[Old Thoughts] Dangers of Humanization

12 10 2006

Dated 8/3/2005 (edited to clean up some ugly typos, otherwise the clunkiness of the original is retained)

There is an occasional argument that the humanization of the world (making it the recipient of human endeavors) makes the world more human, more amenable to choice and freedom.  Yet there is a hidden demon in this little notion—the ‘humanized’ world possesses its own complexity, its own laws, that are independent of the human agents that generated them.  These laws possess an inhumanity that rivals and in some cases may even outdo the ‘tyranny’ of the natural world.  Outdo because the scale of the humanized world, being ‘set’ to humans, also more easily influences them, more easily makes of them a cog in its machinery whereas the natural world is more indifferent to humanity, less able to directly influence it.

[8/3/2010: I still like this point, rough edges and all.  It’s worth emphasizing the corollary, too, that over-humanization fosters a kind of blindness or myopia, a difficulty in seeing phenomena that fall outside the human-scaled world.]

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