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Jun 01, 2019 22:16:20

Self Destruction

by @keenencharles | 266 words | 2🔥 | 217💌

Keenen Charles

Current day streak: 2🔥
Total posts: 217💌
Total words: 60973 (243 pages 📄)

Is it natural that a dominant species will eventually drastically alter its environment by the mere fact of its existence? And possibly to its own detriment?

3.4 billion years ago oceanic cyanobacteria emerged. They lived by photosynthesis, the first creatures to do so, and eventually filled the Earth's atmosphere with oxygen. Oxygen that was toxic to the dominant anaerobic organisms, leading to a near extinction event. The change in the Earth's atmosphere threatened the cyanobacteria themselves as it lowered temperatures and lead to an ice age.

Similarly, fungi paved the way for plants to thrive by extracting minerals from rocks that were essential for plants.

In each case, the organism had no intent to alter their environment. They simply existed and so it changed. Existence is not neutral. It converts its inputs into different outputs. To exist it to alter the environment. But that alteration can also naturally lead to the species' downfall.

The obvious parallels to climate change aside I wonder if it parallels our lives itself.

Our existence alters the world around us. The people we interact with the places we live in. We change it without meaning to. If our outputs are toxic it can lead to our own destruction. We can unintentionally create conditions that threaten us.

The difference between us and bacteria is our self-awareness. We can perceive our actions and the responses they trigger. We can alter our outputs. But we can also be blinded by ego or a dominant position.

So are all dominant creatures fated to negatively alter their environment? Or are us humans uniquely capable of stopping it?

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    Wooow!!! Fuck! OMG! What a post! Amazing! I love it!!! So much :-)))
    <<Existence is not neutral. It converts its inputs into different outputs. To exist it to alter the environment>> so right, so obvious... so... shocking!
    <<Our existence alters the world around us. The people we interact, the places we live in. We change it without meaning to. (...) The difference between us and bacteria is our self-awareness. We can perceive our actions and the responses they trigger. We can alter our outputs>> Yes! It's a blessing and a curse... We see it, hence we can change it, yet, change seem to come to most of us with such an unimaginative effort...
    In my perception, humans mostly bring "negative" changes, yet, I don't think on a big scale we can do much about it.. It is just "human nature". At least that how I understood Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens : A Brief History of Humankind...
    I am so happy, that you wrote about the story of bacteria etc, it seems we are at least no worse than "others"...
    Thank you @keenencharles for that awesome post
    ( @philh it could be a cool topic for a conversation :-)))

    Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jun 02, 2019 22:04:21
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      @lucjah thanks!! glad you enjoyed it!

      I do think on a big scale negative changes are inevitable but maybe we can direct it in ways that don't destroy ourselves. I'm an optimist lol

      Keenen Charles avatar Keenen Charles | Jun 02, 2019 14:09:53
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      @keenencharles yes, you seem to be :-)))

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jun 03, 2019 06:22:48
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