How Does the World Work?


  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« Happy New Year's Eve - 2011 to 2012 | Main | Mental Capacities of Leaders - What Should We Expect? »

January 01, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nathan Chattaway

George,

Interesting post. As someone you have previously threatened with censorship for discussing religion in your "question everything" comments space, I can now say "Ha!"
I have an immediate question arising. Consider the Old Order Amish communities that are clustered in various arable locations around the continental USA. What events would cause them to become casualties in the upcoming bottleneck? The most obvious one might perhaps be a violent death at the hands of angry and starving urban refugees. Yet, who could be better prepared to defend their life than people already considered weird outsiders who take care to live separately from the masses?
If any remnant of any existing Old Order Amish community makes it through the bottleneck, are they therefore an evolved species and part of your homo sapiens eusapiens sub-species? Or has their Christian religion been sufficient to guide them to a self-reliant and eco-sustainable lifestyle?

I refer to the Old Order Amish because most people are familiar with them and their ability to live well without modern industrial grid systems. Of course, there are many other communities around the world living like this that don't answer to the name Amish. What makes you think what you're looking for doesn't already exist?
How about Dmitry Orlov and his water based nomadic permaculture life? Guys like him and his disciples will be very likely to pass a sustainable life onto their children.

What happens to your subspecies emergence evolution theory if highly prepared guys like Orlov decide to take some "very low sentience" individuals under their wing and teach them the recipe for ongoing survival of the nomadic lifestyle? Won't that ensure that Homo Sapiens Sapiens simply keeps on keeping on?

GaryA

I'm not sure how many thinkers realise how revolutionary these accumulated findings are becoming...
12 dec 2011

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/11/356/abstract

Pathogens may be advantageous to the subsistence and prosperity of hosts through effective HGT events at a large evolutionary scale.


GaryA

I get where George is coming from on this...The Influence of mythology and ideology in human history, its motivational power to transform consciousness and actions (often for the worse) is something worth trying to harness. These myths become embedded in civilisations culture, in upbringing and education. All of these myths have only been partial truths at best and not only in the past think of all the invisible myths of our civilisation,democracy capitalism, separation, determinism, technological utopianism... and of course the story of money system which is both cause and symptom of the myth of what we are....or have been conditioned to believe we are.

Imagine the greatest film/music painting/sculpture/song/play/ cultural experience you have ever had in service of the new story of humanity: as a vital part of the universes emerging self awareness.
A mythology which is fully in tune with scientific findings, a story which is demonstratably emotionally and intellectually true.

Aboc Zed

taking the power of mythology away from ignorance and putting it in the hands of science would be great

but it cannot happen before critical mass of human condition agents "graduates" to science

and once that happens (most likely thru die-off of ignorant bottom faster than the strata on which science is based) the importance of mythology in human condition will be greately diminished

science not ignorance will play a bigger role as a shepherd of human condition

Aboc Zed

@ Nathan Chattaway
I am sure George will reply to your questions separately as he always does. He usually does it on a weekly basis. I on the other hand has some time now and therefore would comment now.
I have arrived to what you call “subspecies emergence evolution theory” independent of this blog. In fact I have found this blog _because_ of my views on the nature and course of human evolution.
You ask:
What happens to your subspecies emergence evolution theory if highly prepared guys like Orlov decide to take some "very low sentience" individuals under their wing and teach them the recipe for ongoing survival of the nomadic lifestyle? Won't that ensure that Homo Sapiens Sapiens simply keeps on keeping on?
Nothing happens. It is still adequate representation of reality, immediate future and longer horizon events.
First about someone teaching somebody to survive under nomadic lifestyles. One cannot teach nomadic lifestyles : they need to be practiced. But even if people were to follow Orlov’s example roaming of the seas is possible now but not sustainable over the long term horizon and on the scale of community larger than one or several families.
Homo Sapiens Sapiens cannot “keep on keeping on” because he (us) is organized in such a way (socio-economic system of democracy and capitalism based on ignorance as human condition) that is _dependent and promotes_ overpopulation. The mantra “economy must grow” is preached by all politicians and implicitly demanded by the ignorant masses who want “good life of bread and entertainment”. Science is nowhere near the governance. Not only within individual countries but even more so on a planetary scale democratically elected leaders of homo sapiens sapiens are simply not capable of managing the mass and momentum of growing overpopulation that is causing the decrease of biodiversity, pollution of air and waters, anthropogenic climate change and all the rest of the issues that cannot be resolved for as long as wise men and women of science sit on the sidelines and escape from their responsibility to lead the species allowing ignorance to determine the immediate future of inevitable rebalancing when the planet can no longer bear homo sapiens sapiens.
If you are interested in the chronicles of the unfolding die-off you may check out blog by Dave Cohen (http://www.declineoftheempire.com/). He is focused on immediate future and does not venture into evolutionary timescale. For immediate future Dave’s “all gloom and doom" outlook is appropriate and accurate.

GaryA

Perhaps I have been working in uni science too long (22years) but I'm afraid I dont share Abocs faith in those 'wise men and women of science'

Any cursiory examination of the history of science will find that it has from the earliest times served the rulers and the social elite.

The sufferings of Galileo and Copernicus were exceptions to the rule, useful in developing the mythology of science as a force of truth fighting against the obscurantism of superstition and dogma.
In reality the historical evidence points out that sciences pursuit of truth or even knowledge is incidential to the need for the atomisation and rationalization of the natural world so that it could be broken down into its component parts which could then be forced into new measured relationships useful to the development of technological systems.
The digitalisation of life (GM- DNA manipulation) and the inorganic (nanotechnology) are the latest development in the domination and control of nature demanded by industrial capitalism : its primary function has always been to serve the economy its rulers and to search for the most efficient means of doing so.

Aboc Zed

it is clear that i am failing to communicate the characteristics of 'wise women and men of science' that will eventually realize that they need to coalesce into government in order for the whole species (sapient sub-species) to go thru bottleneck event

past performance is not always good prediction of future performance, especially when the system has reached the moment when quantitative changes are about to manifest in qualitative changes

I am not talking about scientists that when step out of their labs behave like everybody else because they are merely a members of human condition characterized by institutionalized ignorance

Not a single individual is capable to reverse the course of history or change the system properties of evolutionary process

What I am trying to make an emphasis on is the nature of science as machine-that-goes-by-itself. Science as the collective endeavour to accumulate knowledge and explanations about our configuration space (design-space. This process that yields ever-increasing body of knowledge can be traced to genetic property of anthropoids, great apes, hominids and homo sapiens sapiens

It is of course subordinate to and is driven by the property of all life-forms that I call genetic imperative to survive, to procreate, to go on living

When one looks at science in that light and notes that it has not yet been understood in these terms it is easy to see why I say that science is not institutionalized and as the result it is merely a tool under primitive pecking order structure that we carry on as part of our evolutionary heritage

What GaryA refers to in his post above is “status quo” or “BAU” that is unsustainable and science has reached the level of explanatory powers to show this fact as far back as 1950ties.

What I am talking about is a seed group of individuals that understand general evolutionary process both classical, that is before arrival of homo sapiens sapiens as a top predator on the food chain and "modern", that is the nature and course of hominid evolution as evolution of deliberative capability. And the understanding should be unadulterated by “beliefs” (ideology and other idiosyncratic notions that manifest thru use of non-phenomenological language: “spirituality”, “G_d”, “values”, “morality”, etc.)

I call them scientists because they would be people of science.They may come from those who are engaged in science at the moment because those people are exposed to scientific method and science as part of their “professional” lives, as part of their “making-a-living” which takes up the biggest part of our waking hours; on the other hand the same scientists tend to be “plugged into the structure” towards the top which is completely saturated with ideology and beliefs in “specialness” of those on top which severely affects their ability to reason impartially and act accordingly.

So I do not know from where those ‘wise men and women of science' will come from. But they are not the people GarrA is talking about.

I am trying to find them. Or to figure out a way to recognize them. Or form a group of people with the same goal so that we can start experimenting with the ways of going about it. I may die before I find them but if my views are correct then as soon as civilization collapse manifests better and the heat intensifies those people will have to come out of the woods searching for others like them. And I’ll be searching and maybe then we will meet. If not in my lifetime then somebody else will go thru the thinking process I went thru and will pick up the search where I leave it. Because I am merely an instant of a life-form that counts 7 billion members, the brain that operates on the inputs available to all other brains; some other brain some other time would go thru similar path and if I am looking they will be looking too.

Selfgovus

George,

I've finally processed your essay. Well said! :)

Just as the brain needs the body, the sapient need the not-so-sapient.

To do what must be done, humanity will have to have faith in itself to take the steps that sapience has concluded are necessary.

Traditional religion used to be good enough to evoke the faith response in humans. It worked because it had explanitory power and implied the existence of something greater. But, its refusal to bend to the revelations of science is going to be its downfall.

Science has a ton of explanatory power, to be sure, but does it imply the existence of a something that is greater than ourselves? It is hard to have faith in something that is designed to always question itself.

I'm not just referring to the sense of wonder and awe described so many times by the late Carl Sagan. I'm asking whether science implies the existence of something so amazing it can evoke the faith response in humans.

The biggest thing science seems to imply is that anything that exists, is natural. That we came to exist because of nature, not some deity.

The belief that our creations and accomplishments are somehow "unnatural" is hogwash. The word, "artificial," is simply anthropomorphism built into our language. We, as a species and a culture, are as natural as everything else. The same can be said of our technology.

Given that, what occurs to you first?

Is it that Ford trucks occur naturally in the universe?

Is it that artificial sweetener is actually natural?

Is it the realization that you are universe and every word that can be used to describe you can also be used to describe the universe simply because you exist?

For me, it was the fact that intelligence and sapience are as natural a force as gravity. If our intelligence is a natural part of this universe, then our existence grants the universe intelligence in the same way that our brains grant it to us.

Some would say I'm being anthropomorphic but really, to say that our intelligence belongs only to us and not the universe that bore us is anthropomorphism at its most subtle.

The universe is as wise as its most sapient inhabitant. On the flip side, George W. Bush exists. That's as scary as the universe is big.

Bruce

@selfgovus, is "the universe" self-aware and conscious of human consciousness?

Is that the same consciousness that is conscious of being conscious of itself?

Are the consciousnesses of "the universe" and the human mind differentiated or one? Both?

That thought cannot perceive of its own ending, and thus constructs illusory thought forms projecting itself into the future and beyond the demise of the body, is thought a part of consciousness? Or is thought only the movement (biochemical bodily process) of consciousness (as J. Krishnamurti perceived)?

Is the human brain separate from mind? Is there mind apart from brain/body?

If so, is this separate mind differentiated from the consciousness of "the universe"? If not, is it one but does not perceive it so?

Why might one ask such questions? How does one find out? Who or what is asking the questions?

Does the consciousness of "the universe" require the human mind believing in it to exist or not?

If human consciousness is one with the consciousness of "the universe", must the mind believe that it is for it to be so?

Or is one consciousness what it is whether or not there is a mind to perceive consciousness or that it is separate from consciousness?

Does "evolution" or "natural selection" of what we call "life" exist? Is it the process of consciousness of "the universe" manifesting in increasing complexity and in myriad forms? What knows this or does not know it?

I pose these questions without prejudice or desire to impose belief or answers; rather, the questions encourage more questions, which in turn encourage the further process of formulating hypotheses, testing, discarding, defining, redefining, optimizing, systemitizing, sharing, critiquing, and starting the process anew: the scientific process.

"Believing" in science is not required. One need not be a card-carrying member of a party or ideology or "school of thought"; in fact, one should avoid being so.

Applying scientific principles and seeking optimal approaches is both process and product. But we live in a society which Eric Fromm described as insane.

One cannot be well adjusted and sane in an insane society. But if one declares oneself sane among the insane, one is labeled delusional and thus dysfunctional.

The job of the "therapist" is get us to recognize and succumb to our insanity and to cope with it and thus become well adjusted to insanity all around us. Like television, advertising, political propaganda, the therapist is the facilitator of mass insanity.

No wonder what most of us "believe" is insane.

Thus, we fear individual freedom because it requires thinking for oneself and acting as a free person inside the asylum (without and within), which includes accepting and adapting to the consequences of one's freely questioning and seeking beyond insane "beliefs".

Aboc Zed

Man is man because he registers information in a way, physically, that we identify as 'deliberative', and therefore we say he 'cogitates', and for a cogitating man born in ignorance, to register 'response to stimulus' is to develop 'a hierarchy of registration' is to begin the _invention_ of explanation which may have nothing whatsoever to do with his configuration space as 'he thinks he understands it', such understanding as 'may be favorable' to his progression - but only circumstantially so, thus it is NOT true (except as a trivialization) that 'It is the nature of man to ask questions', but it is true that man has evolved (circumstantially) to 'ask' questions and also (eventually) to 'perceive that as his nature'

It is misinformation and uncertainty in the facts of human affairs (in politics and economics perhaps most critically) that underlie the human condition, but it is _deliberative capability_ that clearly establishes 'evolving registration of the phenomenology' - increasing knowledge superceding ignorance, conjecture and opinion - as synonymous the evolution of forensic integrity: 'Who best assimilates the constitution of configuration space _supercedes_ to progress and evolve', thus belief in god and other dogmatics may only circumstantially or coincidently vector into knowledge, but cannot ever add to it of themselves - conjecture-and-opinion become knowledge in time (or not) - probability the vector, information with time.

['Does a tree falling in the woods make noise if no one hears it?' is resolvable -transportably, only by successive refinement of definitions.]

@ bruce

I am sure you have listened to Alan Watts The Art of Psycho-Analysis but if you did not here is the link to YouTube (part 1 - part 2 is easy to follow from there)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqYYdXNB3dY

Enjoy!

GaryA

Reminds me of the conundrum about whether the dinosaurs existed before they were discovered in the early 19th century?
If so where?
Common sense and reason say "of course-in the ground!" but I'm far less sure about that than I once was.
Does a current flow without an eventual destination?
Can a universe emerge without mind?

Aboc Zed

That one is able to ask such questions however, demonstrates only that such ideas are thinkable and words utterable, and that improbability or meaninglessness can be accepted and promulgated more or less out of circumstantiality; the 'politics of human-being', consequently, 'The resource/environment there for exploitation', 'Might is right', 'Mine, and therefore mine to do with as I choose' and 'Our way of life (customs, religion, habits, government etc) is the right way it should be' then, are the basis of bumbling discussion and irresolution thruout the world where the fact remains that 'knowledge' and 'right' either have 'forensic integrity' or they are not 'right' at all

George Mobus

Tom,

Thanks for the link. I had heard suspicions arise from other quarters as well.

-------------------------------------
Nathan,

I don't think I've ever censored anyone, or even threatened to. I may have requested no proselytizing just as I have a policy against advertising (OK I guess I censor spam!)

RE: Amish and similar groups based on religion. I have always used their lifestyle as a kind of existence proof that my goal village/low tech agrarian lifestyle is feasible. But that is at the end of the nomadic phase, not during it. As an aside, I suspect that their lifestyle wasn't a result of their religion but rather the latter helped them rationalize something they already considered a moral good. After all not all Christian sects came to the same conclusions. Indeed many current evangelicals find rationalization in their dogma for becoming rich!

RE: Orlov, if you are referring to his sailboat approach, I don't remember how he might have linked that with permaculture.

Won't that ensure that Homo Sapiens Sapiens simply keeps on keeping on?

Why should it, even if it were successful? Future humans have to adapt to the future environment regardless of their starting sapience. I simply posit that if there are a significant number of higher sapients able to adapt better than ordinary sapients then the long-run outcome will have them winning out in the competition.

----------------------------------
GaryA,

You nailed it.

----------------------------------
Aboc,

I trust you are not suggesting that we are going to "teach" science to the masses as a precursor for this idea. We try to teach science to the masses now and that just isn't working. My day job is to try to teach science to students in college. I feel lucky when they leave the institution with the minimal job skills (programming) to earn a living. Very few of them get the science part.

----------------------------------
Selfgovus,

Well said. It's all nature!

----------------------------------
Bruce,

Going in the other direction (vs. from human consciousness to universe consciousness) I find it interesting how the anticipatory capacities of neurons wired together in massive neural networks like our brains lead to human level consciousness (whatever one might claim that to be). How did an auto-organizing aggregate of unconscious, but adaptively responsive, cells provide a substrate for the emergence of a wholly new phenomenon? Might the phenomenon actually be fractal in nature? Lots of questions. And that is a good thing.

----------------------------------
Aboc,

Man is man because he registers information in a way, physically, that we identify as 'deliberative'...

It is possible that I am missing your meaning entirely, but the use of the word deliberative is difficult to justify here. Much more cognitive activity is subconscious than conscious. We generally reserve the word deliberative for those conscious activities such as logical inferences that require chains of conscious thoughts.

Thus the rest of your statement is hard to interpret.


George

Max Patch

Have you ever read Neil Evernden's "The Natural Alien"? I think that it and "The Idea of Wilderness" would be a good fit with your exploration of the Path.

Aboc Zed

George,

English is not my first language and it is possible that "deliberative" is not a good word to use in that passage.

But if you can figure out its intended meaning from the context of the below and suggest a different word I would appreciate it a lot.

I am actively searching for a proper word.

Of two mechanisms commonly associated with evolution -natural-selection and (closely related) pecking-order, it is the latter, synonymous cerebration in relationals, that signals warm-blooded viability and procreation in general -eventually human deliberative capability and reification in 'creativity, god and other disquieting primitively-unanswerable's'. The following four theses summarize that purely physical evolution as it might have developed in hypothetical stages(*3).

1 - A pre-persona (underlying pecking-order) first-surfaces as a relatively mechanical, 'cold-blooded' or taxonomic personality developing -genome-directed-and-limited, out of 'response-to-stimulus-assimilation and primitive cerebration of primitive relationals'. This corresponds, roughly, to the mechanics of natural selection in which mutation and econiche dynamics are primary operatives, of 'knowledge' generally limited to a 'learning' of basic response more or less mechanically affecting viability and procreation.

2 - A true, 'classical' and basic persona -'warm-blooded', but non-reificational, surfaces with 'the assimilation of relationals into a genome-based-and-limited -but cerebratable, natural-selection, knowledge-and-pecking-order', a major, relatively non-mechanical operative in viability and procreation.

3 - Reificational persona reflects, in addition, a capacity for deliberating relationships among relationals, capacity for 'creating operational mechanisms abstractly relating pecking-order and other affects and thereby deliberatively influencing and promoting intrinsically hominid viability and procreation'(*5).

4 - 'A Creator' and 'The Order of Things' were inherent generic operands without which hominid progression was not possible.
[This is something of a corollary to item 3 reflecting 'the continuing evolution of deliberative capability and knowledge' in that primitive conceptualization of 'a creator' and 'the way things work' -even if wrong, constituted 'knowledge' supporting the pecking-ordered one-up-manship thru which the evolution of hominid deliberative capability may be observed as intrinsic aristocratization.]

DEFINITION - [NOTE: qualia, here (quale: singular), are first-order properties]

(*1) relational (noun): a second-or-higher-order property which qualifies in a generally comparative way the relationship of a same or lower-order property common to two (or more) 'elements' of the configuration space: (eg) left-right/up-down/front-back/ness or in/outside-ness of one thing with respect to another; like/unlike-ness(*b), more/less-ness, absence (vs presence) of material/body physical properties: temperature, chemistry, pressure, magnetism/gravity, momentum, color, force, speed, sound, taste, smell, texture, dry/wetness et cetera; and at 'higher levels of vertebrate development'; now- then- and next-ness of state, for example, and shape or geometric pattern, and repetition/rhythm and 'musicality'; temperament as in 'anger', 'attention' and even 'immeasurable degrees of (such as) honesty and fairness' et cetera -and changeability of relationals with time and space as a relational itself as in 'the arts' eventually and mathematics too(*9).
Robin Datta

Can a universe emerge without mind?

The "mind" is a phenomenon within the universe: it is manifest in three parts, the knower, the knowing and the knowledge. The knower is identified as the "I". The rest -  including the known - the universe - are the "not-I". The source of both the "I" and the "not-I"  is The One without a second, also referred to as Sunyata (Buddhism) and the Ain Sof (Kabbalistic Judaism), both of which mean "The Void". As in the case of the origins of the Big Bang, it is outside the parameters OS time and space. 

Aboc Zed

George,

"Deliberative" has the same meaning as in below:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 - A pre-persona (underlying pecking-order) first-surfaces as a relatively mechanical, 'cold-blooded' or taxonomic personality developing -genome-directed-and-limited, out of 'response-to-stimulus-assimilation and primitive cerebration of primitive relationals'. This corresponds, roughly, to the mechanics of natural selection in which mutation and econiche dynamics are primary operatives, of 'knowledge' generally limited to a 'learning' of basic response more or less mechanically affecting viability and procreation.

2 - A true, 'classical' and basic persona -'warm-blooded', but non-reificational, surfaces with 'the assimilation of relationals into a genome-based-and-limited -but cerebratable, natural-selection, knowledge-and-pecking-order', a major, relatively non-mechanical operative in viability and procreation.

3 - Reificational persona reflects, in addition, a capacity for deliberating relationships among relationals, capacity for 'creating operational mechanisms abstractly relating pecking-order and other affects and thereby deliberatively influencing and promoting intrinsically hominid viability and procreation'.

And relationals is defined as follows:

DEFINITION - [NOTE: qualia, here (quale: singular), are first-order properties]

relational (noun): a second-or-higher-order property which qualifies in a generally comparative way the relationship of a same or lower-order property common to two (or more) 'elements' of the configuration space: (eg) left-right/up-down/front-back/ness or in/outside-ness of one thing with respect to another; like/unlike-ness(*b), more/less-ness, absence (vs presence) of material/body physical properties: temperature, chemistry, pressure, magnetism/gravity, momentum, color, force, speed, sound, taste, smell, texture, dry/wetness et cetera; and at 'higher levels of vertebrate development'; now- then- and next-ness of state, for example, and shape or geometric pattern, and repetition/rhythm and 'musicality'; temperament as in 'anger', 'attention' and even 'immeasurable degrees of (such as) honesty and fairness' et cetera -and changeability of relationals with time and space as a relational itself as in 'the arts' eventually and mathematics too.

Selfgovus

@bruce

Loving your questions. Still pondering though not answering :)

GaryA

I reckon we have far too much faith and in the narrow torchbeam of conscious attention and linguistic comprehension.
As I get older I remember how many concepts/ideas/feelings/paridigms my younger days I instinctively knew were wrong, but could articulate why. Now I can unrationally articulate...I suspect my intuition was right all along. I have more faith in its unreasonable intuitive irrationality now.

George Mobus

Max,

Thanks for the tips. I've added the titles to my wish list at amazon. Unfortunately that list is getting very long!

------------------------------------
Robin,

The existential mysteries!

------------------------------------
GaryA,

A better part of intuition is generated by sapience (i.e. the prefrontal cortex) and as your tacit knowledge grows and is verified with experience your intuitions get more in tune with reality. At least that is the way I hope it works.

George

The comments to this entry are closed.