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    Archived pages: 2 . Archive date: 2014-10.

  • Title: OVERSHOOT LOOP: Evolution Under The Maximum Power Principle
    Descriptive info: .. index.. OVERSHOOT LOOP:.. Evolution Under The Maximum Power Principle.. by Jay Hanson, 11/12/13, minor revisions 7/16/14.. The consequence is, that in comparison of what [Attica] then was, there are remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of the soil having fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left.. Plato, 360 BC.. The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions.. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate.. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation.. John Gray, STRAW DOGS.. it may be time to recognize the maximum power principle as the fourth thermodynamic law as suggested by Lotka.. — H.. T.. Odum, 1994.. POLITICS:.. n 1: social relations involving authority or power.. Jay Hanson.. FORWARD.. I have been forced to review the key lessons that I have learned concerning human nature and collapse over the last 20 years.. Our collective behavior is.. the.. problem that must be overcome before anything can be done to mitigate the coming global social collapse.. The single most-important lesson for me was that we cannot.. re-wire.. (literally, because thought is.. physical.. [1].. ).. our basic political agendas through reading or discussion alone.. Moreover, since our thoughts are subject to physical law, we do not have the free-will to either think or behave autonomously.. We swim in.. politics.. like fish swim in water; it s everywhere, but we can't see it!.. We are political animals from birth until death.. Everything we do or say can be seen as part of lifelong political agendas.. Despite decades of scientific warnings, we continue to destroy our life-support system because that behavior is part of our inherited (DNA/RNA) hard wiring.. We use scientific warnings, like all inter-animal communications, for cementing group identity and for elevating one s own status.. (politics).. Only.. physical hardship.. can force us to rewire our mental-political agendas.. I am certainly not the first to make the observation, but now, after 20 years of study and debate, I am totally certain.. The.. “net energy principle”.. guarantees that our global supply lines will collapse.. The rush to social collapse cannot be stopped no matter what is written or said.. Humans have.. never.. been able to intentionally-avoid collapse because fundamental system-wide change is only possible after the collapse begins.. What about survivors? Within a couple of generations, all lessons learned from the collapse will be lost, and people will revert to genetic baselines.. I wish it weren t so, but all my experience screams it s hopeless.. Nevertheless, all we can do is the best we can and carry on.. I am thankful for the Internet where I can find others bright enough to discuss these complex ideas and help me to understand them.. Today, when one observes the many severe environmental and social problems, it appears that we are rushing towards extinction and are powerless to stop it.. Why can t we save ourselves? To answer that question we only need to integrate three of the key influences on our behavior: biological evolution,.. overshoot.. , and a proposed fourth law of thermodynamics called the Maximum Power Principle (MPP).. The MPP states that biological systems will organize to increase.. power.. [2].. generation, by degrading more.. energy,.. whenever systemic constraints allow it.. [3].. Biological evolution is a change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual.. Individual organisms do not evolve.. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic (DNA/RNA) material from one generation to the next.. Natural selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift.. Selection favors individuals who succeed at generating more power and reproducing more copies of themselves than their competitors.. OVERSHOOT!.. Energy.. is a key aspect of overshoot because available.. energy.. is always limited by the.. required to utilize it.. in the first place, I put forth a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.. Thomas Hobbes, LEVIATHAN.. In fact, telling primates (human or otherwise) that their reasoning architectures evolved in large part to solve problems of dominance is a little like telling fish that their gills evolved in large part to solve the problem of oxygen intake from water.. Denise Dellarosa Cummins.. Since natural selection occurs under thermodynamic laws, individual and group behaviors are.. biased.. by the MPP to generate maximum power, which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of resources.. [4].. whenever system constraints allow it.. Individuals and families will form social groups to generate more power by degrading more energy.. Differential power generation and accumulation result in a hierarchical group structure.. Overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power attainable for the group with lower-ranking members suffering first.. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain it.. Meanwhile, social conflict will intensify as available power continues to fall.. Eventually, members of the weakest group (high or low rank) are forced to disperse.. [5].. Those members of the weak group who do not disperse are killed,.. [6].. enslaved, or in modern times imprisoned.. By most estimates, 10 to 20 percent of Stone-Age people died at the hands of other humans.. The process of overshoot, followed by forced dispersal, may be seen as a sort of repetitive pumping action.. a collective behavioral loop.. that drove humans into every inhabitable niche.. Here is a synopsis of the behavioral loop described above:.. Step 1.. Individual and group behaviors are.. by the MPP to generate maximum.. power,.. which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of natural resources (overshoot), whenever systemic constraints allow it.. Step 2.. Energy is.. always.. limited, so overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power available to the group, with lower-ranking members suffering first.. Step 3.. Diminishing power availability creates divisive subgroups within the original group.. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals, who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain power.. Step 4.. Violent social strife eventually occurs among subgroups who demand a greater share of the remaining power.. Step 5.. The weakest subgroups (high or low rank) are either forced to disperse to a new territory, are killed, enslaved, or imprisoned.. Step 6.. Go back to step 1.. The above loop was repeated countless thousands of times during the millions of years that we were evolving.. [7].. This behavior is inherent in the architecture of our minds is entrained in our biological material and will be repeated until we go extinct.. Carrying capacity will decline.. [8].. with each future iteration of the overshoot loop, and this will cause human numbers to decline until they reach levels not seen since the Pleistocene.. Current models used to predict the end of the biosphere suggest that sometime between 0.. 5 billion to 1.. 5 billion years from now, land life as we know it will end on Earth due to the combination of CO.. 2.. starvation and increasing heat.. It is this decisive end that biologists and planetary geologists have targeted for attention.. However, all of their graphs reveal an equally disturbing finding: that global productivity will plummet from our time onward, and indeed, it already has been doing so for the last 300 million years.. [9].. It’s impossible to know the details of how our rush to extinction will play itself out, but we do know that it is going to be hell for those who are unlucky to be alive at the time.. To those who followed Columbus and Cortez, the New World truly seemed incredible because of the natural endowments.. The land often announced itself with a heavy scent miles out into the ocean.. Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524 smelled the cedars of the East Coast a hundred leagues out.. The men of Henry Hudson s Half Moon were temporarily disarmed by the fragrance of the New Jersey shore, while ships running farther up the coast occasionally swam through large beds of floating flowers.. Wherever they came inland they found a rich riot of color and sound, of game and luxuriant vegetation.. Had they  ...   environmental change, it will be tremendously disadvantaged against societies that do not behave that way.. The long-term successful society, in a world with many different societies, will be the one that grows when it can and fights when it runs out of resources.. It is useless to live an ecologically sustainable existence in the Garden of Eden” unless the neighbors do so as well.. Only one nonconservationist society in an entire region can begin a process of conflict and expansion by the grasshoppers” at the expense of the Eden-dwelling ants.. ” This smacks of a Darwinian competition survival of the fittest between societies.. Note that the fittest” of our two groups was not the more ecological, it was the one that grew faster.. The idea of such Darwinian competition is unpalatable to many, especially when the bad” folks appear to be the winners.. [pp.. 73-75] (.. Constant Battles.. : Why We Fight.. , by Steven A.. LeBlanc, St.. Martin, 2004).. The Slaughter Bench of History.. , by Ian Morris,.. THE ATLANTIC,.. April 11, 2014.. Dispersal.. is important in biology.. Many amazing biological devices have evolved to ensure it, such as the production of fruits and nectar by plants and the provision of tasty protuberances called elaiosomes by seeds to attract insects.. Often a species will produce two forms:.. (1) a maintenance.. phenotype.. (the outcome of genes and the structures they produce interacting with a specific environment) that is adapted to the environment in which it is born, and (2) a dispersal phenotype that is programmed to move to a new area and that often has the capacity to adapt to a new environment.. According to the present theory, humans have developed two dispersal phenotypes in the forms of the prophet and the follower.. The coordinated action of these two phenotypes would serve to disperse us over the available habitat.. This dispersal must have been aided by the major climatic changes over the past few million years in which vast areas of potential human habitat have repeatedly become available because of melting of ice sheets.. The dispersal phenotypes might have evolved through selection at the individual level, since the reproductive advantage of colonizing a new habitat would have been enormous.. They would also promote selection between groups.. This is important because selection at the group level can achieve results not possible at the level of selection between individuals.. One result of the dispersal phenotype includes.. ethnocentrism.. (the tendency to favor one s own ethnic group over another) and the tendency to use ethnic cleansing.. The other result, as previously noted, is selection for cooperation, self-sacrifice, and a devotion to group rather than individual goals.. Factors that promote selection at the group level are rapid splitting of groups, small size of daughter groups, heterogeneity (differences) of culture between groups, and reduction in gene flow between groups.. These factors are all promoted by the breaking away of prophet-led groups with new belief systems.. One of the problems of selection at the group level is that of free-riders.. These are people who take more than their share and contribute to the common good of the group less than their proper share.. Selection at the group level gives free-riders their free ride.. They potentially could increase until they destroy the cooperative fabric of the group.. However, the psychology of the free-rider, which is one of self-aggrandizement and neglect of group goals, is not likely to be indoctrinated with the mazeway of the group.. Nor is it likely to be converted to the new belief system of the prophet.. Therefore, theoretically one would predict that cults and New Religious Movements should be relatively free of free-riders.. Such an absence of free-riders would further enhance selection at the group level.. Moreover, this is a testable theoretical proposition.. Cult followers have been studied and found to be high on schizotypal traits, such as abnormal experiences and beliefs.. They have not yet been tested for the sort of selfish attitudes and behavior that characterize free-riders.. If a large cohort of people were tested for some measure of selfishness, it is predicted that those who subsequently joined cults would be low on such a measure.. Predictions could also be made about future cult leaders.. They would be likely to be ambitious males who were not at the top of the social hierarchy of their original group.. If part of why human groups split in general is to give more reproductive opportunities to males in the new group, it can also be predicted that leaders of new religious movements would be males of reproductive age.. Female cult leaders are not likely to be more fertile as a result of having many sexual partners, but their sons might be in an advantageous position for increased reproduction.. Conclusion:.. The biobehavioral science of ethology is about the movement of individuals.. We have seen that change of belief system has been responsible for massive movements of individuals over the face of the earth.. Religious belief systems appear to have manifest advantages both for the groups that espouse them and the individuals who share them.. It is still controversial whether belief systems are adaptations or by-products of other evolutionary adaptive processes.. Regardless of the answer to this question, the capacity for change of belief system, both that seen in the prophet and also that seen in the follower, may be adaptations because they have fostered the alternative life history strategies of dispersal from the natal habitat.. Moreover, change of belief system, when it is successful in the formation of a new social group and transfer of that group to a promised land, accelerates many of the parameters that have been thought in the past to be too slow for significant selection at the group level, such as eliminating free-riders, rapid group splitting, heterogeneity between groups and reduction of gene transfer between groups.. Natural selection at the group level would also favor the evolution of the capacity for change of belief system, so that during the past few million years we may have seen a positive feedback system leading to enhanced cult formation and accelerated splitting of groups.. This may have contributed to the rapid development of language and culture in our lineage.. (.. The Biology of Religious Behavior.. , edited by Jay R.. Feierman, pp.. 184-186).. The results of the study are striking, according to Robbins Schug, because violence and disease increased through time, with the highest rates found as the human population was abandoning the cities.. However, an even more interesting result is that individuals who were excluded from the city s formal cemeteries had the highest rates of violence and disease.. Violence, Infectious Disease and Climate Change Contributed to Indus Civilization Collapse.. ,.. Science Daily,.. January 17, 2014).. My discussion will revolve around two basic propositions regarding long-term human population history: 1) the near-zero growth rates that have prevailed through much of prehistory are likely due to long-term averaging across periods of relatively rapid local population growth interrupted by infrequent crashes caused by density-dependent and density-independent factors; and 2) broad changes in population growth rates across subsistence modes in prehistory are probably best explained in terms of changes in mortality due to the dampening or buffering of crashes rather than significant increases in fertility (.. Subsistence strategies and early human population history.. : an evolutionary ecological perspective, by James L.. Boone, 2002).. Also see:.. A persistent theme in much anthropological writing is the concept of the deliberate control of population numbers by hunter-gatherers so as to achieve moderate family size, adequate nutrition and constrained adult mortality.. This paper examines the mix of theory and field evidence leading to this conclusion and finds the case not proven.. It argues, on the contrary, that Malthusian constraints can operate, and probably did operate, to produce a society where most adults were reasonably robust and healthy even though child mortality was high and life expectancy short.. It draws attention to the fact that the absence of population limitation in pre-Neolithic times implies high mortality as well as high fertility, and weakens the argument positing a Neolithic mortality crisis.. Pretransitional Population Control and Equilibrium.. , by John C.. Caldwell and Bruce K.. Caldwell.. Population Studies: A Journal of Demography Volume 57, Issue 2, 2003.. ).. Sustainable Engineering: Resource Load Carrying Capacity and K phase Technology.. , by Peter Hartley, 1993.. pp.. 118-119, The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-destructive?.. by Peter Ward, 2009..

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  • Title: Fwd: Two problems with "self-deception": No "self" and no "deception"
    Descriptive info: [ This message is archived at.. org/denial.. ].. We are assuming that the mind contains "multiple executive systems with preferential access to different memories and different action programs" or "modules" for short.. Some of the mind's modules are associated with what we call "consciousness.. ".. So, something like a tribal-wide-social "consciousness module," a school-social module, a work-social module, a sport-enthusiast-social module, neighbor-social module, family-social module, a no-one-else-around module, and possibly others depending upon how a person lives.. The modules described above could be extremely simple algorithms (rules of behavior) with pointers to "tables" (more algorithms) for the body language, spoken language, dress code, etc.. that are appropriate for the specific social setting.. These social modules are "mutually exclusive" (only one can be "selected" at a time).. Moreover, which module is selected would be determined by a subconscious "multiplexer" (.. http://en.. wikipedia.. org/wiki/Multiplexer.. ) that is associated with the processing of environmental cues.. A single self-deceived or several subselves divided?.. Would we lie to ourselves? We don't need to.. Rather than a single self equipped with a few bivariate[1] processes, the mind is composed of a dissociated aggregation of subselves processing qualitatively different information relevant to different adaptive problems.. Each subself selectively processes  ...   Culture Interface.. Roy F.. Baumeister and E.. J.. Masicampo.. Florida State University.. Five empirically based critiques have undermined the standard assumption that conscious thought is primarily for input (obtaining information from the natural environment) or output (the direct control of action).. Instead, we propose that conscious thought is for internal processing, to facilitate downstream interaction with the social and cultural environment.. Human consciousness enables the construction of meaningful, sequential thought, as in sentences and narratives, logical reasoning, counting and quantification, causal understanding, narratives, and the simulation of events (including nonpresent ones).. Conscious thought sequences resemble short films that the brain makes for itself, thereby enabling different parts of brain and mind to share information.. The production of conscious thoughts is closely linked to the production of speech because the human mind evolved to facilitate social communication and information sharing, as culture became humankind's biological strategy.. The influence of conscious thought on behavior can be vitally helpful but is mostly indirect.. Conscious simulation processes are useful for understanding the perspectives of social interaction partners, for exploring options in complex decisions, for replaying past events (both literally and counterfactually) so as to learn, and for facilitating participation in culture in other ways.. org/_Biology/consciousness.. pdf..

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