On Wednesday, November 6, 2013 4:06:29 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 06 Nov 2013, at 07:14, Chris de Morsella wrote:
> A human has something like ten times as many bacteria in its body than it
> does cells with human DNA. Pretty much all life forms are in fact complex
> multi-species ecosystems that by and large have evolved to work together in
> ways we hardly understand. To give some perspective I’ve read there are
> something like fifty species of microorganisms that specialize just on the
> highly specialized niche of living on human tooth enamel. That’s just our
> teeth! We haven’t even gotten to the gum lines (which are a veritable
> jungle thriving with microbial life) and the gut, which is microbial
> central. We are sieves and the world flows through our bodies; we are
> walking, talking ecosystems…. And so is every other living thing, that we
> can see. Even bacteria have bacteriophages.
> Even within a single cell; mitochondria carry their own DNA and it could
> be argued the modern cell is the fruit of an ancient union of previously
> different life forms in the distant origins of emergent life.
> Most cells organels are ancient bacteria, apparently. Some think that the
> nucleus might be an ancient virus.
> Are we organisms; or ecosystems?
> Our bodies are both, I would say. But we are not our bodies, we are our
> values, ideas, memories, etc. That runs through a complex colony of
> bacteria, microbes, and modern cells, which are quite plausibly the result
> of ancient bacteria and viruses associations. I think.
On the level that there are bacteria, we don't exist. Bacteria exist in our
(technologically extended) frame of reference, but we do not exist in their
frame of reference. The confusion of levels is what compels us to imagine
that macrophenomenal experiences must be isomorphic to microphysical
functions. They overlap, but in the same sense that two different
screenplays which have the same number of words could be stored in the same
quantity of memory.
Microphenomenal experiences relate to microphysical structures.
Macrophenomenal experiences relate to macrophysical structures. We do not
live in our brain, or our body, but in the world of human-scale
interaction. Of course, that interaction is influenced on all sides by
sub-personal, super-personal, and impersonal consequences, but they are not
presented directly on the personal level. Sub-personal conditions are
represented as urges and sensations while super-personal conditions are
represented as coincidences and opportunities for conscience.
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