douglas_rushkoff's picture
Media Analyst; Documentary Writer; Author, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
Media Analyst; Documentary Writer; Author, Get Back in the Box : Innovation from the Inside Out

Human Beings Are Different

Now that we've gotten false notions of "god" out of the way, we come up against the question from which He insulated us: if human beings are not the "chosen" species, then are we at least capable of transcending nature, from which we emerge?

Our most natural inclination should be to kill each other, one way or another. From plankton to pachyderms, the myth of nature as a sustainable and loving collaborative is about as absurd as that of a Creator Being. Unless we prove different from every other species, we will continue to compete with the rest of the planet for a disproportionate share of its resources — and with one another for the spoils of this ongoing war. That's just life.

I'm optimistic that human beings can be different than the species from which we evolved, and that the endless comparisons between human culture and other species are, ultimately, specious. I hope that just because sponge colonies will fight endlessly with those of a different color need not mean that humans are destined to do the same thing.

I'm optimistic that, having been liberated from the myth of intrinsic meaning, human beings will gain the capacity to make meaning, instead. And that this unique ability will give us the opportunity to disobey biology's commands.