Sunday, November 9, 2008

Is the Internet a Superorganism?


I recently came across Kevin Kelly's blog about the Internet as a Superorganism.  I can't believe how long the essay was in addition to the extent of the comments.  While I think trying to prove or disprove such a concept is an exercise in how to waste time, I think that Kelly will surely put the effort to good use and write a book about it and pull in a decent paycheck from his publisher.

While I don't think the internet will ever be studied in biology class, not now or ever, I do subscribe to the idea of superorganisms.  I can see how the earth itself could be considered a superorganism.  Since the internet is part of the Earth, it is definitely "one part" of a superorganism.  That brings up a powerful concept.  If the Earth is a superorgansm (that is a big if since I make no assumption that it is or is not such a thing, so all of this is simply childish fantasy), the what part does humankind play?  Man (women, I'll spare you from this accusation, though you are partially to blame) is the cancer of the world.  It is undeniable that the earth, without man, could thrive indefinitely (at least as far as we can project).  But as it it plainly obvious, man is systematically breaking down the natural order of things that will in effect bring an end to the world as a harmonious, self-sustaining, thriving, superorgainism.

reduce reuse recycle

I wonder if there is hope for the world.  Man is its own worst enemy.  We extract natural resources and convert it into endless tons of non-biodegradable waste.  Surely we also have the capacity to heal the world.  Let's hope we are not so shortsighted that we don't change before it is too late.  One bright spot is that, in a survey, I think it was done by, the main concern of university students is the environment, not the economy.  Come to think of it, that was one of mine, as well.  It isn't until you graduate and try to buy a house when you realize the economy is stacked against you.  Well I'll take this as a reminder of what's important.  Again, I must remind myself that world peace and a green planet are more important than the economy, no matter what the newspapers and other media like to think...I still think the Baby Boomers who love drugs (Viagra, Lipitor, Norvasc, et al.) and high real estate prices are somewhat to blame.  Our generations ignorance and blind eyes are also at fault.  Forget the Internet superorganism, we have to worry about the planet.

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