September 11, 2010

Bruce Sterling on “nature”

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:03 pm by Chris

To be taken with the usual pinch of salt that any self-proclaimed futurist deserves, but none-the-less an interesting read.

Could it be true that our scattered ancestors, equipped with nothing more than fire and pointed sticks, briskly wiped out all the Pleistocene megafauna?    Did we cause an abject collapse of the natural order before we were even literate?

Next Nature intro by Bruce Sterling


1 Comment »

  1. Heteromeles said,

    I’m with you. Interesting? Kind of. Babblicious? Yep. I do wonder what will happen when that pinch of salt hits this one. Will it bubble and writhe?

    On a seemingly unrelated note:

    It’s a map of the “microbiome” on someone’s body, by genus (which, if you know anything about bacteria, should provoke a giggle). Note that the bacteria in the left and right armpits are different, as are the bacteria on the tongue vs. the oral cavity.

    The point of bringing this up, in the context of Mssr. Sterling’s proclamation, is just how fast and how fine nature works. We are enveloped in rapidly evolving landscapes of bacteria, and bacteria have been around for, oh, awhile. Billion years for Eubacteria? I don’t remember.

    Problem with Sterling is that he’s thinking about the nature that has bristlecone pines, Kauri trees, and long lag times. The real Gaia runs on bacteria, just as she always has. Under STP, they adapt a lot faster even than our technology does.

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