Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Organelle?

One of my favorite reference sites is Organelle. Hopefully by now, you will have already availed yourself of this extraordinary resource. If not, no time like the present. Enjoy.

Why are you doing this?
Firstly, it is my experience and understanding that we as a species, and Earth as a planet are facing a variety of unprecedented threats for which both are vastly more unprepared than human beings imagine. For the humans, early (current) results include cataclysmic changes in human health and cognition. For the biosphere, the results vastly exceed what can be briefly discussed. Simply stated, the anciently and arduously conserved biocognitive libraries of Earth are being burned, wholesale. Humans believe this has little to do with them, and, as far as action goes, egregiously ignore these matters. No one finds wholesale atrocity surprising anymore. We accept it as a fact of life, whether it is the physical atrocities of war and ‘research’ or the cognitive and relational atrocities bred in the thriving soup of our human cultures.

I do not believe we can give answer to these challenges without some very new and powerful methods of approach and forms of understanding. It is my sincere belief that Cognitive Activism holds forth promises of new and extremely powerful ways of understanding both the genesis of these matters and their resolutions.

If you want to paint me with a label, for some reason or other, the label transhumanist might be relatively accurate, in that I believe we have not yet glimpsed even the tiniest portion of our real cognitive and relational potentials. However, I am an a-mechanical transhumanist in that I do not really believe that machines and our relations with them ‘enhance’ us. It is not enough for there to be an apparent benefit to some dimension of our activity (i.e. relation with machines); the costs of creation, relation, and protection (maintenance) of machines must necessarily be available for evaluation if we are to decide they are ‘beneficial’. But these costs are neither examined, nor available for examination, since many of them exist in terrains we are but poorly equipped to recognize or evaluate.

Simply stated: machines and organisms compete for the same terrain and resources. This has severe cognitive ramifications for human beings, as well as physical ramifications. Humans are almost miraculously cognitively malleable and are prone to biocognitive emulation of various functions and features of their common relationals. In the case of machines, the more we relate with them, the more we become like them. Yet a machine is not even the shadow of an organism. It is the shadow of some function of an organism. This is not something we want the experience of ‘becoming alike with’ cognitively, physically, emotionally, nor in any other way.

Each person (and organism) possesses kinds and forms of relational ability (intelligence potentials) that would make the sum of our science, religion, and fiction look like a charred matchstick compared to the Sun. Having had a direct experience of some of these potentials and abilities, I believe it is possible for us to rediscover them together, with the aid of some new ways of relating to identity and knowledge.

In essence, I see the potential for a sudden revolution in human relational intelligence, something more dramatic than anything we can currently imagine. If we can remove the elemental obstructions at the roots of our relational intelligence, we have the chance to radically and positively change what it means to be human.