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Tag Archives: evolução

Trecho do Livro Where Ideas Come From, do Steven Johnson:

“Reprodução sem sexo é um simples caso de clonagem: você pega suas própria células, faz uma cópia e passa adiante para seus descendentes. Isso não soa muito divertido para nossos ouvidos mamíferos, mas é uma estratégia que tem funcionado muito bem para as bactérias por bilhões de anos. A reprodução assexuada é muito mais rápida e mais eficiente energeticamente quanto sua variedade sexuada: você não precisa se envolver com toda a função de ir atrás de de um parceiro pra criar a sua próxima geração.

Se a seleção natural recompensasse organismos apenas pelo seu potencial reprodutor, a reprodução sexual poderia nunca ter evoluído. Organismos assexuados reproduzem-se em média duas vezes mais rápido do que suas contrapartidas sexuadas, em parte porque sem uma distinção macho/fêmea, cada organismo é capaz de produzir sua prole diretamente. Nas a evolução não é um jogo apenas de quantidade. A superpopulação, afinal, tem seus próprios perigos, e comunidades de DNA idêntico são alvos ótimos para parasitas ou predadores. Por essas razões, a seleção natural também recompensa a inovação, a tendência da vida de descobrir novos nichos ecológicos, novas fontes de energia. (…)

Misturar duas sequências de DNA distintas em cada geração é uma estratégia de reprodução bastante mais complicada, mas produz imensos dividendos em termos de inovação. O que nós abrimos mão em rapidez e simplicidade, nós ganhamos em criatividade.”

Mais foda ainda são as sábias palavras do Gustavo Mini, um sujeito cujo blog deve ser acompanhado diariamente:

O que me chamou a atenção nas palavras do Steve Johnson foi como elas descrevem bem o atual estado do mercado publicitário. Por décadas, as agências funcionaram como organismos simples, reproduzindo-se e crescendo de forma assexuada. Nos últimos 15 anos, entretanto, o mercado começou a funcionar complementarmente, com formas de comunicação que exigem uma maior abertura das agências – e dos departamentos de marketing – para uma atitude de intensa colaboração com uma miríade de diferentes novas empresas e profissionais que cobrem outras disciplinas fora das consideradas clássicas.

Como virginiano, eu tenho uma relação ambígua com o caos: ele é extremamente desconfortável (não vou fingir que amo o caos…) mas ele também nos força a constantemente criar novas estratégias para lidar com os acontecimentos, sempre tão instáveis.

Em outras palavras, mais drásticas: ou se entra na grande suruba da evolução ou se vive uma vida de bactéria.

Ainda nem vi a palestra inteira, mas como o tema é maneiro e o cara é foda, digo sem medo nenhum que vale o play (ignore os primeiros 20 minutos).

Via Adivertido

Atualização: queimei minha língua, esperava mais da apresentação.

If change and adaptation have been a constant all along, whence this sudden urgency about a changing “us”? Why not see the digital revolution as just the latest wave of technology, no less a boon than steam power or electricity and hardly an occasion for a top-to-bottom reconsideration of all things human?

Change may be constant, but the gradations are hugely variable, with degree at some point shading into kind. Consider that the transformations of the human to date have all been dictated by social shifts, inventions and responses to various natural givens: modifications of circumstance, in short. We have adapted over these long millennia to the organization of agriculture, the standardization of time, the growth of cities, the harnessing of electricity, the arrival of the automobile and airplane and mass-scale birth control, to name just a few developments. But the cyber-revolution is bringing about a different magnitude of change, one that marks a massive discontinuity. Indeed, the aforementioned Pre-Digital Man has more in common with his counterpart in the agora than he will with a Digital Native of the year 2050. By this I refer not to cultural or social references but to core phenomenological understandings. I mean perceptions of the most fundamental terms of reality: the natural givens, the pre-virtual presence of fellow humans, the premises of social relationships.

Esse texto é uma citação de um puta artigo que eu encontrei no blog do fodástico Nick Carr.

Mais um texto foda da The Atlantic. Nada menos do que uma bela resposta ao clássico artigo do Nick Carr sobre o google e a nossa estupidez.

Scientists refer to the 12,000 years or so since the last ice age as the Holocene epoch. It encompasses the rise of human civilization and our co-evolution with tools and technologies that allow us to grapple with our physical environment. But if intelligence augmentation has the kind of impact I expect, we may soon have to start thinking of ourselves as living in an entirely new era. The focus of our technological evolution would be less on how we manage and adapt to our physical world, and more on how we manage and adapt to the immense amount of knowledge we’ve created. We can call it the Nöocene epoch, from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of the Nöosphere, a collective consciousness created by the deepening interaction of human minds. As that epoch draws closer, the world is becoming a very different place.

Parte interessante sobre cigarro e café:

The rise of urbanization allowed a fraction of the populace to focus on more-cerebral tasks—a fraction that grew inexorably as more-complex economic and social practices demanded more knowledge work, and industrial technology reduced the demand for manual labor. And caffeine and nicotine, of course, are both classic cognitive-enhancement drugs, primitive though they may be.

Se o artigo do Nick se chamava Is Google Making Us Stupid?, este vem com o sugestivo título Get Smarter. Eis o por que:

The Mount Toba incident, although unprecedented in magnitude, was part of a broad pattern. For a period of 2 million years, ending with the last ice age around 10,000 B.C., the Earth experienced a series of convulsive glacial events. This rapid-fire climate change meant that humans couldn’t rely on consistent patterns to know which animals to hunt, which plants to gather, or even which predators might be waiting around the corner.

How did we cope? By getting smarter. The neuro­physi­ol­ogist William Calvin argues persuasively that modern human cognition—including sophisticated language and the capacity to plan ahead—evolved in response to the demands of this long age of turbulence. According to Calvin, the reason we survived is that our brains changed to meet the challenge: we transformed the ability to target a moving animal with a thrown rock into a capability for foresight and long-term planning. In the process, we may have developed syntax and formal structure from our simple language.

if the next several decades are as bad as some of us fear they could be, we can respond, and survive, the way our species has done time and again: by getting smarter. But this time, we don’t have to rely solely on natural evolutionary processes to boost our intelligence. We can do it ourselves.

Mais um post instigante do BBH Labs sobre Singularity e Inteligência Artficial. A citação abaixo, de Bill Joy, em 2000, é para deixar pedaços do cérebro entre as teclas:

“In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature, and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines.”

For those who want a quick summary of a few of the things that we anticipate will become extinct in coming years:

2009: Mending things 2014: Getting lost 2016: Retirement 2019: Libraries 2020: Copyright 2022: Blogging, Speleeng, The Maldives 2030: Keys 2033: Coins 2036: Petrol engined vehicles 2037: Glaciers 2038: Peace & Quiet 2049: Physical newspapers, Google Beyond 2050: Uglyness, Nation States, Death

Via

Our problem is that technology is moving faster than our psyche.

Esta belíssima frase é de Crystal Kubitsky. Eu só trocaria “is moving” por “will always move“. (always está em negrito pois a besta aqui se confundiu e, orginalmente, escreveu never. Agora está certo.)

Esse italiano é do caralho, seus posts são sensacionais. Pronto, agora que já puxei o saco posso copiar indiscriminadamente seu excelente post.

Birds build their nests instinctively and many animals “know” how to hunt or find food, but human beings have a very simple set of instincts, such as those for suction and for grabbing. Everything else comes from a process of learning, which is very much an embodied process.

In the evolutionary route, we first see the muscles appearing, and then motor functions, as consequences of living in a certain habitat, and later the associated neuro-physiological functions. The motor activity acts on the brain which in turn acts back on the body allowing a more perfected action.

As mãos entram em cena:

The hand especially, with its subtle movements, shaped our nervous systems more than any other motor activity of the body. The “technologies” of body movements and of manual labor shaped and developed our brains since primitive times. In mutual feedback, our brains shaped our tools in growing complexity until we arrived at contemporary tools which interact almost exclusively with our minds.

Whether we use IT which interact primarily with our minds or mechanical technologies mainly through our bodies, they affect our body/mind even in permanent ways.

Technology, even in our hi-tech era, is still something which keeps a connection, though faint, to our hand. The only body movements we do when we use hi-tech tools are by our hands and fingers, through the mouse, the keyboard or a touch screen.

The wider neural connections are between the hand and the brain. Handwriting itself, with its subtle and highly personalized movements, can even give a glimpse of our personality through graphology.

Ivo faz uma pergunta interessante:

What happens when we use technologies which interact almost exclusively with our minds with no or mininal involvement of the body, apart from the obvious cardio-vascular and obesity risks in sitting for a long time in front of a screen?

As a culture, we didn’t investigate what happens when we substitute all manual with mental labor, which tends to have direct contact between our minds and the instrument. For instance, if London’s taxi drivers develop a part of the brain according to their navigational efforts through London’s streets, what happens when we rely on GPS for our navigation? As a personal anecdote, one of my acquaintances drove his car from the south to the north of Italy. When I asked him which route he took and whether he passed one town I named or another, he answered that he didn’t notice because he just followed GPS indications. Is there a possibility the same brain areas atrophy which become developed in taxi drivers?

Escrito em 1974:

“The reigning belief today is that closeness between persons is a moral good. The reigning aspiration today is to develop individual personality through experiences of closeness and warmth with others. The reigning myth today is that the evils of society can all be understood as evils of impersonality, alienation and coldness. The sum of these three is an ideology of intimacy….”

Encontrei esse texto em um artigo de Andrew Keen sobre a morte do J. D. Salinger, misturando William Gibson, Streissand Effect, twitter e por aí vai.

Sennett correctly suggests that this ideology of intimacy explains the modern cult of the artist and the ideal of art as a way of “revealing the private.” The so-called digital “revolution” — with its obliteration of all intermediaries between the artist and the audience — is really just one more triumph of this ideology. Marshall McLuhan famously said that the medium is the message. But actually messages are always one step ahead of the media, massaging new technology into culturally recognizable forms. The most striking thing about the Internet is its familiarity.

Esse texto casa com outro que eu li deveras interessante chamado Do Kinder People Have an Evolutionary Advantage?:

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.

“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct.”

Hello. Some of you probably read that Clay Shirky piece that went round the internet a few weeks ago, where he talked about gin being the ‘enabling technology’ of the 18th century. He argued, in part, that gin enabled the industrial revolution by allowing us all to go and get hammered at the end of the working day, and thereby bear the hideous working conditions of the time – cramped in city slums and unpleasant factories. It’s a good theory, but I believe there’s a much larger story about how our whole civilisation is based to some extent on our desire for booze – one that goes back even further than human civilisation itself.

In the wild, there’s pretty intense competition to spread your seed around, so when a fruit is ripe it wants to get eaten as quickly as possible and be deposited as far away as possible by a nice neighbourhood frugivore like a bird or a primate, so it shows off its ripeness with various cues such as changing skin colour, and fleshiness, and some pretty obvious smells. But it turns out that while primates have a pretty rubbish sense of smell compared to most animals, we’re pretty good at sensing ethanol, and when we get a nose for it, bits of our brain start hammering away. One of my favourite expressions – “one sniff of the barmaid’s apron” – turns out to have some basis in fact.

So when a fruit is ripe for dispersal, it starts to ferment – very slightly in some cases, more so in others, but to some degree in pretty much all fruit species. And all the primates downwind smell that booze and come running, which is good for the fruit and the seed, because if it falls, uneaten, close to the tree, it hasn’t done much for its evolutionary future.

Agora vem a parte foda:

What some scientists believe is that, because of this association of booze and fresh fruit – and our primate ancestors had diets that consisted primarily of ripe fruit – primates developed an evolutionary preference for booze. It became associated with a nutritional reward: find booze, and you’re finding something good to eat.

Um adendo bizarro:

The really big deal came around the 8th century AD, when Muslim chemists discovered distilling, a highly technical process which allowed us to pass over the natural limit of 14% or so alcohol, when the yeasts die off, and produce ever stronger drink. And this discovery was one of the major revelations of the alchemical experiments of the time. It’s where we get the word ‘alcohol’ and it’s the basis of pretty much all scientific discovery up to the present day.

Robert Boyle, one of the founders of the Royal Society, had his first scientific success in the refinement of the hydrometer, which measures the alcohol content of beer and wine. Johannes Kepler published ‘The New Stereography of Wine Barrels’ in 1613, developing a new calculus which he later used to describe the elliptical orbit of the planets.

Um brinde a evolução, porra!

Via