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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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How Long Have Humans Dominated the Planet?: Scientific American

How Long Have Humans Dominated the Planet?: Scientific American | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A call goes out for a new global effort to puzzle out humanity's ecological history over the last 50,000 years or more
Artur Alves's insight:

"The putative start date for what scientists have begun to call the Anthropocene—a newly defined epoch in which humanity is the dominant force on the planet—ranges widely. Some argue that humans began changing the global environment about 50,000 years back, in the Pleistocene epoch, helping along if not outright causing the mass extinctions of megafauna, from mammoths to giant kangaroos, on most continents. Others date it to the emergence of agriculture some 7,000 years ago. The most definitive cases to be made coincide with the start of the industrial revolution and the dawn of the atomic age. The beginnings of burning fossil fuels to power machines in the 19th century initiated a change in the mix of atmospheric gases , and the first nuclear weapon test on July 16, 1945, spread unique isotopes across the globe.

There is little doubt from the archaeological record that humans have been altering ecosystems on a local scale for at least 50,000 years if not longer, but the extent of that alteration remains unknown. Recent work by ecologist Erle Ellis of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and others suggests that for at least 3,000 yearshunting, farming and burning have shaped most landscapes on the planet, based on computer models."

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Rescooped by Artur Alves from Modern Atheism
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How We Won the Hominid Wars, and All the Others Died Out | Human Evolution | DISCOVER Magazine

How We Won the Hominid Wars, and All the Others Died Out | Human Evolution | DISCOVER Magazine | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The unique adaptability of Homo sapiens is what allowed us to survive when so many other species died out, paleoanthropologist Rick Potts contends. .

Via Modern Atheism
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Rescooped by Artur Alves from My Favorite TED Talks
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Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now

Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives.


Via axelletess
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Jane Franken's curator insight, March 21, 2013 7:42 AM

This talk takes an anthropological view of humans and technology which lends context to and directly supports ideas specific to the future of software development.  Case describes the way emerging technology is freely traversing the barrier between physical and mental, the implications of which will surely impact heavily on software development.

Lucile Debethune's curator insight, April 21, 2014 7:28 AM

Les smartphone sont ils une extension de notre cerveau ou une partie de notre être étendu ? Sommes nous déjà des Cyborg ?