The Fox and the Hedgehog**
By Herb Wiggins, M.D.; Clinical Neurosciences; Discoverer/Creator of the Comparison Process/COMP Theory/Model; 14 Mar. 2014.
“User Ma’at Ra” ( Power is the truth of Ra. ) –King name of Ramesses 2, The Great. 1300- 1210 BC, Khemet (The Black Land, Egypt/Misr)
” Knowledge can be power.” –John Locke
” Least energy rules……”
** “The fox and the hedgehog” from “Preface to the Grammar of Biology” –Erwin Chargaff, PhD,, biochemist, “Science”, 14 May 1971.
The “Grammar of Biology” is an astonishingly wise & insightful article by Erwin Chargaff, the great biochemist. He discovered Chargaff’s rules, one of which was that in DNA the base pairs, cytosine amounts exactly matched the guanosine, and the adenine the same as the thymine. He wrote about the fox and the hedgehog. “The Fox knows a lot of things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”. From the poet, Archilos of Paros.
There is further importance and practical value to the LEP(least energy principle) in terms of living systems, our societies and economies. For a very long time evolution has been thought of as being driven by population pressures of Malthus and the competitive “survival of the fittest” dicta. But what, specifically, are those? Some point out that being fit and in good health helps survival. But what exactly are the basic specifics of those? They state competition but with few instances, and indeed the whole of social Darwinism, which sounded good, but never worked out, fell into disrepute for this dearth of clearly definable, measurable specifics. & so it has remained, largely, since 1859 when evolution was first introduced.
Using the LEP, however, can greatly improve our understanding of what’s going on in the most basic processes of evolution. And like most comparison processes results in significant increases in understanding of the details and specifies, which this method can give us, Plus the practical consequences & outcomes of this kind of new model of what drives evolution. First of all, there are metabolic, structural, and genetic processes in life. There are the citric acid cycles, the glycolytic cycle of energy production and the highly oxidative processes going on in those symbionts of bacterial life within us, the mitochondria. In EACH of these cases, the specific instances of metabolic cycles can be explored in terms of their thermodynamic efficiencies. By comparing these among the living systems, we can determine which are more efficient and which are more likely to yield what is, as Einstein said, the most powerful of all forces in the universe, compound interest.
Recently, it has been found that some blue green algae’s chloroplasts can create 20% more starches than chloroplasts in our usual domesticated plants can. By this comparison, thus LEP, we know that here is a process which can be improved, and thus every 3+ years, double output. And if those chloroplasts are transplanted successfully and will integrate neatly within the metabolic specifics of our domesticated, food bearing plants, then food production can be effective increased by an extra 100% of production in most cases in just over 3 years.
This shows the power & wisdom of Dr. Einstein’s compound interest and the REAL driving force behind evolution. It’s not “competition” nor “survival of the fittest” so much as the more highly specific and useful LEP. For each metabolic cycle, each biochemical process in the cells, as has been shown, there are unlimited ways of improving those. & each time an improvement is made and significant advantages given, the species become more stable and more complete. So thus when we create ever more efficient systems, which do a very great deal with the least possible energy, we create metabolic fitness and durability which cannot be effectively nor easily undone. Look to the stability of the proton, for example. THAT is our goal to achieve.
Behaviors of food gathering and growing crops, social interactions and reproduction, physically fit and efficient body structures, as well as training of the next generation efficiently and well, to create a self-sustaining growing system, are some of the logical ideals at this point in our understanding. A society which cannot or will not transmit its wisdom of surviving to the next generation, cannot or will not train more than adequately in the technologies, the doctors, the computer and technical experts in the fields of design and construction, electronics, power systems, water and transportation systems, and so forth, will not survive. If a society destroys its intelligentsia, it’s very quickly doomed. If it HAS no intelligentsia, it cannot survive, but is likely to be absorbed by outsiders.
If it is not moral, and ethics can be very easily seen to be a series of clear, survival strategies, then it will die or be conquered. And all of these elements must be carefully integrated to create the highest possible efficiency, guided by the LEP and thus be the most stable. Those species can survive better, being the most capable of resisting those forces locally and in our planet and off, which can destroy us. Or further weaken us to the point where we can be destroyed by a 1-2 punch, or 1 thru 3 punches as have probably happened during mass extinctions in the past. Thus we must get off planet to survive and spread ourselves widely around this universe in living communities of high efficiency, in all the details. The LEP of the universe is ubiquitous. This should be our best blueprint and goal and course of action. LEP cannot long be ignored. We must implement and find specifically ways of both biological enhancements of our metabolic efficiencies, all carefully integrated into our DNA genomes. & we must find the best morality/ethics which produces the most efficient and thus stablest and survivable societies for progressing out of our ignorance and incompleteness of understanding.
Why does the human brain work so well and how did it comes about? That’s very clear using the comparison process, the Least Energy Principle(LEP). Because thinking and manipulating logically, mathematically and using complex systems gives a HUGE advantage in controlling the environment around us. We can build better shelters, do agriculture and thus build up more food and storage of foods so we are less bound by fluctuating climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, pests of food plants & animals, and so forth. The human brain in its current form evolved because it created ideas which could be put into play to model and thus control more of what went on around us. This larger advantage gave greater reproduction and growth to those groups who used those methods, their populations rose and they took over from the less intelligent and not so well organized societies, who weren’t able to use such methods.
It was both biological and social, cultural developments interacting which created the evolutionary advantages of compound interest, PLUS those societies, which most notably were able to create stable, growing agricultural systems, leading to large population growth and the cities. The increased food production compound interest outputs, gave rise to population growth. THAT is why the human brain’s physiological advantages of modern man came about. And combined with social advances made the most of those internal biological evolutionary changes, which kept feeding back to create new technologies, and then created more internal biological, genetic advantages, growing exponentially. This took over and dominated ecological niches of other creatures, as well, resulting in more land for humans to expand upon. Sadly, a serious side of effect of this has been environmental degradations and species’ massive destruction, again which will act in the long run to cut growth. Understanding these facts carefully by using the LEP will show us ways to get round these problems and bring our populations into balance with our ecologies & technologies. Otherwise, it’s likely to collapse, and not later, but sooner.
Thus it’s behavioral & structural efficiencies driven by the LEP which must guide us, as they have guided the survival of most all other species on earth to long lives, longevity of survival over the eons. Evolution is driven in most all aspects by LEP and that’s how to better understand evolution, cultural development, and behaviors and emotional systems, etc. It’s how our brains came about, because they can handle real existing events as models in brain, which are far, far easier to think about, than to manipulate events outside out brains, every single time. Thinking about doing something, becomes DOING something over time, as the models get more and more efficient. But we must NEVER forget that mind is the merest shadow of events in existence, from which it’s derived. The idea/word NEVER is superior to the force, logic and power of events in existence, against which it must most always be measured, described, and above all, compared.
The immense stability of some species is explained by the LEP. Their longevity and stabilities of a genome, and why species live so long must now be addressed. Limulus (the horseshoe crab, 450 mega years), stromatolites(algal clumps of sand/calcium, 3-3.5 gigayears), Lingula, a mollusc (480 megayears); and the Sequoia tree species (100-120 megayears), are also likely LEP. They live long and are stable by a simple mechanism which is genetic. IF a species is highly efficient in most all ways based upon the genes, then if that species varies genetically even slightly from that maximal efficiency to a lesser, the lesser will be selected against, thus returning the efficiency of the species genome and population to the maximal amount. Thus such long lived species are stable, by the LEP, which creates that very efficiency resulting in their stabilities.
Further, by inputting this recognition, If we humans wish to live long as a stable species, we MUSt be the most efficient metabolically, genetically & structurally and behaviorally around. Then nothing can compete with us successfully and we will have entered the longevity marathon with a huge advantage. This is what the long lived stromatolites, dating back to 3-3.5 gigayears tell us. They survived because they are efficient. Even the horse, which is 12 megayears old as a genus, has outlived us, by using extremely efficient genetic, metabolic, structural and behavioral adaptations to its environments. The more efficient we are, the more likely we will survive for billions of years. The more efficient our mental systems for understanding and our models are, the greater longevity we will be granted in a universe driven by the LEP. This is the key to understanding longevity of a species. The total LEP outcomes which create stabilities which can last for eons.
Further, it’s clear that human emotions and structure, and thus genetics has been stable for 1000’s of years. The article shows this:
But what happens if we begin to make changes in our human genomes? It’s very clear that each gene interacts with one or many others. If even one gene is changed, this could have a long term systemic, even lethal effects. For instance, the so called “side effects” of medications are NOT side effects at all, but called that to ignore the complex system effects of medicines. Each new drug has not just a single effect, but many effects, although our linear thinking and methods try to limit and ignore those by naming them, side effects. Drug side effects are NOT, “side effects” but rather complex system effects. In the same way, making genetic changes in humans without understanding the fullest implications of those systemic effects, which will reach in many cases well beyond a single genetic change.
Our genomes are stable, because they are efficient, by the LEP. If we make changes in the genomes without regard to those efficiencies and render the system less efficient by any single or more genetic changes, then we risk damaging the stability and efficiency of the entire genome. It’s well known in the genetics of domesticated plants and animals, that when we selectively bred for characteristics, we start seeing a significantly greater mutation rate than normal compared to wild genomes. Both dogs and navel oranges show this. We humans, if go we mucking about carelessly in our genomes, before we comprehend more fully how a single change genetically, can create many other changes, not necessarily obvious at first, but in the long run important to survive, can destabilize our own genomes as well. This will create less survivability and increased mutation rates which can be very, very dangerous and damaging. Therefore, we must be observant, carefully investigate the fullest systemic effects, not side effects, of each genetic change we plan on making BEFORE instituting those. Otherwise, there could be very serious problems down the line for those who are genetically changed, without considering most all of the major complex system effects. These facts MUST be taken into account before any such changes are made.
The facts that our emotions are stable is part and parcel of this system approach. Even a minor genetic change could change our emotional states and how we react. the moral and social implications of this could be protean. Changing human emotional outputs could render segments of our societies unstable and even dangerous. It could cause serious breakdowns socially as well as psychologically, because the old rules would no longer apply. And the new forms of human emotions could have serious long term harmful consequences in interpersonal interactions as well as social stabilities. We cannot afford to destabilize our emotional systems, which would likely result in destabilizing our societies as well. This is a very real concern based upon solid evidences. We MUST be very careful before we institute genetic changes in our species of ANY kind, because those could have long term deleterious systemic consequences of major import.
The many psychoactive drugs available are now doing this, exactly. altering the stability of the mind and creating a great many new and previously not seen personality disorders, including psychoses. Those will necessarily destabilize society, create increased percentages of aberrant behaviors and resuls in new crimes against humanity of all kinds. Indeed, there is now being used the category of “drug induced personality disorder” which cannot be placed into the usual DSM-5 categories. This problem will tend to worsen as drug usage becomes ever more widespread. thus resulting in social instabilities and heightened insecurities plus deaths, crimes, and inefficiencies which will damage, perhaps fatally a society’s economic survival, as well as genetic and cultural survivals. These are real problems to be taken seriously.
The next ideas are those of economic efficiency & stability, specifically. For some time it’s been known that there is an “invisible hand” first noted by Adam Smith, which seemed to be directing economic, industrial, development and continues today in the midst of our current economies in the service industries, manufacturing, and so forth. The efficiencies of U.S. agriculture, where less than 1.5% of the population grows food for the rest, Plus massive food exports is well established & legendary. Compared to most nations which must import much of their food and rarely have fewer than 20-30% of their people engaged in growing food is telling. And this, very clearly is the LEP as the major driver, as well. Because as been shown before, efficiency counts. Solid, efficient food production will tend to stabilize any society which uses those methods. It will also promote growth of population to such a size that it cannot easily be attacked, nor defeated.
Thus the major aspects of economic growth, which are driven by the LEP, create a massive compound interest growth, which we are seeing most clearly in the electronics and computer industries. Not only are several percent added every year, but that growth is compounded every year, becoming ever higher. Efficiency results in growth in most cases, as Apple, Inc., has shown the world, neatly. We must begin to understand our economics in terms of LEP and thermodynamics to best understand what’s going on in this complex interaction of materials, transforms, added value and output of the complex system, we call an economy.
To discuss these LEP further, consider paper & papyrus, with ink & pens. These are far, far better, faster, vastly more able to be made cheaper, though paper is not as durable. This immense LEP advantage over cuneiform tablets which were bulkier, required 100’s of volumes more storage space & heavier, & took more energy to move around, compared to papyrus & then paper with vastly higher information densities per area/volume/weight measures. & thus all around a far, far more efficient method.
That drove out cuneiform tablets by compound interest advantage very quickly, not surviving the 1200-1000 BC period where Middle East cultures all collapsed during the transition to a full Iron Age. Bronze died out, as copper & tin were far scarcer than iron resources, though harder to work, could create vastly more weapons & harder tools, too, esp. with the advent of steel. Thus, LEP played a huge part as well in the earliest economies & societies. And these pen and paper methods survive to this day, altho the far, far faster word processing methods are well nigh catching up. For the first time in over 4500 years, something can exceed in efficiency, pen and ink on paper. It was stable THAT long because of its ultra high efficiencies of use, storage (libraries/archives), and reading.
It’s the LEP which drives creativity which creates worth, value and growth, NOT some putative “invisible hand”. It was the research sections created by Andrew Carnegie, which helped him drive out his competitors by finding ever more efficient methods to create better and less expensive steel/iron. The same was true of Edison’s research labs at Menlo Park, NJ. The same is true of most all modern industries, which have active research departments all having one goal: to create faster, more efficiently, less costly products, to gain the advantages of the compound interest force over their competitors. To win that “Bottom Line” advantage. An advantage in which Apple, Inc., has led the way, to become the world’s largest and most wealthy company yet seen. By clearly identifying this source of economic growth the LEP and the creativities which drive it, we can therefore understand economics better and make it work better, consciously, instead of by Trial & Erro and guessing.
What is creativity in fact? It’s a more efficient way of doing things. Compare the methods of the ancients using circles to model the orbits of the planets. Those were complicated, used lots of epicycles and were not very accurate. But Kepler’s ellipses and Newton’s laws of motion were far, far more accurate, and in addition, could describe any such set of solar systems far, far more easily than the ancient methods. Thus they were given a huge compound interest advantage, and indeed dominate today. The fact that the orbits so computed are LEP should not come as a surprise, either, as Newton’s equations are also the LEP solutions to those orbits. This is hardly an accident!! Although we have adapted his methods to the more accurate “elements of orbit” to describe them in 3-D, those work far, far more accurately to get men to the moon and back and spacecraft exploratory probes to the outer planets, as well. LEP methods, efficient, more accurate, and they win and run the show.
The essential driving force of the comparison process, which creates the LEP methods, can be stated in a complex system way, using its characteristics & thus showing its power. The LEP arises from the comparison process & can be seen using this principle to make a creative solution. Applying (a comparison word: apply an application, apply an application of an application, etc) it comes about by comparing the outcomes in terms of energy, time, resources & costs of each method, skill, process, application or way of doing something. That which uses the least energy wins. It creates the highest compound interest benefit of growth over the long term. Creatvity is essentially a means of creating a far more efficient or effetive method/products using the comparison process.
But let us look deeper into How this comes about in detail & specifically. Comparison takes two or more ideas, words, &/or events & compares them. In finding common elements in each of them it organizes & understands them within that category, such as the analogy word cluster, which can also be considered in a more incomplete form, an antonymous form. The higher Category is the analogy word cluster, or higher abstraction, just as antonyms are higher abstractions. Therefore it unites and simplifies a whole group of similar events, words/ideas, into a single embracing, subsuming category, and thus saves energy. The many become the one. The confusion goes away, and ordering is created. Simplification of the mass takes place. LEP.
Further, consider the insects become in all of their astounding complexities & forms, members of the Arthropoda. And all of the insects are collected into their various families, all joined by common elements of genetics, appearances, 6 legs, antennae shapes and such. This not ONLY organizes but greatly simplifies the whole family, and then find the orders of insects from that. But it’s also a least energy principle. It does MUCH with less. The system of classification creates an LEP form. Thus it’s highly efficient compared to just a random listing of bugs, beetles & butterflies, and organizes it as well. & that organization can be read far faster, and the place of any known insect can be found. & more entries can be added to these lists. These classifications are thus highly organized, least energy forms. Exactly like our genomes!!
Let us take chitin, keratin, collagen, and lignin/wood/cellulose. Each of these are very, very durable, physically and are not easily broken down chemically, because they are LEP forms. It takes a LOT of energy to break down cellulose/wood, because it’s least energy. Thus animals of themselves cannot digest this to gain the sugars out of which wood is composed. But instead rely upon vast collections of bacteria and protozoa in their guts, in order to get at this sugar resource of lignin. Thus the termites, ruminants, and others must create the conditions where those bacteria/protozoans, not only thrive, but can be passed onto the next generations, without losing that cellulose breaking down process, leaving just enough sugar for the host to justify the whole long gut and cellulose digesting mix, which does the work. Those compounds are all very, very stable. They are least energy & durable compounds. This gives us an idea of how efficiently the LEP and comparison process which drive it can increase our understanding of what lies behind the essential stable structures of plants and animals. Nothing Less than the LEP has driven & created and used time and again, by the comparison process. Gaining that compound interest advantage, as well.
That is how the comparison process works, by saving energy in terms of finding places for each insect species & how, Also, it simplifies the system. It’s how any new insect can be placed by comparison, once again. Repeating endlessly the forms of comparison, ordering, saving energy. Those are the secrets of the comparison process and why it’s been selected for to work in our cortices. That’s what makes sense of how our minds work and why the comparison process works. The LEP, which is comparison process created & driven gives the compound interest advantage. These are the depths within depths within depths of siple recognition, the deeper pattern recognition such as of the Periodic table of elements, understanding, and the classifications/hierarchies methods of understanding. The comparison process taking vast amounts of data, efficiently finding the unifying, simplifying elements in them, then creating a highly energy efficient classification scheme to both organize and make it possible, predictable by trial and error methods to be both created, AND read by the same process.
These energy savings are then realized repeatedly by any reading of the classification again. It creates compound interest energy savings which are of huge advantage in the long term. Thus the entire system is least energy saving, & thus favored, thus above all, highly stable. Unless a more efficient classification method comes along, this out-competes and is favored. It’s also stable, a stability because it’s least energy. & that is how the comparison process does the deed. Least energy form, Stability, & huge long term energy savings which multiplies advantage and out competes compared to any other system, unless that is more efficient. This is the key to understanding understanding, and in fact, understanding and recognizing (reading) very likely most anything. It’s universal, unifying and simplifies greatly so we can comprehend far more with far, far less. & each time we use this system, the energy savings multiply via the compound interest rule. That is the heart and core of the comparison process and why it evolved (& our brains’ cortex came about), & why we are so successful as a species. also why it’s stable and why it’s so widely used not only in humans but all over the planet in living as well as not living systems. LEP, the Fourth Law of Thermodynamics.
This is the point of it all. The foxes, linear thinkers, know a lot of little things, but the complex system, comparison processor users know one big thing. Guess which wins in the competition of life with that huge compound interest advantage, every time they use it?
The Hedgehog. Least energy rules.