Thursday, July 29, 2010

5 important things, 2 of which are imaginary

In response to a political question about "test for religion" in political office, I came up with this response, which turned out not to be so much 'political' or 'religious' after all...

We need a new convention. One to determine the purpose of humanity on
this earth, and to decode the successful behaviors of natural systems
that have been on the planet much longer than our measly imaginations
have. Beneath those systems lie some simple rules which should be applied:

1. Belief doesn’t matter: actions do. (As far as we can tell, humans are the only species that lives according to beliefs that are not sensed directly, and we are having negative effects, rather than positive ones, on the ecosystem.)
2. Give back more than you take. (Successful species have a net useful contribution to an ecosystem.)
3. Diversity is as important as quantity. (If an environment changes, it is the fringe rather than the 'normal' which are adapted to thrive in a new niche.)
4. Joining groups is not mandatory. (Leaving the comfort of a niche compensates for the inevitable changes in environments.)
5. Actions taken based on blind belief (in gods, governments or 'gurus') are irresponsible and usually destructive. (This is simply an extension of #1: Belief doesn't matter until actions are taken. If the imaginary (anything not directly sensed/must be believed) is used to justify actions, then a disconnect from reality occurs. Temporary cognitive dissonance is called "unconsciousness.", and one shouldn't be driving when asleep.)

I think that in most of the natural world, #1 and #5 are irrelevant, leaving 2,3,4 in order of importance.

12 comments:

  1. Heh! ha! Like that, "Slow down, be nice, it's probably not worth it"!! ha!

    Gee, been real busy doing the shows and just haven't gotten around the blogs like I used to.
    Came across John's piece about the "Black Knight" and seen that you posted.

    Anyway I was dying to get ahold of ya, so you could contemplate some wild ideas that JB and I have conjured up on this tread..

    http://www.doomers.us/forum2/index.php/topic,60736.1260.html

    Are you aware that the Northwest Pacfic region is powered almost entirely by renewables now? Could this area retain some kind of high tech sustainability if it should become isolated? Interesting tread, check it out on your lunch breaks! heh!

    Thanks, Mark

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  2. Hello Auntiegrav! Seen that you posted over at John's! Gee, been so busy with my art shows lately to really get around on the blogs. Hope you're doing fine and all is going well.

    I tried posting earlier, must have not went through. Gee, I'm having a lot of pc trouble on this end! Maybe climbing up the pole like Eddie Arnold from Green Acres, just isn't getting it anymore? ha!

    Did you get the U.P. property?

    Thanks, yooper

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  3. Sorry, I was on vacation. Went to look at property again. Trying to get the lot next to the one I looked at before as a package.
    Lots of work to do. Trying to divine what to do next. Haven't killed anybody...yet.

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  4. I left you a comment at Latoc...enjoy.

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  5. Is the property located on the Garden peninusla? What a lonely place that is! Gee, last spring we did a TV6 show in Escanaba, getting a little closer to ya! We have, TV6's Christmas show on the first weekend of Dec. at the Marquette Yooper Dome. Sure would like to meet ya sometime!

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  6. Actually farther west than that (Iron County). Yeah, Garden is a lonely place. So is most of the UP these days. We covered the eastern 2/3rds on our trip this time.
    The farms are almost all gone and dried up, the houses are all plopped onto forties that have no use without a job and petroleum to get to them...pretty sad overall.

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  7. Hey yooper! This comment is for your Catabolic collapse in Detroit stuff:

    Haven't been there in a while. I like your stuff about Detroit. Talking to da Wife and I think that Michigan will be better off than many states, like Wisconsin, where the delusion will be drawn out longer. Michigan has a chance to draw on federal money and interstate trade WHILE the collapse happens, giving it time to come up with a better social/government solution to sustainability. The rest of the states will be trying to understand what to do without external wealth to draw upon, competing and threatening each other. Michigan should think about immigration policies accordingly.

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  8. Thanks Dan, I appreciate it. You bet, "net creational" will have to play an important part in the future that is yet to come, much more so than the meager attempts being made today. I continue to put considerable thought towards this concept and try to envision what that might entail in a world of decline... Especially the long descent that people like you and John share. Why not "islands of sustainability" if such a scenario would eventually come to past? Certainly, if energy and time would allow, somekind of transition might be possible? Immigration? Civil war? That would take a certain amount of energy, organization and time that quite frankly I don't see happening. Why not brain implant chips further controlling the lifestyle of the subjects who's sole purpose in life is to better serve those in power? I'm not the one suggesting the long decline (without a sudden, sever die-off)... Control? Control what? Much of what humanity has done was to respond to current events, in that order. A leading up too? Either on the way up or on the way down?

    As time wanes, and the attempts not made or transition to "power down", doesn't the long descent become more unlikely? Resulting in "great crash"? According to the net energy curve (of known energy sources) that window of opportunity is less than 15 years, assuming bau? Much less, if another round of resource wars ensues?

    Most certainly, as time wanes and the population continues into overshoot, the chances of a sudden, great die-off become greater. Perhaps the "tipping point" was past decades ago, sealing that fate?

    Oh! Btw, what's the definition you have for "net creational" once more?

    Thanks, Mark

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  9. I have since actually changed my term to "Net Usefulness", because, as a friend pointed out, "net creational" implies some kind of intent behind the process. Perhaps it still applies to some rare actions by humans (islands of sustainability), but only if, after a hundred or a thousand years, the action was successful.
    People do stuff, they have reasons for doing stuff; in that order.
    Net Usefulness: the amount that some thing or action is useful to the future (of itself or the universe), after subtracting the resources which it consumes.
    Evil: Any action taken based on blind belief.
    Human: One species on the planet Earth whose singularly defining characteristic is that many of its senses have been traded for the ability to imagine.

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  10. PS..Yooper: you are thinking too hard and imagining too many possible actions which you could take. Trying to predict the future will drive you insane in a random universe. Chaos theory shows us that we cannot predict the weather even at a local level beyond 3 days. Predicting human futures is no better. There are too many possibilities, and the only thing to do is to live according to your own sensible guidelines (the Pirate's Code?).
    As my brother would say, "If it moves, shoot. If it shoots, MOVE!"
    Learning to recognize the descent for what it is, following our awareness and instincts to avoid the nastiest things, and seeking neighbors who are aware and useful are the things we must do. The change of Systems will follow the chaotic dependence on initial conditions (one local success leading to neighboring successes, with random failures and roque destruction). I have no confidence that someone with any power will recognize the situation publicly and impart effective change to the human species' trends. Those trends are based on belief systems. The current belief is that the past is some indicator of the limits to which the future is restrained. It is not. Just as many view global warming as "greenhouse", I see it as "Venus". This is only a difference in belief, not based on any proof at all, on either side: just interpretation of data through prejudiced eyes (me and them).
    The same thing applies to the economic models: they are belief systems. Failure of the belief system will come either regionally or globally. The sooner it happens regionally, the sooner a region can detach itself from the global belief system. This is the key: detaching from the belief that solutions come from "up there" somewhere, whether "up there" is your county, state, federal, or deified System of authority, the one thing that usually breaks that belief is when people choose or are forced to produce their own resources from local materials, especially food. Humans survived for a long time without civilization: much longer than with it. Finding a balance with nature's randomness requires diversity of thought and diversity of actions, which means no hierarchy that is "chosen" by the system itself. Random leadership or natural power by contest is better than systematized continuation of monotheistic choice (always choosing a 'lizard' from a select pool of lizards just because "The wrong lizard might get in" or "the lizards created all of This").

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  11. Excellent! I cannot agree more with your thoughts,

    "The same thing applies to the economic models: they are belief systems. Failure of the belief system will come either regionally or globally. The sooner it happens regionally, the sooner a region can detach itself from the global belief system. This is the key: detaching from the belief that solutions come from "up there" somewhere, whether "up there" is your county, state, federal, or deified System of authority, the one thing that usually breaks that belief is when people choose or are forced to produce their own resources from local materials, especially food. Humans survived for a long time without civilization: much longer than with it. Finding a balance with nature's randomness requires diversity of thought and diversity of actions, which means no hierarchy that is "chosen" by the system itself."

    Heh! I might add that much of the natural diversity has been lost, concerning those who are alive today, tomorrow is another day. I very much suspect that it cannot even support the population of natives it once did as seen before white settlement and the chain of supply that supported those settlements.. Around here it was extremely likely that roving famlies or "bands" amounted to perhaps only a few hundred people making up the tribe, subsisting here in the E.U.P. and the Algoma region in Canada...

    I know first hand about nature's randomness and one had better play along within the rules of it's system, or else pay the consequences, sooner rather than later... Of course, the flip side of "Net Usefullness" is sink and without a chain of supply, well... We can forget about becoming localized here, as those belonging to tribes would likely find the distance in-between tribes too great to interact, penetrate one another, eventually. This could happen rather quickly considering "who" we are as a people and what we've become today. A starving people or roving gangs traveling very far in the enviroment we have today, isn't likely, without being supplied continously from somewhere, the resource simply isn't there... Becoming isolated is one of the first steps into the extinction process. It's for this reason that natives moved back to winter in Algoma region. It is believed that for the most part the E.U.P. was depopulated completely during the winter months, one way or another.. Family "bands" herding like deer during the winter.

    Heh! "We come from a past that no one can remember"...

    Hopefully humanity won't have that far to fall before finding equilibrium. However, if that equilibrium is like finding a balance with nature's randomness then of course, the human body will likely be pushing up daisies instead of corn... especially here.

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  12. you should just send me an email to danconine _at_gmail_dot_com

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Slow down. Be nice. It's probably not worth it.