17 December 2005
Computers are microchips and electricity. Furniture might be wood with metal nails. Fashion is the arrangement and composition of fabric, fibers and filament.
In a word, these are all technology. Computers are considered high tech and wood benches of Shaker design, low tech. Clothes constructed by the goo from which microfibers ultimately originate is a commercial use of chemistry while the wool stitched together by the finest tailors started from a biological process of hair growth.
The way wool makes it from hair follicle to tailored suit is technology.
If we may stretch the definition to include the mechanism by which something gets created, whether or not involving a human hand, this opens an opportunity to understand something profound.
The early stages of this natural fiber involves cells and DNA, but it’s a process, nonetheless. Permit me to also call this technology.
Humans, too, are a wet technology. Some consider us to be walking heaps of chemical reactions. We’re taught that our bodies are in large part composed of water.
But understand wet, as I mean it here, to differentiate the technology of humans from the circuitry of your computer.
The question then arises, to what purpose might this wet technology serve?
Research has yet to deliver a mind. Medical science and psychology are unable to pinpoint this ephemeral object but then have only recently offered that skin is a single organ as much as the brain or heart. (Meanwhile, practices such as traditional Chinese medicine have stated such for thousands of years.)
So we recognize that modern science is not absolute but incomplete when attempting to find a single, cohesive answer.
Introducing memes from a worldwide culture distributed throughout known civilizations, perhaps the explanation for wet technology is simple:
Consider the human body essentially an antenna to which the mind transmits.
Regardless of specific details, many believe that mind transcends body. Without turning this into a discussion on reincarnation, souls, being the content of someone else’s dream or a god turning blue from holding his breath, you can hopefully accept separate body versus mind.
As medical understanding goes, we’re still learning, and therefore, there’s room for this concept– not necessarily a padded room, either.
Is our true form as some kind of multidimensional being that merely protrudes into the world of up-down, left-right and forward-backward? The ten to eleven dimensions of string theory in physics indicate that this may at least be feasible as far as theories go. We’re just a long way off from experiments that might prove or reject such a theory.
The fact remains that we don’t know, ultimately. And to those saying they do: may I hitch a ride back to your world for vacation?
Human body as antenna– might the whole being that is the full and complete “you” be your own voice of intuition?
Perhaps the body has some capacity for being autonomous– autopilot or cruise control for the human– thereby allowing the transcendental you to take a toilet break while the homosapien you drives home from work. That would at least explain a lot of bad driving and gives us all an excuse for the really stupid things that we somehow do: no one was paying attention at the controls for a moment.
* * *
This is nothing new.
See Man a Robot? by Geoff Simons (John Wiley and Sons; New York, N.Y., 1986, 316 pages). In it, the author urges that how we see ourselves does not necessarily change who or what we are.
Most likely, delving deeper will reveal even more authors with the same notion far earlier…