I had a lot of fun

I had a lot of fun preparing this. I made actual sense of my own life and tied it in with the glory of the universe and a few ideas about religion and got it all down on twenty pages.

So then I had to take out all the personal stuff.

And then I had to take out most of the science.

And here is my remaining outline that explains why human people are not solving the life-and-death problem we now are living inside our living ecosystem. Even though we understand the problem fully well enough to solve it.

That is the human dilemma. Your handout represents the capacities humans have to function better within the ecosystem. (Human Dilemma Handout).

Humans are very complex animals, so I will try to stick to some very basic assumptions

I begin with the assumption that we are gifted with the following characteristics that have made us uniquely successful organisms.

First we are born with a set of socially oriented inborn human emotions, including compassion. We can’t really change this, it is level one of our problem solving ladder.

Second, we are gifted with a logical brain that permits us to LEARN much of our behavior after birth and to control our behaviors so that we can interact positively with whatever problems we encounter in life. Over time, problem solving level two grows to be our world view. All world views are logical; not all world views are accurate.

Third, we live inside a living thing. That is a fact over which we have no control, but it is very important to our welfare that the living thing should be healthy. That fact is represented by level three of the Human Dilemma Handout.

So our problem solving ability lies in the area we can control and that’s level two – all our behaviors and actions.

Next I need to talk about some characteristics of the universe. Levels of Organization and Emergent properties that tend to cause problems for us.

The universe presumably contains everything. Our solar system contains a few planets, a sun and some other things. Our planet most surprisingly contains or is our living ecosystem that has all the defining characteristics of a life form (listed on the handout in level three). The ecosystem is composed of living plants, animals and other creatures of which we are one, and some other things. We consist of organs and organ systems (and some other things), these are made of tissues, and so on down to molecules, atoms and other things I don’t try to think about.

What is important and even seems magical about this arrangement is that every higher level of organization exhibits emergent properties and characteristics and requirements that do not exist in the things of which it is composed.

A good example is water. A liquid composed of two gases. Another example is the cell, composed of nonliving things, it has all the physical characteristics of life. Life is the emergent property of the cell.

Other emergent properties include the ability of the brain to think and the ability of the ecosystem to transpose light energy into organic energy that links together organic molecules, and to use this organic energy to keep itself alive.

Emergent properties are the result of greater complexity, but more importantly of the precise organization of the complexity. The higher organization has an emergent property that is different from any of its subunits, and that emergent property imposes requirements. Every emergent property has emergent requirements. Life, for example, requires certain conditions that are not necessary for nonlife, and these would be the conditions that are necessary to maintain the complex organization of the emergent entity.

If we understand levels of human problem solving, and we understand emergent properties, we can now understand my concern.

Human life has created an emergent property that is taking on characteristics of its own that do not include human values. That is today’s multinational corporations. As an emergent property, the corposystem has different functions, values and requirements that are not human values and are competing with the needs of the ecosystem and of humans.

Is the Corposystem a living thing?
I don’t know. I tend to think it could become a living thing according to our definition. But what matters is that the corposystem is competing with the ecosystem for the organic energy we all need to survive.

And this is a big problem, because the corposystem does not have our capacity for thinking, nor does it have our human values. The corposystem gets most of its energy for its survival, as do we and as does the ecosystem, from green plants and photosynthetic bacteria. The corposystem is actively competing with the ecosystem and with us for the energy that we all require to continue functioning.

Again, the organic energy of life is made by green plants and cyanobacteria – only. Not by the sun, not by the wind, not by any technology.

So basically the corposystem is competing with the ecosystem for the available resources, and neither the ecosystem nor the corposystem is interested in human values.

Very likely the corposystem has grown beyond the control of human values. It has, for example, taken over National Geographic and the Smithsonian magazine that were created to nurture human values. The corposystem is now using these publications to nurture corpovalues that will cause harm to humans. Similarly, the corposystem is in process of taking over the media. It is using our level one human values – our compassion, our tendency to want to control things — the corposystem is using our instinctual nature to help it drain the organic energy out of the ecosystem so that the corporations can grow. If you ever attend a beef cattle producers’ seminar, you will be struck by the similarities between the ranchers’ management of beef cattle and the corporations’ management of us – only the corporation uses our first level instinctual emotions, instead of fences, to keep us under control.

The corposystem is in direct competition with the ecosystem for the organic energy we all need to stay alive. If the corposystem could think, it would recognize that it will destroy its own self in the process. One less problem for the ecosystem. Don’t fool with mother nature unless you know more than she does.

Once you understand this fact – then you know who will win, and all the corporate propaganda and our own denial games and no matter how logical our belief systems – if the ecosystem dies then we will die with it.

But, the dying gasp of the corposystem – technology!

Propaganda. Technology can not help us unless you can change the second law of thermodynamics or learn to understand the emergent miracle of a green leaf, AND the emergent properties that keep the entire ecosystem alive, balanced, resilient. About that we have only the barest clue.

And then, the fatalist – that’s just the way nature is.

Yes it is. And it was nature that gave me and you the brain to understand what is happening. And the level two skills to deal with it – if we decide to take action before it’s too late.

And just as I finished this dramatic ending to my little talk, I heard a voice saying: “Tell us what to do.”

What to do –The biggest danger to our future is our uninformed human values.
Inform ourselves. Then ask ourselves: what is more important to the future of human kind? Our level one instincts? Our level two cleverness? Or the ecosystem that we require for our survival. And then take actions to change our behaviors before the ecosystem does it for us.

Because the problem will be solved. Either by us, or by the corporations, or by the ecosystem herself, and if the ecosystem does it – it will mean terrible unnecessary suffering for millions of people. The world is changing, but that is not a crime. In fact it’s business as usual. The crime is that we the people are colluding with behaviors of the corposystem that will cause terrible suffering for millions of people, even though we do understand the problem and how to fix it.