Monthly Archives: January 2020

Our Social Past and Future

Were All In This Together

 

We are biological- social creatures far more so than we are logical. Like fish that school, we humans (generally speaking) are wired to nest ourselves in the context of a group, either as a well protected internal organ, or as the skin which relates to the outside world, but acts to nourish and-or defend the coherency of the group. Our biological wiring is so dedicated to this grouping task that our perception faculties are heavily biased toward what is useful over what is accurate. Most of us will sacrifice accuracy on the alter of belonging to a group every day of the week without even thinking about or recognizing it for what it is.

If we unpack the behavioral implications of our inborn social traits at a group level, we see the ritual displays we make to demonstrate our affinity to a group need somewhere to go and somewhere to grow. We seek some identification of “group self” as well as some contrasting social ground to define our group self from group other. As a result, many of us search for the boundary between “self” and “other”, probing the social landscape and attempt to “eat” the “other” as food with our superior ideas.

Never mind the ideas we hold are tokens of belonging far more than fact – they are far more holey than they are holy, we simply shrink or expand their value as necessary to fit the narrative that our group is the only true and right one. We even sometimes call the process of ritual selfing “owning” the other side. This illustrates what the actual act is – a symbolic embodiment of our biological nature; that must eat things to live. It is a perfectly normal outcropping of our social nature deeply rooted in the necessities of being in the context of the environment coupled with the current zeitgeist of ideas.

Marketers hijack these innate tendencies toward belonging in an attempt to build emotional connections between us and logos so the goop inside the packaging has more perceived value. And it works.

Thought stopping clichés are one of the benchmarks of ideas being used as social currency, not as agents of expanding our knowledge base. We diminish or increase the value of whatever ideas we encounter so that it is bent into whatever serves the group. This is why bureaucracies or social movements, once established, tend more to their preservation as they age than they do to working out whatever was in their charter. Whether or not the ideas we hold correspond to factual reality or sensible actions devoted to our common wealth or not is secondary to their value as a bonding agent – defending the coherency of the group. We are in effect groupies. If someone comes along behaving with an affinity to accuracy that differs with what serves group affinity, they are not thanked. They are either passively marginalized, or if they become influential, actively marginalized or neutralized by whatever means necessary.

There is no doubt that overcoming the limitations and mindsets of our small tribal roots is of benefit. In fact, it is arguably a necessary component of navigating the future we are unavoidably moving into. This doesn’t mean it is easy. We swim in the same pond and what we do influences our common experience. This fact carries with it an ever greater weight today than compared to the requirements of living within the threshold of uncultivated nature, waiting for her to deliver a capricious bounty. Somewhere in the depths of history we crossed a threshold to a point where we need each other in ways that cross the former boundaries of smallish tribes. Finding our footing on these untrodden grounds may not be easy, but it’s worth it.
I could be missing something(s)

cr-fzu8ucaa-hli

 

Fish Schooling

The Origin of Meaning and Purpose

Old vintage typewriter

The same way we woke up from verbal oblivion as children into a ongoing story, we also did so as a species. We drape our abstract symbols in the form of words and stories over an already ongoing story expressed through nature. Nature is a meaningful communication. As natural expressions of nature we are also expressions of this meaning and we also express meaning. In other words; we are made in the image of nature. Completely amazing perhaps, yet rather mundane at the same time.

As I understand it, the common thread running through all coherent structures in nature is built on the necessary operating principle of behaviors that nourish and defend the integrity of the structure in the context of a variable environment that has both nourishing and antagonistic aspects to it. In other words; there is a necessity of purposeful behaviors that must serve to proportionally nourish and defend coherence in order for a coherent object to exist in nature. This theme is what defines our nature by necessity. Our nature is built on a “nourish and defend in the context of the environment” theme, otherwise we would not exist.

We had to negotiate remaining coherent in the context of a variable environment which contained intermittent nourishment and various antagonists. This is our history, and the story of every coherent entity in nature. This “nourishing and defending” behavioral trait is the essence on which we build our meaning architecture. It is what our verbal language is built on. We build low resolution abstract maps that stand in for what is expressed through nature the same way we use the arbitrary word “stone” as an abstract stand in for a class of objects that could have any name. Various languages have different symbols, but our common object source – nature – is the same. This is where the transcendent theme of meaning infuses all linguistic forms. Even though we use different superficial symbols, we have a common source from which we build our abstract meaning architecture.

Loosely speaking, we translate what is communicated through the object “nature” into subject form. We see this expressed in the form of the various words, stories and rituals we act out that become cyclic parts of our individual and cultural identity. Like the spherical cells that build our organs of various form, our ideas form the abstract monuments to this necessary nourish and defend theme that is communicated through nature. Verbal language is the way we frame nature in an symbolic map form. Our maps of meaning represent the territory we must negotiate in order to nourish and defend ourselves over time. This map – this story representing nature – was formed on the object “nature” which was already an encoded form of an ongoing story long before we began decoding it into verbal abstract maps.

Nature communicates meaning by way of objects in relationship with each other. We are in a discovery process of this undercurrent of meaning expressed through nature, even if we are unaware of it because we’re lost in our maps – lost in our own little words. We are a reflected image of the inherent value propositions expressed by nature – the proposition of nourish and defend coherency that exists by necessity and defines every coherent collection of relationships – This proposition is; relationships that exist over time are those that contribute some nourishment and-or defensive value to serve the coherency of the whole object in the context of the larger variable environment. Atoms, planets, stars and galaxies are expressions of this nourish and-or defend necessity, as are organisms.

One of the expressions of this necessary devotion to coherency we see in ourselves is that we must now cultivate the garden that feeds us, otherwise we starve. Natures uncultivated carrying capacity can not support our current population levels. As a result, we must become active participants in cultivating this thing that sustains us. Our values and behaviors must support “fruitful” activities. The necessity of behavior and organizational structure varies by context, but must follow this common root theme. “Nourish and defend coherency” is the grammar on which all language is built.

Our human sociality and various other biological drives, along with language and other forms of memorizing the map of the territory we must negotiate all exist in service of coherence. Breathing, hunger, digestion, our innate reactions to things and all other biologically expressed drives are aligned around this central theme. What we call meaning is an intuitive capacity to capture the ongoing story already expressed by nature in the form of an abstract map. We then nourish and defend our map as part of the same natural inclination to nourish and defend.

The things we are attracted to and repulsed by, and all behavioral expressions we act out are either directly or indirectly are variations on this nourish and defend theme – we are players in the story as long as we attend to this nourish and defend theme in the context of the environment. If we lose our way – if we lose our capacity to nourish and defend coherency in the context of the environment, we are swallowed by something else that does it better. Nature is on a relentless path toward greater coherency. Whether our biological form is transitory or whether it will continue to develop over time as part of the ongoing story depends on whether we are organized around the necessity to proportionally nourish and defend our coherency in the context of the variables of the environment.

Nature’s range of propositions about how to contend with the realities of remaining coherent exist on spectrum between bloody and bloodier. Nature is not a spectrum of propositions that exist between perfect and imperfect. All acts in service of coherence have a “sacrifice” component to them. We must sacrifice ourselves to the next generation as the next generation must sacrifice itself to the community and so on. Coherent entities must act in specific ways to negotiate any antagonistic pulls toward chaos with proportional behaviors or properties in order to continue.

For us as individuals, finding some nourishing and or protective value to contribute to the larger relationship economy that we live in and depend on is what our biological drives are all about. If we align ourselves with this we will have a meaningful life. If we do not, we will live dissatisfied no matter how many trinkets we acquire.

We are expressions of biological and social systems oriented around nourishment and defense, but we also see this expressed in many various forms throughout nature, including microorganisms, which contend with the same propositions on a micro scale that we do on a macro scale. It is a nested architecture built on a common theme with an infinite variety of possible variations – just like every language is a finite set of symbols that can form an infinite variety of meaning – that can call order from chaos. We appear to be expressions of this common theme.

I could be missing something(s)

To Save Others, Bacteria Can Self-Destruct When Infected by a Virus

https://www.labroots.com/trending/cell-and-molecular-biology/16561/save-others-bacteria-self-destruct-infected-virus