Archive for the 'science' Category

Apparently I am a post positivist

January 11, 2011

Yesterday, @sharprendeville from the Ecodesign Centre organised an internal meeting on research methods. We had an philosophical discussion on different approaches to science. Apparently I am a post positivist. This is my view on science:

Traditional science tried to explain what makes something common, modern science tries to explain what makes things or us diverse. I think there are huge opportunities for a new field of science by trying to explain what or evolution is. In this, I mean not evolution in terms of biology, but what is the evolution of society? How do we change our ways of thinking? How do we change or artefacts? How do the societal structures change? How do individuals change their behaviour and how does that influence societal change? How does technology influence society and vice versa? How do demographics change and what challenges and opportunities flow from this? How do different cultures understand change? I think I made a point, change is more than “climate change” and “change, yes we can”.

Why is the human brain so big?

January 9, 2011

Why is the human brain so big? Biologists are struggling with this question for ages. Darwin’s theory shows evolution happens gradually. However, a sudden disruption in the brain size appeared about 200.000 years ago. Recently a new theory emerged: A mutation of the brain could have doubled the brain size. This could be the explanation why everyone’s genes are pointing to one ‘earth mother’.

I see design as a process that enables humans and other animals to change their behaviour without having to change their genes. Without design we need to become new species (and evolve) to do new things.
I think the current “genes” of the man made systems are facing a giant mutation. We are facing global warming, a massive decline in biodiversity, massive changes in demographics, digitalisation of the way we think,…

But is this mutation a threat, or does it provide opportunities for humankind to make a giant leap towards something beautiful? Please don’t understand me wrong, I want to point out that the mutation itself is not beautiful, but the reaction could be.

What if the earth was is the middle of its life, are we humans at the top of our capabilities?

YES, we do live in times of prosperity, but NO, this does not mean everything is perfect, far from I would rather say! Why is it so difficult to make plans two years ahead? What if we want to design the society in 10.000 years? How would this look like? Impossible you would say? Look at the start of agriculture. Even though these first farmers were just experimenting, their results defined how our ancestors, we and our children live.

Indeed, this is an impossible question, but what I want to point out is that we need to redistribute our capabilities and be more flexible to change even if the change does not seem to be beneficial at first sight. What is our non-biological evolution? Or do you think evolution does not exist?