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The idea that the biosphere of Earth is a single organism, whose cells are each of the life forms, and whose bodily fluids are the winds and rain and rivers, is no revelation, though the notion that it is scientifically accurate challenges our idea of an individual organism. The ‘Gaia Hypothesis’ is an attractive theory, since there are many aspects of other life-forms which the earth-as-a-whole shares. Typically, we think of an individual organism as a single, self-contained entity, which the Earth certainly is. But even we are the combination of trillions of individual, if closely related, life forms; an ecosystem comprised of our cells. Each is one of several hundred classes of cells, all separate aspects of one DNA molecule, living in their own evolved-to-order micro-environment which is created by the other cells.

All life forms do certain things.
If some entity doesn’t do all of them, we don’t consider it alive.

  • Absorption of energy and matter, with subsequent organization of the material, is the first identifying feature of life. Crystals and engines, however, are just two not-living things that can do this.
  • Death is only possible for life forms. Growth slows down, DNA loses it’s integrity, the old and the weak are lost to predators and disease. Even as part of normal development, most life forms cast off certain cells. Our skin is an example of such normal death. But ‘stopping growth’ equals ‘death’ for crystals or other non-alive things that fit the first part.
  • Evolution is the process by which life forms change their characteristics over long periods of time, measured in generations. The Earth’s biosphere evolves, at least as much as any one life form which lives there. But lots of not-alive things exhibit what might be called evolutionary behavior, since the mechanism is merely the disappearance of unfit things, and the preponderance of fit things: Fit organisms survive. Fit computers are Y2K compliant.
  • Reproduction is the critical characteristic for any life form to posses, as the replication and distribution of a molecular design code (the DNA, for earthlings) is the crux of what life forms do. Also, our health depends upon the accurate replication of DNA molecules multiple trillions of times, in the cell divisions required for our growth and repair.

Virii do all of the above, but they are somewhat parasitic upon cells, using RNA to reprogram the host cells so they will produce virii instead of important bodily substances. Because virii use RNA instead of DNA, and hijack cells, instead of honorably trying to just eat them, we question whether virii are alive. But humans have been hijacking (domesticating) other life forms for millennia. If the external nature of the virus’ ‘food’ is reason to call them non-living, then we are not alive either. And limiting the defintion of ‘life form’ to DNA alone is merely arbitrary, as the discovery of life on other planets may prove.

By the preceding definitions, Gaia is not a life form. She has not reproduced — yet.

A bacterium takes twenty minutes to reproduce; A mouse, three weeks; A human being, months. Elephants gestate for two solid years. For all life forms, gestation time is proportional to the size, so we might expect Gaia to take a few billion years.

The resource stress our civilization is experiencing just may be the resource drain on the mother which triggers birth in mammals. We can reasonably expect space based resources to get harvested more as planetary resources get scarcer and hence, more expensive. It has already started happening.
The resources of space and our place in it are already a reality:

  • Space tourism began in 1989, when the first ride was purchased, on the space station Mir.
  • Communications technology has been completely made over by space-based hardware. It may soon become the primary system – in many ways it already is. Satellite television, telephone, and weather forecasting systems are just the beginning.
  • The Moon has water ice. It doesn’t sound like a big deal now, but will probably become the most valuable space resource in our life times, unless some crazy longevity drug is invented.
  • 1996 marked the first year that private space funding exceeded public spending on space exploration, world-wide. Each year, the gap widens.
  • What’s the major symbol of the environmental movement? An image of Earth from space.

If there are sufficient resources in space, people will one day move there en masse. We’d have to find efficient ways to lift ourselves off the face of the planet, and find resources in nearly empty, unfamiliar, lifeless regions. We’d experience solar radiation hundreds of times stronger in a fluid thousands of times thinner than home. We’d need new sensory systems, and energy supplies.

And we’ll end up doing the same thing the first amphibians (or last fish) did to meet the same challenges millions of years ago: take our environment with us. It’s no accident that the blood in your veins and water in your eyes are the same salinity as the oceans. Our bodies are ecologies, of sorts; each cell type has evolved to live in the niche created by the rest of our cells, but the basic nature of that ecology is identical to the one within which our cells evolved: the oceans.

The point of all this is that when humans move into space, we will bring our ecology with us, or invent new ecologies to create, both of which will be based on the one we know: Earth’s.

The use of a non-living shell to protect a cell colony from the environment is an old idea. Insects, fish, snakes, and many other life forms use this strategy. Even your teeth take advantage of it. A space capsule is just a cutting edge technology application.

If we accept the notion that Gaia is a life form, then such colonies will be her first offspring. They will intermingle, and spread, and then isolated systems will evolve away from each other (as they always have) and Gaia will have reproduced, making her fit all the definitions of a life form, using sex organs made of humans.

After all, if it’s us doing it or Gaia, what’s the difference? We are as much of this Earth as anything else grown here.

People might be parasites, cancer, or neurons for earth. But if we take Earth’s forms across the galaxy, Humans will be the Gaia’s sporangia, and when we start carrying all kinds of DNA between our different planets (in some mid-term future with colonies throughout the solar system or galaxy) then we and our robots will be the sex-organs!

The planet doesn’t need saving – it needs us to spread it.

Because you’re the one talking about other people’s state of mind.

That’s how I know your state of mind is scattered: because you’re looking into your own mind for your conclusions … and finding someone else’s. There isn’t actually a way to observe emotions. You really aren’t Yoda.

Here’s the thing: if you’re wrong when you ‘conclude’ based on your desire to be right that someone else is mad or sad or whatever, who will detect your mistake first?  They are actually an authority upon themselves, and you probably aren’t a psychologist with a brain-wave reading device.


So how do I know it’s you projecting?

Because it’s you talking about emotions while having zero evidence and lots of motivation to make things up.

Of course the best part about this spell-form is that once you’ve projected, everyone knows about yours. If you get stuck lying to yourself about what’s happening, you’re the one sharing with the group full-time.


…is a rhetorical device where people cram a pile of lies into a question in order to develop some plausible deniability about their intellectual dishonesty, or perhaps simply derail the conversation.

This is part and parcel of Glenn Beck’s entire career, and conspiracy theorists, AIDSPIGS and other paranoiacs are notorious for it.

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

“Is Wendy using our lunch money to buy drugs?”

“Are you JAQing off like a dishonest coward because you’ve got such a good point to make?

Aristotle, the inventor of logic and science, considered “Petito Principii” to be the stupidest error.

This oversight, also known as “Asserting The Thesis,” “Begging The Question,” or sometimes “Circular Argument” is when someone merely repeats their conclusion or their claim, or restates it in a different way, but doesn’t actually support it by presenting facts that prove it, or making an argument that otherwise connects their idea to the rest of the world or the rest of our experience.

Occasionally, advanced near-students will resort to a never-ending chain of unsupported assertions, a slightly more complicated version of the same error.

If someone can’t even tell the difference between a conclusion about events and a fact or premise which might support that conclusion, then Aristotle considered them completely unfit to be even a student, let alone inform others.

Don’t be that poor guy stuck on Noob Island – support your claims!

(Or simply admit when you cannot, at least to yourself. You can’t stop sucking if you don’t own it when you do.)


Another way to put it: No, you aren’t entitled to your opinion!

Is the payoff worth it?

Will he be the ‘foreclosure’ President?

Quick grammar technicality:

“Flotsam” is the stuff you see floating away as the boat sinks.

“Jetsam” is the stuff the captain tossed overboard – like the GM bond-holders – hoping to keep it all afloat.

25% is a funny number.

25% is the number of people who simply would not go along with the Asch Conformity experiment.

25% is close to the number of people who would not go along with the Milgram Authority experiment. We might speculate that the extra stress of the pain and suffering made more people than usual relent (35%).

25% is the proportion of expressed recessive traits in a two-allele gene.

The funny thing about recessive genes is that they cannot be simply bred out.

In a typical Punnet Square, the quarter of the population expressing the recessive trait can be prevented from breeding, and half the population still carries the recessive allele, so they can still interbreed and bring out the recessive traits.

Recessive traits cannot be bred out.

Perhaps more to the point: killing all the non-conformists hasn’t ever actually made the population conform. Perhaps it’s because non-conformity is recessive.


This is actually a really hard problem – it’s a really neat problem for students of calculus, but it’s hard, like 4 or 5 stars hard. This puzzle is also a real problem, meaning it actually saves someone some hassle or energy or time or money. As with many word problems, if you imagine yourself in the situation, or on the hook for the outcome, you might find it easier.

It was first encountered by Welches, the grape jelly manufacturer, while making their primary product, grape jelly.

Standard jelly- or jam-making means cooking fruit juice to drive off the water and make it more concentrated. But heating is expensive, so naturally people sought low-temperature ways, and the easy way is evaporation by moving more air, and exposing a larger surface to the air.

One easy way to get more jelly to dry out is to spin a wheel in it, so that the jelly is lifted out of the pan on the wheel, increasing the surface area exposed to the air.grape_wheel

If you only barely dip the edge in, only the circumference of the wheel gets wet, and only the edge really works to increase the surface area of the jelly exposed to air, although it is almost the entire edge – all but the tiny bit dipped, which is protected by the liquid.

If you dip the wheel half way, so that the axle itself is in the liquid, too, then half the wheel is under the surface of the liquid, which doesn’t expose anything to air, although then you do get the entire top half of the wheel wet, which means at least half is exposed to air.

Of course one obvious way to increase the wet exposed surface is to have lots of wheels, which of course they all do, now. But it’s still worthwhile to make each wheel maximally efficient.

If we set the wheel at exactly the right height, then we can maximize the amount of surface of the exposed, wet wheel.

So what is the proper distance of the axle above the surface of the liquid, to maximize the wet, exposed surface?

The standard way to answer is in terms of a fraction of a radius as the picture suggests.

Reversed Clichés are often more insightful than the original.

This is a predictable side-effect of living in a world with so many upside down moral systems operating.

With great responsibility comes great power.

Spiderman’s dad got that one wrong. It’s the taking of responsibility that convinces people to let you be in charge.

Most people are so afraid of making a mistake (even though they teach us so well) that they’ll often avoid having options at all. But having options is having power. Take the option to respond.

Women are God’s gift to me.

Too bad so few feel EITHER way!

Isn’t that the pot calling the leaf green?

This one takes a little while for most people to catch the first time.

If again you don’t succeed, first you’ve got to try.

This is easily the easiest problem for nearly anyone to solve. They say that just showing up puts you ahead of half the pack. Don’t be the back half.

When was the last time one of those saw you?

If you can see it, it can see you!

They know what you say…

…or DO they?

Who the hell IS “they” anyway? Pronouns often tell all.

Rage against the culture – at least machines stick to the rules.

If we didn’t care about the rules, why rage at all?

People thinking they know the solution is often half the problem.

Reverse the next cliche you come across. What’s the worst that could happen?

I’ll add more as they come to me – comment if you think of some you’d like to preserve.



“If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the road to Heaven is paved with bad ones.”

– Randall Pritchett, from here.

And have you seen some of the schmucks that claim redemption after doing some of the worst things to trash the world?


Then mistakes wouldn’t exist.

What, you never make mistakes?

Super: God himself dropped by my website.

…and got lost.

Mutts have been studiously and violently destroyed throughout history because they are destined to be the master race.

Those who worship race hate the mixed couples most of all. Once the Mutt-baby is born, they have to deal with it, honorably or not, but, if they can discourage the pairing before the fact…then the purebreds can more effectively prevent their own eventual waning

ship_sunsetAll races were originally formed by biological response to particular areas of our planet

Mutts were created first by adventurers, travelers, traders, and others that roamed the planet, when it was still hard to roam.Race has been one of the most important causes of war and violence, second possibly to only religion, and mutts, besides often being the offspring of war, are the worlds longest and most violently oppressed class.

It is because of these influences, in combination with Hybrid Vigor (AKA, heterosis) that has made the ‘race’ of Mutts the strongest and will one day make us the most prevalence race.

freqmapIt is through hybridization that all genes will ultimately be saved and expressed.