Monday, November 16, 2020

Humanity is a Hellmouth

I want you to place thumb and index finger on your forehead like you have a theatrical headache, and you are touching the adult parts of your brain. The funny thing is, the adult parts, in area, are about the size of your thumb and finger pads.

The adults in the room part of your neocortex is just the current guess, but this is an area size that many animal brains possess easily. Animals are not stupid. Not even slime molds and bacterial mats are stupid. Corvid, primate, elephant, dolphin and whale brains more so aplenty.

So why are there no adults in the room?

Actually there are because there is an iron law related to energy expenditure and threat escalation.

Life never grows up. If we are the only life, then behavior being scale invariant, we shall populate the cosmos like a slime mold on... anything.

Just like poker, the bigger your grubstake... Like it or not, we could be just one tiny cell in a slime mold.

Humans are primates, therefore animals, but something else, we hope. Heroes of the Blob. or keratin.

In college, I wrote a paper for astrophysics I got a D on. Lunar Robot Farms. I'm sure if I search through this memory hut, I wrote about it.

So, the idea is a von Neumann self replicating system of robots that you drop like seeds on the Moon. (A crucial assumption is that there are significant backup resources for the initial robot wave).

The best model, I said was the foxes and rabbits classic Lotka-Volterra equations where the robot farms are the rabbits and the Moon is the fox. Assumption otherwise being, the food will not put up a fight.

If that's the dial, food puts up a fight, 

    then zero is classic exponential growth of virulence. A forest to be burned, a field to be scythed. A         #Moonbase to be won.

Crank the dial to 10, and

    let the convoluted nonlinear skirmishes begin, aka turbulence.

Should there be an 11? But only if there is a -1.

Is that possible? Well, on sounds systems, it means reversing compression and rarefactions, and yeah you can do that.

Point being, godamnit, if that's it, if we just gonna colonize the cosmos like a virus, then I'm all for pursuing -11.

Interior: Garage laboratory, two men standing admiring a biomechanical horror of an electric guitar sitting on a purple velvet manikin hands stand. In the background are shelves of computers blinking lights, and cable anacondas leading to big amps. The larger of the two men reaches for the guitar, but small guy, me, places a hand on his shoulder, 


"It goes to minus eleven"?


"That's what I said."


(grabs the guitar, starts to noodle) "What does that mean?"


"It reverses Entropy"


"Ga-ga-goo? Mama!"

So, let's assume like the spooky Halloween Christmas story of Dickens, that people will be extinct by the year 2100 unless we change our wicked ways.

And people go meh. 2100? Okay how about 2032. We're going full Soylent Green like full retard. like to plaid.

But I tell you right now, 2032. Extinct by 2032. That's the premise. Too soon? It's only 12 years away. 

Because honestly, pound for pound in terms of great extinctions we haven't fucked up the planet all that much.Throw in some unintended consequences and for sure we could off ourselves. But in a mere twelve years? Not buying it.

And here is the funny ha ha thing. In the 1880's Italy decided to invade Africa. In order to feed their troops, they imported beef from India. The beef was infected with rinderpest (which in humans is called measles). The rinderpest worked its way south from Ethiopia and a decade later 90% of cows, oxen, sheep, buffalo, wildebeast and giraffe are dead. East Africa starved.

English colonists imported massive amounts of harm (HAH!)

FARM animals and most importantly pigs.

English colonists did not know about African Swine Fever because the local pigs and ticks and microbes had found an uneasy truce. And European pigs dropped like flies, but not enough to attain herd immunity. ASFV became endemic in sub-Saharan pigs. 

Fast forward to 2018 when an outbreak of ASFV forced China to eventually slaughter half its pigs.

By Chinese New Year 2019 there wasn't a pig to be found, so the wet markets of China provided meat from peacocks to alligators to snails and hedgehogs. At some point in the past, a jumping COVID jumped into our mouth.

And here we are.

1 comment:

  1. I got a D on my Lunar Robot Farm term paper and the professor of astrophysics wrote a note suggesting I switch my major to biology.