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:

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