Sentient Thermometers?

This reading of the 22 Theses on nature is an interesting dive into the topic of what nature means in the context of the Anthropocene. One of the most interesting aspects of these arguments was the later section on sentience and consciousness. The biggest shock to me while reading this was the statement that even a thermostat, which is affected by temperature leading to a change, could in theory be sentient. Especially in a world where we are striving for “sentient artificial intelligence” (well some people are at least). But based off of their definitions, what is actually being worked towards is CONSCIOUS artificial intelligence.

I think their assertion that nature can no longer be viewed as “other” is interesting, because we have been manipulating nature for thousands of years. But what they do point out is that now we are not only manipulating nature, we are building it, changing it, and even changing the course of the world through these actions in cascading events which affect each other. Through things as genetic engineering, geoengineering, us humans are somewhat playing God. We are trying to control our own fates in a world where the definition of the world doesn’t really allow it.

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