Life finds a way

There’s this scene in Jurassic Park. It’s after the paleontologists have been ferried around the staggering facility, have taken in the electrified fences, the impenetrable security and the fertilisation process which produces female-only offspring.

The scientists are so proud of the controlled environment they’ve created.  Their visitors are in awe of this well ordered paradise. Only Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum, recognises the danger of this foolish assumption. He shrugs off all their claims and comments wryly “Life … finds a way”.

The rest of the film serves to keenly illustrate just how powerfully true this statement is. Nature proves an unstoppable force against man-made constraints.

I’m always taken aback by how much store people put in our supposed ability to build technology which will suppress our nature. There are people who look at the world we build around us, with our machines, our stem cell research, our attempts at artificial intelligence, and think that it is only a matter of time before these things will overpower and alter us.

Apparently, our technological progress is threatening our ability to think, our ability to interact with each other, our ability to maintain authentic relationships.

As if human nature is a weak and flickering thing, that could be easily eroded by television or video games or the internet.

But nature isn’t weak, it’s strong. There are fundamental natural drives which are so deeply rooted in what it is to be human, that no amount of societal shift will change. Drives towards love, power, sex, status, esteem and family.

At the IPA Tech conference last week, a common theme running through many of the talks was the fact that technology may evolve quickly, but people do not. Simon Waldman said aptly “Technology just satiates our desires exponentially”

And it’s true. When we look at what people choose to do with all our shiny new tools, it’s not at all different to what we’ve chosen to do for thousands of years. Whether or not these tools were built for this purpose, they inevitably migrate to become tools for courtship, storytelling, communities, hierarchies, gossip, self-promotion, conversation and memories.

So the critics, the luddites and the scaremongerers can rest assured. No matter what happens in the future with Facebook, Twitter or the iPhone, real human life will always find a way.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: