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Apr 13, 2023

Cyborg Earth and the Technological Embryogenesis of the Biosphere

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, cyborgs, particle physics, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Humongous Fungus, a specimen of Armillaria ostoyae, has claimed the title of world’s largest single organism. Though it features honey mushrooms above ground, the bulk of this creature’s mass arises from its vast subterranean mycelial network of filamentous tendrils. It has spread across more than 2,000 acres of soil and weighs over 30,000 metric tons. Yet I would contend that Humongous Fungus represents a mere microcosm of the world’s true largest organism, a creature that I will call Cyborg Earth. What is Cyborg Earth? Eastern religions have suggested that all life is fundamentally interconnected. Cyborg Earth represents an extension of this concept.

All across the globe, biological life thrives. Quintillions upon quintillions of biomolecular computations happen every second, powering all life. Mycoplasma bacteria. Communities of leafcutter ants. The Humongous Fungus. Beloved beagles. Seasonal influenza viruses. Parasitic roundworms. Families of Canadian elk. Vast blooms of cyanobacteria. Humanity. Life works because of complexity that arises from simplicity that in turn arises from whatever inscrutable quantum mechanical rules lay beneath the molecular scale.

All creatures rearrange atoms in various ways. Termites and beavers rearrange larger bunches of atoms than most organisms. As humans progressed from paleolithic to metalwork to industrialization and then to the space age, information revolution, and era of artificial intelligence, they learned to converse with the atoms around them in an ever more complex fashion. We are actors in an operatic performance, we are subroutines of evolution, we are interwoven matryoshka patterns, an epic chemistry.

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