are revised regularly, because the average scores rise over time. Some suggest that improved nutrition and better education, such as preschool, have caused people to become smarter over time, as the change is too rapid for the cause to be genetic selection.

People with the Highest IQ in the World

Name IQ Nationality

  • 1 Terrence Tao 230 Australia/US
  • 2 Christopher Hirata 225 Japan / US
  • 3 Kim Ung Yong 210 South Korea
  • 4 Evangelos Katsioulis 198 Greece
  • 5 Rick Rosner 192 US

The Flynn Effect may have come to an end in recent years. A 2004 study led by Jon Martin Sundet found that the increasing scores stopped in the mid-1990s after slowing gradually. A 2009 study on teenagers in the UK showed a two-point drop in the IQ of an average 14-year-old between 1980 and 2008. Psychologist John Raven explained “IQ is influenced by multiple factors that can be dependent upon culture, but the norms tend to be very similar across cultures even in societies that have no access to computers and television. What we do see is that IQ changes dramatically over time,” . Others have pointed to computers and video games, a decrease in leisure reading, and changes in teaching methods as potential explanations for the change. Another study predicts a drop of 1.34 IQ points on average per decade among young people.

In the pacemaking cells of the heart, the pacemaker potential is the slow, positive increase in voltage across the cells membrane that occurs between the end of one action potential and the beginning of the next action potential. Some people push through this threshold for the better good, while time and effort is used in irrelevant ways. This could be achieved through a strict routine, good planning, track your progress and various over processes and methods. Emile Durkiem believed the limits of human potential are socially based. His concept was: Social facts are patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but exert social control over each person.

The human mind is a powerful tool that can be used to overcome limitations. Achieving a particular mental state can enable humans to endure pain or give us superhuman abilities. This state is often referred to as nonduality or oneness. Developing a sort of “mental toughness” can have many practical applications, and is used by yogis, Navy Seals, and elite athletes to overcome mental and sometimes physical limitations when it comes to strength and endurance in combination with physical training. In the case of martial artists, it can be used to overcome physical pain.

Meditation can even transform the body and the mind. A recent study by NYU’s Zoran Josipovic examined fMRI brain scans of monks during meditation. Dr. Josipovic discovered that the brains of experienced mediators reorganize themselves during meditation. Brain organization falls into two categories – the extrinsic network and the default network. The extrinsic network is used during external tasks, while the default network is the contemplative, internal matters.

“Meditation research, particularly in the last 10 years or so, has shown to be very promising because it points to an ability of the brain to change and optimize in a way we didn’t know previously was possible.” – Zoran Josipovic. In the same way, mental exercises such as hypnosis have been used to place the mind into a psychological state, which can create a sense of heightened focus or can be used to overcome physical pain, psychological problems, addictions, and fears. Hypnosis is also used to improve athletic performances, by breaking down mental barriers.

Is being exceptional in our genes or can it be created? This question ultimately boils down to the “nature vs. nurture” debate – and the answer is usually summed up as “a little bit of both,”. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) looks at successful people and the factors that made them that way, including the Beatles and Bill Gates. Gladwell examined how intelligence can manifest itself in different ways – a genius can become very successful or not, depending on their circumstances and whether or not they had the right tools and people to help them achieve greatness. He found that, in addition to innate talent, success requires many hours of preparation, practice, and training, which may be more important than in-born talent.

Gladwell looked at the key to success as researched by Anders Ericsson’s The Making of an Expert which claimed that to become successful, you must first practice for an average of 10,000 hours, which is known as the 10,000-hour rule. It’s not that 10,000 is a magic number, it’s more that dedicating 20 hours per week to a passion can allow someone to achieve greatness in about 10 years, especially for many geniuses in history, who began studying their subjects from a young age. This would suggest that in cognitively demanding fields, there are no “naturals.”

The other major factor in surpassing human limitation is the use of science and technology to assist or take over many functions, potentially allowing humans to surpass any form of limitation. In the age of Google and every piece of information at our fingertips, it is no longer necessary to retain the information that we used to. We are able to use computers and the internet as external storage for our brains.

There are many inspirational cases of extraordinary people living with physical or mental limitations that have been able to overcome them thanks to science and technology, including Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists despite suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neurone disease speaks using an artificial voice generated through a computer program and Oscar Pistorius – who has made Olympic history as the first amputee to win a world track medal.

Medical breakthroughs have occurred to eradicate many diseases, build artificial joints and limbs and even exoskeletons, transplant or even grow new organs, pacemakers, and have allowed many people to live longer, healthier lives. Vaccines have wiped out many diseases, and cures will likely be found for medical conditions such as cancer and HIV. Biotechnology, or technology applied to the human body can alter human characteristics. Human Enhancement Technologies can also be used to increase capacities beyond current human range, taking charge of human evolution.

Reproduction is another area in which medicine has made drastic changes to human limitation, with in vitro fertilization assisting women in conceiving and allowing even older women the ability to have children. Prenatal testing, including chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis are used to learn whether a fetus has certain genetic diseases such as Down’s Syndrome, Gaucher’s, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, early onset Alzheimer’s, as well as disease propensity like the breast cancer genes.

Advancements in weapons can also have devastating effects when those in power use them for evil. Another consequence of these advancements that we’ve already seen is the detrimental effect on the Earth, and genocide. Science and technology will also have an effect on sports – and already has in regards to performance enhancing drugs, which have riddled athletic events, most notably competitive cycling. As technology advances, or medical methods such as gene therapy, sports regulations will change and adapt to address them. In regards to gene therapy use, Peter Weyand explained, “You could see really freakish things and we probably will.”

In conclusion, all life should have the chance to reach their full potential. Too many factors are involved in this complex life we live in and is hard to determine the correct answers. To create a world that had growth and sustainable, we need everybody to have what they need and have a realizing of potential. If we give each person what they need, why would they do bad things? wouldn’t they work on their passions and unlocking their potential by themselves? Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength, but in an enviroment that has systems to improve people’s ability to reach there individual potential, is an important part of a change and growth.

“One may reasonably ask: Why do people cling to the values and practices of the past, when they so obviously no longer work? Long-standing thought patterns are hard to overcome because they often appear to serve the interests of the individual, and old ways of thinking are simpler and easier to handle. In a two-valued way of thinking, as in good and bad, right and wrong, love and hate, cause and effect, very little logical analysis is involved.”
― Jacque Fresco, The Best That Money Can’t Buy


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