Okay, so I need to free associate on something to try and get it out of my head. That’s this.
I’ve had a very specific vision of a type of living on Earth that I’ve justified in a really weird, round-about way. That way is through autopoiesis and second-order cybernetics, which are totally explainable but unlikely to be appealing to all but the most jacked in netsurfers. There’s a better, much more understandable way.
Consider the task of interstellar travel. [The wide appeal of this is evident in and of itself.]
Several important points:
- It could very likely be the case that the travel take tens of thousands of years relative to the travelers.
- In order to carry enough people to handle the task, the spaceship should be huge, having an area the size of a metropolitan region.
- Every single ounce of material in the spaceship requires a very large amount of fuel to get it up there. There must be next to no waste in what is taken into space.
What we are taking into space is then an ecosystem. In an ecosystem, the nutrients, the constitutive matter of organisms, are slowly cycled between different forms. The only input needed is sunlight. What is the waste product of one organism is the nutrient source of another organism, who is itself a nutrient source when it dies, and so on. The system is effectively closed by the actions of the constituent systems.
See those glass bottle ecosystems as an example of a closed functional ecosystem.
In order for this to work, we need to know what a no-waste metropolitan region looks like. We can’t figure it out once it’s up there, we need to construct it on Earth first.
It’s just this no-waste region that I wanted in the first place. That’s what second-order cybernetics tells us to achieve: integration and harmony with the biosphere.