Artificial Intelligence

Cold and Warm Climate Adaptations 2

Earlier today, I mentioned that we could develop the cold/warm climate adaptations of our grasslands into new technologies, especially if we shed the idea that technology is a gadget-driven art. That would require a cultural shift, but aren’t we looking for a cultural shift? One that will change the path of biosphere destruction that contemporary culture has brought us to? Sure, we could blame it on gadgets, but that would be unfair, as the gadgets…


… are only expressions of culture. The tractor above, for instance, aside from the dishonouring of the Earth that comes from the culture of capital depreciation that allows it to be cast away as if there were no use left in it, allows for farming to take place with the least amount of human input, and the greatest amount of dependence on the breadth and depth of industrial society. The state of its poverty suggests that the system is not much better than any other: with such a gadget, one man might be able to do the work of ten, or fifty, but he’s going to have to, just to maintain the income of one among fifty. It’s not farming that benefits from this application of culture. The social isolation that results is also profound, and is a direct expression of the nature of the gadget, which separates people from Earth, and renders the Earth as something to be approached with a tool. Here’s an expression of an older technology for approaching the Earth. Call it the tractor of its day. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the rowan.

Worship of this tree allowed humans to guide their way through the forests of the past, through the seasons of the year, and through their relationships with other living things. Tractors, and the whole other new generation of gadgets…

… don’t do that. They’re powerful, but they don’t do that. They allow us to move across an Earth we have little connection to, and “farm” it, or “develop” its “resources,” but they never move us any closer to it. New technologies could do that, ones that use the ability of lichen to use the few millimetres of warm air above rock to create summer out of winter…

… or even the ability of rock to not only do that by holding the sun but to seed a skin over the land, even over a land destroyed by grazing, so that it can rebuild over time. This is just an example, but a profound one. If we seeded our eroded grassland slopes with stones, especially stones previously seeded with lichen, they would rebuild. The act of seeding would rebuild our society, just in the way the rowan provided an interface through the attention given to it and returned from cultural memory. Anything else means to stay within the story of settlement …

…that began the process of alienation from land simply because the people who began it were alien on the land. If we want a different story, we need a different story. Because it’s a physical Earth we are interfacing with, we need different technology. Gadgets aren’t the answer. Even building a house in the grass, or throwing up a house construction office, won’t do it.

You can’t buy the Earth. You can only buy gadgets. And those things don’t accrue in value.

2 replies »

  1. Re: “Worship of this tree allowed humans to guide their way through the forests of the past, through the seasons of the year, and through their relationships with other living things. ” I’m not sure if you mean the action of worship or the tree itself or both. By the way, two of my young friends have named their young daughters Rowan and Juniper, respectively.


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