Bare Bones Biology 175 – The End is in Sight

So here we are sitting inside of a human body, a system that sits inside the corposystem that sits inside the Biosystem, and we said last time that the function of a system is to perpetuate itself.   And of course the more systems we must perpetuate (and there are more, for example our digestive system – etc.) — the more complicated it becomes.  The function of a system is to perpetuate itself (…he-real-answer/).

The corposystem is a failed system, or at least it is unless it changes its bottom line goal, which is growth.  Growth has hit the wall because we are using up, every year, more resources than can be produced, at least of the important ones, like food, healthy air and water and soil.

131030-snow-ASC_6978RLSsThe more we struggle to perpetuate the corposystem as it is, the longer it continues to use gimmicks and technologies to extract the last little bit of life from the Biosystem to further its own toxic growth, the bigger will be he crash of the corposystem in its ending and the more human suffering will result.  So people rush around crying “What can we do?”  or “Buy my solution ,” when the answer is totally obvious to everyone.  STOP GROWING.  If we do that, we will (eventually) have enough resources.  But the function of the corposystem is to perpetuate itself, and itself is based on growth.  So, what to do about that?

Of course, we must recognize how the corposystem is controlling us – teaching us, frightening us, conning us, bribing us, and lying to us — to perpetuate itself — and we must simply stop doing those things that tend to prevent us from straight-out discussion of the subject of saving ourselves by saving the Biosystem that gives us food and healthy air, water and soil.  I have referred to teaching, frightening, conning, bribing and lying as corposystem games (for example Bare Bones Biology 072 – More Corposystem Games  All these games, and more that you can think of, control us by encouraging our normal human denial games that are more fun than facing facts.  Examples abound:

a) We prefer to believe there are no facts and therefore all decisions revolve around our own human  opinions rather than hard-to-face facts.

b) We would rather be important than effective.  The biggest reason that ANY so-called solutions don’t work is that the leaders’ world view will not let them accept their ignorance, so they go for short-term easy, flashy fixes that make things worse in the long run, rather than study the system relative to the goal.

c) The commonest excuse is,  “there is nothing we can do.”  Second, “the glass is half full;”

d) We are committed to being a winner, rather than resolving the problems (this is basically the same as b), except it includes a great many people who simply want to win a war — to conquer the Biosystem, cancer, drugs, whatever — some of whom are willing to say so, and it s usually a corporate top-down “mission;”

e) We don’t care about the future as long as we can get what we want now;

f) We have so much hatred in our lives that we can’t think about anything else ;

g) We are into “blame-placing” past events rather than trying to figure out what is more likely to work in the future based on current behaviors;

h) Irrelevant speculation is more fun than facing facts.  The last one I heard was: “what population would we need to get down to restore what we had?”  Irrelevant because we can’t make anyone “get down to a population” AND it is impossible to get back what we had.  Time does not go backward.  Better to set a possible goal;

i)  It’s more fun to get mad at me and blame me for something, rather than try to understand my perspective.  Blame-placing is the current most promoted corposystem-trained behavior to avoid facing problems.  Time does not go backward – blame-placing changes nothing.  It should be used to perpetuate the rule of law, but we aren’t doing that;

j) Actually probably the most common denial behavior is to concentration on details without regard to overall results.  That’s the “scientific” reductionist approach and is now taken almost universally as valid, so causes a great deal of trouble.  All systems have emergent properties (see…he-real-answer, quite a ways down, that was a really long one, under definition of emergent properties.) If that fact is not considered, then it’s not possible to anticipate the results of reductionist tinkering with any system..

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS FM, 89.1 in Bryan, Texas.  A podcast of this program is available at:

Tar Sands Aerial

Bare Bones Biology 050 – We Have a Problem

Last week I put my foot in my mouth by saying that we all agree (that should have been the clue). I said we all agree that we: “have serious human problems on this earth, and we can not resolve those problems in a positive way unless the ecosystem is healthy, because everything we need is provided by the ecosystem.” That’s what I said.

It turns out we don’t all agree to that. Some of us believe The Creation is perfect just the way it is. I don’t really argue about that, and I wish we could have a good discussion about it, because I don’t think we are disagreeing. I think it’s a matter of definitions. If we could sit down and define our terms, I think we would both be saying more or less the same thing, and then we could get together and spend our energy trying to fix whatever we see that needs fixing.

For example, surely we must agree that our human opinions will not change how God made The Creation. We can’t, for example, change the law of gravity that holds the thing together. The best we can do is try to understand it, so we can use it to make things for our convenience. Pyramids, airplanes and the like. We can’t change how the Creation functions – how it is set up, how molecules and atoms interact with each other, how animals get their energy from food, and all the other basic things of that sort. In that sense The Creation is indeed perfect just the way it was meant to function. Perfect and beautiful and miraculous. But I still think we have problems. I think we are disagreeing because we use different words for the same things, and again – your words or my words won’t change how God made things to function. The best we can do is try to understand.

Joseph Campbell devoted his whole career to studying our different ways of trying to understand God. In a PBS interview with Bill Moyers, he used the word “myth” when he talked about our religions:

“. . . the only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is the one that’s talking about the planet . . . how to relate to this society, and how to relate this society to the world of nature and of the cosmos.”

Naomi Klein used the term ideology when she said in a recent speech in Totnes, England
Naomi Klein – The Paradox of Crisis:

“ . . . this issue, the climate crisis in particular, affects everybody. We are all in this together, and this is beyond left/right. This is beyond ideology.”

Naomi Klein is willing to see that there are important ideological issues involved, and I certainly know how that feels. I’ve had my dreams shattered, and my world view. This happens in small doses when we live for a time in other cultures. It’s known as culture shock and it’s painful. It happens in bigger doses when one’s own culture abandons the beliefs that it taught us to believe. And the worst kind of culture shock is known as PTSD, when everything you tried to do for good turns out bad. It’s hard. It takes a long time to adjust, and I hope I have been moving my own world view, or you can call it my ideology, cultural myth, religion) a little bit closer to factual reality, at least for solving physical problems, because when we acknowledge factual, measurable reality – that’s when we have the power to fix physical problems.

When man, who was made in the image of God, can not talk with other man, who also was made in the image of God. Then we do have a problem, and the first step to solving it is as simple as listening to other points of view, and the second step is to cut through the propaganda and blame-placing and discussing our world views with compassion and dispassionate common sense. Because only God is perfect, and we are not God.

Bare Bones Biology 050 – We Have a Problem
KEOS, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas

President Obama – February 24 2004

If I were Jodi Kantor and the New York Times assigned me to write about Michelle Obama’s upper arms the day after one of the most important speeches of our fledgeling 21st century, I would be mortified.

“Michelle Obama Goes Sleeveless Again”

Do we have something important to think about or do we not?

“, , , it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we will be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.”

I haven’t listened to a political speech for about 10 years, so I do not have a comparator, but I liked  President Obama’s speech to the joint houses of Congress on Feb 24.  If we believe that political power is the power to get things done among the people, then there are two sides to it, and the first side is to recognize what we want to get done.  That requires:

1. taking a good look at what is wrong

2. trying to figure out WHY it is wrong

3. and after we understand the problem,  making a sensible plan to fix it.

And then of course begins the second task of getting people to help themselves to a better future.

On that scale, Pres. Obama seems to be at least half of the way toward fixing our basic problems, which is further than anyone else has gone for some decades, and solving them within the context of what is important (to me at least) about the United States of America.

I am thrilled to have a President who genuinely believes in the ideals for which I have sacrificed.

I am relieved to have a president who understands the difference between short-term temporary fixes and the long-term challenges that must be met if we are to survive as a United States of America.

I am very impressed that our President clearly understands that all of our problems are interdependent.

And I’m really pleased that he can correctly pronounce the name of The United (not Unined) States of America. It will make speech-listening much more comfortable for me.

Whether or not President Obama (or anyone else) can succeed in accomplishing the necessary goals is somewhat over my head, but I am sure he stands a better chance than someone who doesn’t understand in the first place that we really do have problems, nor in the second place what they are.

Our obsession with upper arms is not one of them.  Is it?