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This kind of tinkering with the flows and mechanisms on which all life depends that makes the "gods" claim almost plausible. Its tech fix mindset is the polar opposite of the post-Cartesian, non-mechanistic that I remember from the green movement in the 1980s. The time we said was running out then really is running out now. Philosophical sensitivities are set aside while tactics for buying a little more breathing space - and learning space - take over. Or so runs the argument.
 
This kind of tinkering with the flows and mechanisms on which all life depends that makes the "gods" claim almost plausible. Its tech fix mindset is the polar opposite of the post-Cartesian, non-mechanistic that I remember from the green movement in the 1980s. The time we said was running out then really is running out now. Philosophical sensitivities are set aside while tactics for buying a little more breathing space - and learning space - take over. Or so runs the argument.
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Do you feel like a god? No, me neither. Do presidents and prime ministers feel like gods? No? Then what about Branson, Gates, Buffett, oligarchs and the world's many secret billionaires? Some of them may have the means unilaterally to undertake geoengineering projects with global consequences - like Bond villains of old. Still, my hunch is that most if not all have come to understand that their omnipotence has boundaries.
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Do you feel like a god? No, me neither. Do presidents and prime ministers feel like gods? No? Then what about Branson, Gates, Buffett, oligarchs and the world's many secret billionaires? Some of them may have the means unilaterally to undertake geo-engineering projects with global consequences - like Bond villains of old. Still, my hunch is that most if not all have come to understand that their omnipotence has boundaries.
    
Even the most godlike individuals suffer similar cognitive biases to the rest of us. Their vanities and petty jealousies may be especially acute (it took some extreme and sustained psychic energy to get them where they are today).
 
Even the most godlike individuals suffer similar cognitive biases to the rest of us. Their vanities and petty jealousies may be especially acute (it took some extreme and sustained psychic energy to get them where they are today).
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What if it requires us to put aside the very thing that we think has led us to the limited understandings of the planet that guide our craft - our individual intellects, and the sense of mastery and agency that they give us?
 
What if it requires us to put aside the very thing that we think has led us to the limited understandings of the planet that guide our craft - our individual intellects, and the sense of mastery and agency that they give us?
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The solution to our dilemmas probably doesn't lie in evolving bigger brains. In the spirit of Vonnegut's ''Galapagos'', can we entertain the idea that throwing ever more analytical brainpower and a wider variety of creative solutions - pace my fellow contributors, and indeed myself - may not be the way out?
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The solution to our dilemmas probably doesn't lie in evolving bigger brains. In the spirit of Vonnegut's ''Galapagos'', can we entertain the idea that throwing ever more analytical brainpower and a wider variety of creative solutions - ''pace'' my fellow contributors, and indeed myself - may not be the way out?
    
In terms of simple capacity, and maybe raw power, we actually passed "peak brain" tens of thousands of years ago. But we've been able to evolve smaller, more efficient brains by externalising intelligence in our tools, words and the design of our habitats.
 
In terms of simple capacity, and maybe raw power, we actually passed "peak brain" tens of thousands of years ago. But we've been able to evolve smaller, more efficient brains by externalising intelligence in our tools, words and the design of our habitats.

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