The rise of the tool by Jan Sand

Dictionary definitions of “tool” generally refer to some device used by humans to serve a purpose but recent investigations have shown that many creatures other than humans have found it useful to extend their physical abilities with various available implements. Nevertheless, humans excel above all other creatures in developing new ways to fabricate sophisticated objects to manipulate, not only their environment, but each other to create and control the complex of human society.

tools01_400Viewed as a greater generality than a specific object, a tool can also be a concept or an idea or some generally accepted social mechanism which is used to dominate human relationships. This extends the basic concept of the tool to a social continuum far greater than a mere object and becomes an object lesson in how the tool itself can overpower its creator and endanger the entire nature of society to the detriment of all life. The recent US presidential election clearly indicates how a social tool, the Electoral College, dominated its master, the democratic popular vote, to create a rather odd and quite frightening situation. The alternative candidate who exhibited an equal relish for demolishing planetary life with the exorbitant feral delight in extending the US dominance in a nuclear conflict with Russia did not seem much of an encouraging alternative. But more general human social tools such as money, the military-industrial complex, private property, and many more complex social relationships currently are in operation in ways not particularly favorable to this most peculiar species, the entirety of humanity or, to be more general, all other life on the planet.

To step somewhat aside from a strictly human viewpoint one can perhaps see the tool itself as a kind of independent creature utilizing the ingenuity of living creatures to evolutionize into an independent dynamic factor. This is not an original novel concept. It was explored in the novel “Looking Backward” published in 1888 by Edward Bellamy but it seems especially pertinent in looking over current advances.

There are several contemporary areas where this peculiar activity is becoming a dynamic invasive of and dangerous to human existence. They become strangely independent ideational ecologies with a life of their own, a jungle full of vicious conceptual monsters with frightful destructive capacities. The internet itself, considered originally as a gateway to the freedoms of availability of all sorts of wonderful human interactions has provided an incredibly rich field to distorted minds who make off regularly with huge robberies of funds never before possible and with wild distortions of information that result in frightful international and local catastrophes. One might take the opposite view that these were merely aware individuals open to new opportunities but these individuals can also be perceived oppositely as a constant field of human negative qualities available to the internet as an entity for opportunistic activity.

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