Bare Bones Biology 304 – The Frame

All of our universe is composed of naturally evolved systems. I am a naturally evolved system; I am one unit of the human species that is also a naturally evolved system that consists of nearly 8 billion units and their environment. The corposystem (a social system) has evolved within the human species and is now our primary paradigm. The corposystem and the human species and I are all part of the naturally evolved Biosystem, which is a much more ancient and powerful naturally evolved system — but the Biosystem is not human. The Biosystem is a highly evolved natural system that consists of many “levels of organization” that all and each are naturally evolved systems.   All of this intricate naturally evolved balancing act involves interactions of many kinds among and between the systems at multiple levels.

160325-chaos-asc_3723Ss copy

Evolution is not primarily about survival of the fittest, and it is not primarily about objects such as ourselves. Evolution is primarily about energy and information relationships among collaborating systems.

 

“Survival of the fittest” is a pitiful, woefully inaccurate meme that has damaged our creative response to Life as it is, and precluded our insights.

 

We humans are not at the top of that peak or any other, nor can we be. We humans exist at the level of individual organisms. We are composed of naturally evolved systems (example, the nervous system) and the systems are composed of naturally evolved cells.   If cells had not evolved, then a nervous system could not have evolved, and the various species of organisms could not have evolved. Thus the real world of naturally evolved systems is much more complex than four dimensions the physicists work with, or even the multidimensional approach to a mathematical description of the quantum world. It is very difficult to imagine. But it’s more worthwhile and less embarrassing than to use our naturally evolved brain to think in ignorant meme-imposed frames.

 

The real world consists of naturally evolved systems that interact with each other to generate more complex naturally evolved systems. The history of our Creation lies in the ability of these systems to function at all the systemic levels cooperatively so that I am alive because all my cells and organs and organ systems are alive and functioning together cooperatively to generate and maintain me; and my species, Homo sapiens maintains itself as a naturally evolved system so long as it generates (evolves) social systems that are beneficial to us all, and so long as those social systems also benefit the ecosystems of which Homo sapiens is a part.

 

What that means is:

 

1 – the naturally evolved ecosystem is the cutting edge where our species (at present our corposystem) gracefully submits to the needs of Life itself to maintain and support ALL THE LOWER LEVELS OF LIFE that are essential for the survival of ourselves and of the whole Biosystem – or not. Natural selection is the name we have given to that process of success or failure.   Either we fit our behaviors into the requirements for the maintenance of life of our environments — or humans do not survive, nor will any of the naturally evolved systems of which we are composed. This is how systems sustain themselves; if we can’t get with the program, we aren’t welcome in the game.

 

2 – if we succeed in aligning our behaviors with the ecosystem of which we are a part — so that we contribute to the welfare of that ecosystem and the entire Biosystem, then we can survive. If not – not.

population-environment

3 – Right now, Homo sapiens is dying because Homo sapiens is an unfit species that is destroying itself by overpopulating. Overpopulation events of any species normally do change the environment of that species. THAT IS HOW SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST PRIMARILY WORKS! The unfit species destroy themselves by their inability to survive within the environmental changes they themselves have generated.

 

4 – If we continue to believe we are in charge of our environment, rather than the other way around, we destroy one huge opportunity — that sublime evolutionary breakthrough, to the next higher level of reality that could lead to a sustainable human future. We cannot do this by telling the ecosystem how it should function within The Life.

 

If we choose a sustainable life style for our grandchildren, we must live within this frame (paradigm/worldview). We could do it tomorrow, if we were willing to face our problems with courage rather than anger, fear and denial — and to inform our human compassion with the wisdom of Life and Death.

 

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com. A copy of the podcast may be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/BBB304Untitled_Multitrack_1.m3

 

 

Definitions and Descriptions (we can probably improve these definitions):

 

Energy is classically defined as the “ability to do work’ using the Laws of Thermodynamics that study work and entropy. Work can be thought of as the cause of change, movement, or organization.   Entropy can be thought of as disorder or disorganization in the states of Energy and of Information.

 

Another modern description of entropy, Seth Lloyd. 2006. Programming the Universe. Alfred Knopf., page 191: “You can think of entropy as consisting of random junky bits and negentropy as consisting or ordered, useful bits.”  

 

Information was described by Claude Shannon as: “Information (theory) . . , though related to the everyday meaning of the word, should not be confused with it.”   And: The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point.” (Quoted in The Information, chapter 7, Information Theory, by James Gleick, pub. Pantheon.

 

The word communication, when applied here to naturally evolved systems refers to whatever processes may share information across whatever physical, social or functional boundary may separate the systems, for example the cell membrane, human skin, ecosystem climate zones, tribes, languages, species. These boundaries may be seen to represent the evolutionary history of the entity or organism, as for illuminated by levels of organization, an insight brilliantly proposed by Lynn Margulis in her lifetime, and the prior concept that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.”

 

Naturally evolved systems are self-organized, self-perpetuating units that consist of nodes and processes. Neither the nodes (objects, for example ourselves) nor the processes (any example will do, from gravity to hydroxylation) nor the environment in which the nodes and processes function (the environment is composed of other systems), none of these is paramount, though the environment is the most powerful, and all of these levels of systems are involved in the cyclic language of Life that evolves (adapts) and perpetuates itself by collaboration with other systems as it spirals through time.

 

 

 

 

 

WildEarthMan

I am becoming terminally confused by WordPress.  As they keep changing things around and do not bother to keep me informed, I find I can do less and less with the program, after all these years.  As an interim measure to figuring how to approve this comment, I will post the comment from WildEarthMan, which I think is excellent, along with my responses.

Here are two things we clearly agree upon: We are living in an Old Story that is destroying the world, leaving us with an urgent need for a New Story, and; we are deep into population overshoot, and, since we are a biological species, Nature is going to deal with us just like she does with any other species that (temporarily) exceeds the Earth’s sustainable carrying capacity. I am sure we have other points of agreement, but from the way you present your belief system, I am uncertain where these are.

 

I am quite sure that we agree about almost everything, but we use different words and frames (I woke up in mid-night to write about frames today, now tired) to express them. That is why I am interested in our conversation. I am looking for solutions.

 

I think we went off to the side of the direct subject in this discussion, and for my part one of my premises is that the best and only way to understand big holistic realities is to look for commonalities in the ways that we express our perceptions of the one reality.
I like your book and I am excited that you are writing it. We all live in the same reality that we try to explain through our various paradigms, and it is important that we communicate the SIMILARITIES (especially the similarities) among these paradigms, because the more common observations we have made along the path, the more likely those common. Observations are to lead us along a path that approaches the reality. I comment on your observations not because any kind of relationship between us, but in hopes that we both can have a closer relationship with whatever that reality is.   I do not think you should see what I see or write about it. I do think it is a bit of a miracle that we both see nearly the same, even though we use different words.

 
I must confess, Lynn, that I am made uncomfortable by the way you throw around the concept of emergence. I do not deny that emergence can be a factor in the way the world orders itself. I think of a coral reef as an excellent example of an emergent structure which serves a number of important ecological functions, but as far as we know, there is no coral director directing each individual coral to contribute its share to the architectural marvel that is a coral reef. But I see this word, emergence, used by scientists and others as a way of explaining something that we just don’t understand, but leaving the impression that there is no mystery here; emergence explains it all.

 

If you choose to figure out my mental system (paradigm, after your book is completed) you will probably appreciate that I don’t throw around that term (or any term). The reason it sounds odd is because – within the corpospeak paradigm – it doesn’t make sense like it does within my paradigm. The function of a system is to perpetuate itself. The corposystem today has taken control of the information, and perpetuates itself, or recreates and exaggerates itself in every generation) mostly by defining the words and paradigms that we are permitted to use and/or understand. And then it requires us to simplify and provide cutsy coropsystem stories or examples, metaphors or some other device from within the corposystem world view in order to explain our thoughts. Which of course, said thoughts, when they come from outside the corposystem world view, are hard to understand for people who live inside the corposystem paradigm. So the English teachers  (not really, it’s the media mostly) give us an F and we learn to se only corpospeak.

 

I have given up on corpospeak. I also do not like the corposystem usage of the term emergent properties, and have spent about five years looking for a better word, but unfortunately it means what it means, and if I try a different word, then NOBODY will know what I mean. (I tried.) I am also able to switch definitions. If you have definitions I can use yours when talking to you, and in fact I think that may be the only way to bridge the information barrier that stands between the corposystem and other naturally evolved systems.

 
I don’t believe you can get something out of nothing. I don’t believe life can come from non-life; that intelligence can come from non-intelligence; that consciousness can come from non-consciousness. Materialists, who claim that the Universe consists of nothing more than inert matter operating according to nothing more than random chance and linear mechanics, try to “explain” life, consciousness, and intelligence using the magic wand of emergence–But I don’t buy it. What makes more sense to me is that the Universe itself is conscious, intelligent, and therefore alive, and must always have been so. To me, this is not an abstruse philosophical point, but vital to our very survival.

 

This could work up into another definition problem, depending on how we define life (or Life, as I refer to Lift itself to be more clear). However, I think of it more as the God question, which for me is not a problem, because I am so deeply embedded in my science that I have learned not to be bothered by things I can’t explain, except to push back at those that are harmful to the people. That is why I stress facts and non-facts so much. The facts are few, but they are incredibly important to our survival. If we know a fact, then we can evaluate the probable long-term results of our behaviors.   I can also discuss non-facts, including the God question, using other people’s definitions and belief systems or my own. Karen Armstrong, not a scientist, is also good at this. I think it’s a good thing, so long as we recognize that the human paradigms can’t change nonhuman realities.   This kind of question should definitely be discussed relative to human world views and behaviors and needs. It’s not my question because I am trying to explain a different and more useful (less harmful to the people) world view than the corposystem world view.
Maybe you can grant me the point that the people of our culture are living in wrong relationship to the natural world.

 

ABSOLUTELY. It’s all I talk about.

 

I trace this back thousands of years, beyond the axial age, to the beginnings of agriculture and private property, to what I call the Big Lie. If you believe that you and your people are separate from, and superior to, Mother Earth and the Community of Life, the psychological way is paved to treat the Earth as a dead storehouse of resources for human use as well as a garbage dump for all the toxic junk that remains after those resources have been exploited. If, on the other hand, you believe that the human is an integral part of the Community of Life, and that the Earth and all Life are sacred, you are likely to live in better relationship to the natural world you recognize as part of yourself—because everything is connected to everything else.

 

Yes, the question then becomes how to get other people to believe in a viable, fact-based reality so that we can begin to live it. These are questions about the relationships between humans and the biosystem, and the answers must be based in the facts – since we mostly now do know the facts that need to be addressed.

 

 

A corollary of the Big Lie is the narcissistic anthropocentrism that characterizes the people of our culture. We see ourselves as exceptional beings who can make our rules, while ignoring the laws of Life, including the law of reciprocity. We have given ourselves permission to take and take and never give anything back. This, too, is part of our pathological culture. And this is the root we need to dig down to.

 

This, in my opinion is a problem within the human social system (rather than specifically a problem in a relationship between a human social system and the Biosystem).   In this case we do have a naturally evolved set of instincts that can be thought of as part of our world-views. And then we have an ocean of opinions, most of which are excuses to participate in the narcissistic anthropocentrism. That is a human/human problem and may or may not be directly related to the human/other situation. The two situations differ (partly because of the emergent properties that separate systems from each other that I am not going to talk about until I can explain in context). Yes – the Big Lie is a human God question from several points of view, the most important being we are not God
I have a lifelong interest in science, but my academic training has been as a generalist—with a major in English, but with an abiding interest in history, philosophy, anthropology, and a bunch of other disciplines, too. I find all academic departments to be far too narrow in scope to get anywhere close to the realities of life—which does not divide itself into discreet departments. I see the world in holistic terms, and favor the Big Picture and the long lens of history, believing that you best understand something if you perceive it in context.

 

As a society we need to acknowledge the big picture and the details. We make bad mistakes when we ignore either or argue over facts – especially those that exist at different levels.

 

 

I took a fair amount of science classes as an undergraduate, including genetics and evolution, but I was intuitively resistant to the usual dogmas that always seem to go along with the standard scientific education–and that few science majors ever get around to questioning. As I have said, I find many of these taken-for-granted doctrines to be a poor explanation of the world we live in, and this worldview is frequently used to further our wrong relationship with the natural world.   For people whose paradigm is the corposystem I would say it is ALWAYS used to further our wrong relationship with the natural world. People who are living in the corposystem paradigm can’t even see the natural world, though they believe that they do.

 

In my would-be book I go into quite a bit of detail about this, linking scientific materialism with the Old Story that is bringing the world down around us. Nor am I confusing science with technology in this regard. Both science and technology have their own particular subcultures, and both partake of our larger deep culture, including our endemic anthropocentrism (humans above all) and our investment in the Big Lie of separation. As for what used to be called “pure science,” capitalism has made sure that almost no one can afford to study life and the world just for the joy of seeing it whole and clear.

 

Then the Big Lie qualifies as one of the common subjects that can be recognized from the viewpoint of nearly any paradigm and it therefore requires to be discussed in detail and from various viewpoints. I look forward to reading it. I haven’t been on line for a while so am behind.

 

Lynn

 

Oh yes, I think you would like “The Information” by James Gleick if you haven’t read it. I don’t care for his style, but he brings facts and ideas together better than most. Excellent on history of science.

Bare Bones Biology 303 – Premises

FYI, here are my premises

Facts/Definitions

  1. All of our universe is composed of naturally evolved systems. I am a naturally evolved system, part of the human species that is also a naturally evolved system. The corposystem has evolved within the human species and is now our primary western world view (system). The corposystem and the human species and I are all part of the naturally evolved Biosystem, which is also a much more ancient and powerful naturally evolved system — but the Biosystem is not human.
  2. Humans cannot change facts. This is by definition; it’s why we call them facts. Basically there are two kinds of facts: Historical facts (human and evolutionary) and functional facts that are now mostly studied by physicists (Laws of Thermodynamics, gravity, Law of Life includes evolution, complexity and how systems evolve). To the extent that we understand these facts, we can use them but we cannot change how they function to maintain the integrity of the universe (thus of Life). Evolution, for example, cannot go backward, but can only go forward as described by the laws of physics and the facts of Life.
  3. No human is to blame (because no human can control) the facts of Life that naturally evolve more complex systems from less complexity, and have been doing so as far as we know from the origin of our universe. The human species is more likely or less likely to survive, however, depending on our behavior, and our behavior does arise out of their world view.
  4. Science is the study of measurable facts using the scientific method. Technology is not science; technology is tool-making. Science is not technology.
  5. We humans have a problem.   Therefore we look for causes. Problems of this magnitude cannot be solved by workarounds or by denial. They require that we address the fact of the physical cause of the problem. Precisely as the problem-solving involved when we try to cure a parasitic disease by cutting its life cycle.
  6. Denial or mourning or other normal reactions are normal but they cannot change our problem. Our problem is that we happen to be living in the final stages of a classic biological overpopulation event affecting humankind, and the reality of that overpopulation event prevents us from resolving most of our current other human problems that we could otherwise resolve — because we cannot FIX the other problems (war, economics, human rights, the human problems, as opposed to the Biosystem problem) until and unless we can provide for the survival needs of people without threatening the survival needs of the Biosystem.

Workarounds

  1. Either we address this or we don’t. However, we should understand, as we make this choice, that we are choosing to NOT address the root functional cause of most of our current human problems.

Personal Goal/opinions

  1. My goal as an individual system and part of a species (system) is to identify the worldview that has caused our present problems, so that I can evaluate160315-bonded-asc_3552Ss my own behaviors relative to the needs of the Biosystem and share that information with others. My reason for doing this is that all overpopulation events end in crashes, and we humans do have some control over how much suffering, of all sentient beings, results from our population crash, which seems already to have begun, if we are willing to defy the corposystem ban on productive discussion of substantive issues.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

A copy of the podcast can be found at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_303_-_Premises.mp3

 

Common Unity – A Viable World View

You speak of getting down to the root causes, Lynn, but I think you are only looking at proximate causes—at least in the matter of the corporosystem. You identify the profit-through-domination clause of the articles of incorporation as the Achilles heel of the corporosystem, and thus of our own viability as a species, because of entanglement with this system.

Of course we are both right, but that is not the question. The question is: “How do we get out of the fix that we humans are in.” Or not. Because we cannot make time go backward, the answer to that must be to deal with what to you are proximate causes.

A root cause of anything relates to its cause-and-effect functional relationships rather than to any particular time frame; root cause implies function within the existing system.

I think we are not disagreeing. Just leaving out a step of analysis, which is to describe our premises.

Mine are:

Facts/definitions

  1. All of our universe is composed of naturally evolved systems. I am a system, part of the human species that is also a system. The corposystem has evolved within the human species and is now our primary western world view (system). The corposystem and the human species and I are all part of the Biosystem, which is also a much more ancient and powerful naturally evolved system but is not human.
  2. Humans cannot change facts. This is by definition; it’s why we call them facts. Basically there are two kinds of facts: Historical facts (human and evolutionary) and functional facts that are now mostly studied by physicists (Laws of Thermodynamics, gravity, Law of Life includes evolution, complexity and how systems evolve). To the extent that we understand these facts, we can use them but we cannot change how they function to maintain the integrity of theuniverse (thus of Life). Evolution, for example, cannot go backward, but can only go forward as described by the laws of physics and the facts of Life.
  3. No human is to blame (because no human can control) the facts of Life that naturally evolve more complex systems from less complexity, and have been doing so as far as we know from the origin of our universe. Humans are more likely or less likely to survive, however, depending on their behavior, and their behavior does arise out of their world view.
  4. Science is the study of measurable facts using the scientific method. Technology is not science; technology is tool-making. Science is not technology.
  5. We humans have a problem.   Therefore we look for causes. Problems of this magnitude cannot be solved by workarounds or by denial. They require that we address the fact of the physical cause of the problem. Precisely as the problem-solving involved when we try to cure a parasitic disease by cutting its life cycle.
  6. Denial or mourning or other normal reactions are normal but they cannot change our problem. Our problem is that we happen to be living in the final stages of a classic biological overpopulation event affecting humankind, and the reality of that overpopulation event prevents us from resolving most of our current other human problems that we could otherwise resolve — because we cannot FIX the other problems (war, economics, human rights, the social-system problems, as opposed to the Biosystem problem) until and unless we can provide for the survival needs of people without threatening the survival needs of the Biosystem. This is a fact that can be supported, but not in a 600 word blog or on the space available on Facebook. Hence the think-tank conference that we plan at end of July. If you want to be invited please contact me via email. I can’t accept inquiries via Facebook.

Workarounds

  1. Either we address this or we don’t. However, we should understand, as we make this choice, that we are choosing to NOT address the root functional cause of most of our current human problems, and rather to concentrate on its symptoms (again using the parasite thought-example). Our survival does not directly depend upon our world view, but it does directly depend upon whether and how we deal with the overpopulation event.

Personal Goal/opinions

  1. My goal as an individual system and part of a species (system) is to identify the worldview (is that another word for metaphysics?) that has caused our present problems, so that I can evaluate my own behaviors relative to the needs of the Biosystem and share that information with others. My reason for doiong this is that all overpopulation events end in crashes, and we humans do have some control over how much suffering, of all sentient beings, results from our population crash, which seems already to have begun, if we are willing to defy the corposystem ban on productive discussion of substantive issues, whether or not we can change the biological blowback that is and will result from ourprevious behaviors. We could be moderating the suffering while at the same time gifting our children and grandchildren with a new human worldview (metaphysic/religion/?) that is more compassionate (defined as the Dalai Lama might – “wise compassion”) and sustainable than the one we now have.

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I perceive that your goal is to change or modify or understand a metaphysic (worldview/paradigm?), and will comment through the rest of this from that perspective:

Without the Big Lie that the human is separate from, and superior to, Mother Earth and the Community of Life—carried in our culture for thousands of years and passed on to each succeeding generation—the corporosystem could never have gotten a foothold.   That is well said. I think about 2500 years, the Axial age, was the major turning point. I do not disagree with this but do not see any way to use it to address “The Problem.”

I think you are also too quick to offhandedly dismiss metaphysics as irrelevant,   I don’t think I did dismiss metaphysics as irrelevant. My perception of communication – transfer of information – among (between) systems is that information is not transferred directly. What this means relative to metaphysics (or any human opinion/belief) I cannot explain without background (as in writing the book, and I already tried that). The best example is genetics, which operates from genotype to phenotype with intermediaries. Or a cell membrane, acting as intermediate between the cellular contents and its environment. Or the emergent liquidness of water that makes Life possible, but is not a characteristic of the subunits of itself as a simple system. It is not the genotype, or the insides of the cell, or the gases that mae up water, that interface with their systemic environment. It is the phenotype (or the molecules that float in the cell membrane, or the charged liquidness itself) that directly communicate with the environment. Similarly, our worldviews and our opinions and our metaphysics do not directly affect (for example the Biosystem). Rather, our worldviews (a mental system) generate our BEHAVIORS and it is our behaviors, in the case of the corposystem our communal emergent behaviors, that communicate information to our neighboring environmental systems such as the Biosystem. In other words the Biosystem does not respond to our worldviews, but to our behaviors, and we as a corposystem are behaving suicidally. Because our behaviors now are the proximal danger to our survival, therefore I tend to concentrate on them.

As a practitioner of science for most of your adult life, you were likely working within the materialistic, reductionist, mechanistic, nihilistic paradigm—a paradigm based upon a particular set of metaphysical assumptions about the nature of the Universe and of Life on Earth.

I do understand paradigm. Maybe we should use that term. For the rest, I think you must be inferring my metaphysic by my writing style – not by what I say or do. I am not and never have been a technologist, and you are describing technology. Science is not technology, it is inquiry, using the scientific method. But what I think is really interesting is that your description of your image of me almost exactly coincides with my own personal criticisms of the corposystem. This leads again to the subject of cause and effect. If you are blaming science for what you don’t like about our current human social direction, then I think that your critique would be accurate if you were to apply it to technology and “growth by domination for gain,” but you are blaming the wrong entity (system) if you blame science for this — and that confuses the cause-and-effect relationships as well as the power relationships. It’s not me, it’s not science. We don’t even do science anymore. It’s the corposystem ethic that is characterized by those qualities you disapprove. This argument with the wrong entity also continues the old, unfortunate, unnecessary, and not very useful argument between “religion and science.” Metaphysic as originally defined was anything other than Physics (which was called science at the time when the two split). Both products of inquiry into the same reality. If they fight with each other, then they both – to quote myself above – are blaming the wrong entity for our problems. Fighting windmills.   If they are both studying the same reality, then we must assume they are both correct in their observations, barring human error.

METAPHYSICS – I have reread your description of metaphysics (of modern science) and now believe even more strongly (if that were possible) that we must find ways to attribute our observations to the relevent entities.   In my opinion you have perfectly described the EMERGENT PROPERTIES of the corposystem within which we now live. Naturally evolved systems communicate with each other primarily via their emergent properties.   The emergent properties of a system do NOT reflect the individual characterists of the entities of which they are composed (by definition, emergent properties differ from the components of the system). As I said, it takes background in our new world view to understand that statement, but the point is we cannot get out of the mess we are in unless we can attribute the mess to a cause. That attitude is in fact foundational to the new world view that we need to grow. Find out what caused the problem and then deal with the cause (which is an emergent property of some naturally evolved system).

I evaluate my own worldview and my motivations by my choices (behaviors).

I doubt if we disagree about anything significant, except perhaps the denial phase of our overpopulation bubble. My belief is that we need to behave first in a way that will result in human survival with a minimum of suffering of all sentient beings — and then (and at the same time) develop a metaphysic (if that means worldview or paradigm) that informs/directs/nurtures human behaviors that are biologically sustainable.

I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Elisabet Sahtouris. A decade or so ago I read her book, I remember E. Sahtouris, but did not read the book. I will read it. I don’t have the bandwidth for video-watching. There is another biologist author who wrote a lovely little book, and I already referred to “Thank God for Evolution” written under the influence (by students of) Lynn Margulis, and there are a couple of others, but as an elder I can’t remember the names right now, and am not home with my references, so will send later. All of these people are trying to do the same thing that you and I are trying to do, using different words, and that is to grow a sustainable, reasonably comfortable human social system within a healthy Biosystem.

conclusion: namely, that the first and fundamental principle of the Universe is not matter, but consciousness. As far as I know we (humans) do not understand consciousness. If we equate consciousness with process, I agree. My definition of a system is a group of nodes that function to connect processes (and I usually don’t say the nodes are things (matter) that are important only in their ability to organize the processes).   This is a rather Buddhist idea. But we don’t know how it works, except that consciousness is one possible emergent result of naturally evolving complexity — one possible emergent result or perhaps the whole, depending upon how we define consciousness – in the latter case it is certainly nonhuman or superhuman, and in either case it’s a human definition of a natural set of processes or laws of operation of the universe and therefore inherently incomplete. If we describe consciousness as process or the result of process we are exactly in line with each other. If we need a God, consciousness will do very well, and we could say that it is my God. However, in order to use a system to solve a problem, we need to know how the system functions and what went wrong with its normal functioning to cause the problem. We don’t know what consciousness is, except that it is clearly a result of systemic complexity. We do understand the processes involved with overpopulation that is our current problem, and we also have the tools to restore ourselves to a balance consistent with the needs of the Biosystem – and to do so without changing the Biosystem into a living entity within which we cannot survive.
It seems that you and I might have quite a bit to talk about, since we are both highly inquisitive people, who, well into maturity, burn with a passion to understand the world. But if we can’t agree a little on metaphysics that would seem to limit how far such a conversation could go. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

I am sorry this came up while I am on a “business” trip.   I could have perhaps done a better job of responding. Nevertheless, I expect how far we can go with this conversation depends on your interest in it.

I was not planning to mention the think-tank conference on Facebook, but please do let me know if you want to be invited.

 

 

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 302 – Systems

            “Is our economic system really a natural system? Other interdependent non-linear systems here on Earth are very much life-supportive. But our economic system, based on agriculture and private property, is ultimately anti-life. Therefore, I begin to wonder about its metaphysical status.”

 

Definition: A “naturally evolved system” can be defined as a group of nodes, connected by links, that function together to maintain the integrity of the whole system. A naturally evolved system is capable of sustaining itself – by means of its emergent properties — within the environment within which it evolved. Generally speaking the nodes are things, objects, that function to connect the links, which are processes or behaviors based in energy and/or information. I’m sure we can improve this definition, but the general idea is that a Naturally Evolved System initiates, evolves and maintains itself within the milieu of other NE systems that compose our Biosystem.

 

Answer to question, first sentence – Yes, our economic system qualifies as “naturally evolved,” for three reasons. One is by definition another is that I have been watching it grow with that question in my mind, and have become convinced our corposystem is the product of systemic evolution, and not a direct result of human intent. In fact, the corposystem was not the intent, for example, of our constitution, nor, I’m sure of most Americans. The third reason is that our corposystem is using its emergent characteristics to try to sustain itself at a time when its emergent characteristics are not sustainable. The primary function of a NE system is to sustain itself. If our corposystem were directly controlled by human will, it would not use the same methods to sustain itself that are now (in changed circumstances) causing its demise.

 

A useful metaphor in our effort to “think like a system” is to describe the emergent properties by which that system primarily communicates with other systems in its effort to sustain itself. Systems interact with each other using primarily energy and information. Growth by domination for profit is an emergent characterization of the corposystem, in my opinion, not limited to agriculture and private property to generate growth for profit; it will use any means of domination.
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The emergent characteristic of the Biosystem Life on Earth or Life of Earth.

 

I might argue that the corposystem is based not on agriculture and private property, but on that paragraph in the charter of corporations that requires them to make a profit regardless of consequences. And the same requirement of “nonprofits.”   That little paragraph could very well be the Achilles heel of the corposystem, if we were to take arms against it. However, first questions first, we are talking about systemic failure, so we need first to understand what has failed.

 

Implication: If we want to find root causes of systemic problems, we must try to understand — not the nodes; not the links; not the designed elements or tools — but the emergent properties and the natural laws of energy and information that affect, create and evolve systems.

 

Question re sentences 2 and 3: Should we expect nonlinear systems to be life-supportive?

 

Answer: Certainly not, natural evolution within Life is primarily a process of rejecting systems that are non-life-affirming. We, the corposystem, are being rejected because we are part of a nonviable, naturally evolved system. The vast majority of all naturally evolved systems are rejected outright or become extinct as they threaten the welfare of their own environment (a bigger system) or niche

 

Implication: Our systemic problems are caused by the fact that we, as a naturally evolved system. are being rejected (becoming extinct). If we want to do something to alleviate this problem, we should be studying how naturally evolved systems evolve.

 

Question re sentence 4: I think human metaphysics may be irrelevant to nonhuman systems.?? Every system (because of the laws of evolution) must be unique. I think the study of humans and their metaphysic is not the solution to a problem caused by an entity that is not human.

 

If we save ourselves – then is the time to analyze our behaviors – toward sustainable relationships with our neighboring naturally evolved systems.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FActFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_302B_-_Systems.mp3

 

 

Reference

 

John Scales Avery. 2012. Information Theory and Evolution, 2nd Edition. World Scientific.

 

 

The podcast of this blog can be found at:

Bare Bones Biology 301 – Sick

If your body is sick, then all the sub-systems that are part of your body – liver, kidney, gut, all that — are equally in danger because they are a part of you. In fact, they interact-communicate-cooperate with each other to help you recover. In the same way, the subsystems of the Biosystem – all the species including humans, each to its own task — all interact to maintain our naturally evolved Biosystem. And also our social system, the corporate/political corposystem. That is how naturally evolved systems survive, and they are able to accomplish these things because each is characterized by complexity, resilience, and its unique emergent paradigm that it uses to sustain itself by interacting/communicating with the others.

 

The primary function of a naturally evolved system is to perpetuate itself.

 

Our corposystem is one example of a naturally evolved system that is failing because its emergent paradigm (growth by domination for profit) is no longer able to interact (communicate/behave) positively within the emergent paradigm of the Biosystem (Life of Earth). Instead of supporting it, the corposystem is causing great harm to the Biosystem.

 

This is not what we humans want; we want a sustainable social system.

 

160227-balloon-asc_3261Rs copyMy purpose today is to describe one of the very many ways the corposystem induces you and me to help sustain its paradigm, even though it is no longer working for our well being; just one example of many techniques that prevent us effectively and efficiently dealing with climate change and overpopulation. This one is a three-step process.

 

1 – First, in this example, the corposystem denies the reality of climate change and overpopulation, in spite of the overwhelming evidence. At the same time the corposystem punishes many people who know the science and are willing to share the knowledge. And it rewards those willing to spread misinformation, either through ignorance or by design.

 

The basic technique here is to assert that there is no such thing as facts or expertise; that everyone’s opinion is of equal value and benefit. In this way, step one creates confusion and prevents effective action.

 

2 – Second, when people begin to doubt the denial, the corposystem stirs the pot with fake debates. Fake debate might ask an invalid question, such as: “Is climate change caused by sunspots or by glacial melting?” In fact, neither of these realities is the primary cause of climate change, but the debate will rage around which technologies might prevent one or the other, even though no technology is likely to succeed.

 

Meantime the corposystem can empower itself (through growth by domination for profit), by starting new and more profitable wars, which also will not resolve the problem. And nobody will talk about the other option, which is to eliminate the root cause of the climate change.

 

The basic technique here is to debate symptoms (preferably irrelevant symptoms) as though they were causes of climate change, and war — so the people will not recognize that the root cause of climate change, and war, is overpopulation.

 

This also sets one professional discipline against another discipline, implying to the sociologist that all would be well if people were to understand sociology, same with economists, same with the religious groups, same with the military, etc. – while at the same time failing to make available information that is relevant to the cause of climate change and overpopulation.

 

3 – Third, when the people from all the disciplines begin to realize that climate change is real and it’s bigger than any one discipline — which is just about now — the corposystem jumps on the bandwagon to proclaim, oh, oops, climate change is real after all, we must all get together to cure climate change, and the best cure obviously is — growth by domination for profit.

 

First Next Step is to claim that there is no such thing as overpopulation.

 

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com.

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_301_-_Sick.mp3

 

 

 

This blog/podcast was inspired by reading Chapter One of book in process by Gary Gripp on the subject of – shall we say the legacy of our older generations?   Unintended Consequences? Sick!