Bare Bones Biology 159 – Facts versus Fancies – Money

Our modern American corposystem is built around something that isn’t even real. Money. Some people have gained a whole career and a lot of well deserved admiration using the power of money in a positive way, and written books about it, but I’m not referencing the books, because they are based on the idea that money is a real thing, rather than a short-term corposystem fix.

On the contrary, fame and money are figments of an unsustainable human dream of power in the same way that winning, or success, are merely human opinions that we have decided to believe. Even with the best of intentions, these corposystem fantasies are likely to cause more harm than good to the Biosystem, and to a good life for us. When it comes to planning our lives, I think it’s better to go with what is real.

Even though everything does keep changing, some things are real. A car is a real thing. Life is real. Food is real. An ear of corn. When you eat it, you become a living link in the living Biosystem. Money is not a real thing; it is a human agreement. Or rather it can be a real thing. It is really a piece of paper with a pretty picture on it. But as money it only exists in the shared promises among people.

130716-Spencer-ASC_4638RLSs copyYet, we have built an entire system that is based in our common delusion that money is a real thing. Our corposystem defines itself by convincing us that money is power; most of its propaganda is meant to teach us that money is a real resource, like sunshine, or roses or meat; but really. money is only a human promise to pay. You can use it to buy stuff; that’s the promise; and so long as the promise is honored – yes, money is a good thing to have.

Most often you get your money by spending your time wisely. You can use your time to make the things you need – or you can trade your time for money. Let’s pick food for an example, because it’s a real thing you cannot live without. You could spend your time (which is also a real thing) growing food, or you could trade your time to someone else, let’s say McDonalds, and in exchange they will give you money, which is not a real thing, but you can use it. You could use the money you earned working for McDonalds to buy food. Or you could buy something you do not need, but if you do that, you have wasted your time AND your money, and you will have no other way to get what you do need unless you can get someone else to give you some of their time/money.

Your challenge as a living human today is to balance your time and money to get the real things that you need for your good life. Your obligation to the future of humankind is to do this in a way that does not cause harm to the Biosystem. If you do a good job, the money can come and go without causing permanent harm.

The corposystem, however, does not support either of these challenges, because the ethic of the corposystem is to grow more money. Instead of helping us to grow the good life by focusing on real things that we need, the corposystem tells us to spend our time and money buying more things that we don’t need. To throw away our things and spend our money buying more things. We end up spinning away our time and our money, and the irreplaceable Biosystem resources – wasting them to make money for the corposystem.

And then the corposystem will crash, because nothing can grow forever if it consumes resources, and when it crashes our money will be worthless.

Life is not about money, nor is it about supporting a system that becomes more and more unbalanced with every turn of the wheel. Life is about sustaining Life by balancing the Biosystem. We know how to do this, but we won’t, because we believe so deeply in the unbalanced growth required by the corposystem that we think it would be unethical to take any steps toward controlling human overgrowth of the Biosystem.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas, and FactFictionFancy. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at Bare Bones Biology later this week or next week.

Photograph of Spencer and Remington in Chama, New Mexico.

Bare Bones Biology 006B – Frames

If you sit in one of the places in Downtown Bryan, for example, where people are discussing ideas, you can notice that most arguments that come up are caused by people using the same words to mean different things. Of course this has always been true. But in today’s world it’s more important than ever to be aware of the fact, because in addition to accidental confusions, we have to deal with intentional ones. There are campaigns to take perfectly good words and turn their original meanings upside down. It’s very confusing.

I was about to say I can’t imagine why, but in fact I can. People in power know that the real power lies with the people. If they can keep us yelling at each other over things that we basically agree about, that is one less worry for them.

So, boring as it may be, I will spend quite a lot of energy defining words and worldviews. And since I’ve recently been told that the new word for worldview is “frame,” I’ll call them frames.

My first frame is that we all need the same things, and I think the best way to get these things would be to work together to find a way to make them available.

earth-day-image-2013-20My second frame is the concept introduced by James Lovelock in his several books. That the earth ecosystem is a unit of life — just as you and I are units of life, but a good deal more complicated than we are. The earth biosystem has the same basic life needs as all other units of biological life on earth. There is ample biological evidence to convince me of this, but for not everyone cares about the biology. For you who don’t know the concept of the living earth ecosystem — or if you believe something else might be more important, I’m going to point you to the NASA pictures that were taken of Mars, and ask you to compare that red with the blue marble picture of the living earth that was taken from the moon. That is the difference between life and death on a planetary scale.

So ecosystem is a scientific word, but surely we cannot believe that the ecosystem is a scientific thing. Any more than you are a scientific thing. Biology is a science that studies life, but the ecosystem is the real deal — a real living thing that we require for our own survival.

My third frame is that our living earth exists in and is a part of the universe. If you have been following Bare Bones Biology, you know that I believe there is a basic law of cause and effect in the universe. So if the universe exists, there is a good chance that it was created or is in process of being created. And now we bump into ideas about God and Creation that are way outside of my expertise, and probably quite controversial, so I will quote the experts.

Let’s begin with God. I heard Pastor Jeff Hackleman say that: God is “the one that created the universe.” It was on KBTX, so it must be true, and I don’t have a problem with putting a name to a creator.

That leaves only to define what we mean by creation. To create. That which is created. Doesn’t sound complicated to me, but rather than argue with anyone, I will quote another of our most renowned Christian religious scholars, Huston Smith, who says that the Creation is: “everything, as it is.” That’s also hard to argue about.

mars1Next, we probably can also agree that we human persons did not create The Creation, and we do not understand everything about it.

So what is the problem here, folks? I sincerely believe that we all really need the same thing, and that is the living earth ecosystem that makes our air, water, soil and climate. This human-friendly environment is not available on Mars or on the moon, and if we have any idea that we humans can create any ecosystem anywhere — well in my lexicon that comes under the heading of excuses for not trying to take care of the one we already have.

Lynn Lamoreux

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com and KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas.
The podcast of this episode can be downloaded at:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_-_006-Frames-Final.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 134 – Community and Ego

I had a dream last night about human ego, whatever that is, I will not try to define. In the dream, some guy was driving the bus and I was picking up the pieces. Literally, I mean, I was picking the pieces of newspaper and trash, old egg shells, gum and plastic wrappings — out from under the gas pedal — as they kept rolling back in there — while two other people sat behind, telling me what I was doing wrong, and the trash kept piling higher and deeper.

You will never guess what this dream was trying to tell me, because I didn’t until I started to write it down, and immediately came to mind my persistent question: “Why did The Creator give us our ego in the first place?” The thing causes so much pain and suffering to us and our communities, convincing us that our own belief system, our own need to be more right, is more real than reality. It isn’t, you know. Nobody is “right,” because nobody understands everything. And if we believe that our mind, emotions, intellect (reference), or our world view (reference), are more powerful than the biological reality. Well, that’s a pretty good definition of pain and suffering, now or later.

Pain is life enhancing. It guides our choice of behaviors so that we avoid drowning in the river when its currents are swirling in flood, or burning our little hands on the stove. Because we were formed within the biological community – our response to pain is biologically life enhancing.

To understand why we were given an ego is more difficult. What good is the blasted thing, if the use of it causes us emotional pain and suffering, but it doesn’t tell us what the danger is? Well, of course, that’s one function of community – to help us avoid emotional suffering by passing down the wisdom teachings of the ages. The harm caused by our ego-trips is well and often explained in all the wisdom teachings, and better behaviors described.

Maybe that’s what the ego is meant to do. Maybe our ego suffering is meant to enhance the welfare of the community by passing on some wisdom from now to benefit the future. I hope so, because our age is growing new problems faster than any before, and with these new problems, we must learn new lessons (or apply the old ones) about what not to do if we don’t want to suffer.

Our origins designed us genetically and behaviorally to live in a biosystem that functions to support life, but our human culture now has grown an artificial corposystem that functions to make money. And the power of this corposystem seems to lie mostly in our human ego needs.

So many people so filled with the fear of not being better than other people. Is that our ego? Why do we feel that we must be better than someone else? We can’t discuss the important issues, because someone might go into a one-up or one-down tizzy, or just turn their backs and walk away for fear that we might know something they don’t know. But isn’t that the point of discussion, that everyone knows more than only one? Don’t we WANT to deal with the problems? We keep saying that we do, and then the next thing you know we are debating irrelevant questions for no better reason than to satisfy our never-ending need to win. Even though the floods of climate change (climate change series Bare Bones Biology 092 through 100) are already tickling our toes – even though everyone really does know the end result of these ego trips, in our modern times, will be disaster.

So now my question is: how can we be aware of our ego, and all the negative, painful behaviors that it generates — how can we use that knowledge to grow a more positive, life-supporting human community?

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

Recommended Action/Question for Discussion: I’m tempted to suggest that you start an argument and consider what methods you use to win. And what are the results. But in fact I doubt that you need to know more about how to argue. So instead I suggest you find a person with whom to discuss an issue and see how long you can keep it going without either of you having an obvious emotional reaction (because this will be a serious subject.) Maybe you could try this one – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/26/why_birth_control_is_still_a_big_idea
“In the United States, especially this year, any occasion when contraceptives and public policy overlap seems to be an excuse to fight about other issues.”

Bare Bones Biology 126 – The Bottom Line

How should we proceed to solve the overpopulation/overproduction problem that we humans have created within this earth biosystem? I have heard three rather different viewpoints on this questioning the past few weeks. Last week I talked about technologies. Technologies are not innately bad, but they will not help if we continue to use them to try to change the world, instead of using them to help change our own behaviors.

And you have already heard my opinion of what is needed – that is, that we should individually take the responsibility to educate ourselves about how and why overpopulation is so harmful to the biosystem, and then we should crank up our courage and discuss this issue with others. I am confident if we fulfill this level of responsibility, answers will emerge from the discussions. In the meantime we should make family planning technologies and information available to everyone on earth who needs it.

My colleague, who trains medical doctors at the university level, believes that a more pro-active approach is needed, especially in the more “advanced” societies. She says:

“I think I already wrote back about this issue of where to focus re overpopulation. Obviously I agree we should definitely be tackling the issue of couples/women who want contraception but can’t get it – and it is wonderful that Melinda Gates is now on the case. But another big part of the problem is those who CAN get contraception but still have large or medium families of high-consuming babies in rich countries and don’t realize that these babies will be part of the problem, as well as the victims of it.

“Even if we haven’t noticed any ills, the USA is one of the few countries in the world where you can still fail to notice the effects of overpopulation. Even here in Britain most people say there are too many people. The answer for those who have sacrificed some of their pleasures to help the overpopulation is that they have been right in principle, positively noble. And now the need is more like stopping at one child per couple, to get where we need to be (somewhere around 3 billion, if we want a lifestyle with a few luxuries like refrigerators). Isn’t it? You know this. And this needs to happen in all countries. Birth rate of 1-1.5 per couple, for the next 2 generations. Seven billion is not sustainable unless we all become largely vegetarians and take on a resource usage per person of – not sure, maybe about 20% of the current US average. And stop using fossil fuels.

“One or the other of those, or the Great Dieback where the fall in numbers happens through the death rate instead of the birth rate. I think you have given up believing that there are any alternatives to this. Yes, getting the world birth rate down to 1.5 is a huge “ask”; but if everyone knew what we know, maybe they might try…?” That’s the end of her opinion. She believes more good will result from reducing birth rate in the rich countries than in the poor countries.

And then there are people who believe that God will provide. To this I say that God already provided us with a miraculous biosystem that is sustainable in perpetuity if we take care of it – that is, if we do not take away or destroy what it needs to stay healthy — and then God put us in charge of doing just that that, taking care of it, and gave us our unique brain to do it with. Read the Bible. Or the Koran. Or the many Buddhist writings. We have responsibilities. We are not babies, most of us who can read this; surely we do not expect God to pinch hit whenever we fail in our responsibilities. We can be forgiven, but all the religions, including the Catholic church http://www.catholiccompany.com/essential-catholic-handbook-sacraments-p1001749/, recognize that the effects of our behaviors cannot be reversed. Whether or not we are forgiven, we and our generations must live with and in the results of our behaviors.

And here we are, having too much fun living the good life — or trying to be happy or spiritual — to worry about anyone else’s problems. Too much fun even to realize that their problem is our problem inside the biosphere. Like it or not, whoever created the living earth — created it to function the way it does function – not the way we wish it did. And it will not change for our convenience or our happiness.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References

Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook – freely downloadable, no strings

Click to access pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/
(Third blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/
(Fourth blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/28

http://world.time.com/2012/07/11/melinda-gates-launches-global-crusade-for-contraception/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/whose-population-growth-has-the-most-environmental-impact
http://www.catholiccompany.com/essential-catholic-handbook-sacraments-p1001749/

Bare Bones Biology 124 – Education

Last week I said: “We begin by taking the responsibility to educate ourselves about all the many sides of the population issue.”

I said this because one of the favorite corposystem power ploys is to distract us from our goal and occupy us with fake debates that do not interfere with corposystem desire to do whatever it wants to do. This is just another version of the old “divide and conquer” ploy. People who are fighting with each other cannot solve problems, for at least two reasons. One reason is that the solution to any problem is many sided.

Debates are two-sided sound bites and fun games, if we think life is nothing more than a game of winners and losers (that is not, by the way, how evolution functions (Bare Bones Biology 088 to 091) but debates do not resolve problems. Instead they prevent people from even evaluating and discussing problems — even problems that threaten their own futures — which is the second reason that debates don’t solve problems.

So what are the many sides of this overpopulation problem? I could begin by making a huge list of human opinions about overpopulation, but, human opinions cannot change the natural laws that permit our biosystem to survive. God the creator made the biosystem to function the way it does function, and that IS how nature works. Life feeds death and death feeds life.

God’s very breath is the breath of life and lifein the biosystem, whether we like it or not, and I think that’s why we don’t like it. We want what we want for ourselves – we want to use the earth for our own selves, and we don’t really care how many other species we kill off, and we don’t want to hear about it.

The trouble is, those species ARE the biosystem. They are what God breathed into the biosystem to make our air, water, fire (energy) and earth. That is how life on earth, the biosystem, functions to stay alive. God is Life – or God created Life.

That’s why I mention levels of organizationlevels of function of the biosystem) every chance I get. Individual level, population level, and all of life, the biosystem. If we are to make wise decisions, we must consider how the other levels affect us. If we could once realize that ONLY solving human problems is NOT the solution to human problems we would be far better off. Because humans cannot HAVE everything they want without causing irreparable damage to the biosystem. And anything that damages the biosystem is harmful to human individuals and human populations and even to the corposystem.

Every person on earth, except the most isolated, the sociopathic, or the super-spoiled, knows that we must have a balance between the wants and needs of individual humans and the requirements for community welfare. Individual humans cannot have everything they want if whatever they want causes harm to the community. Society is a constant readjustment between individuals, families and populations, in which nobody ever gets everything they want. We could paraphrase Mitt Romney’s recent “joke.” Obama wants to help the biosystem; I want to help you.

This is ignorance generating ignorance, because right now the biosystem is (check the facts, please) maxed out of earth, air, energy and water that we need to stay alive. Therefore, nobody can help anyone unless we all help the biosystem. The best way to learn how the biosystem stays alive and healthy is to read widely, and discuss the issues, and then check the facts. I’m talking about everyone – especially those who believe they already understand the biosystem. Most of us don’t. And then come back to the political arena and help to change our own behavior.

Debates do not solve problems; they only result in everyone trying to prove they are better than everyone else.

They aren’t.

And while we are playing ego games, the bottom line is we cannot continue to live in the biosystem unless we also reduce the numbers of people who are draining away the breath of life from the biosystem.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References

Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook Download

Click to access pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/

Population
Bare Bones Biology 020, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/05
Bare Bones Biology 021, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/11
Bare Bones Biology 022, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/19

Power Ploys
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bare-bones-biology 066, corposystem-power/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/3677bbb072/

Evolution
Bare Bones Biology 009 to 019 and 088 to 091

Life
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/bare-bones-bio…cript-011-life/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/bare-bones-bio…58-–-happiness

Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/bare-bones-bio…d-population-i
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bare-bones-bio…-population-ii/

Don’t go Away – Dog Park Diary 120911

In a far off time we learned to understand “I-Thou” relationships. This sounds to me very much like Buddhist enlightenment. An experience that is available to humans and very likely represents a relationship with whatever we see as our God. Cheri Maples explains the implications of that kind of relationship with life in Buddhist terms: “It’s not about me, but I can make a difference.” In fact, everything that we do all day every day does make a difference, whether or not we are aware of it. So i think the most important point of human life is to understand what we are doing and what difference it is likely to make. We cannot do this by following only our emotions or only our opinions. It requires study. Study of how we affect people, and also study of how we affect the whole giant biosystem/ecosystem, because — we do. The Dalai Lama calls that “wise compassion,” and everyone can do it. It is so very much more important than a life spent only playing in the dog park — I mean human park. I think Bitsy probably doesn’t understand this, but a human life spent in wise compassion is almost like a human gift to God.

Bare Bones Biology 123 – Heroism

Once upon a time I was a real hero. I forced my employer to hire women scientists on a more or less equal basis with men. As a result, the employer hired a gaggle of very competent women, and several of these women let me know that I: “wouldn’t have had all those problems if I had been competent.” Apparently the newbys want to believe they alone are the heroes; that the past is not relevant.

My parents belonged to the generation of the great depression. My early years were informed by WWII and some magnificent expressions of American democratic responsibility, as we tried to imagine a better culture after the war.

In the next generation after mine a great many American and European women and men modified their own pleasures in order to benefit future generations. And yet, more often than not, I hear the Newbys of today say the Green Revolution was a failure, as though everything would be fine today if we had properly solved the problem yesterday. The Green generation understood that good times always have a dark underside. They recognized the new threat — the first ever worldwide, overpopulation-induced shortage of food. And they (we) dealt with it.

WE gave YOU your cushy livestyle. We worked together to achieve one of the most important human accomplishments in all of history. The birth rate dropped in all the educated countries. This was not a biological change. It is not possible –, well I will get into biology some other time, but the biosystem laws of life will not change just to relieve humans of their responsibility to balance human populations with biosystem requirements. Only the human brain can accomplish that task. Only education combined with technology and responsibility.

Education combined with technology. So yes there were bad guys, there are always a few who want to take control over their family, or a community, or their country, or the world. How do they do it? Obvious – they take away the solution to the problem. In this case, take away the education and the technology. Make more people, so the food will run out faster (it has) and there will be more poor people who have no time to worry about anything beyond their next meal (there are). Now the corposystem falsely claims that populations will automatically adjust themselves if only we make them grow. In other words, the corposystem propaganda is that we must grow the population so that the population can reduce itself.

Folks, that’s not how the biosystem works to stay alive and well, and because that claim is so intensely un-biological, therefore the corposystem has had to make sure that we do not understand the biology. I’m not talking about human biology, but the whole of the biosystem – the biosystem biology. The biosystem that gives us all of our food is threatened by overpopulation. And now we have some of the most biologically uneducated adult generations in this country in recent history, and what’s worse, they don’t even know they are uneducated. They believe they alone are the heroes. And the corposystem is still working hard to withhold access both to education and to the most useful and harmless technologies.

The quiet heroism of the green revolution gave us 50 extra years of the good life in which to generate the technologies that are needed to regulate populations, and it gave us time, 50 years in which to reach a sustainable level of reproduction so the good life could be carried into the future.

But the subsequent generations have abandoned responsibility for the whole of the prosperity that we generated in the Green Revolution — turned it over to the corposystem. That is not a failure of the green revolution 50 years ago. It is a failure of responsibility now.

Which, in a way, is good news. If the problem is happening now, then it can be fixed now.

How? We know the corposystem spreads lies; therefore, our job must be to ferret out the truth. And then we must focus on solving the problem, not fighting over it — or we will end up with a war rather than a solution.

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. A podcast can be downloaded at