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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Toby Lightheart: on 6/4/14 at 7:29am UTC, wrote Hi Turil, Thanks for your essay. I enjoyed the style of writing and the...

Turil Cronburg: on 5/29/14 at 13:03pm UTC, wrote As for the community spaces I'm looking to help nurture, my short term goal...

Turil Cronburg: on 5/29/14 at 12:55pm UTC, wrote Toby, it's not so much a hands off approach, it's a stop messing everything...

Toby Lightheart: on 5/29/14 at 7:19am UTC, wrote Hi Turil, Thanks for your essay. I enjoyed the style of writing and the...

Peter Jackson: on 5/23/14 at 16:56pm UTC, wrote Turil, Anyone for tea? Thanks for any enjoyable experience built around...

Turil Cronburg: on 5/22/14 at 14:38pm UTC, wrote Jim, I think if you have fun teaching, it probably is guaranteed to make...

Turil Cronburg: on 5/22/14 at 14:31pm UTC, wrote Margriet, thanks for your comments! It's always nice to hear from someone...

Margriet O'Regan: on 5/22/14 at 2:21am UTC, wrote Hello Turil ~ “All matter “gives off” information, or perhaps, is...


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FQXi FORUM
December 9, 2018

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Planetary Procreation by Turil Sweden Cronburg [refresh]
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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 17, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
Essay Abstract

The unique function life forms contribute to the universe is the creative production and reproduction of information, in ever emergent dimensions. Given this, we can explore the purpose of life, evolution, humankind, and where we are going in the future, and discover that the answer is every where and every when. No steering is necessary, we're already on auto-pilot. And the first place were headed is a planet that is as fully connected and collaborative as the individual cells are in a human body.

Author Bio

Turil Cronburg is a teacher, artist, and philosopher focusing on exploring and sharing the patterns of development in life, as a way to support high quality decision-making at all levels. She is currently looking to create a global non-profit organization that supports groups of forward-thinking humans in starting community resource exchanges that serve as hubs freely connecting individuals with the diverse elements they need to achieve their dreams. She hopes to start out with a single life~work space for her and her collaborators and family somewhere in New England, and grow exponentially from there into the universe!

Download Essay PDF File

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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 15:53 GMT
Dear Ms. Cronburg,

I must congratulate you for your having written one of the most beautiful optimistic essays I believe I have ever read.

Alas, only reality is procreated, all information is abstract. All information has to be created, and its utility is subjectively manipulative, and collectively malignant. By that I mean that nature provides for all needs. Nature cannot be improved upon. Information requires technology and all technology is destructive of nature.

I would love to have a hot cup of tea. Please though, no teabags; a little milk, no sugar.

With best regards,

Joe Fisher

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 21, 2014 @ 17:35 GMT
Turil,

I believe that if all had your power of positive thinking,our world would be much better, but we aren't all built and/or nurtured that way. Perhaps cultural perspectives also affect our judgments.

Your "atom and Adam" are good extended metaphors for large and tiny and your "everywhere and everywhen" are symbolic and catchy, but I'm afraid that "autopilot," perhaps like MH370 may prove, can only take us so far without conscious and/or inspired human intervention.

I hope I am wrong but current conditions are not encouraging.

Jim

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Member Tommaso Bolognesi wrote on Mar. 21, 2014 @ 18:48 GMT
Hi Turil,

I enjoyed reading your essay. A small remark now.

At the beginning of your talk you present four conceptual pictures of increasingly complex ways in which humans "give off" information, which I try to summarize as:

1. reproduction using genes;

2. emotional procreations;

3. objective thought producing memes;

4. (potential) collective mating of terrestrials.

I really enjoy your brilliant prose, and your ability to present facts that are often part of our usual daily experience under unusual perspectives - to present them under a new light.

What I found a bit distracting, however (at least for my taste), is the need you feel to force these four "things" into a dimensionality progression, from 1D to 4D.

I find this mapping rather arbitrary. The complexity of each of the four "things" that you describe is so high that, when asked to attribute some sort of dimensionality to each of them, people would likely come up with divergent opinions (I myself would not even try.)

Anyway, perhaps your intention was not to draw a rigorous mapping, but to structure your text in some appealing way (and you did it!).

More comments later (hopefully).

Tommaso

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 15:21 GMT
Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

First, I have to say, I wasn't always optimistic. Not in the least. But having researched patterns of growth for nearly a decade now, in addition to being a teacher, who saw the ways human children naturally grow, I've come to the conclusion that there must be something in the laws of nature/physics that makes things flow in a certain way, expanding into more and more "dimensions" (in the sense of directions that things can move). It's similar to what Constructal Law postulates, I think, only I see things in a much more generalized view than Bejan does.

And I can understand that it doesn't seem like our higher conscious minds, with their ability to take on multiple perspectives (dimensions) at a time, are independent pilots, but from everything I've seen in genetics and how the human brain functions, we're hard wired (on auto-pilot) to want to increase our connections with others, and share information (tell stories) about what we discover in the universe.

And Tommaso, I know those dimensions seem arbitrary, but they are very precise, in my experience. The kinds of ways individuals can use information (awareness) are very specific, as they relate to perspective taking (first person, second person, third person, etc.), which is what the "dimensions" of thinking/communication are that I'm talking about. For a mathematical/visual breakdown of those different combinations of thinking at each level of general dimension, you can see a diagram here: https://sites.google.com/site/thewiseturtle/home/consciousaw
arenessgrowth.gif (hint, this is binary growth)

Yes, things are definitely more complex when you look at things from a very detailed level, just as a map of the planet doesn't show you all the tiny details of the geography, but the overall view is accurate for getting an understanding of the basic structure and function of things. The basic patterns are real, and seemingly universal, be it the kinds of consciousness or the ways that healthy systems grow, as far as the evidence I've found indicates.

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Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 15:47 GMT
Respectfully Ms. Cronburg,

Reality is not in the least bit complicated. The only thing that is complicated is information about reality.

For instance: All surfaces travel at the constant “speed” of light. All non-surfaces travel at an inconsistent speed that is less than the speed of light. This must be so for lit surfaces can be observed by man, moose, and mouse, and non-surfaces cannot ever be observed.

To believe otherwise is to be ignorant. Realty must be sensible and the only way it could be sensible would be for it to be simple.

Joe

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 15:56 GMT
Indeed, everything is simple, from a certain perspective!

Different individuals look at things from either very close in, getting lost in the detail, while others look from a broader view, seeing the simplicity.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 15:23 GMT
Oh, and Joe, how about some lemon balm tea? Fresh made from the plant that's been growing on my windowsill all winter?

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Mar. 25, 2014 @ 03:10 GMT
Turil,

It is an interesting, well rounded and thought out entry. I use a similar dichotomy in my entry, of the central nervous system and circulatory(and respiratory, digestive) systems as reflective of our cultural needs and how they might inform us of what the problems are.

While you use the term autopilot to describe the executive function of consciousness, I won't exactly...

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Mar. 28, 2014 @ 14:08 GMT
John, I think you bring up an interesting point about when all the perspectives come together, making pure light. I believe that's an excellent way to describe the totality of reality: pure light (or, more accurately, pure energy). All the universe's information added together is the same as all the energy of the universe added together (since energy is information, i.e., patterns of change). It seems to me that the increase in entropy in the universe might have something to do with the increase in diversity (of matter/energy/life) in the universe.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 29, 2014 @ 23:38 GMT
Turil,

I think physics has issues in dealing with infinities that it will have to overcome. The concept of entropy only applies to a closed, ie. finite set. In an infinite state, energy being lost/radiated away from one system, is replaced by other energy radiating away from neighboring systems.

Currently Big Bang theory argues the entire universe is expanding and eventually those distant galaxies will be so far away their light will no longer reach us. Now that means more units defined by the speed of light will be required to cross this space. Presumably then it is being denominated in lightyears, which means the expanded space is the numerator. That's not expanding space, but an increasing distance in stable space, as measured by C.

So we have this void filled with cycles of radiation expanding and mass contracting. According to theory, this balances out to overall flat space and this is explained by inflation blowing the universe up so far that it only appears flat, but what if it really is flat? When we see light that has traveled billions of years, it has had to thread its way between all those gravity wells of galaxies. Not only that, but it's redshifted proportional to distance. Since I don't see how they can really use relativity to say space itself expands, when the speed of light doesn't increase proportionally to maintain C, so there really is only increased distance, then we would appear to be at the center of the universe. Now we do happen to be at the center of our view of the universe, so an optical effect would explain this quite well. So then the light in a basically gravity free environment expands, much as that in a gravity zone contracts. Think of space as the rubber sheet over water. Then when the ball pushes it down, the water pushes the rest back up proportionally, so that the overall effect is 'flat' and we only see light that travels the 'high ground.'

Now that is a whole other argument, which I get drawn into quite easily and have argued in the contests and blogs here quite often, but am trying to be more sociological in this contest.

Regards,

John M

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Alexandre de Pomposo wrote on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 16:32 GMT
Dear Professor Turil Sweden Cronburg,

I thank you a lot for your encouraging words and, as I see in the paper you wrote, the discovering of how we deeply coincide in many points. I greatly enjoyed reading you, particularly expressed in the diagrams you beautifully presented. However, if you allow me to make a few comments about your ideas, I would like to know how can we pretend to use experience, consciousness, space, time, etc., as we don’t even know the real meaning of all that. I understand quite well that, by centuries we have been forced to accept all those concepts as provisory hypotheses, otherwise we would never progressed a bit in science… Nevertheless, I think, we should keep in mind that all the basic conceptual structure of science, including evolution as a model o time developing systems, has to be questioned again and again. In fact, I consider that what we actually call “experience” inevitably is a past reality, an already done structure, good or bad, beautiful or ugly, constructing or disastrous, whatever, but always known in a posteriori manner. Present, instead, cannot be seen or even experienced as such, since in the case of conscious experience, this always happens in a sort of estrangement of oneself, whilst the rest of atoms, not Adams, seem to me as simply being there without a notion of experience. I keep thinking that, even though I ignore what consciousness is.

Another heavy term you employ in your exposure is purpose; I would have rather utilized the term intention, but it doesn’t matter. Indeed what I suppose is really important to tell you is that I don’t think we get things clearer by assuming the equation purpose = function. You probably know that one of the main disjunctive topics is the question for what was first, structure or function: does structure make function or is it the other way around? I am sure that as far as we stay on that twofold situation we will never be able to get off the hook. I propose to add a third element, namely, fluctuations triggering and modulating reality. Now yes, we break through the undecidable binomial; instead of the old dialectic one-dimensional relationship structure ↔ function, we get a threefold relationship, not strictly dialectic, an equilateral triangle with structure, function and fluctuations, each one of three on each corner.

This relationship cannot be purely dialectic because there wouldn’t be any possible evolution of such a closed system. Not only does each one of the three moments depend on the other two, but also each one of them has to be opened to new possible conditions. That is why fluctuations play a crucial role in evolutionary perspectives. Don’t you think so? I know all that is present between the lines of your text but, perhaps, it would have been very useful to do it explicitly. No doubt, all the factors you mention for a fully functioning Earth are relevant and, in a certain sense, they all are urgent to meet.

I didn’t fully developed the idea of epistemic polyglotism because of the lack of space we counted on for the contest; however, and I am very glad to confirm that you did understand the point, in order to answer a foundational question like how should humanity steer the future, only illustrious ideas like yours and mine can effectively contribute to get a glimpse of an answer. I widely develop the subject of polyglotism in a book I just registered in Mexico, it is written in Spanish, titled “La conciencia de la ciencia: un juego complejo” [The consciousness of science: a complex play (game)]. May be I will think of a translation into English and French.

Finally, I would like to tell that, yes, I would like a hot cup of tea!

Yours,

Alexandre de Pomposo

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 28, 2014 @ 13:53 GMT
Thanks for your feedback Alexandre. (Note, I'm not a professor. I've been a teacher in many different venues, but never been a professor.)

Here's your cup of tea!

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Gyenge Valeria wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 16:58 GMT
Dear Turil!

At first, welcome you here as an another women in this essay contest arena :)

I enjoyed your essay, and also the longer conversations posted here by everyone.

Your point of you very similar as I proposed a renewed model in my essay, seeing the Man's biological complexity as a Universal natural working model for our further development as a societal organization, and understanding all possible information gathering about - the original nature - and the connection with our nature. Basically what I also proposed is for making optimal decision points what kind of deep knowledge and technological improvements are important for us steering ourselves, the Nature, and also our nature.

I liked your - you're an atom or an Adam :) what is also meets with my view. I glanced over your blog too. You exert and maintain wast amount of information with which you have been dealing with, and those also can meet with my path goes on its way.

You had gone here some steps further explaining a model offering how to use all of those gathered information.

As Joe Fisher says the 'Reality Once'(basically agreeing with him, but I call that the original Reality as an undisturbed one Nature) is not complicated truly, only the all possible information gathering and arrangement and using it for a possible sustainable human development can be complicated. However!

The Man has a higher cognitive function in-built - I mean never created capability - which propels him to understand, scrutinize, his environment - inner/outer both ones! It also should not be ignored! The Man want to know! Surely there were and possibly there will be civilizations (natural organizations of universal arrangements or orders of beings) who never used hard technological inventions overtaking their own nature, used their knowledge wisely. (We should have heard about them as fairydom or ethereal kingdom). Also possibly there were civilizations and there will be who need to equilibrate between the (also Joe says well - using abstractions about a reality interpretation - which is the capability of the mind rendering the sensually gathered information putting them in either apprehensible terms or not using several kind of languages) incorporating between dimensions. (Some parts of them should be meant material some parts anyhow named. See my tiny picture too in my essay)

As John says ...if we know everything all around us...it really should take lot of processing power to handle. But, whether we know with full awareness all about it or not - even our natural (not genetically modified) human organism can handle all around us. This is why the original optimal sharing between the voluntary and autonomic nervous system can maintain a healthy organism.

Yes, the conscious processing power to know even more what the nature can handle optimally as in-built, can be increased with technological achievements and improvements.

It is not the question addressed to the physics only whether the Universe is finite or infinite or expanding or contracting even in many cycles ending in a Big-Bang, or singularity causing either transhuman or something else. Unfortunately the last danger is bigger. Completely losing our humanness!

The (finite/infinite) questions is addressed to the human purport: What is worth to do with our wast knowledge we want to know and should know, due to all is ready for us all over us? Whether where when is the optimal balance for us as an UNIVERSAL BEING, as a cosmical vast civilisation, as a Planet or chain of planets any how termed by us? Whether what is worth to transmit further for an inheritance for a further review or refinement?

My question was in my essay - Whether was/is/will there be a kind of thought experiment a.k.a Creation project - for answering these very complicate questions for our best purpose not against us?

Best of all, for you

(I sense, we should make some conversations further. If you feel similar, I also have availability in my essay.)

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 14:29 GMT
Hello Gyenge. Thanks for your comment. I'm having a hard time understanding you, but I appreciate your enthusiasm!

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 01:56 GMT
Hello Turil,

I wanted to tell you that I greatly enjoyed your essay. You seem a bit more optimistic than I, but sometimes simply getting enough people to believe something is possible is the greatest challenge. I'm glad you focused on the metaphor of play and its role in learning, which you know I also highlight. I enjoyed the light-hearted tone, and I approve of your message, but I hope you are not just being naive about some things - because the success of your endeavor hinges on certain dark and terrible things not happening.

On the other hand; most people are not aware that combating evil does not create the good, and that this is something that must be given attention too. Your essay seems more directed at expressing that angle in a joyful way. I think I grasp that humans are meant to be - by our creating and exploring - the means by which Earth comes to fertilize other planets with life, but that we earthlings must be good suitors, to get the job. Does that sum up you intent, with the title of your essay?

I should also mention that I greatly enjoy the work of Arthur Young, and have created adaptations thereof. I'll have more to say later.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 14:54 GMT
"sometimes simply getting enough people to believe something is possible is the greatest challenge."

Indeed! Once the mainstream educational system, media, corporate PR, and government get a hold of people's belief systems, it's really hard to make change. That's why I tend to find it easier to work with kids! This is where my realistic optimism comes from. I see human nature closer to it's source, by looking at children. So I know what's to come a little better than folks who don't have young people in their lives. Certainly there are challenges, but the instinctive behavior we all share, even when suppressed so significantly by the artificial anti-social/anti-self silliness of corporate~governments all over the world, shine through enough to guide us to where we really are designed to go, outward and upward. We've been doing it for millennia, and there is no reason to expect it to stop. It might slow down more than some of us want, but as long as there are still some humans around, it seems impossible to stop us from exploring and expanding ourselves.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that horrible things won't happen. I mean I'm generally homeless, often don't have enough decent food, and I'm often harassed by the police and legal system, as well as some of my own family members, but through it all, I see WHY people behave so harmfully/sickly, and can see that people are tired of it, and looking for something different. We just have to find a way to help them believe that things CAN be better, and that we all deserve to be healthy.

Finally, I'm happy to hear from someone else who's familiar with Arthur Young. He's been quite an inspiration to me, and I'm amazed that he isn't more well known. He's up there with Bucky Fuller for me, when it comes to eccentric, fascinating geniuses.

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Walter Putnam wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 18:22 GMT
Excellent essay, Turil! I think I will sit down and shut up now.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 18:30 GMT
Well!

Thank you.

But while you're sitting there quietly, would you like some tea? And would you maybe consider thinking about your goals for what you most want in life, and most want to do? And then share your findings with anyone who's willing to listen? (I am, for instance!)

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Walter Putnam replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 23:36 GMT
I'll do that, Turil. Tea sounds great! As for the rest, wish I'd given more thought to life's goals long ago. Guess what I would like most in life is to continue writing. Not necessarily this heavy stuff, though. I like writing stories, mostly fantasy -- often whimsical -- but with a deeper meaning curled up inside. That's sharing, isn't it? Thanks for listening. And if you'd ever like an ear, let me know. You have an intriguing mind.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 12:51 GMT
Here's your tea!

And, out of curiosity, what would you like people to get out of your stories? How would you like to improve their lives with your creative efforts?

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Walter Putnam wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 20:42 GMT
I would like for them to be entertained, maybe amused, and then to think "maybe he had something worthwhile to say after all." If they see that as something that brightens their day, and makes them feel they're not alone, and that others share their hopes and fears -- and their dreams -- then all the better. If they were moved to improve their own lives, and the lives of others, as a result of my writing, then I would have succeeded beyond my wildest ambition.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 21:10 GMT
In what way would you most like folks to be moved to improve their lives? What would you like to offer folks that isn't available already in the stories and books that you've seen?

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Walter Putnam replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 22:39 GMT
Turil, I'm beginning to feel like I'm on a psychiatrist's couch. Are you analyzing me, or is there some other purpose here? I suppose it would be enough to say I'm gratified if someone reads my books and doesn't think I'm a complete lunatic. But by asking the questions you've asked you have at least prompted me to think more about my work.

I would like for people to be moved to be more compassionate, which as you may recall was the subject of my original essay in this forum. I think that not only would improve my readers' lives but also would help improve the lives of those around them, and in turn contribute to a chain reaction of love and understanding and compassion necessary to fulfill our common purpose, which is to create -- and, yes, procreate -- and add to the creation that we call our universe.

I can't say that I can offer ideas that are not already available, but one thing I try to do is offer my own understanding of the way the universe works, and the forces that undermine the peace and harmony that might be found in it.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 14:51 GMT
Well, I am a teacher and counselor and Socratic-loving-philosopher, so I suppose it's not surprising that my inquiry approach might seem a bit like an analysis! My goal is to help people feel the courage and encouragement to explore and better understand their goals in life, and how they might want to try to focus on those goals, eliminating the waste and unnecessary/frustrating other stuff that gets in the way of being successful and feeling good about one's life.

Inquiry, in my experience, has to go quite deep, for it to be really meaningful, and so many folks don't ever get the support or even suggestion for going deep. Most folks are taught to be satisfied with superficial stuff which leaves them kind of muddy about themselves. So when I ask things like what would you like to offer folks that isn't already available, and how you want that offering to improve their ability to lead a healthy, creative life, it's because I think you do have something unique to offer the world, and I'd love to help you discover it, so that you can accomplish it more easily than you might have before.

Your unique contribution might not be specifically a new "idea" but it might be a new way to convey that idea to folks who haven't already been exposed to it. In my experience, sharing one's own unique stories about how one has discovered something important in life, be it about compassion one has found for someone one might not have previously had compassion for, or anything else, is one of the ways that an audience ends up most moved...

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Michael Allan wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 01:41 GMT
Hello Turil, I was charmed. I went on to read much of your blog. Later I wondered why your essay should have this effect on me. The image that eventually came to mind was that of me (the reader) contemplating a piece of art in a gallery.

With that image in mind, I intend to re-read your essay - a little more critically this time - and try to say something more helpful. Before I start, is there any aspect of the essay that you yourself have doubts about, or feel was inadequately discussed in this forum? - Mike

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 14:43 GMT
Michael, than you for your generous and kind comments!

And thanks for asking about my doubts and things not adequately discussed. I suppose my doubts involve the best way to be effective in communicating the idea of both hope for a better future, and respect of one's own needs/dreams, to others. Often times I express my heartfelt belief that people deserve to have the high quality things they need to attempt to achieve their greatest, most creative dreams, and people react badly. There are so many defenses that people have had installed in them about "not deserving good things", or at least not deserving them unconditionally, that I think it's not always easy to help people move past those silly roadblocks (to health and creativity).

The thing that I'd wish was more discussed, I think, is the categorization system I've employed, using Pascal's triangle. I think it's an exceptionally useful tool for understanding large, complex problems, and finding the components that go into the solutions, at all levels of detail, from the basic, general things needed, to the more specific parts. Pascal's triangle is literally the mathematical structure of all possible combinations of a whole, if we are using the evolutionary process of division and (creative) recombination of elements. But this ancient way of breaking things down (and vice versa) seems to be mostly ignored by all. To the point where I actually had never learned about it, even through my years of exploring math, and I had to rediscover it all on my own. Even reading about the mathematicians who work on symmetry and group theory often seem to ignore the usefulness of this triangle, even though it directly defines the groups and their combinations of possible symmetries.

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Michael Allan replied on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 09:14 GMT
My pleasure Turil,

It's probably just the unconditional aspect they're reacting to. When I was a child, I needed love (and much else) unconditionally. Now I judge my worth by what I give in return. You too must feel the same, mature reluctance to take without giving, and shrink from any suggestion of that.

I prefer to appraise your essay as I originally did, as a work of art. When I...

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 14:10 GMT
Yeah, I think people have been conditioned to think that somehow they don't need their needs in order to function well. They have been taught just what you said, to feel guilty for needing things for their bodies and brains to work. They don't realize that, just like any system, the output is entirely dependent on the input. Can you imagine expecting a bicycle to be a great form of transportation if you refuse to maintain it, and never put air into the tires, or oil on the chain? It really gets in the way of a healthy society. Breaking that myth/habit seems to be one of the big hurdles for us to allow our auto-pilot to work well.

And what I mean by "auto-pilot" is instinct. Evolution has produced a species, in Homo Sapiens, that naturally is motivated to connect, communicate, and explore in all four dimensions (including UP!). But just because you have a course already set doesn't mean you'll get there. So our success clearly isn't predetermined. We could go the way of the dodo, if we don't trust our instincts, and don't take care of ourselves. Also, it's interesting that you say that nature is "mindless", except that nature is precisely what produced mind. The brain, and it's function (mind), is the most complex and adaptable thing in the universe, and it was entirely created by natural laws and the process of evolution. What else would you use to guide your life, if not the laws of physics and the biological systems that have proven successful at moving things forward for so long?

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Ross Cevenst wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 09:32 GMT
A fascinating concept, including some humorous writing that I enjoyed. Conceptualizing planets or biospheres as reproductory entities is quite inspirational, though its difficult to be sure that a biosphere is a refined product of evolution (able to act to self-preserve). Perhaps humanity's deliberate decision to be the brains of the biosphere could result in the ability for Earth to become something greater as you propose!

I also wonder if a planet/biosphere's mode of reproduction is sexual? Are the forces that cause sexual reproduction in regular species present for planets?

In any case, thanks for an off-beat and very interesting essay!

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 14:43 GMT
Ross, thanks for the comment. As to planets being evolutionary entities, I’m not sure I’d say that the biosphere itself is the being, but instead it might be the four dimensional idea of Earth, or Earthlings, as a collective unit of diverse cultures and species all stemming from the same origin. It’s a fine distinction, but one which might be important. So, rather than just the planet and all it’s life, the being that evolution produces at this level is one of a past, present, and future of all life that began on this planet. But this is certainly open-ended thinking here! As

And as for sexual/asexual reproduction, I imagine we might do both...

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Douglas Alexander Singleton wrote on May. 6, 2014 @ 17:50 GMT
Hi Turil,

I just read your nice and thought provoking essay. First in the introduction you talk about the difficulty/impossibility of keeping a secret or keeping information private. This reminded me somewhat of the ideas of Marcel Proust from his novel "Remembrance of Things Past" (or more directly "Recovery of Lost Time") except Proust was only dealing with a social context. He would...

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 13:53 GMT
Doug, thanks for your comments. It is interesting that we are mostly unaware of all the information we tend to put out there!

And yes, there are so many different species that are clever and able to solve complicated problems, in addition to humans. We simply seem to have that extra dimension of being able to preserve information/communication for long stretches of time, using media,...

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Michael Allan replied on May. 10, 2014 @ 04:49 GMT
Your conversation reminds me of a passage from Loren Eiseley's The Immense Journey: "I have long been an admirer of the octopus. The cephalopods are very old, and they have slipped, protean, through many shapes. They are the wisest of the mollusks, and I have always felt it to be just as well for us that they never came ashore..."

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Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 7, 2014 @ 00:59 GMT
Hi Turil,

your essay is very enjoyable to read and the snippets of humour help it along. Talking about information makes it relevant to foundational questions.

Quote "Obviously, just like the weather, and the next generation's taste in music, are unpredictable at any sort of detailed level, so too are the details of our own global future."Well said.

I also really like this Quote " We humans need to first have an exceptionally healthy, functioning body (including the brain) that is nurtured by it's environment and supported in fully expressing itself, in positive or at least neutral ways, so that it can then go on to procreate information with other individuals in whatever ways seem appropriate, given the available resources and circumstances."I think a lot of societies ills stem from poor nutrition and lack of a healthy social life. The idea that we should all play at what we love is good and overlaps with the main idea of Johnathan Dickau's essay.

A very optimistic outlook. If we can get there I don't know, but offering a cup of tea is a good start. Good luck, Georgina

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Don Limuti wrote on May. 18, 2014 @ 03:33 GMT
Hi Turil,

Your essay was a great read. I am still spinning a bit, but the germ of novel is appearing that goes into all the passion and heartbreak of the earth looking for its mate.

Looks like you have a new book.. Dragonfly

Wishing you all the best,

another geeky bicyclist,

Don Limuti

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 20, 2014 @ 13:00 GMT
Hi Don. Thanks for the comment, and appreciation!

And yes, my new book is out, and it has some large themes in common with my essay here. The third part of the book (of three parts: past, present, and future) deals with what I see as a possible future for us, as we Earthlings expand out into more dimensions.

And Yay! for bicycling!

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 23:15 GMT
Turil,

The time grows short, so I am revisiting and rating. You say in your response, "First, I have to say, I wasn't always optimistic. Not in the least. But having researched patterns of growth for nearly a decade now, in addition to being a teacher, who saw the ways human children naturally grow, I've come to the conclusion that there must be something in the laws of nature/physics that makes things flow in a certain way, expanding into more and more "dimensions" (in the sense of directions that things can move)"

I have taught, done aerospace and business. Teacher usually tends to make you more hopeful, perhaps. My solution in my essay relates to the capacity of the brain, as Einstein mentioned, to transcend.

Have you had a chance to read my essay?

Jim

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 14:38 GMT
Jim, I think if you have fun teaching, it probably is guaranteed to make you more optimistic!

And I started to read you essay, but I think I got overwhelmed at the time (because I see that I haven't rated it yet), and must have stopped reading. I'll take another look at it!

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Margriet Anne O'Regan wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 02:21 GMT
Hello Turil ~

“All matter “gives off” information, or perhaps, is information itself, if we consider information to be some kind of indication of a pattern of variability in the state of something. Whether you're an atom or an Adam, you are naturally going to propagate information on some level as you emit radiation, gravitation, and nuclear forces….”

Wow !!! In my opinion...

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 14:31 GMT
Margriet, thanks for your comments! It's always nice to hear from someone who looks at the universe from a similar perspective.

And I somehow missed your essay! I will read it as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for suggesting it.

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 16:56 GMT
Turil,

Anyone for tea?

Thanks for any enjoyable experience built around the same fundamental truth I try to expose in mine but exploring aspects that really couldn't be more different. I find in a way that to be the most convincing proof of the absolute connectivity and harmonious oneness of everything. We also both include a touch of humour with our original approaches.

If your groups look like reaching 'old' England look me up. I already have a small community support network giving professional input to enable non commercial projects. I't's proven very productive, for example producing youth sport facilities and event.

I hope you may enjoy reading my slightly allegorical tale as much as I enjoyed reading yours. I've taken a positive and direct route in showing that current science, a disparate and disconnected jumble of ill fitting puzzle pieces, is in fact all one harmonious whole. Removing the spookyness from QM and unifying with relativity is the 'leap'. See the 'classroom experiment' in the end notes; how to teach 10 year olds how nature really works!

But well done for yours. Clearly worth top mark on any scale. Very best wishes.

More tea?

Peter

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Toby Asher Lightheart wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 07:19 GMT
Hi Turil,

Thanks for your essay. I enjoyed the style of writing and the colourful metaphors. I think I agree with some of the ideas that I took from reading your essay. That encouraging the learning and self-fulfilment of individual people should be a primary focus of how steer he future. Information, in its many physical and abstract forms, is important. When we start considering life a manifestation of information, we might even say that creation of information is possibly what we should value most and our purpose.

I do think that taking a "hands-off" approach to how humanity steers the future is probably quite risky. There are a lot of incentives in our current society that are looking like they are going to steer humanity off a cliff. I also think that, given the number of people that there are, there is a scarcity of resources. This is something that needs to be dealt with through an effective and just economic system.

I'm also interested in your ideas for a non-profit organisation. I've been interested in trying to start up something of a learning exchange. Would you mind sharing some more of your thoughts on this idea?

Cheers,

Toby

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 12:55 GMT
Toby, it's not so much a hands off approach, it's a stop messing everything up approach. :-) We've been trying to "manage" life artificially, trying to force everyone to go against their better nature, which harms us all, and gets in the way of healthy growth. The evidence points to us naturally, instinctively, having a motivation to thrive and evolve, but we've been second guessing ourselves due to us giving up control of our lives and handing it over to profiteers and their government puppets. So the way forward absolutely has to be for us to stop letting them steer us, and instead allow our genetic auto pilot to take over and guide us towards more diversity, more adaptability, and more healthy growth.

Is that clearer? We don't try to make guesses as to where and how we steer, we let the laws of nature steer us, since that offers the best possible outcome we can imagine for our selves, our species, and our planet.

So my primary focus that I'm proposing, is for us to ask ourselves what we most want to have and do in life, and then to share that information with everyone we can. That way we will have the best quality information about where we want to steer, and we'll naturally move towards that. This is the only way to create a healthy economy (resource flow system, aka, nervous system and circulatory system) where we can all get what we need to do what we need to do, to be our best possible selves.

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Author Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 13:03 GMT
As for the community spaces I'm looking to help nurture, my short term goal is to find someone to donate a plot of farmable land with maybe a farmhouse and barn on it to the cause, so that a group of artists, scientists, and educators in residence can move in and work with the community to find solutions to serving the basic needs of the people, freely (see my triangular map for achieving global health, the 011 element in the organizations level). Once that is running nicely, then I'd like to help support a growing global network of these specific community resource centers for even more effective problem solving.

I don't have a huge preference for where that first place might be, but I'm in New England (specifically, I'm near coastal Maine, right now).

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Toby Asher Lightheart wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 07:29 GMT
Hi Turil,

Thanks for your essay. I enjoyed the style of writing and the colourful metaphors. I think I agree with some of the ideas that I took from reading your essay. That encouraging the learning and self-fulfilment of individual people should be a primary focus of how steer the future. Information, in its many physical and abstract forms, is important. When we start considering life a manifestation of information, we might even say that creation of information is possibly what we should value most and our purpose.

I do think that taking a "hands-off" approach to how humanity steers the future is probably quite risky. There are a lot of incentives in our current society that are looking like they are going to steer humanity off of a cliff. I also think that, given the number of people that there are, there is a scarcity of resources. This is something that needs to be dealt with through an effective and just economic system.

I'm also interested in your ideas for a non-profit organisation. I've been interested in trying to start up something of a learning exchange. Would you mind sharing some more of your thoughts on this idea?

Cheers,

Toby

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