Archive for the ‘Evolution’ Category

Utopian Refugia: Self-Sufficiency and the Noachic Charter City
July 3, 2011

from the Zoroastrian Vendidad 2: Yima and the Flood

Overpopulation and expansion of the earth:

V.2.8 When Yima had ruled for three hundred winters, then this earth became full of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.9 Then I informed Yima: O beautiful Yima son of Vîwanghwan, This earth is full because of the gathering of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.10 Then Yima went forth toward the lights, at noon, on the path of the sun. He pushed this earth with the golden pick. He goaded it with the goad, saying: O lovable Life-giving Humility, go forth and bow far and wide, O carrier/womb of animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.11 Thus Yima made this earth expand by one-third in size from what it had been before. Here went forth animals, small and large, and men, each according to his own wish, howsoever his pleasure.
V.2.12 When Yima had ruled for six hundred winters, then this earth became full of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.13 Then I informed Yima: O beautiful Yima son of Vîwanghwan, This earth is full because of the gathering of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.14 Then Yima went forth toward the southern lights, on the path of the sun. He pushed this earth with the golden pick. He goaded it with the goad, saying: O lovable Life-giving Humility, go forth and spread wide, O carrier of animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.15 Thus Yima made this earth expand by two-thirds in size from what it had been before. Here went forth animals, small and large, and men, each according to his own wish, howsoever his pleasure.
V.2.16 When Yima had ruled for nine hundred winters, then this earth became full of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.17 Then I informed Yima: O beautiful Yima son of Vîwanghwan, This earth is full because of the gathering of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. They found no place to be(?), animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.18 Then Yima went forth toward the southern lights, on the path of the sun. He pushed this earth with the golden pick. He goaded it with the goad, saying: O lovable Life-giving Humility, go forth and spread wide, O carrier of animals, small and large, and men.
V.2.19 Thus Yima made this earth expand by three-thirds in size from what it had been before. Here went forth animals, small and large, and men, each according to his own wish, howsoever his pleasure.

Gods and men take counsel:

V.2.20 Ahura Mazdâ, who has set everything in place, convoked a gathering together with those worthy of sacrifice in the world of thought, famed in the Aryan Expanse of the Good Lawful (river). Radiant Yima with good herds convoked a gathering together with the best humans, famed in the Aryan Expanse of the Good Lawful (river).
V.2.21 To that gathering Ahura Mazdâ came. he who has set everything in place, together with those worthy of sacrifice in the world of thought, famed in the Aryan Expanse of the Good Lawful (river). To that gathering radiant Yima with good herds came together with the best humans, famed in the Aryan Expanse of the Good Lawful (river).
V.2.22 Thus Ahura Mazdâ said to Yima: O beautiful Yima son of Vîwanghwan, Bad winters will come over the bony world of the living, together with which (one) harsh, horrible winter. Bad winters will come over the bony world of the living, together with which snow will accumulate on the tallest mountains, in the deepest of the *valley.
V.2.23 And threefold cattle will perish here, O Yima: that which is in the most *fearful places, that which is on the heights of the mountains, and that which is in the depths of the rivers (and) in the most solid homes.
V.2.24 Before this winter the land will have rich pasture (and) plenty water to flow (over) it after the snow melt, and wondrous it will seem here to the bony existence, O Yima, that the trace of a sheep should be seen here.

Yima makes the bunker:

V.2.25 So make that enclosure: the length of a race course on each of its four sides. Bring together there the seeds of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. Then make that enclosure: the length of a race course on each of its four sides as a dwelling for men, the length of a race course on each of its four sides as a keep for cattle.
V.2.26 Make water flow forth there the length of a league. Place meadows there, with green … (?), with inexhaustible savory foods. Place homes there, with roof and *awning, *porch and *fence.
V.2.27 Bring together there in the same place the seeds of all the men and women who are the greatest, and best, and most beautiful on this earth. Bring together there in the same place the seeds of all the cattle species that are the greatest, and best, and most beautiful on this earth.
V.2.28 Bring together there the seeds of all the plants that are the tallest and most sweet-smelling on this earth. Bring together there the seeds of all foods that are the most tasty and most sweet-smelling on this earth. Make those into pairs—imperishable as long as these men are in the *enclosures.
V.2.29 May no one with humps, in front or in the back, nor an impotent or a …, nor a driveling one, deceitful one, one with pustules, or a crooked one, nor one with irregular teeth, or one with blotches whose body has been excluded, nor any of the other marks that are the mark of the Evil Spirit put on man.
V.2.30 In the first section of the land make nine passages, in the middle six, and in the last three. In the first passage bring a thousand seeds of men and women,mthe middle six hundred, the last four hundred. And goad them with the golden pick and stroke the enclosure from behind (to make) a door admitting light, self-shining from within.
V.2.31 Then Yima reflected: How I shall make those into an enclosure, the way Ahura Mazdâ told me? Thus said Ahura Mazdâ to Yima: O beautiful Yima son of Vîwanghwan, tread apart this earth with (your) heels, kneed it apart with (your) hands, just like also now people *step about in wet earth.
V.2.32 Then Yima did exactly the way Ahura Mazdâ wished him to. He trod apart this earth with (his) heels, he kneeded it apart with (his) hands, just like also now people *step about in wet earth.
V.2.33 So Yima made that enclosure: the length of a race course on each of its four sides. He brought together there the seeds of animals, small and large, and men, of dogs, birds, and red and blazing fires. So Yima made that enclosure: the length of a race course on each of its four sides as a dwelling for men, the length of a race course on each of its four sides as a keep for cattle.
V.2.34 He made water flow forth there the length of a league. He placed meadows there, with green … (?), with inexhaustible savory foods. He placed homes there, with roof and *awning, *porch and *fence.
V.2.35 He brought together there the seeds of all the men and women who are the greatest, and best, and most beautiful on this earth. He brought together there the seeds of all the cattle species that are the greatest, and best, and most beautiful on this earth.
V.2.36 He brought together there the seeds of all the plants that are the tallest and most sweet-smelling on this earth. He brought together there the seeds of all foods that are the most tasty and most sweet-smelling on this earth. He made those into pairs—imperishable as long as these men are in the *enclosures.
V.2.37 No one with humps, in front or in the back, nor a castrated one or a …, nor a driveling one, deceitful one, one with pustules, or a crooked one, nor one with irregular teeth, or one with blotches whose body has been excluded, nor any of the other marks that are the mark of the Evil Spirit put on man.
V.2.38 In the first section of the land he made nine passages, in the middle six, and in the last four. In the first passage he brought a thousand seeds of men and women, the middle six hundred, the last four hundred. And he goaded them with the golden pick and stroked the enclosure from behind (to make) a door admitting light, self-shining from within.
V.2.39 O Orderly creator of all things in the bony world of the living! But which *were these lights, O Orderly Ahura Mazdâ, which shine hither in that way in these *enclosures that Yima made?
V.2.40 Then Ahura Mazdâ said: there are lights established by themselves and those made in time. For once it (?) has gone down, the stars, the moon, and the sun seem to come up(?).
V.2.41 And they think it is a day what is a season. In forty years from two humans two humans are born, pairs: a man and a woman. And the same holds for these cattle species. And those humans live the most beautiful life in these *enclosures that Yima made.
V.2.42 Orderly creator of all things in the bony world of the living! Who thus brought the daênâ of those who sacrifice to Ahura Mazdâ wide and far in these *enclosures that Yima made. Then Ahura Mazdâ said: The Karshipta bird, O Orderly Zarathustra.
V.2.43 Orderly creator of all things in the bony world of the living! Who is their first life and model? Then Ahura Mazdâ said: Urwatat.nara, O Zarathustra, and you, Zarathustra.

Jane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2 — an experience that provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of environments.

“There‘s no impediment, other than a failure of imagination, that will keep us from delivering on a truly global win-win solution.”

 —Paul Romer, http://chartercities.org/

Jaque Fresco: Designing the Cities of the Future with the Venus Project

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Death By Design: The Evolutionary Ingenuity of Cellular Apoptosis
April 20, 2011

Death By Design Movie – [Part 1/5]

Death By Design Movie – [Part 2/5]

Death By Design Movie – [Part 3/5]

Death By Design Movie – [Part 4/5]

Death By Design Movie – [Part 5/5]

“All the things we see when awake are death, even as all we see in slumber are sleep.” — Heraclitus [B21]

“When they are born, they wish to live and to meet with their dooms — or rather to rest — and they leave children behind them to meet with their dooms in turn.”   –Heraclitus [B20]

“Collections: wholes and not wholes; brought together, pulled apart; sung in unison, sung in conflict; from all things one and from one all things.” — Heraclitus [B10]


Self-Sacrifice and Sustainability: The Hero Twins of the Popol Vuh
April 16, 2011

“Then again they sacrificed themselves. One of them would die, surely throwing himself down in death. Then having been killed, he would immediately be revived. And the Xibalbans simply watched them while they did it. Now all of this was merely the groundwork for the defeat of the Xibalbans at their hands.”

Chris Hedges: Throw Out The Money Changers!

” If we are to save our country, and our planet, we must turn from exalting the self, to subsuming of the self for our neighbor. Self-sacrifice defies the sickness of corporate ideology. Self-sacrifice mocks opportunities for advancement, money and power. Self-sacrifice smashes the idols of greed and envy. Self-sacrifice demands that we rise up against the abuse, injury and injustice forced upon us by the mandarins of corporate power. There is a profound truth in the biblical admonition “He who loves his life will lose it.”

“Life is not only about us. We can never have justice until our neighbor has justice. And we can never recover our freedom until we are willing to sacrifice our comfort for open rebellion. The president has failed us. The Congress has failed us. The courts have failed us. The press has failed us. The universities have failed us. Our process of electoral democracy has failed us. There are no structures or institutions left that have not been contaminated or destroyed by corporations. And this means it is up to us. Civil disobedience, which will entail hardship and suffering, which will be long and difficult, which at its core means self-sacrifice, is the only mechanism left.”

Competition vs Cooperation
April 16, 2011

“Competition undermines sustainability in the long term.” — Dr. Joseph Tainter

Introduction to Game Theory

LECTURE DESCRIPTION: We introduce Game Theory by playing a game. We organize the game into players, their strategies, and their goals or payoffs; and we learn that we should decide what our goals are before we make choices. With some plausible payoffs, our game is a prisoners’ dilemma. We learn that we should never choose a dominated strategy; but that rational play by rational players can lead to bad outcomes. We discuss some prisoners’ dilemmas in the real world and some possible real-world remedies. With other plausible payoffs, our game is a coordination problem and has very different outcomes: so different payoffs matter. We often need to think, not only about our own payoffs, but also others’ payoffs. We should put ourselves in others’ shoes and try to predict what they will do. This is the essence of strategic thinking.

Course Materials

Interactive Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

Evolutionary Stability: Cooperation, Mutation, and Equilibrium

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/g4A_1qFgjvMg%5D

LECTURE DESCRIPTION: We discuss evolution and game theory, and introduce the concept of evolutionary stability. We ask what kinds of strategies are evolutionarily stable, and how this idea from biology relates to concepts from economics like domination and Nash equilibrium.

Course Materials

Evolutionary Stability: Social Convention, Aggression, and Cycles

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/g4A_2KN5jvMg%5D
http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/econ-159/lecture-12

LECTURE DESCRIPTION: We apply the idea of evolutionary stability to consider the evolution of social conventions. Then we consider games that involve aggressive (Hawk) and passive (Dove) strategies, finding that sometimes, evolutionary populations are mixed. We discuss how such games can help us to predict how behavior might vary across settings. Finally, we consider a game in which there is no evolutionary stable population and discuss an example from nature.

Course Materials

Interactive Evolution Games

Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons with Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom

“That all persons call the same thing mine in the sense in which each does so may be a fine thing, but it is impracticable; or if the words are taken in the other sense, such a unity in no way conduces to harmony. And there is another objection to the proposal. For that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill; as in families many attendants are often less useful than a few.”

— Aristotle, Politics, Book II, Chapter III, 1261b

Elinor Ostrom, a political scientist from Indiana University and winner of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, looks at a variety of research into why some groups self-organize and others do not, and the relevance of the theory of collective action to the governance and management of natural resources.

Ostrom is considered one of the leading scholars of common pool resources–forests, fisheries, oil fields, grazing lands, and irrigation systems. In particular, her work emphasizes how humans interact with ecosystems to maintain long-term sustainable resource yields.

Collective Action and the Commons: What Have We Learned? (Ostrom @ Cornell, 2009)

Companion Powerpoint (From Ostrom’s Tanner Lecture @ Stanford, 2011):

“The Challenge of Sustainability: Frameworks”

Abstract: Currently, the scientific approaches to the study of sustainability of complex ecological systems and complex socioeconomic systems are quite disparate. Over time, biology and ecology have accepted the necessity of understanding complex systems in developing a nested, scientific language to study them. Over time, many of the social studies that focus on the question of sustainable ecosystems or the sustainability of market systems or political systems have attempted instead to develop the simplest possible models and theories to explain what is occurring in the world over time.

The biological and ecological sciences have been extremely successful in understanding ecological systems that are remote, and thus, not strongly affected by human action. When humans play a major role, both the biological sciences and the social sciences are lacking effective theories and explanations of failures as well as successes.

One of the steps necessary to solve this problem is the development of a shared language that links what is going on in regard to resource systems and resource units with what is going on in relationship to governance systems and actors as they jointly affect action situations, incentives, and outcomes.

In this first lecture, Ostrom will review some of the work being done to build a better framework for understanding complex ecological and socioeconomic systems.

Elinor Ostrom Delivers Her Nobel Prize Lecture

The Temple of Nature
April 14, 2011

Preface to Erasmus Darwin’s Temple of Nature:

“The Poem, which is here offered to the Public, does not pretend to instruct by deep researches of reasoning; its aim is simply to amuse by bringing distinctly to the imagination the beautiful and sublime images of the operations of Nature in the order, as the Author believes, in which the progressive course of time presented them.

“The Deities of Egypt, and afterwards of Greece, and Rome, were derived from men famous in those early times, as in the ages of hunting, pasturage, and agriculture. The histories of some of their actions recorded in Scripture, or celebrated in the heathen mythology, are introduced, as the Author hopes, without impropriety into his account of those remote periods of human society.

“In the Eleusinian mysteries the philosophy of the works of Nature, with the origin and progress of society, are believed to have been taught by allegoric scenery explained by the Hierophant to the initiated, which gave rise to the machinery of the following Poem.

Priory near Derby,
Jan. 1, 1802.

Le Sacre Du Printemps Part 1: Genesis, or, 

“The Adoration of the Earth”

Le Sacre Du Printemps, Part 2: Evolution

Le Sacre Du Printemps, Part 3: Extinction, or,

The Exalted Sacrifice”

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