Archive for May 3rd, 2014

Evolution Goes Pre-Insectoid

Most of us even today have seen those Star Trek shows where they have people from the future who are a continuation of human evolution.

These Future People have huge brains and delicate, feminine bodies. photo fittest.jpg

But all of us who watched those shows were aware that the sort of evolution that produced our present big brains is out of date.

What has replaced the survival of the fittest of individuals and small groups has been survival of the fittest among institutions.

This is a bit creepy, because the institutions that are competing for survival have less self-awareness than any insect. We may wonder whether a worm is evolved enough to feel the hook being shoved through him, we watch ants recoiling from fire.

We do not wonder about institutions.

Space is full of the appearance and disappearance of heavenly bodies.

The ones that got into orbit are now planets, with the same self-awareness that any rock has.

On earth the same mindless evolution gives me the creeps.


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From Chained Books to Data Deluge

I have talked about The Era of Chained Books repeatedly in these pages.

As with other things I repeat, there’s a reason. photo chain-1.png

In the fifteenth century a wealthy College at Oxford would have maybe twenty hand-copied books and a full-time Librarian. The books were very costly, and were chained to the wall.

Education consisted of being able to quote books in the Greek or Latin it was written in.

The few who found access to the Words were taught the Classical Languages, how to read them.

And they learned to quote the Words. There their work ended.

In the Google Age, that is where intellectual work must BEGIN.

“Intellectuals” belong to the Age of Chained Books, and Mommy Professor still lives in that age.

Whatever Momy Professor might be, the last thing he is is an intellectual.

Today’s intellectual is a sleuth, an interrogator.

His job is not to collect information, but to sift the truth out of the deluge.