Sunday, December 31, 2017

the tool reshapes the world, and the user

the smart phone versus the "lizard brain"

in only tens of thousands of years,
humans have physically adapted to different environments
by changing the pigment of the skin,
and the size of the body,
to fit what climate and sun require,

in even fewer of those tens of thousands of years,
humans have psychically adapted 
to what change has demanded,
figuring out how to manipulate
a small grass into hearty ears of corn,
rocks into tools and other rocks into metal for tools,
domesticating animals into servants and food,

when population outpaced 
what gathering and hunting could provide,
we evolved ourselves into agriculture and cities,
the need for inventory and marketing
led to writing and numbers:
abstract symbols that described concrete reality,
and changed the reality of how our brains were organized,
so that the tool shaped not only the outer world
but our inner world,
unconsciously we reprogrammed ourselves,
and we’re still at it,
creating a future self with the Internet and smart phones:
a brave new world,

if our lesser instinctual selves, 
the limbic system underneath our rationality,
don’t doom us before we can get there.

by Henry H. Walker
December 24, ’17

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