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Can We Learn to Think Like a Plant?

Stephen L. Talbott


This chapter is part of a work in progress and is subject to continual revision. Date of last revision: July 5, 2005. The chapter was originally published in NetFuture #164. Copyright 2005 The Nature Institute. All rights reserved. You may freely redistribute this chapter for noncommercial purposes only.


Perhaps never in the history of the world has so vast a project yielded such overwhelming benefits at such a terrible cost. The technological products of our massively institutionalized science are such visible and effective instruments of power that few would question the essential rightness of this science as an inquiry into the nature of the world. And yet, thanks to this same science we find ourselves increasingly alienated from the world and bereft of any sense of human understanding. What understanding we are offered derives primarily from instruments and, as data, passes straight from the instruments to computational machines fitter than we to cope with it.

The technological benefits of this science hardly need defending. On