Fogify-Clarify

All science writing is full of holes because all human thought is, by its nature,  full of holes: unproven, unprovable assertions i.e. Russell’s Teapots. Durkheim, Freud, Jung, Levi-Strauss, Stephen Jay Gould,  using the Torah as a model, weave porous rhizomic webs comprising much research of others, adding their own notes and many bold assumptions/conclusions hoping that their assembled compilation of myth hits a nerve, in the community.

Myth: An association of ideas reinforced by habit.

Mythics ( JB neolog): All culture including all tradition, history, rite, ritual, religion, all language, science, law and belief as expressed in architecture, books, music, worship, all ongoing interrelations between and among all people engaged in all things. The entire ball of uniquely human wax – the big rhizome – the swarming, teeming, rising, falling nest. Mythics can also refer to a specific culture’s “whole ball of wax” as in American mythics or Aboriginal mythics. Mythics includes myth and religion and science. In biology there is Darwinian mythics referred to as “The Grand Synthesis” or the Genetic mythics encompassed in the term “The Central Dogma” We need a word that is more inclusive of myth or zeitgeist or weltanschauung or culture or society. Mythics. There is family mythics and personal mythics ( see: all memoir)

Mythics is the Kool aid you are given to drink and that you ingest / absorb in 10,000 different ways throughout life about how your society functions. Every parent and every profession has its mythics.

Fogify: Intentionally obscuring the matter at hand to prevent others from seeing deeply into one’s assertion. see: smokescreen

Clarify: Assembling the fog of others in an effort to explain one’s own fog. Foggy thought is amassed in plain enough language to make a case. Who’s to say otherwise? These days, who could possibly care? No one has the time to re-read their own fog let alone verify the fog of others. If they see a mark of membership in whatever priesthood ( usually a PhD)  it’s live and let live. throw your ideas in the pot until someone cares enough to argue.

Sfumato: The atmospheric reduction of the intensity of distant hues and tones. Green foliage looks blue and dim in the distance due to the effect of the atmosphere. Air filters yellow wavelengths of light from the green wavelength from trees, leaving blue.  Leonardo Da Vinci used this popular renaissance picture-making in the background of the “Mona Lisa”.

Blake’s Law: Understanding diminishes with the square of the distance from the matter in question. Corollary One: Understanding increases with the square of the distance from the matter in question.  Note One:  You can’t know the forest if you don’t know the trees. Note Two: Knowing trees while losing sight of the forest is to lose context and thus, meaning.

In his towering novel “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory” Stephen Jay Gould fills 1,300 pages trying to shift our understanding of core aspects of Charles Darwin’s theory of species evolution. Gould’s research and reasoning  weakens two of three of Darwin’s core arguments for species evolution. Gould’s achievement is  monumental but it makes him appear a cheeky upstart.  Gould generates 1,000 pages of intensely interesting ( though repetitive) historical and contemporary fact, figure and anecdote to fogify his achievement, to demonstrate obeisance to the big chief of all bioscience and all contemporary culture.

Darwin, the biggest paradigm shifter of our epoch, remains foundational in 2016. Gould hasn’t made a dent. To  try to rattle our core notions at this point, no matter the fecundity of one’s facts and figures perhaps gleaned from decades of diligent research, gets little traction. Scientific community to genius upstarts: “You’re all brilliant, probably right, now go away.”  Darwin, like Christianity, is bigger than science – he is our culture. He is untouchable. If Darwin goes, it all goes. His thought is a taproot of the rhizomic network of myth propelling our belief system. Diddle with Darwin at one’s own risk, even if you have a customized, two piece pool cue.  If Gould’s magisterial book had been published within 50 years of Darwin’s Earthshaking tome “On The Origin of Species”  Darwin would be a footnote rather than a foundation.

In his iconic book “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” Emile Durkheim asserts that all religions share a few principles whether remote aborigines or urban judeo-christian sophisticates:

  1. A sense of sacred / profane, a belief that a man comprises a sensate and a spiritual being, mythic personalities
  2. Totemic representation of the sacred as well as the negative cult ( see: The Devil @ Christianity)
  3. Rites of initiation, rites of grieving,  gathering at regular intervals to celebrate clan / tribe/family identity, the tribal bond, hopes for good fortune,
  4. Acknowledgement of an overarching cosmic power-deity-god, a sense that each clan and each person contains a part of this power.

Durkheim asserts that both science and religion are products of belief. Society dominates all ideas sprung from the human mind:  scientific or religious. Durkheim asserts there is nothing beyond society, nothing greater than society and that individual thought and will is formed, judged and subsumed by society that religion is not primarily about the cosmos, the unknowable, the forces of the universe but about binding populations. “The believer is raised above his condition as a man thus gaining strength as he is saved from evil in whatever form evil may take” -Durkheim

Durkheim asserts the primacy of abstract theories/ideas above individual works as being more true. Durkheim, in studying (second hand) religious patterns of aboriginal tribes of Australia projects his discoveries among them onto all religions worldwide. He has entered his project with the full array of late Victorian prejudice regarding the inviolability of human progress, social evolution/ranking: aborigines are primitive (black skin)  Native Americans are less primitive ( redskin) and judeo-christian people most advanced (white skin). It is no small irony that Durkheim takes 350 pages of detailed ethnographic description to tell us how “primitive” Aborigines are. They are, of course, not primitive at all.

Much of Durkheim’s fog comes from outdated Victorian ideas distilled from misreading Darwin about evolution and fitness. Additional fog comes from his judaic notions of the primacy of the group over the individual and the co-equal place of science and religion.  Durkheim-Fog has roots in his Jewishness, his Darwinness, his Europeans-as- privilegedness. Nonetheless his book has great value due to his detailed discussion of components of religious life. Whether his ideas are right or wrong 100 years after their writing is beside the point. Durkheim’s assembled rhizomic mat of ideas has value even if every bold assertion can be contradicted. This is the beauty of fog. Fog has value – it can dim the harsh glare of rational thought, contemporary prejudice or logical examination to reveal a deep truth about people.

***

JB Questions-Observations:

  1. The Churinga is an aboriginal totem meant to inspire collective feelings of respect. Are the “Mona Lisa” “The Pieta” such totems for Christians? Is a Gothic cathedral a totemic space / structure?
  2. Cartesian Principle asserts that knowledge can only be established link by link on “indubitable first principles”  This Cartesian idea fully contradicts the way the human brain establishes knowing via its myriad strand rhizomic network.
  3. Does the contract have totemic status in Anglo-Euro life? It does if Capitalism is our religion if we have sacralized it.
  4. Renaissance Popes used the profane seduction of Raphael’s Madonnas and Borromini’s sexy sinuous architectural space in order to win back into the fold of the mother church souls lost to the Protestant Reformation. See: Counterreformation.
  5. Durkheim tries too hard to separate the sacred from the profane. His rhizomic thread snaps from too much cognitive dissonance. He fails to establish a thread, a string, a filament on which he could weave further assertions experiencing “Rhize-Fail” JB neolog i.e. The untethered rhizome of one’s argument.
  6. Charles Darwin pulled the intellectual roots out of Christianity to little effect. Few cared,  Christianity was never an intellectual enterprise anyway. “Faith is impervious to experience” – Lucien Levi-Bruel
  7. What religion were Muslims prior to 8th century?
  8. What is the correlation between protein acetylation and folding to protein function at cochlear hair cells?  Does the protein’s folded geometry correspond to the afferent pitch signal distinguishing 500 different pitches?
  9. To investigate:Cortical and sub-cortical Interneuron microtubule networks that augment electrochemical links via axons-dendrites-synapses-neurotransmitters. Is there a family of signalling proteins that travel from neuron to neuron via tubules? Perhaps initial sensation and motor response occurs via traditional axon-synapse mechanism followed by long-term physical networks of tubules that carry chemicals faster. Does an axon become a tubule? Does the myelin sheath fuse into a tube once electricity is not the signaling mechanism? Do neurochemicals take over from electrical charge or vice versa?
  10. Durkheim proposes society as the the source of the idea of the ideal rather than  innate individual consciousness. This is not so. Most humans, most mammals have an innate sense of proportion – it is key to mate selection and to esthetics in general throughout the arts.
  11. Durkheim’s foggiest assertion is that the root of religion is in the collective not in the self.
  12. Another layer of Durk-fog is his valorization of the concept at the expense of individual expression and in so doing marginalizing all artmaking.

 

“Everything in social life including science, rests on opinion”

                                                                      – Emile Durkheim

February 2. 2016   5:50 PM

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Becoming Species

“There is religion when the sacred is distinguished from the profane”

– Emile Durkheim

Humans resist states of being at the heart of evolution: separation, isolation, freakishness, outlying but new species are born of weirdness, cataclysm, getting lost, change, mutation of molecule, cell, body, local environment and ecosystem. When the Earth moves – animals and plants evolve.  Continuity and comfort means equilibrium, balance, regularity, harmony, sameness. Nature does not embrace change unless change is vital for survival. Our nucleic acids battle efforts to change them 24/7. Most of this DNA / RNA change is bad and almost all is edited out of the genome prior to inheritance.

A species is a group of organisms that interbreed. Robins don’t interbreed with cardinals thus- two different species. Japanese people can and do interbreed successfully with caucasians thus they are the same species. All humans are the same species and there is only a single one-Homo sapiens. There are over 800,000 species of beetles, 20,000 species of bony fish.

Species evolve when and if they must otherwise they do not evolve. Species maintain their equilibrium over eons. A mosquito of today is almost identical to a mosquito that pestered the dinosaurs. There has been no evidence that a single higher animal has evolved in any way since Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” in 1861. Evolution, when it happens, is almost always abrupt on a geological scale, intensely slow in human terms.

Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould proposed their theory of Punctuated Equilibrium in 1974 asserting multicell organisms ( non-bacteria, non-virus, non-archaea) evolve when confronted with large environmental change such as an ice or heat age, grand geologic shifts-new islands and continents forming, a meteor impact’s negative effect on the atmosphere. This punctuation may take ten million years to play out giving rise to new species then stasis returns to this species for 100 or 500 million years. The fossil record confirms punctuated equilibrium. Stasis is data. Darwin proposed that all organisms are evolving continuously. This has been proven false. Organisms may change with each new generation ( your face is different than that of your parent) but change is not evolution. Evolution implies change for the better. DNA has evolved for four billion years to resist change – to edit mutation away from its double helix before conception. There is evidence for evolution of plants and animals over the past 3.5 billion years but it has not been continuous and the evidence itself is not at all continuous.

Pathways to speciation are many. During the 1960s bioscientist Lynn Margulis proposed the symbiotic path to species evolution where two different species merge creating a new, more formidable species. When the single-cell energy engine mitochondria merged with other, less energetic single cell organisms three billion years ago many new species of microorganism emerged. When proto-organ systems merged many good things happened within an organism: fluids were synthesized, pumped, filtered, properly timed and the creature remembered where the food lived.  Mergers and acquisitions were ( are?)  a key pathway to speciation. Organisms under great pressure forced to merge with one another in shrinking crowded conditions miles below global ice sheets, speciation occurring next to warm vents from deep within the Earth’s mantle. Population pressure – creatures breaking into one another’s skin and happy with the result. More energy, more motility, more durability, bigger teeth.

Three pathways, of many, to evolution:

  1. Rolling the dice 1,000 times per hour under UV bombardment,  testing new combinations and features against all environments – intracell on up the hierarchy of systems out into the primordial ooze – the Darwin method: mutation followed by natural selection.
  2.  Accidents of fate, genetic drift,  a population disperses throughout the realm, those creatures most remote find themselves on a broken off piece of continent, a new island where they live for eons in isolation from their fellows. Their genes have drifted, initiating evolution of new species. Natural selection was not the primary cause.
  3.  Epigenetics – evolution occurs as DNA, RNA, histones, heritable proteins receive signals between every single cell division among 10 trillion cells throughout a higher organism’s reproductive years. Countless micro-events with evolutionary consequences at each cell division, once a week not at each lifetime. Evolution occurring as each cell divides not as each organism has more fit or less fit offspring. New information re: fitness relayed to the germline: eggs and sperm for inclusion in next year’s model. One thousand trillion evolutionary events per lifetime – not just an array of  random nucleotide mutations passed from parent to child. Non-stop evolutionary feedback-feedforward loops throughout trillions of moments in a single life.

***

JB Questions and observations:

Reading: “Elementary Forms of Religious Life” – Emile Durkheim

  1. Is a television a totem? Does television fill a totemic role in American ( Western) culture?  How about a laptop or an I-phone or a car?
  2. Claude Levi-Strauss patterned his book “the Savage Mind” on Durkheim’s “The Elementary forms of Religious Life”. Both men used the same strategy of assembling published papers in anthropology-social science acting as clearing house for the ideas of many in neat, summaries that became foundational texts.
  3. Types of american totemism within our religion of Capitalism: a.infototems: TV,laptop, I-phone b.Utilitotem; Washer, dryer, range, refrigerator-freezer c. Statustotem: auto, espresso machine
  4. The quark as The God Particle is 100% totemism.
  5. ToDo: Reinstate animal / plant totemism in USA. Assign each animal and plant species in the world to groups of school children investing them with the responsibility to care for their totem organism throughout their lives.
  6. Why would one animal species select another species as a totem?
  7. Note:  Durkheim espousing contextuality in 1912. Contextuality didn’t hit the realm of the built environment ( City planning and architecture) until 1960 in the work of Jane Jacobs. Have architects EVER been on the cutting edge of the ideas of a given era? Not after the era of the Gothic cathedral.
  8. Did the thought of Ruskin and Morris have any direct effect upon Le Corbusier and Mies or was it always filtered through Frank Lloyd wright via the Wasmuth Portfolio? Can one get the full import of an idea second or third hand? That we can, forms the backbone of modern education.
  9. Architecture coughs up its Jencksian history hairball in the mid-1970s lame swerve on hardcore French Postmodernism in the work of Charles Moore, Michael Graves and other pasticheurs of the time. Ughh, such a superficial, desolate and highly publicized dead end for architecture – suckered again.
  10. If snowball Earth had an ice sheet 20 miles thick one billion years ago this must have had an additive effect upon mutational effects of UV radiation as warm pools at top of this high ice were exposed to sunlight at 20 miles up, beyond any filtering atmosphere. Did this high ice push exisitng atmosphere up with it or leave it behind?
  11. JB neologism: “Stochastic Targeting”: to send a barrage of speculative detail. Target mind adjusts this barrage with details known to recipient so it appears that you were 80% correct instead of shooting in the dark.
  12. Can a recessive gene become active during one’s lifespan if the dominant gene fails? How might an activated recessive gene attract RNA polymerase to begin midlife transcription? How does RNA polymerase know which is the dominant gene in the first place?
  13. Sewall Wright gets a lot of credit for adding to our knowledge of evolution as a key generator of the Modern synthesis that combined Darwinism with modern genetics. In retrospect, is this credit deserved?  Was Wright seeing evolution at work with his guinea pigs or observing minor breeding changes?
  14. Our dominant genes are expressed during fetal development affecting sex, height, eye and hair color and many metabolic processes. Do all 46 chromosomes come into play postnatally regarding such things as hormone production and all manner of transcription-translation regulatory process? why not? All 46 chromosomes are part of the chromatin. why would an RNA polymerase not wander over to a recessive gene and put it to work? Especially if the dominant gene was damaged or working inefficiently. Perhaps the distinction between dominant and recessive evaporates after fetal development allowing the environment to call all shots regarding which genes are active among all 40,000 genes not just the human haploid 20,000.
  15. Genetic change has been conflated with, confused with evolution throughout the latter half of the 20th century and the 21st. Calling allele frequency change “evolution” is like calling a grain of pollen a pine tree – well…..it sort of is and sort of isn’t with a 99.9999 % chance that the pollen grain is just another allergen – a sneeze at most. Fisher, Haldane and Sewall Wright explored genetic change. that their theories have been framed as evolution was to jump to conclusions. The core notions of the Modern synthesis are about micro-evolution  – no evolution discernable / provable,  just variation, just change. Variation is not evolution. Discerning pathways of phenotypic change is not discerning pathways of evolution. The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is not ALL wrong, just ALL too narrow.
  16. Might a bacterium or a virus take a few nucleotides / base pairs from one species of mammal and insert this DNA from mammal One into mammal Two which is a different species from mammal One? Scenario:  Buffalo dying of a viral infection – 50% of his 30 trillion cells have this toxic viral DNA mixed with buffalo DNA in a diseased chromatin soup in 15 trillion cells. A mosquito bites this dying buffalo then it bites a man on his balls infecting a few million germ cells / sperm / gametes with both viral DNA and buffalo DNA, any notable consequences?
  17.  Natural selection does not “cause” evolution any more than an academy award “causes” a fine motion picture or a Nobel Prize “causes” brilliant research. Natural Selection is an outcome not a cause.
  18. Genetic drift explains sports dynasties  – see: Roger Penske and four-wheel genetic drift.
  19. Investigate founder effects on JB “The Ugly Gene” in New England Settlers-17th century Puritans.
  20. Evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher, a Darwinian gradualist – key player in Modern Evolutionary Synthesis misconstrued the rate,time and degree of the evolution of animal complexity. Fisher was fooled by outward appearances as 90% of vital biochemical pathways were in place before the Cambrian Explosion at 550 million years ago. All else has been biochemical window dressing, couture for bacteria bags: mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds i.e. experiments in fashion, trivial in scope. Compare the number of microorganisms to the number of multicell organisms on Earth today. Fisher actually believed a bear is different than a snake.
  21. What was the last common ancestor of the chloroplast and the mitochondria?
  22. Test for correlation of high fructose corn sweetener to mitochondrial fission at fat cells and at kidney, hepatic and gut tissue.
  23. Curing a person of cancer is like curing the Earth of humans. what would be an effective strategy?
  1. introduce unfriendly microorganism
  2. add excess heat or cold interrupting metabolism
  3. add dust to interfere with breathing
  4. eliminate food supply
  1. How does one target a single species? what is unique about this cancer family of cells? What is unique about this organism? In humans – the neocortex
  2. At cancer cells  interfere with mitochondrial energy production, dissolve cancer cell membrane, dissolve cancer cell nuclear membrane.
  3. Is the cell outer membrane made of identical lipid bilayer as its nuclear membrane?
  4. Age-old problem: how to direct cancer battle to cancer cell mitochondria only?
  5. Do different tissues have unique mitochondrial DNA? Is liver mito DNA different from that in lungs,heart or kidney?
  6. Review DNA/RNA methylations – differences in various tissue cells. How is a hepatocyte mitochondrial methylation different from a lung cancer cell mitochondria methylation?
  7. To do: Examine 1,000 different cancer cell types to determine differences in their mitochondrial DNA/RNA epigenetic modifications.
  8. This must all be old hat: Target DNA-RNA promoters that are unique at cancer mitochondria to interrupt energy/metabolic process thus killing the cell – starve cancer cells of their glucose.
  9. Do brain tumor cells have unique mitochondria from the brain area tissues of origin. Does each brain area generate unique tumors each with its own signature?
  10. What is the cancer equivalent to the effects of disruption of neocortical function, neocortical links with brainstem, striatum etc. intra-cortical links re: sensory perception. Inter-cortical links re: efferent signaling between neocortex and hypothalamus, thalamus, globus pallidus, putamen, pons, medulla, cerebellum, hippocampus? Cancer-human analogy.
  11. Cancer cure? 24/7 low level ultrasound or uv/infrared light ( something besides traditional radiation-chemo) bombardment geared to upsetting cancer cell mitochondria reproduction i,e, cell division / proliferation. to do: determine quantum level electrical processes/pathways at mitochondria. Halt methylase and or polymerase proliferation.
  12. bio-friendly coated Nano pulsing device inserted into tumor-wireless operation with belt battery pack. Call it the BQMD: Blake Quantum Mitochondrial Disruptor.
  13. Cure cancer by disrupting RER (rough endoplasmic reticulum) adhesion at ribosomes during translation to disrupt lipid production and thus disrupting cell membrane formation. Reverse the hydrophilic property at carcinomal lipid membrane. If there is no hydrophila there will be no cell wall – get to the root.
  14. Cure cancer by control of TOR target –  rapamycin regulation of cell growth. TORC2 regulates cell surface area by influencing lipid production and intracellular turgor. Interrupt TORC2 transcription, translation or transport.
  15. Cure cancer by stopping golgi apparatus from packaging proteins for export to adjacent / daughter cancer cells.
  16. Cure cancer by inhibiting normal cell function at any and or all organelles and all biosynthetic, transcription, translation and lipid production one organelle at a time.. disrupt one-disrupt all. determine the most fundamental metabolite and disrupt it with a wavelength of sound or light.

***

January 25, 2015    10:53 am

 

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Selfish Chromosome ?

At early Earth, 3.8 billion years ago, there were trillions of free-floating small strands of DNA comprising only a few dozen base pairs. This DNA evolved over the course of 200 million years from free-floating RNA that had coalesced within the primordial soup 4.0 billion years ago. Is a 48 base pair strand of DNA a living thing? When this DNA is split apart by static electricity it becomes two pieces where before there was one. Lightning strikes and the population doubles as each cleaved part restores itself to wholeness.

The notion of free-floating DNA or RNA molecules coalescing in the primordial soup  four billion years ago or tumbling around in hot vent pools two billion years ago deep within a ten mile thick ice crust for 500 million years until a reason to exist materializes  makes as much sense as a quarterback with his 500 plays wandering around in a Mardi Gras parade. DNA is a part of a system, part of a team. The system begins as a simple colony of actors evolving into a more complex system. The DNA system comprises many different types of molecules and many types of organelles: the cell nucleus, the nuclear membrane, the cell membrane, golgi apparatus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, the nucleolus, chloroplasts, microtubules, vacuoles, promoters, enhancers, tRNA, RNA polymerase, mRNA, etc. All are part of the DNA system.

The cell itself and all of its components is part of the DNA system: plant or animal. Was there once an array of organettes, precursors of organelles? Did organettes combine forces one by one and two by two,  over hundreds of millions of years of symbiotic mergers? It was not only the symbiotic merger of  mitochondria with the cell  but all organelles/organettes merging via symbiosis in the dense, crowded, high pressure world of snowball Earth’s dark hot pools, warm lakes, cool seas  or surface pools exposed to sunlight 2.3 BYA. The organettes formed colonies in the primordial pockets. Colonial structures held together by porous webs of microtubules followed by total lipid membrane enclosure.

The first life on Earth emerged 3.5 billion years ago ( BYA) seen now as biogenic graphite. The second life on Earth evolved 3.48 BYA and is seen in fossilized microbial mats. All living things have DNA. DNA comprises four small molecules: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. Three of these components of DNA: guanine, thymine and cytosine, have an oxygen molecule:. Oxygen did not occur in the Earth’s atmosphere until 2.8 BYA. Question: How did life, with its core genetic component of DNA evolve for 700 million years without oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere? Was the oxygen derived from rocks or from water condensing from volcanic gas? Did earliest life evolve on the surface of rocks where it could suck the oxygen needed for nucleotides from within the stone? did early life send microtubules ( straws)  into this rock to suck in oxygen?

The systemness of DNA replication- transcription-translation argues against a bunch of free-floating molecules colliding with one another in the primordial soup to positive evolutionary effect. Systems don’t work when the important parts are not present. Absence of oxygen is a theory crippler.  Perhaps the DNA got its oxygen from the water thus an argument for first life being waterborne and eventually spongy-corally-clammy-fishy. Did all aerobic life emerge from the water not the land? The land had no significant oxygen in the air above, not enough to accelerate evolution, until 1.8 BYA.

During the Huronian global glaciation 2.4 to 2.1 BYA the entire Earth was an iceball with ice five to twenty miles thick all over the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s ice crust was pocked by thousands of volcanic vents creating warm pools-lakes-seas in the darkness deep within the ice sheet. The intensity of molecular activity in these pools, each with its own chemical signature, accelerated collisions of all molecules raising the chances of positive symbiotic effects.

Is the DNA system is the product of bioengineering by an advanced species on a distant planet – a designed system invented  by creatures whose bodies do not use DNA in their life processes? Perhaps The DNA system  didn’t evolve in nature anywhere in the universe or in an adjacent universe accessible via quantum string tunneling. The DNA system emerged from generations of experimentation and calculation – alien thought. Was Earth seeded with its DNA system? Perhaps a few million archaea  released in the primordial soup 3.5 BYA from a spacecraft long dissolved or not. Check those streaks of color in the polished marble next time you’re standing near the restroom wall in a major airport. Due to its systemness,there is no such thing as a selfish chromosome or a selfish DNA molecule. A selfish cell? We know that cells work very well with others. If the DNA is not selfish, the gene is not selfish.

***

JB Questions-Observations:

  1. What proteins regulate intracell proliferation of mitochondria? Are these mitochondria-regulating proteins from the cell nucleus or from the mitochondria DNA?
  2. Imagine a wheatstalk as thick and tall as a redwood. One stalk the source of 10,000 loaves of bread.
  3. What part of the human brain carries epigenetically conserved ideas about myth, religion, cosmology, etc.?
  4. Experiment: Analyze past 90 years of Hollywood motion pictures noting the elapsed time between cuts and between scenes – note change in implied audience attention span over the decades. Note the elapsed time of either Joey Bishop or Sammy Davis,Jr standing or sitting doing absolutely nothing in Sinatra’s Rat-Pack movies.
  5. Do Christians harvest ( destroy ) their tall poppies ( prominent people) as some sort of sacrifice to their God? See: Durkheim “Elementary Forms of Religious Life”
  6. Was the 3-in-One oil marketing machine trying to capitalize on Christian dogma to sell lubricant for squeaky doors?
  7. RE: distinctions between the sacred and the profane. If mankind has access to it, has power over it -is comfortable with it or enjoys it  then it is profane – all else is sacred. The Woody Allen Club Membership Test is at the root of all religions.
  8. Profile all people who see themselves as leaders of a cult with at least 50 members – New Age, Self-Improvement, Witchcraft, etc. A breed of self-assessed “higher” consciousness folks – the plant intelligence-shamanic-tantric crew holing up along the Santa Cruz-Monterey coast. Are these cultists on to any incipient religion? Yes,  but which will endure?
  9. Emile Durkheim was splitting hairs in 1912 when describing the difference between magic and religion. the difference is as follows: Since one hundred percent of humans create/crave/lean-in to the notion of the sacred and profane, magic is any and all of those practices not officially sanctioned by the dominant party-approved religious order. Those not in line with the governing religion are witches, magicians, outliers, Others and probably mentally ill and in need of medication or institutionalization ( see: Foucault “Madness and Civilization”. Magic and religion have nothing to do with a practitioner’s tendency to socialize. Durkheim is naive and narrow regarding his distinction between magic and religion.
  10. The sacred is Yin, the profane is Yang, they define one another. Each is necessary in order to define the other, to supply le differAnce. See: Jacques Derrida “Grammatology”.
  11. “Green Beard” effects as epigenetic behavior transmitted via neocortical spiny neurons. Green Beard behavior is that in which people favor their own sort. You gotta green beard like me? Yes – you’re in like Flynn.
  12. What did young Le Corbusier learn from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wasmuth Portfolio projects by 1914? What seeds were planted  by Wright’s Prairie-Style buildings?
  13. RE: origins of first spoken language: afferent sensory neural network reaches critical mass i.e. overloads from intense stimulation of hand on a burning coal and a word spontaneously pops out of the neocortex-voicebox-mouth such as AWE or OWW !  which transforms into Hot. YAWEH ! into God. BRRR – shivver into hiver ( fr)- winter- cold. Infant’s first sounds: goo goo, dada.
  14. Investigate multi-sense stimuli from sense apparatus to basal ganglia to signals @ neocortex. What is the neural network synaptical critical mass required to stimulate word formation?
  15. Each of the sciences, social sciences, arts, politics and law has created its own dense rhizomic mat comprising myriad symposia, documents and experiments, thousands of theories, some credible dogma and plain BS  to protect students and practitioners from the void. There are over one million scientific research papers published in the past thirty years whose contents have not been verified due to the busyness of all scientists with their own work.
  16. Review the structure of the slime mold vertical pod-net structure as a small bag for proto-organs 600 million years ago, organs jostling for position within this useful prefab structure that eventually evolved a backbone and symmetry-body morphology stored in HOX genes. It grew fins and swam into deep water in search of a meal.
  17. Were there ever  free-floating precursors to the kidney, liver, heart, brain or pancreas and or sex organs that discovered advantages by sharing skills. “I’ll pump your blood if you’ll filter mine.” “If you help digest my meals I’ll increase your oxygen supply.” “I’ll be your operations center if you’ll fight off the big bad guys.”
  18. Why would two nucleotides ever want to link up to form a base pair? Was this a forced marriage? A marriage of convenience? Just because they could? A happy accident? An unhappy accident? Crazy kids? Did they break apart soon after for a million years alone then reunite?
  19. Has there ever been a living cell without a bilayer lipid membrane? with just a hairnet sort of enclosure surrounding its organelles?
  20. A key reason for mitochondrial symbiosis was to provide a source of cell energy when DNA is locked up busy preparing to divide at mitosis-meiosis and not able to engage in protein transcription-translation. All protein synthesis must taper off while cell is dividing and re-starting its scheduled protein production. Mitochondria provide interim energy due to its separate genome not tied up in the cell’s general chromosome duplication.
  21. Is there a unique RNA transcriptase for each different protein produced by a cell or does a single RNA transcriptase molecule start all protein production with intron-exon editing or protein tagging via methylation/ phosphorylation providing the proteinic variation? How unique must a protein be in order to warrant its own unique RNA transcriptase that is present prior to start of transcription?
  22. What cell type has the most mRNA types? JB guess: auditory hair cells.
  23. Do auditory hair cells require many hundreds of alternate splicing pathways diverging from a small number of tRNA and or RNA polymerases directing the synthesis of the range of proteins needed to detect 500 different pitches?
  24. Religion or magic” The cult of genetics central dogma; what’s not to believe? Dig the dogma -it’s life and lab-tested.

January 13, 2016    5:49PM

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Kuchen’s Dam

KUCHEN'sDam

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Beyond the Base Pair

 

DNA comprises four nucleotides: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. these bases pair with one or another into base pairs. There are two options for these four bases as thymine only pairs with adenine and cytosine only pairs with guanine. Each of the nucleotides is represented in writing as A,T,C,or G. A only pairs with T and C only pairs with G. The human genome as it occurs on our 20,000 protein coding genes  comprises only these four bases in an infinitude of possible sequences. the average gene is 1,500 base pairs long. The average chromosome ( they are all a unique length) has 139 million base pairs. Only two percent of the human genome codes for protein. the rest has either a regulatory function or it is dormant. If the average DNA molecule ( one DNA molecule per chromosome) was one sixteenth of an inch wide ( a piece of string) it would be two miles long. Each one of a human’s 10 trillion cells has a full component of 23 pairs of chromosomes, forty six total in each cell. Every gene occurs twice – one from mother one from father. there are 3.2 billion base pairs in the human genome, 6.4 billion bases.

If you have studied biology in the past 45 years you are familiar with the appearance of our 46 chromosomes all coiled up into wormy looking pairs, aligning at the center of a dividing cell and travelling to opposing sides of what has become two different cells. DNA is only bundled up into worm-ish chromosomes when replicating; at all other times this DNA is unspooled into a gooey mass of glop. A  few hundred ( of 20,000 plus) locations where the base pairs have been enzymatically separated to allow genetic information to be transcribed from the DNA in the cell nucleus to a ribosome sitting on the rough endoplasmic reticulum surrounding the nucleus where the proteins specific to that cell’s tissue type and the proteins needed for the cell’s shared metabolic needs are manufactured from amino acids suspended within the cell. Amino acids are building blocks of protein and protein is the building material for muscle, nerves, bone, blood and brains, all sensory organs and all hormones. We are protein. Protein is amino acids, the sequence and shape of amino acids is determined by DNA:  the specification for each plant, animal, bacterium, virus, archaea, fungi and mold.

There is ten years of research into the addition of a third base pair to the organism genome. E.coli bacteria are the medium of choice to date for these experiments. Bacteria multiply at an intensely high rate. E.coli bacteria double their population every 17 minutes by binary fusion in geometric progression. Bacterial growth is exponential: 1,2,4,8,16,etc If a third base pair is accepted into the blueprint of life and it enters via bacteria. this mutant DNA could spread to every living thing on Earth within a few years. Is it prudent to experiment with a fundamental building block of all life in such a cavalier manner – no. Life works fine most of the time – why wreck a good thing, a great thing. Just because life can be fooled to accept this UBP ( unnatural base pair) this third base pair, does not mean that good things will ensue. A third base pair integrated in all of the DNA of the human genome would be to throw ten thousand wrenches into our DNA spokes upsetting all inheritance of internal and external physical characteristics and any metabolic process – the whole works. Old turkish proverb: Any fool can throw a turd into the well  but it takes 20 wise men to get it out.

***

Questions and observations:

  1. We live in the age of the network aka the rhizome. the age of the hierarchy is over. Look at the map of the major cities of the USA on the back page of your in-flight magazine. Note the connections between cities indicated by multiple webs of red lines radiating from each city. This is the heuristic of our time. The hierarchical ladder no longer functions for us. Imagine this map in real time and space, as pulsing intracity networks, our population on I-Phones, the traffic patterns, the infrastructure patterns: water, sewer, gas and electric lines, fiber optic cables, telephone lines, social networks: school boards, little league teams etc etc.
  2. American tribal ritual of intercity flight within aluminum tubes at 40,000 feet. Sit back and relax, absorb the insane zeit from security paranoia theater at the airport to kidney and liver-killing soft drinks and alcohol in a jam-packed microorganism airshare,  pandered to with peanuts and the latest Disney movie as the wonders of the universe pass below little noticed.
  3. All life on Earth is a video game played in an alternate universe operating within our quantum emptiness filling each living thing: plant, animal, bacterium. Myriad hands in gloves guiding all to victory.
  4. When eating an egg, a person ingests a lot of DNA, ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparati, RNA of all stripes, mitochondria, lipids etc etc – a smorgasbord !  Protein of many varieties in this broad mix of nutrients.
  5. Compare and contrast: “The Good woman of Szechuan” by Bertolt Brecht and “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet.
  6. JB essay title: The Mystification of Repressed Myth (bubbling up from archaic depths ( 1940s)  into consciousness via Turner Classic films.
  7. JB essay title: “Corrosive Reification-Sinatra’s Rat Pack” or “Why does Joey Bishop Just Stand There?”
  8. Is there a gene that accelerates epigenetics? that accelerates the acquisition of acquired rather than evolved characteristics?
  9. Did gene transfer occur between horses and humans allowing the proliferation of epigenetic pathways to evolution?
  10. Did horse teeth, enabling grass chewing, evolve via epigenetics?
  11. Did the human outsize neocortex evolve via epigenetics?
  12. JB neolog: Pooze or P.ooze or Primordial ooze: ancient sea/swamp/tideflats/ponds 4.0 to 4.5 billion years ago where the ground rules for organism metabolic process were established. See: Krebs cycle etc.
  13. A wild-ass guess: There were 2 million donkeys on the North American continent 2 million years ago.
  14. Humans may or may not have killed off the horse in North America – humans scared the entire horse population away across the Siberian land bridge. The horse did not go extinct in North America, it left the premises. Horses are smart.

***

12/31/15  7:20PM

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Disposable Sublime

 

Riddles, allusions, elisions, omissions – dreams, jokes, slips and symptoms

all the stuff of bucolic self come bubbling up for neural health.

JB

“Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.

Monty  Python – “The Meaning of Life”

Sublime: exalted, elevated, noble, awe-inspiring, majestic, glorious, transcendent.

Fecund:  Able to produce many offspring

499,999,999 sperm are wasted in every sex act that gives rise to a new human life and 500 million in each one that doesn’t result in fertilization. Cosmo ( JB God)  does not care about this incredible waste. Cosmo throws a colossal avalanche of spaghetti against the wall hoping one piece will stick. Cosmo is oblivious to the value of a single individual even though it expresses Cosmo’s own wonder-beauty-sublimity.

A sea turtle lays 150 eggs, 75 of these eggs survive bird and lizard and raccoon predation hatching in a timely manner. The baby turtles crawl a hundred yards across the sand to the surf and swim forward into the open sea where they immediately become food for sharks, dolphins and any fish that can lock its jaws around them. Two or three individuals from each nest will live through infancy in the open ocean growing to maturity to reproduce.

A baby sea turtle is a sublime thing comprising a multitude of miraculous biochemical pathways, complex organ systems and physical beauty evolved over 250 million years yet its existence on earth is tenuous, filled with danger with zero guarantee for a full life. Only a few of these small  miracles survive to produce their own offspring thus boosting their evolutionary potential.

Fecundity-disposability of the sublime is played out in most species of plants and animals. It is sadly wasteful but who would want to see the ocean jam-packed with shore to shore sea turtles or look out to the horizon across a salty writhing mass of 100,000 species of sea animals and plants. Balance requires brutality. Brutality ensures balance and it ensures some open ocean for the strong and lucky survivors to fight-flee seduce and mate.

Species not only dodge, fight and flee from predatory species but also fight and flee their own kind for survival and the opportunity to reproduce. One of the larger questions  for chordates is “Who gets the girl?” Intraspecies conflict is a big driver of evolution.

People create sublime things in the manner of nature: great paintings, music compositions, films, aircraft, I-pads and disposable razors. Only a very tiny percentage of sublime creations ever have a public moment. For the one tenth of one percent that do go into our public arena as products vying for mental shelf space, this glorious debut moment passes and the sublime thing is soon forgotten. A small army of talent creates a movie,  this cinematic treasure spends ten days at the multiplex then it’s gone. It is sublime. It is disposable. Sublime disposability drives people to madness. An architect works for three years on a big contract for the Navy – one million square feet of office and warehouse space. The project is shelved – forever. A composer working as a music professor draws out his finest musical ideas for years  writing his symphony and no one ever hears it. Disposable sublimity occurs so often in the arts, the professions and industry that it is cruel to even bring it up. A difficult subject on all counts. It fills psychiatrist’s couches.

There is intense intraspecies competition among humans to write the music that reaches the public, the book that finds a publisher and a public,  to design the building that gets built and used by a family or by millions of people. The 10,000 screenplays submitted to Hollywood movie studios each year  that never reach the cineplex are brothers to those  499,999,999 sperm that didn’t fertilize the egg. Funny how important we think our screenplay, novel or symphony is when it is one gazillionth as complex, as miraculous as a single sperm or any one of a million species of single cell animal or plant or bacterium or virus.

It is easier for us to adjust to the inequities of small turtle travails, the brief life of a cherry blossom or the waste of sperm than to the brief  life of one’s cherished artistic creation. How many wannabe  “Great American”  novels have hit the remainder bin after selling 500 copies ensuring the brilliant, imaginative author will remain a wandering nobody in the bustling halls of academe  not only not in the canon but not even a particle of gunpowder.

Life is brutal-pass the bottle

bein’ brilliant isn’t what’ll

get me up into the bracket

where I just can’t  hear the racket

  • Mr. Gasoline lyrics

Media professionals design their product to hit the market and get out. A movie studio knows that its 75 million to 300 million dollar product has the shelf life of a baguette. They know the entertainment ecosystem  is shark infested, a relentless, vicious, winner take all competition every weekend. Movies, music and theater are designed to seduce immediately in order to simply get to the starting gate. Sublimity is always lost. Sex with no love, violence with no purpose, stories with no roots in the heart. Form with very little content. Delivering a shred of honest emotion  earns a Grammy, Emmy or Academy Award nomination.

Humans are miracles of nature little different from sea turtles or any organisms. We are all sublime beauty and wonder all the way down to the biochemical interactions of our molecules and beyond, yet entire populations of humans are allowed to waste in squalor without cleanliness, health, education or any degree of welfare. Entire classes of Americans become prison industrial complex fodder,  lost to financial predators in the loan-sharking or the wall street banking class, poisoned by the manufacturing class and brainwashed by the media class.  We are  sublime. We abuse and bury our sublimity.

God throws you against the wall of life like so much spaghetti,

it’s up to you to figure out how to stick

JB

We insist upon and try to cultivate our own sublimity once we know it is our resposibility. Cosmo turns away at birth and family loosens reins during adolescence.  Cosmo does not care if you are the turtlette who gets snatched by a crab as you flipper-flop through the dangerous sand to the dangerous surf or if you are the sea turtle who survives in the open ocean for 30 years reaching reproductive maturity dodging sharks, killer whales, boat propellers, shrimp nets and plastic pollutants mistaken for food. Cosmo does not care if you endure a stunted human life through psychological abuse, physical violence, obesity, alcoholism, drug addiction, hate, jealousy, assault or wither within the corrosive prison  of a troubled marriage. Cosmo don’t care, don’t give a damn, you are on your own. Are ya feelin’ lucky?

There are many thousands of sublime works created each year that will never see the light of a coffee shop wall or resonate on a streetcorner. Sublimity and self-promotion are mutually exclusive yet we demand that a single person harness  tools of self promotion to capitalize their sublime works. This is the stuff of the schiz-mind fry for Modernists – those who can handle lots of ambiguity, uncertainty and change, the pitch-yaw-roll of Postmodern life will thrive.

***

Poststructuralism:

Poststructuralism is a precursor to  1965/1980 postmodernism that focuses specifically on linguistic matters of a synchronic sort emerging from Saussure. One’s text must contain a dollop of rebellion from mid-century social sciences icon Claude Levi-Strauss, himself a disciple of Saussure. A postructuralist never writes so clearly that multiple interpretations cannot be fussed out of the text.

“Language is not a pane of clear glass”

“Priority belongs to language itself. We learn to mean.”

“Meaning is an effect of the signifier”

It is asserted by poststructuralist Jacques Derrida that the idea is not independent of the word and to suggest such makes one logocentric. If one brands the word “Hot” onto the surface of a person’s thigh does the brandee need to know the definition of the word hot, it’s spelling and pronunciation in order to understand the heat and pain?

“The trace of otherness lays all oppositions open to deconstruction, leaving no pure or absolute concepts to be taken as foundational. Meanings, not only art, democracy, terrorism, human rights are not individual personal or subjective since they emanate from language but they are not given in nature or guaranteed by any existing authority either.” Catherine Belsey summing key Poststructural concept.

Art, democracy, terrorism and human rights are evidence of mankind trying to establish  sublimity. Terrorism in the service of sublimity is an irreconcilable opposition.

JB Questions-Observations:

  1. Can your flu catch a cold? Can your Toxoplasma gondii cerebral parasites catch a virus? Do viruses infect other viruses for ill effect on one’s health. Could this cascade of infection go 5 organisms deep given they are only inserting RNA or DNA into one another?
  2. Did Hungarian Communist party apparatchik art cop, Georg Lukacs have a role in Trotsky’s assassination during his stay in  Russia?
  3. Did anything ever de-fang capital “A” Art as much as 30th century interwar communist politics: prole as audience vs oppressive capitalist – UGH ! see: Lukacs-Brecht-Adorno dialectics
  4. Is there such a thing as an “archaic” myth? Aren’t all myths ingrained at different levels in the history of a culture and also at different levels of present consciousness-unconsciousness. Do myths come and go or accrue?  When and how might a myth die, dissolve, evaporate? When will the myths surrounding The Bill of Rights evaporate?
  5. Review the evolution of the definition of myth from Benjamin-Adorno to Jung to Barthes – Joseph Campbell et al.
  6. Piling on the commie way: Perry anderson on Adorno, Adorno on Lukacs, Adorno on Benjamin: A Marxist Brothers comedy.
  7. There is a sort of philosophical discourse whose purpose is to register membership in a club rather than to explore ideas. Adorno writing to Benjamin is like a kid sending a secret club code or giving the secret handshake. He peppers his text with as many commie buzzwords as his light ideas can carry. The Brecht-Adorno-Benjamin axis of 3d generation commie claptrap of mid-late 1930s re: commodity capitalism, division of labor, use-value proving to one another they have been good boys and done their Marx homework. Perry Anderson as a 4th generation Marxist  is even more pompously prolix.
  8. Aztec-Inca gold financed the European Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution as it financed manufacturing throughout europe of weapons, tools, ships, textiles and global exploration. War and commerce flourished with the avalanche of Aztec capital. The engine revs up on central American fuel. Bottom line: Latin American booty enables Commodity Capitalism to evolve with great vigor in Baroque Europe.
  9. It is human nature to project the death of one’s own neurons onto the entire culture as one notes the dissolution, the catastrophes, the failure of much that was good: millennial unawareness of Sergeant Pepper, the loss of factory jobs to digital technology, the replacement of wood with plastic, the computerization of cars and all communication. As neurons enter necrosis-apoptosis, the individual affected begins to see loss of quality all around. We project our loss out to the world forgetting that renewal is all around.
  10. Compare and contrast two concepts of myth: the Levi-Strauss-Joseph Campbell strain ( all-encompassing, transcultural, one story serves all) vs the Roland Barthes-Gilles Deleuze-Baudrillard version that ascribes myth to all aspects of a culture system: religion, law,philosophy,art, advertising, entertainment, car sales – commodity manufacturing, use and fetishization. The deep vs the deep and shallow together.  Levi-Strauss: Myth can be separated from marriage rites, plant medicine, lineage tracking where Barthes et al it is ALL myth all the time. If humans believe it, watch it, eat it, do it then it’s myth.
  11. Hegel’s idealism-dialectical materialism defangs Christian Fundamentalism at pre-Victorian era. Hegel provides rocket fuel for Victorians Carlyle, Marx, Darwin, Ruskin and later Nietzsche. Cracking the Christian hegemony at European Zeit opens the door for emergence of Jewish thinkers into late 19th century discourse and their major role as members of the Titanic 12.  Adam Smith vs Marx: choose sides – yin or yang – commie or cappie – Christian or Jew. ultramodernist or citramodernist. Richard Meier or Frank Gehry?
  12. As dogmatic Christian belief dissolved across the 19th century due to secular Enlightenment notions gaining traction previously marginalized jews saw an opening encouraging emergence from the cloistered shadows of the arcade ( see: Benjamin) and compete for center stage in intellectual discourse. Judeo-Christian Yin Yang was thus animated for all 20th and 21st century discourse.

***

December 21, 2015  10:54PM

 

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Name That Zeit

 

Signs are commodities – JB

 

Mythology: Roland Barthes and Poststructuralist’s definition –  “The common practices of our society that are neither true nor false but carry meaning and values we may not have consciously chosen.” – Catherine Belsey

Culture:  The unspoken ( mythology) and the spoken ( ideology) – JB

Modernism: The features of the descended grid: fixed station point and all it enabled: double-entry bookkeeping, cartesian navigation, musical notation, linear perspective, scientific method, rights of man,

Postmodernism: The ideas discovered, cobbled, invented by the Titanic Twelve in 1912 –  all ideas here are products of the unpinned station point – a deep, fundamental difference from modernism

Citramodernism: Postmodernism between Titanic Postmodernism and the postmodernism spawned by One twelfth of the Titanic group – Ferdinand Saussure – postmodernism between 1912 and 1966. Postmodernism from 1966 to its demise in 2000 let’s call PoMo. Without names for this stuff we’re sunk !

Ultramodernism: Modernism ( The stuff of The Descended grid) manifest between 1912 ( when it lost its primacy) to the present day where it flourishes in combination with all things Postmodern in a new episteme driven by the digital world/social media and the 8 second attention span

Structuralism: The search for eternal man, for overarching definitions, for binary oppositions: the raw- cooked, legitimate-forbidden, nature-culture, hostility-reciprocity i.e.  for the universal. “Nothing between the universe and a bean” Barthes on the absurdity of Structuralist thought of Levi-Strauss. Note: Levi-Strauss swam in Saussure’s lake as did Barthes but at a greater depth with less light and more pressure. Barthes is light, sunny, witty, humorous, arch, wry, ironic, snarky, looser, more playful. Dolphin vs whale Levi-Strauss had a more serious project, a larger point to make. Barthes lived to deconstruct Levi-Strauss as he filled in the colorful details of our various myths that bring them to life.

Poststructuralism: The search for specific man, for the detailed story, for the specific – see: Roland Barthes.  Replace all active usage and usage back to 1966 of the word Postmodernism with Poststructuralism; any use of the word postmodern that implies or asserts origins of Postmodernism begin with the Fab French invasion of 1966.

Bottom line: Postmodernism began in 1912 with the Titanic Twelve: W. Wright, Freud, F.L.Wright, Saussure, Einstein, Schoenberg, Melies, Tesla, Duncan, Joyce, Cocteau, Cezanne-Braque-Picasso,  not in 1966 with  the French Eight i.e. Barthes, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Lacan, Debord, Baudrillard, Deleuze and or Guattari.

Foucault, like Venturi can claim: “I am not a Postmodernist”  as he, Foucault, was, like Venturi, all about a critique of notions born of the Enlightenment – JB

“Lacan reinterpreting Freud in the light of Saussure and Levi-Strauss” (Belsey) is like Frank Lloyd Wright reinterpreting himself ( Prairie Style) in the neo-Loosian terms of Neutra and Schindler via Corbu and Mies @ Wesselhoff. Get thee to a scorecard ! – JB

Note to self (JB) Poking holes in recent ( since 1966) definitions of Postmodernism and Poststructuralism is taking away the toys of a generation of intelligent, well-read, hard-thinking ( though occluded) imaginative, high-spirited academics.

Did a feminist or a gay rights activist ever claim to be a postmodernist?  How did this become a part of postmodernism? It occurred during the PoMo era 1966-2000.

Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers and Soviet worker realism – both paintings of totalizing ideologies.

Human culture is a tall tub with a convection current circulating around in a giant ring from surface to depths. This grand convection moves in time through history and individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities whole populations, nations rise and fall at varying rates in the turbulence. Each zone of this tub has qualities that may be seen as modern or postmodern in character. Mo and PoMo are happening somewhere in this current at all times and have been since plants were domesticated in southwest Asia 10,000 years ago. there were postmodern Assyrians and modern ancient Egyptians. PoMo ideas such as multiculturalism and defiance against the powers that be are always afloat in steerage where they give birth to a wealth of new ideas that are carried up on social convection currents and locked into the zeit of dominant rationalists – the purveyors of power. The tenets of 1960s-90s PoMo are not even new with the Titanic 12. These ideas were popular when Irish and Jewish immigrants sailed to America in the 19th century. They were not new with either Marx or Darwin or Freud or Saussure. they are part of the phenomenon of individuals and classes falling into depths ( see USA sinking middle class 1980-2015) of the silent majority. Treating the concepts of PoMo.

Epochs get new names such as Medieval, Modern, Postmodern after an accretion of new ideas in religion,human rights,  politics, economics, art, literature, science and technology. It is the combined power of a few of the more prominent of these ideas that launches the naming of a new era, typically many years after the ideas emerged. As a new epoch progresses there are many changes throughout a society. Change itself is a given. Change is continuous. Change during the past few hundred years has been accelerating at an asymptotic rate. All change in an era is not necessarily in the spirit of that age but gets included. It goes along for the ride. Postmodernism is about things fundamentally unpinned not anything that occurred between 1966 and 2000 or between 1912 and 2000.

Scholars have confused the ideas, innovations and inventions that are the core of much subsequent change with the thought-trends that get the most attention during  early academic careers. Scholars define their operative zeit as if it were foundational when its status  is tertiary or secondary but rarely primary. We now have the much tortured, misnamed  postmodernism and poststructuralism both spawned by the Titanic Twelve.

The core marker for the Postmodern, the unpinned station point is best seen in analytical cubism was also expressed in a cluster of secondary and tertiary signs such as gender, ethnicity, sex, and race. These are qualities of late 1960s politics. They are expressions of the 1912 PoMo idea in a non-visual realm. There are no PoMo principles as these all reside with the titanic Twelve. there are only features not principles.

Modernism, in one of its more fundamental definitions ( there are sooo many), began when Filippo Brunelleschi pinned the station point in 1412 as he established the core idea of his great invention linear perspective. This fixing of man in a single spot allowed  many aspects of the real world to come into focus: cartesian navigation, double-entry bookkeeping, the picture plane as window, the scientific method, musical notation. If you just hold still – you can see a lot. This towering, paradigm-shifting event PSP meaning the pinned station point – mankind remains stationary and looks out at the world and begin to define it and to measure it and to catalog and analyze its contents. Man creates an array of  grids for making sense of the world; the navigation grid of longitude and latitude, the music grid of pitch and duration, the numerical grid of money spent and money owed, the spatial grid in two dimensions that allows the conception of buildings in an abstraction of 3-D space.

During the 19th Century the station point was unpinned by Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. This grand unpinning was manifest in ten realms in 1912. These 12 realms and their associated genius are as follows: 

The Titanic Twelve:

  1. Wilbur Wright – Pitch-yaw-roll controlled flight
  2. Arnold Schoenberg – Atonal music composition  
  3. Albert Einstein – Post-Newtonian physics
  4. James Joyce – Post narrative fiction
  5. Jean Cocteau – Post 3-act drama  
  6. Nicola Tesla – Radio-A/C current
  7. Georges Melies – Motion pictures
  8. Sigmund Freud – subconscious realms
  9. Ferdinand Saussure – Lateral linguistics ( synchronic)
  10. Isadora Duncan – Post Baroque dance
  11. Cezanne-Picasso-Braque – Unpinned pictorial space
  12. Frank Lloyd Wright – Dynamic symmetry

Note that Charles Darwin and Karl Marx’s shift of locus of Victorian culture from the ecclesiastical to  the temporal secular realm of science, industry, labor and class conflict as the arena of mind-soul-heart of Western man precedes the reifications of The Titanic Twelve. See the writings of Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin and Morris for details of this shift. The  scarifying of the zeit, the plowing aside of the reigning Modern episteme for new spiritual-intellectual growth.

The Edwardian blossoming of human innovation in 1912, the year the Titanic sank. The work of The Titanic Twelve  is at the core of half of 20th century thought,  including Poststructuralism and Postmodernism.  The loss of the Titanic symbolic of the loss primacy of The Enlightenment Project. The world’s stage is shared from 1912 onward to today. Due to the continued dominance of enlightenment ideas, the postmodern should be seen as a diverging arrow that is one third the width of the Modern but growing rapidly.

Our age became schizoid in 1912 as two parallel tracks emerged from WW One evolving in tandem, giving rise to two Modern architectures; one pinned and one unpinned i.e. one based on classical Brunelleschi orthography ( plans, sections and elevations) and one based on Cubism ( pitch, yaw and roll around the object, best represented in models). Two modern paintings: One born of Cezanne’s deconstructed picture plane ( Mondrian, Malevich, Pollock, de Kooning, Schnabel)  and one informed by Freud and Marx: Duchamp, Surrealism, Dada, Warhol, minimalists, gendo-politico-sexo art projects 1970-2015.  Of course Venturi is not a Postmodernist as he always cleaved to Brunelleschi and the rationalities of The Enlightenment though his works are coated with pastiche born of notions unpinned from Modernist dogma. Though Le Corbusier is seen as a founder of hard line Modernism, he was a Cubist at heart and after his butchering by that motor yacht  while swimming in the mediterranean in 1953 his Cubist soul  became manifest in his late work best exemplified by Ronchamp and Carpenter Center.

One cannot clearly discuss either Poststructuralism or Postmodernism or any aspect of either without understanding, incorporating and addressing one’s root precursor(s) among The Titanic Twelve.

The great bifurcation from the PSP episteme into the age in which PSP (pinned station point)  is shared with UPSP (unpinned station point) was at 1912 not at 1946 ( Levi-Strauss) 1957 ( Barthes) or 1962 ( Foucault) 1966 ( Derrida) or 1971 ( Deleuze, Baudrillard). The Postmodern world did not begin with Barthes, Derrida, Venturi or Jacques Derrida as architecture historian Charles Jencks or Paul DeMan or Richard Rorty might lead one to think the postmodern began at the great bifurcation, the birth of the Titanic Twelve, the sinking of the Titanic. The whole 1960s version of Postmodern semiotics was a development of only two twelfths of the idea package, that of Saussure and his followers of the next 50 years in Germany and the USA.

In locating the birth of Postmodernism at 1912 rather than mid 1960s one can resolve the scatter of anomalies, inconsistencies and exceptions that riddle PoMo thought from 1965 to the present as its demise is now widely heralded.

To further clarify Modernism as it continues through the 20th century colored by all things PoMo let’s call all post 1912 Modernism ( given that MOdernism began in 1412 with Brunelleschi)  Ultramodernism in order to distinguish it from any shades of pre 1912 manifestations of which there are countless. Without names there is chaos. All this naming may seem precious, obsessive, annoying but without names there is muck, mud, confusion as is seen in 100% of ALL writing on Postmodernism.

Since a misconception of the start point of Postmodernism is now enmeshed, ensconced, solidified into the discourse, we need a name for Postmodern stuff between 1912 and when the misinformed began to hold forth in the mid-1960s. Call PoMo between 1912 and 1965 CitraModernism.  OK – Modernism split apart in 1912 under the paradigm shifting force of the titanic Twelve creating two Modernisms: UltraModern = traditions extended ( Gropius and Mies were UltraModernists) and CitraModern = unpinned, Cubist, ambiguous, Contradictory, complex world of Russian Constructivists, late Corbu and Frank Gehry.

As for ideas such as the dissolution of grand narratives, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the all- inclusive multiculturalism of the visual arts and anthropology, sociology, these are social evolutions-revolutions that took place in the water-episteme-spectacle of the unpinned station point but are not directly tied to a single one of The Titanic Twelve though they DO manifest CitraModern notions. The gas emitted by The Titanic Twelve colors everything, even the Modern, creating the UltraModern The water of the new paradigm was first poured by Darwin and Marx ( The Towering Two)  followed 50 years later by the reifications of The Titanic Twelve and then all members of Western civilization  as we all swim in this water no matter what our unique concerns.  No wonder so much PoMo writing is confused – some write of Darwin / Marx,  some of the Titanic Twelve and their followers and some of those simply swimming in the PoMo water. They were on the floodplain when the river flowed  and got wet but were not otherwise close to foundational ideas of the fourteen. The whole group that includes Darwin and Marx –  henceforth:  The all-inclusive Fab-14.

At least two generations of literary theorists, critics, architects and artists have tried to package these social developments as Postmodernism. they have tried to place Roland Barthes in the same corral as Michel Foucault. They don’t belong together other than as generational cohorts. Barthes has direct ties to one of The Titanic Twelve in Saussure, Foucault has no direct link. Foucault is a critic of the Enlightenment not a founder of the Postmodern. Barthes and Derrida have direct links to Saussurean semiotics, Deleuze has links to both Saussure and Wilbur Wright. Deleuze ( with Guattari) weaving their rhizomic cocoon all around the towering commodity capitalism and its contingent myths.Any scholar delving into the current morass of contemporary discourse that I have parsed as  Mo, UltraMo, CitraMoPoMo must ask the following questions:

  1. Is the idea / subject at hand pinned or unpinned? How can one tell?
  1. Pinned is the stuff of Brunelleschi, the Descended Grid, Rationalist thought, the Scientific method, hierarchies, power centers, exceptionalism
  2. Unpinned is the stuff of Darwin, Marx, The Titanic Twelve, relativity, free dance, Cubism, multivalence, ambiguity, pitch-yaw-rolling around the subject from multiple points of view.  
  1. Which of the Titanic Twelve most fits your area of exploration? Pick three or more.

In the realm of Saussure if I am involved in any of the following:

  1. Culture as text, culture as myth – Barthes
  2. Any aspect of synchronic linguistics including all of Chomsky
  3. Semiotics in lit-crit, architecture

In the realm of  Wilbur Wright ( simultaneity, pitch-yaw-roll forming multiple viewpoints

  1. Into gender, feminism, race, ethnicity
  2. multiculturalism
  3. Aeronautics, aircraft manufacturing-fixed wing

If I write novels I read Grant’s civil War Memoir, Twain, Hemingway, Nabokov. I seek a swerve from these precursors and their spawn ( see: Harold Bloom for the mechanics of poetic invention) Pynchon, Delillo, Barth ( not Barthes) Coover. Do the PoPoMo.

A lesbian feminist artist would go all the way back to Marx, mix in a bit of Wilbur for a contemporary swerve on power narratives and to Darwin and Stephen Jay Gould for notions of evolutionary change ( it’s not all the same – different strokes for different species, some change is abrupt ( saltational) some is by invasion of another ( symbiosis) and some from genetic mutation. All living things evolve. You have returned to the roots of the roots.

Note to academics: Please stop trying to cram the women’s and gay rights movements into the Saussure-Barthes-Derrida bag as it does not fit. Try Foucault and his Modern, post 1412,  antagonists.

Is everything and anything that happened between 1965 and 2001 postmodern? Can one describe any development in economics, politics, art, science, liberal arts during this time as postmodern?  Many try. There ARE qualities of postmodernism other than simply the place in time of an event. We are too close to the rich sources of postmodernism to lose all meaning so soon. The word modern is long gone and must be qualified-explained on a few levels before proceeding. Postmodern is a dumb word to begin with as every age considers itself modern i.e. what’s happenin’ now thus every age forever has had its own postmodernism. It’s a total garble but I try. By my definition in this essay is everything between 1912 and 2001 postmodern? NO you haven’t been paying attention. The modern was cleaved by The Titanic Twelve plus Two i.e. The Fab 14. into UltraModern and CitraModern then in 1965 into faux-provisional-misnamed, phony-ass, superficial Postmodern.

It is painful to read any text on postmodernism from richard Rorty to Perry Anderson and Richard Butler and watch all of these men try to cram every social-political-artistic idea from 19654 to 1980 into the Saussure bag. It’s always at least ten pounds of ideas in a five pound bag. One must encompass at least one or two of  the other Titanic Twelve if not the whole Fab-14. Turn to Marx for foundational text re: power narratives and social stratification to Darwin for notions of evolutionary change, to Gould and Eldredge for notions of abrupt change as all living things evolve or go extinct. Explore the roots of the roots.

When poster boy of postmodern architecture Robert Venturi decries on the cover of top architecture magazine “I Am Not A Postmodernist” he means just that. Venturi’s work, though of pastiche, parody and snark, seen by many as hallmarks of postmodernism, is essentially of the grid, the ethos of the enlightenment, the orthogonal and defined clearly by orthographic projection: Plan, section and elevation. Venturi is of the PSP not the UPSP. Venturi swims in Ultramodernism the branch that has not been colored by Cubism at all. Venturi is a child of Brunelleschi not of Cezanne. for UPSP Citramodern architecture see the Russian Constructivists and late Corbu ( after his motor yacht trauma that re-arranged his creative consciousness via big brass propeller to the head ( and body). For more Citramodern see: Frank Gehry, Coop Himmelblau, Rem Koolhaas and Wes Jones.

To reiterate:

  1. Address your subject
  2. Locate its link among the Titanic Twelve and at least one of the Towering Two. Darwin is connected to every thought of the past 150 years and Marx to at least half of them.
  3. Identify the proponents in the generation preceding your own and ideally practitioners and theorists in every 20 year period between your founding genius member of the 12 Titans
  4. Do not confuse the flurry of French philosophers, all children of Saussure for all 12 Titans. Allow the Titans first to exist in their hard won pantheon and then the breathe with intellectual space around each one. they are all foundational to 20th century thought and achievement in all matters of culture: Art, Science, technology, law, ethics, entertainment. Ask yourself the deepest meaning of maneuverability for man on all three axes. That third dimension of movement was revolutionary in the deepest sense and Wilbur Wright invented it as well as patented it.
  5. Easy rule of thumb. 1412 saw the birth of the modern. It grew for 500 years to maturity. In 1912, the year the titanic sank, is the year the modern sank ( more accurately, was joined by a new episteme) The two running side by side in parallel from 1912 until they merged during the new millennium as digital tech and social media have rewired the human mind.

When Picasso referred to his partner in paint Georges Braque as mon frere Wilbur, after french aviator Charles de Lambert circled the eiffel tower in 1909 in a Wright Brothers Flyer using Wilbur’s great invention: linked aileron-rudder assembly that allowed controlled flight in three dimensions, Picasso was (unwittingly?) acknowledging the essence of analytical Cubist ideas he and Braque ( together and henceforth-Braquasso) were then exploring: 1. moving around the subject to capture its three dimensional essence from multiple points of view and capturing this multiplicity on a single canvas thus spawning the idea of simultaneity. Analytical Cubism i.e. Cezanne shorthand at the root of all post Edwardian 20th century notions of multiple, simultaneous seeing. Seeing all cultures simultaneously, all religions, all skin colors, all sexual orientations. Claude Levi-Strauss synthesized Braquasso and Saussure in his analysis of hundreds of ethnographies of indigenous peoples from melanesia, South America, Australia, North America and Africa and noting equal cultural complexity in one way or another in all cultures. Jared Diamond drives home the point in his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Guns, Germs, and Steel” noting the primacy of geography and timing over any innate neuronal wiring in defining differential cultural fates.

It is difficult for literature academics to relinquish credit for what they believe to be the foundational ideas of 20th century thought, the core of their field of study to masters of the visual arts or to a scientist ( Darwin) but alas, they must.  Primacy of mid 20th century lit theory-semiotics belongs to Brunelleschi and Darwin and then to Cezanne and Braquasso not to the Beatles of 20th century philosophy – the French Invasion of Barthes, Foucault, Derrida and Baudrillard. The American intellectual establishment was permanently seduced ne, overpowered in 1964-1966 when Paul DeMann of Yale opened the doors. to paraphrase Victor Hugo speaking of the Renaissance. “It was the setting sun all Europe mistook for dawn.”

Braquasso were popularizers of the more foundational Cezanne as Barthes and Derrida were explainers of Saussure. Neither Braquasso nor Barthes were founders, they were explainers-synthesizers. Frank Lloyd Wright was a great synthesizer of John Ruskin and William Morris as well as of everything he laid eyes on as a young architect. Founders shift paradigms, entire bodies of thought get re-visioned in a new lens, the world is seen in a new way forever after. Foundational thinkers deliver new tools, new heuristics. Several of the Fab-14 generated their great new idea by synthesizing and explaining many ideas composing their operative episteme. Whether one is foundational like Darwin and Saussure or secondary like Barthes and Derrida has to do with scale of synthesis. Darwin summed up 150 years of enlightenment science from geography to animal husbandry. Barthes explicated one aspect of the work of a single thinker. Matisse was foundational. He synthesized the Enlightenment achievement in 100 different ways. Secondary figure richard diebenkorn ( no slouch in the annals of modern painting) based his entire career on the background of a single Matisse painting. Ocean Park series riffing on background of “Zora On the Terrace”

The system invented by Wilbur Wright from his intense study of birds in flight enables a man to move along three axes all around a place or an object such as the Eiffel Tower. Wilbur’s system remains a part of every single fixed-wing aircraft in the world.  It was from imagining themselves flying around the eiffel Tower that enabled Picasso and Braque to imagine flying around a kitchen table with its newspaper, pipe, cup of coffee and clarinet.

In closing: go to the source. Go to the expansion valve that transforms fluid into vapor, that changes states of substance. The expansion valve of 20th century expansions of the modern both ultra and citra – pinned and unpinned was the combined effect of the Fab 14 with an especially useful focus on the Titanic Twelve who delivered useful tools for translating zeit into the stuff of life. The expansion valve for what is commonly if erroneously called Postmodernism was the Titanic 12 not the Fab French Four or Six or Eight.  I write this to supply a tool for unjamming the modern-postmodern discourse. As long as one thinks postmodernism began in the mid-1960s the discourse is confused chock full of exceptions, excuses, pulled punches, qualifications, reservations. It’s time to pull the detritus from the weir to make way for still another swerve on modernism, that of the eight second attention span. Remodernism: 2000-Present

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December 3, 2015   6:24 PM

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Less Is Less

 

Scottish poet Robert Browning in his 1855 poem “The Faultless Painter”  writes the following line  “Well less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged” The words were adopted by German architect Mies van der Rohe in 1947 to reflect his slant on Modern architecture. “Less is more” has been a potent meme in contemporary architecture from 1950 to the present. The phrase is a corollary to the Adolf Loos 1910 lecture and essay titled  “Ornament and crime” and soon became “Ornament is a crime” adding a moralizing element to Modern architecture that expanded like an ecclesiastical tumor upon the movement. A generation of young turks in the Western world made a big, fat moral issue of their slimmed-down Modernist esthetic – swallow our astringent, soulless Kool Aid or you are a Victorian degenerate throwback and deserve to be run out of town.

“Nothing in excess” – Ancient carving at the Greek temple at Delphi

“A man must know how to choose the mean and avoid extremes” –       -Socrates

For over one hundred years the shedding of 19th Century gingerbread esthetic has reigned on all man- made things from lamps, chairs and tables to buildings (though violated by Frank Lloyd Wright who assigned “organic” truth to his carbuncular detail. Most Modern architects and industrial designers have endorsed a machine esthetic – form follows function or Form and function are one. The steamship, the airplane, the locomotive as early 20th Century examples of a more honestly conceived design.

In the realm of painting, the notion that every visible component of a scene must be faithfully rendered as seen by the eyeball-occipital axis of “reality” evaporated with the impressionists in 1870 and has remained in a gaseous state ever since;  exceptions for throwback obsessives  Richard Estes and John Currin noted. Total abstraction launched by Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich in the early 20th century  became comfortable to the contemporary mind. Non-objective Painting by Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella and Larry Poons is old hat. Less courses through this work but is there adequate “more” ?   There is more in Stella but a more deficit  in Kelly. Kelly has taken a ride on the easy train with his large monotone shaped canvases. The license to do away with ornament spawned artists who do not search for the essence of less while delivering less itself.

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JB Questions and comments:

  1. Has epigenetics been an accelerator of geographic realpolitik over the past 3,000 years?  In his Pulitzer Prize winning book about the origins of cultural dominance, “Guns, Germs, and Steel,  UCLA Professor Jared Diamond asserts the foundational role of geography alone in creating the technological headstart for some peoples of the Earth. Diamond’s idea of primacy of geography contains the subsets:edible wild plants that are easily domesticated and large wild animals that can be domesticated to become beasts of burden as well as transportation in peace and war. Perhaps there is more to the story. Once a tribe or a kingdom gets a headstart from its food and animal resources it’s conceptual tools such as writing and language development get hardwired epigenetically forming a synergy of brain and geography resulting in cultural acceleration and domination. The causation is not geography alone as Diamond so forcefully asserts prior to 25 years of intense genetic research since publication of “GGS”.
  2. Did ancient Andean or New Guinea ancient mountain populations invent the wheel and discard it due to steep trails and lack of brakes? Perhaps wheels made of thin sections of logs or rings of bamboo slathered with rubber that would  have decayed leaving no evidence. Archaic wheels do not need to follow the Fred Flintstone model.
  3. Is American ghetto violence simply the chaos that always exists between opposing paradigms as these neighborhoods waffle between the tribe political organizational paradigm and the kingdom paradigm?  I.E. indefinite borders, ambiguous membership, scope of political unit?  There is no clear political definition in these communities thus no political stability. Drugs, poverty, lack of education are the result of paradigm ambiguity. Is it one group per block as some assume or one per four or eight blocks as others define it or the border between housing and train tracks, freeway, river? Who knows? Ambiguity results in perpetual  battle.
  4. The Chinese have had a compulsion for innovation stifling top down social control for thousands of years due to a lack of trust among themselves. Is the widespread lack of trust among the Chinese an epigenetic trait peculiar to the Chinese? Are black Africans any different? Whites? Melanesians? Polynesians? What brain area and neurological mechanisms harbor trust, ability to trust, trust response, the trust connection with one’s family, friends, neighbors, fellow countrymen so vital to cultural development.
  5. Rank the nations of the word not by gross national product but by per capita debt.
  6. Apropos of little – Differences in highrise office towers the world over are like different dog breeds. Nothing genetic happening. No mutations of import. All highrise towers share 99.999% of their DNA. These buildings are not analogous to lions, tigers, bears or crocodiles but to  spaniels, labradors, shepherds and weiner dogs. High rise architects are like a league of dog breeders – no evolution just superficial change. Some elevators are more efficient than others, some enclosure systems are more versatile – so what? Highrise architecture is a crashing bore – no genetic change since the curtain wall was invented in 1909 ( Boley building, Kansas City, MO, architect:  Louis Curtiss.
  7. Are schizophrenia, manic depression and hypomania degrees of the same parasitic disease of the brain? Perhaps amoebae Toxoplasma gondii or N. fowleri?
  8. Are the tension-sensing proteins at work in microtubules during mitosis the same proteins as those in trees and all branching plants that sense tension and or compression forces caused by asymmetrical limb growth and sending grow signal to opposite side of tree to maintain equilibrium?
  9. Is cilia rotation at embryonic notochord cells counterclockwise at southern hemisphere in marsupials? It is clockwise in northern hemisphere in animals.
  10. What signals the proteins that signal the start of the embryonic ectoderm’s  production of neural tissue?
  11. JB neolog: “Stochastic Differentiation”: Adjacent cells correct one another thus avoiding catastrophic errors that would result if a single overall masterplan blueprint were used to direct cell activity. Stochastic Differentiation implies bottom up causality as opposed to top down causation.

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11/7/15  11:51 AM

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Coronet  Effect

 

In 1936 M.I.T. physics professor Harold Edgerton created an ultra high-speed photograph he named “Milkdrop Coronet” in it, a single drop of milk causes a “coronet”  (an expanding ring) of 25 distinct droplets to explode up simultaneously ( thus the “coronet”)  from the surface of the milk bowl encircling the point of impact of the larger drop. One large event, the milkdrop in this example, causes many smaller events. This is the Coronet effect. A cue ball striking another ball or two would not be an example of the coronet effect. One cause-one effect is not coronet causality. A coronet is not a cascade. The resulting smaller events do not cause one another to occur nor do they initially interact with one another. they are all caused by the single large event not by one another. When the droplets forming the coronet fall back into the medium from which they sprang, they DO begin to interact with one another but not in mid-air to any noticeable degree other than via quantum spook.

Example of Coronet Effect:  A mountain of copper and gold deep in the jungle of Irian Jaya ( Western New Guinea) is slated for mining, the big drop. The following list of droplets are coronet effects:

  1. marginalization of Indonesian leader Sukarno by C.I.A.
  2. JFK assassination
  3. ascendancy of LBJ
  4. dislocation of indigenous mountain tribes
  5. the Vietnam War
  6. a prospering U.S. mining company

A coalesce is the opposite of a coronet. A coalesce occurs when several separate events combine to create a single, larger thing, a whole larger than its parts.  Twelve equal segments of TNT in an atom bomb explode simultaneously in order to drive two previously separated chunks of plutonium together detonating the plutonium causing an  explosion  magnitudes larger than the sum of the 12 segments of TNT.

Consider the work of the following geniuses coalescing to form Postmodernism from an aging Modernism ca 1912, the year the Titanic sunk-symbolic !: Mieles( motion pictures), Wright Brothers ( pitch, yaw, roll), Frank Lloyd Wright ( asymmetric balance of form and space), James Joyce ( stream of consciousness) , Isadora Duncan (anti-baroque free dance), Tesla ( AC current, radio waves ), Braquasso ( Braque and Picasso roped together like climbers on Mt. Cezanne inventing Cubism i.e. Cezanne for Dummies) Einstein- deconstructing Newtonian mechanics, Schoenberg-atonal music composition, Edison-recorded sound, Duchamp- redefinition of capital “A”  art. The emergence of the Postmodern zeit, a colossal paradigm shift is a reverse coronet, 12 smaller drops coalesce  into a single culture-wide drop of zeit-welt (zeitgeist-weltanschauung) characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity and contradiction. The ultra-democratic rhizome appears counterbalancing all things of The Descended Grid, The Enlightenment Project i.e. The Modern, symbolized by Charles Darwin’s branching tree.

The 1857 Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roger Taney presiding,  had a vast Coronet effect as it initiated the reification of the key assertion of  the Declaration of Independence:  “All men are created equal”: The U.S. Supreme Court decision is the big coronet drop causing the following droplets: The Civil War, the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Reconstruction, Jim Crow era, contemporary African-American struggle for justice.

The emergence of bilateral symmetry from radial symmetry in animals was a coronet event. Once the “decision” was made for bilateralism in Cambrian fishlike organisms, a cornet of causality followed; now every animal has a left side and a right side; a front and a back and with that -implied velocity ( motion with direction). The birth of the idea in animals of action over stasis – advantage is immediate and widespread –  the Cambrian Explodes. There is oscillation from drop into droplets creating the coronet and from droplets into single drops creating the coalesce. What is the connection between the coalesce: Picasso and his fellow geniuses launching Postmodernism and the coronet of the Dred Scott Decision & aftermath?  Do phenomena comprising a coronet often coalesce and vice versa? Is droplet formation from a single drop always energy dissipating? Does coalescence always require energy input? Is there more coroneting or coalescing in nature? The eukaryotic cell is a coalescence of previously free-floating microorganisms, higher animals are a coalescence of organ systems and of other organisms ( bacteria and viruses). Are coronet-coalesce events like waves or like yin-yang, chicken-egg, object-shadow dualities, one automatically implying the other?  Will a cornet always be a part of a coalesce? Every wave has a trough and a ridge. It is not that one causes the other but that they are two parts of the same thing. If you drop a rock in a pond causing a coronet, the droplets will coalesce upon impact causing waves. Life on Earth is a coronet,  plants, animals and microorganisms are droplets in gradient reduction theater to be followed, in billions of years, by coalescence back into singularity.

Coronet-coalesce oscillation  in human affairs follows the same rules of causality as seen in larger and smaller arenas of the natural world,  from intergalactic events to sub-atomic activity. This explains why we get nervous when good things happen and why most believe it is darkest before the dawn. A pea-brain squirrel knows that a pile of nuts is too much of a good thing and will run away if it encounters such an unnatural cluster of seductive goodies on a fence rail. Humans set traps for one another using this universal causal logic. Buy this car, see this movie, eat this food, drink this alcohol-The Big Drop, and a coronet of good things will ensue….not…. as car and other payments coalesce into a stack of bills each month.

People, at times, mistake a big drop as the final outcome unmindful of the coronet effect. The conspirators behind five years of Dred Scott shenanigans: Roger Taney, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce and Stephen Douglas,  believed they were solving the slavery problem once and for all by ensuring the survival of slavery via federal law. Their One Big Drop: a Supreme Court judgement. This One big drop created many droplets spreading effects in all directions. In some cases droplets grow into big events spawning a new generation of effects both positive and negative.

Around the locus of 1912 there was one big Western Culture-wide drop with 10 subsequent droplets, one each in physics, biology, politics,  painting, dance, fiction, music, electricity, manned flight, and architectural space, each droplet creating its own path of events and subsequent droplets over and over dissipating energy and adding complexity all the way. Looking at the paradigm-shifting drop of 1912 ( initiating our Postmodern world) one can follow a single droplet such as Duchamp’s reinvention of capital “A” art and follow this capital “A”  Art droplet  through several generations of art innovation revealing a “bouncing ball” pattern.

Questions and Theories:

  1. Is every big drop at the center of a coronet also a small drop from an even larger coronet event?
  2. Is the human capacity for written language coded in genes or by some RNA modification?
  3. JBT – Human epigenetic machinery such as MYSM1 does not distinguish between creating a new molecule to battle an invading microbe from creating a new molecule to transmit a byte of experience ( emotional or rational) language, music, math. It’s all the same. The DNA-gene making machinery will sort it out over time i.e. encode or discard. New stuff gets a trial period of perhaps a few thousand years or millions when the new feature is encoded in DNA or discarded onto evolution’s trash heap.
  4. Jared Diamond in his Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller ( over one million copies sold) refers many times to “human evolution” to describe cultural developments that led to language, guns and steel stuff, sidestepping the fact that all human “progress” i.e. development of the past 50,000 years has emerged from the same neocortical gene group not from any human evolution in the Darwinian sense with ‘evolution’ meaning change to the human genome i.e. changes to nucleotides as they sit on strands of human DNA. One might say that humans have, over time, learned to use their inflated neocortices to greater effect as they learn from one another and store information in myth, tradition, libraries and social patterns learned by children. Diamond wants it both ways: to claim that societies evolve in a Darwinian sense while asserting in his main thesis,  that we humans are not differentiable genetically from one another as if humans the world over would have all changed in evolutionary terms ( unlike any organism ever)  into identical phenotypic expression from an identical genotype. In Diamond-speak, societies evolve while humans all remain the same genetically i.e. share the same brain. One excuses Diamond- logic in light of its time of writing in mid-1990s when epigenetics was simply discredited Lamarckism and not the established science it is today.
  5. The very large human neocortex is a big evolutionary  coronet drop caused by the mutation of a single gene. This increased brain capacity has resulted in so many useful coronet droplets in our struggle for survival such as language, tool making, social complexity, animal/plant domestication that it appears so far to be a mutation worth conserving. The big brain is in its infancy in geological time.
  6. Jared Diamond juggles different meanings of the word evolution. His topic employs much life-science evidence where evolution has a strict meaning related to mutations in DNA affecting an organism’s genome-genotype-phenotype. He uses the term evolution interchangeably: formal – informal. the informal meaning is  far more casual meaning simple change for the better or change itself with no connection to actual modifications to nucleotides. This may seem trivial but when Diamond’s thesis revolves around his assertion that all humans the world over have no discernable  genetic differences that might be the source for vast differences in language acquisition, tool use, plant / animal domestication, social complexity, war-making capability, it becomes important to point out Diamond’s essential fuzziness in his definition of evolution. He likes it fuzzy. This fuzz is essential to Diamond’s thesis. Twenty years of epigenetic science blows away fuzz. There may be thousands or millions  of heritable pathways to cultural complexity and these may or may not involve DNA ( rather than RNA, histones, proteins etc).
  7. True evolution versus accrued human culture. There was a single evolutionary event – the big brain mutation, all else is not evolution but the much simpler “change” Many things change without evolving.  The stuff of culture changes it does not evolve. Aircraft changed from biplanes to supersonic jets they didn’t evolve. If Guns, Germs, And Steel is based upon biology-living things such as people and their culture then Diamond’s thesis: “The ubiquitous role of geography in the transmission of human culture” evaporates. Epigenetic change accrues immediately as well as over a few thousand years and contributes, along with geography to cultural diversity.  Diamond asserts the reason that one culture has all the cargo is strictly geographic happenstance; in light of the past 20 years of genetic research, this is not so.
  8. Diamond and many anthropologists list several societies that did not invent writing. Perhaps these societies invented writing AND paper thus any evidence has decayed into dust say: animal blood ( ink) on animal skin ( paper) both organic and gone in 100 years let alone 3,000 to 5,000 years. Maybe not all societies wrote on rocks or into wet clay. Diamond relies too heavily on anthro dogma on the subject of writing as a marker for place in time or time in place.
  9. To study: The relationship between risk-taking behavior of Western peoples induced by Toxoplasma gondii parasites as cysts in neocortex due to association with domestic cats and Western  dominance of Third world  indigenous peoples.
  10. The chicken-egg heuristic is exhausted – use yin-yang simultaneity that accelerates or slows, as in autocatalysis. Autocatalytic def: A process that speeds up over time at an increasing rate.
  11. Entropic thermodynamic theory-gradient reduction as causality for increased social complexity with war serving a cosmic compulsion toward stasis through growth of living things: plants, animals, empires.
  12. Did humans migrate from the Olduvai Gorge across what is now the South pole into Australia then on up to China when the Earth was oriented differently on its axis, when the equator was plus or minus 90 degrees from its present location? – no
  13. Jared Diamond discusses language in an historic manner using it to trace the migration of races across continents and oceans and islands. Language is treated as one now treats genetics as a means of establishing primacy in a locale. In Saussurean terms, this is diachronic linguistics. To study language laterally in terms of grammar and syntax and its neurological origin is synchronic. Noam Chomsky is a synchronic linguist.
  14.  We spend our lives trying to close the gap between what we know intuitively ( a lot !) and what we are surrounded by in the real world (our lot in life, Lalena) with its thin crust of the whole pie of life and other things. Humans who get all peaceful and dreamy believing they have closed the gap between self and cosmos have simply learned to modulate hypothalamic flow of serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  15. Was Dred Scott a hired double-agent of Southern slave interests led by “Dough Face” president John Buchanan manipulated to create a case that would ensure the perpetuation of slavery in the U.S.?

“Authority has a nose of wax, it can be twisted in either direction.”

                                                                                       -Alain de Lille

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10/27/15  1:41 pm

 

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Squid Rasslin’

 

In Tim Burton’s 1994 feature film “Ed Wood” Martin Landau, playing silent screen legend Bela Lugosi, enters a dark “swamp” and dramatically, feverishly rassles a rubber squid into submission for a B-movie film crew. A faux opponent is subdued after an exaggerated struggle.

Squid Rasslin’ – definition: To drag a trivial or misconstrued opponent into your arena and proceed to dismantle it point by point in front of your rapt, admiring audience. A favorite argumentation trope of Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and Jared Diamond.

Bout #1     Richard Dawkins is Stephen Jay Gould’s rubber squid in Gould’s 1,300 page rasslin’ match, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.  A gene in its place on a chromosome is a string of inert goop, a slime library with a spatio-hierarchio-taxonomically remote, though vital, role in evolutionary, as opposed to biochemical, outcomes in the cell and not a warrior in the animal-scale arena of natural selection fighting against environmental forces including conflict with members of the same species for food and sex.

The gene, as it rests as a long sequence of nucleotides forming a small link of either the left or right strand of the interminably long DNA molecule, is like a lounging odalisque in the steambath fastness of the palace, far from the essential action of evolution. This gene lays about waiting to be courted-transcripted by the ever-active RNA. If any component of heredity is selfish or altruistic or manifesting any anthropomorphized quality, it is RNA, busy as a bevy of beavers throughout much biochemical intracellular activity. To assign evolutionary primacy to this layabout gene can now be seen as an error borne of a dearth of information at the time of its writing. That SJ Gould saw fit to rassle this Dawkins gene-meme squid for 350 of 1,300 pages in his masterwork appears to be the result of professional annoyance at being upstaged in the arena of public opinion.

Both SJ Gould and Dawkins trying their damndest to put a dent in Darwin’s key notion of the primacy of the individual organism in the struggle for survival in natural selection. Dawkins likely inspired by an avalanche of early 1970s genetic research that gave the gene star quality. Dawkins celebrating the gene is like Norman Mailer and Andy Warhol valorizing Marilyn Monroe – low hanging celebrity fruit.

Gould writes at enormous length and passion trying to sell us his argument to unseat iconic, entrenched, musty old godhead of bioscience-religion-popular discourse, Charles Darwin. Gould’s 1,300 page argument for the species as the key actor in natural selection rather than Darwin’s individual is feverishly opposed to Dawkins’ gene-centered causality. Charles Darwin would have been easily convinced by either Gould’s or Dawkins’ elaborate, informed arguments but STOP !  All three of you are wrong !  It is busy little RNA molecules in their role not only in transcription and translation of proteins – standard Neo-Darwinist central dogma, but the role of RNA as a hitchhiker in meiosis-mitosis carrying its small collection of books ( information coded as sequences of nucleotides but not yet encoded into cell’s DNA books) that are separate from the DNA library at chromosomes. RNA carries provisional manuscripts in the process of auditioning for inclusion into the DNA code at some point. This RNA carries new ideas from recent life experience, experience not yet coded in the genome at chromosomes but actively carrying new information from one life into a new life to be translated into new proteinic configurations and new neuronal ideas. Ideas, emotions, skills, fears, and blisses carried by phosphorylated RNA molecules into fetal minds to grow with the newborn child-adolescent-adult. New ideas that might someday be encoded in DNA as a new gene or discarded after a few hundred generations as a fad, a disposable meme, a situational feature not to be conserved for the duration.

Of course it is not fair to look back at a 30 year old rasslin’ match and judge it as disingenuous. It appears today that Gould and Dawkins were only rasslin’ in light of an intervening avalanche of genetic research,  but it was a death-match at the time in the late 1970s.

Bout #2   Jared diamond in his million-selling Pulitzer Prizewinning book Guns, Germs and Steel,  asserts that human genetics re: intelligence played no part in the devastation of indigenous peoples by Europeans from the 17th century onward.

“We have now traced how food production arose in a few centers and how it spread at unequal rates from there to other areas. Those geographic differences constitute important ULTIMATE (my bold) answers to Yali’s ( Diamond’s inquisitive friend, a New Guinea remote mountain tribesman) question about why different peoples ended up with disparate degrees of power and affluence.”  p.195

In his chapter “Apples Or Indians” Diamond  sets up one of his big rubber squids when asserting that the “failure” of indigenous people in several agriculture-friendly parts of the globe to produce their own crops and domesticate local animals is a problem in the first place. he writes: “Problems with the local people” “Problems with local wild plants” “Problems with big local wild animals” The biggest problem for the Native Americans of the West Coast in Diamond-speak is that there was no problem. They had plenty of food, plenty of space and had no need to domesticate any wild plants or animals. Life was just dandy. Writing in 1996 with 150 years of 20-20 rear-view vision, Diamond wrestles his rubber squid in assigning “problems” where there were none at the time.  How is an Indian tribe supposed to know that at some point in the future white men with their guns, germs and steel are going to arrive? A foundational cause of natural selection is that there is no intention on the part of the player. The individual ( microbe, monkey or tribe) lays its phenotype on the table and nature takes its course. A devastating problem in one historical outcome might be the key to survival in another – time will tell.

To look back in time at the peoples of the world and assign problems is to grossly misunderstand the essence of Darwinian dogma. Modern civilization with its guns, germs and steel might go up in nuclear smoke someday and the ways of the Salish tribe of Puget Sound may revive and prevail for another 100,000 years. One of Diamond’s big problems is his lack of understanding of the notion of geological time, its vastness and the incredible slowness, the equilibrium of much of evolution. He confuses, throughout his book, cultural changes in human populations with evolutionary changes and he speaks throughout of cultural innovation as evolutionary developments as if Modern Man has reached some sort of high point and shreds and shards of devastated indigenous peoples are left in the “evolutionary” dust. Certain populations have learned to use their unique ( to mammals and all life) giant neocortex in additive ways, some have been more modest in creating rhizomic spectacular networks. To look back on only 5,000 years of human change and hand out gold stars is premature and typically human. If Diamond could not rassle this rubber squid there would be no book.

Guns, Germs and Steel reads like one of those Ivy League brainiac stock analysts in 1998 railing against the idiots who are not sinking their life savings into Dot Com investment opportunities. The book is a thorough explication of missed opportunity and unfortunate circumstance  that may easily turn out to be wisdom. One million years is the blink of an eye in species evolutionary terms.The fat lady has yet to sing.

JB Russell’s Teapot: Differing accumulation of patterns of use for our identical human neocortical neuron DNA package has generated global  race bias. Neocortex imprinting for the exploitation of social networks, farming and technical innovation is inherited by mechanisms separate from DNA and conserved genes.  All races share 100% of the human genome thus there is very little difference at genes but there is what, in human terms, turns out to be much difference from accrued heritable transmission of acquired characteristics. Race bias via Lamarckism. Diamond wrestles a lot of squid to assert otherwise. Human populations along Diamond’s highly touted and bountiful East-West geographic axis stores different epigenetic data and it is additive thus it becomes easier for their descendants to learn about the matters that have become important – social stratification and steel stuff. Storing and sharing data on a widespread uber-tribal, pancultural level. Whole populations of American men build train sets and model airplanes independent of any societal demand for their effort – it is in their RNA.

Professor Diamond tries hard using his palette of logical fallacies and cognitive biases to reinforce academically fashionable, dogma-infused assertions in order to erase race. If one is going to erase race as a parameter of social “evolution” one must dissipate fog not thicken it. Behind every bold unproven assertion ( Russell’s Teapot) lurks a slippery squid. Professor Diamond is a subtle and astute politician and a scientist with a big bag of tropes and tricks.

Some other questionable tropes of argumentation:

  1. Metaphor Stretch:  To use a metaphor that disguises the nature of your subject in order to give your dialectical dog more heft in the discourse ( fight).  Dawkin’s use of oarsmen ( in 8-oared modern racing shells as seen at the Henley Regatta) for his gene- actors racing for effect on the river of evolution when in actuality genes lay about like obese whores in chromatin goop with their fat thighs spread waiting for the messenger RNA to snatch information and carry it away through a nuclear pore to a waiting ribosome for translation into a functional protein.
  2. Flogify: To beat one’s point into submission using copious, often specious detail, arcane-archaic-biblical-Shakespearean-latin language, obscure scientific papers and endless repetition.
  3. Hotdogify:  Stuffing filler that is void of nutrients into a skin of assertion wrapped in a fluffy bun of statistics lacking food value. The stuffing often involves devious tricks decipherable only by insiders, shell games, obscure scientific papers mixed-matched-switched-clumped together in mandelbrotian abandon.
  4. Gould’s Glu-Stik: the opposite of Occam’s Razor. When using the Stik, one rarely passes up an opportunity to add adjectives, pronouns, sentence fragments, whole long sentences filled with redundant adjectives, paragraphs, additional entire book sections wherever possible. To always use the word with the most letters.

JB Questions:

  1. How many people have both autism and schizophrenia? Of these, how many are math, art or language savants? Perhaps the first cohesive human languages were assembled, articulated, sussed out by individuals who had contracted schizophrenia from domesticated cats in ancient Sumeria or Mesoamerica. Who but a savant could ever comprehend all of the variables of a language from scratch? Who but a schizophrenic would even try?
  2. Does the message of successful politicians penetrate into our brainstem ( a brain area shared by all mammals-source of visceral, primitive, reflexive response)  bypassing the uniquely human neocortex; a brain area  containing our higher faculties of reason? The brainstem is the source of our primal instincts regarding territory, dominance, charisma, boldness. It ignores policy details and rationality as the stuff of egghead losers.
  3. War is melted religion
  4. History is not the heart of culture ( as proposed by Guy Debord in “The Society of the Spectacle” as if it might also be the kidney or the liver or even the brain of culture. History is culture – culture is history. Culture drifts to the bottom of Life Lake and accrues in layers of sediment, layers that interact with one another swapping influence sending thermal vents (information) up through the sediment: Language written and spoken, kinship structures, social mores, Christianity, Marxism, Darwinism, and Capitalism are all powerful vents; warming-feeding-poisoning. There is a taxonomy, a hierarchy of these convection engines  around which the culture of an historical moment ( say the 1960s) assembles. In Saussurean terms: synchrony is the the lateral consideration of a single layer; diachrony is the historical consideration of many layers and their effect on one another.
  5. Wisdom is distilled truth. Truth is situational depending on-referring to-inspired by-paying obeisance to –  its operative paradigm. Wisdom encompasses three paradigms simultaneously: past, present and future.
  6. The cultural calibration of time is a marker of human social evolution-devolution. In 2015 at the beginning of the digital epoch we are ruled by the nanosecond and in 2025 it will be the femtosecond. In the bronze age it was phases of the moon. in the 19th century time was measured in days. In the early to mid 20th century it was hours and from 1950 to 1970 it was minutes and then seconds until 1990.
  7. The inseparable, contiguous, spectacular continuity of private, public and political life is rolled into one at the toilet bowl – vote with your ass; The exigencies of public utilities: sewer and water are primary and they even rule our rulers – the oligarchy and their puppets holding elective office. Roads, bridges, tunnels, railroads, airports are secondary and the tertiary are the public spectacles of sports, entertainment, internet, radio, books and magazines.
  8. Were seed dispersal and germination changes in domesticated foodstuff such as wheat, from its wild state pre-9000 BC to its contemporary state,  genetic changes i.e. changes in base pairs at plant’s DNA or were these changes, that are called “evolutionary” by Jared Diamond,  epigenetic? i.e. changes to plant’s RNA or to other heritable nuclear proteins?
  9. How can physicists know anything with such certainty re: isolated mathematics ( see: Stephen Hawking chalkboard calculations on black holes)? I can add 2+2 and see by the equals sign on my chalkboard  that 2+2 equals 4,  but 4 what? I know nothing-zip-nada-nil about 4 of anything – is it 4 pounds, 4 planets, 4 galaxies, 4 quantum strings, 4 adjacent universes or 4 dimensions? What does Hawking’s chalkboard full of equations really tell anyone? Are we simply projecting imagined, wished for results on a gassy mathematical matrix?
  10.  Social thermodynamics – cultural convection: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
  11. Reflection on evening news: Parricide as gradient reduction between sybaritic, self-absorbed wealthy parents and lost late adolescent son –  unanchored, flop in school, filled with festering anger, sexually frustrated, no developed talent, over indulged as a child, access to guns – BOOM! BOOM! Out go the lights.
  12. What are the economic uses  of Christianity’s conceptual trope of  “The Last Judgement” on commodity Capitalism? i.e. the “Time’s-A-wastin’” The end is near  “Better get crackin’” “Time is money” “Plow deep while sluggards sleep” usefulness. What are the advantages to the majority of Christian believers of this Religio-Economic yin-yang?
  13.  Does any form of RNA travel outside of its own cell in order to influence another cell of its own type or a cell in a different organ system? i.e. might  liver cell RNA travel via the blood stream into a heart cell or a neuron where it plays a role at its new home in protein synthesis or regulation?

If you have a large point to make – find a squid and rassle it.

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October 18, 2015 – 3:41 PM

 

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