Dear Howard and Pedro,

Please allow me to comment on the complementary visions of the Lucifer vs.
the "angelic" scenarios.

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I see configurations of mutually
beneficial processes as the driver behind all of evolution. The problem is
that this dynamic is, like much of nature, normatively ambiguous.

Mutually beneficial configurations exhibit a "centripetality", or the
tendency to bring ever more resources into their own orbits. This is a
universal, although much neglected, but necessary attribute of all living

So one is able to view this dynamic in either its angelic or Luciferian

At the angelic extreme, Giovanni di Fidenza (a.k.a., Bonaventure) saw the
infinite love shared among the persons of the Trinity as the beginning of
all creation, drawing all of creation eventually towards Godself.

The growth-inducing aspect of mutual beneficence was implicit in Darwin's
description of the counterplay between growth and elimination. The growth
side of the interaction has subsequently been minimized, and current
evolutionary theory emphasizes elimination. <>

Of course, induced growth situated within a finite context eventually
leads to competition and often to elimination -- the Luciferian side of
the same phenomenon. Centripetality also elides into manifestation of
"self", or selfishness. (On the human scale, Daryl Domning speaks, not of
Original Sin, but "Original Selfishness". :) Induced competition and
selfishness then combine to yield Howard's pecking order.

And so the drama of the universe unfolds as a struggle between rampant
selfishness and kenotic beneficence -- from the atomic scale all the way
to universal dimensions. It all begins with mutual beneficence, but it
evolves/devolves into complex interplay of phenomena to which we assign
contrasting normative values.

Peace to all,
Bob U.

> The Force of History--Howard Bloom
> In 1995, I published my first  book, The Lucifer Principle: a Scientific
> Expedition Into the Forces of  history.  It sold roughly 140,000  copies
> worldwide and is still selling.  Some people call it their Bible.  Others
> say
> that it was the book that predicted 9/11.  And less than two months ago,
> on
> November 13, 2015, some current readers said it was the book that
> explained
> ISIS’ attacks on Paris.  Why?  What are the forces of history?  And what
> do
> they have to do with  information science?
> The Lucifer Principle uses  evolutionary biology, group selection,
> neurobiology, immunology, microbiology,  computer science, animal
> behavior, and
> anthropology to probe mass passions, the  passions that have powered
> historical
> movements from the unification of China in  221 BC and the start of the
> Roman  Empire in 201 BC  to the rise  of the Empire of Islam in 634 AD and
> that
> empire’s modern manifestations, the  Islamic Revolutionary Republic of
> Iran
> and ISIS, the Islamic State, a group  intent on establishing a global
> caliphate.  The Lucifer Principle concludes that the passions that swirl,
> swizzle,
>  and twirl history’s currents are a secular trinity.  What are that
> trinity’
> s three  components?  The superorganism, the  pecking order, and ideas.
> What’s a superorganism?  Your body is an organism. But it’s also  a
> massive social gathering.  It’s  composed of a hundred trillion cells.
> Each of
> those cells is capable of living on its own.  Yet your body survives
> thanks to
> the  existence of a collective identity—a you.  In 1911,_[i]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20f
> oundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn1)   Harvard
> biologist William Morton Wheeler noticed that ant colonies pull off the
> same trick.  From 20,000 to 36  million ants work together to create an
> emergent property, a collective  identity, the identity of a community, a
> society,
> a colony, or a  supercolony.  Wheeler observed how  the colony behaved as
> if
> it were a single organism.  He called the result a
> “superorganism.”_[ii]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%2
> 0and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn
> 2)
> Meanwhile in roughly 1900, when  he was still a child, Norway’s Thorleif
> Schjelderup Ebbe got into a strange  habit: counting the number of pecks
> the
> chickens in his family’s flock landed on  each other and who pecked
> whom.  By
>  the time he was ready to write his PhD dissertation in 1918, Ebbe had
> close to  20 years of data.  And that data  demonstrated something
> strange.
> Chickens in a barnyard are not egalitarian.  They have a strict hierarchy.
>  At
> the top is a chicken who gets special  privileges.   All others step
> aside
> when she goes to the trough.  She is the first to eat.  And  she can peck
> any other chicken in the group.  Then comes chicken number two.  She is
> the
> second to eat.  And she can peck anyone in the flock  with one notable
> exception.  She  cannot peck the top chicken.  Then  comes chicken number
> three,
> chicken number four, and so on.  Each one cannot peck the chickens above
> her
> on the social ladder.  But each  has free rein to peck the chickens below.
> Finally, there’s the bottom chicken, a chicken everyone is free to peck
> but
> who is free to peck no one.  Ebbe called this a “peck order,” a
> pecking
> order, a dominance  hierarchy.
> And in 1976, Oxford evolutionary  biologist Richard Dawkins coined two new
> terms._[iii]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2
> 015.docx#_edn3)   He observed that biological life, all of  it from
> bacteria to bathing beauties, depends on the evolution  of what Dawkins
> called “
> replicators,”  molecules that can make copies of themselves. Then
> Dawkins
> spotted a newer kind  of replicator at work.  The first  biological
> replicators—
> genes--did their thing in primordial puddles.  The new replicator worked
> in a
> puddle of  a radically different kind—the puddle of the human mind.
> Dawkins observed that we see replicators  at work when our mind fixates on
> a song
> we hate and plays it over and over  again, no matter how vigorously we
> wish
> it away. That song is using our mind to  make more copies of itself.  But
> the  most important replicators in the soup of the human mind are not pop
> songs,  they’re ideas.  Dawkins called these  mind-based replicators
> “memes.”
> Superorganism, the pecking  order, and ideas—memes--that’s the holy
> trinity of The Lucifer Principle.  That’s the holy trinity that drives
> the  forces
> of history.
> Here’s how it works.  Social groups compete.  They battle for pecking
> order
> position  in a hierarchy of groups.  They  strive to be at the top of that
> hierarchy and to avoid the fate of the chicken  at the bottom.  What’s
> the
> main  thing over which groups compete?  It’s a badge of group
> membership.  A
> badge of what molecular biologist Luis Villarreal and philosopher
> Guenther
> Witzany call “group identity.”_[iv]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20informa
> tion%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn4)   That badge?  A cluster of memes.
> A knot of  replicators that live in a sea of minds.  The Babylonians
> competed with the Assyrians and the Medes.  They competed using different
> languages.  They competed using  different ideas of what clothes to wear,
> what was
> right and wrong, and, most  important, what gods to worship._[v]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%2
> 0foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn5)   The
> eight states that made war in China  in from 475 BC to 221 BC also had
> competing languages, religions, and  philosophies.  Rome set itself
> against the
> Persian Empire using the same tools of group identity: a different
> language,
> a different clothing style, a different way of worship, and a  different
> pantheon of gods-- different ideas.  And today militant  Islam—in the
> form of
> the Islamic State  and what’s left of al Qaeda--is pitting itself
> against the
> West, Russia, and  China using the ideas  of  Islam.  Using the words and
> deeds of  Mohammed, words and deeds that are still making copies of
> themselves in new  minds 1,384 years after Mohammed’s death.
> Pecking order competitions  between groups, pecking order competitions
> based on ideas, are the meat and  potatoes of the headlines.  They are
> the
> forces of history.
> Where does information come  into this?  Everywhere.  A fact that we shall
> have to  discuss.
> Why?  Because communication, sociality, and  information exchange are at
> the very heart of this cosmos.  So are competition and hierarchy.  Not to
> mention the ancestor of  superorganism-ness, the foremother of group
> identity—
> the cosmos’ obsession with  mobs, gangs, flocks, and massively
> integrated
> social entities.  Social entities that range from protons,  atoms,
> galaxies,
> stars, planets and moons to galaxy superclusters.  What do all of these
> things
> have in  common?   What do they share  with megamolecules, DNA, cells, and
> bacterial colonies, not to mention ants,  nations, and ISIS?  Competition,
> hierarchy, and group identity.  Superorganism, pecking order, and
> ideas—the
> holy trinity of the  Lucifer Principle.  And guess what else they share?
> Information!
> ____________________________________
> _[i]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20n
> ew%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.doc
> x#_ednref1)   Jürgen Tautz, The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a
> Superorganism, Berlin: Springer,  2008, p. 3,.
> _[ii]_ (file:///C:/cnt/th
> cx#_ednref2)   William Morton Wheeler, The Termitodoxa, Or Biology And
> Society, The Scientific  Monthly, February, 1920.
> _[iii]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.d
> ocx#_ednref3)   Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford: Oxford
> University Press,  1976.
> _[iv]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/
> cx#_ednref4)   Luis P. Villarreal,  Origin of Group  Identity: Viruses,
> Addiction and Cooperation,  New York: Springer,  2009.
> _[v]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.doc
> x#_ednref5)   For more on the battle of the gods in Mesopotamia, see
> Howard
> Bloom, The God  Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates, Buffalo, NY:
> Prometheus Books,  2016.
> ____________
> Howard Bloom
> Author of: The Lucifer Principle:  A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces
> of History ("mesmerizing"-The  Washington Post),
> Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The  Big Bang to the 21st
> Century ("reassuring and sobering"-The New  Yorker),
> The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of  Capitalism ("A
> tremendously enjoyable book." James Fallows, National  Correspondent, The
> Atlantic),
> The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos  Creates ("Bloom's argument will
> rock
> your world." Barbara  Ehrenreich),
> How I Accidentally Started the Sixties ("Wow! Whew!  Wild!
> Wonderful!" Timothy Leary), and
> The Mohammed Code ("A  terrifying book…the best book I've read on
> Islam."
> David Swindle, PJ  Media).
> Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate  Institute; Former Visiting
> Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York  University.
> Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; Founder, Space
> Development
> Steering Committee; Founder: The Group Selection Squad; Founding  Board
> Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin
> Project;
> Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of
> Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American
> Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and
> Evolution
> Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory
> Board
> Member, Lifeboat Foundation; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Space
> Philosophy; Board member and member of Board of Governors, National Space
> Society.
> _______________________________________________
> Fis mailing list

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