Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Marriage Between Earth and Humankind



The civilization we're born into sets expectations. It's essentially an arranged marriage from the start. From an economic perspective the traditional hope has been that each human will play a proactive part in the regional pyramid scheme. The human hegemony on Earth has only been active for a few thousand years and yet total domination by our species is pretty much in place. Promises of pleasure, prestige, and power have all contributed to the ongoing proliferation of humankind. 

At the evolutionary level our bodies tell us to survive using all tools possible. At the family level procreation and loving respect fuel the drive. At the community level competition and tribalism incentivize our efforts. At the regional level nation state engines rally its people to produce at ever increasing rates to secrete opiates that entertain and empower the primal mind and collective.

As such, to date individuals generally ride currents of influence from all these traditional sources. Love of gods, of government, of family, of wealth, of career are all vertebrae of the backbone of civilization. If our goal is to build and sustain heaven on Earth, a biodiverse, planetary environment within which all Life can thrive, then the human hegemony model must be designed. Evolution moves too slow.

To achieve that end, civilization and the human mind need a metamorphosis. Imagine a world where each human is educated to the fullest with the end goal to contribute to a healthy planet; a world where every vocation plays its part in reaching and maintaining an Earthly paradise of living things. 

Who am I kidding, Civilization and Evolution are in cahoots. Humanity is the ultimate invasive species, spawning and consuming at every turn. Each human a cancer cell bent on its own salvation. The Earth is at the mercy of a paradigm that eschews compassion and reason for self gain and tribal pursuits.

It may take a few thousand more years, but it's a pretty good bet that we'll trash the ecosystem, and take ourselves with it. It's been a good run, and the Earth has the unwitting resolve to survive its divorce from humankind. In a few tens of million years, the Anthropocentric Epoch will a layer of sediment under a freshly evolving new order.

Sigh.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Spectrum Reflections



"Life is problems. Living is solving problems"- anonymous

Everything occurs on a spectrum. 

There really is no black and white except in abstraction. Even a lightbulb that is off at room temperature radiates light as atoms above absolute zero shed infrared photons that our eyes don't detect. A light switch is flicked an the electrical hardware makes differential contact over thousands of microseconds causing the alternating current waves to thrust out along the wire to gradually over milliseconds heat up the bulb element to rising high temperature and illuminate non-linearly spreading light particles around at fantastic, but finite speeds. Perhaps at t minus one second the room was relatively dark and at t plus one second uniformly lit, but the continuum of observation demonstrates just how dynamic that two second interval is. And yet the human mind in its hurried journey through the day will describe the room as dark or lighted.

Such is the brain's evolutionary power. It can observe and analyze and categorize in a moment surrounding phenomena and then activate responses to benefit survival. Of course, modern humans have time to consider more deeply the occurrence of these phenomena as in my light bulb example. Yet humans still employ irrational analysis often, if only because rationality itself occurs on a spectrum. A movie with a jump scare scene, for instance, activates a reflexive cringe of fright predominantly for entertainment, stroking the neurons of fear to create a thrilling experience.

Thus is the challenge of humanity, to reign in its inherited evolutionary traits, so that in all wakes of life we can ride the enchantment of living without deception undermining the balance. So as we seek knowledge, love, and the whole spectrum of human experience, we need to take care that we aren't misled down a path where abstraction walks us and the world over a cliff.