Sunday, August 8, 2010

Technology is Social

Matt Ridley gave a talk at Oxford for TED that is pertinent to McLuhan. McLuhan discussed the idea of technological determinism. My interpretation of Ridley's talk is that he is analyzing the reasons that make technological determinism work. We are human because we are technological deterministic. The supposed disjointness between technological and social determinism is only an illusion. Technology comes from culture because humans and thus human cultures are built to exchange. If we are prevented from exchanging then we lose technology. The social and the technological are aspects of humanity that evolved together - according to my interpretation of Ridley anyway.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Death as an Invention of Evolution

I would be surprised if this was not a well-known idea but it is something that I have never heard anyone discuss. For early life, there was no death. A single celled organism dies not die. It propagates itself by division. A single celled organism does not grow old. it just transforms into new multiple versions of itself. Death is an invention of evolution that came with multi-cellular organisms

Death can be a evolutionary advantage for a species in that it removes members from a population after they have served their evolutionary purpose of reproducing. The removed members will not compete for resources with the newly generated members who have a longer history of evolutionary learning behind them. This allows for a more responsive speed of evolution for a species and hence better adaptation.