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« Could Free Markets Solve All Economic Problems? | Main | Needing some time! »

September 19, 2010


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Typo: ‘mimetics’ :-)

Robin Datta

The highest and uriversal level of consciousness is the self-awareness which is independent of all objective or external targets. Focusing on external or objective targets is a devolution to a lower state of awareness: this includes focusing on an objectified image of one's own consciousness (to be distinguished from residing in objectless awareness).

The manipulation of symbols including physical objects. images asd language to represent other objects, events or concepts is a further devolution of consciousness.

If one drops one's attention to every sensory input and to every thoight, in that state one's consciousness does not cease: rather it is the highest order of consciousness. Most beings do not achieve this their true nature because they are so deeply enthralled in an outwardly focused consciousness.

Cultural evolution has indeed severerly modified the process of change: both in rate (orders of magnitude faster than biological evolution) and in a heretofore unimaginable scope. The consequences of the change thus wrought affect the not only the physical world, but also the various emergent levels, including biology and society in feedback patterns for which any pretense of present understanding might be presumptuous.

"Taking steps today to ensure the survival of such a core population would be our greatest gift to a future humanity if there is to be one." However, the constitients of a "core population" are most likely to be derived from billionaires, politicians and other assorted charlatans.

Phil Henshaw

George, you say "The problem is us. Homo sapiens is an unfinished piece of evolutionary work. We find ourselves biologically advanced in most respects. We have incredible cleverness and curiosity. But we are still very much driven by animal spirits." That doesn't seem to agree with the evidence that all kinds of spirited animals don't have our whole range of self-defeating behaviors.

To cut to the chase, I think you're missing the self-organizing principle of complex natural systems, and the evolutionary choice ALL such systems face. Humans with remarkable consistency make the choice to "pump it till it quits" with money and power, and the other choice "to find your creative fit" with nearly everything else. So... it's an accounting problem. The basic systems physics is that complex systems need to get their start and develop by with a period of constant proportional acceleration.

Whether to try to stabilize the rate of proportional change or your environment is the choice. Not seeing that choice is "our failure to understand the exponential function" so many people refer to. Failing to understand the question nature poses, that systems need to change form at the peak of their success, leaves humans endlessly creating great eruptions of wealth and power to then collapse the environments they prospered in.

It's another one of the key "Type III" errors (failing to ask the right question) that seems to come directly from thinking of the environment as an information system rather than a physical system.

John F

Hello everyone. I've created a new blog relevant to this topic. In my blog, I try to defend the cornucopian position. I argue that EROI is unimportant and that we have abundant energy.

I thought some people here might be interested in reading it, in the spirit of friendly debate and exchange of ideas.

I'd love it if you'd visit at

John F

George Mobus


However, the constitients [sic] of a "core population" are most likely to be derived from billionaires, politicians and other assorted charlatans.

I'm not sure why this view seems to be the default for so many people. Is it cynicism based on observing the behaviors of these people in the past?

While I am certain that many of this type will try to bully their way into the future, I also suspect that that future holds many surprises that mere bullying practices will not suffice. I think it will take elevated levels of sapience to meet the challenges of the future world of little energy and radically changing climate. In that regard, I am an optimist!


George Mobus


To cut to the chase, I think you're missing the self-organizing principle of complex natural systems, and the evolutionary choice ALL such systems face.

In truth I am probably missing a great deal in many ways. However, given the kinds of things I've written in the past regarding natural systems, self-organization and dissipating systems, etc. I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Also, I am not sure how to interpret the rest of your comment. Help me out a bit.


George Mobus

John F,

I haven't had time to do a thorough review of your site, but I did note that you failed to mention something very important in characterizing the energy decline arguments of Hall, et al, and myself. And that is when we talk about declining EROI it is with respect to finite energy sources such as fossil fuels.

EROI's for renewable sources like solar or wind are likely to improve a bit more as equipment efficiencies improve (and those improvements do not approach a marginal return of zero - very important). The problem is that building out a renewable infrastructure is front loaded with investment and must be subsidized, for the moment, with fossil fuel energy inputs, making it problematic. But assuming that we can get to that point, the declining EROI argument does not hold for renewables. I would have to call it a bit disingenuous to have not pointed out that Hall's arguments are only about finite resources. That is sort of a backdoor red herring.



Very interesting read. Biological evolution provides a platform, but is a dead end when it comes to the survival of the human species in the cosmos, which we often exclude from our analyses.

George Mobus


In the really long run we're all dead ;^)

I don't think the human species as currently constituted will survive. But I do think there is an opportunity for a replacement species having substantially greater sapience. That is an evolutionary possibility.


Kittinger Enos

I didn't know that there is such an Evolutionary Rules until I read your post. I met Charles Darwin in my high school years and I learned a lot from his explanation on evolution. And now, I am amaze on how you greatly explain about the evolutionary rules that will govern. It's another new thing that I learn from you today. Thank you. More power.

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