OT -- CO-EVOLVING MUTUALISM A Little Perspective We humans are much impressed with our impact on the „environment‟ – the lifeweb surrounding us. We are more than a little fearful of that impact as well. But let us start with a little history-of-life perspective. This is not the first time an innovation of life, a development in life technology, if you will – has made major changes in life conditions on Earth. We can go back a couple of billion years, when little single celled creatures changed the entire atmosphere of earth – giving us the oxygen in the atmosphere. About 600 million years ago, the development of large multicellular creatures – in the „Cambrian explosion‟ -- created an entirely new life zone. We thought of this multicellular domain as the bulk of „nature‟ before we began to appreciate its single celled underpinnings. Plants changed the face of the landmasses of the Earth. The grasses evolved because, in part, they had a protection against the plant-grazers of Earth – silicon built into their structure. Hard on teeth. (The grazers, however, adapted.) Flowering plants made for a new niche for both birds and insects. Competent biologists could go on along these lines at some length. (Perhaps we should have a webpage for nominations for life‟s great revolutions.) Each time this sort of thing happens, the rest of the ecosphere adapts. The Great Engine of Life throws up a range of life characteristics which, in effect, collectively probe the new conditions – the new information in the ecosystem – for life possibilities. With oxygen came oxygen breathers. With multicellular life came a range of adaptations at the single cell level, leading to both mutualistic and parasitic relationships between single cellers and multicellers. On top of the development of what we recognize as plants came a proliferation of animals which fed on the plants, and other animals which fed on the plant eaters. So let us see the creation of LMMG as another of life‟s occasional technological innovations. These innovations produce disequilibria, perturbations, ripples or waves in the sea of life. We can predict that the remainder of the ecosystem will – in its decentralized, unplanned way – probe this new development from top to bottom. The „balance of system‟, so to speak of the life system, will be inventing new niches, new life patterns, new configurations. This is easily predictable – unless some big space rock or other disaster wipes us out and the Great Engine if Life addresses other conditions. Let‟s put it this way -- there will be a co-evolution between humanity and surrounding nature. If humans sustain their high density, high energy, high tech trajectory, that co-evolution will tend to be seen as a dynamic between densely hived, high energy and materials flow LMMG on the one hand, and all else in the ecosystem on the other. This chapter will be given over to the proposition that it is in our best interests to make this co-evolution mutualistic -- advantageous as between ourselves and the „balance of nature‟ so to speak. With some qualifications. Thus the title „co-evolving mutualism‟ for this Chapter. There is one possibly significant factor present in the LMMG/ecosystem interaction which was not present in prior Earthlife developments. That is the look-ahead, plan-ahead capability of humankind. One can say that our vision ahead is quite limited. But at least we can bring some intentionality to the game.1 We do not yet know whether our look-ahead, plan ahead capability will have much actual effect in our social dynamics. We do not yet know how much this capability will condition our environmental relations, so to speak. One might be skeptical, on several grounds, of just how „rational‟ will be our environmental relations. Let‟s just note how difficult is seeming to be the international effort to control global warming. My own United States is currently embodying this difficulty. However, I suggest that substantial effort is going into what we now conceive as environmental protection. Such efforts may be a little patchworky around the world. But in the more advanced polities, there are environmental protection functions at local, state, national and international levels. There are „private sector‟, or non-governmental‟ organizations designed to protect the environment – all over the world. I have been a little surprised at the size and sophistication of the United Nations structure for considering environmental issues. One can access the UN website at http://www.unep.org/. This website gives an overview of the program, and can be mined for pointers to affiliated organizations. I will not here attempt a catalogue of efforts around the world. This would, fortunately, require a considerable effort. Nor will I engage in general exhortation about the need for environmental protection efforts. You can get such exhortation in lots of places. Instead, I will offer a few thoughts which I do not see explicitly treated much in other discussions. 1 The dinosaurs did not, one suspects, engage in urban planning. Nor do insects, even though they have created their own form of urban conditions. (What would an ant-hive environme ntal protection agency look like? Can you imagine a scouting unit among Army Ants sending back information to a planning council to debate whether to spare an orchid in the line of march?) The Core Argument for Mutualistic Co-Evolution Between Humans and Earthlife as a Whole First, I will offer an highly abstract argument for the proposition that for humans to have increasingly high levels of organization, we will need to have a larger, rather than a static or smaller, ecostructure to sustain those activities. Please hark back to my suggestion that the potentials for complexity may be expressed by a log normal curve. Now connect that to the proposition that any particular portion of the life structure must fit in a framework of connections which influence its potential for existence and development. This is an implication of the Ulanowicz sort of analysis, which I will touch upon later. With these two things in mind, let‟s look at an interesting construction which Stephen J. Gould recently offered – with quite different ideas in mind, I think. 2 In his book Full House, Gould uses a curve to show the distribution of complexity in a lifesystem. I reproduce the essential idea below. 2 Gould might take exception to the libe rties I am taking with his conceptual apparatus. But that is what happens when you publish. You just can‟t control what people are going to do with the stuff you put out there. In this curve, the number of organisms is scaled from bottom to top, or vertically, and increases in complexity are scaled from left to right, so the highest complexity zone is in the little tail on the right. The curve in effect argues that you have lots of relatively simple organizations, or organisms, and relatively few complex organizations, or organisms. Gould in effect argued that life did not, over evolutionary time, alter the shape of the curve. That is, over time, you did not get a higher proportion of complex things to simple things. Now, if you hiked up the curve – got more things under it – then you could get a greater total quantity of complex life forms, in proportion to the greater total quantity of all life forms. Two key assertions underlie this graph. I want to make them explicit. First, Gould is in effect assuming that there is an invariant curve which expresses the potentials for complexity in the ecosystem. That is, he is assuming that the shape of his complexity curve is not going to change. If a power law applies to complexity – and I think it must -- this assumption is correct. Gould and I are on the same page, whether we draw the curve with the same axes and shape as Gould uses in his illustration. The key assumption is that the curve is invariant – we cannot change its shape. Secondly, Gould is in effect arguing that for there to be highly complex life elements there must be a substructure of less complex ones. That is, Gould is assuming that there must be lots of microbes, and small metazoans, for there to be a relatively small number of LMMGers. The complex stuff is embedded in and supported by the less complex stuff. Again, I agree. There is considerable evidence to support this assertion. It is consistent with – though not necessarily obvious from -- the „mutual information‟ pictures of Ulanowicz which I will discuss later. Let us assume for the moment Gould‟s premises. This is easy for me. These premises have been my own premises for some time. If we make these assumptions, Gould has given us a convenient way of representing a concept with some very important implications . 3 Let‟s suppose that human life is over on the right hand side of this curve. We are a large component of the more complex part.4 3 Here is an inte resting question which the Gould notion raises. How much complexity can a lifebud or life colony support? If you have a life curve on Mars with little space unde r it, how much human and technological complexity could the Mars colony, alone, support? Or a sealed-off spaceship, including the familiar science fiction (life) Seedship? 4 This supposition may offend many. I get the clear impression that many researchers resist this notion. They have good reason, I must concede. A species which had the sun going around the earth, of which we we re necessary lords and Now we come to the point of my argument. If Gould‟s construct is a usable guide, for there to be more of us and our artifacts, there must be more life structure. We have to hike up the curve to include more life structure underneath it, for us to have a greater scope of activity. Either that, or much of us will have to find low-complexity embodiments and lifestyles. Do you want to live a life about as complex as that of a cow? For my part, I think not. Thus, I offer you a straightforward argument for mutualistic interactions between LMMG and Earthlife as a whole. If we want to expand our scope, we have to expand Earthlife‟s scope.5 The corollary implication is that if we degrade the ecostructure as a whole, we will have less scope for the high-energy complex life style we have come to love. I recognize that this argument rests large conclusions on a single chain of logic. However, a theory is merit-ranked by its power – its masters, de mands some humbling. For our own good, we need to cast a dubious eye upon, and test thoroughly, assumptions of exceptional status. But it appears to me that those who have been arguing about the difficulty in assigning complexity in organisms have not taken into account the hierarchy of life structures which Buss proposed, others have now implicitly accepted, and I sketch out in another chapter. If you follow this approach, complexity is built up in hierarchies. We as social metazoans are working on a next level of complexity. We are creating some fairly complex artifacts in this process. Indeed, taking a big leap forward, if our co-evolution with othe r earthlife, utilizing artifacts, creates a replication of earthlife, we will have crossed another major threshold in life organization. So for the moment, for the sake of argument, let us suppose that we belong in the right hand sector of the curve. 5 This raises some challenging perspectives as to colonies of Earth abroad in the Universe. How complex could Moon and Mars colonies – for example – become? Is it best to imagine the m as stand alone systems or elements in a larger lifesystem? What do these different pe rspectives suggest as to complexity capacities in these venues? What would it take in terms of communication or interaction betwee n the re mote venues and Mothe r Earth, or in generalized terms Life Central, to allow sustained high complexity in the remote or small venues? scope of organization of phenomena -- and its validity. I do not shrink from or apologize for the power of the logic supporting this conclusion. I must, however, recognize a large caveat in my argument as seen from the viewpoint of the environmental protection contingent. At this time I cannot be definitive about how much carbon based cellular life and how much artifactual complexity goes under the hiked- up curve which I project here. I do suggest that human artifacts will need to be considered as components in any future ecosystem in which high energy LMMG plays a large part.6 Such artifacts can be relatively simple components, as well as complex components.7 At this point, in this manuscript, we leave open this question of the relative proportions of cellular and artifactual components in our posited expanded cyberecology. 8 Friends have suggested some arguments against reliance on this curve construct for the conclusions I have drawn from it. One argument is that we can change the shape of the curve. 6 This is easy to see if you look around you today. Have you noticed, looking down from the airline r, the large green circles on arid western lands where wheel irrigation us used? Or look at the man-made lakes, behind our dams. When our descendants look at satellite images of desert lands a millennium from now – assuming our social rig holds together – will they see seas of blue tinged solar banks? . 7 We all know that many human artifacts appear complex to us, and the rapid development of computers presents us the possibility that the human brain will lose its (not fully established) claim to be the most complex 1200-1500 cubic centimeters in existence. 8 If this were the way we should understand this now rathe r heavily worked complexity curve construct, conceivably the cybe r-ecology might be larger than the pre-human biological ecology, but the biological compo nent might be no large r, or be smalle r. This argument might go as follows. We have come up with fossil fuel – mining life‟s storage of energy. We have not noticeably expanded the legacy ecosystem. We have thus arguably built much more complex activity than previously existed without expanding the legacy ecosystem. Thus we must have changed the shape of the complexity curve. But if log normal measures are compelled by the nature of the universe, what we do must fit within them. One can imagine that we have – at least temporarily -- expanded the life structure we tap – by adding the fossil fuel portion. Or one can argue that our complexity bulge – our increase in complex activity -- will not be sustainable. Many have argued unsustainability. Let us suppose that we sustainably expand energy flows not dependent on fossil fuels. Then we are back to the question of whether the complex activity built with those energy flows will require a proportionate (in curve terms) structure of underlying less complex structures and processes. My argument is that this will be the case. Let‟s take a different tack. We do not increase the total amount of complexity in the Earthlife system. We just corner more of the complex part for ourselves. What we build in complexity among ourselves we sacrifice elsewhere in the ecosystem. One might then argue that we can sustain this shift. If there can be only so much complexity in a given lifestructure, we can claim more of it for ourselves, greedy sorts that we are. If this argument is so, then if we build larger energy flows and larger quantities of complex structure, we might get more complex activity in our own sector two ways. We create a larger lifestructure with more total complexity. And we shift shares of the complexity phenomenon to us and away from others. I don‟t know if we can pull this off. Another challenge is to ask what we make of the fact that some complex phenomena might be considered as energy minimizing aspects of dynamic activity. All reductions in variance can be seen as minimizing energy, within the reduced-variance system. In less abstract language, can we not suggest that social insects, and other groupish life activities, internalize energy flows in life structures more efficiently than less-groupish activity patterns? Ant hives process energy more efficiently – turn it into biomass more efficiently – than disorganized insects do. So, the argument would go, do human hives. I myself have suggested this view. Others have hinted that ordering activity may minimize energy flows, or make more efficient energy flows. So, an argument might be offered that if you jack up energy flows, efficient uses of those flows will take manifestations of complexity off an hypothetical log normal curve. But my response would be that these energy efficient developments in the complexity curve are an inherent aspect of the curve itself. Energy flows allow for complex, efficient manifestations of structured energy. Energy flows allow for energy density. As one traces through such arguments and counter arguments, one is led to fear that the justification for depending on the log normal curve arguments I have made is both self reinforcing, or circular. It might seem merely to be an expression of faith. As to the act of faith issue, the apparent ubiquity of log normal curves have emerged from highly diverse explorations in a number of directions. I have suggested that such curves may emerge from combinatorial requirements of the ordering process. So rather than building layers of cogitation on unfounded faith -- in an almost religious fashion --I am suggesting that we confront an evidence-based rubric, or framework, which seems to demand recognition that it is ubiquitous and enveloping. And if this is so, then we are compelled to reconcile visible aspects of its operation within its framework. Lastly, one friend suggests that we not be slavish in dependence upon our legacy lifesystem. Let us say that the good old legacy system got us here, but we can build greater flows and structures in the future without it, or minimizing it. So, this argument would go, we should let honest ambition rather than nostalgia govern our perspectives on our possibilities. I must confess that I cannot exclude the possibility that this approach might actually work out. But I ally myself with those who want to be sure that we fully appreciate just what got us here and supports us here before we start replacing it wholesale, or aggressively whittling it away. I don‟t want to cut off the limb upon which I – and more importantly my descendants -- perch, without knowing surely where they will next depend. How Humans Are Likely To Conceive the Greater Ecosystem Project We are likely to come at this project – if there is one -- from a parochial point of view, or course. Our first instinct seems likely to be to remake the world in our image. I have elsewhere suggested that we have been doing our damnedest to make all of earthlife into a funnel for our appetites and convenience (the Vitousek construct). We have been so thorough about this that there is little at the metazoan level – the larger multicellular lifeform level – that we have not affected, or are not in the process of affecting. What is left unaffected: what is it that we call „wild‟? For great detail, in conventional print format, see the United Nations‟ 1995 Global Biodiversity Assessment, and follow the United Nations‟ Environmental Program World Wide Web postings. For a blunt and brutal overview, in words more honest and penetrating than the usual, let me quote you an eloquent passage written by a passionate lover of wild earth, Daniel Jantzen, a professor of conservation biology9. The question is not whether we must manage wild nature, but rather how shall we manage it … There is no pristine nature to conserve. Only those unaware of the past can imagine that any ecosystem is unaffected by humanity…. All conserved wildlands are ecological islands in an agroscape, an urbanscape, and will be so forever. Even if they are permitted to survive as self sustaining wild lumps, which is what we lobby for, these lumps will melt, shrink, homogenize, evolve, and be washed over, inexorably, inevitably, mercilessly. This is cruel language, from one who loves nature. But Jantzen is trying to be honest, to set a solid foundation for saving what he cares about. What is Jantzen‟s prescription for the „wildlands‟ he loves, and speaks for? Sustainable agriculture has been around a long time. Let‟s have sustainable wildlands… They need market development, crop rotation, experiment stations, subsidies, insurance, innovations, entrepreneurism – and they need to pay their bills, be a producer, be open around the clock, and be welcomed at society‟s table. Let us be clear: the table he is talking about is human society‟s table. 9 This quote is taken from an article called “Wildlands as Garden”, in the “National Parks” magazine published in the United States, in the November/December millennial year 2000 A.D. edition. Often, in the discussions of the importance of „the environment‟ in the United Nation‟s monumental study of biodiversity, one runs into the term „environmental services‟. What are we saying? Our human frame of mind is that „the environment‟ is there to provide us „services‟. What are those „services‟? Clean water. Clean air. Food. Fiber. Building materials. Entertainment. Whatever we want. Whatever WE want. Let‟s shift focus. In a book called The Extended Organism, Scott Turner focuses on how animals create webs, hives, mats, burrows, and the like, to augment their biological functions. He depicts these constructions as almost biological extensions of the animal. They shape, one might say, energy and materials flows around the animal to the animal‟s advantage. Others, like Kevin Laland from the University of Cambridge, and colleagues there and abroad, advance the concept of „niche construction‟. They suggest the following perspective. The creature affects its environment so as to in effect create a niche for itself. Broadening the perspective, we can say that the creature and the niche stay in dynamic correlation, in a sense co-evolving.10 What will be our biological extension? What might be the niche we humans are so busily constructing? Here we are, global, mobile, dominating the large metazoan level of life. Clearly, the niche we seek to construct, and co-evolve with, is earth as a whole. We seek to make our niche earthlife as a whole. 10 There are some pleasingly neat resonances to this idea. In “Increases in Biological Organization: How Does Adaptation Fit”, in Evolutionary Systems, Kluwe r, 1998, John Collier uses information theory notation to express how the genome encodes information about the environment, in the sense that there is correlation, or mutual information, between the order in the environment and the information in the genome. Ulanowicz, in his Ascendancy book, uses information theoretic constructs – the Boltzmann formula slightly adapted – to s how how „mutual information‟ develops between biological nodes in an ecosystem. In a sentence, we seek to make the entire ecosystem EarthPark.11 Who is to tend this park? We have appointed ourselves the groundskeepers, game wardens, gardeners, overseers. Does this sound grandiose? Yes. But looking around you, can you deny that this is what we are about, whether we say so or not? We Will Be Led to Think In Terms Of a Maximum Output Function for Earthlife The balance of nature has no interest in our ambitions. In all its various parts, each part of „nature‟ can be counted on simply to go about its own business. „Nature‟ cannot, of itself, seek to cope with us, to cooperate willingly with us, to complement us, or, perhaps in its own best interests, to shed our meddlesome selves. Since it is every microbe for itself, we might be inclined to see much of what „nature‟ does as countervailing our efforts. Look for example at the evolution of microbes‟ resistance to antibiotics. Look at the „weeds‟ which encroach upon our cropland. Look at the „parasites‟ which infest our domestic animals. So upon us falls the self-assigned burden to account not only for ourselves, but for the remainder of nature as well. That larger ecosystem which I suggest can come into being is likely to be realized only if we midwife it12. 11 If and to the extent we are successful in this undertaking, one will be able to make an exact analogy to Collier‟s observation in the relationships – the mutual information relationships – between the societal codes we use in human organization and the ordered relationships of Earthpark. 12 . And we are likely to find, I suggest, that often brute human force may not work as well as seeking to guide and entice nature into comple mentary patterns. This leads to the next substantial conclusion I want to urge upon you. The logic of the situation I am outlining leads to a surprising conclusion. I suggest, that over time, if we keep the LMMG act together and evolving, we will be impelled toward creating a sort of global maximization function for Earthlife. On its face, this goes counter to the thesis put to the public persuasively by Richard Dawkins, to the effect that life has no „utility function‟. Dawkins in effect argues that nature has no single over-all maximum output goal or tendency. I am inclined to concede substantial substance to Dawkins‟ view – in that each bit of life is solely oriented to reproduction of itself -- though I suggest major qualifications. 13 But to the extent I agree, it is only up to the point of human intervention. When LMMG gets involved in trying to plan Earthpark, things may change. Let me try to give a sketch of some basic political dynamics, using current institutions in more-developed venues. Local planning bodies – say municipal and county, or regional – have decisions to make about quantities of parkland, allowable vegetation, allowable „wildlife‟, population density, air purity, water purity, etc. They must, explicitly or implicitly, try to integrate these decisions into over-all well being – we might call it quality of life – for the local citizenry. On top of these bodies are broader organizational units – larger regions, states, watersheds – up to nations and international levels. At each of these more or less hierarchical levels of organization, the preferences of the constituent units must be integrated and accommodated. 13 As to the qualifications, as I have noted before, it does appear that life has a tendency to create aggregations. And the higgle-jiggle of competing and complementary life forms may have patterns which tend to yield stable struct ures, as Ulanowicz and othe r theoretical ecologists have suggested. I will discuss that later. At the global level, we have relatively little use of legally authorized force, at this point. The instruments of coordination may be less rigorously defined. The United Nations is a rather weird lash-up, as „government‟ bodies go. So global integration of preferences may be a rather messier affair than at lower levels – though it can get pretty messy at all levels. But we do attempt to deal with global warming, fishing, biodiversity, parklands, movements of species, and a wide variety of other topics in an international framework. We have a substantial number of international bodies dealing with a large range of subject matters of consequence to the various elements of the global population. Thus, we can see even today a basic logic pushing for harmonization of preferences from locality to globe. That logic will be working against an extensive range of decisionmaking procedures and metrics of merit in the world. In Thomas P. M. Barnett‟s phrase, one could say that there is considerable diversity in „rule sets‟ in this world. But there is pressure to reconcile them. In sum, if and as we continue to have a globally integrated ecumene, or interlinked global community, we will have continuous pressure to integrate, or reconcile, our various preferences, our various decision rules, and our various measures of merit. Let us suppose that you concede this point. Still, one can argue that this tendency will not take us all the way to a global, cleanly conceived and cleanly executed „utility function‟, or production function, for Earthlife. One might argue this on various grounds. Some can be put in everyday language. For example, absent an attack from Mars, or other threat to the globe, in terms which humans can see and feel as „clear and present danger‟, the Earth may simply never get very well organized. There are so many parochialisms of so many kinds. There are so many tendencies to parasitism in human organization. We may forever be like warring ant heaps or Indian tribes, writ large. Maybe Huntington‟s Clash of Civilizations will go on forever. The things that push us together may never push us into a full global conciliation of all our disparate tendencies, in a way leading to global maximization of life potentials. One can imagine more abstract problems. We may have big problems figuring out what and how to maximize. There is a considerable body of scholarship on complex systems, including „complex adaptive systems‟. The involved researchers struggle with achieving predictability in observing and functioning in systems which embody many, intricate, varying interactions. The researchers to whom I tend to give some credence tend not to assure you that they can reliably predict how the complex human society, and the complex Earth ecosystem, will behave over generations or millennia of time. True, we have some considerable baseline history.14 But detailed bets on the future are hard to make. Nor will the more responsible researchers assure you that they know how reliably to control the LMMG system and the Earth‟s ecosystem. If that is not tough enough, mathematical reasoning constructed by David Wolpert and William Macready, in their „no free lunch‟ 14 There are some observable regularities in the way ecosystems have been built on this Earth, and I have tried to point to some of the m. And the re are, I suggest, some regularities in the way s uccessful human social systems have been built, or evolved, though there may be more controversy about this proposition, and the languages used to describe human organizations are less organized and less clean cut than the languages of „science‟ used in describing ecosystem structures. thesis,15 might be construed as arguing that when we seek to find objective functions to maximize some measurable result, we cannot devise search systems to find those functions which will be better than chance, over all conditions which might be encountered. In other words, one might argue that we may not be able to find a system to guide us to maximum results, if we could define maximum results, better than blindly throwing darts. All this said, the logic of our ambitions seems likely to lead us to try to define a global maximization function for earthlife, if we can keep a global, interconnected civilization on the playing field. How Do We Get From Here To A More Grand Earthpark? Just about everyone who looks at evolution, following the Darwin paradigm, concedes that life got to its current dimensions without the benefit – or liabilities – of central planning.16 But, as I suggest above, we are going to have to use our unique group construction and look-ahead abilities if we wish to create and sustain a larger ecosystem with progressively (at least for a while) greater scope for human undertakings. As I have suggested, this means we are going to have to try to compose preferences, and set directions, at levels ranging from the village to the globe, integrating those preferences and directions across the range of levels.17 15 Wolpert, D.H., and Macready, W.G., "No Free Lunch Theorems for Search", IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 1, 1997. 16 I know that the „creationists‟ and „intelligent design‟ folk are abroad in the U.S.. I expect, or at least hope, that this expression of human vanity, or humanity‟s desperate search for a security blanket, or both, will eventually subside. 17 This proposition implies that I think the „invisible hand‟ of free ma rket thinking is not solely a sufficient guide. In a book dealing with my personal experience in industrial organization, I have advocated greater use of markets as opposed to commission-like detailed supervision of price and service offers. But markets are the mselves social constructs designed to foster mutualistic transactions, as I will set out in a late r section. To make market systems work to incorporate the „balance of At this point, there is considerable disarray at the nation-state level. But the most visible and comprehensive challenge is the international level. It is easy to see some current Big Issues at this level – e.g. global warming, the overfishing of the oceans, and control of weapons of mass destruction. At this point, in this Chapter, I would like to deal with a few concepts which could be seen to operate at all organizational levels. One can imagine a few contributions of homo sap. One is management. (Note that I say management, rather than better management, since there has been no management of Earth.) Another is devising new life technologies, using, for example, genetic manipulation, and cyborg life processes. Another is adding to the total resource available to life. Like adding energy flows. A fourth, more conjectural, is preventing major wipeouts, such as, for example, wipeouts from space rocks.18 A fifth is the possibility of exporting life off the Earth. I will take up some of these challenges in later sections. So we can see at least the conceptual possibility that LMMG could expand the scope of earthlife, in one or more of the five ways I have here suggested, and particularly by adding to life‟s energy budget. 19 life‟ in mutualistic transactions, we would need to do some fairly crafty reconstruction of and broadening of the market mechanis m. I do not argue against this. I simply note that it is a socially determined strategy. At present, both markets and hierarchies coexist in human society. The use of the market mechanism is not likely, I theorize, to do away with the need to have an hie rarchy of levels of human organization, and to integrate „ecosphere‟ inte ractions at all levels. 18 I call this conjectural because life seems to have bounced back pretty completely from previous major asteroid impacts. Some Types of Ecomanagement issues OK, let‟s put you, at least momentarily, in the role of Chief Ecomanagement Czar for your neighborhood, your nation, or the United Nations. Take your pick of organizational level, to suit your ego. You have a lot of stuff at your disposal, whether fortunately or unfortunately. There is a network of data gathering on plants, animals and microbes, from a variety of organizations in governments, international institutions, specialized think tanks, and academe. This network seems to be growing steadily, at the moment. To make some sense of these data, you have an ecomodeling section, with a resident mathematical dweeb. There are advocacy groups out there, of a variety of types. There are neighborhood watches, and nation watches, and satellite eyes in the sky, and so forth. The Press is writing about one issue or another incessantly. All this is in some ways very healthy. If you had wanted a quiet life you should have chosen another occupation. What are some of the persistent or frequent types of issue you have on your desk Monday morning? We have a wide variety of ways of characterizing the issues. Let me, as your special assistant, set up a few for you in the Monday morning briefing memo. 19 Some may see an inconsistency between trying to avoid disasters and adding energy to the system. But brakes are not inconsistent with engines, in cars, trains, planes, etc. We love powe r. But we have to have it controlled. In traditional terms, we pervasively try to „channel‟ nature, in shaping Vitousek‟s funnel. Life feeds off energy, but it does so by entraining it in patterned, constrained systems . One persistent issue, or goal, is stability. We are much concerned these days that we don‟t collapse life‟s jerry rigging. We don‟t want to lose the honeybees and find that the plants can‟t otherwise pollinate themselves efficiently. If the flowering plants can‟t reproduce, we‟ve got a real problem. We don‟t want to warm up the earth so much that Greenland melt water messes up the Gulf Stream, with the result that Europe – and Canada – plunge into a new ice age. Bad for international trade, and we get a lot of previously highly paid and newly needy refugees. (Though the ever-poor South might take a little quiet pleasure about earth turning the tables on those overweening Northerners.) We don‟t want to kill off so many mussels in the bay that the water doesn‟t get cleaned and turns all yucky on us. There are so many threat warnings on the desk – those memos with the yellow and red stickers on them. It seems some fear that if we mess with the Infinitesimal Insect Gut Mite the whole damned ecorig will collapse by next week, or the week after. It seems the professional ecoprotectors just don‟t want to let us endanger Anything, for fear that if we do we will lose Everything. The more you look at those stacks of yellow and red flagged memos, the more it looks like it all adds up to a big yearning for homeostasis. We don‟t want the ocean to rise, or we will lose coastal dwellings and developments, not to mention entire islands. We don‟t want the temperature to rise too much, because that might set off droughts, and storms, and God knows what. We‟d rather not have any more of those horrendous Ice Ages, either. What‟s wrong with that yearning? Don‟t the termites keep the temperature pretty constant in their mounds? Same for bees in beehives. Why do we have thermostats in our houses? So we are likely to have a constant, strong impulse toward having Earthpark be a stable place. On its own, before you took over, Earth, in the long view, has not been all that stable. We have had ice ages, and periods of higher temperatures, and horrendous extinction periods. Species have constantly come and gone. Even the continents are engaged in a slow motion dance. Volcanoes periodically blow their tops – sometimes affecting climate for years. Tsunamis ripple our oceans regularly. We are, after all, just tiny mites riding on this huge ball in infinite space. How much can we ask of ourselves? Notwithstanding our mitehood, I suggest, we may constantly be impelled to try to maintain as much stability as we can, and to try to have good coping mechanisms for occasions when we can‟t keep things stable. Aside from workable stability, there is the constant issue of how we divide up the goods. Who gets how much of the water in the watershed? A particularly acute issue when we build a dam or divert a river. Who gets ocean fishing rights, and how? We are continually jockeying around such issues today. How do the producers of ecogoods – like for example oxygen from tropical rain forests20 – get paid for those ecogoods? Do we try to raise a global budget, using a global sales tax, to pay Brazil to stop developing its rain forest areas? How do we have „wildlands‟ pay their way, in Jantzen‟s phrase? User fees? Taxes? Private foundations? These, too, are very real issues today, not merely speculations for the future. Let us now come to the efficiency issue. If we are trying to construct an Earthpark, we will be measuring the yield to us, the managers. What are we going to do with the animal producers of nutrients for us, when we can get more calories from plants, or even microorganisms? How many and what sort of animal products do we want, on the land and in the Ocean? Are we going to keep our erstwhile competitors as harvesters -- like the whales and the bears -- as pets? Will we use them as ecosystem stabilizers? 20 My example supposes that we need the Amazon rain forest for oxygen. This is vivid – that is the reason I use it as an example – and might be so, but is not necessarily so. Indeed, I have found it interesting that though many fear that mankind is adversely affecting the scope of life on earth, I have not been able to find any indication that the oxygen percentage of the atmosphe re has changed in recent years. If that pe rcentage does change, we have something major on our hands. Those pesky parasites. Would we mount a global campaign on parasites? We now try to keep down weevils, mites, rodents and plant blights. How much more thorough are we going to get? What would happen if we tried to mount a global campaign against parasitism, and thus do away with one of the great themes in life development? We will be measuring efficiency, and this will lead to pressure to define the output we are trying to maximize, as I have argued above. Some Current Concepts For Ecomanagement There are some generalized thoughts on how we should approach ecosystem management. These approaches can be considered at any of several levels – wherever you happen to function. These concepts come into play when we want to do things like build a new dam, or decide how to release water from existing dams, or genetically modify crops, or put roads into or eliminate roads from parklands, or plant new species in new settings, like introducing pest species to control pest species. We make such judgments all the time. Let‟s spend a little time on some approaches to making decisions which affect the ecosystem. Some students of the ecosphere urge upon us the Precautionary Principle (or PP). The rough idea is that if we don‟t understand the possible effects of our expansionist push, in a given ecosystem, err on the side of caution until we do. We have ignored this principle repeatedly in the past. But we have been trying to take more account of it in recent decades. Consider the widespread efforts to catalogue, characterize, and preserve plant and animal types at the metazoan level. We have become more conscious that we inherit a treasure chest of biological invention. In support of the precautionary principle, one can observe that if we wish to make the most of „nature‟s‟ potentials, for humankind and hopefully for future more ample lifesystems, we need to be neither ignorant nor wasteful of our legacy system‟s contents.21 Can there be any question that we need to understand much better Mother Earth‟s rhythms, her cycles, her huge system of mutual dependencies, of correlated states, if and as we go about changing, transmuting, building upon those correlations? But the Precautionary Principle, alone, seems to me to be too constricting. If it is tightly applied to the point of inducing paralysis, it would allow little scope for the potentials of humankind. I have an affinity with a broader and more flexible approach. Ludwig, Wilborn and Watson offer a synopsis of an „adaptive management‟ approach, as follows …consider a variety of plausible hypotheses about the world; consider a variety of possible strategies; favor actions that are robust as to uncertainties; hedge; favor actions that are informative; probe and experiment; monitor results; update assessments and modify policy accordingly; and favor actions that are reversible”22 Perceptive authors of the UN Biodiversity Assessment also offer the following advice – 21 However, I cannot forego commenting that simply classifying and preserving does not take account of life‟s dynamic. The Great Engine of Life, described in an earlier chapter -- the biological reproduction system with its inbuilt library of routines – is, I suggest, the fundame ntal life resource. The way forward cannot be found by trying to carry with us all the life assemblies of the past. This has never been the way of life. If we seek to find more fruitful and ample scope for life, to play a role in creating greater realms of life, we will need to think in terms of opening doors and of elaborating structures. And we will need to be acutely aware that we are, we are part of, and we work with an opportunistic medium, which is always probing, shifting, trans muting itself. 22 Ludwig, D, Wilborn, R, and Walte rs, C., 1993, “Uncertainty, Resource Exploitation, and Conservation; Lessons from History”, 3 Ecological Development 547-549. I would have to note, however, that the branching pathway vie w of life development indicates that the „reversibility‟ preference would face significant limitations. “…successful human adaptation to global change may depend on ecosystem management for the values of variability and resiliency, rather than predictability, as has been the trend in the past”.(p. 802) And, “Efforts to stabilize and ecosystem or preserve individual plant or animal species may be counterproductive, since ecosystem processes are the most critical value in conservation”(p. 802) Chapter 7 of E. O. Wilson‟s most recent book, “The Future of Life” proposes some interesting challenges, but I prefer the more nuanced adaptive strategy perspectives noted above.23 To track global thinking on strategies for looking after other earthlife while human activity continues and probably expands, you might want periodically to look in on at the United Nation‟s UNEP programs. You will be able to see that the „adaptive strategies‟ approach embodies a form of search strategy consistent with our uncertainty about our possible futures and how to reach any we might prefer. Now let us step up a conceptual level. What if, notwithstanding the „no free lunch‟ thesis, ecosystems do show forms of ordering which can be systematically characterized? What if there are regularities in the life process which can be defined, and if then defined offer some mapping for our searches? What if such regularities can be identified in terms tracking the fundamentals of the 23 To give you a little preview, Wilson suggests that we salvage the world‟s hot spots (regions of very high biological diversity), keep intact the world‟s five major frontier forests, cease all logging of old growth forests, concentrate on protecting the biological carrying capacity of the world‟s lakes and river systems, complete the mapping of the world‟s biodive rsity, create a world conservation strategy, make conservation profitable, use biodiversity to benefit the world economy, initiate restoration projects, increase the capacity of the word‟s zoos and botanical gardens for breeding, and support population planning. ordering processes of the Universe? Should we not consult these regularities, and use tools which help orient us in our trek into the future? I advance for consideration as a candidate for modeling ecosystems and the effects of what we do in them, at scales from local to global, concepts which have been developed by Robert Ulanowicz, a theoretical ecologist at the University of Maryland. 24 Ulanowicz has given us a scheme for tracing out and quantifying the development of reduced variance, or correlated, interactions in „ecosystems‟ – systems containing many elements (living elements) but not yet of a coherence entailed in reproduction as a whole. In doing so, Ulanowicz has demonstrated that „indirect mutualisms‟ lead to increases in order in the system as a whole. (By indirect mutualisms he means mutually reinforcing interactions, or interactions which both mark a reduction in variance and a tendency to maintain the participation of units in the system.) Speaking in terms of the legacy ecosystem, that increase in organization over the eons created the conditions in which we exist. Let‟s briefly follow Ulanowicz through his investigations, or at least some of the highlights. The path will give us access to many fascinating insights into the „environment‟ --the ecosystems in which we participate. And it will, I suggest, offer some clues about where co- evolving mutualism with the legacy system might take us. Bob Ulanowicz has a propensity for tracing flows of materials and energy in ecosystems. He, like many other investigators, will identify the organisms in an ecosystem, like a bay or estuary, or land based plant and animal community, and map out the materials and energy flows among those organisms. 24 Many of the mainstream students of evolution do not seem to speak much of the Ulanowicz construct. They seem to concentrate more on the straight line development of Darwin‟s concepts. This is understandable, but I s uggest Ulanowicz offers something of value coming from a different angle. In doing this, one becomes aware that the materials and energy flows are not entirely random. You may remember references to food chains and food webs, for example. Ulanowicz was struck by the work of E.P. Odum and others. Odum, without the mathematical tools which Ulanowicz brought to the game, showed that ecosystems tended to evolve in ways which entailed greater degrees of order, or structure. This is a powerful observation. What did Odum mean by it, in concrete terms? For some very general observations, as ecosystems „matured‟ There was an increase in amount of biomass (living matter) per unit of energy cycled through: total organic matter tended to increase: the possible niches available for life tended to get filled up, and this divided up space, time and function more finely, and thus: species diversity and biochemical diversity tended to increase: mutually beneficial relationships between elements in the ecosystem tended to be developed: nutrients tended to be kept in the system to a greater extent, and recycled: and the systems tended to be more resilient to perturbation. Are these not some very interesting pointers as to where we might like an energy augmented, human-hyped, cyberecosystem to go, over time, if we were successful in fostering it? Ulanowicz looked around for a mathematical way of expressing such developments, and assessing the degree of organization of an ecosystem at any given point. His happy choice was an equation form extensively used in information theory, following the lead of Claude Shannon, and derived from work on „statistical mechanics‟ done by Ludwig Boltzmann, whom we have discussed before. Roughly, the formula, as applied by Ulanowicz, says, in words, that if you have a system that can have many states, and you want to determine the degree of organization in it – the amount by which it departs from sheer randomness – you multiply the probability of each state extant by the logarithm of the probability of that state, and sum over all the states. 25 This much is pure Boltzmann and Shannon. Ulanowicz then added to this the operation of multiplying the measure you get in this way by the total throughput of the system, to give you a scale, or size, of the organization. 26 So now we have an interesting tool. We can speak in terms of the total development of the ecosystem, or indeed any dynamic multi- component system, in clear quantitative terms, expressed as degrees of order and the volume of ordered activity. And Bob Ulanowicz points out that the degree of organization in the system is directly proportional to the amount of „indirect mutualism‟ in the system.27 Are we getting a clue here? 25 formula 26 Why use the logarithmic operation? As many have pointed out for some time, when you are dealing with large numbe rs of combinations of factors, taking the logarithms provides a nice, simple, manageable linear expression related to the combinatorial possibilities. You will recall the log normal curves we talked about in the chapter on the fundamental characteristics of order. Why use the probability measures? Because they provide a succinct statement of the extent to which there is variation in the frequency with which possible or conceivable states actually obtain – for example, a low probability for each state corresponds to a lot of states, and thus presumably to the degree of randomness in their realization. 27 If we were dealing with an equation which expressed degrees of correlation between definable elements in a collection of elements which we called a system, without reference to any process which produced those correlations, we would think Why am I trying to bring Ulanowicz‟s work to the fore, given that there is a great deal of research into ecosystems to which I am not giving equal time? Why do I suggest further pursuit of its possibilities as a means of shedding light on our human organizational systems and our interactions with the lifeweb? Here‟s why. This system is based on concepts related directly to the fundamentals of correlation, or order. It brings to understanding relationships in life structures some of the most powerful mathematical forms of expressing correlation, and thus the fundamentals of organization of matter, that humans have developed to date. The system directly and clearly points up the fundamental importance of mutually reinforcing interactions in ecosystems. It thus gives us fundamental clues about how to have our individual and collective activities factor into sustainable and expandable life systems larger than ourselves -- as all life systems must be. Ulanowicz and collaborators have made the mathematical tools into working instruments usable in real ecosystems. For example, they have applied them to systems like the Chesapeake Bay and the Baltic Sea. In doing so, they have come up with some fascinating insights as to how ecosystems are built. So we are looking at a practical tool. The power of the mathematical analysis allows its use to describe, and potentially to work with, systems which me rely in terms of statistical incidences. If we address ecosystems made up of „autonomous agents‟, in Kauffman‟s phrase, which taken in each other‟s laundry, so to speak – one using the excretions of another or riding on the back of or cleaning the teeth of the other, etc – then we can see how „animate‟ elements can build correlated relationships, orde r, into an ecosystem, as Ulanowicz projects (but these examples are only a very s mall part of what he pictures in statistical form). If we imagine either „inanimate‟ or animate elements, or both, interacting so as to catalyze each othe r and produce a reproducing unit comprising the set, then we have a life unit, as described before. embody artifacts as well as cellular, carbon based life forms. Thus, we should be able to use these techniques to work with the „cyberecologies‟ which we imagine constructing in the future. 28 For one limited but significant example, we can consider the use of Ulanowicz‟s ideas to describe and work with human economic systems.29 Let‟s look for just a moment at what we might get out of the information theory/organization theory approaches which Ulanowicz and collaborators have employed. In working with ecosystems, Ulanowicz and collaborators have investigated quantitatively a number of interesting features of complex ecological systems. Following are some of the topics, and a very brief note as to why we might be interested in using such tools. The effects of scarcities on system organization and throughput. (As to human systems, what happens when oil and coal become scarce? As to ecosystems, what happens if we choke down nutrients?) On the other hand, the effects of increasing elements used in a system beyond current capacity to use them, in a way which leads to system degradation (In ecosystems, this is called eutrophication. Can we get eutrophication in human systems?) 28 I here talk about „living things‟, but re member that Kauffman‟s modeling started with „inanimate‟ molecules, and if we build „cyberecologies‟, (and beyond that cybe rentities), we will include in the mutually reinforcing elements artifacts which will then participate in the feedback loops. 29 Igor Matutinovic has pioneered this direction, to some extent, and has come up with some interesting connectivity patterns in inte rnational economic systems in “The Aspects and the Role of Diversity in Socioeconomic Systems: An Evolutionary Perspective”, 39 Ecological Economics 239-256 (2001).. I am hopeful that Matutinovic will continue his explorations, others will critique the m, and other economists of various backgrounds and orientations will join the game. Very generally, the effects of perturbations. (E.g. as to both ecosystems and human systems, droughts, tsunami, major temperature changes, major system dynamics breakdowns) The characteristics of mature, or fully developed, systems, including the degree of mutualistic interactions in a system, as I noted above (Wouldn‟t it be nice to know be able to measure well, in terms of fundamental organization criteria, development status in both economic and ecosystems?) The degree of randomness necessary for system function30 The quantities of system output which can be extracted from the system by any given element (Aren‟t we frequently, and necessarily, concerned about overfishing, overcropping, and otherwise overburdening the ecological system?) and more. If we are looking ahead to how we may be affecting an ecosystem – and more generally building an Earthpark – these are things we want to know – „scientifically‟, like an engineer knows, if possible. Some Illustrative Projections of Co-Evolving Mutualism I have argued that whatever the shape of our ecosystem endeavors, we will have to aim for a mutualistic relationship between LMMG and other earthlife. 30 Matutinovic, for example, argues for some redundancies in the global economic system, and sounds cautionary notes about it possibly becoming too brittle to cope well with major energy source changes Can this long string of arguments be brought down to anything nice and concrete – anything we can look at and say that is mutualism at work? Let‟s take just a few gross and highly simplified examples, just to stimulate thought. Let‟s start with the mega-engineering type of theme. Suppose the peoples living near the arid areas of Africa and the Middle East, but near the surrounding bodies of water, were to use solar energy to desalinate sea water and start nibbling away at the deserts, increasing carbon based, cellular life in these areas. Suppose North Americans used solar and nuclear energy, and treaties (mutually beneficial agreements, remember) between US citizens and Canadians, to bring large amounts of freshwater from Canada into the arid areas of the American West? Take a step further. Imagine all the river systems of Earth as extensively managed: a freshwater circulation system with surface life wringing the maximum from it. What if the deserts of earth were massive energy generation machines, with the energy piped, in electrical or hydrocarbon or hydrogen form, throughout the life mass of the continents? What if we were able to stop devastating the ocean ecostructure, learn more thoroughly how that vast ocean system supports life, and try to maximize the ocean yield of life rather than simply rape the seas? What if we were able to make greenhouses on the Moon? Seems difficult to imagine, now. But lots of sunlight up there. Or what if we had underground greenhouses on the moon powered by above ground solar cells? Moving to the genetic engineering sort of thing, what if we managed to tweak photosynthesis so as to increase the efficiency of that fundamental energy generation process? What if we were able over time to have plants grow with salt water irrigation? What if we could feed salt water to desert plants (like cacti) which store water inside, thus making biological desalinization machines? What if we were able to tailor bacteria and plants to produce plastics, drugs, better building materials, and other things of use to us, as we do so adding rather than subtracting from biomass? We are already doing this to some degree. These are bold, cartoon like pictures. But human beings, other lifeforms, and the ever-probing life process are constantly engaged at all scales. I expect they will create many smaller, more subtle, more intricate patterns of mutual advantage. Indeed, for the mutualism picture to work, they must. My imagination is too limited and my attention span too short to make a catalogue here of visions for the future. I am confident that present and future generations can muster massive amounts of ingenious visions. Conclusion I am perhaps an ambitious dreamer, but not an wholly naïve one. I have recognized how little we know and how complex is the ecosystem. I have noted that Bob Ulanowicz, whom I have recommended so highly, is keenly aware that he cannot guarantee that any given ecosystem will maximize any given function we might assign for it. Ulanowicz has far too much sense to be dragooned into attempting to create a manual for constructing Earthpark today. He offers tools for inquiry, not off the shelf ecosystem solutions. And I have presented a major conceptual problem -- the Wolpert and Macready „no free lunch‟ challenge – the disturbing question whether we can define strategies to guide life which are better than random stabs in the dark. I recognize that we are apt to look with a jaundiced eye at many of the grand visions I have offered in this Chapter, given the failure of many visions in the past, and given life‟s complexity. Still and all, in advancing the suggestion that the universe is a correlation machine, and offering the information theory based means of probing and anticipating ecosystem development, I am in effect suggesting that the universe has a bias in the topologies it offers to be searched. I am also suggesting that the universe has invented a machine for searching those topologies – life. And that life-machine is now trying to create a formalized search and construction system which will be more economical of materials and find more direct routes to order construction – at least local order construction -- than the sprawling evolutionary system unrefined. 31 31 I find it interesting to compare Ulanowicz‟s approach to ecosystem construction to Kauffman‟s. Kauffman imagines a constantly shifting „fitness‟ landscape, where each „autonomous agent‟ adjusts its formula (one may think in terms of genes), or adjusts expressions of its formula, so as to maximize its chances, its own fitness elevation, in the context of the relationships created by the existence and actions of others. His mathe matical work suggests fitness landscapes with a s ubstantial amount of correlation in them. They are not just random jumbles, or even sets composed exclusively o of jagged heights and fissures. He seems to propose that life has escaped the „no free lunch‟ problem by devising search mechanis ms which both investigate and create orde red – correlated – relationships. Ulanowicz observes ordered collections of life units, and uses information theoretic tools to measure the degree of order in the system as a whole created by the interactions of the interacting life units. Perhaps the comparison might be that Kauffman talks about life in the trenches, Ulanowicz the over all field of battle. Ulanowicz seems to propse that combinatorial processes permit and create available levels and types of organization – predation, symbiosis, competition or exclusion relationships and relatedly niche creation, etc. He also seems to suggest that these combinatorial potentials in effect marshall the gene sets which organize the activities of the interacting units. (Think about the many instances of „parallel evolution‟, like the multiple creation of sabre toothed tigers and of social insects.) These two wise men are seeing the elephant from different angles, it seems to me, and the observations of each can be related to the other. I find the Ulanowicz pe rspective more helpful and hopeful in addressing the question whether life faces proble m sets which are a subset of the hypothetical full set of all proble ms, and can devise search, or construction, strategies better than random. So let us grope our way toward Forward, and try to keep our wits about us as we go. It may seem that I am ambivalent or janus-faced about going Forward. On the one hand, I have suggested at the outset of this chapter that we can take a sort of comfort from the view that the Earth will probably outlast our errors. Life has survived most of its surface area going to ice, we now believe, and a number of mass extinctions in the multicellular era. Can we insult life more than the Universe already has, and will again? I doubt it. So one might think that I would counsel just plunging ahead full speed. On the other hand, we could and probably will make major errors. We can easily mess up much of life. I do suggest that if we simply rape the Earth, and reduce the scope and fecundity of our legacy life system, we are likely to do great damage to ourselves and to our prospects.32 In urging that we should achieve co-evolving mutualism with our legacy ecosystem, I in effect suggest that if we do not do so, we are apt to suffer more lasting damage to ourselves than to the ecosystem. I fear not so much for earthlife as I fear for our own driven but vulnerable selves. If we squander our inheritance, we will be the losers. Life will go on until the Universe which created it demolishes it.33 But we may find our high density, high energy hives to be only a rapidly passing chimera, an hubristic bubble quickly popped. Also, if we do not protect both our inheritance and our place in it from the random insults of the Universe, we may soon or late get scraped off Earth‟s face in a cosmic accident. 32 Arguably if we add as much or more in artifact as we subtract in biology, the earthsystem and we may come out ahead. I do not know if we can pull that off. I warn of squandering rather than building on our inheritance. 33 There is a way we could do more for life than it could do without us. We might to extend life‟s scope. Whether we can protect it from a runaway Sun is yet to be seen. So, I urge, if we want to survive long and prosperously, we must honor life in all we do, and find ways to serve and enhance it instead of merely parasitizing it. And that may not be easy. In the Abrahamic folklore, we were banned from Eden, and told to make our way by the sweat of our brow. Now we seek to reconstruct Eden, to our own liking. That is going to take a lot more sweat.
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