Thursday, September 30, 2010

Technology and Mutualism

All technology feeds on human beings...
The human body as all life is in a transient stage of evolution, a gruelingly slow pace while technology's evolution blazes on. This becomes very evident when we look at our digestive process. Cooking is a technology which aids our digestive tract, similar to the Bacteroides, Eschericia Coli, and Streptococcus living in our gut, but on the down side we are loosing nutrients in process of cooking. Todays farming methods allow us to grow more foods, but over farmed fields yield less nutrient rich plants. Preservatives allow us to transport and store food for long periods of time, but ingestion of preservatives can be harmful. Our bodies and brains have evolved nicely because of cooking technology, but the stated pitfalls still remain in our transient state.
Technology is all around us, living off us, just like all the microscopic organisms living on our skin and inside of us, but not parasitically, rather a symbiotic relationship. Technology and humans are a pair of mutualistic organisms evolving in harmony.
In the year 2010 take the humans out of technology and technology dies. It currently can't continue to evolve or even live without us. But just like us, technology is in a transient state of evolution. Evolutionary algorithms are the start of technology bearing its own children, children designed smarter than its parent(s). Today's technology is working in collaboration with us to improve and reproduce.
Now try to take the technology out of the humans, it is impossible. Technology is what separates human from animal, and while technology is not growing independent of us, it is gaining more control of us. As it becomes more and more imbedded into us, biology will continue to fade into oblivion as technical body parts will far outweigh their biological inspirations. Attempting to fight off this technological takeover would be self defeating, just as killing off the Bacteroides living inside your digestive tract would be catastrophic.
Technology is doing more than keeping us healthy; it's bringing us closer, enriching us, sustaining us. We will continue this mutualistic relationship with technology. I personally look forward to transcending into what makes us human after all.

Jeremiah Bilas


Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting and original view point. However, like all mutualistic and symbiotic relationships there must be a balance. If one takes over too much it becomes harmful. This is where we need to be careful. I agree technology is what makes us human. But if we allow it to completely take us over I think we risk losing our humanity.

PlusUltraTech said...

Perhaps we might have to redefine our "humanity." It seems to me that we have been redefining it for as long as we have been on this planet. :)