Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mankind

It’s funny the duplicity of man.
How we mirror our own internal structures in everything we do.
Our freeways built in lines like veins,
the populace, the blood of the city,
streaming down the roads,
every accident a stroke we must unblock,
the blood moves through to keep humanity alive,
by doing their individual tasks.
In corridors and hallways within the buildings,
we walk to our desks,
we type away at our computers,
firing like neurons to create ideas and keep the systems of our cities running smoothly.
We rush outside for brief moments of freedom,
replenishing our ability to think and breathe,
then return inside to keep the system running.
Our trash and sewer systems,
picking up our waste and depositing it far from where we sleep,
so that we are not tainted with its disease.
Man has created civilization in his own image.
Where else in humanity can we see this inadvertent vanity?

posted by CommanderHate at 9:44 am  

6 Comments »

  1. Yes indeed.

    Ah the beloved energy-saving nature of fractal geometry. In my opinion, civilization isn’t created in man’s image, civilization and man are both ‘created’ in nature’s ever-present, favorite image.

    Fun times, that.

    Comment by TimS — August 25, 2008 @ 10:54 pm

  2. I’ve heard this at least two other times by two entirely different sources over the past 3 months. Has there been a popular book published on the subject recently?

    I like TimS’s take on it. Humanity is not a special being in nature. There is nothing to differentiate us from any other creature. Sure, some people think there are. They used to think it was language – they used to think it was altruism; but as quickly as we can think up ways that we are different, we kind find scientific bases for why we’re no different in those regards.

    Humanity is just one observable aspect of nature, no different from any other except in superficial observations.

    Comment by Aaron — August 26, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  3. Hmm… So what you’re saying is that we’re just acting as nature intended us to. We instinctively create everything based on a natural pattern.

    Is religion then a byproduct of this natural process of creation, or is it a vain attempt by humanity to try and make itself seem more special than the rest of nature that we are mimicking (e.g. God created everything just for us)?

    Hopefully this doesn’t fall into a chicken or egg argument trap. =)

    Comment by CommanderHate — August 26, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  4. I think what you guys are saying is interesting to think about, and at some level you’re right. But I started thinking about why we have roads and why we have cities, and what are the alternatives.

    For example roads are not necessarily a human invention. In the wild you find game trails where animals have been follow the same route over and over to the point where they’ve created a trail with their hoof or paw prints.

    It’s advantageous to have trails or roads to get from one place to another. Game trails often lead to water, or feeding grounds. Human roads travel from one city to another. With the invention of the wagon, it made sense to follow the grooves in the ground created by other wagon wheels to get to where you’re going, because it’ll get you to your destination faster. Which of course then lead to the development of paved roads.

    It just makes sense to follow a path or a road rather than go through thick vegetation when you’re trying to get from one place to another.

    As far as cities and towns go, the largest population centers are built around sources of water, and sources of natural resources.

    I think these are things that just make sense, and most of them were developed at a time before people really had an understanding of how blood vessels and the human body really worked.

    So I agree with TimS that the development of civilization does have a sort of fractal similarity to the structure of a living being. However, I’m not convinced that it has any significance as far as humanities vanity, or some deeper significance about the nature of the universe.

    Comment by Gerry — August 27, 2008 @ 9:43 am

  5. That’s exactly it, Gerry.

    Natural things simply tend to use less energy to accomplish a given task.

    The first popular form of automated transportation could have been a mechanical horse, but it turned out to be a lot easier to build cars with wheels even if that meant laying down roads all over the place.

    I don’t think it says anything about any ‘deeper significance’… just one of those observations in the pattern of natural systems. It falls out of the data and the model seems useful enough when needed!

    It sure is fun to WATCH though, in my opinion.

    Comment by TimS — August 28, 2008 @ 3:15 am

  6. Even slime molds will pathfind the minimal risk route, and they’re pretty much the simplest organism out there.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007PhRvL..99f8104N

    Comment by Technohazard — August 29, 2008 @ 5:32 pm

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