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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Natural Selection Favors the Meandering Path, the Efficient Path

It's finally here, my second Vlog post!

Just pondering about straight and squiggly lines in nature.

There aren't very many "straight" lines in nature, and really none of those that appear straight are actually straight. Even light travels in waves.
In the 3rd century BCE, Archimedes first articulated that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line.
Now we think the shortest distance between 2 points the most efficient.
But, I ask, is the straight line really efficient?
If so, if natural selection selects the most fit, why does it almost always select against the straight line and for the meandering line?
If you can pull yourself away from these gadgets and grids long enough and go into a field, just look around.
Yes, nature is saturated with meandering paths.
But commercial civilization, on the other hand, almost always selects against the wavy line, for the straight line!
Look at city plans for thousands of years.
Look at our grids, electronics, computers, houses, windows.
Why the straight line?
We think the shortest distance, the fastest distance, is the fittest, the most efficient.
But it's not. That's right.
Commerce is goal-oriented, based on money, meaning end reward.
"Civilized" people work for the sake of end reward, not for the sake of the journey.
We don't regard work as the reward but the end as the reward.
This creates the straightest line, the quickest line possible.
By its very nature, the straight line as such disregards its environment, disregards its neighbors, disregards surrounding terrain, disregards resting and relaxation, joy in the moment.
In other words, the straight lines of civilization tell us the end justifies the means.
In other words, the straight path is the least efficient, the most wasteful path. Just look around. Overwhelming waste piles up around our straight lines.
Our straight-line grid is contrary to natural selection, contrary to biology, contrary to evolution, despite what we think.
Our civilization has gotten straighter and straighter for thousands of years, now straighter than ever, surrounded by insurmountable waste and inefficiency.
Ancient Chinese/Taoist folklore says evil spirits travel along straight lines.
Hence, traditional Asian architecture and paths are purposefully made to curve and meander.
Our brains are wired in curved lines because they are selected for efficiency, awareness, intelligence, art.
Our computers are wired in straight lines, because we think they are more efficient, but their intelligence is artificial, fake, contrary to awareness, contrary to consciousness.
Maybe one day we will learn to select beauty, meandering paths, intelligence, art.
But it can never happen in a society that lives for end reward.
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  1. Ah yes, the straight line fast track to success, instead of enjoying the path. That's what society is hard wired toward, and that wire is straight. In many aspects of life, the landscape is more satisfying along the meandering path; easier on the eyes as well as the spirit.

  2. Been "listening" since 2012 and want to make sure you know I appreciate your voice. Having walked many of Utah's rivers and been tempted to cut them the way the invasive cattle do, I feel what you're saying here. There's so much more substance to be found in the labyrinthine - like we find in the coils of your brain! :)

  3. I first read about you as an atheist in 2015. Now, I am no longer an atheist. Reason being I actually started to read my beliefs' source material. I dumped the big bang theory and Darwin's theory of evolution,b full of holes no one can close without lying to oneself, assuming they even get close to reading them. Before being an atheist I was a catholic, but again, the source material namely catholic catechism just doesn't make sense. I am now a believer in the truth, and truths emanating from the source truth. Common sense is another name, treat others as you'd like to be treated, freely receive, then freely give, why be evil when it clearly never works out in the long run (movies or reality)? Notice my straight line to the truth was non existent. I had to meander into some dark places that caused more meandering to then find the most efficient, fun and loving path. I was miserable in a high rise, and happy as can be living behind a Walmart, sleeping on grass. Thanks to the way, truth, and the light, which sets you free. Evolution, big bang, material wealth are just magic show illusions that look like the truth, but the mystery shows them to be illusions

    1. It is true there isn't a linear evolution, with a single Beginning and a single End. But everything in the entire universe is evolving, changing and being naturally selected. This idea, in fact, is the very fundamental core of Biblical teaching: honing us down through the furnace of trials until the chosen remnant remains. Every single story in the Judaeo Christian tradition boils down to this. Every living thing grows, evolves, changes, whether we are talking cells or animals or humans or populations. It is natural selection. Evolution is the very mind of God. How could it not be, and how could we possibly not see this unless we ourselves are not evolving every second of every day? How could we not see that the Kingdom of God is as the mustard seed, evolving from a seed to a plant, yes, through the trials of suffering, of natural selection? This, in fact, is Christianity 101.

  4. Any thoughts about money being the tool that helps create the most winding path possible?

  5. I think it makes intuitive sense on an aesthetic level that the curve is to be prefered over what is straight. A rose composed with flat straight petals would appeal less to the eye than the curved blossoms found in nature. This may relate also to what men generally find appealing in the physiques of women.
    Another point of contrast worth thinking about is the appearance of natural and artificial structures under high magnification. A pin for example looks very sharp and precisely crafted at arms length but under high magnification appears rather crude. The claws on an insect's leg on the other hand will still look very cleanly formed under the same level of magnification. One form is imposed from the top down and the other grows from the base up.