a “cyborg planet” – mammoth // building nothing out of something

a “cyborg planet”

At the excellent Human Landscapes, Erle Ellis (you may know him from his Wired Science article from last May, “Stop Trying to Save the Planet”, which you should stop and read right now if you have not) suggests that we need to start thinking about (and, presumably, constructing) a “cyborg planet”, where machines can feed us data directly from nature (“clouds twitter and the forests all have facebook”), allowing us to understand ourselves and natural processes as part of a singular, networked planetary ecology — which already exists and which we are already conducting mass experiments on, whether we understand the web of connections or not.  It’d be sort of like following @pothos (see Pruned‘s write-up of that experiment) or texting the fish in the Living Architecture Lab’s “Amphibious Architecture”, but at a mass scale, with, as Ellis suggests, satellites and social networks and smart grids and climate models integrated and then exploded back outward as a panopticon of data streams and feedback mechanisms.

4 Responses to “a “cyborg planet””

  1. Max says:

    not sure i agree with his all-encompassing argument? ie some can continue to trash the planet AND others can try to clean it up?

  2. rob says:

    I don’t think that’s his point at all. While he does say that “we humans can totally trash the planet and still survive”, he’s not saying that’s a good thing, as he explains in a clarification here.

    What he is saying is that there is no longer such a thing as a “nature removed from human influence”, which is entirely correct. In that, he’s being descriptive, not assigning moral value (though he does later assign value as he defends the ecological virtue of human landscapes, which is again correct).

  3. Max says:

    Thanks for the clarification rob.. makes sense to me ;)

  4. [...] a ?cyborg planet? ? mammoth /"Erle Ellis suggests that we need to start thinking about (and, presumably, constructing) a ?cyborg planet?, where machines can feed us data directly from nature (?clouds twitter and the forests all have facebook?), allowing us to understand ourselves and natural processes as part of a singular, networked planetary ecology ? which already exists and which we are already conducting mass experiments on, whether we understand the web of connections or not…"(tags:eco comms ) [...]