Categories
Philosophy

Whale Culture, Living Complexity and Disembodied Intelligence

Context: Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information

Seems like a moment for an(other!) apposite philosophical Herman Melville quote but the (emergent) complexity of these things is as much a measure of their natural intelligence as it is of our enduring hesitance to acknowledge it.

The next step on from identifying the existence of any (even rudimentary) endemic language or symbolic grammar beyond human minds is, perhaps, to accept a kind of Copernican Revolution, displacing our cognition and neurocognitive aptitude from its assumptive throne. (Integrated information-processing complexity is not even or necessarily bound to minds, even if the concept is largely unintelligible.)

What we experience as technologies of natural language and communication are an instance of a broader self-organisational bias within and as information-processing systems that, certainly, provides us with Netflix and satellite communications but is only really a difference of degree, not of kind from whatever the broader symmetry and principle underlying biological sentience, intuition, learning and intelligence might be.

Notice that even as all these complex living systems reveal themselves as manifold and divergent – from another and alternate conceptual coordinate system, they simultaneously converge.

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