Whirlpool Galaxy – “Humans are great! Because we reduce fossil fuels to waste. Is anyone listening out there?”
The typical wealth seeking human RNA has traditionally wanted to own one or more cells involved in the metabolism of the cancer, the more cells owned the better. Each cell is an enclosure for some variety of technological metabolism in which energy and resources are worked by tools to produce a product useful or desired by some part of the overall system. The idea is to derive a salary, pay for the improvements (tools, real estate, structures) and skim a profit or net cash flow from the overall activity of the cell. Some people will buy many houses and rent them, slowly paying-off the mortgage while others invest in multifamily structures allowing the renters to retire the loans. Some will start a business and create cash flow by providing some type of service. At the end of the term of the loan the improvements can be sold in some depreciated condition. The motivation is to generate as much profit from the cell and grow as many cells as possible to meet the desire for the metabolic product.
The economy resembles the cellular cooperation that occurs within an organism with metabolic products, oxygen, nutrients and wastes moving along numerous distribution channels, the entire operation supported by the primary production or predatory abilities of the system. Nationalism or tribalism is the mechanism by which cooperation is enabled. Imagine each cell in your body inscribed with a surface marker “pledge of allegiance” allowing the immune system to differentiate self from non-self. Likewise, shared identity and/or language in nations seem to provide a cohesiveness. But what happens one system (technology) emerges from the another system (ecosystem) and begins to grow exponentially using the parent system as fodder for it’s growth? The RNA within the technological system are wholly involved in their competitions with other technological entities and seem oblivious unconcerned with the destruction of the ecosystem to which they actually belong.
Most RNA humans never “invest” in the cancer except perhaps by purchasing small numbers of stock shares whose value fluctuates with growth and profits. Their salaries are limited to the range of motions and behaviors they can accomplish within the cells for a wage. The entirety of growth depends upon the total amount of net energy available to the system. If the total amount of primary production energy falls, so does the overall size of the economy and associated complexity. The technological cancer has been growing larger and larger for many thousands of years, especially accelerating with the advent of burning of fossil fuels. Cells appear, grow, some die, others replace them in a steady progression. However, when the amount of net energy begins to fall, the past is no guide to the future. Many cellular investments, counting on growth in energy, resource and consumers, will never generate enough business to repay their loans. As time goes on, even long-established cells will fail metabolically. This will put many human RNA out of work without any chance of finding new opportunity. Chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Wal-Mart having already put many less sophisticated cells out of business, but will not be immune from the overall contraction of the economy.
Humans have commonly made a mistake in believing that simply by building more cells, more energy and resources would come out of the ground, but in the new austere environment any boondoggle of a project will not pull more energy from the ground, but will deprive existing cells of already scarce energy, making matters worse. A zero sum economy exists where any “growth” diverts energy from supporting the extant metabolism thereby killing cells dependent on those resources. Building one million new cells would likely kill-off one million older cells without any net gain of well-being. As competition for metabolic inputs becomes more intense there may ensue internal conflict which will only hasten the demise of the system.
New products from new cell lines will have to be packed with dopamine, take advantage of economies of scale, wage arbitrage, or simply be much more efficient in its metabolic processes (automation). Apple Computer Company certainly uses these strategies. Even with these strategies, these successful cell lines may shrink while other less competitive ones are wiped-out. Each cell line will be desperate to keep a flow of resources and energy going through their metabolic processes. The age of “getting rich” will soon give way to the “age of survival” to be followed by metabolic collapse as primary energy production falls precipitously and/or climate disruption interferes with the flow of resources into the technological cells and/or the general health of the operational human RNA.
All of civilization, from its highest art to its most complex technologies are simply conduits or end-products in the reductioin of resource/energy gradients to heat and associated waste. In the technological system the conduits or products are designed to fulfill the dopamine/opioid needs of humans which evolved to guide their behaviors in the ecosystem. If ants were using technology, their conduits, art and entertainment would undoubtedly be much different, but serve the same basic purpose of degrading energy and resource inputs. The complexity of the conduits and whether they were built by technological humans, some other species, or cells is of no importance as long as they facilitate the flow of energy. Life and complexity are likely microscopic gyres at the edge of a great river flowing in the Universe, unnoticed by anyone or anything, producing detritus of fossils and artifacts never to be discovered, eventually to be totally consumed by greater forces. This is more likely than the opioid induced dreams of grandeur that prevail in the minds of the neoplastic humans.