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« Remember Hiroshima | Main | What is Teaching? »

August 08, 2014

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Reverse Engineer

I'm curious how you think War fits into the biophysical economy.

What is the underlying driver for Bombing ISIS one more time here, on an economic level?

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2014/08/09/bombs-of-democracy-a-failure-to-communicate/

RE

George Mobus

@RE,

Honestly, I'm not sure of the relevance of the question. Except to point out that wars are generally always about scarce resource issues (the US has to protect the oil source in Iraq) which is the antithesis of a balanced biophysical economy. Also, I am conjecturing on the notion that the decision agents in a working governance system would be far more sapient than any world or tribal leaders in our so-called real world. Ergo I don't address any notion of war fitting into a biophysical economy.

George

Reverse Engineer

"Except to point out that wars are generally always about scarce resource issues (the US has to protect the oil source in Iraq) which is the antithesis of a balanced biophysical economy."-GM

The only balanced Biophysical Economies don't have any obvious Sapience involved, they would be your Natural Ecosystems.

Since the onset of Sapience, the Homo Genus has been perpetually OUT of balance, so it is unclear whether MORE sapience would put HS back into balance, anymore than adding more debt can solve old debt problems.

Seems to me as far as the biophysical economy is concerned, less sapience is better.

RE

George Mobus

@RE,

"That word you are using; I do not think it means what you think it means."

Perhaps a closer reading of my working papers on sapience would be in order. By this comment I suspect you are not considering the evolutionary aspects of what it means.

George

Reverse Engineer

Probably more accurate to say "sentience" or "self-awareness", but since "Sapiens" is dropped into the taxonomic name here for HS, that's the terminology of choice.

The point is that without any obvious intelligence behind them, ecosystems function pretty well, adapting and changing to different conditions.

Once Homo Sapiens dropped in here, things went out of balance.

RE

Tony Noerpel

RE and George

Isn't war just an extension of what happens in the natural world? Chimpanzees kill other chimps and wolves kill other wolves. Even vegitarian elephants are violent. I'm thinking the only difference is we invented guns.

I agree with George that we need more sapience, wisdom or ecolate capabilities primarily because we've been clever enough and outfitted with these marvelous hands to have invented guns (and DDT, nuclear power etc.).

Tony

Tony Noerpel

RE and George

I know George has made this point but just for my own clarity worth repeating. Nature (excluding us)evolves under certain corrective feedbacks. I'm thinking of Lotka-Volterra type relationships. Predators are limited by the size of the prey population.

Humans escape this limitation. Firstly, we have guns and boats and stuff and secondly, we can wipe out a specific prey and then move on to something else. Wolves cannot do that in a natural habitat. Therefore, wolves do not need to evolve sapience to control their own excessive behavior. We can wipe out all the cod because when all the cod are gone we can fish for something else until we are living on jellyfish.

Eventually we will run out of even jellyfish if we do not evolve sapience in a timely manner.

best

Tony

George Mobus

@RE,

All of those terms are not identical, and sapience is definitely not the same as intelligence. The human failing comes from the advances in both intelligence and creativity (which combined I call cleverness) getting ahead of sapience (the basis of wisdom). Many other authors have noted a similar phenomenon. Craig Dilworth's "Too Smart for our Own Good" is a good example.

Yes humans have a problem with cognition. But it isn't the existence of sapience, it is the weakness of sapience.

--------------------------------------
@Tony,

True enough. Our strength (if it can be called that) is our considerable skills in tactical management and adaptability as omnivores. We've been very successful in exploring for new resources and exploiting them to exhaustion. Definitely not sapient behavior.

George

Reverse Engineer

The problem is accessing too much thermodynamic power. This is what really sent the whole system out of balance, beginning with Ag.

I don't think more "Sapience" or Wisdom or however you wish to phrase it resolves the problem. Even if individuals evolve Sapience, the network does not.

The resolution comes when too much thermodynamic power cannot be accessed by one species. Then you come back into balance, assuming the Earth is not fried of course.

Also, I cross posted this article on the Diner.

RE

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