Competition, Evolution, Extinction

 

charles_darwin_photograph_by_leonard_darwin_circa_1874

Charles Darwin

From Salthe’s “Darwin and some leading ideas of contemporary Western culture.”

http://www.nbi.dk/natphil/salthe/Ludus_Vitalis_paper.pdf

(and here is the link to Salthe’s website via Dave, good reading and ideas here.)

http://www.nbi.dk/natphil/salthe/

I conclude with thoughts concerning why one might be concerned today about these relations. Darwin’s natural selection idea can be summed up as — ‘whatever succeeds is good’, ‘success is its own reward’ – success here meaning short-term success

. As such, it is hardly a ‘theory’! — except when it gets detailed by theneoDarwinians into a principle that competition is the source of success. Evolutionary psychologists point out that cooperation has evolved in many species, but that is because it succeeds –against non-cooperators in the same species. Importantly, this is not only a leading idea / belief of our culture, but when readinto biological evolution — the process which produced us — it becomes a mythological theme. The current relevance of this is that it is our capitalist economy that appears to be destroying our natural environments around the globe,and this economy is based in competition, which becomes idolized by being as well the source of we ourselves, in the neoDarwinian theory of evolution. Here a pragmatic principle tends to become sacralized, and it is in this that Darwin’s (asNietzsche would have said, ‘English shopkeeper’) concept can be said to have become dangerous to our continued cultural survival. As well, in its hectic productivity and search for energy, we could fairly interpret our economic system as earnestly pursuing the goal of universal thermodynamic equilibration, despite the fact that that condition would eliminate us all.

I’ve expressed this idea myself, that cooperation is only engaged to out-compete those that are less able to cooperate. Cooperation results in the elimination of many potential states of freedom that could have been taken by the individuals acting alone, but in cooperative unison results in even greater entropy production as energy gradients are made accessible and degraded. But are international animosities unavoidable in the competition for energy, red in Abrahms tank (tooth) and ICBM (claw)? It has been the rule in both the ecosystem and the technosystem to this point in time.

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Cheshire Unit, WWI, The Somme

In order to crystallize the “cooperation” amongst nations for the purpose of consuming gradients and dissipating heat, there would need to be a gradient greater than all of the fossil fuels put together, a supernational technological organism cooperating to work upon a gradient that could satisfy the appetites of its members would have to form. With regards to the sun,  I don’t think the universe needs humans on earth to process sunlight through their machines when it is done most effectively through the conduits of the ecosystem. Although there do seem to be some inklings of a Manhattan style project to harness sunlight and also one for fusion, these have not led to a new world order, but rather provide pleasant fantasy for human’s indefatigable optimism bias. 

But as humans begin to fight over remaining fossil fuels, this will not facilitate a future evolution in technologies as occurs in the ecosystem but rather will put an end to our short-lived technological civilizations. Having failed to coalesce this unification of the world prior to fossil fuels peaking, the cooperation, as in the Eurozone, is likely to go by the wayside and give way to warfare. To bring all of these actors into cooperation requires greater wealth and energy flows than was available from fossil fuels without toxic externalities.

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Ireland and England at night. You can plainly see just how extensively the cancer has spread by the light by-product of metabolic processes feeding on fossil fuels.

The steady delivery of energy from the sun provided a boundary to the development of life on earth. Atoms became molecules which became cells which became organisms, all ultimately limited in extent by the earth’s daily dosing of solar radiation. Humans became unbounded when they became systematic and have served the insatiable desires of the limbic system as they have accessed the seemingly infinite supplies of fossil fuels. Mankind became a malignant cancer and continues to this day to consume everything at the most rapid rate possible. 

Fighting for the dregs of remaining energy is counterproductive in the technological system because there won’t be another generation of conduits regardless of which nation burns the remains. It all goes away when the fuels are gone.

In addition, a freely evolving technosystem is completely incompatible with biological life on earth. How many centuries of plastic water bottles, millions upon millions of solar panels, toxic chemicals, CO2 etc. can a biological system sustain. It is already dying after only a couple of hundred years of technological growth and evolution. Big, fast growing and undisciplined malignancies have a tendency to undo their parent systems. (Disorder them so they can’t process energy and resources any longer.) Biological life will come back and fill-in some of the gaps and the new species do not need to be “intelligent”. The intelligence evolved only to produce the tools to get at the fossil fuels and devise a million different ways to burn them. Intelligence of the technological type just won’t be needed in this little part of the universe in the future.

Being a cancer feels great in the short run, but in the long run it’s not a winning strategy. Parents are having little conduits today in expectations that they will be fully employed, reducing resource and energy gradients in the future, instead of working down Cheetoh and Pepsi gradients in their basements. Stepping away from the virtual realities of their protective cocoons, they will emerge to find desolation and starvation.

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Annapolis graduation – Anchors and hats away. A job you can count on in the future.

How Many Conduits Do You Have

Information, RNA and tools and the cells that contain them serve the function of creating conduits that maximize the flow of energy from a highly energetic source to a cold sink that accepts the waste heat. It’s a thermodynamically favorable arrangement of matter, even considering the amount of energy it takes to build it. The extant biological forms are “profitable”, if not they go extinct. Those conduits that are best at acquiring energy and dissipating it are also those that can reproduce themselves most prolifically from the profit derived from the energy and resources that flow through them.

Human societies are no different in that they use information, RNA (humans) and tools at the human scale to attack energy and resource gradients to maximally degrade energy from high density fossil fuel deposits, converting it to waste heat. All of the structures built by humans facilitate the acquisition and degradation of high grade energy. Self-organizing systems like the ecosystem and the technosystem evolve to maximize the acquisition and flow of energy. Metabolism, cellular and technological, is the sum total of movements to build and distribute materials for building conduits, reproducing conduits, moving conduits (in pursuit of energy) all fed by the primary source of energy (ecosystem/sun, technosystem/fossil fuels). Even though complexity is created in the conduits, entropy overall is accelerated as conversion of high grade energy to low grade waste heat. Prior to the use of fossil fuels, the emerging technological system relied upon wood.

Wal-Mart_repintado

A very profitable brand of conduits that has expanded rapidly based upon the amount of profit it has been able to skim is Wal-Mart. Fed by products made with low-low wages in China, the company was able to offer low-low prices in the U.S.

Biological and technological conduits will evolve and reproduce and those forms that are best adapted to the environment and can skim the most profit from the energy flow will reproduce to a greater extent than others. Technological forms like Wal-Mart can likewise evolve and reproduce based upon the profits generated by the energy that flows through their stores and distribution channels. One store becomes ten, becomes one hundred, becomes one thousand. It expands because it is best at maximizing the energy flow, deriving a profit and reproducing. Same story for Starbucks, Kentucky Fried Chicken and so on. Those structures less capable of processing energy and deriving profit grow slowly, if at all, and may also go bankrupt or become extinct.

800px-StateLibQld_1_110572_Curtis_family_on_a_large_felled_tree_at_Mount_Tamborine,_Queensland,_ca._1922

Early logging operation in Queensland. These human RNA are very hungry for a profit as their numbers expand exponentially. The wood is used for both building cellular and other structures and in firing the metabolism of steam driven tools, heating and cooking. The tree they stand upon had evolved to skim a profit from the solar radiation it collected. The humans, in their malignant form, equipped with rapidly evolved tools, will skim a profit and grow by essentially consuming themselves – the ecosystem. Malignant cancers  always perish as the system which gave birth to them dies.

Humans have found thousands of ways to channel the fossil fuel energy through the metabolisms of their technological cells (factories/workshops). For work performed in the cells, each human is given a stipend of paycheck with which to vote for their favorite products. Typically, instead of maximizing their own reproduction (children), they’ll instead choose from a variety of product-oriented mental masturbation and neural opioid release instead of pursuing the natural orgasmic opioid release associated with copulation and production of offspring. The variety of opioid possibilities has greatly expanded with technological civilization. Humans will defeat reproductive success, the only measure of success in the ecosystem, through the use of various barriers to conception. Instead of the limbic system tricking the cortex into pursuing sexual relations, the cortex can now trick the limbic system into providing the reward without the associated offspring. “What’s it going to be honey, another kid or a trip to Cancun every year for twenty years?” The typical human will choose the trips, even though they will be less represented in the species DNA in the future, if there is one.

Large_family_group,_Chwilog_NLW3363021

Large families happen when pleasure is religiously pursued. Each offspring is a potentially successful conduit that will both assist and compete against other conduits depending upon the closeness of their DNA – typically.

The Golden Pacifier

I’ve been watching several of the Vice News video clips on Youtube lately. Liberia, North Korea….. You may think that these people are somehow different from various developed world populations. But I’ve come to the conclusion that all populations are susceptible to molding into an apparently insane state of mind. Whether it be the followers of former General Butt Naked in Liberia or the followers of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, the followers of ISIS in the Middle East, or the followers of Jim Jones in Guiana. There always seems to be a strong leader, a group think and a reluctance on the individual level to diverge from the prevalent belief system. Generally people do not want freedom of mind, but rather the comfort of belonging to a group (no matter how insane or immoral) that is part of a movement to satisfy their desires and alleviate their fears. Young males are often the first to take part as they are naturally inclined to strive for power, wealth and mating opportunities which, in declining economies, may not be available without taking short-cuts (like picking-up a gun and taking what you want). Instead of picking up a gun, Kim Jong-Il wants to pick-up a nuclear missile and take what he wants. Maybe he’ll grow out of it. This is further evidence, if we needed any, of the subconscious limbic system pulling the strings to get what it wants. In other words, I don’t care if we have to believe in unicorns and fairies as long as we get what we want. Many children will believe in Santa Claus long after their rational minds are giving them hints, because they know if they pretend to believe, they’ll get what they want.

Many people will put their faith in something like gold and believe post-collapse we will just revert to an earlier model of commerce and everything will be all right, especially for those possessing the gold. These people are likely to be disappointed because if gold does become very valuable, then those that believe in lead shot will soon deprive them of it. It is more likely, in poor conditions, that General Mosquito, General Rambo or General Butt Naked will show-up at your door and want not only your gold, but your children for the nights “ceremonies” and feasts. I have no doubt that those in the West that are susceptible to belief and group think would also do heinous acts without hesitation. The U.S. military’s Abu Ghraib prison is another good example of group think taking over and the dehumanizing of the opposition. But in any case, listening to people that want constant reassurance about gold is ridiculous. Gold is mostly what is seen in the picture below.

Baby_Blue_Adult_Pacifer

 

Gold_bullion_1

The world is full of people that are willing to believe irrational things in order to get what they want, including the assuaging of the fear of death with a resurrection into heaven. Once again the limbic system is in control. Where does the limbic control of the mind stop? In collapse.

There is an equally absurd belief in technological progress, the same technology kept alive by fossil fuels that is poisoning the biosphere and is of limited supply. Technology doesn’t progress, it just serves the Maximum Power Principle and makes our eventual terminal destination arrive that much faster. There’s a belief for that too – colonizing space so we can continue growing.

And finally a picture of a cute and cuddly friend for our limbic brains, for the emotional side that doesn’t know how to speak in words and really doesn’t know anything about anything. I just feels.

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All of the dog lovers hoarding gold must love this short blog post by now.

 

Here’s a link to the Vice HBO Korea/basketball short video.

Just don’t worry, Kim Jong-Il will get his nuclear warhead on a missile, Dennis Rodman will get another piercing, the executives will lie again regarding the next Fukishima (radiaton is good for you) and everybody gets a dog for their touchie-feely needs. It’s a limbic world, most of the rest is just made-up.

You can witness the limbic system at work here too in eating dog. The rationalization is that some dogs are pets and some dogs are food. That’s O.K. because we’ve got to make a living. What would they do if they got hungry enough?

 

 

 

 

 

Collapsing Pyramids

Dissipative structures exist as conduits to maximize the flow of energy in nature. Those structures that are best adapted to derive an energy profit beyond their operating and maintenance needs, are able to reproduce most and dominate in the competition for resources and energy. Within the same niche, those most successful at growing and reproducing will eventually prevail. Cooperation (amongst cells) may enable a structure that is more successful than the same group of cells existing independently.

Human technological cells (factories, parent companies) will likewise try to profit and plow money back in to new growth until they have pushed others from their particular niche. Some populations (corporations) expand while other contract in numbers due to differences in profitability.

The energy that human technological civilization is most rapidly converting to entropy in their races to profit and expansion will soon be gone, converted to lots of conduits (factory cells, infrastructure), waste gases and heat. In its expected course defined by the maximum power principle it will eat everything as quickly as possible and then the extant conduits will stop growing, die and deteriorate.

There is a comparison to made with plants regarding the metabolic changes resulting from steadily decreasing levels of light used for photosynthesis. The primary producers of the ecosystem are roughly equivalent to the primary producers of the technosystem, which would include producers of natural gas, coal and oil. We can and do pretend that the fossil fuels will always be there on a daily basis like the sun. This is a mistake. The sun does rise regularly and provide an input of energy to the ecosystem’s primary producers. Almost the entirety of the herbivores and carnivores feed upon the ample production of the plants and single- celled autotrophs. Anything reducing that productive capacity would necessarily reverberate throughout the ecosystem, resulting in species extinction, less complexity and perhaps collapse of the trophic levels above.

What if the amount of light available to plants steadily fell just as fossil fuel primary production will steadily fall?  What would happen to the primary production? Can a plant starve? In the graph below you can see a steady increase in photosynthesis (red line)  up to about 2,000 foot-candles of light intensity and then additional light input does not increase the photosynthetic rate. The green part of the graph represents photosynthesis greater than respiration, or production above a resting metabolic rate. All of that green area feeds both the growth and reproduction of the plant and the food requirements for the entire remainder of the ecosystem. Leafs can be grazed upon without harming the tree which is more than able to compensate. But at a certain “compensation point” light intensity is only enough to enable the plant to meet is respiratory needs. If light energy were allowed to fall this low, there would be no production for the remainder of the ecosystem and if the light level fell even further respiration needs would overwhelm photosynthesis and the plant would begin to lose dry matter and begin to starve to death. Plants can be starved of sunlight for a while and make use of stored energy reserves.

P54f1

 

By necessity, as the light intensity diminishes, the amount of food produced for the overlying ecosystem is proportionally reduced and one would expect a collapse in populations and perhaps extinctions and elimination of trophic levels. The technosystem also relies upon net energy made available by fossil fuel producers. At a peak of net energy production, equivalent to 2000 foot-candles in the plant system, primary production is at its greatest allowing for maximum technomass and complexity in the overlying technosystem. Because 2,000 foot-candles of sunlight have been showing up daily on the planet for billions of years, the photosynthesis based system eventually reaches maturity.

Since the human system has a limited pool of energy, it will not eventually stabilize at a high level of production like the plants. Instead the flow of energy will diminish, equivalent to a falling flow of photons in the plant example, and the amount of energy supporting the technosystem will slide backwards leaving bankruptcy, abandoned infrastructure and many human RNA out of work. The light intensity in foot-candles can be thought of as EROEI. In the plant example, at a foot-candle level of about 400, respiration exceeds photosynthesis and not only is there no growth, there is no longer an ecosystem. The plant makes only enough to keep the plant alive. This would be like fossil fuel corporations making only enough to support themselves, leaving nothing for the remainder of the technosystem. Eventually, when the flow of energy gets low enough, the plant or fossil fuel extracting primary producer starves and dies (yellow area).

Ecological_Pyramid.svg

This energy pyramid can represent both the ecosystem and the technosystem. In the technological system, most consumers will go extinct as the net energy from primary producers falls. Most of civilization will collapse long before primary producer EROEI goes to zero. The plants have no such problem as they are assured 2000 foot-candles of flow per day which allows for enough production to support the pyramid of life above them. However, the human technological fiasco will likely damage plant primary production greatly even though 2000 foot-candles will be incoming daily (ocean acidification, soil erosion, rapid climate change.) Humans think the fossil fuel sun will be out again tomorrow and they can use their ingenuity to “fix” the ecosystem. Arrogance and hubris.

Paul_Cézanne,_Pyramid_of_Skulls,_c._1901

The Pyramid of Life gives way to the “Pyramid of Skulls” – Painting by Paul Cezanne.

We can only speculate as to where we are on this primary production energy flow curve. If 2000 foot-candles (techno-equivalent) was the peak, are we now moving backwards and starving the technosystem, the technological pyramid of life, of what it needs to survive? How much bankruptcy (extinction) and unemployment will we endure before hitting the compensation point? There is already rumbling from the human RNA within the cells and our primary producers cannot turn a profit or produce the required amount of net energy to support the entire technosystem. Instead of a gentle slide back down the energy curve, we may experience something more like a shark-fin curve, popularized by Ugo Bardi. At a rapid level of descent we will find it difficult to reintegrate ourselves as the “static” apex predator in a damaged and hobbled natural ecosystem.

 

 

Prosperity Shining

Even though the lights at night as seen by satellite do not correspond exactly to GDP, they do provide some idea regarding the growth of the technological malignancy. The malignant cells within our bodies are not bioluminescent and must be labeled with a radioactive tracer like fludeoxyglucose, an analogue of glucose. It’s just our luck that technological growth and cells are for the most part bioluminescent with variations in intensity indicating, to some degree, differences in metabolic activity. Our scientists, the one’s that investigate and record natural phenomena to add to our analog world, have had the good sense to develop the technology of sensing to include satellites capable of recording this luminous phenomenon. Even though they are quite adept at designing, building and deploying the technology, they have not been able to adequately interpret the data. For instance the picture below was found on a NASA website.

prosperity-shining-sop-2012

“Prosperity Shining” and “Megacancer” – two sides of the same coin.

Imposed upon the satellite imagery of worldwide, metastatic malignancy are found the words “Prosperity Shining”. Hmmm. I will have to agree that cancers, and especially our technological one, have runs of prosperity. After all, all of the restraints are removed and growth ensues, destroying the delicate complexity that enables life. But it does feel good, in a certain sensational way, to devour and wreck everything in your path on a one way trip to ……………death.

The picture below is of South Korea, before and after. After what, I’m not quite sure, 5 years, 10 years, it doesn’t really matter. By damned if it doesn’t look like a lung pet scan with numerous tumors and small spots of metastatic growth. There’s really nothing more that the human RNA like more than more wealth pumped into their cells from the reservoirs of fossil fuels and the ecosystem. The pathologist (myself) has carefully evaluated this radiograph below and can confidently report that the condition is Stage Four.

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But Korea is the tale of two countries, one (South Korea) megacancerous, the other suffering from involuntary controls via dictatorial control. It surprises me that no metastasizing cancer has liberated North Korea’s resources with freedom and democracy. It must mean they don’t have anything worth taking and spreading into that sparse landscape is more trouble than it’s worth.

korea-map

 

India, between 1994 and 2010 has shown very robust growth, no doubt pulling many RNA into cells to work in luminous environments. The cancer seems to be spreading and the metabolism growing in intensity. It doesn’t seem that there could be another doubling of growth within this political boundary, let alone support of existing development for more than a decade of two.

india 2010

 

I’ve included a couple of links to large satellite views of night lights. It appears that a lack of water (required for human RNA and industrial processes) and extreme cold are limiting factors in technological cancer metastasis. I think one image is 2.1 gb, so be forewarned.

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/eog/dmsp/download_gdp.html

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/eog/data/poster/poster1_large_final.tif

 

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In the Shade of the Coconut Tree

 

I’ve suggested that many people are not open to exploring various cataclysmic economic and environmental scenarios because they prefer to be in denial. But there is another possibility that may work in concert with denial or alone. This characteristic is ignorance. I’ve recently read an article by Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD entitled “How does the Brain Respond to Gossip?” http://brainblogger.com/2015/04/25/how-does-the-brain-respond-to-gossip/

According to the article two-thirds of information passed between humans is gossip about other humans. You can see this on the major television networks, rarely is there anything substantive said, but rather it is a festival of gossip – he said this, she said that, he did this and so on. It fits perfectly with the human characteristics of hierarchy and tribalism Facebook and Twitter owe their success to these human priorities.

Secretary_Kerry_Addresses_Reporters_During_News_Conference_With_Russian_Foreign_Minister_(27718227573)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Ministry’s Lavrov.

What are the first things they say when reporting back to President’s Obama and Putin? “That guys a jerk, he lying, you can’t trust him, and the weather, it’s awful. By the way, who won the playoffs.”  Typical low-grade monkey chatter.

From the article:

“According to the findings from these scan reports (MRI), listening to gossip about themselves heightened activity in the superior medial prefrontal cortex of the subjects’ brains. This region also responded to negative gossip about others. The subjects recorded increased activity in the orbital prefrontal cortex region of their brains in response to positive gossip about themselves.

The prefrontal cortex is one of the brain regions involved in social cognition and executive control. Social cognition is the ability to regulate our thoughts, behavior, and actions based on the real, imaginary, or assumed presence of other people. In other words, social cognition is a trait that makes us want to conform to the accepted norms and rules of society. Executive control is the ability to channelize our thought patterns, behavior, and actions based on internal goals. The neurotransmitter dopamine regulates the functionality of this region and activates the reward system.

The activation of prefrontal cortex region of the brain in response to positive gossip about oneself indicates that most human beings want to be seen as conforming to social standards of morality and success. They see more rewards in being “seen” in a positive light by the world at large than staying true to their internal moral compass.

On the other hand, we think that we are repulsed by negative gossip about others. But the fMRI images obtained during the above study bust this myth. The activation of the superior medial prefrontal cortex region in response to negative gossip about others indicates that although we are not elated by the falling-from-grace stories of other people, we are amused. This finding would seem morally unacceptable to many. After all, we don’t like to think of ourselves as fiends who gloat at others’ miseries and misfortunes.”

Apparently people are predisposed to gossip, a behavior that may have served them well in the past but which now simply interferes with understanding of greater reality and associated problems.

“We talk about other topics like music, sports, politics, and the weather in the remaining time.”

What this means generally is that people do not discuss much but the banal and trivial, moderated by the superior medial and prefrontal cortex and our old friend dopamine. Just consider the next time someone cuts you off from discussing real issues, it may be that they’re just ignorant, except for the latest gossip.

800px-Eretz_Nehederet

Tune in today and find out who said what about whom. But that’s about it, unless you want to know about sports or the weather.

The activation of prefrontal cortex region of the brain in response to positive gossip about oneself indicates that most human beings want to be seen as conforming to social standards of morality and success.

What this basically means is that everyone wants to be praised and accepted by their peers and to be accepted requires conforming to the standards of behavior existing in the society, even if that means being devoid of knowledge and ideas. I’m beginning to believe that one must be a loner in order to escape the wasteful monkey chatter in order to devote ones mind to thought.

Economies of Scale

 

As energy becomes more scarce and there is upward pressure on product price, corporations will try to compensate with increases in economies of scale and larger market share. For economies of scale to reap its full rewards, globalization is necessary for selling product into world-wide markets. This all makes sense for the few wealthy owners of the mega retailers {Amazon, Wal-Mart), corporations (GE), banks (HSBC) , manufacturers, and media. Their goal is to equip large factories with the latest in automation or low paid workers and essentially put less efficient producers out of business, taking their market share and using it to pay for their capital investment. The end result is a relatively small elite owning most of the “business” and its capital and many unemployed human RNA, expected to take advantage of the resultant marginally lower-cost items even though they no longer have income.

At some point, those that are excluded from the benefits of globalization because they’ve lost they’re incomes or have been downgraded, have thoughts of escaping the economy that fails to support them. Some will want to set up their own solar electricity production, grow their own food, collect their own water, but this runs counter to globalization and the need to spread the cost amongst many consumers. It’s likely that legislatures, captured by globalists will eventually pass laws to prohibit opting our of the “market”. You may eventually be imprisoned in BAU until it’s too late to escape it. Economies of scale investments go broke if their market share is falling. Are the massive investments made by the energy corporations falling because the “market” can no longer afford to support the investment? Why do people want to reverse globalization and the pursuit of economies of scale? Perhaps there is no longer enough net energy being produced to support those thrown from the old production lines, even though the wealthy are doing fabulously well with their large, internationalized corporations that continue to take market share from smaller, less efficient producers.

The current desire to reverse globalization in the face of decreasing net energy and bring the jobs home means that the prices of many products will go up on a per unit basis and therefore the jobs that are imagined to come home will be lost anyway. The products are only viable if they can be sold globally using massive factories at low cost. Already new technology and globalization is losing the race with decreasing net energy. The economies of scale will disappear as incomes decrease and product cannot be sold, even product produced from a globalized, highly automated corporation.

To back away from globalization probably means collapse as many products can only be produced on a globalized scale. To continue globalization in the face of falling net energy results in a huge pool of people without jobs and no means to purchase the “economies of scale” product. Prior to collapse, those owning and running the multinational corporations will likely own most everything, at least before the entire thing collapses by shrinkage of markets and/or net energy.

 

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Economies of scale at work on a North Carolina turkey farm. On Thanksgiving Day we thank God for making humans special {systematic} so we could devise ways to consume and enslave the ecosystem, like these turkeys. But these aren’t the only turkeys. Humans are in some cases just as packed into their little cells, their lives run by clocks, and rewarded with the next shovel-full of crap to be thrown into the trough. I wonder if humans will ever be genetically modified  to work within their cellular/factory environments more pacifically and efficiently. We humans seem to be putting on weight in our enclosures, not unlike the incarcerated livestock we eat.

 

From Investopedia:

Q: How do economies of scale work with globalization?

A: From Sean Ross at Investopedia.

“Globalization – the integration of factors of production and inclusion of consumer groups from different markets around the world – facilitates unprecedented achievements of economies of scale for producers. Access to increased numbers of laborers, investors, markets, resources, technologies and business models through globalization can theoretically maximize productive efficiency to a level consistent with the size of the world’s population.

Economies of Scale

Economies of scale refers to the phenomenon of diminishing marginal costs associated with each additional unit of output. A company experiences economies of scale as it specializes and is able to produce extra goods with fewer and fewer input costs.

According to economic theory, economies of scale are the natural consequence of specialization and the division of labor. It is one of the chief drivers of economic growth. However, firms do not realize economies of scale in perpetuity; there is a maximum level of efficient output for any given inputs, and operations may sometimes extend too far and cause diseconomies of scale.

Globalization

With access to new inputs and potentially more profitable markets, globalization can increase specialization and operational efficiency. The practical consequences of globalization include lower costs to consumers, access to capital for wealthy countries, access to jobs for poorer countries, increased competition and higher global productivity.

As globalization spreads the division of labor to a global scale, countries are able to export labor and production processes that they are relatively less profitable at and instead specialize in labor that is relatively more profitable. This result can be seen in factory jobs being driven out of the United States, which frees up capital for highly technical, highly productive fields such as IT. Companies are able to pursue higher degrees of efficiency and increase their economies of scale.”

 


The economies of scale production works for a while to feed ever expanding expectations of growing populations, but will eventually fail to serve consumers that have little net income and little net energy in world where externalities will be increasing the costs of production.

As temperature extremes become common (over 100F) many chickens will die as will many humans if not kept in an air conditioned environment. Most of our utilities rely upon a economies of scale economics to function. The loss of incomes means unpaid utility bills and disconnects and eventually failing infrastructure from deferral of maintenance. Black-outs and failures of service soon follow.

The reversal of globalization in favor of nationalism is likely to hasten the global economic collapse, even though lack of net energy will eventually do the same thing. Without a renewable, plentiful source of energy and population/consumption controls, the economies of scale of globalization will eventually lose their market share and be unable to cover their fixed costs. Large economies of scale investments will no longer be made as markets shrink.


Barriers

Humans, for the most part, don’t like nature. Nature is seen as slimy, grimy, and infested with predators, parasites and blood thirsty bugs. Since we are organic, slimy, sometimes grimy and as vicious as anything to be found in the wild, why is it we hate and want to escape and oftentimes destroy our natural environment?

It is natural for humans to be adapted to living unaided in the natural world. Our early ancestors such as Homo erectus had no barriers between cellular body and the remainder of the ecosystem, only a relatively thin integument to keep out microscopic invaders and hold in the moisture. What provided the impulse to escape the untoward forces found in the environment, like direct sunlight, rain and predators? Perhaps these were just escape behaviors instilled in the nervous system over many millions of years of evolution, survival of the fittest.Those unable to escape damaging forces died-off, leaving those that slept highest n the trees or deepest in the cave, to survive. The first barriers to these negative forces could be found preformed in the natural environment such as the shade of a tree.

One of the next steps was technological, the adoption of clothing which is essentially a “tool”. Man began assembling, with information still limited to his brain (not recorded) a number of barriers to the outside. Clothing could help maintain temperature in the cold. The use of fire could essentially provide a barrier against parasites, viruses and bacteria along with its digestive, meat-tenderizing capabilities. I can imagine that the original replicating RNA in the cellular realm did the same, creating and accumulating barriers against the negative forces impinging upon it until a complex enclosure was fully formed. In sum total, these retained adaptations would have a cost in implementation but would save energy overall. Cooking food could eliminate the need for an internal feverish fire brought about by multiple rounds of gastroenteritis and could save much energy by eliminating the parasite load.

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Brazilian Headhunters – Amazon

These natives still live close to nature but have primitive technologies including clothing and primitive weapons. This type of natural malevolent head-hunting behavior pushes humans even further into the systematic use of cells, immune system specializations (law and order/prisons/locks on the door) because man is one of the things man fears most. How many people, comfortable in their technologically provisioned cells would like to be thrown back into the jungle with this group? Perhaps this is why gun sales have skyrocketed recently.

As the accumulation of tools and information broadened the scope of exploitable energy and resources, the systematic cellularity gradually emerged in which complex structures separating Homo sapiens from the natural environment could evolve. Man increasingly created barriers to the natural world including the fear instilling darkness with artificial light, foul water with chlorine treatment and other disinfectants, the cold with air conditioning and so on. The human brain/mind had already evolved to erect its own barriers to reality.

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Sitting Bull Family

American Indian family of Sitting Bull in front of a primitive technological cellular structure (teepee). Pushed aside as inferiors, standing in the way of progress which could be fed by rapacious cutting of forests, agriculture, and eventually use of fossil fuels, many people living closer to nature were in the way of the consumption and development process.

Those humans living closer to nature have mostly been eliminated or enclosed in the cellular civilizations. They were probably looked-upon as grubby, grimy organic beings, much inferior to the civilized beings living within advanced systems. Even today the homeless are looked down upon, mostly because they don’t hold jobs within the cells, live within the cells and instead live closer to what remains of the natural environment. They don’t deserve the good things a cell can provide because they don’t work. Little do most self-righteous humans realize that they are working for and within a malignant cancer.

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Homeless man.

Even though people are said to be empathetic, this is not always a good thing. Those living close to nature may be rejected because it makes those living in cells uncomfortable as they imagine themselves so close to nature. Empathy may also lead to helping the homeless find a cell (home) to live in and an RNA job with which to pay for such improvements.

Sometimes technological people want to get back  to nature on a very temporary basis, for old times sake and it usually happens on a weekend and looks like this. Close to nature, but not really. Cool high-tech barriers continue to create a level of separation.

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Since fossil fuels have been utilized the growth in cellularity has been exponential and cancerous with most humans wanting to get into a cell served by the civilizational cancer which consumes practically everything and serves it to the human inhabitants as some sort of comfort within their cells.

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Today we have many humans separated from nature within technological cells and served by the system as they conduct their work as human RNA. All of those barriers are incredibly expensive in energy terms, both to build and to maintain with services. It will eventually fail or spontaneously combust as temperatures climb. In Kuwait this week the temperature reached an Eastern Hemisphere record of 129.4F.  Most humans without their barriers/cells will likely perish in the damaged natural world. For those that survive there may be a devolution back to where it all began. The fossil fuel sun does not rise but once.

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If a devolution were possible we would probably go back to resembling something like this, but this form may already be moving along the technological path even though much of the cerebral cortex and especially the prefrontal cortex are not well developed. Perhaps a tree-living species that has not yet found the usefulness of throwing stones. But evolution is full of dead-ends and at the present moment civilization is headed towards the greatest cul-de-sac in the history of life.

We Need More Growth!

“Bacteria, like all living organisms, grow. The time it takes for a population of bacteria to double in number is called the “growth rate.” The doubling time is a fixed characteristic of each type of bacteria, and it can be used for identification.

Below is a diagram of the bacterial growth curve. When a culture of microorganisms is transferred into a new container for counting, there is an initial “lag phase.” During this period, the bacteria are adjusting to their new surroundings, new food source, and new temperature. They are not yet multiplying in numbers. Then, the “exponential” or “log” phase begins. During this phase of growth, the bacteria are multiplying like mad! They have abundant food and not enough toxins are around to harm them. They make as many new bacterial cells as they can. Eventually, the bacteria run out of room, space, or they have produced toxins that are limiting their growth. This begins the “stationary phase,” during which the bacterial numbers are not really changing. The bacteria are still making new cells, but the same amount are dying as are being made, so the curve is flat. Finally, the number of bacteria dying becomes greater than those being created, and the numbers decline in the “death phase.”

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http://malama.hawaii.edu/teachers/TLunsford/safety/Growth_curve.htm

Typically we will compare the growth of human populations to bacterial growth. They show similar exponential or hockey stick patterns. The the more correct comparison is between bacterial growth and the growth of industrial infrastructure whose main source of energy is fossil fuels. They are however all related in that growth of technological cells accommodates the growth in numbers of human RNA.

In comparison to bacterial growth, the lag phase may be considered a time of “tooling-up” to take advantage of the new energy source. The exponential phase is when all ducks are in a row for utilizing the resources, tools are being made and deployed and exponential growth commences. The stationary phase (about now in the history of human civilization) is when the net energy coming from the resources is inadequate to propel further net growth as forces of entropy in the form of pollution externalities and social/political entropy begin to take a toll. Likewise we will see climate weighing more heavily upon the mass of cells as time goes on. When net energy is no longer obtainable and the forces of entropy are increasing, then the death phase begins. Cellular metabolism stops, repair of damages from the forces of entropy cease and the walls of “order” are breached. For instance, when strong typhoons or hurricanes brought about by climate change devastate a city that, for “financial” reasons, is never rebuilt. Will Syria or Venezuela ever be rebuilt? Probably not.

I was reading Dr. Arnoux’s article on www.cassandralegacy.blogspot.com and found his explanation of a thermodynamic trap very interesting. But it seems that most organisms, supplied with a surfeit of resources would enter the same type of trap, rapidly utilizing stored energy, entering into overshoot and then collapse. Eventually the amount of net energy obtainable would only suffice to make the tools for obtaining the energy and other metabolic necessities and structures like cells walls and active transport would begin to fail, especially with the increased externalities of pollution bearing upon them.

Bacteria behave similarly to humans, using the high Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) energy sources first, because it allows the most rapid reproductive success in a specified time period. After the rich deposits are mined, the bacteria and humans will turn to the next most energy rich resource until either the energy is exhausted or it costs more to make the enzymes than the return from the metabolized energy source. They may not even have a tool in the DNA kit to use. It is reassuring that the human brain has evolved to embody the resource using behaviors found in common bacteria. Note that our cells must remain well-behaved (non-cancerous) so that in totality we may be successful energy/resource gatherers. Human civilizations show similar order and control (morality/cooperation) to enable full utilization of external energy sources. Even within cancer cells there is cooperation that is inherent to the structures of the molecules. They all work together to gain nourishment.

And in light of our impending demise, what are all of the bright and brilliant statesmen and politicians trying to do? Increase growth of course, right there on the stationary part of the curve where there is an overburden of technological cells and human RNA that can probably be counted in the hundreds of millions of cells and billions of human RNA. We may have wonderful libraries of tool schematics (DNA) and we work hard making tools to use in the environment (our petri dish), but we’re not “sapient”, we’re just an agglomeration of cells with a brain that is meant to simulate bacterial growth behavior on a different scale until, like the bacteria, we hit the wall.

 

 

Artificial Stupidity

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Arecibo Observatory – Puerto Rico

Simple Definition of artificial – Merriam-Webster

  • : not natural or real : made, produced, or done to seem like something natural

  • : not happening or existing naturally : created or caused by people

  • : not sincere

    If Artificial Intelligence is not natural, then people are not natural, but I have shown that people are natural, evolving and functioning in a manner similar to the RNA in cells. Intelligence cannot be artificial or not natural because humans are completely natural in their technology ( and also highly destructive and cancerous.)

 

The minions continue to slave away in their factory and office cells, reading the information, making changes, building tools. Their ultimate goal is Artificial Intelligence or AI. They think that this will be as magical as Disney Land with a cornucopia of new knowledge flowing into the coffers of mankind. Fusion plants, solar arrays and workable batteries will spring-up upon the landscape and our problems will be solved because of this new, unimaginable, silicon intelligence. But of course their activities will devolve into competition, and the “robot” society that can rid itself of the necessity of humans will conquer the one that coddles and supports both humans and their environment. This exercise in AI is an exercise in creating stupid-squared. If you are the most intelligent organism on the planet (at least technologically), why create something that is faster, more resilient and more adaptable, that will likely use its abilities to eliminate you. Our advantages so far (being made systematic) have only resulted in a cancerous growth. Do we need cancerous growth squared? And to what purpose?

Perhaps the machines will do what humans cannot. They will watch all humans with scanners as they go to and from their cells, examining their brains for rebelliousness, unapproved pregnancy, fat content, tumors, temperature and eliminate them on the spot with a lethal injection, then process their bodies in the efficient Soylent Green wafer factory. RNA must be controlled in the system, or its tendency to reproduce autonomously will destroy the system. Will the machines believe in God? Will they have a system of morality reserved for similar tribal machines, but conduct war upon other mechanical tribes while paying as much attention to their human component as we pay to our cells? Humans believe that their AI will expand the cornucopia of consumption, but that is not the case, unless of course one nation’s AI eliminates the populations of all other tribes (nations) on earth.

It seems we’re building our own AI prison where we will be scanned, surveilled, evaluated and managed. But alas, this singularity of stupidity will never come about as the pillars of both the ecological system and the technological system are crumbling beneath us.

The Chinese have built the largest radio-telescope in the world to listen for aliens. I’m sure they would like to know how things turn out with the cancerous growth of industrial society. Before their disintegration, it is likely that they will only hear the static of the universe, and if they’re very lucky they will hear a few technological squeaks emanating from some faraway planet whose life has served-up a species that creates and surrounds itself with technological information and tools and lives and works in factory cells. I wonder if we’ll hear them cheer the magnificent growth rates their societies are experiencing before they fall silent.

Perhaps the machines will one day have their own 4th of July holiday marking their independence from the humans and have EMP fireworks just to titillate the circuitry. Maybe, maybe, maybe, not.