Archives for posts with tag: Dominant species

Where S stands for Sociological.

So. Let me present you with a sociologically fictitious scenario.

We have an intelligent observer and and a trans-galactic vehicle.

There are no details available about the observer except for the fact that it has access to a comprehensive real time stream of data about what is going on inside – or, more exactly, on the surface, of the trans-galactic vehicle.

And here’s what the observer had recorded.

The vehicle is being continuously transformed by its passengers.
In fact, there are two manners in which the passengers change their vehicle.
By interacting directly with it.
And as unintended consequences of the interactions which take place between the passengers themselves.

The passengers are evolving.
During the observation period, some of them had become dominant.
But no matter whether they had become dominant or not, most of the passengers had disappeared. Both as individuals and as species.

The current dominant species is the most intriguing ever.

It displays a strange mix of intelligent behaviors and suicidal tendencies.

It is composed of rather autonomous individuals who are adept at finding ingenious solutions to almost intractable problems.
But, strangely enough, they haven’t yet been able to figure out two basic things:
The limited nature of the vehicle on which they live. In both time and space.
Nor how to balance their individual functional autonomy with their need to cooperate towards their natural goal. The survival of their own species.

If the whole ‘project’ were a SF movie, the text above would have been the opening.
Followed by:

Currently, the dominant passengers are being taught a lesson by the apparently most insignificant amongst those transported by the vehicle. By a virus, as the dominants refer to it.
The virus – like all of its kind, is able to hijack other organisms and somehow convince them to work for him. At a very high cost for the hijacked organisms.
In this case, the hijacked organisms belong to the dominant species.

And what have the individuals belonging to the dominant species chosen to do?
Inform each-other promptly and cooperate earnestly towards the common goal?

Not exactly. Not yet, anyway.

What would the intelligent outside observer think about the whole situation?
Would He consider to lend a helping hand?

Some of us go by ‘the winner takes it all’.
For them each ‘win’ is another step that must be climbed on the ladder towards ‘success’.

Until the inevitable failure, and a single one is enough for the kind of game this people choose to play, brings them back at the foot of the ladder.

Samuel Becket suggested and then Nicholas Nassim Taleb amply demonstrated that there is an alternative to this scenario.

Next time ‘fail better’ was how Beckett taught us to deal with life’s inevitable downs while Taleb’s notion of ‘antifragility’ is the key that unlocks the door towards the understanding that the real success is to be able to survive everything that life throws at you.

In fact that’s what we’ve done, as a species, until now. We are still here, right? Even more, we managed to overcome all hurdles and became the dominant species onĀ  Earth.

There is one small thing though. We’ve apparently grown close to the limits of our planet. We’ve explored almost all of the land mass and we’ve discovered many of it’s natural resources. And now we have become aware of all this.

We have some obvious venues in front of us.
Start fighting among ourselves for the control of what ever resources still are out there. Depending on what kind of weapons we’ll use this scenario might lead to total destruction or to a long war of attrition that will be won by those who have the less to loose. Any of these two will lead to a lot of misery.
Or extend competitive cooperation – the kind that is currently known as ‘really free market’, no monopolies/bullying allowed – to cover up the entire planet. The demographic pressure will ease up considerably – what we currently describe as ‘advanced nations’ have a lot less children than the rest of the population – so we’ll be able to stretch out existing resources for longer. This way we’ll have a lot more time at our disposal to develop sustainable technologies that will enable us to survive on the really long run, potentially until the Sun will grow nasty on us.
And who knows what will happen until then.

But to find out what the future has in store for us we’ll have to survive til that moment. And in order to do that we’ll have to re-learn what it means to trust, respect and love our fellow human beings. All of them.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: