Just pondering about straight and squiggly lines in nature.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Natural Selection Favors the Meandering Path, the Efficient Path
It's finally here, my second Vlog post!
There aren't very many "straight" lines in nature, and really none of those that appear straight are actually straight. Even light travels in waves.
In the 3rd century BCE, Archimedes first articulated that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
Now we think the shortest distance between 2 points the most efficient.
But, I ask, is the straight line really efficient?
If so, if natural selection selects the most fit, why does it almost always select against the straight line and for the meandering line?
If you can pull yourself away from these gadgets and grids long enough and go into a field, just look around.
Yes, nature is saturated with meandering paths.
But commercial civilization, on the other hand, almost always selects against the wavy line, for the straight line!
Look at city plans for thousands of years.
Look at our grids, electronics, computers, houses, windows.
Why the straight line?
We think the shortest distance, the fastest distance, is the fittest, the most efficient.
But it's not. That's right.
Commerce is goal-oriented, based on money, meaning end reward.
"Civilized" people work for the sake of end reward, not for the sake of the journey.
We don't regard work as the reward but the end as the reward.
This creates the straightest line, the quickest line possible.
By its very nature, the straight line as such disregards its environment, disregards its neighbors, disregards surrounding terrain, disregards resting and relaxation, joy in the moment.
In other words, the straight lines of civilization tell us the end justifies the means.
In other words, the straight path is the least efficient, the most wasteful path. Just look around. Overwhelming waste piles up around our straight lines.
Our straight-line grid is contrary to natural selection, contrary to biology, contrary to evolution, despite what we think.
Our civilization has gotten straighter and straighter for thousands of years, now straighter than ever, surrounded by insurmountable waste and inefficiency.
Ancient Chinese/Taoist folklore says evil spirits travel along straight lines.
Hence, traditional Asian architecture and paths are purposefully made to curve and meander.
Our brains are wired in curved lines because they are selected for efficiency, awareness, intelligence, art.
Our computers are wired in straight lines, because we think they are more efficient, but their intelligence is artificial, fake, contrary to awareness, contrary to consciousness.
Maybe one day we will learn to select beauty, meandering paths, intelligence, art.
But it can never happen in a society that lives for end reward.