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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Science and technology myth

We have been entranced over the years with myths.They tend to add spice to our lives as we spread the around amongst our friends. They can be quite entertaining. But they can also cause a lot of problems.

The biggest myth has been around for centuries  It is the myth that science and technology (S&T) can create things and systems useful to society. You may say that is not a myth as you think of the numerous items that science and technology has produced. That is right. S&T has produced a bewildering array of systems, devices and services - by employing natural forces to irreversibly use some of the limited natural material resources. S&T has not created any material thing The only thing it has created is the anthropocentric illusion that humans can control the erection, operation and maintenance of the temporary edifice of civilization and the provision of natural services.

Ironically, as structural problems emerge, the powerful in society vainly urge the use of S&T to solve the problems that S&T has produced. They want S&T to chase its tail!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reality 101

Gaia has accumulated an amazing range of biodiversity, geodiversity and stored natural resources over eons with the help of input of energy from the Sun and the operation of natural forces. The hydrological (water) and other cycles has aided the slowly increasing order in the eco systems.

That was the reality for ages. Then Homo sapiens learned how to use some natural forces to consume a proportion of Gaia's bounty to create the gigantic temporary organism, Tityas, that produces the services on which society has become dependent. That is the new reality. But this consumption process is not sustainable. The Anthropocene era will inevitably end this century. Gaia will continue to slowly evolve after recovering from Tityas' damaging operations while surviving Homo sapiens relearn how to cope with what remains of Gaia's bounty.

Spurious wealth

Many people around the globe delight in the apparent wealth  that has been generated by the systems of civilization, particularly in recent times. Eastern countries are now emulating the West. The population enjoying a high material standard of living is growing exponentially. Cites are springing up in many regions. Car, airliner and container vessel production is reaching plague proportions.

This wealth is spurious. It comes at the cost of devastation of the long-established natural wealth. Society does not take the irreversible consequence of this devastation into account in considering future prospects. Concerned people note the decline of numerous natural resources, including oil. Others note what has happened to biodiversity and the deleterious impact. The extinction of many species has occasioned a little remedial action. The pollution of land, sea, air and its effect on human health is causing some concern and a little action. This includes vain attempts to slow down irreversible, rapid climate change. Few, however, connect the dots to provide understanding of what the operations of civilization is doing to the natural wealth.

This delusion cannot continue as natural forces continue to degrade the structures of civilization. That is the output side of the equation, the consequences of operations. The other side of the equation is the unsustainable input of natural resources.

The demise of the spurious tangible, materialistic wealth of civilization is certain. The nebulous, intangible financial wealth will dissipate. The current nebulous comments on the volatility of finances of EU countries is but a prelude to the chaos to come. And the masses will bewildered as their hard won savings lose worth.

Denis Frith

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The two worlds - Myopia and Real

It is fascinating that what is happening in the operation of civilization depends very much upon perceptions. These differ so much that it would appear to a detached observer, such as Laprin, that there are two worlds. Myopia is the world as perceived by humans and their perceptions govern the decisions they make. Real is the world in which natural forces have always determined what happens - and always will - even when the residents of Myopia make unwise decisions.

Myopia has invented tools to use Gaia's natural bounty to construct, operate and maintain the temporary tangible edifice that is Tityas of the Real world. The bits and pieces of Tityas provide the goods and services enjoyed by Myopia for now. They will have to learn the hard way that the divestment of Gaia's bounty is the reality and that monetary investment is an unsustainable delusion.

Denis Frith

Gaia is not upset

Gaia is not upset by the behavior of  her adolescent off spring, Tityas. She knows from experience over eons that organisms can get carried away by their delusions of what can be done with what she provides. She finds it amusing that the species, Homo sapiens, are so taken with their powers that they feed Tityas with her resources without taking into account that many of them are exhaustible. It seems that Homo sapiens believe that growth on intangible money is a possible good. They relate the interest rate on money as being synonymous with the price of the passing of time.They do not take into account that it is also synonymous with the divestment of natural resources. Consequently, Tityas has grown into a vast organism with an unsustainable appetite and an unwise populace.

Gaia understands that Tityas' demise is in the nature of evolution but wonders how the surviving Homo sapiens will cope without what Tityas has provided, at her expense.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Senescence of the Anthropocene era

Humankind has made decisions that have had a major impact on Earth's ecosystems in recent geological times by making unwise use of irreplaceable natural material resources. Climate change and the pollution of land, sea, air and organisms, including humans,  are some of the unintended consequences.

This unsustainable process is being termed the Anthropocene era. The exponential growth of Tityas, materialistic civilization - the machinery, cars, ships, aircraft, buildings, roads, railways, ports, airports, cities - to provide humankind with goods and services is out of control by humans but not of natural forces. This unsustainable tangible process has been driven by the delusions of the powerful in society with the aid of intangible money, damaging science and technology together with the support of the unknowing consumers. They are all in denial of the reality of how materialistic systems really operate. They glory in financial wealth as their mechanistic systems irrevocably destroy natural material wealth.

Tityas is an organism that is now entering into its senescence. Its components are irreversibly aging under the impact of natural forces as their sustenance, particularly those supplying energy, becomes scarcer. The hallucination about the ability of life-limited technological systems to tackle emerging problems will become a nightmare. The future demise of Tityas in the geological short term is certain. The power of the elite will decline as their money and tools becomes impotent. Developing countries will emulate the senescence of developed countries. The Anthopocene era will end with the surviving, bewildered humankind wondering what went wrong.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New scientific principles

There is great excitement in some scientific circles. Experiments in the Large Hadron Collider appear to have found the Higgs boson, a sub-atomic particle that could be the foundation of matter. This excitement is understandable as this has been the object of research for many years. It was a theoretical concept in particle physics. It is believed to have been part of the Big Bang that created the universe. Now it has been found!

Scientists have advanced knowledge of how natural forces operate in many fields - physics, chemistry, medication, biology, botany, geology, climatology, oceanography - rapidly in recent times. This knowledge has been a major factor in the development of technology to provide society with infrastructure, goods and services that now deemed to be indispensable. This advancement of knowledge is indicative of how little we know about how natural forces have operated for eons.

This knowledge of how natural forces produce things is only one side of the coin. All things age due to the action of natural forces is the other side of the coin. The aging of organisms, including people, is common knowledge and many attempts have been made to slow this process down. But aging of organisms is unstoppable.

The aging of the structures of civilization is also common knowledge. Machinery, buildings, roads, bridges, cities etc. all age due to the action of friction, wind, rain and other natural forces. Appreciable natural material and energy resources are used up in maintaining these structures but that only slows the aging process down.

The natural resources used for this maintenance and for the replacement of those structures that are worn out are irrevocably running out. The demise of these structures in coming decades is something society will have to face up to. What will they do? Is science seriously addressing this fundamental problem? Scientists are curious about how the universe began. But what about the future of civilization!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Population hopes and expectations

The global population of humans is over 7 billion and growing rapidly. About 3 billion have few hopes and expect to continue to struggle to get essential needs such as sufficient food, potable water, adequate housing, effective sewerage and health care.

About 2 billion hope that they will enjoy a better material standard of living than their parents with their expectation bolstered by what they see on TV.

 About 500 million in developing countries have seen the expectations of their parents for  them largely realized and they hope their children will enjoy an even higher standard of living.

About 1 billion, mainly in developed countries, are having to come to grips with the fact that their hopes for the future are founding. They do not expect that their children can look forward to a brighter future as the natural material resources that are the foundation of civilization crumble.

About 100 million enjoy a high standard of living and believe that money and technology will solve any emerging problem, such as climate change, and that the future will be bright.

About 10 million have been so successful that they expect they have sufficient leverage of status and money to leave a sound legacy.

About 1 million have an understanding of reality: the operation of civilization is unsustainable. They hope society will wake up to this reality in time to ease the inevitable powering down by adopting wise policies. However, they do not expect that to happen in their lifetime because society will only slowly respond to what nature throws at them.

Tityas' addiction

Humankind has used nature's bounty to build the gigantic organism, Tityas, in recent times. Tityas is made up of the cities, roads, airports, bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, sewers, electricity grids, power stations, water works and the other technologies that provide the populace with the goods and services they have become dependent on. Humankind welcomed the availability of that bounty created by natural forces over eons. The ability to freely use that bounty has been the lynch pin of the growth of Tityas. The divestment of this natural wealth is not taken into account in the affairs of society.

Tityas is now vast and still growing. It is addicted to using more of the natural bounty even as it runs out, with oil leading the way down. Tityas is entering into its senescence and will slowly disintegrate as the sustenance for its maintenance declines. Humankind will be bewildered by the withdrawal of what Tityas provided. It will eventually learn the reality that nature's bounty was not free and they will have to face up to the consequences.

The situation is akin to a bus heading out into the desert. The driver and his assistant discuss how well the bus is running and how fast it can go while the passengers look out the windows to take in the scenery. A youngster notices that the fuel gauge needle is in the red but her warning cries are ignored.

Long time reality

Natural forces have provided the reality of what happens here on Earth under the stimulus of energy from the Sun. These self-organzing and sef-regulating forces have created over eons the bio sphere and geo sphere, with a few ups and downs, that we have inherited. Humans have invented technology that uses some of these natural forces to irreversibly use up limited natural resources to produce our needs and wants. This is an unsustainable process. So our materialistic civilization is a spurious, temporary reality that coming generations will have to do without.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Climate change hallunication

Homo sapiens have many hallucinations. But one of the most dangerous ones is the belief that they can now tackle the irreversible, rapid climate change, an unintended consequence of using fossil fuels to provide 'cheap' energy. They may get round to reducing the use of fossil fuels, so decreasing the rate of emissions. They do not understand that all that will do is slow down global warming, which does not tackle climate change. Australian businesses and families are now having to pay a carbon tax aimed at reducing the inconsequential emissions coming from that country. The politicians would be doing a better job if they proposed policies aimed at adapting to the damage their scientists suggest will be the effect of climate change.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A mind game with Laprin

Recent discussions on a forum  about the terms 'reality', 'abstraction', 'tangible' and 'intangible' has not resulted in widespread understanding of the relation between the intangible (not able to be seen or measured) decision making of humans (and many other organisms) and the influence of natural forces on what then happens in the materialistic operations that follow activation by decisions. This confusion arises because the discussion is anthropocentric. It is by humans using terms they have invented to describe what they understand about natural operations (processes), the operation of the systems of civilization, and the contribution of humans (and other organisms) to these processes by the decisions they make.

Ironically, the confusion about the meaning of those terms can be resolved by playing a mind game that looks outside of the box of the human mind. You are asked to think like that of Laprin, an extra-terrestrial, who has observed and measured the operations on Earth over a long period without understanding the communications between people. Laprin is observing and measuring the tangible reality but has to presume that decision making exists as the consequences are apparent. He has to assume that the intangible processing of information used in the decision making exists. It is a reality because of what it instigates. We can only surmise about how migratory birds decide when to go and where to go. But they do this annually so it is a reality. Laprin can only surmise about how homo sapiens communicate and make decisions about using natural resources to provide the goods, services and infrastructure of their civilization.
Laprin notes that these operations result in the depletion of many natural resources taken out of the crustal store - and wonders what will happen to the vast infrastructure of civilization when these resources inevitably run out.
Of course, Laprin is unable, through inability to interpret the processing of information in civilization and the associated decision making of the people, to understand how the flow of money contaminates the decision making process. He may wonder about the intelligence of the human species because what they have organized is clearly unsustainable. He will not know the part played by scientists and mathematics in what humans decide to do. He can only judge them on the tangible consequences of their decisions.
Play this mind game as it will help to understand the reality of how intangible thoughts of people have initiated the tangible operations of mechanistic systems that have destroyed much of the tangible natural bounty.

Denis Frith