Deceptively Simple

 

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Fresh RNA for the technological system.

In metazoan cancer a certain cell line may escape detection and elimination by the immune system and cellular competition. Technological systems work in much the same way, by competition, in which less than competitive cellular elements or businesses are eliminated in favor of the most effective and efficient. Are there cancers within technological civilizations that can potentially destroy it? Yes, any growth or usurping of energy and material that promotes exponential growth that does not contribute to the well-being of the system overall is cancerous. That is why human civilization has evolved structures and organization such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Labor Relations Board, and antitrust regulations and others, to make sure no one cell line (business line) overtakes the entire complex structure, demands inordinate rents and behaves in a way detrimental to the overall system.

I’ve defined the relationship between the ecosystem and technological civilization as being one of malignancy due to the enabling of uncontrolled exponential growth of one system at the expense of another and complex adaptive system II (technological) being derived from complex adaptive system I (ecosystem). Can a cancer emerge within the ecosystem, a species that can becomes so successful so as to eat all others and cause death of the system? This is not likely without additional transformations (technology) because all species mutate at about the same rate and one successful species is soon reduced in number by evolving predators. Additionally, specialization in organ systems prevents any one species from becoming the master of all trades necessary to gorge upon a wide variety of species.

Since humans could not evolve all the organs necessary to essentially eat the entirety of the ecosystem, there was only one way for a cancer to arise and that was for an organism to become a part of a new. complex adaptive system. Humans in cellular form are limited to their cellular structures, brains, teeth and hands, but by becoming the RNA within a new complex adaptive system, they escaped the cellular limitations and created an immense diversity of tools to break into almost any source of nourishment. From dead pools of oil, to seams of coal, to forests, to great fish stocks, nothing could resist the tools that could rapidly evolve within the design and engineering processes of industrial civilization. Body form evolution in the organic world requires orders of magnitude more time.

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New domicile cells being built to house additional human RNA.

What we have garnered from using these new technological tools is an increase in the human lifespan and survival. Populations have exploded. Each person must be incorporated into the technological system with a job and new domicile cells must be built to house them. The new cells must be equipped with utilities, appliances, carpets and so on, and new factories are built to supply them. Products are circulated amongst the various technological cell lines. Organic cells in contrast can produce most everything they need, but also share product with other cell lines. Products circulate amongst the different tissues of the technological body and growth ensues, seemingly without limitation.

Organisms – cells – cancerous cells

Technological society – factories/businesses – entities whose malignant growth damages fitness of society

Not only can human and other organisms be host to metastatic cancer, but technological societies can also be host to internal cancerous entities that damage their ability to survive. Some would consider the military/industrial complex to be a cancer upon technological society diverting enough resources and producing enough toxic waste to easily qualify. Also promoting exponential growth is the uncontrolled proliferation of RNA within the society, each of which must be incorporated.

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I’m not sure these men have a clue. I will put my 86 billion neurons and 500 trillion synapses up against their 51,200 cores any day. This seems to be just another money-making exercise. When will their computing power model the malignancy of technological civilization and create a plan to shut it down or control it?

The competitive growth imperative within technological society and in competition with other quasi-speciated societies (arms race), results in immense and irreversible damage to the ecosystem. The logic of competition within the economies of technological societies pays no consideration to the damages inflicted upon the ecosystem which maintain the life sustaining environment for technological RNA.

In conclusion, an organism can develop a cancer from its constituent cells and a technological society can develop a cancer within its cell lines of factories/businesses. The fact that humans, a key component of complex adaptive system II (technological) must obtain nutrition from the complex adaptive system I (ecosystem) and grow within ecosystem’s tissues, qualifies humans and the entire technological adaptive system (CAS II) as a malignant cancer, a voracious technological/organic chimera, feeding upon and destroying the organic ecosystem through the naturally competitive processes (evolutionary arms races) inherent to complex adaptive systems.