This note is a part of my Zettelkasten. What is below might not be complete or accurate. It is also likely to change often.
9th July, 2020

Natural Selection, Orchids and humans

Picking up up from Randomness, Natural Selection and Resilience

There are only two ways for a species to thrive (increase energy availability per capita):

  • Increase overall energy absorbtion of the system (by converting sunlight (or other energy source) which no-one else is utilizing or being more efficient at converting energy and passably good at other things)
  • Steal that energy from some other source, out competing everyone else.

Survival in the wild is dealing with this energy marketplace. Our basic life system has been continually gaining from randomness, becoming better at capturing energy and building resilience. This has happenned for such a long time that we now have highly specialized systems like what orchids have been able to achieve with pollination. Orchids have been so successful in their specialization strategy that they are around 10% of all seed plants. Although, these specialized systems are not very resilient as individual systems, as a super system, orchids are super resilient. The species are so diverse and varied, that whatever happens, most will survive. Their focus is on becoming more specialized and finding new, innovative gaps in the energy marketplace, spreading wider, adding more eggs in more baskets.

Orchids, like most organisms on this planet have a large part of their behaviour programmed genetically, into their DNA. They are born with certain programming and live and die by that programming. Their approach is of making small bets in each seedling generation- to see if they succeed. Like what Lean Startup does, but slower, needing needing many many lifetimes to test and assimilate new ideas. This is more Sustainable since by moving slowly, they make sure that what they do dont have unintended consquences.

Under circumstances typical to other species, humans would have had access to a limited, slow growing pool of energy and that would have meant that humans would have been in limited number, unable to gather the huge amount of energy required to sustain a big group. There were many human species, each as insignificant as the other. However, due to some reason, around 60000-70000 years ago something changed. No one knows how, but humans suddenly became more intelligent and there are many theories on Wikipedia. Because of this, Why Humans are overpowered. With their newfound intelligence, Homo sapiens killed or absorbed every other Homo species and became the only one in its genus. Homo sapiens are undoubtable rulers of this world.