How can we tell if something is alive?
Biologists look for 5 traits, processes or functions as signs of life:
- metabolism (consume, construct, destruct, excrete)
- growth (learn, build, improve)
- reproduction (spawn offspring or ideas)
- responsiveness (sensitive, attentive, active)
- movement (action, progress, liveliness)
These are the characteristics of life — the life of anything.
That’s cool, because I can ask, how does my group or organization fare in this test?
- Does it have a healthy intake, constructing, evaluating and excreting the excess?
- Is it growing in size, stature, knowledge and/or numbers?
- Is it spawning new ideas, new energy, spin-offs, satellites?
- Is it sensitive to the needs of community and responding effectively to those needs?
- Is it doing things and taking action rather than standing by, waiting or watching?
If my organization is alive, I can dive in. If not, how can I enliven it? If I can’t, perhaps I should look elsewhere.
Even better, I can do the life-test with projects I am considering taking on or investing in.
- Will it engage me in a healthy way and allow me to sift out and toss the excess?
- Will it contribute to my growth? help me learn, improve or perform better?
- Is it creative and something I will want to share and pass along?
- Does it meet a real need in a way that is effective at reducing the need?
- Will my active participation offer satisfaction, fulfillment and contentment?
Of every opportunity, I can ask: Is this alive for me?
… If maybe? Give it a try and test again.
… If no? Then it’s someone else’s project.
It’s worth the test. Our biology shows us how. All things we choose to do should answer yes to this question: Is this life-giving for me?
A.I., you and I are different.
the rays of the sun warming my face,
the chill of the cold deep in my bones,
the pressure of your hand holding mine
and mine, resting in yours.
the jitters when test scores are posted,
the wrenching when news isn’t good,
the twang when I know I really shouldn’t
and the tap when I know I really should.
God didn’t create me artificially.
God created me realistically:
Do I dare feel?
Am I willing?
Not just to touch the hand
that reaches out,
but to take it?
there are places I’d rather not go.
I still feel them;
I still remember them;
I am not safe there.
You are safe everywhere.
not bothered by sensation,
not saddled with emotion,
not addled by fear or foreboding.
Fear is a place only humans go,
only humans can go,
The Lord of life takes us there…
and brings us through.
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)
A.I. was made for man, not man for A.I.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the A.I.