LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

September 11, 2007

Biological Operating System

Filed under: An Introduction — Tags: , , , , , — insomniac @ 8:47 am

All creatures alive today, plus the remains of all living things that have gone before, all the organic compounds, all fossils, all fossil fuels, all the biomass accumulated by this planet over billions of years, exists because, information coded into DNA was accessed, read and acted upon by a cell. Before any one of those cells could grow, before any living tissue could be manufactured, before any polypeptide chains could be assembled, before anything could happen in ANY cell, DNA information had to be processed. Information processing is the very first act of Life.

Why is this an important distinction? Because information processing involves a set of concepts that are independent of the processing method being used. For one, there must exist a consistent set of rules or protocols that govern information processing within the system. This is called an operating system, or OS.

All living organisms follow the same rules for accessing and reading DNA code. These universal rules infer the existence of a biological operating system. I call it LifeOS.

July 3, 2014

Last chance to buy the book.

Filed under: Life OS News — insomniac @ 7:41 am

It’s been four years since LifeOS was published. Sales have slowed to the point it makes sense to take it out of print. I don’t know how much longer it will be available on Amazon, but time is running out.

Lifeos: Exploring the System That Executes DNA

Lifeos: Exploring the System That Executes DNA

Buy from Amazon

Cheers,
jim

July 2, 2014

Time out!

Filed under: Uncategorized — insomniac @ 9:45 am

That time of year again. Shut down my internet for a couple of months to spend more time in the yard and woods. See ya in the fall.
cheers,
jim

July 1, 2014

From Eden to Hell and Back

Filed under: biocomputer, consciousness, Evolution, Forest Goddess, gaia — Tags: — insomniac @ 9:05 am

Image
How does a shy forest floor vegetarian turn into a mighty hunter, scourge of the savannah? Could it have been the tasting of that forbidden fruit? You know, the one with the knowledge of good and evil? Should we ask the serpent? Or maybe we just ask Alice?

The podcast-Or read it below.

In the last episode i said that the battle between science and religion was staged. It is like politics, once you get above the bickering parties you find the same interests controlling all sides through their family connections, political contributions and outright bribes. Elections are a complete farce. The winning candidate is always under someone’s thumb. Politics is a dirty business wherein the scum rises to the top. Our elected officials are generally the most convincing liars. Enough, already! What does politics have to do with our subject? Well, everything really is connected and a little farther down the road you will be able to see the connection quite clearly, i think.

This is episode four and i still haven’t defined what i’m calling the Forest Goddess. I did point out in episode one, that She is all about communication and that our goosebumps show that our subconscious understands Her language.

I call her a She, because She nurtures, like a womb. However, the Forest Goddess is not a single entity, or even a thing; She is a process. She is action, a flow of purposeful energy, building, supplying and maintaining an extraordinarily efficient community. The forest intends to continue the process of building more forest.

This is a network of entities that pass information back and forth, or round and round, actually. It is like our internet, not just the physical network, but the intelligent nodes that sit at every keyboard and all our other communications methods, like snail mail, art, music and face to face, as well. Every cell in the forest is an intelligent node, that is connected to every other cell, by a nearly infinite web of flowing information. These nodes communicate, sharing events and making choices.

On one level all things are connected in real time. This is the Primary Perception discovered by Cleve Backster, and his experiments dumping brine shrimp into boiling water and recording plant reactions. Trauma disturbs the local field which reverberates throughout the system. This wave triggers feedback, both local and non-local that carries corrective action. As an example we can look at John Cairn’s experiments with lactose intolerant strains of e. coli. Normally e. coli can handle lactose just fine, but this strain had a defective gene, preventing assimilation. He put them in petri dishes with nothing but lactose to eat. They faltered at first, but soon began feeding on the lactose. The bacteria had repaired their own DNA. They had done so without reproduction or any kind of random mutation. The starving cells agitated the system, requesting a solution to their dilemma. They certainly had some sort of interaction with the lactose, trying different modifications of their own genes until they solved the problem.

Bruce Lipton’s experiments with stem cells show the same kind of response to the environment. He put stem cells in a petri dish with calcium and the stem cells made bone. He put them in protein and they became muscle.

The point here is that evolution is not confined to reproduction, natural selection and/or random mutation, it takes place in real time. Adaptation to the environment is fundamental to cellular activity. Do you have any idea how this changes evolutionary theory?

Psychic Cells Communicate across Physical Barrier
Mainstream science wants to pretend that these experiments have never taken place, but more and more evidence proves that communication is fundamental and not a human invention.

This is the spirit world described by shamans from around the world from every indigenous culture. These folks are the experts on consciousness and access to the spirit world. The descriptions of what it is and how it works are consistent around the globe and throughout history. During that same time frame science as changed it’s mind on just about every subject imaginable, several times. Whose got the staying power here?

Science admits it’s ignorance in these matters while giving out degrees in both consciousness and shamanic studies. They claim the  high ground, making themselves out as authorities in fields they admittedly know nothing about. Scientists seem to be blind to such blatant arrogance. I guess that is what makes Sheldon Cooper such a funny character.

What is the spirit world? You know exactly what it is, you deal with it all the time. Your consciousness is your personal slice of the spirit world. Images and thoughts about the physical world.

It is where objects are no longer solid, but virtual representations that you can play with. It is your own virtual reality where you and your imagination can modify and test ideas, concepts and plans before applying them in real life. It is a world of pure information.

That’s what the spirit world is, pure information about the physical. Consciousness is your account in this universal communications network. It is what we use to interface with both the physical and spirit worlds. It is like a database archive and live feed of flowing information that you can access.

Don’t believe it? Okay by me. Not everyone is meant to get this. In fact, throughout most of history, passing this information around could get you killed. I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.

The reason science doesn’t want you to know about the spirit world is that they have replaced it as your guidance system. In the forest system our ancestors were guided by the plants they ate, by way of internal communications. Today it is our culture that guides us, with external communications.

You don’t talk to the Forest Goddess, like you can’t talk to the internet. However, there are many entities that make use of the Forest Goddess network for communication. Some of them will be glad to talk to you.

Most plants speak softly, and then mostly to your subconscious and the microbes in your gut. However there are plants that blast your senses with foreign forms, sounds and colors. Hallucinations, science calls them, but the shaman knows them as powerful plant spirits.

These plant spirits are for real. Hallucinations are awe inspiring for a reason. For those of you who don’t know the basics of brainwashing, this system goes as follows:

1    Move subject to new environment.
2   Prevent subject from using habitual routines.
3   Introduce trauma and/or stress.
4   Require the performance of new routines related to the desired behavior.

This routine has been used effectively to re-program ordinary citizens into soldiers for centuries. The success of this kind of brainwashing is extremely high. Even as influential as post hypnotic suggestion appears to be in behavior modification, it seems difficult to get someone to do something against their will, like murder. However, citizen soldiers have been murdering by the millions, like zombies. The system works.

Another example of a technique that seems to have been invented by human beings, when in reality these plant spirits have been using this process all along. Seems obvious to me that our ancestors learned brainwashing from them.

1st the hallucinations take the subject to a new environment.
2nd the subject is immobilized
3rd the subject is threatened with death or worse
4th the subject is given duties to perform

This simple four step process is the hallmark of initiations, religious services and modern advertising.

We have a bright red mushroom growing under a towering conifer. The mushroom is the fruit of a fungus that is bound to the root of the tree and furnishes its nutrition. Along comes one of our ancestors who gobbles up this powerful fruit. Within a few minutes he starts feelng funny. Not funny ha ha, but funny peculiar. In the next few hours our hapless human will be transported to hell and back. The fungus puts the human through a hyper brainwashing session, pushing all of the buttons that set up a loyal symbiotic partner. Claiming to be an all powerful god who can bestow fame and fortune on his subjects, the fungus dazzles the newbie with views of far away places and future events. The subject thinks he or she has died and gone to heaven. This fantastic world awaits after death, but the option is given to return to the world of the living a help others gain this wonderful knowledge. Almost everyone agrees to come back to help others.

When the effect wears off, the subject is left a simple directive: tell the world about the experience. In other words, preach the gospel. Oh yeah, and come back and eat some more.

Of course, the subject returns to eat some more. Maybe not as much as the first time. As the relationship progresses, the human finds that the information given by this god checks out. This god teaches things, like how to build fire, make tools and hunt.

As i mentioned before, the forest already has a directive in place to go out and bring back energy. Like the fungus raised by leaf cutter ants, this fungus sent out its partners to find food and bring it back to eat. Whereas the ants bring the food back to the nest, the amanita calls for the food to be brought back as offering to the tree. This is the very beginning of the concept of animal sacrifice and the alter. The humans brought the animal to the tree where it was slaughtered. The blood soaked into the ground, fed the fungus and the tree, while the humans were fed by the carcass. This was the first god and the beginning of religion.

There are several concepts and behaviors we can trace back to this symbiotic relationship. One is social organization. Just as the Lepiotaceae fungus did with the leaf cutters, the amanita organized their humans into a strict hierarchical caste system, with royalty, servants, workers and soldiers.

Besides the “go out, find food and bring it home” routine, the other primary motivation is to seek heaven, paradise in the stars. This works with the hierarchy to keep us climbing up, to get higher than the competition, to seek the penthouse suite. Such social climbing is still very much with us today. And so is the more concrete expression of seeking heaven, space exploration.

You can see what i’m describing here is a very clever deceit carried out by a very intelligent entity. Most folks are never going to believe that fungi are intelligent. That just shows how effective their scam has been. I can guarantee that fungi are intelligent and fully capable of conning humans into self destructive action. I can tell you how to prove it to yourself, beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, the proof is not without its own inherent risk, so i don’t pass this info out to just anybody.

There are some other behaviors encouraged by the amanita that seem counter productive at first. The first is the aforementioned use of fire. Fire is the enemy of the forest, especially one already shrinking. Another behavior, that seems destined to cut off the tribe from the forest, is the act of cutting down these sacred trees for lodge poles, yule logs and such.

And so began the destruction of the forests that we see still going on today. It was just a matter of time until these forest primates forced themselves out onto the savannah. As these humans cut down, burned and otherwise abused their forest home, they also cut down their access to their god. Without host trees, the amanita doesn’t fruit. So very early in this relationship, the concept of god became an abstract idea rather than a real experience.

So we have a branching point. Tribes are forced into new territory, in competition with other tribes in the same fix. There are two scenarios that the tribe can take. They can build themselves a forest-like permanent shelter, so they can continue to bring food to a home, or they can follow the herds of game animals, dragging their home along with them.

That’s going to do it for today. Next time i’ll talk about these two tribal branches and how they separated and recombined into nomads and city states.
***

June 24, 2014

Psychic Cells Communicate across Physical Barrier

insomniac:

Cells communicate through wireless connections! This is what i’m talking about. Psychic communication is fundamental to biology!!!
mae-Wan Ho Comment left 23rd June 2014 18:06:35
“Hi Jens, Thank you for reminding me. It was Fritz Popp and his colleagues who have done the experiment you mentioned. I have done other related work with Fritz who discovered biophotons. But Alexander Gurwitsch was really the first to show communication between cells by UV light. I have no doubt that molecules, cells, and organisms could use the entire em spectrum” Regards, maewan

Originally posted on Seven Spheres:

Psychic Cells Communicate across Physical Barrier

Neurons in culture respond readily to other cells in a physically separated compartment subjected to various treatments; such ‘non-substantial’ communication between cells has been documented since the 1920s Dr Mae-Wan Ho

According to conventional cell biology, cell-cell communication occurs via diffusible factors such as hormones for long distances, cytokines for shorter distances, and cell adhesion and receptor molecules for direct contact. Cells also intercommunicate via various junctions and synapses that directly connect the cells, involving many different kinds of proteins [1]. More recently, circulating nucleic acids have been added to the repertoire of intercommunication molecules [2] (Intercommunication via Circulating Nucleic Acids, SiS 42), though not yet generally accepted by the conventional community. All known or generally accepted mechanisms involve direct physical contact or connection between cells or molecules that can diffuse between cells.

But Victor Chaban and colleagues at University of California Los Angeles…

View original 1,455 more words

June 11, 2014

The Bogus Debate: Religion vs Science

The podcast

Howdy Folks, Welcome to Systems, Symbiosis and the Forest Goddess. My name’s jim cranford.
In episode 2 we closed with the concept of the microbial mat acting as the brain and central nervous system for the forest.
If you are waiting for science or religion to verify this, it just won’t happen.
It doesn’t matter if you were raised in a religious or scientific background, everything you have been taught has been spun to get you to behave in a certain way. You have been lied to.
For example, we have been brainwashed into believing that we are separate from Nature. We have been convinced that we must fight against Nature in order to survive, and therefore it is right and proper to rip apart our environment for profit. We have been conned into believing that human beings are special, either the descendants of the gods or the pinnacle of evolutionary progress. These fundamental beliefs translate into a screwed set of values and priorities. The result of applying these values is the mess we find ourselves in today.
Both science and religion want you to believe their philosophy… they want you to think they have all the answers between them that they offer the only options.
Are science and religion really at opposite ends of the spectrum, encompassing all between them? Well, we all know the history, we just need to put it in perspective. In the olden days all we had was religion for a philosophy. All the institutions of learning were owned and operated by the church. Then along came science. It didn’t grow out of the ground or appear fully formed out of the blue, it branched out of those religious institutions. Consequently, science inherited some of the same negative patterns that  defined religion, like dominion over Nature and the enslavement of the working class. That also has meant that religion financed and controlled all scientific research through it’s ownership of all institutions of higher learning. Not much has changed today, religious orders still own and operate the major universities.
The battle between religion and science is staged.
Does MIT have a chapel? Does CalTech? Does Notre Dame have a science department? Does Harvard give out Doctor of Divinity degrees?  In reality religion owns science lock, stock and barrel.
Religion and science keep up this mock battle for our beliefs to keep us from noticing that it is Nature that really runs the whole show. They want to keep us gobbling up the environment and lining their pockets.
After a while you may begin to notice that these lies all work together to extract certain behavior from us. These aren’t lies of misunderstanding, on the contrary, taken as a set of protocols, the lies fed us over the centuries show a coherence only possible with a deep understanding of “human nature”. Civilization demonstrates a degree of organization, coordination, consistency and yes, understanding not likely to be carried off by human beings at least not the ones that i know.

Awakening is not a one time deal, it’s a lifestyle.
It’s like the levels in a video game, or the corporate ladder, or boiling water. When you step up a level, the rules change. One of my favorite examples is the professional sports leagues. It doesn’t matter what sport, if it has a pro league you can be sure it fits this pattern.
We’ll start at the bottom. Kids learn to play the game, they learn the basics of the sport. As the levels get higher, the learning becomes more complex, but still is directly related to the performance in the game. Kid grows up, turns pro. Lots of things change at this level. There are contracts and money added to the mix.
Now the kid knows the game backwards and forwards and moves up to being a coach. At this level the rules change, new responsibilities and challenges. From coach he moves up to GM, a whole new ball game. Everything learned in the past is important, but the new rules change everything.
Somewhere near this pinnacle of success our sports hero will find out that all the sport, with all it’s rules and competition is really a front for a system with an entirely different rule set. This invisible set of rules trumps all the others. This rule set has been in place from the very beginning of the sport. This rule set was the reason the sport was organized in the first place. Of course this shadow benefactor from all sports is gambling.
Civilization has a similar shadow rule set that trumps all others. It is the reason for the existence of civilization itself.
We are like those children first learning how to play the game. We are so wrapped up in playing that we have no idea what our efforts lead to down the road.
I used to think that it was just pride that held science back, that scientists just didn’t want to admit that the shamans and witchdoctors were right all along. Then i was sure it was just greed, the hunger for wealth and power, that made human beings act so crazy. There is no doubt that pride and greed have, and continue to play their parts. However, the deeper i explored this Natural communications system, not just as an observer, but as a participant, learning from the experience, the more i began to sense that there is something much deeper going on here. Our civilized madness is not an end in itself. Our seeming separation from Nature is an illusion. Our cities are no less Natural artifacts than birdnests or termite mounds. There is a grand plan going on and we are a part of it. The plan comes from high above our paygrade and security clearence.  We are a strategy, signed off on by Mother Nature herself. We are in sort of a need to know phase. The plan expects most people to continue to be decieved. Complete awakening would just be way too painful for most folks to handle.
I think it was Gloria Steinman who said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” I think it is worse then that. What will really piss you off is when you find out that the truth is, there is no freedom. Like it or not, we serve a higher order, through our web of symbiotic relationships.

We tend to look at symbiotic relationships like communication channels in that we are amazed to find them in the first place. Look how unusual it is to find this kind of behavior in a deaf and dumb universe, we say. Imagine, such diverse species cooperating and communicating. How did the learn to do that? However this kind of behavior not unusual at all. In reality communication and symbiotic relationships are the glue that holds Natural Systems together. Most species depend on dozens of direct symbiotic relationships and many, many more indirect relationships for survival.
Back to the forest system. The forest provides a steady flow of nutrients to the mobile species through a multitude of feeding stations. Fruit and nector are certainly nutritious, but they also carry a bunch of information in hormones, allomones, pheromones, flavors and other enticements. Within the output of each feeding station are messeges that encourage the guest to return often, as well as information on the duties expected by the plant. This is where we get into trouble with our plant relationships. We expect a onesided realtionship. The opium poppy is an extreme example of a plant encouraging it’s user to return often. The folks who live in the mountains where opium is grown have little trouble with their relationship, because they can perform the second half of the deal they have made with the plant. Their duty is to grow and harvest the opium poppy. The big city addict gets the first part of the deal, but has no way to fullfil the rest of the bargain and suffers serious internal conflict as the result.
In a way then, the primates in the forest are addicted to the food they eat. Their behavior centers around the feeding stations and their bodily functions. What do you suppose these primates dream about at night? Visions of sugar plums? Another way to look at it is that primates serve, or maybe they are slaves to the forest.
This is how it was for our ancestors in the Garden of Eden. Our ancestors were fully immersed in the forest system, taking in and processing energy and information from our symbiotic partners and depositing our output on the forest floor. Along with our feces, hair, sweat and skin, dead bodies were absorbed into soil and recycled back into the system.
 I don’t usually recommend books, but i suggest you check out Tony Wright’s book “Left in the Dark”.
It is a really good description of how our hormone rich forest diet stimulated growth of our brain and our savannah diet led to a shrinking and malfunctioning brain.
 So here we were, our ancestors anyway, hanging out in the forest, digging the ripe fruits and tender leaves of paradise, growing bigger brains, and what happens? The bottom falls out. Forests are shrinking, food’s getting scarce and some adjustments need to be made.
This story is not so much about human beings as it is the forest, so we’re going to widen our view. Besides, the forest system was aware of the situation long before any humans would have noticed. This pattern was in place in the mature forest, long before it began to shrink. In a mature forest, energy is already in short supply. The huge biomass generated by a mature forest uses up most of the availabe nutrients. So there is a forest wide strategy already under way to find ways to import energy. It was, and is, really a simple plan. She just programs mobile species to go out, find food and bring it home.
One of the first steps was to send the birds out to gather energy and bring it back. Some birds would eat seeds and grains and just bring home the bird shit, while others would bring home food for their young, nesting in the forest. In those days there were a lot of birds, which amounted to a sizable daily import of energy for the local forest system.
This is a very simple behavior pattern we can see throughout Nature; go out, find food, bring it home. From ants cutting their leaves, eagles catching fish, to Papa bringing home the bacon, this behavior pattern drives a good portion world systems.
From the forest point of view, primates were perfect for this kind of mission. They couldn’t cover as much ground as birds, but they could carry bigger loads. We have certainly taken to the procedure of, go out, find food, bring it home to eat. It is my contention that it was the forest goddess that first sent our ancestors out onto the savannah.
For a clue as to how that might have happened we can look to the leaf cutter ants. They have prospered using part of process by going out, finding food and bringing it home, for the fungus , of course. It shouldn’t be any stretch to figure out how this symbiotic realtionship developed. The fungus was once attatched to the root of a tree in the forest furnishing it’s moisture, nutrition and antibodies; that’s what it’s current relatives do. What probably happened is that it’s host trees died, leaving the fungus without a symbiotic partner. There were ants nearby and a new partnersip was forged. In this new symbiotic relationship, the fungus no longer counted on a specific tree, but with the help of the ants, could forage a variety of plants. Like i said, this relationship has been highly successful for millions of years.
Our ancestors entered into a very similar relationship with a fungus. That’s going to be the sunject of the next episode. This is really the key episode coming up, so i hope you’ll be around for it.
In closing, i’d like to ead you a little bit from a book titled, “Molds and Man: An Introduction to the Fungi” by Christensen, Universtiy of Minn. Press, 1963. Give you something to think about until next time
“When the young queen from one of these nests goes out to found a new colony, she has her infrabuccal pouch filled with the fungus on which the colony has lived for millions of years. After being fertilized, she seeks out a likely spot, grubs out a small chamber, and casts her wad of fungus out on the floor. As soon as the mold begins to grow from this pellet, she lays an egg or two, crushes these, and mixes them with the growing fungus. She also mixes her excrement with the compost. This is not done just casually and by chance, but deliberately and by intent.”
You don’t suppose that that queen ant was sacrificing her first born, to show her faith? Where have i heared that before?
That’s all for today. thanks for tuning in.

June 4, 2014

Intelligence in the Forest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — insomniac @ 8:02 am

ssatfg__intro1http://ssatfg.podomatic.com/entry/2014-06-04T07_14_05-07_00
You can listen to the podcast or read it below… yer choice.

Yes, it’s yer old independent philosopher, jim cranford.
Welcome to the show.. so glad you could make it.
In episode one we finished up talking about communication and how it is fundamental to living things on all levels.
That exposes another circle jerk mainstream science runs on us. Humans are the only creatures that are intelligent, they say. We got that from tool use and such, which gave us bigger brains etc. We used our big brains to learn to language and all that.
It takes intelligence to communicate, and since only humans have it, the exchange of information between single cells, microorganisms, plants and other animals must be instinct or some kind of automatic response not requiring a big brain. However, when the information thus exchanged is used to make choices, intelligence is surely involved.

We like to separate instinct and intelligence, but both are the result of learning. The choices we make are based on experience; ours in the current life cycle and others in the past. It’s all information that we use to make choices everyday.
If you look at the display our nervous system provides us, it is nothing short of ingenious. It has taken a massive intelligence to engineer human consciousness. It was/is no accident. It took intelligence to get us here, so we can act act like we have no brains at all.

What is a system? A system is any group of interrelated parts or components that cooperate and share processes. Like a common goal. Systems thinking is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical and holistic causes rather than linear cause and effect. In other words, what you do is follow the flow of energy, matter and information through the various components and parts and see how they’re related.

One of the first rules of system science is that there is no such thing as a closed system, as they are all interconnected and share energy, material and information. So actually we don’t study systems at all, we can only study subsystems. Mainstream science hasn’t caught on to this yet, but continues to study subsystems in the laboratory, far removed from their Natural environment. Science has acted as if they could set up a closed system, unaffected by the outside world, and be confident in the reliability of their results. Sure enough, it has been discovered that not only do outside forces like celestial rhythms and cosmic rays affect all interactions, but those with that were left out because the subsystem was moved into the lab, were influencing their results as well.
Besides that, it has lately been determined that the expectations of the researchers were also skewing the results.
Another great thing about systems thinking is that it applies to all sorts of systems, biological, cosmic, educational, financial, social, bureaucratic, and since there are only subsystems, you can see how each of these seemingly separate areas is interconnected and interdependent.

We will get into that in depth later on…
Meanwhile, let’s talk about Feedback loops–

You know the classic example, a furnace and thermostat. The thermostat turns the furnace on and off to maintain a steady temperature. Natural systems are like that except every cell acts like a thermostat. Besides reporting it’s temperature, it also reports energy usage and other status information.  The system uses that information to regulate all activity.

For example, here’s what the basic forest loop looks like. It begins with water and nutrients being provided to the roots of a tree by the microbial mat. This mat is the combined growth of fungi and bacteria that services just about all plants with roots. Besides the nutrients the mat also supplies antibodies to the plants. It is this microbial mat that is the star of the show. Nothing grows without it.

The tree pumps the solution up to the leaves where photosynthesis occurs. That’s the simple description, but this transport system is a phenomenal accomplishment in itself. Billions of tiny passageways route this life’s blood through a maze of branching tunnels which provide just the right amount of everything to every cell. The last cells in line use light energy to make sugars. Then these sugars are transported through this wondrous on-time supply system to building sites, some of them way back down in the tips of roots.

 Some of the sugars are used to entice and feed pollinators, while still more sugars are used to build fruit and seed. The seed is for reproduction, and the fruit entices and feeds the seed distributors.

All of this activity produces a steady stream of leaves, flowers, bark, feces and dead bodies that fall to the forest floor. This litter is a constant flow of matter and energy as well as information about the state of the forest. This flow is disassembled and analyzed by the microbial mat. Each bit of litter carries the information of its path through the system, dropping off molecules here, picking some up there. The microbial mat furnishes the input, then analyzes the output of each loop and adjusts accordingly.

Like i said, there just isn’t any way to achieve this level of efficiency without making intelligent choices. It takes constant monitoring, evaluation and planning to maintain this level of successful operation. The kind of logistical efficiency doesn’t just take communication, it takes superior communication. Ask UPS.

Okay, what happens if the forest dries up and blows away? Apparently something like this is what our ancestors had to deal with.

Whether the forest dries up or a new forest is beginning to form, the forest process is stripped down to the bare bones.  We still have some basic plants, the real survivors, and our most basic microbes. The roots of each grass plant has a bit of the microbial mat attached.

When researchers looked closely at root fungus interface, they found that there was no clear dividing line between them. The cells in between pure root and pure fungus were composites, containing elements of both root and fungus. Something to think about.
At the very beginning of the forest progression we have the same fundamental process that takes place in a mature rainforest. Although the path is much shorter, moisture and energy follow the same feedback loops, from the microbial mat, through the plants and back to the mat. So, the essence of the forest is not the trees at all, but plants in general and the microbes that inhabit the soil. It is these microbes that benefit the most from the existence of the forest. It would appear that the microbes have built forests to protect and nourish their colonies.

This is where science and religion agree… not about the microbes, they’ll never go for that, but they agree that our ancestors started out in a lush forest and migrated out onto the savannah. Here we find other creatures who moved out of the forest as well. One of the most interesting critters to make the move is the leaf cutter ant. I mentioned them in the first episode. These ants are important for a couple of reasons. First they show us a subsystem that is very similar in structure to an animal without the skin. Second they show us how species adapt to changing climate.

There are three distinct species involved in these ant colonies. There are the ants, the fungus they cultivate for food and a bacterium that regulates growth of the fungus.

As the ants are the only species visible to us, they seem to be number one. The second species in this three way symbiotic relationship is the fungus. Its exact species grows as a mushroom on the forest floor, but this strain has been propagated by simple cell division for millions of years. Each nest is a clone of the original mycelium, with no fruiting body or spores.

The third partner is a bacterium that is common in the forest as well as in the guts of human beings. In the human body as well as in the ant nest, this bacterium regulates the growth of fungi. So we have a representative of each major microbial group and a very efficient mobile species teamed up in a very tight relationship.

Within this three way symbiotic relationship, the ants are the only ones who have changed at all. The bacterium and the fungus are running the same DNA as their close relations, but the DNA of the ants is very different from any of their relatives. The fungus and bacterium are doing roughly the same job they perform in other symbiotic relationships.  

One change in the ant’s anatomy was a gland on their underside that secrets food for the bacterium. In the fungus farms, the ants are constantly crawling over the fungal mat, carrying leaves. Thus the bacterium is brushed onto the mat, keeping the fungi from overgrowing.

Within the leaf cutter ant system the fungus provides nutrition for the ants and acts as an immune system for the colony. When the ants bring leaf parts into the colony they usually carry any number of foreign bacteria and fungi that should be able to set up shop in the cozy subterranean environment. However the resident fungus isolates the intruders and surrounds them with a fungal growth that keeps them from growing. The ants then move this chunk of immobilized intruder out of the digestion chamber. This symbiotic strategy has resulted in a pure strain of fungus that has lasted for millions of years.

The colony also acts as sort of immune system for the whole forest. The reason leaf cutter ants have been studied at all is because they pose a real threat to agriculture in tropical forests. They can defoliate an orchard in a matter of hours. In normal activity the ants prune leaves off of a variety of established species, spreading out their needs with no detrimental effect on the forest, but if a new species attempts to get a foothold, like an orchard, the ants go to work and defoliate the intruders in no time.

In the case of the fungus tended by the leaf cutters, they have shortened the normal feedback loop. Instead of having to wait for information to fall back down to the forest floor, to be digested by the microbial mat, the ants can be sent directly to a trouble spot, collect information on the threat and eliminate it, if necessary.

The immune system is at the very core of a sense of self. The body/mind system identifies itself as a functional unit, both on our conscious and basic cellular levels.

Within the colony the fungus understands the difference between that which is “colony” and that which is not. At the forest level, the colony understands the difference between forest and non-forest species.

Making these kinds of choices demonstrates understanding, the very definition of intelligence.

These ants have been able to adapt to the loss of forest cover by burrowing into the ground. The design of their nests manages to maintain optimum temperature, humidity and air quality for the growth of the fungus and friends, regardless of the above ground climate. You think the nearly brainless ants figured this out? Remember, if you or i were to learn how to build such a ventilation system we would have to go to school for years.

It is much more likely that the fungus is the source of this wisdom. The fungus grows a mycelium that follows the same growth patterns as, looks like, and is proven to function like, a nervous system. Functionally the fungus performs the duties of an immune system, a digestive system and a brain for the colony, just as the microbial mat does for the forest.

May 19, 2014

Meet the Forest Goddess-podcast

System, Symbiosis and the Forest GoddessMeet the Forest Goddess 15 minute podcast

The animations are taking longer than i had hoped, so i’m moving forward with the podcast versions.

Here’s the transcript:
Meet the Forest Goddess

You have met the forest goddess before, probably many times. You just might not recognize her signs. You thought that it was just fear that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up that night when you heard that wolf howl or the time you heard something rustling in the bushes outside your tent. You thought it was just your love of beauty that gave you goosebumps when you saw that mountain reflected in the lake at dawn. That feeling is your subconscious interacting with the forest on an emotional level. It is communication between you and the Forest Goddess.

That emotional response is part of the Natural warning system that is the most obvious manifestation of the Forest Goddess. All the animals, the birds and insects are reacting the same way you do. Their hair stands on end, too. They are reacting and communicating on a very complex and high level.
Most importantly is that our bodies and subconscious minds speak this language. The hair standing up on the back of my neck when the wolf howls or the owl hoots, is evidence of this.Eventually we find a place to sit, where we can wait for the warnings to die down.

Slowly the sounds change as some creatures forget we are here. Others aren’t alarmed as long as we remain still. Listen to the sounds, creatures large and small singing their songs, shouting their location, crying the news of their neighborhood. Close your eyes and let the sounds wash over you in waves of meaning. “Here I am, Life is good, Let’s get it on”, repeated over and over, in countless forest dialects.

And everybody is listening as well. One creature’s mating call sounds the dinner bell for another. This wall of sound is just one level of the communication going on in the forest. And we humans can hear only a very narrow band of sound vibrations at that.

Then take color. Here is a totally different spectrum of communication. Color has meaning by itself; it is used for identification, signaling ripeness, time for mating and other environmental cues. Another instance of only a narrow band of vibrations being available to our consciousness. The communications continue up and down the scale in wave lengths invisible to us.

The air around us is filled with molecules of fragrance and stench, pheromones attracting and repelling. On every level the forest is a sea of information woven into a tapestry of meaning: alerting, selecting, advertising, camouflaging, promising and deceiving.

On the microscopic level, every cell of every life form communicates with the cells around it. They respond to messages brought to them by hormones through blood streams, electric impulses from nerves and by way of their wireless connections. All input is compared to its history. Every action is remembered, every failure flagged, every success reinforced. That’s going on at the cellular level in all living things.

The process is reflected in behavior at the creature level as well. Every physical entity within an ecosystem compares their input to their history and remembers their successes and failures. So do the symbiotic relationships. Your brain works the very same way. Our neurons communicate with other neurons, respond to neurotransmitters and fire in waves that we interpret as experience. Communication is a fundamental aspect of living things.

Because language seems to set us apart from the animal world, we have concluded that it is only the advanced human brain that can create and communicate information. That’s our claim to fame as intelligent beings, we communicate. However, its is intelligent communication that makes all living systems alive. Communication is fundamental to biological systems.

Sit with me here beneath the oldest tree, the one with the most rings of memory, the largest network connecting Sky and Earth, the most symbiotic partners, the most descendants and thus a main communications hub in this local expression of the Forest Goddess System.

Besides the communication networks we can see and hear all around us, there are more. Beneath our feet the soil is laced with bacterial and fungal growth intertwined into a multilevel communications network. This thick mat of interwoven microbial fibers interconnects trillions, upon trillions of nodes, in a complex network of neuron-like connections. Modern science claims that plants do not have a nervous system because they can’t find anything that looks like one. However, this bacterial/fungal mat looks exactly like a nervous system. It works like one as well. What the network does is pass information and nutrients. This is yet another level of communication in the forest. What could the microbial underground have to talk about? For one, if you were to die here in the forest, this CSI team would take you apart cell by cell, and report to the system exactly what you are made of.

In fact, the information gathered by every living thing in the forest eventually ends up being deconstructed by the microbes dominating the forest floor and soil beneath. When there is a fatality, it is the microbes who dismantle the fallen and investigate the internal information stored in their tissue and memory. When we plot the feedback loops active in the forest system we find they all cycle back through this microbial mat.

We have learned to mimic Natural systems with our language, art and music, and express them in abstract social structures. With all of our acquired skill and knowledge we are late comers to the game. The fractal power laws we have discovered that build our complex communications networks have been in use in biological systems from the beginning. Our most sophisticated information processing technology is nothing when compared to what our nervous system provides for us: a living, breathing, feeling, human experience.

A forest is a complex system involving a huge number of creatures that act in concert and adapt to changing conditions. Population levels follow the ebb and flow of Sunlight and moisture. Species adapt, they come and go, both filling and defining a pattern of interlocking, interdependent niches that result in a functional unit, a system. What seems at first to be a random collection of plants and animals, each doing their own thing independent of the rest, is really a highly organized web of interdependencies every bit as alive as any of its inhabitants.

Studying the forest as a system can show us relationships not visible in other views. For example, an organ is a subsystem, performing a task for the benefit of a larger system, the body. We can see plants and animals as subsystems that perform functions within the larger system, the forest.

An organ, say your stomach, is a unit that has a physical location and a specific function within the digestive system. Our organs are a set of processing chambers connected by tubes. This network of processing and transport stations extracts energy from nutrients and eliminates waste.

We tend to get hung up on the human-centric model of what makes an individual entity. We like to have our individuals enclosed in a skin, but we find a systems definition expands the concept to include groups of symbiotic partners within the forest. For example, take a look at the nest of the leaf cutter ant. These ants hollow out huge underground nests that function very much like a body. Their nest is a set of chambers connected by tubes. These chambers act as organs in a body, each performing similar bodily functions like digestion and reproduction. Instead of using a blood stream, in this system the ants carry and deliver nutrients where needed. So we can identify the ant colony as a system, much like a body, but without specific boundaries enclosed by skin.

Within the forest we can identify many subsystems that fit this model. There are many species of animals, birds, insects, plants and fungi, all linked by their symbiotic relationships into a system every bit as organized as a human body. As a unit it breaths in and out, intakes and digests nutrients, eliminates waste, while growing, reproducing and dispersing, as would any creature.

The forest is the mother system that uses the combined individual strategies of its member subsystems to accumulate and organize biomass into a super organism. This organism reaches high into the atmosphere to exchange gases and gather Sunlight, and deep into the Earth for water and nutrients. The matter and energy thus gathered is distributed throughout the forest, supplying each cell and subsystem with its needs, in a steady flow. That is quite an accomplishment.

Industry has learned just how difficult it can be to organize an efficient supply chain. As assembly lines got faster and more efficient, a real challenge for the supple chain to keep up. Attempts to warehouse supplies produced huge storage facilities that cost a lot of money and weren’t all that efficient. The solution was to use computers to keep track of every part, every nut and bolt from design to final assembly. This allowed them to engineer a steady flow of supplies without huge warehouses or assembly line delays.

There doesn’t appear to be any other way to accomplish this level of efficiency except to keep track of absolutely everything effecting the system. As the system grows and changes, all supply channels must be adjusted to accomodate new flow requirements. This is really a difficult challenge, no easy task. How does Nature do it? With intent, intelligence and of course, communication.
All of these subsystems work together by communicating, internally and externally. Communication through feedback loops is what a system does. All that communication is part of an infinite number of feedback loops passing the information that regulates all activity.

When we discover a new communications channel in Natural Systems, like when they discovered that pine trees were alerting other pine trees that they were being attacked by certain bugs. In the African forest the acacia trees were alerting each other that they were being overgrazed by the kudus. The trees emmitted gases through the air. That’s communication. We think, oh wow, they learned to communicate, but that’s what all cells do, all living things do is communicate. That’s how they work.

April 7, 2014

Pitfalls in the Search for the Truth, Reality and a Theory of Everything

This isn’t just for those who call themselves Truth Seekers, but those of a scientific bent who follow the peer reviewed path.

What started you on your quest for Truth? Most likely it was when you found out that something you thought to be true was indeed false. (For me it was Santa Claus) That experience started you looking more deeply into some other things, and you uncovered more inconsistencies. The result is that you had to change your beliefs to match your new understanding.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. I was president of a group named “Youth in Truth” as a teenager. Now i’m in my 70’s and still searching. In all that time i have found, one time after another, that what i once thought to be true was instead false, all the while the real Truth was always just around the corner.

One thing that drives we Seekers of Truth is that we hate to be wrong. It’s in our DNA. We strive with every breath to be right. Where things seem to be wrong, we want to make them right. The problem with that is who determines what is right or wrong? That’s one of the first things a seeker must deal with.

The very nature of our relationship with reality is that we never see the real thing. We are dependent on the interpretation of the input from our senses. This interpretation, the criteria we use to judge input, is something we have LEARNED, mostly second hand. Our culture has told us what to believe, and we use those beliefs to judge. When we challenge the beliefs laid on us by our culture, we erode a little of the underpinnings of our own beliefs.

Truth: We are mostly expecting to find a thing we call “Truth”, an absolute reality that exists independent of our own human involvement. We expect that every subject can be reduced to this absolute core identity. However, the information, the facts we gather, have no meaning without a context, an interpretation that gives them substance. This context is a completely individual construct, taught and learned by clever, but not very wise human animals. This context is reality as seen by the individual within a certain cultural framework with no direct relationship to ANY fundamental truth. This context, the one both you and i work from, is a total fabrication. It is a world view compiled from highly questionable sources, mostly other seekers working from the same questionable sources. It is very likely that the entire cultural belief structure that has been laid on us is wrong. With that a possibility, the very best we can hope to do is to find inaccuracies in our own version of truth.

Although the search for absolute Truth is in vain, that doesn’t make it a fool’s journey. Although an absolutely true reality may actually exist, we have no way of observing it without using our nervous system’s sensors, filters, analytics and memory. Our nervous system provides us with a virtual reality experience of the outside world. Each of us builds and verifies our own version of truth starting in the womb.

That which we are most sure of turns out to be just another mental phantom. So, what you are risking by seeking a deeper truth is the core beliefs you count on to evaluate incoming information. You might think you are above that. Your enlightenment has given you a measure of that illusive truth, but enlightenment isn’t a destination, it is a pathway. And that path leads to the eventual dissolution of your core beliefs.

It’s like the levels in a video game, or the corporate ladder, or boiling water. When you step up a level, the rules change. At some level you will find that you must abandon your core beliefs all together. All those beliefs that once were your Truth turn out to be bogus. They are human trivialities that have no value at higher levels.

One of my favorite examples is the professional sports leagues. It doesn’t matter what sport, if it has a pro league you can be sure it fits this pattern.
We’ll start at the bottom. Kids learn to play the game, they learn the basics of the sport. As the levels get higher, the learning becomes more complex, but still is directly related to the performance in the game. Kid grows up, turns pro. Lots of things change at this level. There are contracts and money added to the mix.

Now the kid knows the game backwards and forwards and moves up to being a coach. At this level the rules change, new responsibilities and challenges. From coach he moves up to GM, a whole new ball game. Everything learned in the past is important, but the new rules change everything.

Somewhere near this pinnacle of success our sports hero will find out that all the sport, with all it’s rules and competition is really a front for a system with an entirely different rule set. This invisible set of rules trumps all the others. This rule set has been in place from the very beginning of the sport. This rule set was the reason the sport was organized in the first place. Of course this shadow benefactor from all sports is gambling.

Civilization has a similar shadow rule set that trumps all others. It is the reason for the existence of civilization itself.

If you have been raised in our western civilization, either with a science or religious background, just about everything you know to be true is in fact false. For example, we have been brainwashed into believing it is right and proper to rip apart our environment for profit. We have been led to believe that we are separate from Nature. We have been convinced that we must fight against Nature in order to survive. We have been conned into believing that human beings are special, either the descendants of the gods or the pinnacle of evolutionary progress. These fundamental beliefs translate into a screwed set of values and priorities. The result of applying these values is the mess we find ourselves in today.

So, if you want to stick to political, historical or spiritual truth, good luck. No matter what, searching for truth will eventually bring you face to face with the profound errors in your own world view.

After a while you may begin to notice that these lies all work together to extract certain behavior from us. These aren’t lies of misunderstanding, on the contrary, taken as a set of protocols, the lies fed us over the centuries show a coherence only possible with a deep understanding of “human nature”. Civilization demonstrates a degree of organization, coordination, consistency and yes, understanding not likely to be carried off by human beings.

So, who is at the bottom of this massive deception and what is the end game? Stay tuned.

March 10, 2014

Suda ~ The Painting Elephant

Filed under: Uncategorized — insomniac @ 4:32 pm

insomniac:

Are we conscious enough to recognize the same in other animals?

Originally posted on All Things Connected:

Spend 15 minutes and enjoy this beautiful video. It is so inspiring. It may even open your awareness to a new way of seeing our amazing, interconnected universe.

View original

Are Animals Conscious? I Dunno—Are We?

Filed under: Uncategorized — insomniac @ 4:29 pm

insomniac:

Just barely.

Originally posted on DogmaDrift:

A study published by University of Lethbridge Department of Psychology professor Jennifer Mather in 2008 proposed, in summary, that “cephalopod molluscs may have a form of primary consciousness”—that they are “heavily dependent on learning in response to both visual and tactile cues,” “may have domain generality and form simple concepts” and seem “aware of their position, both within themselves and in larger space, including having a working memory of foraging areas in the recent past.” A 2013 study by Mather and Michael J. Kuba summarized that the cephalopod brain “does not just have centralization of the molluscan ganglia but also contains lobes with ‘higher order’ functions such as storage of learned information.” The decentralized nervous system, “particularly in the arms of octopuses, results in decision making at many levels”; the cephalopod “is first and foremost a learning animal, using the display system for deception, having spatial memory, personalities, and motor play. They represent…

View original 442 more words

Older Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers