Ways of Being : Animals, Plants, Machines

the Search for a Planetary Intelligence

English language

Published Dec. 22, 2022 by Picador.

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5 stars (4 reviews)

Artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle’s Ways of Being is a brilliant, searching exploration of different kinds of intelligence—plant, animal, human, artificial—and how they transform our understanding of humans’ place in the cosmos.

What does it mean to be intelligent? Is it something unique to humans or shared with other beings—beings of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon? The last few years have seen rapid advances in “artificial” intelligence. But rather than a friend or companion, AI increasingly appears to be something stranger than we ever imagined, an alien invention that threatens to decenter and supplant us.

At the same time, we’re only just becoming aware of the other intelligences that have been with us all along, even if we’ve failed to recognize or acknowledge them. These others—the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us—are slowly revealing their complexity, agency, and knowledge, just as the technologies we’ve built to sustain …

1 edition

Vast Active Living System

5 stars

Em português → sol2070.in/2023/07/Vasto-sistema-ativo-de-intelig%C3%AAncia-(resenha)

"What sort of intelligence actively participates in the drilling, draining and despoliation of the few remaining wildernesses on earth, in the name of an idea of progress we already know to be doomed? This is not an intelligence I recognize." James Bridle

"Ways of Being" (2022), by James Bridle, was the best non-fiction book I have read in recent times. It covers several of the subjects that interest me most, such as:

  • What is consciousness?
  • What is life?
  • Developments in technology that border on science fiction.
  • The irrepressible massive destructive energy of corporations, and the capitalist way of seeing the world that sustains it. Utopia.

An excerpt:

"Frseeeeeeeefronnnng and we all go tumbling down the genetic line together. It’s a delirious image: an endlessly blossoming, weirding, straining desire for life and interconnection. The lichens farm algae and we farm bacteria and each feeds the other, the …

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