Bare Bones Biology 084 – Imagine

This is the last in the series describing what I think are the bottom line requirements to grow a better future for our human lives within this living earth ecosystem. It’s been tried before, with varying levels of success, and other people are proposing other, equally serious recipes for our future welfare. We’ll look at a few of them later. First I want to summarize.

Compassion and basic scientific knowledge should be applied to our interactions with each other and with all other living things including the ecosystem. To do this we should each, as individuals, first try to separate out the immutable facts from our personal opinions, and if they don’t line up we should try to figure out why not.

Second, we each need to understand the basic requirements for life, the fact that life is the whole earth ecosystem, so far as we know, and that we are a subunit of that life. A living thing (which is not the same as ”life”) can be defined as an entity, either an ecosystem or a part of the ecosystem that carries within itself the genetic information that is required to drive all the functions of its life. The functions of life consist of cycles of interactions within the entity and between entities at all the multiple levels of complexity.

We are not the director of this symphony of life. The whole ecosystem does not revolve around humans, any more than the whole solar system revolves around the earth. We don’t even really know how it works. Only that it does. And that it operates according to the laws of physics, primarily, as well as other natural laws that we cannot change. Humans cannot improve on the nature of nature, but we can do a lot of harm to ourselves if we unbalance the functions of life and reduce the resilience of the ecosystem. The term resilience refers to the capacity of the ecosystem to rebalance itself.

And third, we must understand that the universal law of cause and effect operates no matter what we choose to do. We cannot change it with our technologies. The commonest inquiry that I get is: “What can I do?” or “What would you do?” (to fix things.)

The answer is that there is nothing on earth that we can do to change the universal law of cause and effect. That means, if the earth is now overpopulated and we are using more natural resources than are available – then that’s the way it is and we cannot change that fact because the cause is back in our history somewhere and we cannot change history.

That does not mean you should be sitting on your keester enjoying TV when there are things you can do to change the history of the future generations, so that they will not be worse off because of us being here sitting on our keesters watching TV.

We cannot avoid the crunch that is coming. But right now is the time to build a version of human society that could bring to the future something better than a corrupt corposystem that sucks the life out of life. That seems to be the culture we will grow unless we pluck up a little pluck, stop being afraid of words, learn how to LISTEN to people who are not exactly like we are, or like we think they should be, and collaborate, starting today in every small way that we can, to build a future for us all – no matter what happens next.

I’m saying that I think the minimum requirement to grow a viable, sustainable human social structure is that the citizens must be educated in the skills of: practical compassion applied to problem solving; the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem; a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human values at the individual level and the level of the whole.

Bare Bones Biology 084 – Imagine
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM
Audio will be posted later at

What is Your Frame?

Do you want to be a hero?

090612LuMitchell_dsc1767LsDo you want to be a performer?

Do you want to be a saint?

Do you want to be a medic?

Do you not care about being important?

Do you want to be an intellectual?

Even if you do not want to be an intellectual, the very best way that you can be any one of those other things is to open your heart, mind, eyes and ears to the factual realities of the people with whom you interact and the ecosystem within which you function. In the tribal days your survival might depend upon understanding every leaf, tree and pathway around you. Today your survival might not be at risk, but your whole life may be diminished if you can not see it as it is. On the other hand, if you are willing to figure out the differences between fact, fiction and fancy, your reality can be more than even you imagined.

It’s not easy to listen to things you don’t want to hear. But — It’s also not easy to not listen.

Better to listen so you can help.

Power of Knowledge

“They’re living in their own bubble and they think everyone else is living in the same bubble.” Roger Simon, C-Span, Afterwords podcast 090225


That is so true. It’s why we should travel (not tour, live)  outside our own culture — or go to school away from home — so we can learn to understand that other people are living in bubbles that are different from ours. So we can grow the power to communicate with and thus influence other people.

It seems as though we prefer instead to play, using our politicians as though they were game cocks, literally or figuratively yelling at each other, each from within his own bubble, and we are the audience, throwing our dice and thoroughly enjoying the flying feathers. And so what is the flow of power in this scenario? Around and around and around. The power goes nowhere – is never used to actually solve any problem; in fact, the more problems we create, the more fun we can have.  Feathers flying; not much else happening.  In this scenario, the power of the people is co-opted by the politicians, and the power of knowledge is tossed aside as we never learn anything from anyone else.

Real power to influence other people comes from listening to them, so that we can work together to actually solve real problems.

T Shirt