LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

February 14, 2012

Before There Were Forests

Filed under: biocomputer, Forest Goddess, gaia — Tags: , , , , — insomniac @ 9:49 am

Before there were Forests
Every handful of living topsoil contains more microorganisms than there are human beings on Earth. All those billions of creatures aren’t living isolated existences, but are organized into colonies. That is they are organized into cooperating and communicating networks that share nutrients and information.

These are the ancient ones, the oldest and most stable products of evolution. They were here first, before animals, plants or any multicellular creatures.

These microorganisms represent the primordial intelligence that learns and builds on what it knows about itself, in an organized, purposeful, goal oriented progression. And it starts right here with the tiny creatures that understand information processing, communication networks and symbiosis.

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December 20, 2011

Plant Communication

Great interview! Talk to yer plants and good things happen. =-)

December 16, 2011

More Than a Metaphor

That’s why i have brought you deep into the forest, to give you human history from a different point of view. We’ve had the history of civilization written for us by the ones who have profited from the exploitation of the Biosphere. The version i am presenting comes from my communication within this system.

I didn’t get this model of intelligent microbes from books or discussions nor did i think this up on my own. I got this view of straight from the horses mouth. I got it directly from a member of the microbial mat. It came in an intelligent exchange, sort of an interview, where i asked questions and received answers. My encounter with this plant spirit overloaded my psyche with information that spawned more questions. I have spent the last thirty plus years sorting through that information and comparing it with other sources. I have interviewed other plant spirits along the way. I’ve learned valuable lessons from living alone in forests, deserts and mountains. I have found a landscape exactly as described by magicians, mystics and indigenous cultures in general. It is from my experience probing this separate reality that i obtained this version of human history.

So, this model of “how it all works” that the plant spirits have collectively laid on me, fits very well with the latest studies in biology, genetics, adaptive complex systems, symbiosis, quantum mechanics and information processing in general. The plant spirits got it right! So, for me the forest goddess is much more than a metaphor. The physical world we live in is intelligent. The whole Universe is a communication; the story of Life being told. We are part of that story. We are built from the same story elements as all of creation. Our bodies are made from intelligent parts that all communicate with our environment. Our bodies understand the language of Life, even if our intellect doesn’t.

April 13, 2010

The Blind Painter

Filed under: biocomputer, consciousness — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 7:07 am

The Blind Painter. Have you seen this video? It is an example of how a systems view can help us understand how perception works. He was born with no eyes, yet paints landscapes and buildings with great skill.
perception feedback loop
He is demonstrating the feedback loop of perception. The senses input information from the environment, the perception apparatus, which includes the whole body in it’s scope, produces an internal model of the environment, that the hands use to paint. Remove eyes from the loop and it continues with what is available. The system demands that the perception loop be functional in all mobile species.

Even single celled creatures have a rudimentary perception loop going on. Like the lactose intolerant e. coli or stem cells reacting to their environment to form bone and muscle(Bruce Lipton). The intelligence is in the system.

March 6, 2010

Mama Yerba Rides Again!

Filed under: Life OS News, self-publishing — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 10:21 am

The part of this self-publishing trip that is the toughest for me, is getting back into business… tax forms, business license and the paperwork. But it is easier than it used to be, with online services and such. Picking a name for the publishing arm of this operation was harder than i thought. All my most recent company names have been used and reused. So, i’m back to the Mother Herb as my logo. Mama Yerba rides again!

cheers,
jim

April 10, 2009

Why Are We Here?

When observed from above, from the control room of higher order of environmental systems, it looks like human beings have waged an all out war on Nature. From the time that man initiated slash and burn technology, the ability of one person to destroy habitat and reduce productive systems to wasteland has increased many fold, as have his reasons to do so. Human ingenuity has found many ways to profit from the plunder. And the sheer number of them has also multiplied. Six billion of them chewing away at the biological infrastructure like termites. What are they thinking?

At War With the System

Our imaginary war with the System is exemplified by the way we treat diseases like cancer. We think of cancer as something that has attacked us that we have to fight. We fight by killing cells, hoping to kill all of the enemy cells. Those cells indeed threaten a healthy body, but they are not enemies from the outside; they are the bodies own cells.

The body produces cancerous cells from time to time and has an elaborate immune system, that normally takes care of them. When the immune system becomes damaged itself, or the information it needs to function is compromised, or it is overwhelmed by damaged cells, a tumor results.

To the Rescue

The ego likes to blame the outside for all of its problems and the concept of attack and defense fits right in. The medical profession likes the concept as well. It makes them the knights in shining armor that save the day, defending the helpless ego from evil doers. But in reality, the carcinogens are always out there and the cancerous cells are always being produced. It is not that cancer is attacking, but the immune system is unable to cope with the level abuse heaped upon it by our decadent lifestyles.

It is Captain Self’s job to avoid carcinogens in the environment and make decisions that maintain the integrity of the immune system.

Misinformed Agents

When the good Captain is locked into battle with his own crew, nothing good can come of it. The Captain is not at war with the system, but a product of it. The cancerous cells are not at war with the body, but a product of it. Just like the Captain, the cancerous cells are simply misinformed. They are working under their own type of internal delusion. They both have forgotten that they belong to the system and have taken off on their own, following some internal dialog that takes them far from their intended path. In the efficient information processing system, we would expect these processes to be quickly terminated.

Run-a-way Process

In this journey of discovery, we are always on the lookout for repeated patterns. Here we see that an entity can run amuck, endlessly repeating a process because some feedback loop malfunctions. Just as in a computer stuck in an endless loop, sucking resources while producing no meaningful work, cancer cells and human beings have lost contact with their parent system; they no longer have the information they need to stay on track.

Is That Bad?

Depends on your point of view. From the view of the individual and/or species, failure is bad, success good. From the systems viewpoint, although run-a-way processes pose a threat to local subsystems, they also can provide benefits. A run-a-way process puts stress on the local system, causing accelerated learning and adaptation. For example, our separation from our environment has led to a spike in creativity and technology that never would have happened if the human animal had stayed connected to its natural system. For the individual, a diagnosis of terminal cancer can certainly rearrange one’s priorities. The sense of mortality may lead to extra effort going into an unfinished masterpiece.

Systemic Responsibility

The System provides the necessary information for all entities, just as it supplies nutrients and carries away their waste. The System also is responsible for any breakdowns in the supply channels. The System is also responsible for successful adaptation. The System knows what it is doing.

The System experiments with agents. There is a competition going on here; not a war, but a contest to determine what improvements need to be made in future models. This unprecedented acceleration of learning and adaptation is oriented towards an intentional outcome. We have a mission. Our job is to learn what that entails and get on with it.

March 31, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Filed under: Ch 10 Conclusion — Tags: , , , , , — insomniac @ 6:30 am

How long does it take to learn mathematics? How long does it take to become proficient at chess or spelling or field hockey? These are all skills that are obviously possible for human beings to learn. Some folks are better equipped than others and will learn faster, while some will have a hard time mastering even the basics. None of these skills can be learned without practice. Practice will not take place unless the individual believes it is possible to learn the skill, in the first place, and actually attempts to master it.

Introspection

The same is true of introspection, conscience and psychic abilities. You cannot master what you don’t practice. The human mind has the ability to calculate, compute and and communicate at extremely high levels of efficiency, but only when trained to do so. The typical scientific career path offers no instruction in introspective pursuits, in fact “trains” the student to deny the value of same. The results are just what one would expect.

However, if one is trained from an early age to receive, accept and act on information obtained from internal sources, it becomes obvious that the internal is connected to the external. There are simple experiments anyone can do that will confirm that the mind of the individual can access information beyond the confines of the brain case. The neuro-philosophers can deny it all they want, once you discover for yourself that your consciousness has access, scientific credibility takes a gigantic hit. Denial is not the same as disproving.

Fraudulent Math?

That’s like me saying that math is an illusion and that all solutions thus obtained are fraudulent. You would certainly think me a fool. Or i must have some ulterior motive to promote such an obvious lie. That is the way a great many world citizens view western scientific thought, “The people who have brought us modern technology couldn’t possibly be so stupid as not to know that the mind is larger than the brain, that future can be told and thoughts take wings. Therefore, they must be lying.”

Science goes to great lengths to point out that we are all mistaken, that it is self delusion that fools us. Meanwhile, they refuse to accept the findings of their own, when they prove us right. Whom is deluding whom?

March 30, 2009

Is This God?

Filed under: Ch 10 Conclusion — Tags: , , , , — insomniac @ 6:21 am

About this time, someone will say, “It doesn’t matter what you call it, God, the Tao, LifeOS or the Great Spirit, they are all the same.” Well it does matter, they are not the same. There are certainly some similarities, but many differences between the concepts besides just their labels. One major difference is, that the concept of god is firmly established as an entity, whereas the latter three are processes. The distinction is critical to our discussion.

Conceptual Pyramid

Back in Shared Myths, i wrote about science and religion sharing the illusion that the universe is structured like a pyramid, with either god or the human brain at the apex. This is the conceptual structure favored by western civilization. It is closely aligned with the materialist mind set that “sees” reality as a linear path to some sort of singularity or super entity. Religion and science make extensive use of this conceptual structure to describe the physical universe for us. This static model defines objects quite well, but ignores the dynamic flow of information that manages the processes involved. That flow follows the rules of networks growing in complex systems. These rules are highly sophisticated fractal “algorithms”, involving conditional response(making choices) to optimize dynamic network traffic. This is best described as intelligent action. This is what goes on in the spiritual realm.

This informational/intelligent/spiritual “virtual reality” is an intricate web of relationships that exceeds the level of complexity seen in the physical universe, by several degrees of magnitude. This is both the history of the universe, (the memory of the total process) and its potential for growth. This is not an area that can be reduced to a iconic label and minimized, although science has attempted to do so.

One God, One Source?

Monotheism and evolution are both products of the same masculine, linear, rational and logical world view. Although the religious view of the All Mighty has morphed away from the bearded old man in the clouds, it is still based on an entity that is fundamentally separate from the system we are discussing. In the evolutionary view, there is no god, but the human being is supreme, and also seen as separate from the system.

Holistic Process

The System is not an entity, but a super, nonlinear process. The concept of an “eternal entity” is an illusion. There are only nested and overlapping subsystems that temporarily perform functions as if they were independent units, but flow on in waves, like the weather. The System is eternal; entities, even galaxies, are temporary.

You can’t talk to the System, only entities. The System is the communications network and medium, providing the system for all entities, but not in the business of user relations. Information comes from entities within the system, but not the System itself. It’s like trying to talk to the internet, you can talk to other entities using the system, not the system itself.

Political Expedient

Monotheism was a political expedient. Combining all the religions within the Roman Empire into a One Supreme Being(a Trinity really) was political genius. A world that worshipped enumerable deities, demons, gods and angels, could be ruled by one supreme representative, that just happened to reside in the capital city. This effectively removed religion from the life of the individual and replaced it with a state sponsored dogma.

Grand Network

You can ask anyone from a culture that converses directly with their environment and they will tell you that there are many entities that communicate with human beings. It is like the airwaves, the internet and your cellphone, all rolled into one. The System is a communications network that manages all living interactions. All entities use the system. Any entity that claims to be the one and only is pulling your leg.

You and i are part of that grand network, and therefore have access. Your entry portal is through your subconscious.

Beware of Introspection?

Both science and religion are in the business of inserting themselves between the individual and the System, by blocking off the subconscious as forbidden territory, too dangerous for common folk to mess with. They say our behavior should be left to the experts who interpret the “laws” of god and nature for us. They both attempt to define reality for us, with the intent of managing our behavior for their benefit. The concepts of deity and/or human superiority are their most effective management tools.

Accept Responsibility

The concept of a holistic information processing system puts the responsibility for behavior right where it belongs: on the shoulders of the individual. If you accept the “rules of behavior” given to you by your religion, your education and/or your government, you will, sooner or later, find yourself at odds with the Environmental System. Your culture has sold you out, using your behavior to increase the wealth and power those at the top of the cultural pyramid. The environment is a self-organizing, self-correcting system with a long history of success. It didn’t last this long by letting species run amuck. We will grasp our true relationship with that Environmental System, or perish.

March 12, 2009

The Human Experiment

Filed under: Ch 10 Conclusion, Drafts — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 9:30 am

From the beginning of this project i’ve tried to keep my quotes and explanations as simple as possible. I’ve quoted mostly from encyclopedias, dictionaries and wikies, sticking to popular concepts. I have been reluctant to quote from scientific sources directly for several reasons. For one, experience has taught me that it isn’t a good idea to quote people out of context. Many time i have marked an exciting quote, only to find later in reading the author that my interpretation of the quote was based on my own world view. It made sense to me in ways not intended by the author.

Lately however, i’ve come across several folks within the scientific community that are clearly working from a similar context. I think i can quote some of them without stirring up argument about what they meant to say.

In the book, “Programming the Universe”, MIT physicist Seth Lloyd says,

“The universe is a quantum computer whose computations are the movements of information that define the world we experience.”

Seth is one of the leading experts on quantum computing, actually having built one. I had never heard of him until a couple of weeks ago, but some of his stuff sounds like we could have collaborated. Not so, i assure you.

I interpret the above statement to mean the rules of quantum mechanics move the information we experience as consciousness. I don’t think i am stretching Seth’s intent.

In this same time frame i have discovered Nick Herbert, whose book, “Elemental Mind”, also sounds familiar. His take is that “mind” is a fundamental natural process like light or electricity.

There again, i am pleasantly surprised that the conclusions reached by these experts in physics are so close to my own. Mind, conscious and unconscious, are fundamental functions of information processing that control and manage activity in biological systems.

All Knowing Universe

The System is intelligent. It isn’t just clever, but truly all knowing. The Universe is the memory of everything that has ever happened. It knows everything about itself, but still has to maintain homeostasis. Like any complex adaptive system, variables must be monitored, goals identified, strategies devised and implemented to maintain its level of success.

Living systems grow, reproduce and disperse into the environment in an experimental mode, (sandbox), constantly testing new configurations against the results of all other experiments. The system learns to adapt to its own adaptations.

Observation, Planning and Action

The physical Universe is the memory of the process of It monitoring Itself. The process is observation, planning and action.

Just like ants and bees, we build to the patterns in our heads. We build objects out of matter, adding our spiritual metaphors to Universal memory. These objects represent our contribution to what the System knows about itself. We human beings are experiments that devise and carry out experiments on our own.

As we repeat the cycle of observation, planning and action, we learn. LifeOS is always observing, planning and acting; growing, reproducing and dispersing; creating, testing and choosing; in short, learning. The obsessions that drive our science and industry are not unique to human beings, but expressions of the fundamental intent inherent in Life itself.

Protected Area

So we humans have been put to the test. We have been given experimental capabilities. We are operating in our own sandbox. We have been given all the resources we need to be successful. The worst we can do is fail. It is up to us.

March 11, 2009

Conceptual Sandbox

There is another information processing concept that is used extensively in biological systems. It is a protected area called a sandbox.

Sandbox: A protected, limited environment where applications (e.g. Java programs downloaded from the Internet) are allowed to “play” without risking damage to the rest of the system.
–From computer-dictionary-online.org.

Virtual Machine

This limited environment has available all of the important resources the untested code needs to function, but is confined to a virtual machine where it can’t interact with the “real” operating system. This isolation makes for a safe place to experiment with new code. Part of what makes it work is the relative innocence of such an area. The coded elements within the sandbox are “unaware” that they are part of a larger system and operate as if they were an isolated entity.

As you can see, software development depends on this concept at all levels. In this conceptual environment, code can be tested and refined, errors, viruses and misconceptions can be identified and corrected, bold new ideas can be entertained without risk to established procedures.

Protected Areas

Natural systems, both biological and otherwise, make extensive use of this concept. The planet Earth is a good local example. Planets, solar systems and galaxies are isolated environments that certainly fit the conceptual model. Australia and the Galapagos Islands are also examples of protected and limited environments where new models can be tested.

From an evolutionary standpoint, a species serves the same function. Each individual agent the system produces operates in its own sandbox. An agent is furnished with its own operating system, its own algorithms and the ability to choose among them or make up new ones. Just as in its computer counterpart, the agent is unaware that it is part of the larger system and acts on its own, interacting with its own perceived environment. If this experimental agent is successful and survives to reproduce, the code passes the test and continues to contribute to the whole. If this version fails to reproduce, the code is rejected, and no damage is done to the system.

Nested Sandboxes

So, we can look at the universe as a system of nested sandboxes. In this view, every living thing can be seen as an experiment in sustainability. Natural selection verifies the success of the test, incorporating the tested code into a new configuration that also will be tested. Meanwhile, all experiments are monitored and compared through their holographic entanglement.

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