Nature vs Machine: Will Human Evolution Bifurcate?

As one stream flows deeper into an artificial world, an alternate current follows the way of nature. How will this play out in human evolution?

Michael Dziedzic / Unsplash

I wish I could remember what the crystal clear logic of the dream I was waking up out of this morning, was about. It was an epiphany occurring in the realms of consciousness to which my present point of focus has no access, and yet can feel its effects, bubbling up from the depths as momentum transporting crystal clarity, and eluding objectivity.

The previous day I read a marketing article about data analysis. The author portrayed data marketing experts as having the ability to determine with utmost certainty how customers view a company. The companies themselves merely hold beliefs and have no access to the realms of knowledge that data experts will deliver with their algorithm artistry.

I thought of the many questionnaires I have filled out delimited by pre-formatted choices, none capturing what I really feel about the subject, the questions directing the answers.

Next, I started watching a South Korean drama about the executive corporate culture of a search engine company. The main characters were as cold as the drama was boring and I switched to watching something else.

After failing to find anything that retained my interest, I returned to the drama and realized that the cold corporate character was a subject of the story, and the drama became somewhat interesting. Korean dramas often delve into the innermost workings of corporate culture ending with the lead characters running off to the land by the sea to start a small business.

I grew up in a small business in a home, by the sea. It’s a culture hidden in the shadows thrown across the landscape by overreaching corporate power.

Slip cast seagull turns it head. looking back towards it’s uplifted rail. Its eyes are hollowed out ovals creating an inner depth. The beak is unglazed. The rest of the form id lazed in white matte with a fluid interactive gray decorating color painted across the wings and black ebony and white matte stripes grace the tail feathers.
Inspired by the Sea, The classic Turned Gull, slip-cast ceramic gull designed by Weston and Brenda Andersen in the 1960s has retained its marketability ever since. Photo by Mackenzie Andersen

I follow the author of the data marketing story on Medium. The author alternatively comes across as a cold corporate executive or an Indie writer screaming to be let out. As interestingly as she screams, she doesn’t act and so the data analysis story is a return to the fold, marketing her skills to the corporate world for the corporate world. She can’t escape. She is at the top of her field. Her skills are impressive but her story reinforced my appreciation that my background, working for a family business, Andersen Design, designing, and crafting hand-made ceramics, is a world where marketing is people to people or business to business and not based on calculated algorithms.

The classic Andersen Design Standing Chipmunk. The back and face is decorated in brown slip with glossy ebony eyes surrounded by a rim of matte white. The belly is also matte white and the tail is glossy ebony with brown and white stripes.
The classic Andersen Design Standing Chipmunk. Everything is made from raw materials and original recipes. Photo by Mackenzie Andersen

In a world dominated by large global corporate culture, the small enterprise sector often feels like an underground alternate culture, existing outside the metaverse, a secret society, inhabiting an alternate dimension known to the cognoscenti as the natural world.

A stoneware slip-cast Puffin designed by Weston Neil Andersen with his affinity for the geometry of natural forms. The back and the mask-covered face is glazed in glossy ebony. The Full ripe chest is glazed in white matte, accentuated by bright coral wide webbed feet. The large dramatic beak is decorated in bright red, yellow, and black overglaze colors in a curved stripe pattern.
Inspired by the natural world, Stoneware Puffin by Weston and Brenda Andersen / Photo by Mackenzie Andersen

In my dream, I didn’t need data analysis, because with quantum-clear fuzzy logic I knew that all one needs is the freezing temperature of something or other. I say “something or other” because whatever it was didn’t make it across the bridge to my conscious mind. All I retained was crystal clear stellar clarity about what I cannot recall. It was as simple as Elizabeth Holmes’s single drop of blood. Knowing the freezing temperature of whatever it was would bypass the need for extensive and expensive data analysis. Why can’t I remember it now that I am wide-awake? Being that this state of consciousness is called “wide awake” shouldn’t the clarity be greater? Maybe it is the temperature of a single drop of blood, frozen cold, that I need to get superstar board members as Elizabeth Holmes did, for my cause. No need to drain all the blood out of a system. One simple frozen drop of blood will do. Maybe I can find that in a stone, or stoneware- or is it water that one squeezes from a stone? “Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”- back to that single drop again! One doesn’t need the entire lake, just enough will satisfy one’s needs!

The stoneware slip-cast Baby Gull exemplifies the Andersen’s innate talent for simplicity of form and decoration, It is brushed in the Andersen’s brown slip anf hand decorated with was dots painted in wax before being dipped in the Andersen’s white matte glaze. The eyes are glazed in the Andersen’s glossy ebony creating a reflective effect.
Stoneware Baby Gull is one of the many ceramic birds by Weston and Brenda Andersen / Photo by Mackenzie Andersen.

My parents did not analyze market trends to figure out what to design.
Product development came about as an artistic stream of consciousness, and the results resonated with an audience. It wasn’t a mass global audience but it was a national and international niche market. The production process was used as an art form in which every product was nonfungible-or as we said before cryptology, no two alike, manifesting many variations within a similar spectrum as art imitating the natural world.

That works in a small business environment because the people to people connection in a small business context is human. As an artist one listens to one’s own artistic process to create a product. The end result is classic because the artist channels the collective unconscious that connects humanity.

A small bowl of simple form slip-cast extra thick to allow the artist to carve into the form, id glazed in white and brushed with coral decorating color to create a primitive-modern abstract effect in this one of a kind art object by Weston Neil Andersen.
A one of a kind bowl, slip-cast extra thick by Weston so that he could hand carve into the form to create this modern- primitive design glazed in white and coral glazes by Weston, for Andersen Design, Photography by Mackenzie.

So here we are entering the age of the Metaverse. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is investing its hopes and dreams of staying relevant in virtual reality. The metaverse is interactive entertainment but it is a corporate-controlled environment with speculations that Meta will sell us digital simulations of things we need or use in the real world to our avatar selves living in virtual reality. That assumes that we can afford a home in the physical world for all the equipment needed to engage in the virtual world. With living spaces becoming smaller and smaller, the metaverse will make cramped living spaces more tolerable. In the metaverse, anyone can experience what it is like to live in an environment with adequate to optimal living space, in their own minds. Will that become the will to make it real in the material world, as coronavirus enlightened and emboldened workers to value their autonomy, self-direction, and worth?

Work is a beautiful thing when it’s purposefully calibrated. We need work for our souls.

In one cultural stream, creativity takes place in the digital dimension, as creating something physical requires space in the physical dimension. In that stream, digital artwork of a one-of-a-kind art object could be documented as an NFT and have more financial value than the physical work…but that observation doesn’t inspire me and so that theory is not likely to be tested.

Two slip-cast Tumbler are simple forms of gently curved ceramic drinking vessels glazed in white and then brushed with wax branches and brushed again with fluid interactive ceramic decorating color. One tumbler is brushed in green and the other in blue, The interaction between the flux in the decorating colors and the white glaze created a nature-made effect
Tumbler designed by Weston in the 1950s, slip-cast, and decorated by Mackenzie in the 2120s. Slip casting body, glazes, and colors designed by Weston in midcentury made by Mackenzie from raw materials, recalibrated to changing availabilities in the 2120s. Photography by Mackenzie Andersen

Meanwhile, back in the underground alternate reality, aka, the natural world, a hidden society prevails and carries on the traditions of yore. Today the past traditions are being rediscovered. The concept of working at home got its foot in the door as remote working for the large corporate culture, but the transition is only at the beginning of a cultural awakening. The motivating forces of the Great Resignation are potentialities moving in streams of their own making.

Historical alternate cultural movements are being talked about in a new light. Clive Thompson is a writer for NYT mag/Wired; author of “Coders” and “Smarter Than You Think”. He recently wrote about the Luddites. While the Luddites are popularly known for smashing factory machines after trying and failing at dialogue, at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, now, more than two hundred years since, the reason and rationale for their passionate protests are being heard across time in a momentous wave activating the great resignation from the centralized workplace. Luddites are being rebranded!

The Luddites Loved Remote Work

They knew “working from home” meant controlling your hours, the pace of work, and your quality of life

Meanwhile, inside the metaverse, philosophers pontificate “ What is a human being?”, and, one says, “A human being is the antithesis of artificial intelligence. A human being is outside of and beyond the digitized world”, and the philosopher coins the word “ether” for human consciousness, an indefinable medium, given a name, to lend it the appearance of a thing, which in the metaverse is a digital thing. A new cutting-edge field emerges dedicated to creating the code that operates the ether.

In my last post as I was composing a story of facts, I was listening to “that music” in the background. “That music” has a name too- it is called Liquid Mind IV by Chuck Wild. The music is aptly named as it does seem to throw one into a liquid mind state, something only known to humans, with the possible exception of quantum computers, but I do not think quantum computers can truly capture a liquid mind state. Humans are to the computer mind as God is to the human mind. Perhaps as the automated mind tries to imitate the human mind, the human mind evolves other dimensions to remain inaccessible to attempts by the data processors to capture it. The human mind becomes more fluid, impossible to pinpoint.

So suddenly while I was listening to Liquid Mind, I veered off into another passing stream and I wrote:

We are living in a remarkable moment, when suddenly those at the roots of society are taking the reigns, without a centralized organizational agent. This cultural awakening can be likened to an emergent evolutionary process that I once read about many years ago. I do not recall the scientific term for it, but it is a form of evolutionary adaptation that spontaneously emerges around the same time in remote locations that apparently have no connection to each other. It is not a case of cause and effect, it is emergence, and as the effect emerges in remote locations as if synchronized, it suggests a state of wholeness is in the works.

And my mind dwelled on the concept of humanity, biological, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, creative beings. How can a machine mind compete with that!

Most talk of evolution focuses on biological evolution but there can be evolutions of the mind and spirit as well. Will human evolution bifurcate into those who evolve by merging with the machine, and an alternate culture that evolves by merging with nature?

If one stream of humanity increasingly relies on external artifice for every aspect of the living experience, while another stream relies on the human mind, spirit, and physical being, will two or more variations of the species emerge?

We live in interesting times and it’s not always a curse.

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