Opossum playing dead.
Like RNA within their cells, humans keep their heads down and pound away at their work, providing their own small contribution to the larger organism. Not a one of the cellular RNA knows to what they belong or where they’re going, but each works until they’re worn out and are replaced by another. The nourishment arrives via the distribution channels, the products are made, and life goes on as long as the system holds together. Information is used and exchanged between cells by molecular messaging and a commerce exists throughout the body. The brain has evolved and is supported to see and react to the outside world, species that may be captured and consumed, and the potential dangers to homeostasis. Prey organisms are killed, torn apart, chewed-up and sent inside for acidic digestion before billions of little villi comb through the contents to extract what is needed by the system.
The human society likewise is composed of myopic individuals concerned primarily with their job, making money, working successfully within the extant technological metabolism. Some may even claim ownership of the cell (factory) in which they work. The materials arrive, are processed, and are then sent out to be used somewhere in the system. Organisms depend upon their brains which provide appraisals of the outside world. If the brain is somehow inadequate or unlucky, the system starves or dies, the distribution of glucose and oxygen stop, wastes build-up as digestive enzymes escape their vacuoles and the whole organism begins to melt down.
Humans have evolved to become an RNA-equivalent component in complex adaptive system II. They pretty much keep their heads down, specialize in a particular job and rarely get a good picture of reality beyond their local environment. Instead they rely upon government and especially a President to function as the brain, the entity that knows and interacts with the world at large, the entity charged with the responsibility of acquiring nutrition from the environment for the technological body while protecting it from predation and other potential threats to life. I think it is here that we run into a problem in that the politicians elected to office are elected mostly by an population that knows little about the outside world, being interested mostly in jobs, money and intratribal morality. The politicians elected to be the “brain” are not often those with a wide perspective, but rather are reflections of the shallow minds that elected them.
Ominously, the result is a constant politically motivated effort to increase the size of the cancerous technological growth, thereby providing jobs and nutrition to the malignancy while completely ignoring the eventual lethal consequences. It’s as if hunger messages are being transmitted to the brain by the cellular sub-components (hungry, eat more) and the brain must respond to the pain, so the politicians send their oil companies into the Arctic looking for more food or build roads to nowhere. Like a hungry opossum waddling onto a road to eat road kill at night, hunger overwhelms caution and good sense with catastrophic results.
Humans are represented by “brains” no wiser than the opossum brain. We can’t stop feasting on the fossil fuels and ecosystem because there’s pressure/hunger emanating from the populace below, and yet the car headlights are approaching fast. The opossum’s brain dismisses the information because eliminating the hunger now is far more important than anything in the distant mist that could happen in twenty seconds. SMACK. I would encourage all humans busily doing their jobs to stop for moment and realize that they will eventually get SMACKED because their techno-system brain tissue (government) is ignoring the long-term threats to human survival.
You may wonder how a technological cancer can possess specialized functions and organization. Human civilizations are organizing in a manner similar to the way cellular organisms came into being, with some differences mostly due to scale. However, the human traits that evolved in human complex adaptive system I (DNA) that resulted in putting us back in the RNA role (neocortex, language, hands), have also delimited our natural appetites and allowed us to grow exponentially within the ecosystem, thereby poisoning and destroying it. Tribalism and nationhood are simply a form of speciation or quasi-speciation within CAS II, a state of affairs that, if it continues much longer, will result in mutual assured destruction.
Nationalism leads to rapid annihilation either by sudden attack and retaliation or simply by continuation of a technological arms race that throws caution to the wind in the contest to stay on top. Humans and the ecosystem become losers. There are no winners.