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Sensibilidad e inteligencia en el mundo…
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Sensibilidad e inteligencia en el mundo vegetal (original 2013; edição 2015)

por Stefano Mancuso, Alessandra Viola

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1273163,550 (3.55)7
In this book, a leading plant scientist offers a new understanding of the botanical world and a passionate argument for intelligent plant life. Are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings? For centuries, philosophers and scientists have argued that plants are unthinking and inert, yet discoveries over the past fifty years have challenged this idea, shedding new light on the complex interior lives of plants. In Brilliant Green, leading scientist Stefano Mancuso presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. He argues that plants process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another-showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware. Part botany lesson, part manifesto, Brilliant Green is an engaging and passionate examination of the inner workings of the plant kingdom.… (mais)
Membro:Avencejo
Título:Sensibilidad e inteligencia en el mundo vegetal
Autores:Stefano Mancuso
Outros autores:Alessandra Viola
Informação:Barcelona Galaxia Gutenberg 2015
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence por Stefano Mancuso (2013)

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Thanks to Netgalley!

The book asks us, sometimes repeatedly, to step outside of our preconceived notions. Fair enough. I'm not a member of an old-boy scientific network, so I have no vested interests besides learning for learning's sake. So what does Mr. Mancuso ask us to swallow?

Easily enough, it's just the idea that plants are intelligent.

No biggie, actually. I was convinced pretty early in the book, especially when we throw out prejudices such as the need for a "brain" or "eyes" or any of the traditional "sense organs" we animals possess.

Think about it. Plants make decisions all the time, not just in hunting for water, discovering new pockets of phosphorous or other trace elements, competing with other plants, defending against and entering into agreements with bacteria, insects, and animals. Even the way they decide to propagate themselves show a remarkably diverse toolset, from communicating by delicious ripe fruit, chemically unique and heavily directed pheromones that entice very specific animals and insects, and mimicry. And when they choose to do any of it is based on a very complex decision plot.

But they're plants, you say. Just dumb plants. (I'm paraphrasing the the author's imagined critique crowd.) I mow the lawn. It doesn't seem to complain. How smart can it be?

Actually, pretty damn smart. The tips of even a small plant's roots can number 15 million discrete sensory apparatus, and larger plants, like corn, can have upwards of a hundred million. Think of the tips of the roots as the neurons. They make all the decisions. This is real. And real communication takes place across same species of plants over great distances just as real communication is possible and even likely across species.

True non-human, non-animal intelligence right here on Earth? Sure. I'm sold. Look at how plants have learned to communicate with us. If we're so damn smart, then why have plants started preening themselves like courtly lovers trying to land a hot mate with humanity? Hell, they still think that ants are pretty hot shit. Whole colonies will violently defend trees. We are cultivating orchards, food crops, medicinal plants by the hundreds of scores, and in return, these plants THRIVE.

They're alive. They think. If they give us more pretties, we take very good care of them. I would not be surprised if in the next 100 years, assuming we haven't killed off all the rest of the intelligent life on the planet, most of the plant life turns into one gigantic catering service to humanity. After all, as long as their root systems survive and they're given comfy environments, they're just fine with being eaten. They're not reliant on us, but they sure as hell know how to exploit us. :)

Believe it or not, all of this is proven science. Just because some of us don't believe what is obvious, such as the fact that more than 95% of the world's biomass is plant matter and it'll go on being the dominant life form even if all the animals including us die, doesn't mean it isn't true.

There's an interesting anecdote that paraphrases that we nonchalantly ignore the importance and intelligence and motive and sensory capabilities of plants JUST because they're slower than we can readily perceive. They're not less complex. In fact, they have all of our senses, plus a much wider capacity to sense. Theories have most plants linked up to at least 20 full-blown senses. Not just our five. Hell, I'd LOVE to be able to sense gravity. Oh, wait. I do: It's that way.

Okay, so perhaps his definition of senses needs a bit more fleshing, whether its animal or plant flesh, but I am convinced on the intelligence. :)

An interesting unproven hypothesis speculate that they work together as emergent properties rather more complicated than simply transmitting through the roots, either chemically, spatially, or even through the tiny clicking sounds that all roots make, whether or not it's the cracking of the cellular wall or it's a method of communication.

Swarming intelligent emergence within a root system. That's so totally awesome. Discussions of AIs and Other Computing Models are also touched in this book.

The only reason I knocked a star was in the total page-time spent exhorting us to just quit it with our animal prejudices, looking for intelligence that's just like us instead of what is apparent all around us. Systems Theory should have put a nail in that coffin of thought, but alas, the opposite is apparently still going strong. I wanted even more facts and even more wild theories, not more persuasive arguments. :)

Stop sitting around like a vegetable, people!
( )
1 vote bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Interesting, easy to understand. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Plants are far more advanced than we give them credit for. Mancuso and Viola are out to set the record straight, and they do it in an easy to read primer on the structure of plants. This is a fast read and a short book, covering a lot of ground far less verbosely than Darwin, where pretty much all of the observations originated.

The most important revelation in Brilliant Green is that plants are in effect colonies, like ants or bees. There are no essential organs that can fatally fail, and damage can be overcome by the network structure, much like the internet. Plants have numerous internal networks and systems. There is constant, active internal communication, and they take a very active role in their wellbeing and their environs. They can sense and favor their own offspring, seek out nutrients and avoid poisons, and instruct leaves to be more conservationist when moisture levels underground are low. They have not only all five of our senses, but 15 more, like detecting gravity, levels of sunlight, time of year and the presence of others.

If plants are wiped out, we would not survive more than a few weeks. If we were wiped out, plants would take over everything we had built in a few years. A lot more respect is due.

David Wineberg ( )
1 vote DavidWineberg | Jan 5, 2015 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Mancuso, Stefanoautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Viola, AlessandraAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Pollan, MichaelPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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In this book, a leading plant scientist offers a new understanding of the botanical world and a passionate argument for intelligent plant life. Are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings? For centuries, philosophers and scientists have argued that plants are unthinking and inert, yet discoveries over the past fifty years have challenged this idea, shedding new light on the complex interior lives of plants. In Brilliant Green, leading scientist Stefano Mancuso presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. He argues that plants process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another-showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware. Part botany lesson, part manifesto, Brilliant Green is an engaging and passionate examination of the inner workings of the plant kingdom.

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