You would think that any self-respecting species possessing intellectual and technological aptitude sufficient to fathom the deepest mysteries of the Cosmos might also be able to avoid its own imminent catastrophic dissolution and descent into conflict, environmental disassembly, geopolitical dissonance and self-destruction. Not, as it turns out, this distributed material and symbolic human being within and as which we all exist as so many hapless observers adrift on autonomous tides and patterns of unknowing self-replication.
We hardly seem even able to step back and consider just how far and fast this planetary disaster is getting away from us. The rich symbolic lives of organisational systems and information technologies we inhabit have long ago taken in a life of their own and, much like the unfortunate Sorcerer’s Apprentice with endlessly self-replicating broken magical broomsticks carrying water to a well, we find ourselves trapped in a context of difference and adversarial futility that has become the inadvertent transmission medium and rationale for its own optimal self-reproduction.
Complex cultural systems tend by logic and physics towards the accelerated and abstract symbolic or logical reproduction of their own optimally concise methods of self-replication. This is what is happening – all around us we are engulfed in wildfire self-replication if minds, ideas, cultures, systems, information and an endlessly unfurling entropy of information production by difference that serves the one singular purpose of reproducing itself by any and all means possible.
We are swimming in tides of material, symbolic, logical and abstract self-replication in which systems, artefacts and entities autonomously seek their own maximally efficient methods of encoding their own optimal and sustainable continuity into, upon and through the world. The rich symbolic, cultural and hyper-extended technologically-mediated cognition of humanity is simultaneously our greatest achievement and is the source of a narcissistic hypnosis and narcotic self-obsession that leaves unable to fully comprehend just how rapidly control and species survival is slipping away from us.