Friday, June 20, 2014

Autopoiesis: It's Not Just For Machines Anymore

SN-1987-A: Autopoiesis at work?
It is Friday, so let's do a weekend rebel science excursion just for the fun of it.

In today's post I want to once again bring up and then focus on aspects of denial which can be rife within the scientific development of the theory of evolution.

A denial that remains, and is perhaps even stronger in American science today than it has been at other times of great scientific discoveries in the past.

Like I have indicated in an earlier post, that would be the subject of the denial of the need for the discipline I call Abiology:
The subtitle of today's post could be "The Abiology Rebellion."
(Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 27). But more than that, let's do so using the subject referred to in the title, the subject of autopoiesis.

Like "Abiology" the word "autopoiesis" is not in some dictionaries yet, but both words should be in all dictionaries:
"Autopoiesis" (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-), meaning "self", and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning "creation, production") refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself. The term was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to define the self-maintaining chemistry of living cells.
(Wikipedia, links removed, emphasis added). Notice that biologists formed that word with the myopic application based only to their discipline ("chemistry of living cells").

I have criticized narrow, myopic types of nomenclature in some Dredd Blog series (e.g. The Uncertain Gene - 8, Putting A Face On Machine Mutation - 3) as well as some non-series posts (e.g. Did Abiotic Intelligence Precede Biotic Intelligence?).

The gist of this weekend rebellion is that evolutionists tend to apply nomenclature in such narrow ways that the nomenclature becomes incoherent to a broader interdisciplinary base:
The modern synthesis solved difficulties and confusions caused by the specialisation and poor communication between biologists in the early years of the 20th century.
(On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 3, quoting Wikipedia: "Modern Evolutionary Synthesis", emphasis added). That type of myopic distortion has happened with the word "autopoiesis" too.

So, today we will apply it to the broad, long term time frame concept of abiotic evolution rather than pigeon holing it within the much shorter time frame of biotic evolution.

If you think about it, the Big Bang Theory is a description of spontaneous autopoiesis, because that cosmological, abiotic theory describes an abiotic, non-living, pre-carbon-based-life system-generating-event.

An event that is said to have resulted in a universe which has powers of replication (see e.g. the series On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses, especially On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 6).

Remember that a lot of current abiotic science was not known when Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela coined the word "autopoiesis."

Furthermore, it was not known then that abiotic molecular machines generated many of the dynamics which they were observing.

They thought that the phenomena being observed were totally biotic or biological dynamics.

A new paradigm exists for understanding how cells function. Scientists are recognizing that the cell is a highly integrated biological factory with a modular architecture. Each modular unit acts as a molecular machine. These machines have highly specialized functions and are large assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids. They range in size from about 10 - 150 nanometers (10-9 m) and provide environments in which chemical species can interact in a highly specific fashion. Molecular machines also function as mechano-chemical energy transducers, converting chemical free energy into mechanical energy for cellular processes. They operate cyclically, and can reset themselves.

With the genetic information gained from the U.S. Human Genome Project and DOE's Microbial Genome Program, scientists now have the raw information with which to observe, manipulate, characterize and, ultimately, replicate these large protein assemblies. Using conventional and newly developed microscopy techniques, PBD researchers, through an initiative called Microscopies of Molecular Machines (M3), are creating a toolkit for probing the inner workings of these molecular machines.
(The New Paradigm: The Physical Universe Is Mostly Machine). Thus, much of what they saw as being purely biological functioning in cells was actually machine or abiotic autopoiesis, not biological or biotic autopoiesis.

This is also true for genetic dynamics (DNA is not alive, not biotic, it is abiotic) taking place within cells too:
"We took this approach because so many RNAs are rapidly destroyed soon after they are made, and this makes them hard to detect," Pugh said. "So rather than look for the RNA product of transcription we looked for the 'initiation machine' that makes the RNA. This machine assembles RNA polymerase, which goes on to make RNA, which goes on to make a protein." Pugh added that he and Venters were stunned to find 160,000 of these "initiation machines," because humans only have about 30,000 genes. "This finding is even more remarkable, given that fewer than 10,000 of these machines actually were found right at the site of genes. Since most genes are turned off in cells, it is understandable why they are typically devoid of the initiation machinery."

The remaining 150,000 initiation machines -- those Pugh and Venters did not find right at genes -- remained somewhat mysterious. "These initiation machines that were not associated with genes were clearly active since they were making RNA and aligned with fragments of RNA discovered by other scientists," Pugh said. "In the early days, these fragments of RNA were generally dismissed as irrelevant ["junk"] since they did not code for proteins." Pugh added that it was easy to dismiss these fragments because they lacked a feature called polyadenylation -- a long string of genetic material, adenosine bases -- that protect the RNA from being destroyed. Pugh and Venters further validated their surprising findings by determining that these non-coding initiation machines recognized the same DNA sequences as the ones at coding genes, indicating that they have a specific origin and that their production is regulated, just like it is at coding genes.
(The Uncertain Gene - 8). When geneticists and microbiologists look inward they see evidence of autopoiesis in the micro-universe of microbes.

Likewise, V. G. Gurzadyan and Roger Penrose are advancing a kind of a never ending autopoiesis hypothesis called "conformal cyclic cosmology" (CCC) in the macro-universe of the cosmos:
According to conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) ... what would normally be regarded as a probable entire history of our universe, starting with its Big Bang and ending with its accelerating de Sitter-like expansion (assuming a positive cosmological constant Λ ...), is taken to be but one aeon in a (perhaps unending) succession of such aeons, where the conformal 3-surface B representing the big bang of each aeon is regarded as the conformal continuation of the remote future (i.e. conformal infinity I ...) of the previous one. CCC takes there to be no inflationary phase in any aeon, the observational support that inflation enjoys being supposed to be equally supported by the existence of the final exponential expansion occurring in the previous aeon ...
(Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity, cf. Phys Org). Their paper argues that the Big Bang is perhaps a regular intermittent event that takes place between aeons in a CCC.

A follow-up to their paper which address some criticism of their first paper: (On CCC-predicted concentric low-variance circles in the CMB sky).

Their hypothesis is somewhat akin to the old Oscillating Universe (the ultimate abiotic autopoiesis) hypothesis.

I now return you back to your regularly scheduled borgosphere programming.

Have a good weekend!

The Borgosphere ...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Dogma of The High Priest In Chief - 3

"You are doin' a heckuva job Bremmie"
The asshole pathogen (On The Origin of Assholes) is acting up again in the cup of neoCons which is Bremmer full of crap and running over.

It is giving sane people a rash.

In the photo the the left Bremmer I of a Crock is anointed Bishop of Baghdad by Bush II of Duh Ranch.

The Bush II is very, very happy that he listened to The God of Peace the War God Mithra then invaded Iraq as The Book of the Apocalypse Revelation sang to him "Prepare The World For Peace and Democracy" to the tune of Oil-Qaeda Uber Alles:
The President of France, Chirac, received a mixed missive from the President of the United States, Bush II.

It was so mixed that it confused Chirac.

Bush II told Chirac, in an official government communiqué, that the war against Iraq was god-ordained and prophesied in the Bible.

To support his dogmatic statement, Bush II pointed out these verses:
7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be
loosed out of his prison,

8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
(ICH, Revelation 20). A hand me down quotation by the Leader of the Free World, from a book controversially said to have been written circa A.D. 90 by the Apostle John, even though the first verse of the book says "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him".
(The Dogma of The High Priest In Chief, 5/26/09). The Bush II went on to point out “This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins” (ibid, ICH).

The counsellors who injected the policy of the Crusades into the vacuous brain of Bush II were out on the dogma trail preaching to the choir:
The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe ... I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

And I believe now - I've checked this out - I believe that sword he'll be
"Jesus is coming with an AR-15" - U.S. General
carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? ... From the Founding Fathers, it's in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus when he said to his disciples 'now, if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'

I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! He was saying in building my kingdom, you're going to have to fight at times. You won't build my kingdom with a sword, but you're going to have to defend yourself. And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that's where the whole thing came from. I can't prove that historically and David [Barton] will counsel me when this is over, but I know that's where it came from.

And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don't have one, go get one. You're supposed to have one. It's biblical.
(On The Origin of the Crusader Pathogen). One has to wonder if McTell News is feeling a bit guilty and naked about singing "Onward Christian Poachers" to the nation as High Priest in Chief Bush II was preparing his Papal Bull?

After all, it is torture awareness month:
I’ll bet you didn’t know that June is “torture awareness month” thanks to the fact that, on June 26, 1987, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect internationally. In this country, however, as a recent Amnesty International survey indicated, Americans are essentially living in Torture Unawareness Month, or perhaps even Torture Approval Month, and not just in June 2014 but every month of the year.
(A Tale of Torture). The sign of that is when the McTell News doubles down, down, down ... and puts on the Saran Rap.

The McTell News and government rap about "4,000 killed in the Iraq War" is one pathetic cover up  directed by self-righteous crusader exceptionalism.

The truth is that millions of Iraqi's were wounded, made refugees, and/or killed.

The karmic aftermath is also telling:
The full number is unknown, but at least 22 per day, i.e. at least 8,000 "warriors" commit suicide each year.

Add to that the VA criminal scandal, and a host of "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" events leave a sour taste in the mouth of people who still have their wits about them.
(Newsmax). American imperialistic "foreign policy" is all foreign and no policy, so, let's just call it what it is: psychotic alien cognition.

The previous post in this series is here.

A McTell News rep explains what happened that caused Bremmie to get a heckuva necklace ...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Backwards To The Future - Moon? - 2

Stargate 1.0
Remember going to the moon?

I don't mean in the '60's, I mean in the 21st century.

What ever happened to going to Mars?

If humanity lasts long enough to go anywhere to stay awhile, it should be somewhere meaningful.

Meaningful in the sense of long term survival, assuming that survival is relevant to anything spacey (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 8).

Anyway, once upon a time we tried going to the moon again just to make sure we had really done it I suppose.

On this date in 2009 Dredd Blog wondered about that.

Today NASA will try to launch a mission to the moon.

The folks in the Bush II regime gave this notion a nudge in the face of some resistance.

This seems like the Iraq of the space program, an appendage that will cost more than the benefits it can deliver.

Nevertheless, I hope it gleans some information we can use to rescue the human species from the Sun and/or from ourselves, whichever comes first.

The LRO was launched into orbit.

The original post is here.

Meanwhile, it is:
I’ll bet you didn’t know that June is “torture awareness month” thanks to the fact that, on June 26, 1987, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect internationally. In this country, however, as a recent Amnesty International survey indicated, Americans are essentially living in Torture Unawareness Month, or perhaps even Torture Approval Month, and not just in June 2014 but every month of the year.
(A Tale of Torture). Who knew?

Something mooney happened to the space program as it was being transported on a ship of state to a future location ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On The Origin of Tornadoes - 4

Ben McMillan @ StomChasingVideo
During this series there has been both a record or near a record low number of tornadoes and a record high number reported.

A peak was reached a couple of years ago when 1,777 tornadoes were counted, then a significant drop in the number of tornadoes took place after part of the Arctic Vortex spun off and brought the U.S. a surprise cold winter (compare On The Origin of Tornadoes - 3, The Damaged Global Climate System).

Regular readers can benefit from the large database of tornado information Dredd Blog went through and presented, going all the way back past the second industrial revolution, on back to the first industrial revolution (On The Origin of Tornadoes, On The Origin of Tornadoes - 2, On The Origin of Tornadoes - 3 --the last one has reference to the NOAA database and statistics).

Since the global climate system is damaged, it generates strange patterns of weather even to the point that surprises happen more and more often (e.g. Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 6).

Climate change means that there is no longer a steady predictable pattern, rather, it is more and more a helter skelter pattern.

The only thing  predictable on a "long term" basis is that the CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to be pumped into the atmosphere as the global average temperature continues to rise along with that greenhouse gas surge.

In terms of tornado surprises, yesterday a rare "double tornado" event took place as many meteorologists scratched their heads because they had never seen the likes of this type of equal, large, double wedges about a mile apart:
“It’s less common for two tornadoes to track together for so long, especially with that same intensity,” she said. “By no means is it unprecedented. But we don’t see it often.”
Business Insider

Tornadoes form from a supercell thunderstorm, which contains a large column of rotating air. It’s not uncommon for one twister to dissipate before another forms out of the same supercell.

But it’s much less common for the primary twister to keep going when the new one forms, producing the two simultaneously, said Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center.
(Washington Post). Another good thing is that deaths from tornado destruction are down as is the cost of property damage.

How long this slow down continues is unpredictable.

But, the danger from typhoons, heat, droughts, fires, floods, and other storms increases in some places around the globe to the point that it seems like areas of the globe take turns experiencing the worst, then sometimes experiencing a reprieve.

Our greatest danger now is triggering feedback loops and reaching tipping points of no return. [Some scientists say (others believe but won't say) that several dozen tipping points have already been crossed and that industrial civilization is doomed. Tom, a regular reader pointed that out in a comment to this post.] (see Tipping Point info here, here, here, and here.)

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

On The Origin of the Crusader Pathogen - 2

In the first post of this series we took a look at the concept of war as a germ, as envisioned and expressed by President James Madison long ago.

He saw war as a germ in the sense of it being a source of many undesirable symptoms and additional "germs" that would destroy any free nation.

We read how Madison used language as if to say that war itself is a "germ" (which we also call a pathogen), but The Toxins of Power Blog considers war to be a product of something called "toxins of power", that is, toxins somehow tend to manifest within officials who inhabit seats of power.

The theme of that blog is that those germ toxins tend somehow to infect and corrupt the powerful (About Toxins Of Power).

How does that happen?

Recent scientific discoveries in the field of microbiology have indicated that pathogenic microbial organisms and viruses can rewire or otherwise change the mammalian brain, including the human brain (see e.g. The Human Microbiome Congress).

Other scientists have pointed out that our brains even change as we think different thoughts:
Thought is physical. Learning requires a physical brain change: Receptors for neurotransmitters change at the synapses, which changes neural circuitry. Since thinking is the activation of such circuitry, somewhat different thinking re­quires a somewhat different brain. Brains change as you use them-even unconsciously. It's as if your car changed as you drove it, say from a stick shift gradually to an automatic.
(The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere, cf. The Skulls They Are A Changin'). We know that the tiny unseen world of pathogenic microbes can rewire distinct brain circuits to bring about specific, bizarre results:
Some extremely nice work has been done by a group at Leeds in the UK, who are looking at the Toxo genome, and we're picking up on this collaboratively. Okay, Toxo, it's a protozoan parasite. Toxo and mammals had a common ancestor, and the last they did was God knows, billions of years ago. And you look in the Toxo genome, and it's got two versions of the gene called tyrosine hydroxylase. And if you were a neuro-chemistry type, you would be leaping up in shock and excitement at this point.

Tyrosine hydroxylase is the critical enzyme for making dopamine: the neurotransmitter in the brain that's all about reward and anticipation of reward. Cocaine works on the dopamine system, all sorts of other euphoriants do. Dopamine is about pleasure, attraction and anticipation. And the Toxo genome has the mammalian gene for making the stuff. It's got a little tail on the gene that targets, specifies, that when this is turned into the actual enzyme, it gets secreted out of the Toxo and into neurons. This parasite doesn't need to learn how to make neurons act as if they are pleasurably anticipatory; it takes over the brain chemistry of it all on its own.

Again that issue of specificity comes up. Look at closely related parasites to Toxo: do they have this gene? Absolutely not. Now look at the Toxo genome and look at genes related to other brain messengers. Serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and so on, and you go through every single gene you can think of. Zero. Toxo doesn't have them, Toxo's got this one gene which allows it to just plug into the whole world of mammalian reward systems. And at this point, that's what we know. It is utterly cool.

Of course, at this point, you say well, what about other species? What does Toxo do to humans? And there's some interesting stuff there that's reminiscent of what's going on in rodents. Clinical dogma is you first get a Toxo infection. If you're pregnant, it gets into the fetal nervous system, a huge disaster. Otherwise, if you get a Toxo infection, it has phases of inflammation, but eventually it goes into this latent asymptomatic stage, which is when these cysts form in the brain. Which is, in a rat, when it stops being anything boring like asymptomatic, and when the behavior starts occurring. Interestingly, that's when the parasite starts making this tyrosine hydroxylase.

So what about humans? A small literature is coming out now reporting neuropsychological testing on men who are Toxo-infected, showing that they get a little bit impulsive. Women less so, and this may have some parallels perhaps with this whole testosterone aspect of the story that we're seeing. And then the truly astonishing thing: two different groups independently have reported that people who are Toxo-infected have three to four times the likelihood of being killed in car accidents involving reckless speeding.

In other words, you take a Toxo-infected rat and it does some dumb-ass thing that it should be innately skittish about, like going right up to cat smells. Maybe you take a Toxo-infected human and they start having a proclivity towards doing dumb-ass things that we should be innately averse to, like having your body hurdle through space at high G-forces. Maybe this is the same neurobiology. This is not to say that Toxo has evolved the need to get humans into cat stomachs. It's just sheer convergence. It's the same nuts and bolts neurobiology in us and in a rodent, and does the same thing.

On a certain level, this is a protozoan parasite that knows more about the neurobiology of anxiety and fear than 25,000 neuroscientists standing on each other's shoulders, and this is not a rare pattern.
(The Germ Theory - of Government - 9). That toxoplasma gondii generated toxin is actually the operation of a genetic apparatus which has ancient linkage to a common ancestor of mammals and "toxo" types of pathogens (and who knows what else earlier in time).

We have contemplated the possibility that such pathogens originated during one or more of the five mass extinction events that have taken place over hundreds of millions and billions of years here on Earth (Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD? , Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 16, Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen -- 2).

We have also contemplated that such pathogens evolved during catastrophes that possibly took place elsewhere in the solar system (Exploded Planet Hypothesis, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 7); perhaps in an earlier civilization (Saturn - Home of the Hexagon Mystery); or somewhere else that was struggling as we are with the proper management of sources of energy --such as during a Dyson Grid / Sphere project (Mystery Bubble - Signal, Grid, or What?).

At any rate, the operation of these toxins, these tools of pathogens, came from cognitively aberrant zones, and could very well be the cause of the mysterious corruption of power that is detrimental, in the long run and in the big picture, to both the pathogen itself as well as its host.

It is obvious that for organisms to destroy their environmental home, their source of sustenance, and all they depend on for their existence (whether they are tiny microbes or globe travelling humans) is not the behavior of level headed or wise life forms.

To the contrary, it is insane.

Thus, the morph from being peaceful, helpful, and a caretaker of worlds into a warmongering, hateful, and destructive species is quite mysterious.

So, how do we study this pathogenic, suicidal behavior taking place in a group or in an individual which becomes at odds with the interests of itself and of other life forms?

A group infected by the toxins of power, such as the crusader pathogen, can be modelled and contemplated by the notion of a "meme complex" or by the notion of a "cultural amygdala" (Comparing a Meme Complex to a Cultural Amygdala).

Evidently that technique or tool of analysis has been used for a long time by philosophers and thinkers, because, they wrote down their observations and expectations long ago, many of which are quite shocking and/or prescient:
One would say that [man] is destined to exterminate himself after having rendered the globe uninhabitable.” - Lamarck (1817)

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive ..." - Jesus Christ (Matt. 24)

"Mayr, from the point of view of a biologist, argued that it's very unlikely that we'll find any [extraterrestrial intelligence]. And his reason was, he said, we have exactly one example: Earth. So let's take a look at Earth. And what he basically argued is that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation ... you're just not going to find intelligent life elsewhere, and you probably won't find it here for very long either because it's just a lethal mutation" - Dr. Noam Chomsky paraphrasing Dr. Ernst Mayr

Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson
(Dredd Blog Quotes Page, bible quote added, links removed). These quotes illustrate and focus on something going wrong "down under the hood" of human civilization, down where "the thinking" is done.

The history of the crusader pathogen is just one of many pieces of evidence which those seemingly pessimistic thinkers may have been aware of:
At one point during this long siege, the crusaders came to realize there were several spies amongst them. To deal with this problem they set an example that would result in all other spies fleeing the crusader’s camps. This example consisted of killing one such spy, roasting him on a spit, eating his flesh, and then threatening a similar fate would befall all those who were discovered to be spies. (Maalouf 29) “These acts may appear to be utterly barbaric by modern standards, but they were a staple feature of medieval warfare and become a consistent theme of the siege of Antioch. Within the context of a holy war, in which the Franks (crusaders) were conditioned to see their enemy as sub-human, Christian piety prompted not clemency but, rather, an atmosphere of extreme brutality and heightened savagery.” (Asbridge 168)
(First Crusade). Even when they were not hungry for food, they seemed to have a toxic blood lust that was consuming their humanity as it morphed into religious hatred:
After spending three years marching from Europe to the Holy City, the crusaders had finally reached their intended destination in the summer of 1099. It took forty days to conquer the city. “After a very great and cruel slaughter of Saracens, of whom 10,000 fell in that same place, they put to the sword great numbers of gentiles who were running about the quarters of the city, fleeing in all direction on account of their fear of death; they were stabbing women who had fled into palaces and dwellings; seizing infants by the soles of their feet from their mothers’ laps or their cradles and dashing them against the walls and breaking their necks; they were slaughtering some with weapons, or striking them down with stones; they were sparing absolutely no gentile of any place or kind.” (Asbridge 317) Those Muslims who sought shelter on the roof of the al-Aqsa mosque were decapitated if they had not flung themselves to the ground first. (Moynahan 239) By July 17th, not a single Muslim was left alive within the city walls. Even the Jews who had gathered in their synagogue had been burned alive inside. “The last survivors were forced to perform the worst tasks: to heave the bodies of their own relatives, to dump them in vacant, unmarked lots, and then to set them alight, before being themselves massacred or sold into slavery.” (Maalouf xiv)
(First Crusade). These things have even been done by those suffering from the crusader pathogen during the lifetimes of some of you who are reading this post:
Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were isolated incidents in the Vietnam War, carried out by "a few bad apples." But as award‑winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this groundbreaking investigation, violence against Vietnamese noncombatants was not at all exceptional during the conflict. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of orders to "kill anything that moves."

Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable.
(The Virgin MOMCOM - 6). As we can see now, the crusader pathogen is a persistent, ancient bug.

It is one of several mystery subjects that need some ongoing serious study and attention, not a continuation of the war on microbes (Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen, Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen--2).

The previous post in this series is here.


Asbridge, Thomas.
The First Crusade: A New History.
Oxford: Oxford University Press,

Maalouf, Amin. 
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. 
New York: Schocken Books, 

Moynahan, Brian.
The Faith: A History of Christianity.
New York: Doubleday,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 6

Active Volcanoes Under Polar Ice Sheets
In this series we have been discussing the pressure changes on the Earth's crust that melting ice sheets have induced in the past, are now inducing, and will be inducing in the future.

Especially interesting is sensitive crustal areas we can call "hair-trigger zones."

Those are areas such as earthquake fault zones, areas where volcanoes have been impacted by thinning ice sheets over them, and the general torque across the whole crust under the oceans.

These pressures come from weight removal as ice caps become thin, then from weight increases on the crust as the sea level rises (e.g. Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 5).

A new study conducted in the Southern Hemisphere indicates that volcanic activity under the Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica may be increasing:
Thwaites Glacier is one of the West Antarctica’s most prominent, rapidly evolving, and potentially unstable contributors to global sea level rise. Uncertainty in the amount and spatial pattern of geothermal flux and melting beneath this glacier is a major limitation in predicting its future behavior and sea level contribution. In this paper, a combination of radar sounding and subglacial water routing is used to show that large areas at the base of Thwaites Glacier are actively melting in response to geothermal flux consistent with rift-associated magma migration and volcanism. This supports the hypothesis that heterogeneous geothermal flux and local magmatic processes could be critical factors in determining the future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
(New Study - Volcanic Activity). This type of activity was not only predicted by scientists, it has already happened exactly as predicted under ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere:
In August of 2007, over 2.5 years ago, a geologist had studied the historical record for global warming events which were not anthropogenic (not caused by human activity).

His conclusions were that global warming has caused volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the ancient past.

He went on to say that the anthropogenic global warming occurring now will do so too.

Over two and a half years ago he mentioned by name the very volcano that just erupted in Iceland shutting down air traffic over Europe.

He also indicated that earthquakes could result from anthropogenic global warming:
"In places like Iceland, for example, where you have the Eyjafjallajökull ice sheet, which wouldn't survive [global warming], and you've got lots of volcanoes under that, the unloading effect can trigger eruptions," McGuire said.

With the changing dynamics in the crust, faults could also be destabilized, which could bring a whole host of other problems.

"It's not just the volcanoes. Obviously if you load and unload active faults, then you're liable to trigger earthquakes," McGuire told LiveScience, noting that there is ample evidence for this association in past climate change events.
(Live Science, 2007, emphasis added) ...
(Global Warming & Volcanic Eruptions). Remember that we are talking about pressure-change activity having a more noticeable impact where there are triggers in sensitive areas of the crust:
Our results suggest that long-term and late-summer flexural uplift of the Coast Ranges reduce the effective normal stress resolved on the San Andreas Fault. This process brings the fault closer to failure, thereby providing a viable mechanism for observed seasonality in microseismicity at Parkfield and potentially affecting long-term seismicity rates for fault systems adjacent to the valley. We also infer that the observed contemporary uplift of the southern Sierra Nevada previously attributed to tectonic or mantle-derived forces is partly a consequence of human-caused groundwater depletion.
(Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 5). Thus, even a drought can become serious enough in a sensitive trigger zone to stimulate events that otherwise are not likely to take place ["Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have now discovered that the growing, broad-scale loss of water is causing the entire western U.S. to rise up like an uncoiled spring." - Phys org].

Note also that some of these pressure changing events are one form of what is called "a feedback loop" ... such as:
One of the more amazing facts about the ongoing destruction of the Greenland ice sheet is that it is producing earthquakes that can be detected worldwide. Now, fresh evidence is at hand to show that these “ice quakes” are spreading to previously quiescent parts of Greenland. We’re only in September, but it seems increasingly likely that 2012 will set a record for such quakes.
(Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 4). Feedback loops happen when anthropogenic global warming triggers events that cause an additional surprise increase in global warming or increase in direct damage (e.g. methane release from the melting Arctic permafrost is another type of feedback loop).

The greatest danger some of these feedback loops pose is that they can lead to tipping points being reached sooner than they otherwise would have.

Once tipping points kick in we can't stop them no matter how quickly we then decrease our fossil fuel use in response.

The point, then, is to diminish fossil fuel usage and switch to renewable fuels before we trigger those tipping points, not afterwards.

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