Bare Bones Biology 284 – No More War

It may have been best expressed by someone who years ago told me that humans are trapped in a cycle that he claimed cannot be broken. I believe the cycle could be broken, but not so long as we won’t talk about it. So long as we ignore the basic cause of this cycle, we will simply rotate that wheel one more time.

From horror to recoil to compassion to (what, maybe ego or pride or ignorance or all three) that leads us back to horror again.

 

My fathers’ generation, in their deep commitment to “no more war,” made some mistakes. As a result, I have watched the full cycle in my life, from WWII to WWIII. The greatest horror for me is that we are responsible for WWIII.

I want to talk about those mistakes because we are still making them, and because they are the focus of my activism.

 

My premise is: if God created the world (and the universe, but my interest is the living world) then the ways in which it functions – that is the Laws of Nature that geCyclenerate and sustain Life – are what they are because God meant them to function that way, or because that is the only way they could function to give rise to what we think of as Life. And finally, my premise is that we are collectively ignoring some of these laws of nature that we DO understand but that we don’t like. What I call the down side. In other words, that we are accepting the part of God’s works that we like and shunning/denying the part we don’t like. The relevance here — we humans do know that Life (including us) operates in the present time as nested and interacting systems governed by natural laws, and not like an either-or pendulum as some earlier humans believed; but we ignore the implications of that fact. If you don’t like God, it changes nothing I have said.

Our western culture teaches us to think in a dualistic, linear manner, like a pendulum or a balance scale, with either-or choices. That world view is useful for making simple machines, but it represents only a small subset of real-world functions of a Life system.

 

In a dualistic pendulum, the way to prevent wrong is to push back with right and whoever pushes the hardest (or most effectively) wins. This is not how the universe really functions. Our universe consists of nested, interacting systems and their emergent properties. In a system, and we have done a great deal of this in medicine, this is not an abstraction, the way to prevent the illness is NOT to push back at its manifestations, but to cut the cause of the cycle at its roots. The Dalai Lama has said this also.

 

More realistically, to save ourselves, we must do both. We must push back at the hatred and violence, but that is not enough. If we really want to fix the problem we must also cut the problem at its root cause (rather like cutting the life cycle of a parasite to break the long chain of causes, effects, feedback loops and emergent properties) while at the same time we treat the right/wrong, good/bad symptoms. In our present biological environment, either approach without the other will fail.

 

If we only cut the root cause without helping the victims who exist today, then millions of people now afflicted will suffer. On the other hand, if we only deal with those currently afflicted, and do not at the same time cut the root cause, then we will have more and more suffering over time. Forever.

What do I propose that we do? How to do it? The first step is simply to stop denying factual realities that t120806-Nukes-ASC_9760hreaten our welfare. Simply discuss the reality, and so replace the denial from which so many people today are profiting on both sides of the love-hate pendulum. Replace it with knowledge about how the system of Life really does function – knowledge and discussion that would of itself expose the profiteers and lead toward solutions.

 

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

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_284_-_No_More_War.mp3

 

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Bare Bones Biology 283

151118-Los Alamos-ASC_9855RLSsIn the morning, we jumped into our new-old gray truck, and drove up the hill to the Sargents Wildlife area, to check out Old Grey and our favorite tree with our own particular mountain in the background – believe me, it is back there. We made the very first set of tracks in the eight inches of new snow.

 

Old Gray did very well, without snow tires or chains, and, back down the hill, we drove back and forth over the entrance to our Winter Palace to trample down the piles of snow and other debris that our friendly neighborhood snow-dozer enjoys piling right in the place where our driveway meets the road, so we can’t get out with the car, though she could handle the rest of the driveway with no problem, and I don’t have time today to re-learn how to use our personal snow blower before my appointment in Los Alamos.

 

151118-Los Alamos-ASC_9890RLSsSo we mashed down the snow, switched to the car, made it out onto the very well dozered road, and headed out on this beautiful snow day to take our time on the road to Los Alamos and take some pictures. On the way out, we passed a cold-looking cowboy riding a black horse and leading a fully loaded bay packhorse through the roadside snow. Pictures? No way. First, he was crossing a long bridge, and second, after the bridge, there was no shoulder to the road where the snowplow had been. No place to safely stop until we got almost to Ghost Ranch.

 

Los Alamos is set on the top of a very high mesa with a mountain behind it. You get there up something that feels like the donkey trail into the Grand Canyon, but shorter and two lanes wide, some parts of which never receive the warmth of the sun, which is why we decided to come a day before our appointment, and even at that we got the last motel room in town, or so they told me. Who ever heard of motel overload on a Tuesday at 3 pm??? Fortunately we lucked out, and also fortunately the toxic chemical level was within tolerable limits, so we stayed two nights.

 

This odd little town, which is presumably the world center of nuclear power, is perfectly situated for defense. Just close off that donkey trail, and the surrounding cliffs are hundreds of feet steep. The town seems to be overflowing with cars but no people, outside of the places of business, of which there are not very many. I found the – actually Bitsy found the Coop, so we shopped for organically grown goods and dumped our recycle into their bins, neither convenience being available at home.120806-Nukes-ASC_9633s

Last week we were here the back of the car was flowing over with recycles that we took to the massive central facility, a story for some other time, but even Bitsy remembered the place; she loves a parade, and we have photographed two or three Peace demonstrations along this road. To our surprise, they have changed the road, and you can’t get there any more. So, the demonstrators did manage to influence someone; sometimes it’s hard to tell.

 

151118-Los Alamos-ASC_9911RLSsAnd the next day we retraced our steps, back down the goat trail, through Espanola, and this time stopped at the Abiquiu Inn for a snack (raspberry chimichanga, it was good), and then, chugging on back up the hill, we met our cowboy riding the black horse and leading the bay packhorse down the long hill, along the shoulder of the four-lane highway. While we drove all the way from the top of cowboy country to the home of the most advanced life-saving and death-dealing techniques in the world, and back again, he had traveled 20 miles.

 

To tell you the truth — this culture-shock hopping – I find it disorienting.   It’s one thing to go visit for six or eight months and actually learn something. Three days, no. I wish we would all get together and talk about what it means to be human – choose – and start making the effort. Even with the chimichanga booster, I was exhausted when the little car pulled us up over the last rise where we greet our own particular mountain and on to home, where we crashed.

 

Back again next week, and then – I am told the mountain version of Thanksgiving community dinner is a spectacular display, and I’ve been invited by three different people. Shall I take the camera or concentrate on the festivities?

 

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This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio, 89.1 in Bryan, TX.

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_283.mp3

 

 

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French Disaster – November 13

Bare Bones Biology, a Production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

“We have always,” my friend said, “had times of war and times of peace, cycling through the history of Homo sapiens. We always have, and we always will, because we are animals, driven by instincts expressed as emotions. Fear, hatred, love, compassion, and a longing for community with others of our kind.”

 

My friend was not wrong, and if I thought that were the whole story, I would have long past quit the struggle for human betterment and settled down to enjoy my animal instincts. However, that is not all; we have also special human gifts, the ability to think analytically, to take responsibility for our behaviors, and to look into both the past and the future, learn from them, and behave in a way that is responsible to them.

 

So I have higher goals for humanity, and I’ve spent at least the last 50 years of my adult life striving to honor both my goals and the sacrifices that my parents’ generation made in their struggle to organize the American cultural system around their vision of “No More War.”

 

Certainly, I am not the only one. Probably most of the sons and daughters of the WWII generation pursued that vision, and we obviously failed. Why? How? In order to use our special human gifts, I think it is important to ask those questions and share our answers. Here are three:

 

1 – We divided up the vision into different sub-visions in such a way that specific aims of many of the sub-groups conflicted with those of other groups who had the same over-all “no-war” vision. For example, economics tried to benefit people by growing the population, at the same time that biologists knew we must reduce population growth in order to maintain sustainable community.

 

2 – We believed and thoughtlessly implementing memes such as: “everyone has a right to his own opinion,” which is nonsensical coming from children of the Hitler era, but relieves us of the responsibility to share and discuss issues of importance.

 

3 – We chose to not discuss hard issues because: “it isn’t easy,” or “we don’t know what to do.”

 

During the last half of this time, I watched as every subsequent generation tore down a bit more of the anti-war structure my parents’ generation had built up – such as the rule of law and the welfare and education of the whole — and replaced those responsibilities with the imperative to win. The goal of our corposystem culture grew up around winning for fun, fame and profit, regardless of other considerations.

 

France

This is not the anti-war vision of my fathers.

 

————————-

On this Friday 13th I happened to be staying in a motel, and so I turned on the TV. Of nearly 1000 channels available, ALL were devoted to the joy of winning. From “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (Abraham Lincoln, BTW, was my father’s hero figure) to CNN, all programs aired chaos and mahem, and above all the “I win you lose” ethic, in one form or another.

 

The biggest difference I could see between Friday November 13, 2015 and 9-1-1, at the time we experienced the similar attack, was that only CNN, of all these nearly1000 channels, was interested in the news at all. Not even PBS.

After 9-1-1, over a decade ago, came the Bush announcement: “This is a great opportunity.” I think this boast has been removed from the record, but I heard it myself, and it was indeed a great and unique opportunity, or it could have been had he not chosen to use that opportunity to begin our new forever war, by attacking people who had no part in the tragedy, and thus initiate our current buildup to WWIII. Bush was afterward quoted as claiming that we would all be grateful for this decision. I’m sure the young men involved in Paris on 11-13 were not grateful.

 

I wish you could imagine what this Earth would be like today if Bush had used this greatest opportunity to make peace and grow compassion, as Eisenhauer did in his day of power, but I think the younger of us would not even know the difference now among different kinds of war: defensive war; fighting because we like to win; war in the name of peace; and our new forever war. We no longer care very much about war — the enemy is us.

 

Or is that just our human nature?

 

————————

 

I like France. I think France did not like me very much, but they were polite. I experienced social benefits structured around a sense of communal responsibility that Americans today probably cannot understand. France tries to honor the welfare of the whole, without which community is not possible. France tries to be good to her people and thoughtful of others.

 

But the bottom line is that France knew – we knew — we all knew. Europe and North America and especially China, which did indeed take some responsibility for the fact, that we cannot HAVE the welfare of the whole and overpopulation at the same time. Nobody can. It is a biological and mathematical impossibility. And BTW, overpopulation is not how many people you see in the streets on market day and they are all friendly; overpopulation means how much food the Earth can provide, without causing degradation of the Earth food system, compared with how many people need the food (and other resources).

 

We have known this all my life. It was known before I was born. We cannot have the welfare of the whole of humanity without also nurturing the welfare of the whole Earth Biosystem – our Garden of Eden — and we have chosen to overgraze the Garden rather than preserve and nourish God’s creation for the welfare of our own future. We have known, if we do not nurture the Garden, that the time would come when the whole earth would run so short of resources that war would once again spread across the land – we, especially the recent generations of Americans — just hoped it would be someone else’s problem.

 

It’s not.

 

The Earth cannot feed an infinite number of people; people cannot compassionately watch their babies starve and suffer while at the same time thinking logically. People will try to save themselves and/or their kin using any method they believe will save them. That behavior is expectable and has been expected. We were just hoping it would be someone else.

 

Of course, that is probably not how the terrorists think about it, but I doubt if we can understand what they are thinking. We are not directly responsible to what they are thinking, but we are responsible for what we are thinking and doing or not doing, and we have been even more irrational than they in our belief that we can use up all the available resources of Earth and nothing will change and it doesn’t matter if someone else somewhere else suffers, because they could have it too if they would do what we do. That is a corposystem lie. It is, in real mathematical terms, certain that you cannot accomplish your goal of creating a long-term compassionate community, so long as you try to achieve it through growth. It can not be done on this Earth today.

 

I have heard all the excuses over the past 15 years or so. The worst: “I don’t know what to do.” What you do is talk and learn about how the Earth feeds us and DISCUSS WITH EACH OTHER what we can do to compassionately maintain the human population within the limits of the Earth’s ability to provide for the people. And stop electing officials on the basis of whoever can tell the most fantastically unbelievable lies and make us believe them. No excuses will change the reality.

 

No excuse will increase the maximum capacity of the Earth; no excuse will help Europe to absorb the ever-increasing numbers of refugees while we close our borders. Or if we don’t close our borders the result will be the same, so long as the population and economic growth of humans on Earth continues to expand. No excuses, nor all our riches, will feed the starving when there is no food. There is no excuse for behaving as though food comes from supermarkets – or from the corposystem. Food comes from the Earth itself. No faith or make-believe or lies or technological daydreams will change the facts of life that have cycled and recycled over the millennia; that make food both necessary and possible for humans on Earth.

 

The only force that CAN solve the problem is us. We must together stop pretending that we can solve the diseases caused by overpopulation by treating their secondary symptoms – by teaching compassion or spreading our failed economic system across the nations, or claiming God will nurture one religion or another, or making up fairy-tales that do not relate to the realities we face — or by nurturing the victims — or by winning anything – unless at the same time we all participate in the necessary discussion about the mathematically certain and biologically obvious cause of our current worldwide suffering. We must educate ourselves broadly, because the corposystem is not about to do that — and rise to a higher level of human compassion for all sentient beings, and treat The CAUSE of our current worldwide suffering at the same time we try to cope with the symptoms.   BOTH. TOGETHER. AT THE SAME TIME. EVERY DEDICATED PERSON. SYMPTOMS and ROOT CAUSE.

 

Because it is not going to help if 99 percent of Americans gain glory and recognition by treating the symptoms of our suffering, while the other one percent struggle to generate recognition and assistance in their efforts to cut the growth problem at the roots.

 

That is, if we really do want to accomplish the goal of compassionate community, and if we really do have some level of compassion for our victims, and if we really do not want WWIII to climbing our fences and crawling onto our shores.

 

And if it’s not too late.

 

Lynn Lamoreux

November 13, 2015

Bare Bones Biology 280 – Community is a System Shared

Of course we all have friends and we help each other, but most of us do not get to experience the deeper meanings of community, because most of us live in a culture of competition where community cannot thrive. As a result, many people feel a hole in their sense of meaning, and a lot of people are simply not part of the equation.

 

I do not want to be tossed out the window like an old plastic bag. However, as overpopulation approaches and exceeds un-survivable levels, many of us will not survive in community with others of our kind. Some very good activist initiatives have recognized this problem (for example, Resilience.Org;           ) and are working for community, but the actual fact of life is that we cannot have community and overpopulation at the same time, so they will fail. Unless of course they work against overpopulation at the same time as they work for community.

 

So, it is what it is, and I have been thinking not so much about how to avoid being pitched out, as how we are put upon by others of our kind who, in the name of kindness, compete.

 

I know one thing. Human communities are our normal, biological heritage; human community was not meant to operate in this fashion. And we cannot have community without sharing a commonality of facts, morés, myths and rituals. That’s what gifting is about. That’s what education is about.

 

But in our culture, gifting is too busy one-upping and education is too busy competing, so meantime we must try to look after our selves and beware the person who says: “I will explain it to you.” Especially youngsters who have no history, do not care about yours, and only want to tell you what you should do or how the system works. Shades of women’s liberation. Out the window like an old plastic bag. Certainly not a fulfilled and fulfilling human community in which the gifts and wisdom of one can be shared with the other in a way that benefits the whole.

 

151101-ASC_9777RLSsSo what do we do to save our selves? Some of us cling to our things. Because this culture adores things, and my things prove there is (or at least was) a me that is worthy of adoration.

 

But wait. That’s only half the picture. The other half is – what can I do with my things, in a throwaway culture, that would make me feel good about us? Toss them out the window and buy all new stuff, as the corposystem has trained us to do? Sort them out and throw into the trash anything I don’t personally need, the hell with heritage and community?

 

I sold a house. Now that was nice; I helped to make a home for a family within their community. Not mine, but nice, because it wasn’t a throw-away just for the money.

 

I honored my commitment to pets and livestock; I didn’t want to, but I know they otherwise would have suffered for no important reason.

 

I can’t throw away data because one just doesn’t DO that, but the only time anyone actually wanted it, I couldn’t find it. I just found it again, buried at the very bottom of my stuff, too late to be useful. Now what? One does not – well, I guess one does, now, if it’s not technologically competitive. But you know the next minute after I toss it someone will want it. I certainly do NOT want it; it was meant for the community of my peers.

 

I can’t throw out the beautiful things. And I don’t want to. I could give them to someone who knows the difference between beautiful and expensive, or someone who knows the difference between plastic and fine china, but certainly not to someone who doesn’t even know they are beautiful.

 

I can’t throw out the ugly things, like financial records, because I am afraid of the corposystem (and you will come to see that I am right about that).

 

I can’t throw out all my diaries. I was so thrilled to find them alongside the data at the bottom of that pile of stuff. I filled up the back of my new-old dude pickup with an amazing collection of diaries that I planned to look at, “some day,” because right now I’m too busy sorting out stuff. But then one box got wet, so last night I spread out the books and riffled the pages to dry them, and of course got caught reading a bit from 1967 and a bit from 1983. And an interesting vision I once had in church that I forgot I had written down.

 

151105-First Snow-ASC_9813TSsBut then I started to feel now like I felt then, and realized my life was not all that great, and I chunked my way through it once — I don’t want to spend the rest of my life reliving the things I did in the first of my life when I was young and stupid or thinking about how much better I would have done if I hadn’t been so young and stupid. Been there; done that. It’s not clear that any of it was worthwhile. I’ll put them in the storage shed, but this time labeled, because I really, really can NOT voluntarily throw out my own record of my self.

 

And anyhow nobody else wants it. They are too busy competing to make a stuff-pile with which to define their own selfs.

 

And what other choice do they have? There can be no community, so long as everyone must compete for best: best hero; best victim; best villain; best at telling other people what they should do. A community is not a competitive exchange of well-meant put-downs. A community is a system shared, and we cannot have community without a at least trying to undersand how the system functions so that we can grow a viable, reality-based commonality of facts, morés, myths and rituals.

 

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

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_280_-_Community.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 281B – Movin’ On

So here’s the thing. Suppose at one time in your life you had to spend your silver dollar collection to buy cat food, even though you knew that each silver dollar was worth quite a lot more than a dollar.

I hope that guy really enjoyed cashing them in.

And suppose you then began putting your pocket change into jars and stashing the jars here and there with the idea that you would some day sit down and sort out some valuable coins, or at least you would have money when needed to buy cat food, and you ended up with a lot of change jars tucked away in various places. And now here they are collected on the floor in front of you.

What are you going to do about that? Will you get a book about coins and spend the rest of your life sorting them all out and end up with several hundred dollars? Maybe recoup the value of those silver dollars? Or should you value your time more than the imagined profits and go to the bank, where now you can pour your coins into a machine and end up with some kind of paper, and open a savings account? After all, the older you get the more valuable is your time. Or will you forget about several hundred pounds of coins and spend MovinOn-ASC_6250RLsyour time doing one of the things you always wanted to do?

Oh! Wait. Sorting those coins IS one of the things you always wanted to do.

The problem for us rich Americans is that we have totally distorted the American Dream that was supposed to provide equal opportunity. I remember when we really believed in equal opportunity, or at least I know I did, it’s what I thought I was working for throughout my life, and look what I got! The corposystem. And the corposystem has claimed the dream and converted it to a belief that anyone can do everything if they are willing and able to pay for it. There is a big difference between being permitted to work for whatever is our personal dream – or being able to buy everything we want to do.

It takes a long time to figure out the difference; many people never do, which is not a crime, but the result is that in our culture many people end up with only their broken 23-year-old dreams to show for all that work.

So here’s what I recommend for people who end up with a lot of things they paid for but somehow never made it to what they dreamed of.

Gather together all your things and sort them out, so you put all the things that were part of one dream in this corner of your house and all the things that were part of a different dream in another corner of your house, and keep doing this until all your things are in various corners of your house. Except the books and the beautiful things. Those you will keep unless you run across someone who can use them better than you can.

Now, use the corners of your house to build one new dream. Build it slowly, as you sort through your things and think about what each thing means to you. Here in this corner is photography; here in the other corner is writing; in the third corner your coin collection, and in the fourth corner your livestock projects. Your favorite charity in another. Out of all those things, what do you most want to grow into the final fruits of your own life experience? Sort slowly, appreciate everything, and try to think of how each thing relates to you, your history and whatever future is waiting for you.

MovinOn-ASC_5736RLSsMost people who end up keeping everything are mourning a past they cannot have, but you — when you bring into the room your favorite saddle — will sit down and “meditate on” or spend some time imagining yourself as the horseman you had planned to be when you were 23 years old. Does that dream still fit into your future? Yes? Then you are younger and richer than I am. Keep the saddle and spend 1/3 of your time making that one dream come true, leaving behind the others. You won’t have time for them. No? That saddle does not represent your number one dream? Then give the precious saddle to a precious 23-year-old friend who can make the dream come true for you both. Of put it in storage and never think about it again.

Do not let any inexperienced young person who still believes a Disneyesque corposystem world view tell you that you “should” find some way to toss out your past as though you and your broken dreams were worthless.

Sort your stuff slowly, each piece into its corner, and while you are sorting and thinking, focus more and more on the corners of your life that contain the one or two dreams worth growing into your own unique future. Keep the things that are making that future; and keep on sorting and giving away things that do not fit into your now plans. After a while the exercise will begin to become automatic. Every future is different, and it is the process that counts. Not the things.

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

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_281_-_Movin_On.mp3