Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fading in Spirals

My son, who's in the third grade, has a project to complete by the beginning of November. He has to;

1. Write a paper

2. Make a presentation

3. Construct a diorama

Explaining his understanding of the plight of an endangered species.

On his own, he selected the blue whale as the subject of his meditation.


When I was his age, I clearly recollect being inordinately fascinated by blue whales. Funny how the spirals dictate certain tendencies across generations. As I helped him organize his information gathering approach yesterday afternoon - I was reminded of an article I read a while back on the organelle website.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to explore organelle. It is easily one of the most thought provoking and substantively rewarding sites on the public Internet.

From an ant’s-eye view, Nature is the domain of gods and giants — universes of incredibly alien diversity are everywhere appearing — at scales local and distant in size. At the ant’s scale, terrain is thousands or millions of times vaster than ours, time is different — everything shifts in relation our scale, speed and attitudes of approach. Much of what might be sensed as nearby motion harbors danger of injury, predation or crushing.


The world of Life as seen from the ant’s scale, contains vast catalogues of participants of enormous size. Some of these creatures feed upon ants. But there is a single creature that does something literally unlike with Life, as a general biocognitive momentum. This creature exterminates ants, and builds artifacts which change their biological, cognitive and experiential universe in bizarre and often deadly ways.

Let us switch scales to the large. From the perspective of a blue whale, most of the universe of life is small, or even tiny. Yet again, there are universes organized by the small (humans) which are embodied specifically to eliminate

The primary expression of human relationship with whales is not predation — predation is something that we can observe in many scales of living symmetry — it is instead extermination, something that happens only with technologies of knowing and their mechanized or industrial artifacts and metaphors. The most serious threat to each of the species at risk or erased by human behavior is virtual, arising in our cognition, and flowering in our activity. At the core of these momentums are simple models of value couched in metaphoric relationships between tokens. For the whales, these tokens have proven deadly, and almost exterminative.

If animals use representational systems of knowing, however different from our own they may be, we can be fairly certain that they are wondering what went wrong with the monkey-people. They are probably desperately hoping that they do not succumb to the same fate, or fall victim to one of the many bizarre machine-rituals which the monkey-people are constantly at labors to elaborate and support. Somehow, our species has earned the dubious distinction of becoming the authors or parents of mere systems of relation, which result in life-eating machines that exhibit a terrifying mimicry of part of Life’s reproductive agenda. These are irreal constructs, which functionally demand and obtain authority over real living organisms, and their natural symmetries of scale. Instead of using their own energies and resources for reproduction, they use the biosphere’s, as well as the living forms, activities, and resources of its children. They are virtual tyrants

Our species’ dances with the tokenization of our relationships and connectivities with our world is costing the living planet its future, and this cost extends deeply into the terrains of our human minds, and our individual lives, in ways we may not yet see as obvious, yet which are consistently expressed in each moment of our own biocognitive activity, experience and elaboration.

In humans and our societies, the containers of such tokens are alive, and thus, the tokens we choose come to life, informed by the abilities and potentials of the animalian consciousness which contains and transports them. When we empower mechanized tokens over those which are more inclusive and flexible, we end up with a devastating cost, which grows geometrically over time, and is expressed in atrocity, and the mutilation of people, cultures, ecosystems, and our planet.

Living planets do not build or support machines — their domains of expression are chemistry, uniqueness, biology and cognition. Earth is unlikely (at best) to be found forcing the expenditure of irreplaceable resources in order to specifically torture or erase her children (which are her body and mind), or whole domains of related children for the sake of a few briefly embodied machines. Yet one of her children is doing this .

Earth, and most of her children, creatively generate universes of living cognitive jewels each instant, at countless billions of scales. She’s been doing this, purportedly, for at least a thousand million years. Machines are not her game. Children are. When we value machines over children, we’re paying predators of our own creation to erase us, and our world.
whales, and these momentums have nearly succeeded. This would be something like rats organizing themselves into collectives who variously persecuted and exterminated humans from airships of 2 to 3 times our size or smaller.

We might observe that we relate with flat maps cognitively in a way that results in a species of inward machines, which tend, over time, to result in outward machines. Once these are thoroughly entrenched, they form a kind of expanding catastrophe-clock. Given time and resources, they will erase a living planet, and their living parents. As time progresses, due to their effects of presence upon the organisms who created them, this circumstance will increase geometrically in two domains: velocity of expansion, and deniability. The presence of machines literally breaks the minds of organismal sentience-networks — with noise, or by essentially replacing living connectivity with mechanized (co-opted) transports which mimic what they replaced.

Such a process grows less obvious to its host in a geometric spiral — partially because it first co-opts the organismal features required to detect or resolve the circumstances correctly much in the way an auto-immune disorder may create a structural breakdown in the system in place to defend against it.
Cultures are like species, as well. Some are predators, some are prey. Many are endangered, and many have been permanently lost. “I think cultures are kinds of virtual realities where whole populations of people become imprisoned inside a structure which is linguistic and value-based.”