Ianjamesmcadam’s Blog

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Natural v Artificial

Posted by Ian McAdam on December 17, 2008

It is blatantly obvious that the human brain is the most remarkable mutation.

It is commonly agreed that we came out of the trees when the forest turned to savanna and that we were one of several mutations of which Neanderthal is one, Lucy another, and still more to be discovered.

That we make tools, or technology, and record knowledge, learning and information, that we have language and culture all seem somewhat natural to me.  It could be argued through and through that our carbon intensive lifestyles are a natural event in themselves, but it is one of several paths we could, or might, or should, be taking.

If everything, by extension, is natural, it must be natural that humans tend to separate what has been created, processed, engineered etc from all else that occurs naturally.  Hence the words artificial, created and above all else TECHNOLOGY: which includes the term ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Culture, information and knowledge (the bedrock of our economy) alongside capital investment and all else that is natural, have culminated in the creation of the information economy.  In 1984, in primary school, we researched a project called ‘Caveman to Computer’, where we realised we were in awe of technology which is primitive by 2008 standards.  But we realised something else; we’d created a world where we’d lost the survival instinct.  This point I will accentuate again and again, as I believe it will be fundamentally important in the future, when oil reserves are depleted and humans all over the world are on the move.

That our technology might have overtaken us is a mute point, that is slowly being biologically incorporated is more worrying.  It is possible that a richtechnologically enhanced super-race will have untold advantage, although, is a world without oil, will they be able to endure the onslaught.

So you see what I am saying… our human progression is natural, and artificial is an abstract term which separates us from our technology.  This may not always be the case!

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