Bare Bones Biology 271 – Wise Choices

Letter to DV – I printed and read your series of comments on Facebook, because I can see a lot of good food for thought in there, and I even read the article by your poor naïve horror-struck author. I say naïve and horror struck because it seems to me that he (and nearly everyone on the web) somehow grew up believing life is supposed to be neat and easy and on track, just the way we want it to be, just because we are humans. This of course is what the corposystem wants us to believe and is basic to its propaganda.

Ocamora-ASC_8563RLSsHumans do not, can not, and should not control the Biosystem. However, there is NEVER nothing that we can do. What we can do now is to conform our world view to the needs of a nurturing Biosystem, rather than nurturing the corposystem lie.

I think our human problem on earth is that we are mostly doing the wrong things, because we are thinking the wrong things, because the corposystem has seized control over and is using our media and our politics to brainwash us. That is hard on those who recognize the problem. But nevertheless, just because someone else is doing nothing, or doing the wrong things, is not a good reason for me to do nothing, or to do the wrong things. That’s not the hardest question; the hardest question is how to live, surrounded by toxic propaganda, so that we do more good than harm to the welfare of the Biosystem.

As you pointed out, it is, indeed, too late for the perfect solution. The reality is that there never was a perfect solution. People are not in charge here; we never were, and the “human question” will surely be resolved long before 60 years. The solution for us will depend largely upon our choices during that time. What goes around comes around. That is not a tragedy, it is a fact of life. We caused our own tragedy by ignoring the reality. We have no responsibility to control the Biosystem, because that is not how the universe functions. Our human responsibilities are first to do as little harm as possible and second do the best we can within the reality that we find ourselves in right now, because now is the only time when we have the possibility to make wise choices.

I believe the most important thing we can do right now is to avoid believing the corposystem propaganda, to identify the reality, and to discuss among ourselves what the world looks like from outside the corposystem paradigm. Not to submit to the arrogance of the current corposystem world view, which is essentially growth for profit by domination. I refuse to be dominated, and increasingly larger numbers of people are doing the same.

What concerns me most is whether these increasing numbers of people will choose viable, sustainable alternatives to the corposystem paradigm, or if they have swallowed the corposystem myth of human omnipotence and will try to create something that satisfies a different set of human values but is equally as harmful to the Life of our Biosystem. The Biosystem does not have human values or needs, only Biosystem needs.

We do need models for our choices. Lots of them. We especially need models that demonstrate the corposystem lie — the failure of the corposystem paradigm — so that we can stop killing the Biosystem and begin to heal. Discussion and publication of negative models is not failure – it is wisdom.

Ocamora-ASC_8595RSsDo you see how the corposystem domination has prevented you recognizing the value of your work?

It does the same to me. That is our challenge. Because whatever happens, not you nor I nor the corposystem have the option to dictate outcomes for the whole world. If that is your goal, then failure is a certainty, for the same reason that failure of the corposystem is a certainty. Humans cannot control the Biosystem. We must learn to conform to its needs or we will be replaced by some other species that will do a better job.

The corposystem has taught us that we must be winners or losers. I reject that concept; I think winners is a losing paradigm. What we can do in this biological crisis is make a success of our individual opportunities by making decisions that benefit the Biosystem, based on good factual research and wise human compassion. And to discuss these decisions with other people who understand the problem and have expertise outside our own in the areas of Biosystem facts and wise compassion.

Our choice in now time is whether to contribute to the welfare of the corposystem or of the Biosystem, because we can’t do both at the same time. If your goal is to save the corposystem you are right – you have no chance — and you would do more good by just giving up. My goal is to benefit the future welfare of the Biosystem.

What we do not and cannot know is when and how the corposystem will crash, and whether or not you and I can help to develop a new system out of the ashes that can support the factual needs of the Biosystem.

So – are we to pout because we are not omnipotent and omniscient Gods? Or are we to accept that as wisdom, and do the best we can to make good choices based in hard biological facts and wise human compassion

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:

Sections in green were omitted from the podcast because of time constraints.

Bare Bones Biology 270 – What If?

“If we surrender identity over time, we give up on the existence of things.”

Professor Steven Gimbel, Redefining Reality, The Great Courses.

He means a thing, any thing, maintains its “self” over time. That is his definition of a “thing.”   Any object that retains itself over time. Thus, we are all things, because we “maintain our identity,” that is we are ourselves, throughout our lives. After which we are not a thing, or at least not the same thing that we were when we were alive.

My definition of a thing is more like something that occupies space and has weight. That’s a version of the physicists’ definition of matter. Without playing physics games, “things” occupy space and if they step on a bathroom scale on earth, the needle goes up.

150818-chamadays-ASC_9055RLSsOf course, that is not the entire definition, because we know that everything (every thing) also involves energy. Energy, at our level of LIFE, is not matter. Energy is the ability to do work, and work is change. So energy is involved with change of one kind or another.

Thus it must be that, everything on earth, including the corposystem and us, is a complicated combination of thingness and energy. You are a thing that can use energy to make change. You can even decide what changes you want to make. You are a thing that uses energy as a tool. To get what you want.

Right! But are you sure?

What if it is not we who are using energy as a tool; but what if energy is using us as a tool? What if the energy processes of LIFE are more important than the forms (things) such as ourselves? What if your body is only a thing, like a refrigerator for example, that stores and maintains processes. And then, later, when energy has saved up enough different kinds of processes, it can use those processes for something more important.

Perhaps all the energy in the Biosystem is involved in the humongous Energy Project by evolving new processes and storing them in living “things.” Like us. The Energy Project has been evolving organisms in which to perpetuate those energy processes – just keep them going until the Biosystem can collect all the different processes it needs to make LIFE perfect? What if the collective energy of the Biosystem decided to evolve humans so we could understand its Biosystem Energy Project? Maybe even help bring it to fruition – to make the perfect LIFE.

If so, it was a big mistake. The reality is at the present time the corposystem has taken control of our individual and collective human power, and is using our power to attack and try to dominate the LIFE of Earth by overgrowth of our species and our economy.

If you were energy using the laws of nature to grow a perfect balance of LIFE processes on Earth – what would you do about these very imperfect humans who are trying to take control of your project and use it to make money instead of making LIFE more perfect?

Humans are not the center of the universe. That’s one thing we do know for sure. The universe can get along without us. It did for billions of years. It might be able to get along better without us.

Probably all those questions above aren’t true, because LIFE is not a question of things versus energy. It’s more a question of keeping everything in balance. Much more. Nevertheless, if I were making a personal vision statement, I believe I would take these questions seriously. After all, we do not really know the answers to any question. Not for sure. Not if it’s a question about the entire Biosystem or the entire Universe.

So, if I were making a personal vision statement, I think I would go out of my way to include the statement: “Do No Harm.” And then I would think hard about how the Biosystem Energy Project defines harm. As compared with what the corposystem has taught us to believe.


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas.


A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:



Professor Steven Gimbel, Redefining Reality, The Great Courses.

Bare Bones Biology 269 – “Emergence”

Just think how much of your brain is involved with maintaining the system that is you!! Your physiology, your instincts and your world view. And with all that, the way you do stay alive is through your emergent properties – your behaviors – that are generated by your physiology, instincts and world view. Your behaviors are your emergent properties. Your emergent properties keep you alive by interacting with your environment. You do not jump off high buildings. The function of a system is to maintain its own emergent characteristics.

The emergent property of us is female human. The emergent property of Bitsy is female Canis familiaris, and that describes the system that she must maintain by her behaviors, which is different from ours . Every kind of living system fits into a unique niche in the web of Life, according to its emergent properties.

The emergent properties of the corposystem are growth by domination for money.

The emergent property of the Biosystem is Life, which is maintained by balancing all of its millions of subsystems – all the different species, all the organs within the species, all of the cells that make up the organs within the species. All of those are different, naturally evolved systems. Even the corposystem. All of those things are evolved systems that must mesh together to maintain the Web of Life.

150814-WP-asc_9299RSs copyThe Biosystem perpetuates its emergent property (Life) by getting rid of subsystems that cause harm to Life. That is survival of the fittest; survival of the fittest is not primarily some kind of competition. The harmful subsystems are controlled by “limiting factors” that I have discussed in previous blogs. If the subsystems cannot be controlled, then they basically eliminate themselves as the natural result of their harmful emergent behaviors. It’s a feedback loop. Not a competition.


The Biosystem requires cooperative behaviors. The Biosystem requires that its subunits behave in ways that help to maintain Life.   Another feedback loop.

For a more social example, the corposystem rewards domination-by-power type of thinking and behavior, and punishes other types of thinking. If you spend a lot of time thinking about how you can get what you want by domination – it’s likely that you will behave appropriately toward the corposystem and you will be rewarded by the corposystem. If you won’t behave like a corposystem – most likely (in our relatively benign culture) the corposystem will find a way to not listen to your beliefs, opinions and world view.

You cannot do two mutually exclusive kinds of behavior AT THE SAME TIME. If you try to nourish the welfare of both the corposystem, that requires competition, and the Biosystem, that requires cooperation, you end up confused and quite possibly eliminated.

Here’s another way to say almost   the same thing:

           “There were two faults in the way the women’s movement began. First, women aping men in power will just lead us to be wicked and coarse. That will just    double the world’s trouble! The other mistake is to see the feminine as irrational, and therefore encourage everyone to cultivate the irrational in themselves.    Rationality is always better than irrationality. So I propose neo-feminism, which   is again holistic, unified, synthetic, and cooperative, but includes analytic and  reflective methods. It brings a feeling of wholeness. The analytic masculine period takes everything apart to see how they work; the feminine period puts them   back together again. It’s synthetic; an organic approach.”

White Fire by Malka Drucker. 2003. Page 107, quote of Dr. Beatrice Bruteau.

We cannot serve the conflicting needs of our various systems, all at the same time. We cannot serve our own best interests, and the needs of the family as a system, and the needs of the corposystem, and the needs of the Biosystem, all at the same time. To find our greatest personal power, we need to understand how systems relate to each other, and choose our behaviors with great wisdom*.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, TX.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:…-269-emergence/


* The Dalai Lama has said that wisdom involves researching our problem until we find its root cause, and then fix the root cause.

Bare Bones Biology 268 – Systems

I capitalize Life to represent the emergent property of the Biosystem. And life is used represent individual living things.

 The green bits were edited out of the podcast because of time restraints.


How to say it, that’s the problem, and in five minutes or less, it’s difficult. So today I will need to strain my brain and yours, because I want to talk about systems – real natural systems. I will reference a “A Systems View of Life,” co-written by one of the speakers at a previous Bioneers, that I have not yet read, and a book entitled “Linked” that I have listened to about 5 times and benefited every time.


A naturally evolving/evolved system is a set of objects /nodes/things linked together in all or nearly all dimensions by processes or other manifestations of energy. The nodes and links of an  evolved system work together to generate a unitary emergent property (properties/characteristics/phenotypes) that is/are useful to the environment within which the  system evolved/evolves by natural selection.

Implications of this definition follow:


  1. 1. Every kind of system has unique characteristics (emergent properties) that were of value to the environment within which the system evolved. For example, you are a system that consists of subsystems, your emergent properties are Homo sapien. You are a subsystem of our current social system, the corposystem, that is a subsystem of the Biosystem. The defining emergent properties of the corposystem are growth by domination for profit. The corposystem is a subset of the Biosystem, whose defining emergent property is Life.


  1. Every kind of system is unique because its unique emergent properties permit the system to fill or define a new and useful niche within the environment of its origin. If there were no unique niche available that contributes to the welfare of the parent system, then there would not be that subsystem. For example, your kidneys evolved as a subsystem of you because they are necessary for your survival. Your brain also.
  1. In this modern world we need to use that brain – all of it — both the logical, critical faculties and the emotional, instinctual understandings — if we are to survive. That’s what it’s for.

For example, if we reject basic science in favor of humanities – or if we reject humanities in favor of basic science (which is NOT engineering), then we are not using all of our brain power in the effort to survive within the Biosystem.

  1. Each system interacts with its environment through its emergent characteristics.   The emergent characteristics of our corposystem as it has evolved, no longer align with or enhance the welfare of the Biosystem. This means the corposystem is in competition with the Biosystem. Competition is not the natural order of success. Competition leads to extinction of one or other of the partners. Success in the Biosystem requires balance among the parts (think again of your kidney).

Because the corposystem and the Biosystem are not aligned, and in fact are in competition, therefore they cannot both survive unless we decide to use our brain to force a change in the emergent properties (the behaviors) of the corposystem.

5 – The function of a system is to perpetuate itself. If it can’t do this, it will die. One implication of this reality is — if you have been raised within the corposystem — then you have been trained to behave in ways that benefit the corposystem, and our evolved human social system will induce or force you, in many and subtle ways, to behave in ways that promote growth by domination for money.

 For example, one of the ways the corposystem exerts this pressure is to start an argument over some issue of great importance, and then refuse to pemit us to discuss it because it is “controversial.” Especially if it is NOT controversial but factual, the corposystem is afraid of it. If we don’t discuss it, then we cannot align it with the needs of the Biosystem, and our behaviors will support the corposystem world view rather than sustain the Biosystem. It would be like the kidney competing with the rest of your body.

 Ocamora-ASC_8563RLSsTake climate change for example. There is no doubt about climate change. It’s a fact. The only doubt is what we will do about it. To defend itself from this fact (that would require the corposystem to shrink rather than grow), the corposystem first created a fake controversy. But facts always trump propaganda in the long run, and now the corposystem has been forced to take that issue seriously. So the new corposystem propaganda seems to be revolving around schemes intended to make money by promoting climate-change-related growth of businesses and charitable organizations.   The corposystem is based in growth. The growth of the corposystem destroys the Biosystem as we know it.

The Biosystem is changing in effort to maintain its viable balance, and as a result the productivity of the Biosystem is falling and will continue to fall, no matter what we do. Unless we can stop corposystem growth. That is how the Biosystem stays balanced. It is now out of balance and changing to a different climatic form. That’s how the Biosystem gets rid of problem subsystems.

My goal is to help grow a NEW human social SYSTEM to replace the corposystem. The emergent properties of the new system must be sustainability and resilience (at least). This can only be accomplished if we align our behaviors (not our emotions or our beliefs, but our behaviors) with the needs of the Biosystem.

And that is what basic science (not technology) is for. As for systems, our understanding of systems will not save us any more than our understanding of gravity or thermodynamics can save us, nor can technology within the corposystem, because technology serves the emergent characteristics of whatever system is using it.

Systems is just another fact of Life. It can help us align our behaviors – that’s what basic science (not technology) is for.

The corposystem will die in any case, because it is dedicated to overcome the Biosystem using domination and growth. The questions now are: 1) Will the corposystem damage our Biosystem to the extent humans cannot survive in it? And 2) Will we be able to step outside the corposystem world view and grow a new human social system that is sustainable?


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas.


A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:



The Systems View of Life, by Fritjof Capra and Peter Luigi Luisi, Cambridge University Press. 2014.

Linked by Albert-László Barabási. Perseus, Cambridge, MA, 2002