Babel: What did God have against technological innovation?

Ope Adeoye 4 minute read

The story is told in Genesis 11 about how the people of planet earth, just after the great flood, got together and decided to build a tower that will "reach up to the heavens". As a child reading this story, I carried with me an unspoken beef for a God who thought it was a good idea to scatter people who were trying to create something awesome. My confusion was even more acute when I considered that I dreamt of becoming some kain inventor later in life. Is God going to come after me too when I finally invent that mechanism that makes it easy to inject unique skills into a child's brain so kids don't have to go to school to learn?

Image taken from: Ancient Origins

To make matters worse, the people were united and God made them "un-united". Why?

I don't know when exactly, but sometime later in life, I think I got it. Or what looked like an acceptable explanation to me.

Here's MY interpretation.

At that time in the development of the planet, it was against the grand design for man's purpose in the scheme of things to congregate around one geographic location. This would defeat the purpose for which the human race was inserted on earth. The pointer to this lies in another (earlier) passage in the bible; Genesis 1:28: “...fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Not sure what the population of the earth was at the time, but it definitely wasn't today's 7 billion. Also, people were yet to launch expeditions to all the nooks and cranies of the planet. How were they therefore going to "fill the earth" if all they thought to do was gather round a large castle? We all know (now), that you can't really build a skyscraper to heaven. Big LOL.

The growth required of mankind at the time, was horizontal, not vertical. Spread across and fill the earth. Maybe when the entire surface of the earth is covered, we could then explore expeditions into the cosmos.

A profound lesson

There's a lesson here in my opinion: Life and development are in stages. Depending on the stage a person or a system is at, the actions required to inch towards a long term objective might vary wildly. Some actions might even in retrospect seem unfathomable and unacceptable. 

Whether in life, business or in the lifecycle of a product, keep a bigger destination in view, and today's actions that push that agenda may not be the most enjoyable or immediately obvious. Maintaining that helicopter view and a laser focus on what one's destination is, can help to guide daily action and/or accept/endure circumstances thrown at us by that unseen hand called fate or life or God or the universe or whatever you believe in.

Or the market.

Another lesson is that growth, both on the personal and corporate front can be both vertical and horizontal. At some stage, you do things to broaden your experience and coverage. At another, you dig in and deepen your experience in something or position in a market. Recognize the stage you are in, and what is required at that time.

The downside of the language scattering exercise though, is that the world is now sort of struggling with issues of unity... But hey, stages. It's in stages.

By the way, I've not given up completely on the idea of a brain-machine interface, just that it's probably above my intellect-grade, but Mr Musk is on it