The naturalistic fallacy refers to the misguided belief that whatever is natural is good.

Sea Otters Are Jerks. So Are Dolphins, Penguins, and Other Adorable Animals.
By Brian Switek

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That applies to preference of products with natural ingredients, and extends to the belief that humans are separate from animals and nature — that human-created means unnatural. Whether it’s the cliche complaint, “Kids these days spend too much time with technology. It’s unnatural,” or naive religious/sexual views.

“Natural vs Artificial”, “Man vs Nature” — those are real points of conversation. It’s important that we begin to see through that facade, to create new mythologies that don’t pose that kind of polarity, because it’s going to be a problem if people think it’s a real thing in the world.

How many articles are there now, about how computers and the internet are changing our brains, when actually we’ve been changing our brains for much longer than that — it’s only the most obvious, accelerated changes that are noticed, and the rest pass by as if they never happened. As if we were “natural” before computers, natural before the 1950s, before the 1800s? When? Where is the line? As if these artificial things are not a part of nature…

as if We Are not Nature Itself, Creating.

Stories like Avatar (or Fern Gully, if you like) have their points, and those are important. But we need new stories — stories that contain a different point of view: that of artifice as a manifestation of nature.

Olena, RE: Steve Fuller, “It’s Time for Humanity 2.0”

Quoting myself. (lol). Had forgotten about this. It’s good, it holds true, and it needs to become something.

acalc

acalc:

Last night, I was watching a basketball game I could hardly see, after having scratched my right eye earlier; it was kind of blurry. But, at the same time, there was something interesting happening. I could still follow the action and who was doing what fairly well. The interesting part is that…

A great post. I love your description of sightless basketball.

It seems like I always have to oppose, doesn’t it? But I have to offer this, because so many people are of the same opinion (albeit sometimes true) that we’re missing something by not having in-person conversations, and it’s mostly group think (not that yours is, also). Just like everybody tends to think this or that is “unnatural” without even questioning it or thinking about what that word, natural, means.

So you say we miss out on the quirks of each-other’s movements, the body language. But I’ll say this: I’ve had a number of distance relationships (both friendly and romantic), without the options of always seeing, hearing, smelling, or touching the other person. Even with an Anon, just like you’re experiencing with Basketball, it’s possible to become attuned to the intricacies of even just someone’s writing. Everybody has a way they say things, and things they say… it’s interesting. Ways they take pauses, process thoughts, ideas they have or pictures they share. It becomes a different kind of dance: sometimes with a “persona”, and other times with someone more “real” than that person allows themselves to be in “real life”.

So it’s not necessarily a counter to your point, but it can be intimate — if we allow for that idea, and don’t simply latch on to the internet-is-so-impersonal bandwagon of thought.

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?
Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies are major drivers; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

via {I fucking love science }.

Please read.

inthenoosphere
Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.

Lenoardo da Vinci (via inthenoosphere)

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OS:

And when Nature does lack, she simple eats the thing doing the lacking. Problem solved.

Love you Leo, but so pre-Darwin.

[In] common table salt, or NaCl[,] one of the elements is a metal, and the other is a poisonous gas.

Karl F. Kuhn, Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide

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That is a simple example of why it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of chemical compositions, if not simply the scientific literacy and common sense to research them when it matters —

For example, prior to using the word “chemicals” as if they’re all equally poisonous, and not the constituents of everything in our reality,

And, prior to touting “Natural” and Organic products without understanding that a “natural” formula may be no better than an artificially-created one,

And, prior to eschewing all types of a compound (for example, sulphates in hair products) without really grasping that [sulphate] compounds are different from one-another, and that if one type is hazardous to your health, it does not mean that all types are. [I actually don’t know whether all sulphate-based additions are or not, but it’s important to research.]

{ How synthetic biology will change the world }

For example: scientists routinely wield microbes against disease, using computers to turn bacteria into microscopic drug factories rapidly assembled from off-the-shelf biological parts; crops ease world hunger and convert sunlight into biomass; and the cells of astronauts remember if they’ve been damaged by gamma rays, alerting doctors before cancer starts to grow.

Image via { University of Washington }

Complexity is a property of living organisms at all scales, and synthetic biology may help scientists disentangle “Darwin’s bank”.

{ How synthetic biology will change the world }

For example: scientists routinely wield microbes against disease, using computers to turn bacteria into microscopic drug factories rapidly assembled from off-the-shelf biological parts; crops ease world hunger and convert sunlight into biomass; and the cells of astronauts remember if they’ve been damaged by gamma rays, alerting doctors before cancer starts to grow.

Image via { University of Washington }

Complexity is a property of living organisms at all scales, and synthetic biology may help scientists disentangle “Darwin’s bank”.

When we return to shore, jaded from all these natural wonders, think how we’ll look down on those pitiful land masses, those puny works of man! No, the civilized world won’t be good enough for us!
Conseil, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

When you’ve realized you’re human, it’s all laughable. Things we do, pants we wear. Then what’s there to do but to try to go beyond that? That’s silly too (transcendence is), but it’s interesting — it’s interesting to try to unwind our stories and our age-old notions of how things are or how they might work and… let nature talk, instead. What else can we be — how can we rearrange our systems, our sets of atoms and body-stuff? We can’t even know. It’s an act of creation. The greatest art work. To know would require knowing the plan of nature, and apparently nature doesn’t have one (despite what we may have liked to think, again, for centuries.) Funny. Good one, really. So, how far can you go, what can you become, how can you experience what’s extra-trans-post-super-uber-outer-sans-human, without dying?

wildcat2030
One hundred years from now, the role of science and technology will be about becoming part of nature rather than trying to control it. So much of science and technology has been about pursuing efficiency, scale and “exponential growth” at the expense of our environment and our resources. We have rewarded those who invent technologies that control our triumph over nature in some way. This is clearly not sustainable. We must understand that we live in a complex system where everything is interrelated and interdependent and that everything we design impacts a larger system. My dream is that 100 years from now, we will be learning from nature, integrating with nature and using science and technology to bring nature into our lives to make human beings and our artifacts not only zero impact but a positive impact to the natural system that we live in.

Hank Pellissier { writes }:

Metaphorically, for me, the “nakedness” of mental transparency is identical to physical nudity. The complex data of our yearning craniums won’t be shrouded any longer, won’t be buried and disguised under fabricated obstacles and artifice.

But, naked isn’t free.

Can I climb mountains, naked? Can I travel to outer space, naked? Can I “be myself”, naked? Definitely not, definitely not, and no, I don’t think so.

Whatever appendages we choose to attach to ourselves daily or permanently, whatever artifice we handle and live with and use and surround ourselves with… it’s our costume, our armor, our shelter, our extremities, our transformation into what we are and everything we’re capable of being, would like to be, or are becoming.

I want to be buried, disguised, fabricated, obfuscated, clarified, extended through artifice.