The human world

Embedded within the animate world, the human world took shape a mere 300,000 years ago with the arrival of Homo Sapiens.

We employ a range of tools to describe our human world: psychology focuses on the thinking and behaviour of individuals; sociology explains how we organise our human affairs; technology is our means to organise our environment to serve our needs.

In this world things are made: they come into being through human intent; and that can end their existence, too.

In addition to the change mechanisms established in the animate and the inanimate world, humans can resort to imagination and intent for constructive change; and they have to deal with destructive effects of collapse.

The development of the human world is uniquely characterised by cultural evolution: the ability of humans to learn from each other, to transfer knowledge across space and time. This social learning originates from our capacity for large-scale cooperation (dealing with lots of others) and for language (articulating ideas, concrete and abstract). Over time, this capacity gave rise to gossip (some even argue that was the original purpose of language); to music and art; to religion and philosophy; to economics and politics; to the entire portfolio of engagements we have with other humans.

To interact with the environment, we developed technology (and later on science to increase our understanding of the world). Today’s technology exploits our knowledge of physics and chemistry; it remains firmly rooted in our origins in the inanimate world. Our growing understanding of the animate world foreshadows ever more powerful means (think biotechnology or Artificial Intelligence) for the future.

Let us take stock of how we got to where we are today.

This is the tenth in a series of short posts on the origins of innovation.

What's your view?

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: