Harmony of the Spheres
This video is an excerpt from The New Bioeconomics Colloquium that took place in Santa Fe, NM on July 23rd, 2013.[hr]
Harmony of the Spheres
By John Allen
Harmony of the Biosphere, Ethnosphere, and Noosphere is needed to transform the Technosphere’s continuous destructions into continuous creations. These “spheres,” actually complex dynamically changing shapes, can be visualized as experiential layers around Planet Earth. Physical measurements, of course, show Earth to be an oblate spheroid surface roughened with ocean deeps, continental plates, ice caps, volcanic eruptions and lava flows.
Earth’ s oceans respond to Moon with tides, its atmosphere to expansions and contractions caused by Sun, to weather such as Ice Ages and Dry Ages, to meteor impacts, and re-arranging of continents from movement of plates. Billions of tons a year are moved by mining, building gigantic concrete and steel cities level whole mountains, create great lakes with dams, artificial rivers with canals, deserts (from soil blown away), and bush and gullies from destroyed forests and plowed soil.
In short, Spheres are ingenious metaphors inspiring Platonic-type theories and magical-religious rites, but taken literally, dangerously oversimplify realities
Nonetheless, Bio-sphere remains a useful metaphor for Life within Earth’s Geosphere, Hydrosphere, and Atmosphere.
Noosphere received its name from Vernadsky, Russian geochemist who first used Biosphere to name the total system of life on Earth.
Nous, Greek for Thought-Intelligence, became Noosphere, when the collective human intelligence began operating beyond Ethnosphere’s cultural totems and taboos and Technosphere’s Panama and Suez Canals, Planetary Air transport, Space ships, Radio, Television, World Market, and The Net. Technospherics dynamics, beyond the will of humans as Marx first saw, now exploit Ethnosphere’s conflicting totems and taboos; its corporate owners and military guardians intensively shove their shit and shinola throughout Biosphere, drastically load Lithosphere, Atmosphere, and Hydrosphere with millions of new chemicals and trillions of tons displacement of rock, oil, and minerals.
As Vernadsky shorthanded it in 1920: Industrial Revolution’s transformations generated a geological force surpassing Ice Ages and Desert Ages in diminishing Earth’s surface’s potentialities.
Noospherians endeavor to integrate Earth’s histories, sciences, arts, politics, enterprises, and adventures in their individual lives and in creative groups, to understand realities, to synergize with each other to increase Nous, their intelligence.
Biosphere signifies the total four billion year old system of Earth life, from first non-nucleated cells to today’s six kingdoms, counting humans as one. Some see a seventh kingdom emerging from industrial-information revolution: humans spliced to a technologic cocoon from conception to separation.
Ethnosphere means all cultures on Earth, all world views replicating key meanings, values, and behaviors for two or more generations. Ethnosphere has fallen under Technosphere’s domination; jobs replace ceremonies as tribal identifiers.
Technosphere: all Technics from Space Travel to Farming to Medicine to Language to Government, War, and Markets…. Technology’s drives are analogues to Life’s: Expansion at all costs, Complexity, and Ability to survive situations from solitary walks to Class and National Wars; from Avant Garde Arts to street markets to World Trade; from Militaries backed with hydrogen bombs, special forces and brain washings, to individuals and tribes defending homelands with jungle craft and transformations of perceptions.
Biosphere (life) gets devastated by no holds barred power and profit driven armed to the teeth Technosphere concentrated on looting (destroying New Guinea’s forests, sucking dry American Great Plains ground water…).
Ethnospheric ethics ignored, or gored, by financial capitalism’s nihilist speculators, astutely evade taxes, laws, and victims.
Technosphere, driven by War and Speculation, maximizes Oligopoly’s obscene Profits, even from cups of coffee by evading local taxes while demanding legal protections. To increase hitherto undreamed of powers, speculators exploit Provincial Wars, World Cities’ Greed; plunder what remains of tribal fishing, hunting, farming, and wilderness.
Efforts to Harmonize Technosphere and Ethnosphere with Human Well-being, Cultural diversity, and species rich Biosphere, get attacked as day dreams, Quixotes tilting Windmills.
But daydreams differ from nightmares. We can critique, test, improve daydreams. Inspiring dreams can, if coherent with data, transform to creative visions to birth ideas which at right time and place, with right ideas, right skills, and right people, transform drastically impoverished situations into health and wealth.
Which, for examples, those vectors did by transforming Fascist, Imperialistic, War worshipping, Western Europe to a bastion of peace in l945-48, in Rebirthing Classical Cosmic Thought in Firenze in one generation in the l400’s, and in Saving the Redwoods, Yellowstone Hot Springs, and other Wildernesses from commercial devastation in USA.
Harmony easily arises between biospheric aligned bodies, but not between bodies specialized to serve class, corporate, or national interests hostile to wilderness and spontaneity. This harmony, embodied here and here on occasion by two or three who understand realities, can, with intelligent action, spread to groups; on occasion, to communities.
Of course, brain washings, epidemics of regional wars, profit maximizing, overpopulation, and indoctrinations, keep wars and psychoses raging, state power and financial profiteering vertiginous.
But here in a dome co-designed with Bucky Fuller and Bill Dempster, I vibe with bodies adaptable to many conditions: desert, jungle, ocean, world city, farming, high tech; to many cultures, philosophies and world views; I glimpse in each one here, flowers of a planetary, hard core, experienced, life enhancing, emerging culture.
I grok wizards assembled here, handy with tools like hoes, shovels, hammers, saws, compasses, machines, computers, networks, conversations, parties, events, movements, cost analyses; eloquent in body and gesture language, technical exactitude, street jargons, wilderness ecstasies, pregnant silences.
I see also a working sample of creative Biospheric-ethnospheric-technospheric-noospheric subsystems: a sparkling glint in the eye of Reality.
This bioregion, the Cerrillos Hills, gives geological setting to that glint. It’s magical forms survived human-caused flash floods and drought’s erosions, a process begun by Folsom and Modern Man’s ferocious overhunting.
On this Ranch, one can see drastic soil erosion, begun by l880’s ruthless mining and ranching, halted, but not yet restored, by hand carried tons of rocks to make strategic small dams, by giving up cattle and horses, re-building soil, growing orchard and gardens.
I don’t give up Hope in the Future; wish I could have more Faith in the Present, more Charity toward the Past. I happily see here, embodied in different ratios by each of us, allegiance to those Values, which we need to challenge this disastrous era.
I belong to that School that never prays except by actions, but here I must use words.
I pray that humanity, at least its tested cadres and uncorrupted newcomers, work side by side with all Fellow Life Forms to Harmonize Bodies and Technics. That they stop bowing to super profits looted from humans and biosphere by oily crusades, bulldozed wildernesses, and body degenerating foods.