Being a 3D builder and geeky gal, I tend to run out of food on occasion purely out of neglect of things real. In fear of starvation, I made a run to the local grocery store where, even there, I can’t let my geeky brain curiosity rest. So, while waiting in line to pay, I perused National Geographic finding a most interesting article on the latest find of ancient human remains, "This Face Changes the Human Story. But How?". It sounded intriguing so I made sure to check online for the full article as soon as I got home.
A couple of cavers in South Africa accidentally discovered a cache of human remains in a dangerous, unexplored section of Rising Star, a popular caving location for locals. Quickly, a team of scientists converges on the site to retrieve and record the latest find of ancient (as of yet, undated) remains of human bones—possibly ancestors of modern man.
Now all that was very interesting to me, especially the bit about three women scientists getting to be the first into the cave. It’s a very exciting find that may have tremendous discover value in the quest to draw a more complete lineage of human evolution. It’s a competitive field full of secrecy.
And that’s where I found the most interesting proof of human evolution. Not ancient evolution but, rather, proof of current evolution in the making. Breaking the standards of secrecy in their field, this team decided to bring their discoveries to light as soon as possible. This was, to me, a very enlightening discovery.
"Our team has put itself in the hot seat in another way. If you know much about paleoanthropology, you’ve probably heard about how secretive field projects can be. New discoveries often go years without being announced to professional anthropologists, much less the public.
Why are so many projects so secretive? Discovery is hard work — both in the field and in the laboratory. Other scientists can be brutal critics, pointing out flaws in early interpretations. Sometimes they even steal your work. Our field has historically been a shark tank, and sharing makes the sharks start circling.
We believe that sharing will make our science better. Rising Star is the most open paleoanthropological project that has ever been attempted. We’re experimenting with new ways of sharing the experience. Lee brought together the team of advance scientists by putting out a call on Facebook. National Geographic has been incredibly supportive, with their crew onsite to share updates and video. The senior scientists are sharing updates on Twitter and Facebook, many events as they are happening — follow @LeeRBerger, @RisingStarExped, and @johnhawks."
—John Hawks, In the Hot Seat, http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/15/in-the-hot-seat/
Being an amateur sociologist, I’ve been taking notes on the current changes in human sociological advancement. And, yeppers, change is happening fast. The internet has had a powerful influence. Not only are people disconnecting with the powers that be and venturing out on their own to make their dreams a reality through self-publishing of writing, music, art, computer engineering, software development and coding but now, even scientists are breaking the mold of dated, ineffective standards that previously tied us too tightly to the governing (whether through actual governance or through financial strangleholds) paradigm.
The revolution will not be televised. It will, however, seep up from the web at sites like kickstarter, through open source software sites, through shared learning experiences in virtual worlds, YouTube tutorials, & MOOCs, and thousands of other small enterprises that bring opportunity, education, & success to basement inventors, closet novelists, starving artists, and geeky brainiacs such as myself.
In this brave new world, it’s not the strong who will survive but the nonconformist who believes in looking to themselves, their friends & family, & their community, whether via the real world or online, for the support needed for fulfilling their passions and advancing their professional careers. By cutting the cord from corporate controlled outlets such as publishing houses, music producers, news sources, software & gaming producers, and even overpriced educational institutions, we are finding our way once again. And, for once, everyone is invited.