Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Building a Nervous System for Gaia

James Lovelock says we are all part of Gaia, not separate. The tiny microbes -- ones that we hardly knew existed some centuries ago -- give us oxygen and control the planet's temperature, making the planet safe and comfortable (more or less) for all life -- unless we overwhelm them.

Now, he says, with our computers and fiber optics we build for Gaia a fast nervous system she never had before. This is part of our job here it seems. How long before nearly everyone on the planet has a mobile phone or smart phone?

You build a nervous system with fun and nonsense first -- keeping the lines full of stuff moving back and forth -- making long and short connections in every direction. Then once it is in place, you might do something important with it -- when the time comes. What is a tiny baby doing while still in the womb?

Tiny processes. Big ideas. Massive consequences.