Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The enormous benefits of biotechnology: Desert Reclamation

Max Weber Institute for the Study of the 5th Day of Creation
@ New Ruskin College
Technical Corrections
Correction Number Two: The enormous benefits of biotechnology: Desert Reclamation.

We have perhaps spent too much time discussing the dangers of biotechnology.

Some may now wonder if it is worth the risk. First of all, for reasons provided elsewhere in New Ruskin College, there is no alternative. The technology is unavoidable.

Secondly, the period of terror risk is greatest now and will decline as our knowledge increases, and that knowledge will allow us to increase our defenses against bio attacks. (Of course the technology will transform human kind and the world but unlike many commentators we here at New Ruskin College welcome everyone of these changes, we hold no sentimental attachment for the human race as we have known it. As for Mother Earth, we look forward to improving her.)

As an example of what can be done with this new technology consider desert reclamation. For all of our existence we have had to fight for our survival. The universe was not engineered for our benefit. We are about to change this. Mother Nature proceeds by an entirely different route from our own engineering. For one thing, Mother Nature, is satisfied, is delighted, by whatever she produces. We on the other hand have certain standards that our creations must meet. They must be beneficial for us. Therefore our creative process is more constrained than is Mother Nature’s.

However, we do not have to try a billion different combinations in order to find the desired outcome. Mother Nature from our perspective is wasteful, where as we can go from step to step just covering what is required to achieve our desired results. We are more efficient.

Deserts are an example of waste. Mother Nature does not so regard them but we do. Deserts are just one example of waste in the natural order. What is the carrying capacity of the planet Earth? All of our estimates, all of our thinking, is based on our history, our experience. But this is just the point. We do not have experience with bio technology. What we regard as the natural limits are about to be blown away.

Nothing has prepared us for the bounty we are about to experience. What is the carrying capacity of a square mile of South Pacific Ocean? How much plankton can it contain. How many fish? We have no idea. The Southern Oceans are a kind of desert. We will very soon be able to engineer the entire biosphere, algae to whales. There are no limits.

Unlike Mother Nature we can skip all the intermediate unwanted states and move directly to the optimal. For example, recently a Salmon has been designed with a gene that allows it to produce a protein that can be metabolized more efficiently. The Salmon grows faster. Same fish, same ocean, same amount of sun light, same inputs (as the engineers say), but a higher output. We have a word for this: ef-fi-cien-cy.

Now think, not just one gene in one fish. How much life can a square mile of ocean hold? There are no limits.

Consider the Sahara Desert. First we design a grass that devotes most of its energy to developing roots. Spread it during the rainy season. Seed the clouds with it. We thus develop a matrix of roots. The seeds go dormant in the summer and start again with the next rain. A layer of bio material develops, grows on its own, all across the Sahara. Each season a newly engineered seed. For example, tubers that devote their energy to absorbing water and holding it inside far months into the summer. Other grasses develop stalks and die off in the summer only to regrow from those stalks in the next rains. Like tree trunks the stalks grow a new ring each rainy season. All the plants are engineered to live with little or no water for most of the year.

With time, the sand storms subside under this growing blanket of biomass. Walk on the desert now and it crunches under your feet. Tubers burst with fresh mushy water. More seasons pass, more grasses are developed, engineered, and behold: savannah.

Place the Sahara under a bank of North South oriented artificial clouds, high up in orbit above the atmosphere, and the heat moderates, the rains come sooner and stay longer. The artificial clouds are a mile wide and 1,000 miles long, each separated from the other by 5 miles, stretching out across the continent of Africa from the Nile to the Atlantic. They cast shadows down on the desert like a giant venetian blind, alternating sun and shadow, moderating the environment. Now after 10 years the Sahara has a top soil base of one to eight feet thick.

Now tell me what is the carrying capacity of the Sahara Desert? The planet Earth?

We have no idea. We have no way of judging this. We have not inhabited such a world since the Garden of Eden.

Next consider man . . .
From: Max Weber Institute for the Study of the 5th Day of Creation
@ New Ruskin College
Technical Corrections
Correction Number Two:
The enormous benefits of biotechnology: Desert Reclamation.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Item No. 29: race and war 06-17-04 NewRuskinCollege.com

Army Navy Club NewRuskinCollege.com

Item No. 29: race and war


One of the important features of the Vi-et-nam War which has received little comment is the role of race.

It also serves as an example of the role of “objective thinking” (see “Wrong”).

Because the Americans had decided that “race does not matter”, and this was no where more so than in the American military, which is also typified by “objective thinking” the importance of race in the minds of the people of Vi-et-nam was overlooked. This is typical: if it should not matter then “objectively” it does not matter.

MacNamara was a pioneer in “objective” management. However, he was himself as well as his system of management a perfect example of the limitations of this philosophy.

Though the stated strategy of the U. S. was “attrition”, (if this can be called a strategy), when a young Army Major presented MacNamara with a paper in which the numbers, the population and birthrate etc. were examined and it was proven, in numbers, that the “strategy” could not possibly work, and even though MacNamara had made his reputation as an “objective” manager, had demanded that all management decisions be based on the quantization of the “facts”, here, when shown to a mathematical certainty that the stated strategy could not work ignored the paper. Why? Possibly because the Major was not from M. I. T. or Harvard?

Also with race. Because MacNamara thought “objectively” race does not matter then it could be ignored. The fact is race did matter, like it or not. The Left which should have known told us only that we were racists, never mentioning that racism was an important motivating factor for the other side.

And the Right? Oh, “objectively” race does not matter.


Welcome to the Max Weber Institute Blog

##### 1 # On the First Day of Creation, the Universe was created, 14 billion years ago.

#### 2 ## On the second day of Creation, four billion years ago, life began on Earth.

### 3 ### On the third day of Creation, three and a half million years ago, hominids first walked on the Earth.

## 4 #### On the Fourth day of Creation, 10,000 years ago, agriculture, the first genetic engineering, began.

# 5 ##### On the Fifth day of Creation, June 5th 2006, the new man, Homo Sapiens Engineerus.