December 2, 2020

[MN] Do You Accidentally Believe Tech Meets All Your Needs & Solves All Your Problems?

by christopherabdo

[MN] Model Nature 



[MN] Model Nature. Do You Accidentally Believe Tech Meets All Your Needs & Solves All Your Problems?


We as humans have a lot to figure out. Could we, by modeling nature, solve many problems at once? It turns out, yes, this has happened in countless ways, but let's start with ants: by observing ants, we have opened the way to: 


 Solve the famous traveling salesman problem


Scheduling computing tasks and optimizing Internet searches 


Enable groups of robots to search a minefield.  


What makes this so incredible...is that (most) ants can't see...so they are forming a map in the dark.  Ants, with no human, intelligent brains, are following nature's systems and solving problems that the smartest human brains struggle to solve. The organizations of ants have no higher-level decision makers, they have no plan in place for making the shortest route to their food...and yet computer scientists have looked to ants for discovering the shortest route from A to B. This has been so effective that computer scientists have made simulations of artificial ants to map out and solve problems in computer networks. 


 Although the focus of CommonGardenGround looks at the philosophy of modeling nature applied specifically to lifestyle, intrapersonal and community efforts, it likely can be a way towards your next breakthrough even in the most unlikely places...like network connectivity. 

So the next time you face a problem in your life, ask yourself: Does nature already know how to do this? 

Let's take farming: Many products you'll see online for growing your own food and many solutions offered are based on very high-tech solutions. Although there is a time and place for tech solutions, how can we model nature first? 

It turns out the tech solutions to biological problems are not really modeling nature. It turns out that if you try to solve problems in the natural world through tech, there is a risk that everything will get worse.  In future articles, I will talk about how helpful tech can be (because I love tech) but I think its all too easy to look to tech to solve everything. So, start with nature...

Here's part of a transcript of an interview with Richard Perkins from the  one of the leaders in the regenerative agriculture space: 

"So we've got an agriculture today that's hell-bent on going robotic and more smart chemical or

whatever but these chemicals are debasing this all results that we rely upon it's it's farming with a credit

card doesn't matter how smart you do it and how much infrastructure technologically speaking you put into it, it's not leading to the solutions that will fulfill humans into the future because essentially all the problems we face through farming of biological by nature and that means they're complex and you cannot fix complex problems with technology it's too simplistic ." 

- Richard Perkins, leader in the regenerative farming movement


This is the crux of it: I'm living in a culture that is telling me that some chemical, some app, some tech, electronic or some artificial something is the solution or fulfillment for my unmet needs and problems in my life. So to stay grounded (ha! literally and figuratively) I have to remember to "model nature". I'll be, in the next article, talking about how I accidentally met multiple needs in my life at once...(like fast food cravings?!)... in my attempt to model nature. 

 

So my question for you is: What is a problem or unmet need in your life? Have you chosen some tech, chemical, app or artificial solution to meet that need? How did humans fill this need before?  Your response might be chosen as a springboard for another MN article, yay! 



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