Only A Holistic View of Nature Can Solve Big Problems, Says UC Berkeley Physicist
A new way of thinking about our biology--or rather, a very old way--is essential if we are to collectively solve the existential problems that face humanity, says UC Berkeley physicist Fritjof Capra.
What's the Latest?
A new way of thinking about our biology--or rather, a very old way--is essential if we are to collectively solve the existential problems that face humanity, says UC Berkeley physicist Fritjof Capra. In his new book, The Systems View of Life, Capra argues that problems such as climate change and financial crises result from a misunderstanding the world's interconnectedness. Capra explains how "modern biology, in trying to understand the self-organising, adaptive and creative aspects of life in all its forms, has by necessity turned to a holistic, systems view emphasising pattern and organization."
What's the Big Idea?
With co-author and biologist Pier Luigi, the two explain how, for example, it is impossible to understand how the human heart works by only examining its cells. The cells depend on the overall functioning of the heart, and the heart depends on the cells. In others words, causality works in both directions. "These ideas have helped drive complexity science forward over the past few decades. Indeed, Capra and Luisi argue that the 21st-century zeitgeist is changing from one of world-as-machine to world-as-network, a holistic system in precise interrelation rather than a collection of dissociated parts."
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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