Can a Planet Be Intelligent? Consider the Biosphere – The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/02/biosphere-planetary-intelligence-evolution/622867/

THIS is not woo-woo anymore than Lovelock or Margulis were woowoo.

Maturana would approve of their attempts to describe a self-producing planetary cognition: once you accept the Santiago theory of cognition, it is merely a small, sensible, step to describe the easily observable planetary self-regulation and self-production as cognitive.

I do so wish that academics read outside their own fields more often. Read some Humberto!

adorable naiveté… plans within plans, kites, deadcats, and dogwhistles

here’s a fünné question…

write some systemy comment about unintended consequences, CAS, network effects, blah blah something something Ashby de la Beer Simonyi blah Maturana

A key reason Putin’s bloody invasion is faltering? He’s no match for Zelenskiy’s iPhone | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian

The leader’s messages to his people – and the west – have been central to the heroic fightback. But now more than ever, we must stay engaged, says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland
— Read on www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/25/churchill-iphone-volodymyr-zelenskiy-ukraine-west

Lolz. Freedy should be writing for the NME. Waitrose bedsit fanboy.

Putin wanted Donblas and a corridor from Crimea. And to cost Ukraine. And to ind out how much petrol is left in his resource war tank. Not a lot eh Vlad? Windmills against the Nazis, lolzki.

Sri Lanka, proud Island nation with rich culture going back thousands of years, annual turnover less than one branch of Sports Direct. Sri Lanka is now a wholly owned subsidiary of China PLC.

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka cancels school exams over paper shortage

Official sources said the move could effectively hold up tests for about two-thirds of the country’s 4.5 million students.

Students wearing protective face masks practice keeping a one meter distance as they attend a maths lesson inside a class room on the first day at Vidyakara college, which re-opened after almost two months of lock-down amidst concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 6, 2020.
Education authorities said exams were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948 [File: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters]

Published On 19 Mar 202219 Mar 2022

Sri Lanka has cancelled exams for millions of school students in the Western Province as the country ran out of printing paper with Colombo short on dollars to finance imports, according to officials.

Education authorities said the term tests, scheduled a week from Monday, were postponed indefinitely due to an acute paper shortage as Sri Lanka contends with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948.

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Sri Lankan protesters demand president quit over economic crisis

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Sri Lanka reverses course, seeks financial support from IMF

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Photos: Power cuts in Sri Lanka have hit all walks of life

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“School principals cannot hold the tests as printers are unable to secure foreign exchange to import necessary paper and ink,” the Department of Education of the Western Province, home to nearly six million people, said.

Term tests for classes 9, 10 and 11 are part of a continuous assessment process to decide if students are promoted to the next grade at the end of the year.

A debilitating economic crisis brought on by a shortage of foreign exchange reserves to finance essential imports has seen the country run low on food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

IMF bailout

The cash-strapped South Asian nation of 22 million announced this week that it will seek an IMF bailout to resolve its worsening foreign debt crisis and shore up external reserves.

The International Monetary Fund on Friday confirmed it was considering President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s surprise Wednesday request to discuss a bailout.

The island nation secured a $1bn credit line from India to buy urgently needed food and medicine, officials said, after Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi.

About $6.9bn of Colombo’s debt needs to be serviced this year but its foreign currency reserves stood at about $2.3bn at the end of February.

Long queues have formed across the country for groceries and oil with the government instituting rolling electricity blackouts and rationing of milk powder, sugar, lentils and rice.Sign up for Al JazeeraWeekly Newsletter

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Sri Lanka earlier this year asked China, one of its main creditors, to help put off debt payments but there has been no official response yet from Beijing.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

Are you making me do emotional labour outside my boundaries, or am I using psychopiffle to evade? You decide…

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/14/emotional-labour-term-people-boundaries

i think what is like to say about this is:

1

you need to understand the original meaning of the term in its original context, not just the way it’s now used in everyday conversation.

2

you know when you are protecting yourself, or when you are just bunking off from dealing with something that actually is your concern. So be honest with yourself.

read on…

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/14/emotional-labour-term-people-boundaries

Jah das ist güt and other Germanic clichés… Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds | Germany | The Guardian

Lofty climbing towers are part of trend away from total safety and towards teaching children to navigate difficult situations
— Read on www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/24/why-germany-is-building-risk-into-its-playgrounds

Blah blah blah.

An item about play that doesn’t mention Playwork? Why not? Because Playwork is dead. But, huzzah! It doesn’t mention Tim Gill either! Yay! Unfortunately, it didn’t mention Rob Wheway of the CPAS, or, ho ho ho, PlayEngland, PlayScotchland, PlayboredNI, or PllayWhails! Nor did it mention our glorious leader, Sir Adrian of Voce!

Nor Arthur Battram, Wendy Russell, the deceased Stuart Lester, Gordon Sturrock or Perry Else. It completely overlooked Sir Bib Hughes, aka Saint Bob, who invented play in 1902.

Not Lady Allen of Hurtknee, nor her protégé, Lady Penelope of Wilson.

I could go on. I usually do.

But seriously though, the article reads like a clever pressrelease and wudav bean put together by an interner or offspring of Grauniad journo, probably editor Kath Viber’s daughter on the occasion of Take Your Daughter To The Slaughter Day, when posho media ponces are encouraged to give their vile privately educated weasels a day in the office so they can learn the ways of Waitrose, my child.

But I digress.

Matryoska CAS… systems within systems, plans within plans, complex adaptive systems within complex adaptive systems. Not bragging but I foresaw this in 1997.

www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/10/facebook-papers-outrage-machine/620556/

I’m too old and tired to write my explanation here, sorry. You could start by reading or rereading my book Navigating Complexity.

Here’s the gist: autopoietic systems feedback and amplify. As a system gets bigger it reaches a bifurcation point. Eventually like, say Microsoft v. Apple v Novell v Linux you get a shakeout… one biggy, one ten percenter and minnows. Read Brian Arthur. Read up on N-K networks. Yada yada. Now imagine that at every level. Stafford Beer on acid.

Facebook, the reviled financial corporate entity currently being set up as the proxy fallguy for January 6th (or do I mean 1/6, you know, like 9/11), contains at least 3 nested overlapping CAS. Facebook users are tiny agents in a seethe of nested venned CASes, like 514000 species of bacteria in a mouth ulcer exchanging DNA like pokemon cards in a schoolyard or bodily fluids in an orgy. Try blaming a single, singular lone gunman bacterium that started it all, for any value of ‘it’. Guffaws.

I’d love government to regulate social media. But first you people need to have some glimmer of understanding of what the fuck these ‘internet’ ‘social’, ‘media’ actually are. I can’t tell you, I don’t have answers but I do have way way better questions than you clowns. You need to navigate complexity.

Right now you are up shitcreek without a paddle. You can paddle with your hands, ugh, but you’ll get nowhere without a map and a compass. You need to understand complexity. You have by now understood that you can’t manage it, now you need to learn to navigate it. Damn shame my book is out of print.

Coffee and recycling, Nespresso antichrist

Coffee had a very minor resyk problem years ago….plastic packaging. When I lived in that London I used to buy it freshly ground or as beans from that Monmouth Coffee Shop in paper bags, they bought it in pallets of big sacks, like sacks of coal. Then some genius invented tiny portions in ludicrously expensive aluminium pods. But the machine was dirt cheap, like a Gillette razor, no need to spend half a grand on a Gaggia! And they are completely unrecyclable, unless somebody repurposes a smelter and you don’t mind PCB pollution. They made loadsaprofit. Now they’re greenwashing in the Grauniad. Kill me now…

Message found in a bottle of snake oil, in the Sargasso sea…

A friend of mine said, in a lovely,erudite presentation to some very smart folk:

“a weakness of my current thinking is a lack of explicitly encompassing the group, the social.”

Totally agree, we all lack this.

Re-examine page 49 of ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, written by myself.

Then think about that botanical nostrum – Early Years textbooks teach that there are three kinds of play in young humans and many mammals: 

  • individual play
  • parallel play
  • social play

Know that this is botany – classifying plants by the shape of their leaves. We observe the spots of a leopard, but what is the mechanism that creates them?

What are the primitives, the atomic irreducible processes that underly the phenomena?

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups. I  suspect they are incommensurable, like weather prediction after Lorenz.

We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups.

This has hamstrung playwork, education, professional football, orchestral performance, NASA budgetary oversight inquiries, Air Accident Investigation, Corporate Fraud Investigation, etcetera etcetera.

There are clues in the Miles Davis approach to group play.

There are clues in Taoism, and Zen.

But as Sapir, Whof and Wittgenstein, and probably Gibson (JJ not W) would tell you, language shapes thought and we do not have the language. 

Try explaining how to put oil into a car without using any car-related, or engine-related words. Go on, try it. Write it down, now go through it and strike out any car-related and engine-related words that crept in. We don’t have a big enough RAM, our short-term memory, to hold even one sentence of the resulting tedious arm-waving stuttering verbiage.

Why doesn’t the world move when I shake my head?

~~~~~~



M’learned friend also said:

“This has many implications, but that main one is that we should judge education by the value created for stakeholders (laudate Tom) – this is fittingly complex and circular. 

NO NO NO, NO!

Very pleased that you rate teecha Tom.

Not stakeholders, feck stakeholders. Leave that to the Tory Goovey Gradgrindians.

I  think you might mean participants? If so then I‘ll semi-agree.

How would you judge a Beth Chatto garden? Answer that and you’ll know how to judge education .

~~~

Read Seedstock by Frank Herbert… full text here… https://momentoftime.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/seed-stock-frank-herbert/

I  cannot link to that story without rereading it, and when I  reread it, I  cannot help but be moved to tears.

~~~

Koan for you: “how can we value things without judging them?” asked the abbot.

Answers on a postcard to my fastness by Ruabon mountain, please, or via ‘e-mail’.

~~~

“It was a failure to think critically…”

“Let us pray, now, for science,” intoned a New York Times columnist back at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. The title of his article laid down the foundational faith of Trump-era liberalism: “Coronavirus is What You Get When You Ignore Science.”

“Ten months later, at the end of a scary article about the history of “gain of function” research and its possible role in the still ongoing Covid pandemic, Nicholson Baker wrote as follows: “This may be the great scientific meta-experiment of the 21st century. Could a world full of scientists do all kinds of reckless recombinant things with viral diseases for many years and successfully avoid a serious outbreak? The hypothesis was that, yes, it was doable. The risk was worth taking. There would be no pandemic.”

“Except there was. If it does indeed turn out that the lab-leak hypothesis is the right explanation for how it began — that the common people of the world have been forced into a real-life lab experiment, at tremendous cost — there is a moral earthquake on the way.

“Because if the hypothesis is right, it will soon start to dawn on people that our mistake was not insufficient reverence for scientists, or inadequate respect for expertise, or not enough censorship on Facebook. It was a failure to think critically about all of the above, to understand that there is no such thing as absolute expertise. Think of all the disasters of recent years: economic neoliberalism, destructive trade policies, the Iraq War, the housing bubble, banks that are “too big to fail,” mortgage-backed securities, the Hillary Clinton campaign of 2016 — all of these disasters brought to you by the total, self-assured unanimity of the highly educated people who are supposed to know what they’re doing, plus the total complacency of the highly educated people who are supposed to be supervising them.”

Let’s make a distinction between:

1. ‘ignoring science’, which implies believing in something other than science, and,


2. ‘believing in science’, and

3. ‘not believing in things at all’.



By which I mean, not believing anything anyone says until you have thought about it. Which implies understanding how science works, which implies possessing the skill of ‘thinking critically’ about something.

Thinking.

People don’t like doing it.

It’s easier to believe, because then you don’t have to think.

Until something bad happens. Like Covid.

So if Covid escaped from a lab, who can we trust?

Answer, don’t trust anyone, gather information and think.

Thinking is underrated. ‘They’ don’t want you to do it, which is OK, but only if ‘they’ are doing the thinking for you.

Turns out they were lazy, and didn’t think.

And millions died.

Dr. Ian Malcolm :

“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.


Jurassic Park (1993) – Jeff Goldblum as Malcolm – IMDb

Intersectional Torturers – Caitlin Johnstone

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/05/04/intersectional-torturers/

Brilliant writing. Read to the end. Brilliant sociopath riff.

No, I am not woke. My pronouns are fee, fi and fo and not fum.

Sosumi…

They need more training (lessons will be learned)

I used to think that. I used to think that training was good. Then I started to have doubts and then I found finite and Infinite Games by James Cause. “Education is what’s left over after training” I think he said. And “All training is about the past, education is about the future” and i realised that training want the answer.

American cops don’t kneel on black necks for nine minutes because they haven’t been properly trained. They do it because they have an attitude towards other human beings. Also, driving around dressed like SWAT-style Starwars stormtroopers might have a negative affect on community-minded bonhomie.

Somebody, some CEO, think it was Jack Welch, CEO of General Electrics, I think said “Hire for attitude; all the rest can be learned on the job.” Notice he said learned.

Learning on the job, very effective. But, unlike training, which these days is mostly Gradgrindian instruction anyway, you can’t control what they learn on the job. You can’t control what people learn, full stop.

Maybe they’ll learn to accept bribes, you know, free doughnuts and coffee, and maybe later, brown envelopes.

You need to police them.

See what i did there? Policing the police. Quis custodiet custodiens? Who watches the watchmen?

In this case the answer is quite simple, managers. Managers exist to manage their workforce. When they’re not asleep after free doughnuts.

Haven’t seen any managers in the dock alongside George Floyd’s state-sponsored murderer.

What I’m saying is, too many cops have the wrong attitude and you can’t change attitudes with fecking Powerpoint slides.

Maybe you need to manage what they learn.

Because lessons won’t be learnt. Mainly because that sentence parses out as “the results of a training event will permanently change behaviour in the targeted cohort”

What are these lessons? Who is learning them?

I memorised the 8 times table and the King’s of Queens of England. I learned my lessons. They taught me to hate history, a parade of robbing scumbags, or so it seemed to me at the time. Quite like that Lucy Worseley on the telly don’t dress-up, mind. Posh people on the BBC, it’s like the 1950s again. Is rickets back yet? Dolly blue?

Yes, lessons will be learned. They need more training.

Kill me now.

No not you officer, it’s just a figure of speech, please don’t.

International Women Containers

Happy International Women’s Day.

‘Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth’.

“I know I have been guilty of that myself”

Said any man not a total git

Brothers!

Expand your mental containers!