Extremes Proliferate

May 28, 2015

“Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest of Los Angeles is real. It is a deterrence machine set up to rejuvenate the fiction of the real.”              -  Jean Baudrillard

“It is the market not nature that generates poverty.” - M. Sahlins

Darwinian Natural Selection asserts:  normal members of a species thrive in an existing  environment while the abnormal are denied membership,  forced into the periphery into a strange and challenging environment. The nature of this remote environment is such that the mutant thrives,  becoming the new norm.  In some instances the old comfortable environment changes catastrophically in a direction that favors an outlier, an extreme variant. This relationship holds in all human endeavor. It is those who do not “fit in” who become pioneers. They are the avant garde, the pathfinders in science, art, technology and land development as they make the best of a new niche. The niche becomes the norm and its population proliferates to create a new generation of freaks, mutants and oddballs in a new left field.

When the going gets weird - the weird get going.

Pioneers at Jamestown between 1607 and 1630 lived a brutal existence - few survived.

Many real estate developers have a bold, brash and fearless personality type. They are the first to establish a foothold in new territory and they almost always go down in flames, leaving further development to more sober personalities.

There was single prisoner in a jail cut deep into the rock at the base of Mt. Pele, a volcano forming the island of Martinique in the Caribbean. In 1902 Mt. Pele erupted burying the capital city of Saint Pierre, killing 30,000 people. The prisoner who was deep in his dungeon survived and walked away from the carnage.

Humans, bacteria and cancer are extreme proliferates. Maggots proliferate to extremes in rotted meat. Nuclear arms proliferate and decay as cobwebs are woven around ICBMs rotting in missile silos across the U.S.A. Cancer is proliferation squared. The nature of the stuff is extreme proliferation. We poison the human environment and this proliferation proliferates. Too much of a bad thing creates a synergy of dissolution, a vortex, a black hole, an accelerator of negative force. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing - ask a celebrity with drug issues. The word celebrity implies drug issue as fame itself is a drug and one that typically initiates a cascade of other, less potent drugs; nicotine, heroin, cocaine, etc.

A guitar wizard shreds too many notes limiting the possibility of musical meaning. Peter Max and Paul McCartney overuse sweet colors and hyperglycemia follows, reputations are diluted. The mutants on the freak frontier take to the vile swamp like ducks, gaining a foothold, they begin to proliferate. Back home, the well has gone dry and the crops die. Back home where millions, who once swarmed are now dying. The center shifts. A new species emerges from the chaos along the interface of old and new.

“Every dog has his day.” - anon

“The times, they are a-changin’” - Bob Dylan

Please tell me something I don’t know from instinct or experience. Extreme locales are rich in unexplored places revealing opportunity. Pioneers beware, the second mouse gets the cheese.

What’s so funny? Cruelty and mishap are good for a laugh. People falling on their asses and faces and stumbling into pools. An alligator eating its neighbor gator’s hatchlings is not funny, nor is a lion ripping apart the pre-existing cubs of its new mate.

Two  different ideas here in the words “extremes proliferate”

  1. The Darwinian notion that speciation occurs among the outliers.
  2. The Malthusian notion that populations proliferate until resources are exhausted.

We are propelled by myth. There is no passion or greed without a context providing fuel for the accumulation of wealth, honor and perhaps fame. I have two options, one with a high resonance context and one with low resonance:

  1. I can work myself to death behind a team of mules trekking across a Nevada desert to no one’s notice.
  2. I can work equally hard training to throw the discus at the Olympics where my gold medal earns international honor and product endorsement income. Mule skinners get no medals and little pay.

Looking closely at many phenomena causes them to evaporate. It is easy enough to debunk the founding beliefs of any religion, so what? By the time of your debunking, a great web has been woven around this lie-myth-void and the web now has strength and resonance. It can start or stop a conversation, send men to die in war, make men wealthy or strip them of dignity and property.

Once you accept basic tenets of the Freudian or Darwinian myths you can discuss the relative merits of  Jung and Reich,  Mendel and Crick and entertain yourself debunking them ( Jeffrey Masson and Stephen Jay Gould respectively) Good luck ! It’s like trying to debunk the English language. Its screwy, goofy, illogical, always changing, saturated with unscientific tradition, habit and prejudice but it’s all we have and it gets the job done - see: Shakespeare and Thomas McGuane.

Once a web of myth has formed and people are traipsing back and forth building careers and reputations along filaments, it is too late to debunk the founder. She may have been vulnerable when first proposing her wild, paradigm-shifting theory due to its error and misconception but once the web has been woven, there is substance afoot. It is not necessarily scientific. Scientific evidence may be a single component of this web of myth, maybe not. Myth trumps science.

In the 154 years since the publication of Darwin’s “On The Evolution of Species” there has not been one single shred of evidence that a new vertebrate species has emerged or the tiniest shred of evidence that one has evolved in any way, changed for sure but evolved?  Domestic animal  breeds change but this is not evolution. The standard response ( hardline Neo-Darwinism) is that evolution works very slowly and very gradually - one wouldn’t notice it in a human lifetime. It has been proven that mutations ( the stuff of evolution) occur thousands of times per second in a vertebrate body and that new species, when they evolve at all, emerge in a flash ( a “flash” in evolutionary time may be ten million years), in a single moment, a punctuation followed by eons of stasis - no discernable change,  nothing gradual here. This has been proven. Yet we cling.  Darwin’s still the man, disparage his theory, even today with reams of evidence contradicting many of his fundamental notions,  and suffer snickering ignominy. the myth lives on. Darwin was right that organisms have evolved but many other aspects of his theory wobble.

Capitalism, private property, The Magna Carta, Democracy and Rule of Law are all myth but they served to launch the Hubble telescope by which much wonderful science has been explored. Operative myth trumps science always. Scientists have difficulty understanding that all science is a subset of myth. All myth contains a black hole at its center. Don’t go there. There is little to be gained. People don’t care if it isn’t “true”. People want to believe and shall believe.

It’s myth all the way down, just like guru turtles, a cascade of belief from Christianity, through our language, our anthrocentrism. Darwinism and quantum mechanics are webs of myth. the scientific enterprise is all myth but such a fine one, so much excruciating, obsessive detail and those charts,  graphs and formulas! - all so seductive and it works half of the time to cure illness, almost all of the time to fly a plane.  Learn to excruciate minutiae and earn a PhD. Most things can be proven up to a point and anything under the sun can be hypothesized, boldly asserted and vigorously defended.

The Myth Engine:

  1. The hippocampus is a key brain area in mammals used for long-term memory storage. the neurons of the hippocampus have 46 chromosomes as do all 50 trillion of our cells except for sperm and egg with their 23. These non-germ cell  chromosomes comprise six billion base pairs. The operative genome has three billion base pairs. 2 billion nine hundred forty million of these base pairs exist within what is called “junk” DNA. There are 18 base pairs for each histone giving us 160,000,000 “junk” histones along with the “junk” DNA -  AT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF 40 million hippocampal  neurons !  Current memory theory assigns NO role for these DNA, histone targets. As current theory stands,  memory is a product of the strength of synaptic connections between dendrites - HA ! Look to the “junk” lads, there are a trillion places to store a memory in each neuron at DNA and histones in the hippocampus and in every one of 200 brain areas.
  2. Do hippocampal neuron nuclear membranes dissolve to allow tighter memory formation i.e. more room to move, maneuver, more neuronal geography to inhabit in order to create sensory distinctions i.e. memory.
  3. Do humans ( mammals, vertebrates) have neuron super cells? i.e. large neurons with many nuclei thus more opportunity for rhizomatic interaction between post translationally modified histones and RNA-DNA? There could be 10,000 memory-making interconnections within a single cell membrane!
  4. Long, non-coding RNA regulates gene expression. How much long-coding RNA at hippocampal neurons?

Oppositions- moving parts of the reciprocating American Myth Engine:

  1. Boomer - Very Oldster
  2. Boomer-gen X,Y,Z
  3. Obese - normal
  4. Diabetic - healthy
  5. Ill - healthy ( note: typography failure as cap I (eye) and l ( ell) are identical)
  6. Environmentally concerned - not concerned
  7. Liberal - conservative, Conservative-fundamentalist
  8. Prisoner - Not a prisoner
  9. Employed - unemployed
  10. White - non-white
  11. Straight - Gay
  12. Veteran - Not Veteran
  13. Speak english - Do not speak English
  14. College education - no college education
  15. Rational - Intuitive, Left Brain-Right Brain
  16. Normal - insane
  17. Gun owner/enthusiast - No guns
  18. Urban - rural
  19. middle class - upper class
  20. middle class - lower class
  21. upper class - lower class

All are created equal here in America but we go to ferocious, relentless length to differentiate ourselves in every conceivable way.


May 27, 2015