Monday, October 26, 2020

The Body Politic

 Complex Life Forms,

  How do living ecosystems on Earth organize? We know a lot of details, and we get hints that the mycorrhizal fungal networks connecting the roots of forest trees are a living communications and resource sharing network.
  We may personally know the experience of serendipity, and of synchronicity in our lives, but the alternative hypothesis, that it was just chance, can't be disproven to others. 
  I believe that I can know a level of "transpersonal" connection to life and "universal mind", but I don't think I can convince you in writing, nor should you be convinced by the related experiences of another. (You might be spurred to consideration and to self-investigation.)
 There is no "objectivity". Objectivity is a useful construct, but it's just a construct. Observing "reality" forms it. It's not formed without observation. All observations influence the process they observe, and its outcomes. In a mundane way, all information has a cost, and is shaped by the priorities and mechanisms of its funding.
  What is the cost of a mycorrhizal network, and how is it paid? "Root fungi" form extended organisms, connecting tree roots near and far, of similar and dissimiar types. The roots give out nutrients that feed the fungal network, and the network provides information, such as the approach of bark-beetles, so that a tree might prepare noxious chemicals within itself to deter them. We can get our conceptual heads around this, and see how the investment in this symbiotic relationship benefits all the participating life forms.
  What we observe lately, in the workings of human political economy, is the promise to engage symbiotically, while the fungal network actually completely digests the smaller trees and bushes in  the forest. This can be good for the fungal network, until it is catastrophic.
  We are "shrubberies" in this model, maybe toadstools.
  We are not so connected by pheromones as ants, bees and wasps are, but are we connected through a neural network of mind? Are we bioreceivers with smartphone minds? Just askin'
Ever know something and act upon it, then realize you had no particular way to know it? Maybe not.
Ever know something before it happened? "Deja vu"; is it just a feeling, always?

  Bear with me, if you would, in considering how things might play out if living systems work in coordination to advance the complexity and abundance of contributing life forms over the long term.
  We are a species that coordinates actions in space and time, through symbolic modeling and communication, even across centuries. We are highly social, highly cooperative. We are currently the ultimate apex predator, shaping all of the global ecosystems, and knitting them together.
  Yeah, and currently sterilizing them through fire and fossil fuels, mined minerals, and fossil water.
This is a passing phase. We can model that. We see that the models all say that we can pull up coal, oil, natural gas, water and ores until the fuels run too low to keep the complex mining economy intact and operational. Then that will stop, and it will be hard to do it at all, because we got all of the easy stuff first, and the machines to get the deeper, lower quality stuff, are now broken.
  What if that's not "bad"? Might this serve the complexity of planetary living systems? We are bringing up carbon and water to the surface, where life thrives. Life needs carbon and water. There was no other particular way that stuff was going to get into living ecosystems. We might do as much of that job as we can ever do pretty soon, since we've built up such vast machinery at this point.
  Maybe this is that old argument that, "we live in the best of all possible worlds".
  Do we have any agency? I feel like I have agency, but I feel differently about it than "I" did 30 years ago, and that was different from 40 years ago, and so on. I feel a tremendously broader agency and responsibility to and stewardship towards planetary life than I did before. I sure felt responsible to nurture and protect my kids, but that is now very broadly generalized. It's not diffused, but broadly generalized. Solving problems at each level of life-organization is wickedly booting me up to broader responsibility, which I never sought. I wanted local solutions, weather the storm in a lifeboat, but I kept getting whacked by the broader picture, the inter-relatedness of it all.
  i didn't mean to sign up for this, but here I seem to be, growing 3 vegetable gardens, expanding every winter, testing and treating people for what sickens their bodies and minds, riding a bike, being a husband, father and grandfather, caring, asking for guidance...

  So, I ask, "What is the body-politic?"
  One of the first things we learn when studying our minds is that there are all these secret decision and perception pathways, that actually make us want stuff and do stuff, and the/wey are not what we thought, "friends" and "enemies". Those are archetypes, a secret pattern language in our brains and bodies.
  Carl Jung got to this point of inherent human neural patterns, to which we fit our lives and experiences, and the broad similarity of these patterns in human organisms. He saw the implied resonances of common worldview, common experiences, cooperative benefits for survival, and the variability within those patterns.
  We have come to the apogee of species success. Here we stand, ready to make ourselves extinct all at once, through this vast miracle of cooperative endeavor. We are aided, this time, by the windfall inheritance of vast fossil fuel energy. Is this completely different? We have, as smaller groups (though still vast, sometimes) faced this impasse of final success before, again and again, sometimes surviving to rebuild.
  Do we have any species failsafes? Can we postulate something on the fly, which might already exist, to save us from our ultimate success?
  I ask a pretty feeble question. It's the question I inherently face. So do we all. I am my own probe into the nature of reality, and this will probably go better if there is a mycelium of benevolent living consciousness to direct me to beneficial roles I might play for the whole super-organism.
  I am stuck with the assumption that any such broad consciousness, into which I may integrate somewhat, and from which I may take guidance, has been around so long that it intends to keep being around.
  That's as far as postulates seem to take me. What does that mean for our current moment in politics, if anything? What should we best do today?
  How should we cooperate for the common good, when most of the channels of communication and control seem to be controlled by a parasitic class, which forms an amplified microcosm of the very same questions I ask myself in your presence today?

Charles Hugh Smith:
​  ​What few seem to realize is all the supposedly rock-solid permanent foundations of life are nothing more than fragile social constructs based on trust and legitimacy. Once trust and legitimacy have been lost, these constructs melt into the sands of time.
​  ​A great many things we take for granted are fragile constructs that could unravel with surprising speed: law enforcement, the courts, elections, the value of our currency-- these are all social constructs. Once legitimacy is lost, people abandon these constructs and they melt away.
​  ​It's clear to anyone who isn't indulging in magical nostalgia that trust in institutions is in a steep decline as the legitimacy of these institutions, public and private, have been eroded by incompetence, corruption, dysfunction and the rapacious self-interest of insiders.
​  ​What we've gotten very good at is masking the rot and fragility. Masking the rot and fragility is not the same thing as strength or permanence. The nation is about to discover the difference in the years ahead.

  ​The Federal Reserve System has a plan to save us from the long term side effects of the Federal Reserve System, which have impoverished society as a whole, while multiplying the wealth and power of those who are members of the system, and share it's benefits.
  The Fed will create digital money, and give it to you, and track every transaction, and it can take money or participants out of this system at any time, as well as putting them into the system. It will require a vast, global communications and confirmation network to function.
  What could go wrong? For whom?​ Under what circumstances? What might be the next fix, if any?

Jonathan Cook: Capitalism is double-billing us: we pay from our wallets only for our future to be stolen from us
​  ​Here is a word that risks deterring you from reading on much further, even though it may hold the key to understanding why we are in such a terrible political, economic and social mess. That word is “externalities”.
​  ​It sounds like a piece of economic jargon. It is a piece of economic jargon. But it is also the foundation stone on which the west’s current economic and ideological system has been built. Focusing on how externalities work and how they have come to dominate every sphere of our lives is to understand how we are destroying our planet...

Matt Taibbi on accelerating mass censorship, to create only the preferred narrative in all minds. Thanks Marjorie.
​  ​As has been hinted at by several prominent journalists, controversies erupted within newsrooms across New York and Washington in the last week. Editors have been telling charges that any effort to determine whether or not the Biden laptop material is true, or to ask the Biden campaign to confirm or deny the story, will either not be allowed or put through heightened fact-checking procedures.
​  ​On the other hand, if you want to assert without any evidence at all that the New York Post story is Russian interference, you can essentially go straight into print.

​  ​At considerable personal risk, former Biden family business partners Tony Bobulinski and Bevan Cooney, and computer shop owner John Paul​  ​ Mac Isaac, have come forward with tens of thousands of primary-source documents — internal corporate records, emails, and text messages — detailing years of business dealings that centered on trading on the Biden name. This material suggests that, despite Joe Biden’s insistence that he knew nothing about his family’s business deals, he was well aware of his son Hunter Biden’s business ventures in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere.

​{China is the main and rising competitor to the Western empire. China remembers the Opium Wars. All's fair, especially bribes.)
  Comprehensive National Power is a dominant framework in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) view of the world. CCP think tanks and organizations use it to shape policies and gauge success...
  For us in the West, concepts like ‘national power’ are subjective vague concepts. The [Chinese Communist Party is] obsessed with engineering and calculating everything and believe that all issues can be reduced to numbers and algorithms. This is what they mean when they euphemistically refer to ‘scientific approaches.’”...
   In an October 21 article for Foreign Affairs, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien detailed some of the many ways Beijing is trying to advance its CNP. They include intellectual property theft, co-opting international organization, using fishing boats for military action, hostage diplomacy, coercive economic policies, use and intimidation of Chinese nationals overseas to advance China’s interests, infiltrating and corrupting foreign education systems, debt traps, bribery, blurring the lines between state, commercial and military activities, and more...
[better late than never?] “President Trump is also the first to have seriously tightened up on Chinese investment and acquisitions – to include of advanced technologies – in the USA. Trump has gone after Huawei and ZTE, major Chinese telecom companies that were both trade cheats, but also operate as extensions of Chinese intelligence surveillance.”   

If Trump actually assumes power after this election (negotiating now with Nancy, i think), then he will need to consolidate power promptly, openly and decisively. He will keep having to prove this to foreign heads of state, because no US president has really been a head of state since Dick Cheney. There has been no executive, with which to fruitfully negotiate, just the blob/Borg.
  If President Trump wins re-election, he'll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who've discussed these officials' fates with the president tell Axios.

 Ha​rdworking​ Mushroom
​(pictured broadforking bed for banana grove yesterday, this winter's project)​


  1. Lots to think about here.

    Our elections went mostly without comment here somewhat due to the nasty personality of the leader of the opposition.

    BTW I'm also a fossil from 1958 :)

    viv in nz

    1. Hi Viv. I missed this last weekend. We liked New Zealand when we bike toured around the South Island January-February 2006. It was lots of riding for a family of 6. Nice country.