Life Annihilates Life

Life is an opportunistic parasite. It’s been speculated that life on Mars annihilated itself. This is almost a truism. In most models, there are only two options: life annihilates life or the inanimate environment intervenes. As regards anthropogenic climate change, occasionally, it’s both, though some are afforded a sense of plausible deniability—they get to throw their hands up into the air and proclaim that these things just happen to happen in cycles. It’s happened before; it’ll happen again. What can you do?

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Besides, they threatened a new Ice Age in the 1970s, and now they’re warning about climate change? I’ll have none of it. Climate change is just another way for certain so-called green industries to fleece the public and abscond with government subsidies, but we’re wise to them.”

Dramatic Reanactment

Humans refer to life feeding off of other life as parasites, seeing no irony in fitting the same description. This is not a novel observation, but most prefer to ignore it. We proclaim that we are at the top of the food chain, except it’s a food web, and we’re not at the top. We’re a mediocre species on a unique but mediocre planet in a mediocre galaxy supported by a mediocre star, we call the sun, and so on. As the saying goes, “as above, so below”. Mediocre all the way down.

But life annihilates life. Of course, there is war and hate and intolerance and ignorance. These comprise the lion’s share. In fact, I’m not sure what one might add. We annihilate other life, and we annihilate ourselves. Sure, there’s age and disease and trauma and asteroid strikes, but most of these are beyond our control.

Annihilation is inevitable, whether on an individual micro-level or a macro-level. Annihilation is entropy—the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Earth is a macrocosm of Easter Island, driven to extinction through resource depletion. There are other ways to go. We’ve even got some locked and loaded.

100 seconds to midnight.

The Truth about Truth (Fourth Amend)

Please note that this content has been subsumed into the originating article: The Truth about Truth.

This is a response to this comment by Landzek from The Philosophical Hack regarding the notion of intended truth in communication, the fourth amendment in a series of posts extending the concept commenced in The Truth about Truth.

Extending the simple asymptotic function from the first amend, we might see (in Graph 4a) a slight variation in interpretation due to the insufficiencies of language—providing us with a close enough for the government approximation to some shared perception. People in this group will tend to agree on some perception, say, that the earth is spherical.* The average distance from perception to reality is the same for all in-group members, give or take some small variance that I’ll dismiss as an insignificant rounding error.

Graph 4a: Correspondence of Truth to Reality (Simplified in-group concurrence)

Graph 4b, however, illustrates two opposing perceptions of reality. In this example, I show proponents of orthodoxy (group O), who claim the earth to be roughly spherical, arbitrarily closer to reality than proponents of an alternative theory (group A), who claim that the earth is flat.

Each in-group has some variance from the mean notion, but ex-group members are orders of magnitude apart, as measured by the blue and red bars to the right of the chart. If we assume some binary condition that the earth is either spherical or flat with no other options, one of these might be considered to be right whilst the other would be wrong. We can establish this situation relative to the ex-groups, but, still, neither of these is comparable to Reality™ .

Graph 4b: Correspondence of Truth to Reality (Simplified ex-group concurrence)

The intent of each group may be to promote the perspective of the group—each claiming to be closer to the truth than the other. It is easy to imagine a situation where both claimants are equally distant from the truth:

Imagine two groups, each making opposing claims:

  • Tarot is superior to Astrology in predicting the future.
  • Astrology is superior to Tarot in predicting the future.

I’ll go out on a limb here and create a reality where the future is not predictable by either measure, irrespective of what each in-group believes.

* I understand that the earth being an oblate spheroid is primarily an analytical distinction, so is tautologically true, but I am using a simplification of a commonly accepted fact.

Fate is a Woman

According to this article, The Fate of the Earth Depends on Women, women are our species’ last hope. The survival of the human species depends on wresting power from men, or so it says. But it’s more than that.

“The survival of the human species depends on women wresting power from men.”

To Michel Foucault, the crux of everything is power. Adopting his worldview, then, the problem isn’t whether men or women hold power; it’s power itself. For example, Margaret Thatcher may be single-handedly responsible for taking the Western World down into the abyss that is Conservativism or Neoliberalism, if you like. This, a woman, did this. I am not playing the Eve or Lileth blame game here, trying to vilify a woman. Sure, Ronald Reagan was the mouthpiece for putting her agenda on steroids, but it was she who primed the pump, though it was he who amplified the message.

And we’ve got warmongers like Hillary Clinton. Having a vagina doesn’t make you more responsible with power.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Besides, absolute power corrupts absolutely. A woman would be fine, but there are at least three things at play in today’s world:

  1. The system is designed to select a certain type of participant.
  2. The system is designed to mould participants who somehow make it past the initial vetting.
  3. By and large, the women who participate play the power game similarly to the men.

Sure, there are some women who might do better, but there are also some men. This is not apologist rhetoric or mansplaining. This is to say that the solution is not in sex or gender; it’s in temperament. And it bears repeating: the system digests persons with this temperament and spits them out; at least it marginalises them. The game is rigged.