Evolving systems of life and electronics


We marvel at the power and potential of digital computing, mechanical tools, and computer interfaces, but is it any wonder compared to the analogous systems that have evolved naturally with biological rather than electronic mechanisms? Each of us is an independent system–with our own processor, frame, muscle structures for output, and sensory organs for input. Humans thankfully evolve because each of us is different, and different from the bodies that came before us. Further, our likelihood for passing on characteristics to future generations is related to our viability and the functions of our biological systems. We are biological machines.

But biology as we know it is limited by physical constraints on our senses, memory, and life-spans. It may even be the case that biological imagination and creativity are limited by the inherent constraints of neurological chemistry, however, I don’t imagine this is the case 🙂 I cannot see 3000 miles away without a camera and transmission, and I cannot remember the URL of the 473rd web page I ever viewed without electronic logs.

It seems clear that humans are developing electronic and mechanical tools to move beyond the constraints of our biological selves. We use electronics to extend our senses, empower our expressiveness, assist our memory, automate our processing, and improve our life-span. It seems inevitable that the evolutions of biological and electronic systems will begin to merge in order to take advantage of the best characteristics of each. To reach such a state, the interface between these systems needs to be improved. We are working on it already, and it is a ways off, but simply a matter of time. We are truly fortunate that the basic input and output signals of our biological nervous system are electrical.

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