PUMA
Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bolognesi T. Humanity is much more than the sum of humans. Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Zeeya Merali (eds.). (The Frontiers Collection, vol. 2016). Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2016.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
Consider two roughly spherical and coextensive complex systems: the atmosphere and the upper component of the biosphere - humanity. It is well known that, due to a malicious antipodal butterfly, the possibility to accurately forecast the weather - let alone controlling it - is severely limited. Why should it be easier to predict and steer the future of humanity? In this essay we present both pessimistic and optimistic arguments about the possibility to effectively predict and drive our future. On the long time scale, we sketch a software-oriented view at the cosmos in all of its components, from spacetime to the biosphere and human societies, borrowing ideas from various scientific theories or conjectures; the proposal is also motivated by an attempt to provide some formal foundations to Teilhard de Chardin's cosmological/metaphysical visions, that relate the growing complexity of the material universe, and its final fate, to the progressive emergence of consciousness. On a shorter scale, we briefly discuss the possibility of using simple formal models such as Kauffman's boolean networks, and the growing body of data about social behaviours, for simulating humanity 'in-silico', with the purpose to anticipate problems and testing solutions.
URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-20717-9_3
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20717-9_3
Subject Teilhard de Chardin
Cosmology
Emergence
Consciousness
J.2 PHYSICAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCES


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