Synopsis: The evolution of accessories differentiates humans from other species.
People have long sought to identify the key difference between humans and other species. We have a soul, or our intelligence makes us different. The more we learn about other species, the less clear some of those distinctions become. However, there is one clear difference: we not only use tools, we pass on and improve those tools from generation to generation, allowing the tools to evolve.
Since human existence is so intertwined with our tools, they become like accessories that change our capabilities as these accessories evolve. The principle of evolution is “survival of the fittest”. For a species to grow in population relative to other species, that species must evolve to acquire greater “fitness” for the environment. A look at human history reveals that the invention of agriculture led to increased population. Even before the population explosion, the human population was growing over the long term, which basic population principles suggest requires humans to have been evolving.
From the Victorian era, the evolution of our “accessories” had reached the level that meant animals which previously inspired fear became unfair targets for ‘”game hunters“. A human with accessories no longer required a group to be the apex predator.
The population explosion of the industrial age may have been in response to the dramatic decrease in child mortality, but without a parallel increased rate of further evolution, such an increase would have resulted in horrific mass starvation. Humanity may have borrowed from future generations to avoid such starvation, but the rate of progress was still undeniable.
Clearly, human society has evolved, and this has supported this rise in population and even has arguably taken human domination of the planet to the level that has given rise to the Anthropocene epoch.
Further, it is also clear that no other species has demonstrated such a clear evolution of their societies, or of the appearance of individuals within their societies.
Other species use tools. The clear difference between humans and other species is that so far, no other species has developed evolution of their tools, where the tools themselves experience improvements from generation to generation. Other species have intelligence, can be self-aware and use tools, and in these characteristics humans old differ in the extent of intelligence, or self-awareness or use of tools. But the evolution of tools, is unique to humans.
A human will almost always be seen together wish some accessories. Almost always clothes, and increasingly, almost always with a portable communications/computing/camera/torch device. Very often with a backpack or other bag for even more tools. Almost all humans will have access to a home that houses a further variety of tools, and over 1 in 4 adults will have a car, motorcycle or moped.
This presence of accessories makes a human of today immediately distinguishable from a human of 50,000 years ago, while almost every other species is indistinguishable from one of 50,000 years ago.
The result is that almost every human on Earth will now normally be seen with tools: as an accessorised human.
Topic Introduction: Superpowers, Tools, Toys and Technology.
What is a Tool? Answer: An accessory that provides enhanced capabilities.
A tool can be considered equipment that enhances abilities.
OK, these days ‘tool’ can be a derogatory term for a person as in: “I went to the store today and I saw they had a tool section. I just had to look, and sure enough there were several tools there, all standing around looking lustfully at products that they don’t need”.
But seriously, this just demonstrates meanings change. In fact the narrower definition of ‘tools’ being a section of the hardware store is itself a very narrow use of the word tool. The first stone tools, did not fit this narrower description of ‘tool’, and when researching animals ability to use ‘tools’ it can include an octopus using a coconut for shelter, or even a dolphin using a sponge. The reality tools are not just products sold as tools, and unlike that narrow definition, tools are not predominantly from domains that in a sexist world are mostly male. Not only is the label ‘tool’ used for ‘kitchen tools’, but the term ‘tool’ also describes mixers, blenders, and a whole host of kitchen appliances used equally by both genders. The are cameras and lenses as tools of photography, of sewing machines and more as tools for sewing, and tools for science. For almost any human activity, we have tools to enhance our abilities, and give us superpowers.
Evolution by accessories: Humans Gain New Superpowers through tools and technologies.
Every new technology starts off like a toy, as an idea that doesn’t really work yet, but sooner or later, many do progress to become useful tools.
From the first stone tools, through to mobile devices, humanity has progressed and been transformed by the tools available at the time. Humanity before the inventions of tools have such primitive capabilities in comparison with humanity today, that it seems hard to recognise both the old and new as the same species. A human equipped with a full array of the tools of todays technology would appear to a human from just a few thousand years earlier to be like a god or an alien in possession of superpowers.
It is the development of tools that has rewritten time and time again the competitiveness of humans vs other species, that has resulted in the population we see today, compared to the population of humans 100,000 years ago. The reason humans in the first 200,000 thousand years did not grow to a population of billions like we have in the last 10,000 years, is that we did not have the superpowers that we have today.
Given that the development of tools has made humans the successful species that we are today, the humans who did not love toos all died out.
Tools provide superpowers. Not just for Batman and Ironman, but potentially for everyone, or they would if the tools of Batman and Ironman were real and not just toys.
Why Everyone Loves Tools: Capability, Identity, & Fulfillment.
There is a the narrow definition of ‘tools’ from the hardware store, but the more fundamental definition includes clothes, eating utensils, and anything we make part of our life that the first humans did not have.
Everybody likes tools as they give us superpowers to get things done, pursue hobbies, and even leisure activities far better than without them. It is only the use of the word that has been more gender aligned.
Adopting and using tools is considered a key characteristic of being human. With tools we can have capabilities beyond those provided by our physiology. Early humans used tools to enable them increase their abilities to hunt, to build homes, and to prepare food. The dictionary makes specific reference to ‘a handheld device that aids in the accomplishment of a task’, but when visiting the ‘garden tools’ section, it can be seen that even a ride on mower, can be classified as a tool, despite not being handheld. Most people would also agree that even desktop computers can be regarded as tools, or at least an ‘office tool’, but we don’t normally think of a car as tool. This suggests the idea of a tool already extends beyond handheld.
The definition I choose to work with is:
tool: a device that aids in accomplishing an outcome.
Tools Extend An Enhance Human Abilities.
Tools extend the capabilities of the person with the tool. The owner of a tool has extended capabilities. Just as superheros Batman and Ironman gain extra powers through their suits and accessories, a person with a motor vehicle is capable of amazing feats.
Each task a tool enables gives new powers to the person with the tool. The ability to accomplish these tasks allows people to see themselves differently, and thus changes their sense of self and how they are perceived by others.
It has become part of human to have tools that can enable accomplishing many tasks. Possessing tools changes a persons identity to a person enable people to do more than before. From someone who can’t tackle a task, to someone who can tackle that task.
Use of tools is what has enabled humans to be so successful as a species, and as a key to success as a species, we have evolved to feel rewarded and fulfilled, by the capabilities our tools provide and scope of tasks they allow us to accomplish.
Homes and Other Possessions Are Forms Of Tools.
Everything we own becomes an accessory to who we are and a part our identity.
Tools Vs Technology.
The terms ‘technology’ and ‘tools’ can be used somewhat interchangeably.
However, it can be interpreted that the underlying technology is what makes the tools possible, and a tool is created when an embodiment of technologies enables doing something useful. When technology results in products that give people the ability to either do things they could not do before, or to do things faster or with less effort than previously.
To focus on the technology is to focus on the technical specifications, while to focus on the tool is to look at what we can achieve when using the technology, and to highlight how the technology allows us to achieve things. A technology review of a robot vacuum looks at how it works and how it compares with others, while considering the perspective of a tool might focus more on how much better having the robot vacuum, is better than using a conventional vacuum.
Toys Vs Tools.
I use the term ‘toy’ for a technology that has not yet achieved ‘tool’ status. An example would be my first robot vacuum cleaner, which did manage to vacuum, but did not really improve my ability to vacuum or significantly reduce the time and effort to get the job done.
I sometimes write evaluations of products I use, but as I don’t try all equivalent products, the focus is usually about is the product a ‘toy’ that achieves little that could be achieved without it, or a true ‘tool’ that allows a person to do more.
Electric Vehicles(EVs), Autonomous Cars, And Personal Mobility.
Follow this link for the full topic.
- Personal Mobility.
- Electric Vehicles:
- Electric Cars 2021: EVs Just Don’t Add Up (yet).
- EV Tipping Point in 2022: Time to end EV subsidies?
- Electric Cars 2025: ‘Adding up’ requires a revolution. Who wins, who loses? China?
- Politics And Economic Impact.
- Hydrogen vs Battery Electric Vehicles.
- Hydrogen Facts vs Myths, blue vs green, and Hydrogen Scams.
- Living With Electric Vehicles( EVs)
- Range and Economy Reference: Interpreting the Numbers.
- EV Range: Range Anxieties vs Realities.
- EV Recharging: Think Like Mobile Phones, Not Like Refuelling An ICE Vehicle.
- Range and Economy Reference: Interpreting the Numbers.
Web Tools & Technologies.
Other Tools, Toys and Enhancements plus Product Reviews.
- Product Reviews:
- Robots: Ecovacs T9, and Samsung R9350.
- Fold and Note: Fold S Pen Fail?
- Coffee, Coffee Machines and More.
- B & O H95
- H95 vs H9i and Apple etc
- April 12, 2023: Updated synopsis, except and title.
- Feb 14, 2022: Updated subcategories – getting ready to omit.