Chapter 5.b

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June 30, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

THE HUMAN CORAL

Let’s dive together to admire the corals. Corals are marine limestone constructions of acknowledged beauty, the work of small animals remotely related to jellyfish. These animals live in large colonies inside the coral from which they never part, exposing only outside their tentacles that look like small flowers. The thing that interests us is that the limestone skeleton of the colony, the coral, is a structure that appears to us of a certain complexity, considering its many ramifications, but the method by which is built is very simple: every small “colonist” builds his house, a piece of coral in which it lives, and generates other colonists who do the same, always repeating the same pattern. The beautiful corals we can admire are therefore the result of hundreds of animals that have the same role. We have a construction that follows the typical design of its kind, due to a large number of individuals equal to each other, who perform, without having any specialization, all the same type of work. It is indeed a small miracle of nature that teaches us how sometimes it is possible to perform complex tasks simply by adding simpler activities together, with no particular specialization.
This is a possibility that we humans can take into account to face problems such as misinformation or management of culture. As we know in fact, those who control our information and our culture also control our choices, and to be free, i.e. intellectually independent, we must manage the information and culture as autonomously as possible, just as we do with our bank account in order to be economically independent. An individual management is the most decentralized system that we are able to conceive, but it appears to be also against our nature as social animals, as we cannot be totally independent from each other.
The corals indeed suggest us that a solution that meets both the exigencies, i.e. a highly decentralized management that creates a collective efficient and more complex system than what would be achievable by a single person, is possible. Let’s see therefore how to build systems similar to corals, but formed by men.

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